You haven’t seen any telescope until you see the LightBridge 12-Inch Truss Tube. At first glance, one might think this telescope belongs out in the desert with a giant radar dish attached to it. For what it’s worth, the LightBridge is unlike any telescope on our list. The price is steep, and not meant for amateurs or beginners. Professional astronomers or stargazers with deep pockets will take one look at the LightBridge and say, “mine.”
Parts and Assembly
At about one-thousand dollars, the LightBridge is no toy to be handled lightly. It will most likely be delivered in two different shipments, due to its size. The LightBridge sports a 12-inch aperture, for which it is named, as there are similar LightBridge’s with larger and smaller aperture.
The first thing that will catch your eye about the LightBridge is its design, called a Dobsonian truss tube and named after John Dobson, the man who championed their design. What’s the difference between a truss tube and a conventional telescope mounted on a tripod? The difference is the light gathering power and the sophisticated optics which provide the bulk of the cost of the telescope.
The LightBridge, while still capable of viewing objects that others can do with ease, is a far ranging step above standard telescopes because of its focus on light gathering.
This telescope’s primary requires lots of power to operate and magnify, hence why it even has a cooling fan at the base. If you’re planning on bringing this telescope with you beyond the confines of your home, be sure to bring an adequate power supply because the LightBride has unmatched light gathering potential.
As with all telescopes, the ability to see far away objects depends on your telescope’s ability to gather light. The LightBride’s 12-inch aperture has a 1524mm focal length, among the largest of amateur telescopes available for purchase.
The LightBridge is going to be the most complicated telescope to maneuver on our list. Apart from weighing in, when fully assembled, at close to forty pounds, it is still mounted on an altazimuth axis. This mount allows for movement on the vertical and horizontal axis, but only by hand. It does come with a red dot finder located near the eyepiece to help you in your search for objects.
However, many customers have praised the LightBridge’s portability, with many loading it into the back of their cars (it folds nicely) and taking it away from centers of light pollution. For being a giant telescope worth nearly a grand, Meade Instruments took the time to ensure that the LightBridge would be fully accessible.
One question you’ll be asking yourself, is the LightBridge worth the nearly thousand dollars required to obtain it? As we mentioned before, this is no beginner’s telescope that comes after the Vixen Space Eye. If you have a deep pocket, the LightBridge is an ideal and portable telescope whose range extends far beyond most the telescopes on our list.
Keep in mind that range and quality of view do not always match up well with each other on standard telescopes. However, the LightBridge is engineered to amplify range and quality to their utmost capacity with some of the most powerful optics available to amateurs stargazers.