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Aug 09

Telescope Reviews: Celestron NexStar 130 SLT

Ever since 1955 Celestron have been providing astronomy fans all over the world with a range of easy-to-use hobbyist telescopes, which are also suitable for the more experienced astronomer. When Tom Johnson originally went into the electronics business it was to provide parts for the US military but a side project which involved him building a telescope for his kids led to the creation of the Celestron brand name. Although Celestron are now owned by a Taiwanese company called Synta you can rest assured that these telescopes perform as well today as they ever have and are still leaders in the field of compound telescope design and manufacture.

On a side note the guy behind Celestron, Tom Johnson, only passed away in March 2012 but he would smile to think that his legacy will live on long after his human existence had passed. Every time a Celestron telescope is pointed to the heavens a very small part of that is as a tribute to this American innovator.

The Celestron we’re going to review today is the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope.

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT

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Computer Controlled

If you’ve ever struggled when trying to locate a star or planet with your old, standard telescope then you’ll love the handheld computer that comes with the Celestron 130 SLT. You’re never going to have to fiddle with printed star charts or using educated guesses to find celestial object ever again. The SkyAlign technology built into the Celestron NexStar telescope can automatically align you with the star or planet of your choice with just a few key presses.

The software included with the scope also has a database of more than 4,000 celestial objects, including stars, galaxies and nebulae, and you can even upgrade the software over the Internet to make sure you have the latest information and updates for your Celestron NexStar. So even when the most minor of updates are made to the software or the database you can take full advantage of them without ever having to leave your home.

Newtonian Reflector

The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT is a Newtonian, or reflector, telescope and is a major upgrade on other models in this range. The 130mm reflector gives this NexStar telescope at least 30% more light grasp than its 114mm equivalent. Obviously because a Newtonian telescope requires calibration, a process called collimation, you will need to perform some basic maintenance on this scope now and again – that’s just part of the deal when you buy a high-quality reflector telescope. It also means that this type of telescope may not be suitable for very young kids – unless of course they’re some kind of Doogie Howser type of prodigy. The 5-inch mirror in the 130 SLT is more than capable of letting you see a very detailed view of the surface of our moon, Jupiter, Mars and many of the Messier Objects in our galaxy.

Ideal For Hobbyists

The NexStar Celestron telescope is designed to be used by hobbyists and you can tell that within the first few Saturn thru the Lens of Celestron NexStar 130 SLTmoments of unpacking it. There’s a very rugged stainless steel tripod and accessory tray and of course the body of the Celestron NexStar 130 itself. The real beauty of this type of reflector computerized telescope is that you can have it unpacked and ready to use in just a few minutes. When it comes to aligning the NexStar telescope the SkyAlign software makes all of that very easy and you won’t need to worry about doing a manual Pole Alignment yourself. The optics are very clear and gives great results for even the most amateur of users, removing all of the trial and error which many first time astronomers have to deal with.

Color Choices

The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope is only available in a gunmetal grey finish.

Dimensions

The Celestron 130 SLT has the following dimensions/features:

  • Focal length: 650mm
  • Eyepiece size: 25mm
  • Focal ratio: f/5
  • Total weight: 18 pounds
  • Magnification: 72x
  • Maximum magnification: 307x

Included Accessories

The Celestron NexStar telescope also includes a student license for “The Sky” planetarium software, which is ideal for helping you plan your star gazing sessions from its comprehensive database of celestial objects.

Pros

  • This computerized telescope provides users with wide fields of view, typical of most reflectors
  • The computer, hand controls and software make tracking down planets, stars and nebulae a total breeze
  • At just 18 pounds the Celestron NexStar is about 10-pounds lighter than most of its competitors
  • You’ll get views of the deep sky you’ve never had before

Cons

  • The motor can use up batteries really quickly so consider using either rechargeable, an external power pack or direct AC power instead
  • The NexStar computerized telescope requires the date and time to be set on each use which is just a tiny bit annoying and totally unnecessary

Verdict of the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Telescope

The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope is one of those telescopes which have a lot to offer anyone interested in getting involved with the hobby. The Newtonian design and the addition of the NexStar computer makes finding planets and stars very easy and the fact that it only takes minutes to set up is also just another added bonus, all part of spending that little bit extra on a higher quality telescope.

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  1. Celestron Nexstar 130 Slt Computerized

    […] Telescope Reviews: Celestron NexStar 130 SLT | The Telescope … There's a very rugged stainless steel tripod and accessory tray and of course the body of the Celestron NexStar 130 itself. The real beauty of this type of reflector computerized telescope is that you can have it unpacked and  […]

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