Astronomy

Which planets, nebula, and other objects can be seen using Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

Which planets, nebula, and other objects can be seen using Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

I have got a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ telescope, which lens should I use to see the various planets and nebula?

When I tried to see Mars it was only a small red dot on scope.

As per the technical description, it's got 6" mirror with 650 mm focal length. Kindly guide me to which lens of what mm should be used to see Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and nebula.


By lens in this case I presume you mean eyepiece.
The magnification you get from an eyepiece is given by dividing the focal length of the mirror (650) by the focal length of the eyepiece. You did not say what eyepieces you have but if, for instance, you had a 10mm eyepiece you would get a magnification of 650/10=65x. A 20mm eyepiece would give a magnification of 33x and so on.

Mars is notoriously hard to see any detail on, it is small and never gets very close to earth, a small red dot is about all you are ever likely to see apart from every couple of years around opposition when it is close to us and you may see a white area at one pole or the other.

Venus at the moment is easily visible in the Western sky before around sunset, it shows phases like the moon and you should be able to see those, it is currently half full.

Nebulae, galaxies and the like require low power eyepieces (in general) and dark skies, the aperture of the main mirror (6" for you) is much more important here.

Try the scope out on the moon, the Orion nebula and maybe Saturn to get the feel for what you can see, a small scope like this will show plenty, just don't expect to see anything like the photographs you see in magazines and books, visual astronomy is hard and mostly black and white!


Okay, so that's a 130 mm newtonian with an f/5 focal ratio. Per the manufacturer's website, it comes with two eyepieces, 10 mm and 20 mm, giving 66x and 33x magnifications respectively.

First off, make sure your scope is collimated. The procedure is described in their generic Telescope Maintenance document, and also more specifically in the Astromaster Manual. See links on the site. The performance of your scope when observing planets depends a lot on collimation. I made it a habit to check collimation every time before I use the scope; I'm so used to it that it only takes 5 minutes now.

The topic of collimation is huge, just google "telescope collimation" and learn. I'm still learning new things after years in this hobby.

Once the scope is collimated, you could try to push magnification even higher, by using a 2x… 3x barlow with either of the eyepieces - that would double… triple magnification. Please be aware that more magnification is not always better; for any observation there's an optimal magnification, not too big, not too small. But I doubt your scope would do well above 200x, even though the theoretical limit is 260x. Probably not worth trying anything beyond the high 1XX values - that is, for your eyepieces, a 3x barlow.

For the Moon, any magnification works. Low magnification gives you broad images with lots of stuff to see. High magnification zooms into particular details. Good collimation is critical.

For planets, it depends.

Saturn looks good at any magnification. If you can see the rings, the shadow of the rings on the surface of the planet, and the main split inside the rings (the Cassini division) then you're doing fine. It doesn't have a lot of detail to justify very high magnification, unless you're looking for the finer ring divisions, but your scope can only see Cassini.

Jupiter is a bit tricky. It has enough fine detail to justify high magnification, but it has low contrast - and then as you increase magnification it gets more washed out, more dark, and hard to see. "Medium-high" magnification works best. Just try different eyepieces, with and without barlow, and see what works best for you. It also helps to keep your eye at the eyepiece, keep tracking the planet, and let your eye adapt - in time your brain/eye system will start pulling more detail out of the image. It takes me at least 2… 3 minutes to start seeing the really fine stuff there.

Mars - don't even bother unless it's at opposition. It only looks good when it's closest to Earth. The next Mars opposition is in July 2018, so there's a bit of wait until then (will start to look good a few months before that). Even then, you need several things to see Mars well:

  • very high magnification
  • excellent collimation
  • a good instrument
  • excellent seeing (the inverse of turbulence)

Otherwise it just looks like a red dot.

Seeing will affect all solar system objects (Moon and planets). When seeing is bad (when atmosphere is turbulent), any object will look bad. It depends on the weather - not just weather at ground level (what you think of as "weather") but weather in the whole thickness of the atmosphere, all the way up (the stuff only airplane pilots usually care about). If you live in North America, the Clear Dark Sky site can give you a prediction of a few parameters including seeing. When seeing is bad, high magnification is worthless (the image is fuzzy and keeps shaking like jello).

Another thing that helps: if there's a large temperature difference between inside and outside, leave the scope outside for a while to catch up with the air temperature. This will reduce internal turbulence and improve image quality on planets. I always leave my scope at "outside" temperature for about 1 hour before observing. When there is no temperature difference between inside and outside, then don't worry about this. This is like seeing (turbulence), but inside your scope.

