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Skywatcher N 304/1500 telescope:
This telescope provides a huge aperture for detailed DSO observing. It is one of the largest Newtonian telescopes produced by Skywatcher and collects about 40% more light than a 254mm telescope. This means that not only bright high-contrast planetary observing is possible, but that the telescope has its forte above all in observing DSOs. Whereas most small telescopes are only capable of showing the cores of some galaxies, this telescope can clearly show the spiral structure. Globular clusters can also be observed as fascinating objects in this giant, and some can be resolved into countless individual stars over the entire field of view.
The telescope has a diffraction limited, parabolic primary mirror which is centre-marked for assisting precise adjustment of the optics. The thin spider vanes and small secondary mirror mean excellent contrast. The high resolution available can reveal an extremely high level of planetary detail with sufficiently good seeing. Although the telescope is one of the largest that can be placed on an equatorial mount, this telescope is still easily transportable. For the exact weight, please refer to the technical data. The solid 2-inch Crayford focuser provides enough support for even very heavy eyepieces and cameras. The fine focusing makes it easy to find the optimum point of focus. The f4.9 aperture ratio makes it virtually predestined for astrophotography, allowing this extremely powerful telescope to be used for short exposure times with a generously wide field of view. The use of an optional coma corrector will provide photos that are sharp right up to the edge of image.
The advantages in a nutshell:
- enormous light gathering power from 304mm aperture
- thin secondary mirror spider vanes and small secondary mirror ensure high contrast image
- very ‘fast’ optics make it excellent for astrophotography
- diffraction limited, parabolic primary mirror
- Included in delivery:
- tube ring clamps with prism rail for rapid mounting of OTA
- 9×50 finder scope
- 2″ Crayford focuser
The PDS version of the Explorer comes with a dual speed focuser. This has a 1:10 reduction ratio for sensitive focusing which is most important for astrophotography, but is also very useful for visual observing. The tube length has been slightly shortened compared to the Explorer P version and the secondary mirror has consequently been enlarged in order to further optimize the system for astrophotography.
The EQ-6 Pro SynScan GoTo mount:
This is the largest and most capable mount made by Sky-Watcher. It has been specially developed to be able to support heavy telescope OTAs of up to 18Kg, stably and vibration-free. This is the optimal requirement for successful astrophotography, which depends on very precise movement of the mount when tracking. It comes in a white design, and already has GoTo control built-in. Virtually no other mount offers better value for money than the EQ-6, making it highly popular among amateur astronomers. Even at the high GoTo speed, the powerful stepper motors on the right ascension and declination axes slew the telescope very quietly, so that your neighbours’ sleep will not be disturbed in any way. Quick and effortless alignment with the North Pole for astrophotography is by means of a backlit polar finder.
Mount and control features:
- GoTo control with clearly laid-out hand box (operable even wearing gloves)
- red line display (dimmable) and red backlit buttons
- 1, 2 or 3 star alignment available
- about 13,700 pre-programmed astronomical objects available
- 25 user objects can be set and setting coordinates directly is possible
- speed 3.4° / second
- tracking modes: sidereal, lunar, solar and sidereal with PEC
- recalibration of the object possible
- update-capable from the Internet
- control via PC possible (RS232)
- autoguiding via interface
- periodic error correction (for astrophotography)
- polar finder can be illuminated and is adjustable via scales or constellation illustration
- GPS function via optional add-on possible
- consumption and temperature display
- Version 3
- can carry up to 18Kg (for visual observing, even more)
- Included with the mount:
- EQ-6 Pro SynScan mount with GoTo control
- sturdy steel tripod (height adjustment from 85cm to 147cm)
- extra brace with eyepiece tray
It is not only important which telescope you buy, but also where you buy it.
We provide extra help:
- We are a leading telescope dealer and know these instruments like the back of our hands.
- We are always very happy to offer our assistance after your purchase, should you encounter any problems with your telescope’s setup or operation.
- Our ‘Telescope Basics’ booklet – an 80-page beginner’s guide for our telescopes – is provided free of charge with every telescope we sell.
Our expert comment:
Can only be recommend for limited photography
The Skywatcher N 304/1500 PDS Explorer BD NEQ 6 Pro SynScan GoTo telescope is a large and fast instrument. However, with the 12″ OTA on it the EQ-6 mount is at the absolute limit of its load carrying capacity. If you wish to mainly visually observe or to photograph planets with a webcam, then this set up is fine. But if you want to take photos of deep sky objects using long exposures too, then we would advise you to get another mount with more load carrying capacity.