Celestron NexStar SLT telescopes

Celestron NexStar SLT telescopes

The Celstron NexStar SLT range is a range of premium telescopes from Celestron aimed towards the beginner to intermediate astronomer. The range is composed of 4 models each with it’s own set of individual features.

All the telescopes from this have top quality optics which you would normally get with more advanced telescopes and also one of the main features is the mount.

The computerized mount uses the proprietary Celestron StarAlign feature with which you select from a database of over 4000 celestial objects and the telescope will automatically point towards it making the entire viewing process much more enjoyable and easy. This technology allows even beginners to quickly find objects in the night sky that might be too hard to find and too time consuming.

What makes these telescopes very interesting is that they also have a wide range of accessories you can purchase that will keep you busy for years to come and make everything way more fun. Let’s take a closer look at each model and see which one will be the best option for you.

Celestron NexStar 127SLT Maksutov telescope

Celestron NexStar 127SLT telescopeThe Celestron 127SLT Maksutov is the telescope which I consider to be the best from this range despite being second in-line as far as aperture goes.

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It is a 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope that comes packed with a lot of features but is still relatively easy to use which makes it a great option for beginners. It’s the kind of telescope that will keep a beginner busy for year to come and you can be sure you will not outgrow it.

Let’s take a look at what comes in the box and what you can expect from this telescope.

The box contains the optical tube, computerized mount with remote, finderscope, correct image prism, two eyepieces, the tripod and a copy of the SkyX software and the NSOL telescope control software.

After unpacking the box, setting up the telescope is a simple and straight forward process which anyone can do even if they’ve never handled a telescope before.

Since this is a Maksutov-Cassegrain build the optical tube is short and compact. That is great as it makes it that more portable but do make sure you pack it well when travelling with it.

The superior optics deliver clear and crisp images of the moon, planets and deep-space objects. It is important to note here that given the built and focal ratio, this telescope is perfectly orientated toward delivering the best views of closer objects like the ones from our solar system (that is not to say that it does any less better on the deep sky objects as it’s much better fit than the 130SLT model and can you see double stats, globular clusters etc.). As can get fantastic images of the planets and with one of the available accessories being the NexImage you can also capture and record some great images. And speaking of accessories the SkyPortal WiFi module is also a great addition with which you can control the telescope via your smartphone.

The optical tube also has a StarPointer as a viewfinder which does the job but overall I believe it’s a weak point as it’s plastic and just does not look right on this telescope. However is doesn’t take away anything from the viewing experience.

The two eye pieces included are a 25mm and 9mm which offer a magnification power of 60x and 167x respectively. Also included is the erect image prism which delivers the images in their correct position. This is most useful if you’re planning on using the telescope for terrestrial viewing as well.

Then comes the mount which is one of the strong points of not only this telescope, but this entire line of telescopes. The computerized mount makes it easy to locate over 4000 celestial object from it’s database. And not only does the telescope locate them it also tracks them as they transit across the night sky. Also the database can be updated and upgraded which is a plus. The sturdiness of the tripod is also worth mentioning as it’s an important factor.The legs of tripod the 1.25″ steel tube and it also includes an accessory tray for conveniently storing your accessories.

Overall a highly recommended premium beginner-to-intermediate telescope that is relatively small and compact and that is sure to not outgrow your celestial viewing needs anytime soon while also having the computerized mount that can give you a guided tour of the night sky with the push of a button. I highly recommend it.
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Pros:

  • High quality superior optics
  • Great images of the moon and planets
  • Short and compact optical tube increasing it’s portability
  • Computerized mount with a large database of celestial objects and tracking system
  • Batteries included

Cons:

  • Plastic viewfinder

 

Full technical specifications:

Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Aperture (mm): 127 mm (5 in)
Focal Length: 1500 mm (59 in)
Focal Ratio: 12
Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 (mm): 25 mm (0.98 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 1: 60 x
Focal Length of Eyepiece 2 (mm): 9 mm (0.35 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 2: 167 x
Finderscope: StarPointer
Star Diagonal: 1.25
Mount Type: Motorized Altazimuth
Accessory Tray: No Tool, Quick release
Tripod: Steel
Highest Useful Magnification: 300 x
Lowest Useful Magnification: 18 x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 13
Resolution (Rayleigh): 1.1 arc seconds
Resolution (Dawes): 0.91 arc seconds
Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye): 329 x
Apparent Field of View: .83 °
Linear Field of View (@1000 yds): 44 ft (13 m)
Optical Coatings: Fully-Coated
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
Database: 4,000 Object Database

Celestron NexStar 130SLT telescope

Celestron NexStar 130 SLTThe 130SLT is the telescope with the largest aperture from this range. Unlike the 127SLT this is a newtonian reflector which gives it slightly different characteristics.