Please note that light pollution has absolutely no effect on solar system objects (see below re: light pollution). Even when light pollution is very high, the Moon and the planets still look the same.

Dark adaptation does not matter for solar system objects (see below re: dark adaptation). You don't have to be in a dark place when observing them. I've looked at Saturn from a sidewalk under the bright lights downtown (city center), with cars and people passing by - no problem.


Deep sky objects (nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies), a.k.a. DSOs, are different.

These are objects with low brightness. Because of that, your eye cannot see details or colors. Collimation is less important. Seeing also doesn't matter much. Collimation and seeing affect fine details, but you can't see fine detail in DSOs.

What does affect them is light pollution - the light from all sources around you, glowing in the dust, water drops, etc in the atmosphere. This is why it's hard to see DSOs from the city. If you can drive 1 hour away from the city, to a place far from sources of light (cities, factories), then DSOs are easier to see.

Google "light pollution map" and you will find several sites that give you light pollution intensities in your area.

But even from the city, there are many DSOs that you can see. M31 (the Andromeda galaxy), the Orion nebula, the M13 cluster, the Dumbbell nebula - all these are clearly visible in an instrument like yours even from very light-polluted places. I've watched M13 many times from the middle of the Silicon Valley.

The trick is how to find these objects. Get a book called "Turn left at Orion" - it's a guide for beginners showing how to find many DSOs. Get a good planisphere (star chart) like this one and keep it next to the scope when you're observing DSOs. Start with something easy like the Orion nebula.

Also you could google "how to find the Orion nebula" (or M13, etc) and you'll find online guides which are sometimes helpful.

Usually you don't need high magnification for DSOs. Low and medium magnification work well - but it depends; e.g. I've watched M13 in high-ish magnification and it looks good. What really does help here is eyepieces with a wide field of view, because it makes it easier to find the objects. I'm guessing your eyepieces are of the Plossl design, with a 52 degree FoV, which is fine, but more is better for DSOs. Now don't go ahead and buy some fancy expensive eyepieces - keep them proportional in price with the scope, and the original ones should be fine for now.

Another thing that really helps with DSOs is telescope size - bigger is always better. That's also true for solar system objects, but it's even more important here.

Finally, make sure your eyes are dark adapted before looking for DSOs. Observe from a dark place, and stay in the dark for at least 15… 20 minutes before observing. Do not use anything with a screen (smartphone, computer) because that destroys your dark adaptation. Do not use flashlights. There are flashlights for astronomers, with a red LED and a dial button, and you need to dial down the light to the least amount that allows you to see and read the star chart. Very weak red light will not destroy your dark adaptation. You could also improvise a red flashlight, but make it as weak as possible (or put a dial button on it).

Clear skies to you and good luck!


Celestron Explorascope 114az Review [Telescope Buyers Guide]

The Celestron Explorascope 114az is one of the most affordable Newtonian telescopes available on the market – but is it any good? This review and guide will be providing you with an in-depth look at this telescope, the pros and cons and whether or not you should go ahead and purchase one.

We’re going to be taking a closer look at the specification, the features and providing some thoughts and observations on this Reflector from the prestigious Celestron brand.


Who is the Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Best Suited to?

The AstroMaster 70AZ is designed to attract beginners new to using telescopes. You have both celestial and terrestrial viewing capabilities, and with that, it serves as a multi-purpose telescope. However, its build and optical quality is only good for recreational and amateur use.

If you’re looking for one of the best afforable telescopes that you can grow with over a few years, you may have to look elsewhere. The AstroMaster is designed to provide simplicity and instant viewing that comes with its low price point. With a small aperture and multi-purpose platform, it’s a good backyard and deck telescope to observe both the land the skies.


Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Review (A Good Beginner Device!?)

In this review I’ll cover the pros, cons and the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ’s features to ultimately help you decide whether it’s a beginner level GoTo telescope worth investing in or one that you should skip.

