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The Nexstar 4SE, is an excellent entry level telescope. Competitively priced, and well equipped. It is of the Maksutov design. Which for the novice, just basically means it's a combination of lenses and mirrors, which will give you the same power/length ratio as that of a much longer focal length unit, but in a short stubby tube instead. Where this telescope really comes into its own (for the beginner anyway), is with the Nexstar computer controlled handset, which allows the unit to be aligned with the heavens very simply. After the initial alignment sequence, the unit can then be commanded to autonomously navigate you around, to show you objects of interest. (sadly though, not next doors wife). Incidentally, the supplied tripod is motor controlled only, but is of sturdy design and construction. The telescope comes with a basic 12.5mm lens eyepiece, which is a good mid level magnification. You can then purchase seperately your own 1.25 inch barrelled eyepieces to provide differing magnifications. The Maksutov (that nice Russian word again) design and the special light gathering lens coatings of this telescope makes it particularly good at lunar, and planetary observing where the baseline light concentrations are relavtively high, and this is not really suitable for doing much observing of things like nebulae, or galaxys. Although, even when it comes to Planets don't expect too much. You will be able to see details such as the Rings of Saturn, Jupiters belts and its four moons, the phases of Venus, but then again so can a steady hand a pair of binoculars.