We believe that all, especially young people, should look up at the night skies and see for themselves the Solar System and the Universe they live in. However access to telescopes at a suitable time/place and being safe can be difficult. To help ease this problem, we’ve been talking to those who have perhaps replaced their telescopes or found that eye sight isn’t as it was about providing their old telescopes to Bath Astronomers to be loaned out to keen young people to enjoy the skies from their homes. Contact us if you know someone who might benefit.
The following telescopes are available to loan:
The Meade Starlight 80 came to us missing a mount and eyepieces. We’ve mated this reflector to a robust camera mount and added a lens (14mm) to make it usable for looking at larger objects in the sky such as the Moon, parts of the Milky Way, and open clusters. A solar filter made out of Baader mylar is also included to also white light observation of the Sun – note, this should only be used in you know what you are doing, you’ve checked the filter beforehand isn’t damaged, and the filter is securely attached to the front of the telescope. The telescope is an 80mm doublet refractor with a 640mm focal length.
The Meade DS-2080AT-LNT is a 80mm f/10 refractor with a goto mount and a red dot finder. It has a diagonal and 26mm(x31) and 9.7mm(x81) eyepieces; both 1.25″. It comes with a reproduction Meade manual and we’d recommend attendance at one of the Wellow observing sessions with a parent to learn how best to use the telescope.
Slightly more technical to set up as you need to use the electronic handcontroller but once mastered, it is a doddle. The sightscope has sensors in it to help align the scope so it removes the chores of getting everything level and pointing North. The telescope is a little flimsy with lots of breakable plastic and so the Goto is potentially not operational.
The Orion Optics Europa 150 f8 Newtonian reflector is 6″ in diameter with a focal length of 1200mm; it uses Orion Optics. It is on a Sky Scan 2001 manual equatorial mount. It has a 6 x 30mm sight scope and comes with a x2 barlow, and 25mm(x48) and 10mm(x120) eyepieces; all 1.25″. It has a polar scope fitter for easier alignment. Photos shown without counterweight (I forgot to put it on!). It comes with a reproduction Europa/Orion Optics manual and we’d recommend attendance at one of the Wellow observing sessions with a parent to learn how best to use the telescope.
More substantial than the smaller telescopes and with some heavy-ish parts to drop on toes, a little caution required.
The Meade ETX-90 is a great Maksutov-Cassegrain 90mm reflector with a reliable Goto system. Powered by 8 AA or a separate 12V supply, it uses a two star alignment set up to orientate itself in the sky. You’ll need a chart, an app, or a small knowledge of some bright stars to successfully align. It can be used on bright targets without alignment. The aperture is 90mm and the focal length is 1250mm. A great portable beginner/intermediate telescope. Supplied with a 26mm and a 9.7mm lens. Lightweight and robust.
The Celestron 114LCM is a Goto Newtonian Reflector with an aperture of 114mm and a focal length of 1m. The mount is a computerised alt/azimuth providing a sturdy base for observing. It comes with 25mm and 9mm lenses and a barlow. It has a red dot finder. Great beginner scope.
The Orion Optics Europa 200 came to us as just the optical tube. We’ve added a homemade Dobsonian mount and laser red dot finder. It is an 8″ Newtonian reflecting telescope with a focal length of 1200mm so it’s f/6. We’ve kitted it with 20mm and 5.5mm lenses to allow a good range of objects to be observed. No batteries, no fuss. This push me, pull you light bucket is a good scope as you get familiar with the night sky. It is bulky and takes up space so ideally should be kept dry but close to the garden. e.g. a conservatory, garage, so it isn’t too much effort to lift outside.
Terms & Conditions of loans:
Kit will be loaned to anyone who has a new interest in observing but doesn’t have their own kit. They will need to be members of Bath Astronomers or the daughter/son of a member to qualify for the loan. The loan will be reviewed at an agreed period or every 3 months (whichever is shortest) to check it is still required.
The member agrees:
- to return the loaned equipment after the agreed period or earlier if requested by the Committee;
- to return the loaned equipment in the same condition as it was loaned other than reasonable wear and tear;
- to store the loaned equipment in a secure, dry, and shaded location for the duration of the loan;
- that the equipment is used at their own risk and the society accepts no liable for damage or injury during the loaned equipment’s transportation, storage, or usage;
- to pay for all transportation or carriage costs relating to pick-up from and drop-off to Bath Astronomers.
The member understands:
- that any optical equipment used during the daytime carries a risk of the Sun’s rays being concentrated and causing fire, burns, solar retinopathy, or permanent blindness for the user or those with access to the equipment;
- that loaned equipment can be heavy and caution is required during any lifting undertaken;
- that the loan relates to a specific item without warranty and no repair or replacement can be offered.
Online Booking links:
Contact us if you know someone who might benefit.