Celestron - NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope - Compact and Portable - Newtonian Reflector Optical Design - SkyAlign Technology - Computerized Hand Control - 130mm Aperture
|Model Name||Celestron NexStar SLT Series|
|Objective Lens Diameter||130 Millimeters|
|Finderscope||Finderscope with laser pointer|
|Item Weight||11.4 Pounds|
About this item
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- Computerized star locating telescope: The Celestron NexStar 130SLT 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. Compatible with 2 inch eyepieces
- 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.
- Newtonian reflector optical design: The NexStar 130SLT is the largest in the SLT family. The 130mm 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 three 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 130SLT Computerized Telescope includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation. Compatible with starsense technology and Wi-Fi
- 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.
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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.
Building on the popularity of our NexStar 114SLT telescope, the 130SLT by Celestron inspires us to go bigger, with 30% more light-gathering power than our 114mm telescope. The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is a computerized telescope that offers a database of more than 4,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. The telescope locates your object with pinpoint accuracy and tracks it. At the heart of the telescope’s Newtonian reflector optical design, a large 130mm primary mirror gives fully color-corrected views ideal for astronomical use. The 130SLT comes with a fully computerized NexStar+ hand control. The computerized hand control gives you the ability to automatically slew to any of its 4,000+ objects, including over 600 galaxies, 300 clusters, and dozens of beautiful binary stars. 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 130SLT 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 130SLT Computerized GoTo Telescope also includes a free download of our Starry Night Basic 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 130SLT’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.
Amazon.com Celestron’s computerized NexStar 130 SLT adds affordable "Go-To" technology to a compact Newtonian reflector telescope. By using mirrors instead of lenses, the Newtonian optics of the NexStar 130 SLT produce an image nearly five times brighter than the NexStar 60 SLT refractor telescope. The package includes everything except the batteries, and features easy no-tool setup, two good eyepieces, and even includes a student version of "The Sky" planetarium software.
The Newtonian design of the NexStar 130 SLT is optimized to produce bright images over a wide field of view. When I use an optional 32mm Plossl eyepiece, the famous Double Cluster in Perseus looks like a display of celestial fireworks with streamers of stars trailing across the 2 degree field of view. The standard equipment 25mm eyepiece magnifies the image about 26 times, with a wide field of view just right for viewing deep space objects like star clusters or the Orion Nebula.
The NexStar 130 SLT also features Celestron’s patented SkyAlign technology. With SkyAlign I don't need a star chart or a compass to align the telescope, I just enter the date and time then point the telescope at three bright stars. SkyAlign tells me the star names, and allows the telescope to find over 4,000 stars, planets, and galaxies by just pushing a button. The accurate tracking makes it easy to get high power views of the planets, and allowed me to take some great pictures using a Celestron NexImage webcam. I also like the "Two-Star align" and "Solar System align" modes because I can often get the NexStar system up and running while older scopes are still waiting for their alignment stars to appear in he twilight.
Reflector telescopes offer more light gathering power per dollar than any other design, but that value is balanced by the fact that the mirrors may need to be aligned or "collimated" occasionally. Using Celestron’s Collimation Eyepiece
- Wide field views
- Computerized go-to tracking
- Light and portable
- Short battery life
- Sensitive to vibration
Top reviews from the United States
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The eyepieces that come with it are just okay. They're a step below kelner eyepieces (which is below Plossls). For eyepieces, use a low power eyepiece (25mm) to scan for objects. With eyepieces, the lower the number the higher the magnification. If you buy eyepieces, stick to good quality eyepieces in the 5mm to 35mm range. More magnification (<5mm) doesn't really help as the scope is limited by the atmosphere. Lower magnification eyepiece (>35mm) will result in an exit pupil that is too large (makes it difficult to see without a moving black blob appearing in the eyepiece). Celestron X-Cel eyepieces would work well for this scope and aren't too expensive. I like the Baader Hyperion as well. It gives a wide angle view and a large eyeglass with good eye relief to look through (great for eyeglass wearers). A x2 Barlow lens is a good option to pick up as well. Combined with your eyepieces, it doubles your available magnifications (9mm becomes a 4.5mm, 25mm becomes a 12.5mm). I have the Orion shorty x2 barlow.
Don't bother with the eyepiece kits. The optics are too close together in strength so you'll probably only use 3 of the 5. The color filters are pretty useless except for a moon filter. All you really need are 3 eyepieces a low power (no greater than 35mm), a medium power (14-18mm) and a high power (no less than 5mm).
You'll need a collimator. With Newtonians, you'll need to align the mirrors. It's best if you check it each night before you use it. Moving the telescope can knock it out of wack. A collimator helps you line everything back up. I have the Orion laser collimator.
Here are some setup tips for setting up the scope for Goto use:
1. If you picked a city instead of entering a latitude longitude, and you don't actually live in the middle of the city (you just picked the closest one), do a factory reset of the computer and choose latitude-longitude instead. It's much more accurate. You can find the latitude longitude with a smart-phone app (e.g. Compass for Android) or by googling your address. You'll need the lat long in degrees, minutes, seconds (not the digital version like -117.0101). It should look like W 117 15' 12'
Sometimes a city selection is too broad. I am about 20-30 miles outside the city I chose and it makes a big difference when the scope is skewing.
2. Make sure you're using the correct time/date settings including daylight savings time vs standard time. Use your cellphone time.
3. Instead of using 3-star align, use Auto-Two-Star align. It'll require you to know the names of the stars but it's much better. I use Google Skymap to find one of the stars in the list if I don't know the name or the ones I do know are obscured. If you use the 3-star align, chose bright stars that are on opposite sides of the sky and not in a line (a triangle pattern is preferred). For example, if you just used the stars in Orion, that's probably too small of an area of the sky. Choose one star in Orion (e.g. Betelgeuse), one in Gemini (e.g. Castor) and one in Cassiopeia.
4. When centering a star during alignment, defocus the star so it looks like a ball rather than a point of light. It'll be much easier to get in in the center.
5. When centering on the final star try to move the scope in the same direction as it was moving when it skewed to the star you chose. So for example, if it was moving down and to the left when it stopped, position the scope so that when you get it in the center of the view that you are moving it down and to the left when you stop.
UPDATE 5/19/2016: I recently purchased a ZWO ASI185MC camera that I'm using with the 130SLT. The camera will easily come to focus when used in the 2" adapter. It will come to focus in the 1.25" adapter as well but it's a little closer to max in-focus. I'm getting pretty good images with it doing short exposure (<15seconds) and stacking. You'll want to use a Bahtinov Mask to focus. I purchased an Orion Accufocus which greatly helps with focusing the image without everything shaking. Check my reviews for the correct items.
I also have it working with a computer (computer drives the scope). You need to install ASCOM drivers (6.2) and ASCOM drivers for the Celestron product line. Just search for "ASCOM drivers" on google. It's not necessary but it's nice for an all-in-one software package (Astrolive USB).
I added some pictures I took of M51, M57, Jupiter and the moon. These were taken from my front yard about 5 miles from the city. The deep space objects won't appear that clear when viewing through the eyepiece (cameras pick up more light than our night vision does).
One thing to really improve your goto results is to use "Precise Goto". It's undocumented in the manual. It's accessed differently than a regular goto. Press the "Menu" button. Then use the up/down arrows (6 &9 key) to find "Precise Goto". Then select "Database". Finally, choose from the object list type using the up/down arrows (e.g. Messier, NGC, Named Objects). So for instance, if I choose "Messier" and then enter the number for the Messier Object (1-110). It will calculate and give you a list of 5 bright stars with #1 being closest to the object. Select 1. The scope will slew to where it thinks it is. Center the bright star with the red dot finder and look through your eyepiece to see if it's centered there as well. Once it's centered in the eyepiece, hit <Enter>. The scope will slew to the object and there's a good chance it will be centered in your eyepiece. I use this feature with my camera and it almost always gets it close to the field of view. You should easily find the object in the field of view of a 25mm eyepiece (though it may be faint and fuzzy).
