Whether you’re a novice astronomer who wants to start dabbling in stargazing, or a seasoned astronomy enthusiast who wants a telescope with a little bit more “oomph,” the Meade ETX70AT is certainly worth considering.
The ETX70AT is a low-priced telescope with a powerful software package that will help find celestial objects even in unfavorable viewing conditions without much fuss.
Our article here will offer you a detailed review of the Meade ETX70AT and provide you with its pros and cons in order to make a smarter buying choice.
What is the Meade ETX70AT Telescope?
Two things stand out about the Meade ETX70AT telescope:
- the optical system
- and the Autostar starfinder software package.
The ETX70AT telescope is a refractor-type telescope, meaning that there aren’t a whole slew of parts that need adjustment inside the telescope.
Essentially, it’s a vacuum-sealed tube, end-capped with proprietary achromatic, air-spaced, multi-coated objective lenses, providing crystal-clear images for both terrestrial and celestial objects.
The Autostar Starfinder controller and software are pre-programmed with celestial objects meaning that once the telescope is calibrated with your terrestrial position, you can tell it what object you are interested in, and it will automatically find it for you.
No more cautiously hunting for objects in the sky – the ETX70AT will do the finding for you! This is a great feature for young astronomers as you can keep them interested longer.
You can easily prevent them from getting distracted by speedily moving from planets to known stars without the arduous task of consulting star maps, trying to make careful adjustments, or the stress of moving in and out of focus.
Pros & Cons to Using the Meade ETX70AT Telescope
- Lightweight – taking it with you it’s easy, even on a hike.
- Included tripod – provides stability and flat surface, even on uneven terrain.
- Computerized starfinding feature – great for absolute beginners.
- Impressive optical quality – images are often crisper and brighter than those in pricier telescopes
- Proper alignment essential for Autostar to work.
- Buying used may not provide all the listed features and items.
- Small aperture means it has some range limitations.
Where to Find the Meade ETX70AT Telescope?
As with practically everything, you can find this scope in most major online stores. There are a few buying options out there, so consider whether to purchase new or used.
You may also consider looking at other online stores, such as Overstock.com or eBay even buying it from a specialty store or astronomer forum/auction site.
Though these options may be slightly more expensive, alongside supporting small businesses, you would also be better integrating into your local star-gazing community.
You can find astronomy groups in your area, or perhaps choice spots for you to set up your new telescope. The experience you can glean from these more seasoned users can also be helpful in getting tips and tricks on getting the most out of your Meade ETX70AT.
Meade ETX70AT Telescope Performance
The multi-coated lenses of the Meade ETX70AT allow for very clear images, whether looking at objects on earth, in our solar system, or beyond.
The ETX70AT comes with two different eyepieces, interchangeable for whether you are looking at “near objects” (as close as Uranus) or “far objects” (beyond our nearest planets).
The Meade ETX70AT is also suitable for astrophotography, catching stunning images with either still capture or video.
The design and focal length of the Meade ETX70AT means that it is actually better-suited for looking at stars over nearby planets and moons, but it will nonetheless capture good-quality views of anything you point it at.
Above all else, the features of the Autostar software make this scope an almost ideal purchase. Once calibrated (which is done by pointing the telescope up – it does not need to be pointed at the North Star) by finding two reference stars (which the system will do on its’ own), the sky is the limit.
Simply type in the object that you are looking for and the Meade ETX70AT will do the rest. If the targeted object is below the horizon, the system will let you know.
Always be mindful of where you’re purchasing from and each seller’s return policy in case of any damage or missing items.
Sometimes instructions have been provided for the wrong model (especially in the case of used purchases), so keep a digital copy of the instructions bookmarked.
Make sure to keep the dust cap on your telescope when not in use. Dust or scratches can be disastrous for your sky-gazing experience.
Also, avoid unnecessary shaking or trauma to your scope as this can cause the internal mirrors to come out of alignment.
Meade ETX70AT Telescope Accessories
The Meade ETX70AT Telescope comes with all the accessories you could ever need to get going. There are a few additional items you may want to purchase, however.
You may need serial cables to update the firmware and software. And you’ll also need an adapter if you’re looking to do astrophotography
Due to its’ well-crafted lenses, lightweight construction, and the invaluable features of the Autostar Starfinding software included with this telescope, we recommend the Meade ETX70AT Telescope, especially to beginner astronomers.
The Meade ETX70AT has great features given its’ price-point, offering amateur stargazers the ease of effortlessly finding the objects that interest them.
Always buy online only from trusted sellers to make sure you are getting all the features listed.
Feel free to share with us your hands-on experience with the Meade ETX70AT. Also, don’t hesitate to direct any thoughts or questions you may have about the product our way.