Overview

  • Full Name: Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ
  • Type: spherical mirror reflector
  • Aperture: 130mm (5.11″)
  • Focal length: 650mm
  • Focal ratio: f/5
  • Dimensions & Weight: 88.9 x 48.3 x 30.5 centimetres & 12.6kg
  • Included eyepieces: 20mm and 10mm
  • Rating: 2.5/5
  • Uses a spherical mirror
  • Subpar build quality
  • Mediocre accessories
  • Regular maintenance required
  • Somewhat difficult to align the mirrors

  • Powerful reflector telescope: The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ-MD telescope is a powerful reflector telescope for astronomy beginners. It features fully-coated glass optics, a sturdy and lightweight frame, two eyepieces, a StarPointer red dot finderscope and an adjustable tripod.
  • High-quality 130mm optics: The heart of the system is a 130mm glass optic objective lens. The AstroMaster mount features two slow-motion control knobs that allow you to make precision adjustments.
  • Quick setup & lightweight frame: This telescope for kids and adults to be used together features a lightweight frame manual German Equatorial mount for smooth and accurate pointing. Setup is quick and easy, with no tools required for assembly.
  • Included accessories: We’ve included two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm), a travel tripod, motor drive, and a StarPointer red dot finderscope. Accessories also include a FREE download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs.
  • Unbeatable warranty and customer support: Buy with confidence from the world’s #1 telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a two-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts.

How Do The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ’s Optics Work?

Telescopes tend to come with one of the 3 main optical types namely, a reflector, refractor and compound based optics. In this case the 130EQ utilises a reflector design which simply means it uses 2 mirrors inside the tube which are referred to as a primary and secondary mirror.

The unfortunate thing here is that unlike the more expensive telescopes out there, the 130EQ utilises a spherical primary mirror as opposed to a parabolic mirror which will result in an inferior overall experience particularly when it comes to the alignment/collimation process of the mirrors.

With that being said the core pros and cons of reflector optics tend to be fairly universal and that is what I’ll list down below.

The pros of reflector based optics within the 130EQ include the following :

  • Great for viewings faint objects in the sky as all types of light can pass through the lenses (this isn’t the case for a refractor)
  • Reflectors are generally cheaper to manufacture, resulting in cheaper telescopes.
  • These optics don’t suffer from chromatic aberration

As for the cons, they are as such :

  • The optics are exposed meaning you’d need to clean them up regularly
  • You’ll regularly need to collimate the device too as they’re easy to knock out of alignment
  • Low focal ratio reflector devices tend to suffer a lot more from comatic aberration
  • Can’t view things on earth very well unlike the other 2 variations
  • Spherical optics suffer from spherical aberration resulting in a lack of focus and clarity

The problem with the spherical mirror used within the astromaster is that because there is no coma corrector to correct the focus of the images, they will ultimately come across as being very lackluster and won’t really perform well at the higher power levels.

With that being said the optics should still work well enough to see objects in space even if they are ultimately unfocused.

What Do The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ’s Specifications Mean?

The 130EQ has an aperture of 130mm, a focal length of 650mm resulting in a reasonably fast and wide focal ratio of f/5. What this means is that theoretically the 130EQ should be able to achieve a max magnification of 307x although in reality due to the spherical mirror used and the lower focal ratio resulting in coma, the useable magnification will be closer to 200x.

If you’re able to achieve that level power or lower you should be able to view the following objects with the 130EQ :

  • Jupiter, it’s red spot and even its cloud bands with solid detail near the max magnification.
  • Saturn’s rings and the colour of the planet at the max magnification.
  • You’ll be able to make out a good amount of detail on mars when it’s nearest to the Earth.
  • Uranus, Mercury, Venus and Neptune can all also be observed although not in very much detail, specifically with Uranus and Neptune both of which willl only be visible, in the best case scenario, as tiny blue disc (circle) shaped objects.
  • Nebulaes
  • Star clusters
  • Andromeda and a few other galaxies.
  • A good amount of celestial entities within the messier catalogue.
  • The moon and it’s craters in very good detail.

As for the telescopes weight and dimensions, fully assembled the 130EQ comes in at 12.6kg which is a little heavy but for convenience you could always separately move the tripod and the telescope tube.

As for its dimensions, they are 88.9 x 48.3 x 30.5 centimetres so, it’s reasonably portable. Overall the portability of the 130EQ is one of its stronger elements and I can’t imagine many people will have much of problem with this aspect of the device.

Accessories Included In The Box

The 130EQ comes with a 1.25″ rack and pinion focuser, 2 1.25 kellner eyepieces at 20mm and 10mm, a built on red finderscope, a tripod and bunch of miscellaneous documents

The 20mm eyepiece is very subpar and isn’t even rubberised which does make it pretty uncomfortable to use, the 10mm is alright but the kellner brand isn’t known for its quality so, this is an upgrade you’ll probably need to make.

The focuser is actually solidly built and more than use able. I guess you could say the biggest issue here is to do with the built on finderscope. In terms of build quality it’s not all that bad but, when it comes to focusing an image it will struggle, which I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you will be quite the problem for any telescope out there.

The Mount

The mount is a German equitorial mount referred to as the CG-3 by Celestron and it’s a fairly competent mount despite its somewhat flimsy build quality according to users.

