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.

All our equipment is currently on loan to other members.

Available Soon

The following list of equipment is currently loaned out, loan ends in the next two weeks, and no one else has requested to borrow it. This is a great time to request to borrow it!

  • Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini Tracking Mount

    Loan ends in 14 days on August 16, 2021 (Monday).

    Star Adventurer Mini is a high precision, portable star tracking platform that is useful for making wide-field images of the Milky Way with a DSLR, It includes a small equatorial mount that must be carefully polar aligned and may be confusing for beginners.. A MeFoto GlobeTrotter with a ball head is included but the user must supply their own DSLR and lens.

Available Eventually

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

  • AWB OneSky 130mm Reflector

    Currently there are 3 requests to borrow this.

    This telescope is suitable for all ages and is a good choice for viewing the moon, planets, and bright deep sky objects. It has a Dobsonian style mounting that is compact and intuitive to use. A red-dot reflex sight and a seet of eyepieces is included.. It is designed to be placed on a small table or similar support and does not come with a tripod.

  • Orion SkyQuest XT10g - Computerized GoTo Dobsonian

    Currently there are 2 requests to borrow this.

    The XT10g is a 10" aperture Newtonian telescope in a motorized Go-To mount.  A red dot reflex sight finder and eyepieces are included. 

    This is a  very heavy and bulky telescope and it is usually loaned for extended periods. 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.

  • Orion StarMax 127 EQ

    Currently there are 2 requests to borrow this.

    The StarMax 127 telescope has a long focal length and is ideal for observation of the moon. The equatorial mount makes it easier to track the moon and planets at high magnification, but can be confusing for beginners.

  • Portable DSLR Astrophotography Kit

    Currently there are 1 requests to borrow this.

    This is a complete portable astrophotography kit which includes the Star Watcher mount, a portable tripod, and an astronomy-modified Canon T3i with a 50mm and a 100mm lens. Note: the Starwatcher mount must be carefully polar aligned and this may be confusing for beginners.

  • ZWO ASI120MC-S Imaging Camera

    Currently there are 4 requests to borrow this.

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

     

Currently Unavailable

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

  • APO/Ultrastar CCD Astrophotography Kit

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

    This astrophotography kit is designed for capable amateur astronomers who wish to learn the basics of imaging with CCD cameras.  It is not suitable for beginners, and the borrower needs to understand how to align and use an equatorial mount. Some prior observing or imaging experience with simpler equipment, such as a star tracker and DSLR camera, is strongly recommended.  However, this kit does include a laptop computer with the necessary drivers and the UltraStar camera is a basic, entry level CCD. 

  • Celestron Echelon 16x70 Binoculars

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

    There is a long waiting list for these binoculars. New requests are not being accepted.

    Large-aperture astronomical binoculars are intended for wide angle viewing star clusters, nebula, and galaxies, but will also provide nice views of our Moon and Jupiter with it's four Galelian moons. These 70mm binoculars are heavy and an Orion parallelogram binocular mount and tripod is included. 16x magnification is sufficient to provide nice views of many deep sky objects, such as the Andromeda Galaxy (M31),, the Orion Nebula (M42),  and the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (M13). It will not show Saturn's ring (about 30 power is required to reveal this detail).

  • Celestron NexStar 6 SE

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

    Special Item-Contact the Equipment Manager to Borrow this telescope.

    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 NexStar 8 GPS

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

    Special Item- This telescope has a long waiting list. New requests are not being accepted. Contact the Equipment Manager for mor information.

    This is a heavy and bulky telescope.  It may require 2 people to lift it.

    The NexStar 8  GPS is an 8-inch aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with Celestron NexStar computer control. It is  larger adn heavier than most of the SAS loaner telescopes.  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.

     

  • Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 (#1)

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

    Special Item-Contact the Equipment Manager to Borrow this telescope

    The telescope kit includes eyepieces, a "Red Dot"  finderscope for initial alignment, eyepieces, and a  good quality 1.25” star diagonal. This Telescope is the first of two identical NexStar Evolution 6 telescope kits in the SAS Equipment Library.

  • Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 (#2)

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

    Special Item-Contact the Equipment Manager to Borrow this telescope.

    The telescope kit includes eyepieces, a "Red Dot" finderscope for initial alignment, eyepieces, and a  good quality 1.25” star diagonal. This Telescope is the newer of two identical NexStar Evolution 6 telescope kits in the SAS Equipment Library.

     

  • Coronado Personal Solar Telescope

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

    This equipment needs refubishment and is not currently available for loans. The image contrast is low and is difficult to adjust. 

    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 to bring prominences into view.

     

  • Edmund Astroscan

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

    This telescope needs repairs and is not currently available for loans.

    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 OK 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.

     

  • Meade 8" LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain

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

    Special Item-This telescope is not currently available for checkout.

    NOTE: This is a Large and heavy telescope. The optical tube assembly includes the fork mount and weighs 43 lbs. It is stored in a plastic tub that is 30" x 20" x 16" (L,W,H).

    This is a Meade eight Inch aperture, fork mounted,  f/10 GoTo Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The GoTo pointing accuracy is very good but the setup and alignment directions contained in the Quick Start guide must be carefully followed. Note that this kit does not include an optional equatorial wedge, since this is not required for visual observing.

  • Meade 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain

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

    Retired Item-New requests are not currently being accepted. Contact the Equipment Manager for mor information

    This Meade 2080 Schmidt-Cassegrain is an older, manually operated eight inch aperture 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.

  • Meade ETX-125 #2

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

    Special Item-Contact the Equipment Manager to Borrow this telescope

    This telescope was recently acquired by SAS and is not yet ready to be loaned out. It is the second of two simialr ETX-125 telescopes in the Lending Library.

     

  • Meade ETX-125 (#1)

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

    Special Item: Please contact the Equipment Manager to borrow this telescope.

    The Meade ETX-125EC telescope is a Maksutov-Cassegrain design that folds a relatively long focal length into a relatively short optical tube. The long focal length makes it easy to reach high magnification for observation of the moon and planets. The Meade AutoStar controller provides Go-To operation (but AutoStar is an older generation and setup involves several steps),

     

  • Orion 80mm ED Refractor

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

    Special Item-Contact the Equipment Manager to Borrow this telescope.

    The Orion 80ED is a small, general purpose refractor telescope that will give sharp images of the moon and planets as well as the brighter star clusters and galaxies. ED glass improves the image contrast compared to a traditional acromat.

  • TeleVue Eyepiece Set

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

    Special Item-Contact the Equipment Manager to Borrow these eyepieces.

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

  • 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 is larger and more sensitive. It is useful as both a guide camera and an imaging camera.

Telescope Types

Types of telescopes

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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: