Do you know a young stargazer who’s ready to move on from play telescopes, but isn’t quite prepared for high-end equipment? The Orion Observer 60mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope is the perfect next step. With sturdy construction, easy-to-use controls, and a price point that can’t be beat, this is a serious scope designed for beginners. It’s lightweight and portable, and though it’s best for closer celestial objects, it has enough power to pick out more distant points of interest as well. Ready to know more? Check out our detailed review and recommendations!
What Is the Orion Observer 60mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope?
This telescope was specifically designed with children in mind, and is geared toward kids ages 9 and up. Some assembly is required, which is definitely a task for an adult as the optical tube contains genuine glass lenses which have been carefully calibrated. Once assembled, the entire telescope weighs less than six pounds, thanks to the lightweight but sturdy aluminum tripod.
(Click image to see more pictures on Amazon)
The telescope comes with two eyepieces for 28x and 70x magnification, and uses an EZ Finder II reflex sight to make aiming the main telescope easy, especially for beginners who might find the inverted image of a typical finder scope confusing. This non-magnifying sight uses a projected LED dot with variable brightness to make targeting more precise.
|24 x 24 x 34 inches||5.8 lbs.||1 Lithium Metal battery (included)||60mm||700mm||Starry Night software package|
Pros & Cons to Using the Orion Observer 60mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope
- Budget-friendly option
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Tool-free assembly
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- Simplified finder scope
- The lens is made of actual glass
- Comes with two eyepieces
- It includes a software for printing out maps of the sky
- Not suitable for detailed deep-space viewing
- Less sturdy than more expensive options
- Minimal accessories included
- Not suitable for astrophotography
Where to Find the Orion Observer 60mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope
You can purchase this telescope from a range of retailers, including Amazon and directly from Orion Telescopes. Orion may be the better option in this case as its pricing is somewhat lower, and the company backs purchases with warranties, 30 day money-back guarantees, and free tech support for life.
(Click image to see more pictures on Amazon)
Used scopes are available as well, but given that this telescope is designed for use by children, used telescopes may have significant wear and tear that could affect performance.
This telescope is best for viewing the moon and planets, though it can also provide views of more distant objects as well. Its relatively small aperture doesn’t permit good resolution at higher magnification, despite its long focal length. It comes with two eyepieces, which allow a maximum functional magnification of 70x, which is plenty to view the moon and planets in good detail.
It is possible to take photos of very bright objects, like the moon, using this telescope, since the exposure time doesn’t need to be very long, but since this scope uses an altazimuth mount, it is not suitable for general astrophotography.
Some purchasers have reported issues with equipment right out of the box—manufacturing defects, damage from shipping, etc.—but thankfully, Orion is very responsive to requests for replacement components and offers comprehensive (and free!) technical support.
As this scope is designed for children, it’s important to teach them how to maintain their equipment as well as how to use it. Telescopes are delicate instruments, and it’s important to treat them well if you want a high quality viewing. Rough handling or moisture can decrease the scope’s ability to function. Always handle carefully and avoid using in wet weather or cleaning with water or other solvents.
Telescopes are also sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuations, such as leaving it in an overheated car, or storing it in an unheated garage. This can cause flexing of materials inside the scope and move them out of alignment, or allow condensation to develop, which can fog your view.
Store your telescope covered or in a padded case to protect it from rough handling as well as dust, which can clog optics and adjustment mechanisms.
- 25mm eyepiece (28x magnification)
- 10mm eyepiece (70x magnification)
- EZ Finder II reflex sight
- Adjustable aluminum tripod
- Starry Night software package
- Additional eyepieces are available, but may not work optimally with this scope
- A range of filters for viewing different objects is available
- Carrying cases and covers
- Upgraded tripod options
Warranty and Guarantee Information
New telescopes purchased from Orion are covered by a one-year warranty against defects, as well as a 30-day money back guarantee which gives you a chance to make sure that what you’ve purchased meets your expectations.
If you want to buy the telescope from other online retailers, you can request a warranty by contacting customer service.
While this isn’t the most powerful or dependable telescope on the market, it’s perfectly designed for its target audience: kids. With the same components, set-up, and controls as professional telescopes, it encourages young stargazers to take the hobby seriously and gives them an opportunity to learn more about their equipment as well as the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies.
It’s easy enough to use that parents won’t have trouble showing their kids the ropes, even if they’re not stargazers themselves, and, with a remarkably low price point, it’s not too big a hit to the wallet if kids eventually decide the hobby’s not for them.
Have you used the Orion Observer 60mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope before? Let us know what your experience has been in the comments below!
Recommended Read: Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope Review