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.

Meade 8 LX200 EMC

Currently there are 0 requests to borrow this.

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. It is large and heavy and may not fit easily into smaller cars.

It is loaned out fully equipped with a wide selection of eyepieces and filters as well as a JMI motofocus, an Astro chair, and astronomy books.

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.

Orion SkyQuest XT10g - Computerized GoTo Dobsonian

Currently there are 1 requests to borrow this.

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 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. The 10" primary mirror is center-marked to make precise alignment of the optics (collimation) easier to achieve (a quick collimation cap. is provided in the loaner package). 

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6

Currently there are 6 requests to borrow this.

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.

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.

Advanced Astrophotography Kit - Meade 80mm Refractor

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

The power tqank has failed and is being replaced. The equipment will be available for loan when a replacement is delivered.

This advanced astrophotography kit includes a Meade Series 6000 APO ED APO 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.  It comes with all the pertinent manuals to use the various gear.  This astrophotography kit is designed for imaging deep sky objects.

The Meade Series 6000 80mm APO triplet refractor is built with the observer and imager in mind.  With the three element optical design using the highest grade extra-low dispersion optical glass, false color is virtually eliminated, yielding astonishing color correction, contrast, and sharpness.

Telescope Types

Types of telescopes

Copyright NIAAS, North Ireland Amatuer Astronomical Society

What are those numbers?

Types of telescopes

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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: