Travel Scope 50 50mm backpack refractor and tripod

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The Celestron 50mm Travel Scope is an inexpensive little refractor for which you will probably find multiple uses: spur-of-the-moment backyard observing; a toss-in-the-trunk-of-the-car take-along for vacations and day trips; a great scope to start the kids on astronomy; a neat little scope for backyard birding and nature studies; a scope to sit on the porch of the home with a view to while away the evenings; and more. Its tripod even makes a nifty light-weight photo tripod for your camera.

    You get an awful lot for not a lot of money with the compact Celestron 50mm Travel Scope: fully-coated achromatic optics, two eyepieces, finderscope, erect image diagonal, adjustable height tripod/altazimuth mount, backpack carrying/storage case, and TheSky X- First Light Edition planetarium/star charting software on CD-ROM. And it weighs only 2.2 pounds, so it’s easy to take with you anywhere you go.

    The erect image diagonal gives you eyepiece views that are oriented the same as they are to your bare eye. This lets you easily follow moving wildlife and vehicles without the annoying image reversal you find with a conventional diagonal. Plus, printing (the name and home port on a distant boat, for example) is completely readable, instead of being backwards. Close focus is a mere 15’, letting you get up close and personal with the nature in your own back yard. While not a powerhouse of an astronomical scope, the Celestron Travel Scope 50 might surprise you with its capabilities outside our atmosphere.

    You will find a lot of uses for the respectable optics of the Celestron 50mm Travel Scope, and a lot of times and places to use them, day or night. For the price, it’s hard to beat this nifty little refractor.This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • Achromatic refractor: 50mm aperture, 360mm focal length, f/7.2. All-glass crown and flint doublet refractor with built-in lens shade to improve contrast. Fully antireflection coated on all air-to-glass surfaces for good light transmission and contrast.

  • Finderscope: 2 x 20mm.

  • Focuser: 0.965” rack and pinion.

  • Star diagonal: 0.965” to 1.25” 45° erect image/right reading prism type.

  • Two 1.25” eyepieces: The first is a 20mm providing 18x. The eyepiece field of view is 1.77° across, more than three times the diameter of the full Moon for expansive views of the Moon, the brighter large-scale deep space objects, and terrestrial observing. The second is an 8mm providing 45x for close-up views of the Moon, nature, and more. Additional optional 1.25" eyepieces can expand the magnification range.

This Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Altazimuth mount: The Travel Scope 50 comes with a preassembled adjustable height photo tripod that serves as an altazimuth mount for astronomical and terrestrial observing. A no-tool mounting foot on the optical tube connects the 12" long scope to the tripod by means of a single hand-tighten 1/4”-20 thread bolt for fast set-up and take-down. The four-section legs and rising center post let you adjust the tripod height from about 16” to 49”. A lock knob adjusts the friction and smoothness of travel in azimuth (side to side) while the twist-to-lock pan handle does the same for motion in altitude (up and down). The pan handle lets you manually aim the scope and track moving objects with precision.

  • Supplied software: The scope comes with a CD-ROM of TheSky X – First Light Edition planetarium and star charting software for PC or Macintosh. This program will let explore the Universe on your computer and print out custom star charts of the sky from its 10,000 object database to help you find faint celestial objects by star-hopping from a known star to a specific object you might want to observe.

  • Carry case: The scope comes with a soft backpack-type carrying/storage case that holds scope, tripod, and eyepieces, inviting you to toss the Travel Scope 50 in the trunk of your car to take it with you wherever and whenever you go.

  • Two-year warranty: All Celestron telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive scopes.
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

2.32 arc seconds
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
The weight of this product.
2.2 lbs.
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
2 years
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  • 50mm fully coated achromatic refractor optics
  • Pre-assembled adjustable height tripod
  • 2 x 20mm finderscope
  • 0.965” rack and pinion focuser
  • 0.965” to 1.25” 45° viewing image-erecting prism-type star diagonal
  • 1.25” 20mm eyepiece (18x)
  • 1.25” 8mm eyepiece (45x)
  • TheSky X CD-ROM star-charting software
  • Backpack carrying case
  • Dust covers.
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Celestron - Travel Scope 50 50mm backpack refractor and tripod

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Our Product #: CTS50
Manufacturer Product #: 21038
Price: $59.95  Ground shipping for this item is $8.95 - Click for more info
By adding 1 of these items to your cart your order total will be less than $100, and will ship within the 48 contiguous United States for $8.95. Add $40.05 to your order, however, and you qualify for free ground shipping (heavy items with fixed shipping, such as counterweights, excluded).
MSRP: $66.95

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The Celestron Travel Scope 50 is a small, but very flexible and very affordable 50mm refractor and altazimuth mount in a backpack for traveling and backyard use that you can take anywhere and use any time . . .

. . . our 39th year