Equipment Library

The Seattle Astronomical Society maintains a library of small and medium size telescopes that may be checked out for a period of 1 month by members in good standing. If you are new to astronomy, this is an excellent way to learn how to use a telescope and to begin viewing the wonders of the night sky, without having to invest immediately in a telescope of your own. To check out a telescope, please check out our equipment available for loan.

If you have any questions about borrowing equipment, or do not see a specific piece of equipment please reach out to our Equipment Manager.

Available Immediately

The following list of equipment is immediately available to borrow.

Advanced CCD Astrophotography Kit with 80mm APO

Currently there are 5 requests to borrow this.

 

Note: This package requires the user to provide a laptop computer, install the necessary drivers, and polar align an equatorial mount.

This astrophotography kit is designed for imaging deep sky objects by capable amateur astronomers. It  includes a Meade Series 6000 APO ED APO (apochromatic) 80mm refractor, a Celestron Advanced VX telescope mount, a ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled camera with a reducer/flattener, and all the necessary cables and power supply. The borrower should understand how to align and use an equatorial mount and must supply a laptop computer to operate the camera. The short effective focal length of the system allows unguided exposures of a few minutes, which can then be stacked during post processing 

The Meade Series 6000 80mm APO triplet refractor uses extra-low dispersion optical glass to provide excellent color correction, contrast, and sharpness.

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6

Currently there are 6 requests to borrow this.

 

The Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 includes integrated WiFi and can be controlled with your smartphone or tablet by connecting your device to NexStar Evolution’s built-in wireless network. A SkyAlign alignment procedure is built into the Celestron mobile app for setup of the "GoTo" mode that provides automatic slewing to a selected object. Use the planetarium interface to display a list of celestial objects currently visible based on your time and location. NexStar Evolution includes its own built-in battery and will operate for up to 10 hours on a single charge. Ergonomic handles help with setup. Manual clutches in both altitude and azimuth offer flexibility to manually point the telescope when powered off. The 6-inch NexStar Evolution tracking accuracy is accurate enough to get started in astroimaging by attaching your DSLR camera.

The telescope also includes a StarPointer finderscope, a 1.25” star diagonal, eyepieces, and an AC adapter.

Available Soon

Available Eventually

The following list of equipment is currently loaned out to a member, and may include other members waiting to also borrow.

Meade 8 LX200 EMC

Loan ends in 32 days on August 06, 2020 (Thursday).

 NOTE: This Telescope package is bulky and heavy and may not fit easily into smaller cars.

The Meade 8 LX200 EMC Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is suitable for members experienced with medium to large sized computerized telescope. This telescope will give good views of the moon, planets as well as nebulae, star clusters and galaxies. However, it is an older design that is more complex to operate than newer telescopes and is not a good telescope for beginners.

Orion Resolux 10.5x70 Astronomy Binoculars

Currently there are 2 requests to borrow this.

 

Large-aperture astronomical binoculars are intended for viewing star clusters, nebula, and galaxies. 10x magnification will provide good wide field views of larger deep sky objects such as the Great Orion Nebula and the Pleiades star cluster. At a dark sky site it will provide good views of Milky Way star fields and larger objects such as the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies (M31 and M33). 

Like any binoculars, the Resolux 10.5x70 will provide pleasing views of the moon.

The Orion Resolux binoculars feature BAK-4 prisms and anti-reflection multi-coatings on all optical surfaces. The eyepieces focus individually and provide 18mm or more of eye relief They.have a 5.0-degree field of view.

A binocular tripod mount is provided in the SAS loaner package, but these 10.5x70 Resolux binoculars are hand holdable for short viewing sessions, especially if you can relax in a reclining lounge chair (not provided) while stargazing..  

Currently Unavailable

The following list of equipment is not available to members until we are able to replace or repair parts.

Ultrastar Color Imaging Camera

Note  This item is being serviced and it is not available for check out.

This Ultrastar camera is being combined with a new telescope and mount to make a complete astrophotography loaner package. It will be available soon.

The camera and the required cables are included in this loaner. he user must supply a telescope, tracking mount and computer. The Ultrastar is an advanced version of Starlight Xpress 'Superstar' guide camera and it has a similar resolution of 1392 x 1040 pixels. However, the CCD chip has 70% more area and the QE is considerably greater, at around 75% peak. It is useful as both a guide camera and an imaging camera, which is especially well suited to 'Live Viewing' mode. A program called 'Lodestar Live' is capable of controlling the Ultrastar in Live view. It can also color convert and stack images from single-shots.

Orion SkyQuest XT10g - Computerized GoTo Dobsonian

Note  This item is being serviced and it is not available for check out.

NOTE: This telescope is heavy and may require two adults to carry and set up.

The SkyQuest XT10g features GoTo pointing. It features a 254mm (10") aperture, 1200mm focal-length parabolic mirror (f/4.7).

Assembly is straightforward, but please note: This is a  very heavy and bulky telescope. The base is large and weighs nearly 40 lbs. The optical tube weighs 30 lbs and is about 12 inches in diameter by 48 inches long. It may require 2 people to lift it and a bigger vehicle to transport it. Handles on the Dobsonian base's front and side panels help to lift and carry the heavy base. Assembly is done by lifting the 30 lb. XT10g telescope optical tube into the Dobsonian base and locking it in place with a hand knob. A two-star alignment must be done to orient the telescope to the sky for GoTo operation. 

Our Orion SkyQuest XT10g GoTo Dobsonian Loaner Package includes an EZ Finder II reflex sight, three high quality eyepieces, and several useful accessories.

Telescope Types

Types of telescopes

Copyright NIAAS, North Ireland Amatuer Astronomical Society

What are those numbers?

Types of telescopes

Copyright 2008-2012 Stormthecastle.com

The f-ratio is the focal length divided by the diameter of the telescope. Magnification is the focal length of the telescope divided by the focal length of the eyepiece.

Example

To find the f-ratio of a telescope 10 " in diameter with a 45" focal length:

Divide 45 " F.L. by10" D. to get an f-ratio of 4.5.

Compute Magnification

First, convert focal length to mm: 45" = 1146 mm, then:

1146 mm focal length divided by 35 mm eyepiece equals 33 magnification.

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about telescopes, we recommend: