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.

See the complete equipment list in alphabetical order.

Keywords

You can narrow your search of our equipment library by selecting any one of the below keywords.

Astrophotography Basic Binoculars Camera Dobsonian Go To Maksutov Newtonian Push To Reflector Refractor Schmidt Cassegrain

Available Immediately

The following list of equipment is immediately available to borrow.

Celestron Echelon 16x70 Binoculars

Currently there are 3 requests to borrow this.

 

 

Large-aperture astronomical binoculars are designed for viewing .star clusters, nebula, and galaxies. 16x magnification is sufficient to provide good views of many deep sky objects, It will provide pleasing views of the moon , and will show Jupiter and it's four Galilean moons. 

Celestron Echelon binoculars sport high quality 70 mm objective lenses made in Japan. BaK-4 prisms provide good contrast and sharpness, and all air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated with Celestron’s proprietary XLT anti-reflection optical coatings.

 

Meade 8 LX200

Currently there are 3 requests to borrow this.

 

 

The Meade 8 LX200  Schmidt-Cassegrain is an older, manually operated telescope on an equatorial fork mount. It will give good views of the moon, planets as well as nebulae, star clusters and galaxies. It has a 110V clock drive, with a manual solw motion control  that can be used to track objects if 110 V power is not readily available.

Available Eventually

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

DSLR with SCT Adapter

Newly added 14 days ago on September 12, 2020 (Saturday).

Currently there are 1 requests to borrow this.

Older Canon XTi  DSLR camera body with T-ring and Adapter for attaching this camera to a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope. Suitable for Lunar and Planetary photography.

 

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..  

AWB OneSky 130mm Reflector

Currently there are 3 requests to borrow this.

 

 

The AWB (Astronomers Without Borders) OneSky telescope is a 130 mm Newtonian reflector. It has a Dobsonian style mounting that is compact and intuitive to use. A red-dot reflex sight serves as a finder for aiming the scope. The truss tube telescope collapses into a compact size for storage and transport. Note that this telescope is designed to be placed on a small table or similar support when in use and does not come with a tripod.

Three eyepices are included. A low power eyepiece (26 mm TeleVue Plossl) provides 25 power and a wide, 2 degree true field of view for locating objects and for viewing large deep sky objects such as star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.. A 13mm Celestron Plossl provides 50 power, and a 10.5 mm TeleVue Plossl provides 62 power for viewing the Moon, planets, and smaller deep sky objects.

This telescope is suitable for all ages and is a good choice for viewing the moon, planets, and bright deep sky objects. The red-dot finder is easy to use. However, you need to be able to see your target in the sky order to aim the scope accurately. In the city, a red-dot finder works well when aiming at the moon, planets, and bright stars. Finding faint deep sky objects generally requires dark sky unless, like the Great Orion Nebula, the object you are looking for is located near a bright star.

It is always good to set up a telescope away from any direct line of sight to porch lights or street lights, and this is especially important for an open truss tube  design like the AWB 130.

Specifications:
Aperture: 130 mm
Focal length: 650 mm (f/5)
Eyepieces: 25 mm (26x) and 10 mm (65x)
Tube length collapsed: 24 inches
Tube length collapsed: 14.5 inches
Telescope weight: 14 pounds

Currently Unavailable

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

Coronado Personal Solar Telescope

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

This instrument is difficult to use and the image contrast is low. Please contact the Equipment Manager if you are interested in borrowing this H-Alpha Telescope.

The Coronado Personal Solar Telescope will show interesting details of the Sun, including sun spots and solar prominences,  Sunspots are not difficult to see,. However, both the focus and the H-alpha filter adjustments are critical.

Edmund Astroscan

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

This telescope is not currently available for loans. The finder mount is broken. In addition, the optical performance is poor due to a damaged secondary mirror mount.

The Edmund Scientific Astroscan 4 1/8" telescope comes in a basic package that includes the telescope, a unit power red circle sight (Rigel Quik Point), a cast-aluminum tabletop base that's padded to prevent scratches on sensitive surfaces, a user's manual, two eyepieces, and a carrying bag. The Astroscan has a focal length of 445mm and makes a great "grab and go" scope requiring virtually no setup.  Unfortunately the telescope is slightly but permenately out of collimation and is not suitable for hig power viewing, but it works fine with the provided eyepieces.. A low power eyepiece (16x) provides a three degree angle true field of view and a medium power eyepiece provides 25x. The Astroscan provides good views of large star clusters and nebula, such as the Double Cluster, the Andromeda galaxy, and the Great Nebula in Orion. complex, all of which can be seen from the suburbs of Seattle. It will show Jupiter and it's moons, but does not quite resolve Saturn's ring system.

Ultrastar Color Imaging Camera

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

This Ultrastar camera has been combined with a new telescope and mount to make a complete loaner package, the "Astrophotography Kit-Ultrastar CCD"

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.

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 (#2)

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

The waiting list for this equipment is filled and new requests are temporarily on hold. Please DO NOT submit a request here unless directed by the Equipment Manager. Thank you.

This equipment is a duplicate Evolution 6 telescope and when available it is bieing loaned to the next person on the Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 (#1) wait list.

 

Meade ETX-125EC

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

 

Unavailable until flu season is over due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Meade ETX-125EC telescope is a Maksutov-Cassegrain design that folds a relatively long focal length into a relatively short and easy to handle optical tube. The long focal length makes it easy to reach high magnification for observation of the moon and planets. The 125 mm aperature is large enough for nice views of brighter deep sky objects. The Meade AutoStar controller provides Go-To operation (Note that this AutoStar computer is an older generation and setup takes a bit of time, but it works fine for viewing the moon, the planets, and some brighter, easier to locate deep sky objects.)

Tele Vue Eyepiece Set

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

 Eyepiece loans currently on temporary hold.

This set includes two older wide angle Tele Vue eyepieces (16mm and 9 mm) and two newer (13mm, 8mm) wide angle eyepieces.

ZWO ASI120MC-S Imaging Camera

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

The waiting list for this equipment is filled and new requests are temporarily on hold.

The ASI120MC-S is a color USB3.0 camera. primarily intended for planetary imaging, but it can be used for deep sky imaging with some limitations.

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini Tracking Mount

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

 

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

Note: This equipment includes a small equatorial mount that must be carefully polar aligned and may be confusing for beginners.

Star Adventurer Mini is a high precision, portable and stable tracking platform for sidereal, solar and lunar tracking with automatic DSLR shutter release control. It is useful as a tracking platform to capture wide-field images of the Milky Way, or as a compact travel mount. The Equipment Manager can provide advice on setting up the equatorial mount.

A Star Adventurer Latitude Base is included and provides a smooth and reliable way to polar align your mount. With internal gearing the Latitude Base makes aligning to the north celestial pole easy and repeatable.  A MeFoto GlobeTrotter with a ball head is also provided.

Astrophotography Kit-Ultrastar CCD

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

 

The waiting list for this equipment is filled and new requests are temporarily on hold.

This astrophotography kit is designed capable amateur astronomers who wish to learn the basics of imaging with CCD cameras. It includes the same model 80mm ED APO (apochromatic) refractor (Meade 6000) with reducer/flattener and the same Celestron AVX telescope mount as the Advanced CCD kit, along with an entry level CCD camera (an Ultrastar Color CCD with a resolution of 1392 x 1040 pixels), a reducer/flatener, a Windows 10 laptop preloaded with the necessary software and drivers, 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. There is no guide camera. The short effective focal length of the system allows unguided exposures of a few minutes, which can then be stacked during post processing

Ultrastar-C Specifications:
CCD - Sony ICX825AL ExView2 monochrome CCD
Pixel count - 1392(H) x 1040(V)
Pixel size - 6.45 x 6.45uM
Optical size - 8.98 x 6.71 mm
Input connection - ‘Mini B’ USB socket for USB2.0
Output connection - Standard RJ12 autoguider socket

Orion StarBlast 4.5

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

 

The waiting list for this telescope is filled and new requests are temporarily on hold.

The Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ reflector telescope comes with a lightweight equatorial tracking mount and adjustable-height tripod. The equatorial mount is advantagous for viewing objects in the sky but is not intuitive to use. Instructions on setting up an equatorial mount are included with the telescope. Two Orion Expanse  wide field eyepieces  (66 degree apparent field of view) are included. A 15mm Expanse eyepiece provides 30x power magnification, and a 6mm Expanse eyepiece provides 75x magnification.  An Orion EZ Finder II "red Dot" reflex sight is provided to aim the telescope. The user looks at the sky through the viewing window of the EZ Finder and sees a red dot, like a heads up display on an airplane. The user then moves the telescope until the red-dot is aimed at the intended area of the sky.

Orion StarMax 127 EQ

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

 

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

Note: This equipment includes an equatorial mount that must be set up properly. For visual use, just point the polar axis of the mount approximately toward the  north star.  

The StarMax 127 telescope is a Maksutov-Cassegrain design that folds a long focal length into a relatively short and easy to handle optical tube. The long focal length (1540mm) makes it easy to reach high magnification for observation of the moon and planets. The 127 mm aperature is large enough for nice views of brighter deep sky objects.  Includes an adjustable tripod and equatorial mount with manual slow-motion controls. The equatorial makes it easier to track the moon and planets at high magnification, but can be confusing for beginners. The Equipment Manager can provide advice on setting up and using an equatorial mount.

Portable DSLR Astrophotography Kit

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

The waiting list for this equipment is filled and new requests are temporarily on hold.

