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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

Stargazing with my Little Astronaut: The Celestron Inspire 80AZ Experience

I’m excited to share the marvelous adventure my son and I undertook with our new companion, the Celestron Inspire 80AZ telescope. After poring over the Celestron LT 80AZ images online and digging deep into its specifications, I was optimistic that this telescope would be the perfect device to kindle my kiddo’s interest in the grandeur of the cosmos. So, let's embark on this father-son celestial journey as I share my Celestron LT 80AZ review.

Assembly Time: More than Just Building a Telescope

The assembly process of the Celestron Inspire 80AZ turned out to be much more than just the construction of a telescope. It was an educational, exciting, and bonding experience for my little space explorer and me. With clear instructions in hand and a curious kid by my side, we ventured into the setup process. The telescope came in a neatly packaged box with all parts perfectly secured. As we unboxed each piece, we took time to discuss its purpose, making our assembly process both fun and informative. It was like piecing together a puzzle, each part contributing to the final masterpiece. A few adjustments here and there, and before we knew it, our shiny new telescope was ready for stargazing.

It was an educational, exciting, and bonding experience


First Glimpse: The Ringed Planet Saturn

For our maiden celestial exploration, we decided to aim our telescope at the majestic planet Saturn. As the telescope swung around and my son adjusted the focus, I could see the gleam of anticipation in his eyes. Then, there it was, the awe-inspiring sight of Saturn and its ice-ringed beauty! Through the 80AZ's 80mm (3.15 inches) aperture and 900mm (f/11) focal length, the distant planet felt incredibly close and beautifully detailed. The sight was breathtaking, and my son’s wide-eyed amazement was priceless. The moment was a reminder of why I chose to introduce him to the wonders of the universe – to witness that spark of fascination and uncontainable joy.

Our Cosmic Odyssey

The nights that followed were like pages from a cosmic adventure book. The Inspire 80AZ acted as our spaceship, carrying us across the star-studded canopy of the night sky. From the Moon's desolate plains and towering mountains to the charmingly twinkling Pleiades star cluster, the 80AZ brought each celestial body closer and made them seem more tangible. I watched as my son sketched lunar craters and star patterns, his hands racing to capture the views before they changed. The telescope's built-in red LED flashlight proved to be invaluable during these nights, allowing us to handle charts and equipment without losing our night vision.

The Moon


Comparing with the Celestron LT 80AZ

As I was seeking the perfect beginner telescope for my son, I stumbled upon the Celestron LT 80AZ. Although it's a commendable telescope, the Inspire 80AZ eventually won me over. Why? Its uncomplicated setup and sturdy build matched with exceptional viewing capabilities, made it the ideal candidate for young, eager hands. It also balanced well between affordability and features. The 80AZ is a champion in its own right, providing a stellar viewing experience while being intuitive for young space enthusiasts.


  1. Built-in Smartphone Adapter: Allows users to capture and share their observations easily.

  2. High-Quality 80mm Refractor: Provides clear and bright views of celestial objects.

  3. User-Friendly Design: Easy to set up and use, even for beginners.

  4. Additional Features: Includes a red LED flashlight and a focus micrometer for night-time viewing.

  5. Potential Improvements: Some users suggest that the smartphone adapter could be more secure, and the telescope may not be suitable for observing distant or faint objects.


FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

Celestron Inspire 80AZ Refractor Top-rated: 225 ratings | 37 answered questions

Helpful review: "My son (7) received this as a birthday present from his grandparents. He has been asking for a telescope since his 4th birthday. He had a small kids scope that barely helped him find the moon and was difficult to look through. My mother wanted something that he could use, but also be able to find what he was looking at and see clearly. This hit the nail on the head. The finder scope was easy to calibrate, and my son is able to find and align the moon and some starts on his own. He needs adult supervision and some help occasionally, but we love that the telescope has encouraged his love of space and not been a discouragement.We also purchased a kit from Celestron that included a moon filter and a 15mm lense and I believe it was smart addition.Even the adults have been amazed by the detail we could see. It also works wonderfully as a day scope.The only downside is the mount can be a bit wobbly and is very easy to bump even when locked, made it difficult to keep on stars as they moved out of view. (But for our beginner purposes this was wonderful)." - Jolly

Celestron Inspire 80AZ Refractor


Get it from Amazon now: $419.99 & FREE Returns

Trending review: "As a total beginner (I’ve never looked through a telescope before buying this one.) I decided to roll the dice on this scope and am very glad I did! When I received the telescope, the finderscope was defective. Celestron’s customer service was fantastic and I had a new finderscope in just a few days. I have been loving using this scope every clear night. Really fantastic views of the planets and the moon, and very easy for the beginner to use, learn, and understand. I haven’t been able to find many deep sky objects, but I chalk that up to living in the city/lack of experience. This really is a perfect beginner telescope, at least it has been for me, and I will love it for years. Highly recommend, but make sure you pick up a Barlow and moon filter!" - Bobby Rispler

perfect beginner telescope

Credit: Amazon

Get it from Amazon now: $419.99 & FREE Returns

Final Thoughts: From a Father to Fellow Parents

As this Celestron LT 80AZ review comes to a close, I reflect on the joy and fascination the Celestron Inspire 80AZ has brought to our home. It's more than just a telescope; it’s a bridge to the cosmos, an educator, and a source of endless family adventure. With its ease of assembly and use, robust construction, and excellent celestial viewing, it's the ideal tool for fostering the love of astronomy in children.

Looking ahead, I see many more nights of exploration and wonder. I envision my son's growing fascination with the cosmos and the countless questions that we will explore together. As I always remind him, "the sky is not the limit, it's just the beginning." Here's to clear skies and the joy of discovery that awaits us all. Happy stargazing, everyone!

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