Nevertheless, it’s able to hold the telescope tube reasonably steady. It’s also able to fit a dslr on it which can allow for some very basic astrophotography sessions but, you shouldn’t expect too much out of the CG-3.

One issue with the mount is that it isn’t very ergonomically designed for eyepiece placement which ultimately could result in some awkward positioning when you’re trying to use the device.

Overall, the CG-3 is useable but not anything special.

What Are Users Of The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Saying

For the most part users find the 130EQ to be a mixed bag. They found that the telescope was average a best, from being build somewhat averagely with subpar accessories in the box.

The major saving grace happened to be with its somewhat reasonable pricing but, as I’ll mention below there are alternatives for a similar price that do provide a better overall experience.

Other Alternatives Worth Checking Out

The major issue with 130EQ is its use of a spherical mirror as opposed to a parabolic mirror which ultimately does make the images it provides come across as a little lower in quality.

Therefore, a few alternative 130mm devices Worth looking into that have the more desirable parabolic mirror design include the Zhumell Z130, the Meade Lightbridge Mini 130 and if you’re looking for a higher powered device the skyquest XT6 is a solid device to go for too.

Summary

The AstroMaster 130EQ is a mixed bag device with a few decent qualities but overall still an average telescope.

If you can pick the device up on a really good deal it might be worth checking out otherwise I would suggest you look into one of my alternatives and entirely skip this one.


Astrophotography with Celestron 130eq Astromaster?

I was recently given an astromaster 130 eq telescope, and it is absolutely awesome. I immediately ordered a t-ring and adapter for my 5d MKiii. The telescope itself is awesome, but I have been having a lot of trouble with the camera combination.

-Can't focus really at all, except for something around 30 feet away (ex. not on mountains or moon, but on trees in yard.)

-Extremely noisy images, would be totally unusable as a standalone image (though I plan on stacking planetary images, I would like to get something of the moon at time.)

I know that the 130eq isn't the best telescope for astrophotography, but I am working with what I have. Im not worried about sky tracking, mostly just image quality. Lets focus on the moon. I have thought of a few things it might be, though I wanted to ask if anyone else has had any experience with this?

-I believe the telescope is made to work with little t mount eyepiece lenses that are between 9mm and 20mm though Im sure that is expandable. However, since the t mount adapter has no magnification, I am wondering if that is an issue, and would solve something? Any idea what kind of piece I could get?

-also have heard of webcam image stacking with telescopes. Can anyone tell me a good setup?

Since you can't reach focus, I would guess you need an extension tube like one of these sets here.

By all means start experimenting and see what you come up with. The Moon always makes a nice easy bright object to start on so you can start getting your technique a bit more nailed down. With this kind of photography, you learn just as much through your failures as well as with any successes.

Ah, newtonians have an inside focus problem.

I usually use refractors that have outside focus problems and needed extension tubes.

Ah, newtonians have an inside focus problem.

I usually use refractors that have outside focus problems and needed extension tubes.

Yes a bit tricky with Newtonians. I did not watch the video (!) , just skipped through and it looked right to me, but some use web cams or simply a projection set up (for the OP :using the eyepieces instead of prime focus)

Great video, the only thing Im not sure of now, is what kind of a barlow lens to buy? Do I want a 2x or a 5x or something totally different? Thanks again guys this is great!

The lower magnification (2x) would be easier and more useful also for viewing.

The commonest mistake people make with telescopes is to get the highest magnifications possible.

Celestron sell a 2x Barlow which is combined with a T-Adapter. For visual imaging, you can use the Barlow to increase the magnification of your current eyepieces.

The Barlow lens changes the optics so that, with your camera attached to the t-threads, you may be able to get focus in your existing focuser.

A (more expensive) alternative is to get a low profile focuser, which should allow you to get your camera sensor into the right position for imaging, but it's a lot of expense and not necessarily worth it for your current mount.

ETA - if you then get a different telescope, you can also remove the barlow lens element (it unscrews) and the adapter lets you fit the 1.25" barrel into the focuser to hold the camera in place for less magnification.

Lots of good comments have been given. Since you can't focus on infinity, but only near objects, your focal plane is too far in. This a common problem with Newtonian telescopes. Your options are:

  1. Insert a 2X Barlow in the imaging path.
  2. Acquire the hardware for eyepiece projection, which will extend a highly magnified focal plane outward to the camera sensor. This would be useful for planets.
  3. Get a low profile focuser.
  4. Reposition the primary mirror cell forward in the tube to move the focal plane outward.

