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Celestron - NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope - Compact and Portable - Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Design - SkyAlign Technology - Computerized Hand Control - 127mm Aperture
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|Objective Lens Diameter||127 Millimeters|
|Item Weight||20 Pounds|
|Number of Batteries||8 AA batteries required.|
About this item
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- Computerized star locating telescope: The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is a computerized telescope that offers a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. The telescope locates your object with pinpoint accuracy and tracks it.
- Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is ideal for weekend camping trips or excursions to dark sky sites. Its compact form factor makes it easy to transport and assemble just about anywhere.
- Maksutov-cassegrain optical design: The NexStar 127SLT is the second-largest in the SLT family. The 127mm aperture gathers enough light to see our Solar System and beyond. View Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud bands, and the Moon in brilliant detail.
- Fast setup with skyalign: Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign procedure has you ready to observe in minutes. Simply center any 3 bright objects in the eyepiece and the NexStar SLT aligns to the night sky, ready to locate thousands of objects.
- Bonus free starry night software: The NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation.
- Unbeatable warranty and customer support: Buy with confidence from the world’s No.1 telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a 2-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts.
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From the manufacturer
Embark On A Voyage Of Discovery
A fully computerized GoTo telescope designed with beginner to intermediate users in mind.
You receive a red dot StarPointer finderscope and 2 eyepieces (25mm and 9mm). The telescope also includes an adjustable, full-height steel tripod with accessory tray to keep you organized in the field.
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Building on the popularity of our NexStar 114SLT telescope, the 127SLT by Celestron inspires us to go bigger, with 20% more light-gathering power than our 114mm telescope. The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is a computerized telescope that offers a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. The telescope locates your object with pinpoint accuracy and tracks it. At the heart of the telescope’s Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design, a large 127mm primary mirror gives fully color-corrected views ideal for astronomical use. The 127SLT comes with a fully computerized NexStar+ hand control. The computerized hand control gives you the ability to automatically slew to any object.
This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is ideal for weekend camping trips or excursions to dark sky sites. Its compact form factor makes it easy to transport and assemble just about anywhere. With its pre-assembled, adjustable steel tripod, the NexStar 127SLT can be up and ready to use in a matter of minutes. Our SkyAlign alignment technology and the included StarPointer Finderscope with a red LED make aligning a breeze. Simply center any three bright objects in the eyepiece and the NexStar SLT aligns to the night sky, ready to locate thousands of objects. The NexStar 127SLT Computerized GoTo Telescope also includes a free download of our Starry Night Special Edition astronomy software for an interactive sky simulation.
The power of this computerized telescope allows you to view the details of the lunar surface, the rings of Saturn, the polar ice caps on Mars, the cloud belts on Jupiter, and a number of the Messier objects, such as the globular cluster in Hercules (M13) or the Great Nebula in Orion (M42). Explore some of the fainter Messier objects using the additional light-gathering capabilities of the 127SLT’s five-inch primary mirror.
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.
Reviews with images
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Eventually I settled on the 127SLT Maksutov-Cassegrain. It was small enough that I could transport it to and from the local astronomy club, which is a big plug for a beginner. An 8" Dob is great if your backyard is dark, not so much if you need to travel for some darker skies.The GoTo functionality is also a plus in my book, as my wife has never used a telescope, and showing her how to check out Jupiter in just a couple minutes was pretty incredible.
I knew that buying this there would be some opportunity areas, and there are a couple. First, the tripod is described as wobbly, and it is. I've found much less vibrations in the grass/dirt than a hard surface. Second, I've put an 8lb. weight on the accessory table which certainly helped to dampen the vibrations. I've read other solutions to super glue joints, epoxy stuff etc. After tightening the bolts on here, I would say the vibrations are only a slight annoyance, and as long you don't manhandle the focuser or smack the eyepiece when you're viewing, they calm down quickly.
2nd is the alignment process. I read people having tons of issues with this. If I try to align using my starting point as a city, it fails. Almost every time. Whenever I punch in my GPS coordinates (compass app on iPhone by default) it aligns immediately on SkyAlign. To me, this seems a nonissue.