Note: This equipment includes a small equatorial mount that must be carefully polar aligned and may be confusing for beginners.

This is a complete portable astrophotography kit which is suitable for wide-field astro-imaging.  The equipment includes a Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer equatorial tracking mount, Berlebach mini tripod, astronomy-modified Canon T3i with a 50mm and a 100mm lens, assorted cables, a Pelican case for the mount and camera, and a zipper bag for the tripod).  It comes with a manual to familiarize the user with the assembly, use, and care of the Star Adventurer equatorial tracking mount. The Equipment Manager can provide advice on setting up an equatorial mount.

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 (#1)

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

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

There are two nearly identical NexStar Evolution 6 telescopes in the SAS Equipment Library. When one becomes available it will go to the next requestor from the queue below..

The Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 is a microprocessor controlled GoTo telescope. The SkyAlign alignment procedure is simple and only requires the user to point the telescope to any three bright stars.   Once aligned, the "GoTo" mode provides automatic slewing to a selected object. The telescope can be controlled using a traditional hand held controller, or it can be operated using a smart phone or tablet connected to the NexStar Evolution’s built-in WiFi network. The built-in  rechargeable battery will operate the telescope 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 "Red Dot"  finderscope, a  good quality 1.25” star diagonal, eyepieces, and an AC adapter.

Explore Scientific AR102mm Refractor

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

The waiting list for this equipment is filled and new requests are temporarily on hold.

 

The Explore Scientific AR102 telescope is out for maintenance.. Until it is returned, an Orion 80mm ED refractor has been substituted. An ED refractor uses modern "Extra-Low Dispersion" glass to provide a sharper image than is possible with a short tube acromat using traditional flint and crown glass elements. The Orion 80ED  is a general purpose telescope that will give sharp images of the moon and planets as well as the brighter star clusters and galaxies. The 80mm aperture lens gathers less light than a 100mm aperature telescope but ED glass improves the image contrast. This 80ED telescope includes a  good quality single speed focuser, a one-piece 2" diagonal with 99% dielectric coatings, a 6x30 correct image right angle finderscope with quick release bracket, and a cradle ring assembly with a Vixen-style dovetail mount. The smaller 80mm ED telescope is a good match for the Twilight I Alt-Azimuth mount, which is designed to quickly and easily accept small to medium sized refractors.  Slow-motion control cables are attached on the vertical and horizontal axes, and are easy to turn during the night.

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The Explore Scientific AR102 telescope is a classic doublet achromatic f/6.5 refractor designed to provide low  magnification, wide field views of the sky. This telescope includes a 2" dual-speed Crayford-style focuser, a one-piece 2" diagonal with 99% dielectric coatings, an 8 X 50 non-illuminated straight -thru finderscope and quick release bracket, and a cradle ring assembly with Vixen-style dovetail mount.

Celestron NexStar 6 SE

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

 

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

The Celestron 6 SE is a current model altazimuth computerized Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The 6 SE features a relatively long 1500mm focal length (f/10) and a total weight of 30 lbs including the tripod. 

Celestron StarHopper 8

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

The Waiting list for this telescope is filled and it is temporarily unavailable for new requests.

NOTE: This is a heavy and bulky telescope and may not fit in smaller cars.

This Celestron Star Hopper Dobsonian is an 8 inch Newtonian telescope on a Dobson style mount. The telescope includes a Telrad finder that is intuitive to use and works well for pointing the telescope at the moon, planets, and brighter stars. Finding deep sky objects (e.g. galaxies and star clusters) requries the use of star charts and some knowledge of the sky.

Orion SkyQuest XT10i

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

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

Note: This is a heavy and bulky telescope.  It may require 2 people to lift it and a bigger vehicle to transport it.

The Orion SkyQuest XT10i IntelliScope Dobsonian Reflector features a fairly large 10" apperture mirror combined with the ease of use of a Dodsonian mount. The telescope includes altitude and azimuthal encoders and a computer controller for easy two start configuration and push-to navigation. With the Orion SkyQuest XT10i IntelliScope Computer Controller, the user can select an object to view from the controller's 14,000+ object database. A 9x50 finder scope is included to help aim the telescope. Three included telescope eyepieces, a 25mm, 17mm, and 9mm Sirius Plossl, provide you with views between 48x and 120x respectively. 

Advanced Astrophotography Kit-ZWO Pro CCD

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

 

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

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 8 GPS

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

 

Temporarily unavailable for new requests due to long waitlist.

The NexStar 8  GPS is an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with Celestron NexStar  computer control.

200 mm aperture, 2000 mm focal length

This is a heavy and bulky telescope.  It may require 2 people to lift it. Your vehicle must accomodate three large boxes (32x20x14, 24x18x12, and 30x10x10 inches) to transport it.  The optical tube assembly is about 45 lbs.  This is not a beginner telescope..

 

 

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

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