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The Moon appears in our sky frequently and it is an amazing world to explore with its "seas", mountain ranges and craters. The planets are not visible as regularly as the Moon which makes them more of a "catch". The two largest planets in our Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn, appear relatively close by in the sky and at the moment, rise around midnight, crossing the meridian just after 3am just before sunrise with Mars low in the south east (see below).
As the year progresses these planets will rise earlier becoming prime evening targets.
Keep your eyes on Jupiter and Saturn as December 21st approaches when these two planets will low in the south west and will be only 6 arc-minutes apart! The view below is through a Celestron 7" Maksutov with its supplied 28mm eyepiece.
Large focal ratio Maksutov Cassegrain telescopes (MCT's) are popular for those wanting to observe/image the Moon and planets. Celestron has a range of small (4"-5") aperture MCT's such as their SLT 102 model which is ideal for those wanting a portable instrument that is easy to use and set up.
Celestron released a large 7"/180mm MCT which, for a lot of people is a major step up in aperture, which was available mounted atop on their popular Advanced VX German equatorial mount. However we are pleased to be able to offer this planetary scope as an optical tube assembly (OTA) as a "David Hinds exclusive" product.
The telescope has a focal ratio of f/15 giving a focal length of staggering 2700mm. With its small secondary obstruction and premium StarBright XLT optical coatings for maximum light transmission the telescope will give high contrast views of Lunar features as well as the planets.
The telescope comes with a 28mm eyepiece (giving 96x magnification), a 2" visual back, 2" 90-degree star diagonal with a 1.25" step-down adaptor (for 1.25" eyepieces) and an 8x50 straight-through finderscope. This MCT also features a CGE/Losmandy style dovetail bar for rigid stable mounting which is important for heavy telescopes and when using high magnification (please check your mount can accommodate this telescope).
So get ready for the upcoming "rise of the planets" and add this fantastic Celestron 7" MCT Lunar and planetary scope to your "astro-kit": available exclusively from David Hinds Ltd.