I would do #1 first as the least expensive path. Work with the Moon first as it is much less challenging compared to the planets. If you want to try #2 go to Telescopeadapters.com for a good source of information and hardware.

Method #3 might not be enough to reach focus depending on your camera.

Method #4 is a last option, requiring some careful planning to get the focal plane in the right position.

Finally search this forum for Astrophotograhy Resources - Index 2015. Then navigate to the Lunar Planetary section. You'll find some useful information there.

I hope you are successful in your efforts, James!

Awesome, thank you guys so much. I am looking now on amazon for a 2x Barlow, Ill try that one first. Ill let everyone know how it goes in case anyone has the same problem!

Thanks again, cheers and clear skies!

jamesdgessel wrote:

Hey guys!

I was recently given an astromaster 130 eq telescope, and it is absolutely awesome. I immediately ordered a t-ring and adapter for my 5d MKiii. The telescope itself is awesome, but I have been having a lot of trouble with the camera combination.

Issues:

-Can't focus really at all, except for something around 30 feet away (ex. not on mountains or moon, but on trees in yard.)

-Extremely noisy images, would be totally unusable as a standalone image (though I plan on stacking planetary images, I would like to get something of the moon at time.)

I know that the 130eq isn't the best telescope for astrophotography, but I am working with what I have. Im not worried about sky tracking, mostly just image quality. Lets focus on the moon. I have thought of a few things it might be, though I wanted to ask if anyone else has had any experience with this?

Possible solutions

-I believe the telescope is made to work with little t mount eyepiece lenses that are between 9mm and 20mm though Im sure that is expandable. However, since the t mount adapter has no magnification, I am wondering if that is an issue, and would solve something? Any idea what kind of piece I could get?

-also have heard of webcam image stacking with telescopes. Can anyone tell me a good setup?

Thanks a lot guys! Cheers!

You haven't gotten the correct answer yet.  Since you can only focus around 30 feet away, the problem is that you can't get the camera close enough to focus.  An extender tube is the wrong direction and would only make it worse.

Inexpensive scopes like this one are not designed with the idea of using a camera in prime focus.  The reason for this is that the scope does not provide sufficient back focus so that there is room for a camera to work with it.  Even with a mirrorless camera, it won't be able to get close enough for infinity focus.

It might be possible to use a Barlow lens to extend the focal point out to where it might work.  But a 2X Barlow lens is like a 2X teleconverter and it makes the scope have a 2X longer focal length and also 1/4 the amount of light.  Because of this, I don't really like to use them.

There is one other solution, and that is called digiscoping (google it) where the eyepiece is used and the camera is held in place above the eyepiece.  It is actually an inferior way to attach a telescope and the IQ won't be that great.  For a scope like this along with its lightweight mount, a light weight point and shoot or cell phone camera might be best.

jamesdgessel wrote:

Hey guys!

I was recently given an astromaster 130 eq telescope, and it is absolutely awesome. I immediately ordered a t-ring and adapter for my 5d MKiii. The telescope itself is awesome, but I have been having a lot of trouble with the camera combination.

Issues:

-Can't focus really at all, except for something around 30 feet away (ex. not on mountains or moon, but on trees in yard.)

-Extremely noisy images, would be totally unusable as a standalone image (though I plan on stacking planetary images, I would like to get something of the moon at time.)

I know that the 130eq isn't the best telescope for astrophotography, but I am working with what I have. Im not worried about sky tracking, mostly just image quality. Lets focus on the moon. I have thought of a few things it might be, though I wanted to ask if anyone else has had any experience with this?

Possible solutions

-I believe the telescope is made to work with little t mount eyepiece lenses that are between 9mm and 20mm though Im sure that is expandable. However, since the t mount adapter has no magnification, I am wondering if that is an issue, and would solve something? Any idea what kind of piece I could get?

-also have heard of webcam image stacking with telescopes. Can anyone tell me a good setup?

Thanks a lot guys! Cheers!

You haven't gotten the correct answer yet . Since you can only focus around 30 feet away, the problem is that you can't get the camera close enough to focus. An extender tube is the wrong direction and would only make it worse.

Inexpensive scopes like this one are not designed with the idea of using a camera in prime focus. The reason for this is that the scope does not provide sufficient back focus so that there is room for a camera to work with it. Even with a mirrorless camera, it won't be able to get close enough for infinity focus.

It might be possible to use a Barlow lens to extend the focal point out to where it might work. But a 2X Barlow lens is like a 2X teleconverter and it makes the scope have a 2X longer focal length and also 1/4 the amount of light. Because of this, I don't really like to use them.

