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Customer Review

192 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New to Astronomy, 3 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Celestron 130EQ Astromaster Reflector Telescope (Electronics)
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

I purchased the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ as a starter telescope aimed at 'newbie' astronomers. For the price it is an impressive piece of kit. It comes well packaged and is easy to assemble using the picture guide that comes with it. If you get stuck there is a YouTube video to help you.

Of course you get what you pay for and the 130EQ has limitations. It is best suited to observing the Moon and planets. Don't expect closeups of deep space objects. Using the telescope takes practise, but on the first evening out we got some great views of the moon.

Included in the package is TheSkyX - First Light Edition software. This is a great tool. Input your latitude and longtitude (available from Google World) and TheSkyX will deliver a view of the night sky at any time you choose. It recommends some targets complete with RA and DEC. Great for planning your observing sessions.

The two lenses supplied with the 130EQ are just adequate to get you started, but you will soon want to add to them, for example you should purchase a 2x Barlow lens.

On the downside there is a major problem with the 130EQ associated with aligning the telescope and finding objects. The problem is the starfinder that comes fitted to the telescope. It contains two concentric rings and a central dot. The dot is illuminated red for use at night. The concentric rings worked well in daylight, but at night they are impossible to see and aligning the red dot with a star is near impossible. For novice users this finder is a source of frustration and would put off all but the most dogged new astronomer. I wonder how many people have given up on the hobby because of this cheap piece of optical engineering. Celestron should ditch it and do better. However, there is a simple and cheap solution - the Telrad Refex Finder. An oversized, odd looking device (costing around £35) that works superbly well. It has three illuminated target rings. Point the Telrad at a star and bingo it appears in the center of your eyepiece. I love the Telrad. It makes the 130EQ usable.

In summary the 130EQ is a mixed bag. I would recommend this telescope to those people with a budding interest in astronomy or those with a casual interest in the near objects of the solar system. If the interest survives a year or so of using the 130EQ there are plenty of motorised and computerised Goto telescopes (costing many times more than the 130EQ) to take you forward. The Celestron Astromaster 130EQ does little to solve the two biggest challenges for inexperienced astronomers - aligning the telescope and finding objects. The poor finder means that I can only give it 3 Stars. Fit a Telrad and get some better quality eyepieces and it becomes a 4 Star telescope.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jul 2013 09:15:40 BDT
Simon Jude says:
excellent helpful advice

Posted on 2 Dec 2014 15:07:10 GMT
Jack says:
Manage your expectations with deep sky objects; even in large-aperture scopes they are often 'faint fuzzies'. Indeed, most often dark, clear skies are sometimes more important than aperture. I have taken the Celestron Astromaster 130 out to a black site and I was blown away with the views of M31 and M13; and I have seen both of these objects through 8 inch reflectors. I have been able to see a huge array of DSOs through this telescope:

Including:

M13: Globular Cluster
M81: Galaxy
M82: Galaxy
Epsilon Lyrae: Double-Double
M57: Planetary Nebula
M64: Galaxy
M31: Galaxy
Albireo: Double Star
Mizar + Alcor: Double Star
M3: Globular Cluster
M51: Galaxy
M56: Globular Cluster
M27: Planetary Nebula
M92: Globular Cluster
M11: Open Cluster
M71: Globular Cluster
M10: Globular Cluster
M12: Globular Cluster
M52: Open Cluster
The Double Cluster
NGC 7789: Open Cluster
Cassiopeia: Open Clusters
M81: Galaxy
M82: Galaxy
Cor Caroli
M94: Galaxy
M21: Open Cluster
M20: Planetary nebula
M5 Globular Cluster
M101: Galaxy
M29: Open Cluster
M110: Galaxy
Gamma Delphini: Double Star
M15: Globular Cluster
M16: Eagle nebula
M17: Swan nebula
M22: Globular cluster
M45: Open cluster
M110: Galaxy/a>
M32: Galaxy/a>
M2: Globular cluster
Almaak: Double Star
Neptune: Planet
IC 4665: Open Cluster
Epsilon Lyrae: Double-Double
M103: Open Cluster
NGC 457: Open Cluster
NGC 464: Open Cluster
NGC 459: Open Cluster
Eta Cassiopeiae: Double Star
M39: Open Cluster
M34: Open Cluster
M33: Galaxy
M42: Nebula
M43: Nebula
M37: Open Cluster
M36: Open Cluster
M38: Open Cluster
M1: Crab Nebula
M35 & NGC 2158
Uranus: Planet
Total Messier Objects 42/110
Total Planets Observed 5/7

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2015 15:05:04 BDT
lloyds says:
what this buyer has said is true
The mechanism to locate the objects in the night sky in terms of sdjustments are ok but the main problem is the vertical a adjustment that is extremely jurky and wont allow you to find your object without a lot of messing around and time. once you find the object you must expect you object to move off screen in 15 to 40 seconds because of the planets movement. So it can be frustrating in the beginning, a to find the right lens to see it, to move the telescope to stay in view and see a good detailed picture of the object. Add to that the ability to add a camera on the correct settings to take a shot then you are into some patient loving dialogue with this telescope. It can do it eventually but if you want to spend time looking an not fiddling around in the cold then but a Go-To that will find the objects for you at the touch of a button, its more expensive but worth it in the end.Celestron 130EQ Astromaster Reflector Telescope
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