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Let’s take a look at what comes in the box and how the performance of this telescope relates to the other from the SLT line.

Box comes with the optical tube, viewfinder, two eyepieces, the computerized mount, tripod and SkyX and NSOL  software (for controlling the telescope via your PC provided you have the additional wire).

In unison with this line of telescopes from Celestron setting up everything is easy and straightforward. Anyone can do it.

As mentioned, the optical tube is a newtonian reflector which means that it is lengthier than the 127SLT model but it compensates in being more lightweight when judging from a portability perspective. So if you’re planning on taking it with you it will not break your back, just make sure you are careful when maneuvering it.

The other accessories for the optical tube are the viewfinder and the two eyepieces. The eyepieces are a 9mm and 25mm one which give a magnification power of 72x and 26x respectively. The package does not include a barlow lens, but adding one would improve the viewing experience with this telescope a lot. In fact the entire Celestron accessory kit would be a great addition and also represent better value than just a barlow lens, but a barlow lens as a minimum would be great. As for the viewfinder, I have to categorize it as one of the weak point of this telescope similar to the 127SLT as it’s plastic and despite doing it’s job it’s out of context with the rest of this telescope.

The optical tube is attached what is the strong point of these telescopes and that is the computerized mount. With the proprietary Celestron Star Align system you will be able to select from the 4000 object database any celestial object and the telescope will automatically navigate to it. Now it’s noting here that not all the objects from the database are viewable since the telescope does not have such high power but most of them are. Your viewing location and light pollution are also factors that come into play here.

The database and software of the mount are flash upgradable which is a plus.

The tripod can be an issue with telescopes, but this tripod with steel tube legs is pretty sturdy. It also has a detachable accessory tray for storing all your different accessories close by and well organized.

Overall this is another great telescope from Celestron which I can only categorize as a premium telescope for beginners. It’s shorter focal length than the 127SLT but slightly larger aperture means that this is the perfect blend between a telescope that bring the best images from closer celestial object as well as deep sky objects. Again I highly recommend this telescope.
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Pros:

  • High quality optics
  • Great balance between getting the best images for both close and deep celestial objects
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Computerized mount with proprietary tracking system
  • Batteries included
  • Available accessories that make the telescope very fun

Cons:

  • Plastic viewfinder
  • Short battery life

Full technical specifications:

Optical Design: Newtonian Reflector
Aperture (mm): 130 mm (5.12 in)
Focal Length: 650 mm (26 in)
Focal Ratio: 5
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
Finderscope: StarPointer
Mount Type: Motorized Altazimuth
Accessory Tray: No Tool, Quick release
Tripod: Steel
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%
Optical Coatings: Aluminum
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

Celestron NexStar 102SLT telescope

Celestron NexStar 102SLT telescopeThe Celestron 102SLT is the only refractor telescope from this range and is yet another remarkable telescope.

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The box comes with packed with almost same things as the previous models, the optical tube, viewfinder, two eyepieces, a correct image prism, computerized mount, tripod and copies of Celestron software.

The optical tube is the main feature that separates this model from the rest of the line so one valid question is why would you choose this model over the previous two. And the answer is that under average seeing conditions a refractor can outperform a larger aperture reflector or catadioptric telescope for views of the moon, planets, binary stars and globular clusters. Also it’s a more robust built that I personally feel it’s more portable than the previous models and don’t have to worry that much about being extra careful.

Again I have to mention the fact that the included viewfinder is not the best you will find and is a weak point for this telescope. The two eyepieces however are great quality, one being the 25mm with a magnification of 26x and the other being the 9mm one that delivers a magnification power of 73x. As I’ve mentioned with the 130SLT model, an additional barlow lens would probably be the best additional purchase you can make for this telescope. The package contains an erect image prism as well, which means you will see object right side up so you can use this telescope for terrestrial viewing as well. And the last thing I want to mention about the optical tube is that is has a dew shield.