Overall, very happy with my purchase. You'll need to add a few things to this telescope to really make it complete, but you aren't hamstrung up front by any means.
1. AC Adapter or Celestron Power Tank. This thing will eat your 8 AA batteries in no time, buy the AC adapter, or better yet the Power Tank, which is a pretty impressive piece of kit.
2. Dew shield - you will want to buy one, or craft one. Foam rubber sheets from your local hobby store work well.
3. Additional eye pieces.
4. If you're transporting it, some sort of case. HomeDepot sells an 18" Husky tool bag with a strap that works PERFECTLY. Using the two pieces of foam from the box, it fits snugly in there and doesn't slide around.
The compact tube size makes it much easier to handle and transport than longer telescopes. Being a closed tube design also means it more easily keeps dust and other debris out of telescope tube. As long as one uses the tube cover on the front, and eyepiece holder plug in the back when not in use, the telescope optics will require cleaning much less often than a typical Newtonian system. The closed tube also means no thermal tube currents to distort the image.
The 127 millimeter diameter aperature equates to about 5 inches in size. While this is considered small in today's era of large Dobsonian monsters, the telescope system fits in my car, and is light enough that I can take it outside easily. I get more use out of this scope than my older larger Newtonian, mainly because this instrument is just so much easier to handle. The aperature size is quite sufficient to get good views of solar system objects. It's a bit tricky to focus, as the image will easily show any motion from the focuser knob, but this is mainly a mount limitation. Once focus is acheived though, and the scope settles down, the views are great. I've used the 127 SLT with a Celestron NexImage 5 camera, and FireCapture camera software, to get great images of Jupiter's moon eclipsing the disk, Saturn's ring system, lunar craters, and solar sunspot groups (with an appropriate glass solar filter mounted on the front). Using the camera is ideal with this telescope, as it makes it a 'hands-off' system.
The other great feature is the fully computerized "Goto" capability of this telescope. Once the computer system is initialized, it is able to point the telescope to any object in the sky. (Yes, one can even enter arbitrary Right Ascension/Declination coordinates to point the telescope at.) The SLT came with the NexStar+ Hand Controller, which contains the object databases, and interfaces with the user via a red backlit LCD and a red lit keypad. The hand controller I got was not the absolute latest hardware variation, which has a USB port on it, so as to allow updating the firmware in the system via a PC. Instead, I received a slightly older version (2014) that still had the RJ45 phone jack interface providing an RS232 serial connection. (Older stock in the warehouse still?) This required a USB-to-RS232 converter to connect to my laptop to update the internal flash. While the internal motor controller was at the latest firmware revision, the hand controller firmware did need updating. The Celestron Firmware Manager, available onine at their web site, did the upgrade flawlessly.
The one armed fork system that connects the tripod mount to the telescope tube contains the motor control system for the alititude and azmimuth DC motors, as well as monitors their optical encoders to keep track of position. This motor controller communicates to the hand controller via a coiled cable. There is a plastic holder on one of the tripod legs made for holding the hand controller when it is not needed.
The weakest link in this system has to be the 'wobbliness' of the mount. With the legs fully extended, and the tripod standing on a cement patio, every gust of wind and and hand touch is transferred to the image view. It makes it quite difficult to focus well. However a few simple tricks can be used to lessen the effect. First, don't extend the tripod legs fully. The shorter the tripod legs, the shorter the time it takes to dampen out vibrations, and the sturdier the mount becomes. Second, adding a weight to the tripod helps provide more mass, and lowers the natural vibration frequency. I've seen a picture of one user placing a small sandbag on the central tripod tray to add stability. Third, place the tripod on dirt or sand. A cement patio is not the best foundation for the tripod legs. I have gotten much less image movement by pushing the tripod legs into the dirt in the lawn. Of course, Celestron does sell vibration dampening pads to help with this issue, but they are quite pricey according to my wallet.
Now if you want to get a beefier mount, go ahead and spend another grand. Celestron has bigger mounts that are better. You get what you pay for. Just be prepared to lift that heavier mount. I'll stick with this lighter variation, and save my back. I can work around its limitations.