There is one other solution, and that is called digiscoping (google it) where the eyepiece is used and the camera is held in place above the eyepiece. It is actually an inferior way to attach a telescope and the IQ won't be that great. For a scope like this along with its lightweight mount, a light weight point and shoot or cell phone camera might be best.

You haven't read the answers provided nor of course looked at the video clip I linked to.

If you had, you would have discovered that eyepiece projection (digiscoping) has been mentioned at least 3 times (it's in the video too at about 6 minutes. ) and the Barlow lens solution has also been discussed and it is in the video as well.

The video also explains the other 2 possible solutions.

BTW, digiscoping primarely is the term used for a digital camera with a spotting scope not a telescope.

jamesdgessel wrote:

Hey guys!

I was recently given an astromaster 130 eq telescope, and it is absolutely awesome. I immediately ordered a t-ring and adapter for my 5d MKiii. The telescope itself is awesome, but I have been having a lot of trouble with the camera combination.

Issues:

-Can't focus really at all, except for something around 30 feet away (ex. not on mountains or moon, but on trees in yard.)

-Extremely noisy images, would be totally unusable as a standalone image (though I plan on stacking planetary images, I would like to get something of the moon at time.)

I know that the 130eq isn't the best telescope for astrophotography, but I am working with what I have. Im not worried about sky tracking, mostly just image quality. Lets focus on the moon. I have thought of a few things it might be, though I wanted to ask if anyone else has had any experience with this?

Possible solutions

-I believe the telescope is made to work with little t mount eyepiece lenses that are between 9mm and 20mm though Im sure that is expandable. However, since the t mount adapter has no magnification, I am wondering if that is an issue, and would solve something? Any idea what kind of piece I could get?

-also have heard of webcam image stacking with telescopes. Can anyone tell me a good setup?

Thanks a lot guys! Cheers!

You haven't gotten the correct answer yet . Since you can only focus around 30 feet away, the problem is that you can't get the camera close enough to focus. An extender tube is the wrong direction and would only make it worse.

Inexpensive scopes like this one are not designed with the idea of using a camera in prime focus. The reason for this is that the scope does not provide sufficient back focus so that there is room for a camera to work with it. Even with a mirrorless camera, it won't be able to get close enough for infinity focus.

It might be possible to use a Barlow lens to extend the focal point out to where it might work. But a 2X Barlow lens is like a 2X teleconverter and it makes the scope have a 2X longer focal length and also 1/4 the amount of light. Because of this, I don't really like to use them.

There is one other solution, and that is called digiscoping (google it) where the eyepiece is used and the camera is held in place above the eyepiece. It is actually an inferior way to attach a telescope and the IQ won't be that great. For a scope like this along with its lightweight mount, a light weight point and shoot or cell phone camera might be best.

You haven't read the answers provided nor of course looked at the video clip I linked to.

If you had, you would have discovered that eyepiece projection (digiscoping) has been mentioned at least 3 times (it's in the video too at about 6 minutes. ) and the Barlow lens solution has also been discussed and it is in the video as well.

Digiscoping is afocal photography - put a camera with lens behind the eyepiece. Works best with compact cameras and not so well with larger inage sensors.

Eyepiece projection is putting the camera body without lens behind the eyepiece to project the image - much like old fashioned slide projectors.

Negative amplification - using a barlow lens - is yet another method.

The video also explains the other 2 possible solutions.

BTW, digiscoping primarely is the term used for a digital camera with a spotting scope not a telescope.


The most important aspect of the optical design is the focal ratio of f/6.5, which is created by the 660mm optical tube.

It definitely makes a huge difference to have a longer optical tube with refractors since it relieves them from their fundamental problem: chromatic aberrations. The light that is coming inside the lens has a lower angle therefore, it is diffracted much less. The result is a color-accurate, sharp image.

The longer optical tube lowers chromatic aberration.

Thanks to the long optical tube, AstroMaster 102AZ is able to provide incredibly detailed Solar System visuals. Jupiter’s cloud storms, The Great Red Spot, and 4 Galilean Moon’s are easily noticeable. Rings of Saturn are distinguishable from the planet, and Titan is visible with a good eyepiece. You can also see the polar ice caps on Mars, but again, with a good eyepiece such as a Plössl.

The Moon looks amazing with most telescopes. With the AstroMaster 102AZ, I can say it looks spectacular.

You can catch a glimpse of most, bright deep space objects such as the Pleiades Star Cluster, Orion Nebula, and Andromeda Galaxy. Deep space performance of this telescope is pretty good, though not as good as a 6” Dobsonian.