The computerized mount is without a doubt the best thing about this telescope. It finds celestial objects at the push of a button. This is a great thing to have but even more so when leaving in a busy city and wanting to get the most out of your telescope without traveling some distance. The sturdy tripod also is a plus to this model and you can rely on it for minimal vibrations.

Overall a very good telescope that is comparable with the 127SLT and 130SLT and might even be better and a right option for you if you’ve considering doing more viewing of the moon, planets, binary stars and globular clusters and living in a city that has plenty of light pollution. I highly recommend this model if you live in a larger city or just want a telescope that will last you a lifetime.
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Pros:

  • High quality optics
  • Great views of the moon and planets
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Computerized mount with tracking
  • Batteries included

Cons:

  • Plastic viewfinder

Full technical specifications:

Optical Design: Refractor
Aperture (mm): 102 mm (4.02 in)
Focal Length: 660 mm (26 in)
Focal Ratio: 6.47
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: 73 x
Finderscope: StarPointer
Star Diagonal: 1.25
Mount Type: Motorized Altazimuth
Accessory Tray: No Tool, Quick release
Tripod: Steel
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: 1.7 °
Linear Field of View (@1000 yds): 91 ft (28 m)
Optical Coatings: Multi-Coated
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
Database: 4,000 Object Database

Celestron NexStar 90SLT telescope

Celestron NexStar 90SLT telescopeThe last telescope from this range is the 90SLT which similar to the 127SLT has a Maksutov-Cassegrain build. It’s small and compact and can deliver some amazing images.

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The box contains the optical tube, viewfinder, correct image prism, two eyepieces, computerized mount, tripod and Celestron software.

The optical tube is the shortest of all the models and also has the shortest aperture of 90mm. But despite having a smaller aperture it’s catadioptric build ensures it’s a telescope that can deliver amazing images. It has more power than both the 102SLT and 130SLT.

Similar to the 127 SLT this is aimed more towards the planets, moon and relatively closer objects and provides the best images of these celestial objects but has the power for observing the deeper sky objects as well. The included eyepieces are the 25mm and 9mm one that have a 50x and 139x magnification power respectively. But again the viewfinder is a letdown as far as this telescope goes. Also included in the correct image prism which ensures the images you see a right side up so you can use it for terrestrial viewing as well.

As mentioned with the previous models, the computerized mount along with the high quality optics is what make these telescopes shine. The StarAlign system makes is absurdly easy even for an absolute beginner to align the telescope and then pick the available celestial objects you want to view while the telescope does all the hard work. This along with the available accessories for this telescope make astronomy much more enjoyable and fun.

The tripod is again a strong point as it keep vibrations to a minimum and with the detachable accessory tray you have all your accessories close-by.

Overall this is another well-built telescope from Celestron. This is also the most affordable telescope from this range, so it might be the perfect one for you if you’re looking for one of the best beginner telescopes on the market that deliver quality images, has the ability to automatically find celestial objects, it short and compact for taking it with you and comes at a more affordable price.
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Pros:

  • High quality optics
  • Short and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Computerized mount with tracking
  • Available accessories to make it much more fun

Cons:

  • Plastic viewfinder

Full technical specifications:

Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Aperture (mm): 90 mm (3.54 in)
Focal Length: 1250 mm (49 in)
Focal Ratio: 14
Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 (mm): 25 mm (0.98 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 1: 50 x
Focal Length of Eyepiece 2 (mm): 9 mm (0.35 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 2: 139 x
Finderscope: StarPointer
Star Diagonal: 1.25
Mount Type: Motorized Altazimuth
Accessory Tray: No Tool, Quick release
Tripod: Steel
Highest Useful Magnification: 213 x
Lowest Useful Magnification: 13 x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 12.3
Resolution (Rayleigh): 1.55 arc seconds
Resolution (Dawes): 1.29 arc seconds
Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye): 165 x
Apparent Field of View: 1 °
Linear Field of View (@1000 yds): 53 ft (16 m)
Optical Coatings: Fully-Coated
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
Database: 4,000 Object Database