Oh, and the eyepieces that come with the telescope are probably not the ones you will want for regular use. I already have a nice set of Plossl's that I obtained years ago. I recommend doing your homework and get the eyepieces separately. My lowest power eyepiece is a 40 mm, and I like the views it gives me in the 127 Mak.
One bit of information you will also find useful relates to initializing the NexStar control system. The designers did what they could to make setup as easy as possible, within the budget they had. (I've also bought the SkySync GPS accessory to help make setup easier. However their StarSense AutoAlign product is the ultimate alignment tool, and costs nearly as much as the telesope itself!) Anyway, the more care you take in initialization, the more accurate the NexStar will be in finding objects. I know this, not just from using the NexStar+ system, but from building my own telescope controllers over the years from the wire-wrapped IC sockets on up, and testing them under the night sky. Small errors in alighment will add up. So, if you want the most accurate pointing, follow these tips that are NOT in the manual:
1. Level the tripod as accurately as possible. You must do this FIRST. Every alighment option, with possibly the exception of the two-star alignments, requires a level tripod to work correctly. That's why the tripod includes its own little level, and the instructions do mention that you need to level the mount. I don't trust that little built in thing though. I use a six inch level that I place on top of the tripod, before I put the one-armed fork there. My level is placed in line with each leg in turn, and that leg adjusted until level, before moving onto the next leg. If you have some OCD like me, go around and do it again, just to be sure. Once the tripod is level, then the rest of the mount and telescope can be put together.
2. Enter in Latitude, Longitude, Date, and Time, as accurately as possible. If you have a smart phone, get a GPS app and use it. I eventually got the Celestron SkySync accessory to do this part for me. (However, you still need to double check and make sure the Time Zone and Daylight Savings settings are correct with the SkySync. The instructons don't tell you that.)
3. Use a lighted Reticle Eyepiece to center your alignment stars/planets. Don't use the Sun or Moon if you have an option, as it's very difficult to know where the exact center of those objects are in the eyepiece. A double crosshairs reticle eyepiece lit with a variably dimmed LED works great for this.
4. Keep your chosen alignment objects far apart, and at least 20 degrees above the horizon. I don't know how well the NexStar+ handles refraction corrections, but to do it right requires both temperature and pressure/elevation data. Nexstar doesn't ask for these values, and I doubt the system includes the sensors to measure the quantities directly.
One final recomendation: Get an alternate power source to suppliment the eight AA batteries that need to be placed in the half fork arm mount. You still need the AA batteries, as I discovered when I attempted to get by with just a PowerTank attached. Any glitch in the power cord connection to the mount will reset the Nexstar controller, and you will find yourself staring at the intialization prompt again. So, keep the AA batteries. Just suppliment them with either an AC adapter or PowerTank gel cell battery. Otherwise the AA batteries used alone will go dead within that observing session. (I've heard they will drain in as little as 30 minutes. I didn't push it to prove that.) I recommend the PowerTank battery accessory, since you can't always guarantee that an AC power source will be reachable from where you place the telescope. For me, I'm always tripping over cords in the dark. So any long power cord to an outlet that I can get rid of, I will. I place my PowerTank directly below the tripod tray on the SLT tripod mount. That keeps the power cable to the mount away from my toes.
There are cheaper telescopes out there, but for ease of use, I just can't think of a better alternative than this 127 SLT NexStar+ system.
At least I'm out with it regularly, and have been for over six months now. My old Newtonian never saw this much usage.
Celestron customer service said to buy a power cable, because the scope is not meant to be operated on batteries!
So if that is the case, why don't they say so in the instructions? And why is no power cable included in the box?
I love this telescope, but the company needs to do a better job of testing their product and writing instructions.
Stay well away from batteries with this instrument!
By Naser Alazmi on August 4, 2016
Top reviews from other countries
The first night I used this I was hampered by cloud, so could only do a basic setup and some initial lunar observing, but I was pleased to find that this was easy to set up in a short period of time, using the quick setup guide. The lunar views I got were excellent and my kids (and even my wife!) were enthralled with the first views of the moon that we obtained.