OTA or optical tube assembly is actually the telescope tube alone. It’s a metal tube with some plastic elements on both ends with preassembled mounting rings with dovetail bar. It has a very nice design, and I also like the colors. At the end part, you have adjusting screws for the main mirror that are used for collimating the telescope. You will have to collimate your telescope after receiving it or later in use, but you will have to do it. Collimation is very important because it will allow you to reach the best focus with crystal clear image. Don’t be scared it is an easy process of adjusting both mirrors, and there are plenty of tutorials out there on how to do it. Some telescopes in this price range come with permanently attached primary mirror with no option to collimate the telescope, and it’s not good. So, this is a big plus for Astromaster 130. The 1.25″ focuser on this telescope is decent with aluminum focusing knobs half covered by rubber for better grip. You can’t use 2″ eyepieces but the 1.25″ is industry standard and there are plenty to chose from.

The Primary Mirror

Every primary mirror in Newtonian reflectors has a spherical or parabolic shape. The mirror is never flat. Spherical mirrors have cheaper design and suffer from spherical aberration which is more of a problem with bigger mirrors. The parabolic mirror is also called ideal shape design. The image with the parabolic primary mirror is higher quality than a spherical mirror image, and it doesn’t suffer from spherical aberration. Also, the parabolic mirror is important with bigger apertures, and it is more expensive.

In early days, Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ was made with a parabolic mirror. But now, it is shipped with spherical primary mirror only. I’m just guessing, but I think that Celestron wanted to cut the cost and try to beat the competition at a lower price. That’s why this telescope is an entry level with an attractive price. You can find some used ones with a parabolic mirror, but if you order one today, it will come with a spherical mirror. Don’t worry there is almost no difference you can see as a beginner in the image between those two mirror designs with this aperture.

The Focal Ratio

The aperture of 130mm and focal length of 650mm is giving us focal ratio F/5. Just divide focal length with aperture, and you get the focal ratio. Also, you may ask, what does it even mean. Well, the focal ratio is determining how “fast” is the telescope. I’m not going to explain it in detail, but in simple words, the faster scope has a brighter image than the slow scope. For example, the image in f/5 will be four times brighter than the image in f/10 telescope. The faster scope will allow you to see dimmer nebulas and galaxies. Therefore you can enjoy deep sky object with the f/5 Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ.

Red Dot Finder

Some early models of this telescope had permanently mounted star finder which was horrible to use. A lot of people complained about it. Basically, it was useless and finding something with this finder was PINTA. Now, the Celestron is supplying the telescope with wildly used “red dot finder”. Very popular finder and easy to use. It is called red dot finder because the red laser is projecting a small dot on the little front glass. First, you have to align it with the telescope, preferably during the day. Just point the telescope on some object, look through the red dot finder and adjust the red dot, so it is pointing exactly on the object you see in the telescope eyepiece. And don’t forget to turn the laser off after the stargazing because it will drain the battery inside. However, some resellers are still selling the version with permanently mounted star finder so look out for it and find the version with the red dot finder instead.


Celestron NexStar 6SE: Design

  • Sturdy, robust build
  • StarBright XLT optical coating for crisp views
  • Eight AA batteries drain quickly

A single 25mm Plössl eyepiece is supplied with the Celestron 6SE to provide a magnification of 60x, but so much more can be achieved from the optical system, so we advise purchasing a selection of eyepieces and filters — bearing in mind that the highest useful magnification is 354x — to get the very best out of this telescope.

Setting this Schmidt-Cassegrain up took next to no time at all, and we were impressed with the quality of many of its components, especially its red dot finder and sturdy stainless steel tripod. The robust build of the NexStar 6SE promises to last years of observing sessions, provided it is treated with care. Additionally, since catadioptric telescopes can succumb to moisture during observations, a dew shield would be a worthy investment to protect the optical system and prolong the telescope's lifetime.

Weighing in at 21 lbs. (9.53 kilograms), the Celestron 6SE is a touch on the heavy side due to the technology and components compacted into it: a minor inconvenience for those who might need assistance in transporting their 'scope from one location to another. Despite this, the NexStar 6SE boasts quality over lighter instruments, so we don't consider this to be a major setback in the design.

What is quite a large flaw is the requirement of eight AA batteries to operate the computerized alt-azimuth fork mount. Sadly the NexStar 6SE drains batteries quite quickly, making using it quite frustrating when the computer "clocks out" whilst you're engrossed in observing. Over time — and with constantly replacing the batteries — using the telescope has the potential to become quite an expensive enterprise.

