The Best Catadioptric Telescope for Beginners
Celestron NEXSTAR 4SE
- Maksutov-Cassegrain design
- Mirror with StarBright XLT coating
- GoTo tracking system with nearly 40,000 objects
- Creates custom astronomy walks
- Easy to use
- The motor and GPS run on eight AA batteries (not included)
- Ideal for astrophotography
- Supplied with NextRemote “Sky” Level 1 softwareStrong altazimuth tripod
- Best place to buy: Amazon
- My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Definitely this type of telescopes are my favorite. They are small, compact and at the same time quite powerful. Catadioptrics are mix between reflector and refractor, and they are great for watching the moon and planets as well as deep space discoveries. Ground based observations too! I can’t skip another big advantage- they are most suitable for astrophotography. I should also note that Hubble telescope is a close cousin called a Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain and is very suitable for taking pictures of wide areas of starlight with very little distortion.
Personally, I think Celestron NexStar 4SE is a really good telescope for beginners of this kind. It is small enough and can even fit in a backpack, is relatively lightweight and its opportunities are really huge. Let have a look closely.
Celestron NexStar is part of the series NexStar which is known for high-quality finish in development of telescopes and the use of fine hand selected optics. This also applies to our NexStar 4SE. This is Catadioptric telescope of type Maskutov Kassergain with 102mm (4,02 in) aperture. The body of the telescope is made of high quality aluminum. His big focal length (1325 mm) makes NexStar 4SE suitable for observing objects even in deep space. And with the help of the Red Dot Star Pointer you will not have any trouble finding celestial bodies.
This telescope goes with one 25mm eyepiece, 1.25inches in diameter. Considering the focal length you can achieve magnification of about 53 times, but you can always buy additional eyepieces and have even much more.
The 102mm mirror has StarBright Celestron XLT coverage. This coating spreads the light evenly and increases its collection which in turn enhances sharpness of the images. Among other ingredients Celestron use aluminum, titanium and magnesium in making the cover of the mirror making it as efficiently and strong as can be.
This telescope is computerized and equipped with complete Goto system. This system is extremely useful and what it does is to automatically search celestial bodies for you. There are about 40,000 pre-programmed celestial objects and depending of the date and your location will select the most appropriate for observing . This will make your stargazing much more easy and fun. The functionality of GoTo also features with one more brilliant aspect – SkyAlign. With this instrument only thing you have to do to align your telescope is to point 3 celestial bodies without even knowing them. It is also possible to seek celestial objects yourself and store them in the memory so you can watch them again another time. To do all this NexStar 4SE has remote control with LED display.
If you want try to photograph what you watch let me tell you that this is the best astrophotography telescope for beginners as NexStar 4SE has an option for camera control. It will help you to make a series of long exposure photos with your DSLR camera. Just do not try to mount a very heavy camera on this small telescope-with oddly weighted mount is less likely to make good and sharp images.
The tripod you get is very easy to assemble and disassemble. It is an altazimuth tripod and the legs are stainless steel. On the tripod is mounted the motor which is controlled entirely by computer and with its help you can easily trace objects in the Universe.
Help and Support
The website of Celestron is one of the best sites for beginner astronomers. You will find everything you need for your NexStar 4SE – supporting videos, downloads, even digital version of the instructions for the telescope.
No matter if you are away from the city and stare at a distant galaxy, or just in the backyard and admire the moon, I’m sure you will have unforgettable moments with NexStar 4SE extending your Love to the Universe.
Here are two photos made by 4SE
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Alternative sizes: NexStar 6SE NexStar 8SE
|Aperture (mm)||102 mm (4.02 in)|
|Focal Length||1325 mm (52 in)|
|Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 (mm)||25 mm (0.98 in)|
|Magnification of Eyepiece 1||53 x|
|Star Diagonal||Internal Flip mirror for straight thru or 90 viewing angle|
|Mount Type||Single Fork Arm Altazimuth|
|Tripod||Steel with built-in wedge|
|Power Requirements||8-AA batteries (not included)|
|Highest Useful Magnification||241 x|
|Lowest Useful Magnification||15 x|
|Limiting Stellar Magnitude||12.5|
|Resolution (Rayleigh)||1.37 arc seconds|
|Resolution (Dawes)||1.14 arc seconds|
|Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye)||212 x|
|Apparent Field of View||1 °|
|Linear Field of View (@1000 yds)||53 ft (16 m)|
|Secondary Mirror Obstruction||1.38 in (35 mm)|
|Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Diameter||34%|
|Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Area||12%|
|Optical Coatings||StarBright XLT|
|Optical Tube Length||13.5 in (343 mm)|
|Total Telescope Kit Weight||11 lbs (4.99 kg)|
|Tripod Weight||10 lbs (4.54 kg) lbs (4.54 kg)|
|Slew Speeds||Nine slew speeds|
|Tracking Rates||Sidereal, Solar and Lunar|
|Tracking Modes||Alt-Az, EQ North & EQ South|
|Alignment Procedures||SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, SolarSystem Align|
|Communication Ports||RS-232 communication port on hand control, Aux port, Camera Control port|
|Computer Hand Control||Double line, 16 character Liquid Crystal Display with 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons|
|Database||38,181 accessible objects|
|Warranty||2-year Telescope Warranty|