The second night, although cloud was again an issue, I managed to set the scope up fully. the set up was easy, following the instructions, although it is sometimes tricky to remember that the arrow buttons are only used for controlling the movements of the scope from the handset and not navigating the menus, however they were largely self-explanatory and made the initial setup easy. I would advise using a custom site for alignment using a smartphone with GPS (almost ubiquitous these days) to obtain the precise location, just remember you will need the location in degrees, minute and seconds of arc, rather than decimal. This is quite easy to find with a quick internet search on a smartphone however. Exact times from a reliable source, such as a synced smartphone is also required, along with your time zone. Once these are in you can choose to align the scope using any three bright stars or other celestial objects (moon or planets), simply align the object in the finder scope, then centralise in the eyepiece and align using the handset. This was done in minimal time, even with poor visibility due to cloud and the computer accurately aligned the scope at the first attempt with no need for firmware updates or similar for the handset. Following alignment I used the sky tour to find appropriate objects and after checking that the sky model was correct (it was able to find the moon without difficulty in the solar system mode) I used the handset to move to Andromeda, which was visible as a fuzzy patch, despite poor visibility and quite bad light pollution. The tracking seems to work fairly well and will keep an object in view for a significant amount of time (quite sufficient for real-time observing using the eyepiece), but did exhibit some element of drift, so would not be suitable for deep sky astrophotography, but this is to be expected with an alt-azimuth mount, as compared to an equatorial setup.
Unfortunately, the sky conditions deteriorated further preventing any more testing on other objects, but overall this telescope is easy to set up and provides a quick means of finding astronomical objects. As a starter scope at a reasonable price it would seem that it is difficult to beat. In terms of power, I did buy the external battery pack which allows extended observing and this seems to be the best way to power the scope as while using the internal 8xAA batteries would avoid any problems with cord entanglement, the lack of battery life may limit it without a substantial supply. Cord length and wrapping would be even more of an issue with a mains powered supply and could be problematic for anything more than a small distance outside. The scope does need power to operate though and cannot really be operated without it, which is definitely a downside if you were wanting the use it in an unpowered alt-azimuth mode.
Overall, this seems to provide a good observing experience for the aperture and price and is highly recommended for a beginner. Obviously, you could get a larger aperture without the goto function for the same price, but this really wins on convenience. I look forward to may happy nights observing with my kids in the near future.
Reviewed in Italy on September 8, 2020
El punto débil del conjunto es sin lugar a dudas el trípode y la montura ya que el peso del tubo Mak 127 está en el límite de lo que puede soportar. Olvidaros de utilizarlo con una cámara Reflex.
Lo mas importante, comprarlo en un distribuidor oficial Celestron (no amazon) o de lo contrario podéis despediros de cualquier posibilidad de reparación en caso de avería Ya que el distribuidor oficial solo envía recambios a sus servicios técnicos para productos vendidos a través de sus tiendas autorizadas...
The Nextstar 127 SLT was delivered from Amazon's Doncaster centre to Whitworth in superfast time. Packaging was substantial ( triple boxed ) and everything present that should be.
Assembly of the main parts was dead simple to the point where I was using the hand control to drive the telescope to view distant ( terrestrial ) objects within minutes ( daytime ).
Then came a snag . The finderscope ceased to operate ( no red dot ) on the first day ! During online chat to Amazon support it bacame apparent that all they could do was refund the money for the entire order on reciept of the goods when I really wanted a simple replacement part !
Instead, I contacted Tring Astronomical Centre with the issue who could not have been more helpful and sent a new finderscope the next day, no questions asked. Happy boy !
Tonight was the first clear night with a 3/4 moon low down. Set up outside and used the single object alignment ( Altair in this case ) which was pretty straight forward, although selected objects tended to the 10 oclock position. I expect a more careful setup using the three objects method would be an improvement.
The first view of the Moon was magnificent ! Next up was Mars, showing up as a clear pink disc but again low down and unfortunately Saturn and Jupiter were obscured from view. Very happy so far !
Infine è un buon prodotto per chi non vuole spendere cifre astronomiche e vuole iniziare ma non sa come orientarsi!!!