The Orion SpaceProbe 130 ST is simply a superb beginner to intermediate equatorial reflector telescope. As the name suggests it has a 130mm aperture which makes it possible to enjoy stunning views of the Moon and planets as well as near by galaxies, nebulas and star clusters. The “ST” stands for Short Tube as this particular model is the short tube version of the standard Orion (9851) SpaceProbe 130EQ Reflector telescope which makes the 130ST much more portable. It’s important mention here that the shorted tube is not the only difference between the two, the main point being the much better images you get with the 130ST due to it’s diffraction-limited parabolic mirror.
The SpaceProbe package come with everything you will ever need to enjoy stargazing. The first thing you’ll notice when unpacking the telescope is how well built all the components are. The aluminium tripod is very sturdy, just as you want it to be, and also includes an accessory tray that can be very useful when you’ve outdoors in the dark and want to have everything nicely organized.
The equatorial mount is perfectly build and allows manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects as they more across the sky. The mount can also be upgraded at a later time to a motorized option that tracks object automatically, so that’s a nice option to have and definitely a plus if you’ve taking photos.
The package also includes the two eye pieces (25mm and 10mm), the finder scope , the collimation cap, 1.25 inch rack and pinion focuser, as well as the Starry Night astronomy software that can be useful even if you’ve more than a beginner.
The assembly process takes ~20 minutes and might seem a bit intimidating for an absolute beginner, but the directions are simply laid out in the assembly manual and are straight forward and easy to follow. The Starry Night software can also be of assistance for the assembly process.
The Orion SpaceProbe 130 ST strong points:
There are two strong points for this telescope which make it stand out. The first one is the fact that the fully assembled telescope weighs only 27 lbs. (12 kg) which makes it surprisingly portable compared to other telescopes from it’s range. And the second strong point and probably the most important one is the fantastic sharp and clear images you can get due to it’s primary diffraction-limited parabolic mirror which you usually find on much higher priced telescopes.
The Orion SpaceProbe 130 ST weak points:
Overall there’s aren’t any clear-cut weak points to talk about. The weak point if we can call it that, might be the price point which steers away from a beginner telescope price point, but the overall quality you get is fully justifiable.