Undeterred, we tried out rechargeable batteries as a means to investigate an alternative route for powering the NexStar 6SE, but discovered that the telescope would act strangely with low power and found a quick loss of charge was still a problem. We strongly recommend purchasing an AC power cord from Celestron — unfortunately, this is not included with the telescope.

Celestron promises a great deal when it comes to the operational abilities of this instrument, so we were delighted to discover that the NexStar 6SE did exactly what it says on the tin when we took it out to test on a clear December evening.

For one, the star alignment — which employs Celestron's SkyAlign technology and enables calibration for accurately finding targets — was impressively simple, and it wasn’t long before we were all set up and ready to tour the winter night sky.


Who are Celestron?

Founded in 1960, it all began when Tom Johnson unveiled the game-changing C8 which sparked the development of a myriad of new products featuring revolutionary technologies and unique innovations.

PRODUCT REVIEW

Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ

The Astromaster 130eq is a reflector Newtonian telescope designed for beginner astronomers.

It features fully-coated glass optics, a sturdy and lightweight frame, two eyepieces, a StarPointer red dot finderscope, and an adjustable tripod.

With a quick, tool-free set-up and two eyepieces included (20mm and 10mm), the telescope is designed to be user-friendly and has a German Equatorial mount for smooth and accurate pointing.

Included components

  • Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope
  • 20mm Eyepiece
  • 10mm Eyepiece
  • The Sky X CD Rom
  • User Manual

Features

Manual Equatorial Mount

As Earth rotates, celestial objects appear to drift across the night sky, which can make them difficult to track. The Astromaster has an EQ mount that helps you track objects smoothly by simply turning the knobs.

It’s easy to keep your target centered in the eyepiece thanks to the StarPointer red dot finderscope.

The EQ mount comes with two slow-motion control knobs that allow you to make fine pointing adjustments to the telescope in both Right Ascension and Declination axes, also referred to as RA and DEC.

These allow you to have full control over the telescope to ensure you get the best possible view.

These features also save you time when trying to track specific objects in the sky, meaning you have a better chance of catching sight of those that are fleeting or temporary.

The frame is lightweight but sturdy, providing a steady base for your telescope.

Portability

Weighing 28lbs when assembled, this telescope is surprisingly lightweight. Compact and portable, it won't weigh you down despite its magnifying capabilities.

Whether you’re planning on viewing the night sky from the comfort of your garden or hoping to take it further afield on star-gazing camping trips, the Astromaster is easy to grab and go.

Viewing Capabilities

The Astromaster includes everything you need to get started with astronomy, making it ideal for beginner astronomers. It comes with two 1.25” eyepieces (20mm and 10mm), StarPointer red dot finderscope, erect image diagonal, and free Starry Night astronomy software.

Offering a lowest useful magnification of 19x, and a highest theoretical magnification of 307x, the high-quality 114mm optics and fully-coated 130mm primary mirror allows you catch sight of the moon, Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moon, and deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades Open Star Cluster, and more.

Starry Night Software

With the Astromaster 130eq you’ll get a free download of Celestron’s Starry Night Educational Software, which has over one million downloads and allows you to learn more about the night sky.

You can also download Celestron’s free planetarium app, which allows you to explore the Solar System, including 120,000 stars, over 200 star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and dozens of asteroids, comets, and satellites—including the ISS.

The app is also compatible with Celestron telescopes, so you can connect your device using StarSense and Wi-Fi technology which allows you to identify or locate any star in the sky so you can begin observing in minutes.

Just bear in mind that Celestron’s StarSense Autoalign and SkyPortal WiFi Module are sold separately. SkyPortal is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.


Optics

The optical design is powerful and convenient. The long optical tube reduces most image defects, and the 90mm aperture is barely enough for crispy planetary and deep space observations.

The optical tube also has the advantage of overcoming light-pollution and atmospheric effects more easily thanks to its long optical tube.

You can get sharp images of Jupiter and its moons, Rings of Saturn, and with a good eyepiece some detail on Mars. The Moon looks great with AstroMaster 90EQ, but it does with most telescopes anyway.

You can get images of brighter deep space objects such as Pleiades Star Cluster, Andromeda Galaxy, and Orion Nebula.

The optics don’t require collimation or any kind of maintenance. This is especially important for beginners.

Overall the optical design is the best part of AstroMaster 90EQ. It is convenient and powerful enough for decent images.


Watch the video: Die 10 Seltsamsten Planeten im Weltall! (September 2021).