If you are confused about which beginner telescope to buy, the Orion Starblast 6 is one of the best ones around. Instead of buying a telescope that’s just good for either planetary views or deep sky observations, the Orion Starblast 6 is great for both.
For beginner and amateur astronomers looking for an all-round telescope that’s great for both close-up and faraway observations, we recommend the Orion Starblast 6 reflector telescope.
The Starblast 6 combines a mid-range focal length with a wide aperture to provide high magnification for lunar and planetary views and a wide field of view for deep space exploration.
The Starblast 6 is a bit heftier than a comparable refractor or maksutov-cassegrain telescope, but it’s small enough to carry in your car when you are going camping.
Orion Starblast 6 Astro review
What are you buying?
1. 6” Reflector Telescope
The Starblast 6 is designed to satisfy all the observational needs of a beginner astronomer. That’s why we call it an all-round telescope.
The Starblast 6 features a longer than average focal length of 750mm. This results in higher magnification when you insert an eyepiece, making it easier to observe planets and moons.
But the focal length is not too large that it compromises field of view. Using a low-power eyepiece, you can observe wide swathes of star clusters, galaxies and nebulae.
The wide 6” (150mm) aperture draws in lots of light to ensure bright images of whatever you are observing.
2. Table-top Base
The Starblast 6 is a table top telescope. The swivel base is designed to sit on a table or any flat (or relatively flat) surface like the hood of your car.
We recommend buying a lightweight foldable table that’s easy to carry out into the garden and take with you when going camping.
You can still put the base on the ground if you want, but you’d have to kneel to see through the eyepiece.
From the manufacturer description and customer reviews, it is not clear whether the Orion Starblast 6 is compatible with a tripod (as far as we can tell, you cannot mount it on a tripod). We recommend contacting customer support if you want to get a tripod for the Starblast 6.
3. Portable Telescope (Sorta)
When it comes to telescopes, portability is relative. If you’ll be carrying the telescope by hand most of the time (e.g. when going hiking), portability for you means an ultra-light telescope ideally weighing under 5KG.
If you’ll be carrying the telescope in your car to a viewing party or camping site, you can afford to get something heavier as long as it fits in your car.
The Orion Starblast 6 is in the second category. Being a reflector telescope with a fairly long focal length, it’s heavier than a comparable refractor. It weighs 10.6kg.
So it’s not something you can lug around in your hand. But it’s still small enough to fit in your car.
If you are looking for a telescope you can take on the road, the Orion Starblast 6 is a good choice. The only thing you’ll need is a good quality carrying case to keep the telescope safe.
How easy is it to use?
It’s easy to get started with the Starblast 6. It comes already collimated so you likely won’t need to adjust it. But we still recommend checking the collimation (using a collimation cap) to make sure the internal mirrors are properly aligned.
The altazimuth base is incredibly easy to use. Simply adjust the altitude then swing the telescope on the smooth swivel base to find and track objects.
Because the Starblast 6 doesn’t have the GoTo convenience of a computerised telescope, we recommend using a sky map and star chart to find interesting objects in the sky.
Our only complaint is the table top base. It’s inconvenient to carry a table whenever you take the telescope out to observe the skies. And since it seems Starblast 6 is not compatible with a tripod, you cannot buy one separately and attach it to the telescope.
What accessories are included?
Two 1.25” eyepieces – 10mm (75x) and 25mm (30x)
Starry Night software
Orion Starblast 6 Astro: Pros + Cons
Great all-round telescope.
Easy to use.
Incudes eyepieces and finderscope.
Requires a table or a raised surface to use comfortably.
Anything else you should know?
The Orion Starblast 6 does not come with a collimation cap. While you probably won’t need to collimate it when it arrives (it’s aligned at the factory), you’ll need to do it occasionally in the future.
Jack Bennett is the founder and editor of Stargazing in the UK. He lives in London and have started this blog about stargazing and amateur astronomy for beginners to keep track of his attempts to explore the Universe.