Experienced astronomers on TV or at a public viewing make framing celestial objects look as easy as pointing your finger at something. None of these activities is likely to be the highlight of the evening, though. Taking truly high-quality photos with it is next to impossible. If you’re mainly interested in seeing what you can see, and not winning any photography competitions, the StarBlast may be exactly the telescope for you. This isn’t a go-to drive like the one that comes standard with the Celestron NexStar SE; instead, you use a keypad to select any of several thousand sky objects and let the machine tell you where to point your scope. The 4.5-inch model is, as you would expect, significantly cheaper. Astrophotography is this scope’s only true weak point, and this only really applies if you already own a high-end DSLR. If taking picture easily is one of your primary requirements for a telescope, however, you will probably want to look at something like the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ instead, which has a similar aperture size, a longer focal length and an equatorial mount. However, some DSLRs simply will not be able to give you clear pictures – just because you set the focus ring to ∞ doesn’t mean much when the camera has to compensate for the telescope’s focal plane being too shallow – one consequence of having a small f-ratio. For now, he lives in a Latin American surfing town and maintains a science blog. Of course, this is a bigger problem on the smaller 4½-inch version, but the 6″ also isn’t really designed for astrophotography. The optical tube is the same as the StarBlast 6 but on this telescope, they have added their take on the modern computerized telescope. The telescope itself is usually the limiting factor with regard to what you can see – in many cases, a simple filter may be way more effective at bringing out details. The telescope is a f5 scope which makes it great for wide field views. At this point, you can use the included (unmagnified) red dot finder for precision alignment and finally start hunting your target through an eyepiece of your choice. In one sense, this telescope’s fairly low focal ratio of f/5 is a blessing, as it allows you to snap good wide-angle shots even on short exposures. Once you start using it, you’ll soon feel the need for some filters and extra eyepieces. This size and the relatively low weight (24 pounds) of this telescope makes for comfortable viewing when it’s placed at tabletop height and somewhat less so when it’s resting directly on the ground. What if, on the other hand, you could treat people to something interesting and unusual while broadening their horizons at the same time? Don’t make this molehill into a mountain, though: it may seem confusing at first, but it takes only a few tries to get comfortable with the process. This has a major effect on your ability to discern dim objects and, hence, on the maximum useful magnification you’ll be able to achieve. For more reviews and recommendations, you may want to have a look at our roundup of the best telescopes of 2020. It’s worthwhile getting this right, though, as this telescope’s relatively short focal ratio makes it sensitive to alignment errors. Overall, the Orion Starblast 6 is a solid device, it provides good power, it’s relatively potable and it’s an easy system to set up and use however, it does cost a fair bit more than equally component 6 inch devices where it’s roughly $70 more than them. So, what’s the catch, and is it even something you might care about? This is available as an add-on module you can install yourself, though only on the StarBlast 6 and not the smaller 4.5-inch model.