The Best Reflecting Telescope for Beginners
Celestron NexStar 130
- Aperture: 130mm; focal length: 650mm; compatible with 2 inch eyepiecesFocal ratio: 5; focal length of eyepiece 1/2: 25mm/9mm
- Magnification of eyepiece 1/2: 26x/72x; finder scope: star pointer; mount type: motorized altazimuth
- Highest/lowest useful magnification: 307x/19x; light gathering power: 345x
- Apparent field of view: 1.7 degrees; Linear field of view (at 1000Yds): 91ft
- Computerized hand control with 4,000-object database
- SkyAlign allows you to align on any 3 bright celestial objects
- Motorized Altazimuth mount
- Focal ratio: f5
- Focal length: 650mm
- Best place to buy: Amazon
- My Rating: 4.7 out of 5
This is a serious telescope. NexStar 130 will enchant and enlighten you for years ahead. If you decided that for your hobby the best match is reflector this is the model that has characteristic as a professional telescope and at the same time is easy to use as a telescope for beginners. This model is a recent improvement of 114mm Celestron. It is now more than 5 inches. You already know that aperture is quite essential for the telescopes – more photons reaching your eye, your camera or spectroscope. The more starlight reaching you, the deeper your understanding of the Universe will be.
It should be mentioned that the primary mirror has a very high quality for telescope of this price list. Thin but strong “spider” holds smoothed and polished secondary mirror in stable condition and ready to reflect light into the eyepiece.
The telescope comes with two eyepieces. The large one, 25 mm, is very suitable to observe galaxies and with a lunar filter to admire the Moon. The other one, 9 mm, will show you more details about the planets.
But you will probably want a powerful eyepiece, such that will allow you to see how Jupiter’s moons cast shadows on the planets passing by. That will be no problem because the NexStar 130 is compatible with both 1.25” eyepiece and 2″. This makes possible the feeling of “space walk” – like being out there among the stars. 2″ eyepieces are also quite lucrative – if you decide in the future to take more powerful telescope you’ll already be equipped with some of it.
Like musical instruments and cars, reflecting telescopes must be adjusted from time to time. You will get NexStar 130 ready to use. The optical axis is aligned to provide you with sharp images. However, if you notice that the stars you are watching begin to “bloom” in your eyepiece, this indicates that it is probably time to tune your telescope.
Finding and Tracing, Go-To
This telescope is computerized and have “Go To” function which means you do not have to manually seek stellar objects in the sky. The telescope itself will do everything, but before that you have to align it. And here I must mention that Celestron has invented the easiest way to do this – Sky Align. Once you enter the date, time and location, you have to point the telescope at three bright objects in the sky without even knowing them and that’s it! Celestron NexStar130 already knows the entire sky above your head and you only need to choose from the menu what you’d like to observe. There are over 4000 objects: stars, planets, galaxies, nebulas … And if you find time to explore even half of them, then you will no longer be a beginner astronomer.
Easy to use
Generally NexStar 130 is very easy to use. It’s a reflector telescope and they have the least number of parts to assemble. It is good to say that the batteries are in the mount which means the cable will not wrap and tangle as the telescope moves. If you want to go for a few days out of civilization- don’t worry, you can power the telescope from external source.
The actual assembly is very simple, and you’ll find a video which shows how that happens. Tripod and mount are quite lightweight. This is good for transportation, but if we talk about durability only time will tell.
If you already read my previous post “How to choose a Telescope” you know that NexStar 130 is not very appropriate for terrestrial observations. This is a reflector and required for you to stand or sit on the side of the telescope. Also the image is inverted, so definitely not very good for spying. But go with NexStar 130 out in a dark and clear night fare from the city and your experience will be really Stellar.
With its 130 mm (5 inches) massive primary mirror one can not expect that the telescope will be light as a feather. But 18 pounds is not weight that is a problem if you decide to move the telescope to the dark side of your backyard. And the whole rig is small enough to fit in most cars if you choose to get away from the light pollution of the city.
Help and Support
If your memory is weak as mine, it’s good to have “Go-To” telescope. It Is even more wonderful if you know in advance what is coming in the near future and on this basis plan your observation session. Celestron gives you a CD with one of the best astronomical software for computers- The Sky. You’ll also get a second disk with assistance programs to control your NexStar 130. However, you will need a cable that is not included in the package, but you can order it from Celestron.com.
For any questions, problems, setup videos and downloads just go to the website of Celestron. It’s really good. If you have enough time to dig there, soon you will gain a lot of knowledge.
Celestron are committed to providing to their clients high quality reflector telescopes at affordable prices and NexStar 130 is a true proof of that. Whether you are new stargazer or an experienced astronomer you will certainly enjoy the night sky and the wonders of the Universe with your NexStar 130.
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|Optical Design||Newtonian Reflector|
|Aperture (mm)||130 mm (5.12 in)|
|Focal Length||650 mm (26 in)|
|Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 (mm)||25 mm (0.98 in)|
|Magnification of Eyepiece 1||26 x|
|Focal Length of Eyepiece 2 (mm)||9 mm (0.35 in)|
|Magnification of Eyepiece 2||72 x|
|Mount Type||Motorized Altazimuth|
|Accessory Tray||No Tool, Quick release|
|Highest Useful Magnification||307 x|
|Lowest Useful Magnification||19 x|
|Limiting Stellar Magnitude||13.1|
|Resolution (Rayleigh)||1.07 arc seconds|
|Resolution (Dawes)||0.89 arc seconds|
|Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye)||345 x|
|Apparent Field of View||1.7 °|
|Linear Field of View (@1000 yds)||91 ft (28 m)|
|Secondary Mirror Obstruction||1.7 in (43 mm)|
|Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Diameter||33%|
|Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Area||11%|
|Slew Speeds||Nine slew speeds|
|Tracking Rates||Sidereal, Solar and Lunar|
|Tracking Modes||Alt-Az, EQ North and EQ South|
|Alignment Procedures||SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, Solar System Align|
|Computer Hand Control||Fully Computerized / Flash Upgradeable|
|GPS||Optional SkySync GPS Accessory (93969)|
|Warranty||2-year Telescope Warranty|