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How: Starblast

Starblast 6i Overview

The Starblast 6i is a Newtonian reflector telescope with a 6-inch mirror.  Six inches is a large enough mirror to see faint objects such as galaxies and nebulas under dark skies.  It is extremely easy to use.  It's computer is perhaps the easiest non self-aligning system available.

It weighs about thirty pounds, but its size makes it somewhat cumbersome to carry.

The scope is mounted on a Dobsonian base, which is very sturdy.

The mount is known as "mini-dob" or "tabletop dob."  Placing the scope on a sturdy low table will make it easier for adults to look through.  It is better to kneel, with the scope on the ground, than to place the scope on a wobbly table.

The scope has no gears: you point and guide it by moving it with your hand.  The means it requires no power and no computer to use. 

A small finder scope allows you to aim the scope at a target you select by eye.

If you can see an object by eye, you will be able to see it through this scope with no training.  It's easy.

Instructions on how to use the Starblast 6i is here.

If you want to read the full Owner's Guide, click here for a PDF File.  Orion's webpage for it is here.

Under our bright San Diego skies, it performs respectably compared to larger scopes (the underlying secret is that under bright skies, faint objects are hard to see, even with large scopes).

While folks often want to know what the maximum magnification is, the lowest practical magnification is also important for a variety of reasons (like looking at the Milky Way, large star clusters (like the Double Cluster), and grouped objects (like galaxies M81 and M82, which are close to each other)).  This scope strikes a good balance (especially for folks new to pointing a scope), allowing a very wide field of view at one and achieving a maximum magnification between 100x and 200x (Generally, the sky limits you to 300x in good seeing).

A video on how to use the Computer is here.

Questions or comments? Email:Jeff Martin