-light weight easy to travel with
-good optics even with 5" primary mirror
-great Goto accuracy with 3 star alignment
-super easy to collimate primary mirror
-easy setup, 10x easier than a GEM
-the OTA is bit much for the mount to handle. If using on a deck you will need to get vibration suppression pads!
-Alt az mount is limited to like 70 degrees up so no looking near the zenith of the sky.
-need lots of extra parts for a good setup, see recommended list below.
Recommended need to have extras:
-Celestron Skyportal app (free)
-Celestron power tank ($60) for use at dark sites
-Celestron Power adapter ($20 if using near a power source)
-Celestron Wifi dongle ($75)
-2x Barlow for planetary and moon
-moon filter so you can observe the moon ($20)
Nice to have accessories:
-Orion Accufocus $80 (stops shaking of OTA when you manual try to focus and dials in precise fine focus)
-Skyglow light pollution filter if using in a light polluted area
-Mead 12-24mm zoom eyepiece
-vibration suppression pads ($25)
-reticle laser eyepiece for centering stars during alignment ($40)
Tips n tricks:
-the "grease" that comes stock on the focuses is terrible, practically glue like. Carefully disassemble focuser (easy) clean and re-grease. I used Phil Wood's bearing grease I already had for my bikes. Removes most of the "slop" and "stiction" in the focuser.
-make a 4" dew shield if viewing in areas with stray light pollution to improve contrast
-place a 5lb weight on the tray to stabilize the mount
-get vibration suppression pads if using on a deck or concrete!!!
-my wifi module or AUX port was not making a good connection, not sure which so I returned the scope and upgraded to an AVX with CN8. If you get this problem, use a rubber band to pull the wifi module tighter into the AUX port
-instead of getting a $50 illuminated reticle eyepiece for centering stars during alignment, you can defocus the star instead and make it large to center in the FoV
In the end I upgraded to an 8" reflector with an AVX GEM mount. However, the 5" 130SLT was like 10x easier to use and setup... if I had to do it again for visual use I would look at the 8 or 10" Orion GoTo Dobsonian's for sure! A GEM + Newtonian scope don't mix, bad combo. For the price tho and ease of use, the 130SLT scope is awesome. However, for it to be fun to use you need to spend about $100-150 in extras.
Top reviews from other countries
2) This telescope doesnt come with a updated firmware in the hand controller and because of which this has become a dummy piece, we tried contacting Celestron and the standard reply is that exchange the product from where you bought!! After reading through a lot o forums and blogs we tried to update the firmware but its a damp squib!!! It didnt work and it was a major let down that the customer service from celestron was not much off help either.
Whoever plans to buy , remember these two things 1) you should get lucky with the hand controller working and 2) even if you do alignment is a major issue as pointed out by many!!! I would think company like celestron would has got this issue resolved with the firmware but it still persisiting even after so many complaints!!!
This model was purchased at Christmas as a first telescope for complete novices, largely on the strength of the computer governed motorised Go To function and the good size of the mirror at just over 5 inches. The Go To makes it easier to locate objects, and the size of the mirror means that faint objects well beyond the capacity of the naked eye can be seen. It also provides some basic detail of the the planet Jupiter.
The kit arrives with everything you need bar batteries to power the motors (8 AAs not supplied). No complex assembly of parts is needed. The tripod folds out and a plastic tray for odds and ends sits between the three legs, also providing some bracing of the legs. The motor and telescope support arm has some weight but is easily managed, locating on the top of the tripod and secured by screwing up a large plastic nut by hand under the tripod head. The optical tube assembly, OTA, slides into a place locating a metal bar in a dovetail fixing on the support arm. It is secured by tightening a nut by hand, though the OTA needs to be cupped in the arms underneath to lift it fully in place to get the nut tight enough to take out slack and make the connection solid, which is essential. Not the best of design but it works ok with some patience. Once fixed you probably won't have to undo it again. The direction finder slides into a dovetail on the OTA. This is a good design. It contains no lenses. A red LED (not laser so safe to look at) shines against a piece of glass in the finder as a dot with adjustable brightness. The telescope is moved until the red dot is directly over the object of interest. In theory it should then be in the middle of the field of view of the telescope but the finder will more than likely need to be aligned. It is easier to point the telescope during the day at something like a distant chimney, centring the object in the telescope viewfinder by eye and then aligning the finder to match. Two thumb screws shift the pointing direction of the finder left/right and up/down if necessary. In our case there was insufficient travel on the left right adjuster and this required undoing the screws fixing the finder to the OTA with a pozi screwdriver until JUST loose (there are nuts inside the OTA which you don't want to come off and hit the mirror). Then shift the finder. The optics all need to be lined up and should come perfect in the box. They are tested by looking out of focus at any star. You should see perfectly circular haloes. Luckily we did. If not, the telescope needs to be 'collimated', requiring a tool not supplied - see You tube videos.
The eyepiece holder fits in the focuser tube and has an adapter to take 2inch eyepieces (which is useful but unlikely to be needed, most eyepieces and accessories at this level being 1.25 inches in diameter). The focuser is ready assembled and an eyepiece is inserted in the tube and two thumb screws tightened to hold it in place. Primitive but seemingly a universal means of fixing whatever you pay for a telescope. The controller hand set plugs in a clearly marked socket. There is another socket for a mains adapter (not supplied) or a separate rechargeable 12v battery pack, a so called "tank" available for around £55 incorporating a torch. The scope will move up and down by hand but not turn sideways without the motor on so power is an essential. Batteries don't last long so are expensive. We found we had an AC/DC adapter on some other equipment providing 12 volts DC at a sufficient max current (2amps is fine) and we used that with an extension lead in the garden. You soon realise though that you need to fork out for the portable battery tank for practical and safety reasons.
The big selling point of the scope is the Go To function and there are a number of options for using this. The general approach is to point the telescope at a star or stars (planets can also be used), using the motor to move the scope to another star. The more names of stars you know the quicker it all is but if you know none at all it's fine. The telescope needs to be pointed at three objects in succession reasonably well spaced in the sky and at different altitudes. The computer should then work out how it is aligned and then will go automatically to any of the objects in its database just by selecting them on the handset. We got this alignment to work on the second attempt but it is not foolproof. You need to enter the time on the handset accurate to the second preferably before you start. It is rather annoying that the handset does not have a clock built in so this needs to be done every time the scope is switched on. You also need to enter your latitude and longitude but getting this spot on is not so essential. You can also use the pre programmed locations in the handset though there are only four or five for the UK. In our case London is good enough though we are 25 miles from the centre. But it is simple enough to put your post code in the internet or consult a sat nav to get the
required figures accurately. It only needs to be done once and the handset retains the info. The scope will also track objects once set up so they are kept in the field of view with little adjustment using the hand set.
So on to using the scope! What do you see. Forget the Hubble telescope pictures. Using the supplied 9 mm eyepiece (72times magnification) you will be easily able to see four moons of Jupiter as dots, and on a good viewing day, two weather bands as stripes on the surface of the planet showing as a small disk. It is possible to see galaxies as white smudges, very hard to find without the Go To so it comes into its own. The bigger star clusters and nebulae are the forte of this telescope and one can spend ages staring at them. The moon craters will have you going "wow" too.
Two issues are relevant. One. The supplied eyepieces are very budget and while it is not essential it seems pointless to buy a telescope at this price and optical quality and not use its full potential. In other words be prepared to spend another £100 or more to get some good eyepieces. You can pay over £500 each ! but we chose the Celestron x-cel lx at around £65 each, which we find are very good, being brighter with better contrast and giving a much wider field of view that makes viewing far less tiring not having to squint. These lenses give real wow moments when you first view say the nebula in Orion M42 (dial it up in the handset to get there) or the Pleiades. Two. The focuser has to be the worst piece of engineering ever, hence four stars and if it was a separate item two stars. Shame on Celestron. The tube with the eyepiece moves on a gear rack to focus and has enormous play. The mechanism is lubricated with very viscous gunk that makes it hard to turn the focusing knob. We find it is best to focus by turning the knob quite quickly from out of focus through focus to out of focus again and then coming half way back to get pin point sharpness. This is undoubtedly an acquired skill but made much harder by the cheap engineering. Some adjustment is possible, not described in the hand book (which is generally useful and in proper english if somehow rather old fashioned - download off the Celestron site to get more insight about using the scope before purchase). Two small set screws sit either side of the focuser locking screw and can be tightened using a small Allen key. This gets rid of most of the play but you have only to use a proper two speed focuser to realise just how poor the one on the 130 is. But don't let this put you off at all. Of course you expect better at the price, but again focusing is an art worth developing as for one thing, touch the focuser and the magnified image in the eyepiece will dance about regardless of how good the focuser is. You can of course easily pay £5000 for a sturdy mount! Make the adjustments to the focuser and take the design limitations as part of the fun.
Thirdly, be prepared that the Go To is generally a bit out due to the gears and motor as well as any errors in setting up. Use the low power 24mm eyepiece first to check where you are. This may sound frustrating but you rapidly discover that a big part of the fun is hunting the objects and developing the skills to see faint things.
Can you take photos of what you see. £25 will get you a clamp to fix any holiday snaps point and shoot digital camera to your eyepiece and it works remarkably well though. Use the self timer to avoid shake when you press the shutter button. Fiddly to set up but download free software like GIMP (free photoshop equivalent) to bring up the levels and what looks like three white dots turns into a nebula. We also bought a very modest CMOS webcam and using the supplied software produced a very detailed photo of Jupiter including red spot after half a dozen attempts and observing sessions in the back garden. If you have a DSLR you can take off the lens and connect to the telescope using connectors for around £20 and take some remarkable long exposure shots, though you are limited by the mount that results in objects turning in the field of view due to the rotation of the earth. (An equatorial mount is needed and the 130 slt cannot be easily adapted).
In conclusion, use the vast resources of the internet to find out what to see each month. You Tube videos are a really useful source of information and expertise not least on astro photography. We were able to see the supernova that had emerged the previous week in M82 and which is gone in a few more weeks. These happen at a rate of about once every thirty years per galaxy so you can be party to some special events with this equipment. This telescope isn't the best of course and it could be better. But it has excellent optics and the ability to put you in awe of the universe. Prepare to spend more money to maximise the initial investment. Observing as a family is great fun - let me have a look, let me have a look! This telescope is recognised as a very good one and no one would think you had wasted your money on it. If you decide to join a club first and see whether you get the bug, if you did, almost certainly you would end up saving up and paying two or three times the cost of this kit, but in the end it might be cheaper. Highly recommended, strangely as much for the flaws which add a challenge, as for the good.
I have now moved on to using a DSLR and you can get good results, see M81/M82 galaxies image
Nachtrag : Bedenkt vor dem Kauf bitte folgendes ohne Kamera werden die meisten Deep Sky Objekte nur schwache unscharfe Flecken die meisten Bilder die man so findet sind Überlagerungen mehrerer 100 Fotos die von Programmen zu einer Langzeitbelichtung zusammengerechnet werden und dann noch in Bildbearbeitungs Software weiterverarbeitet.Wer glaubt man schaut durch das Okkular und sieht prächtige Nebel wird 100% enttäuscht. Was aber bei nahezu jedem Teleskop der Fall ist und keine Schwäche des Produkts.
Amazon sent a new one immediately and I managed to get it before the weekend. Took it camping with me and was immediately blown away with the quality of this scope.
I've since bought the SkyPortal WiFi module, SkySync GPS module and the eyepiece / filter kit and have been blown away.
It's a bit of an investment but the ease of use and quality is top notch. I'd recommend using the accessories to enhance your stargazing experience.
All in all very pleased.
Update: Managed to catch a glimpse of Jupiter from my balcony. Saw 3 of it's moons and cloud belts. Really impressed as I live in a large city with lots of light pollution.
Update 2: My goal of this scope was to see Saturn and I have. The picture from my cell doesn't do it justice, was much clearer through the scope.
Update 3: This will be my final update. This rig has served me well for visual use. I've since moved on to astrophotography and neither the mount or scope is sufficient. If you think you might want to take pictures of the objects you observe, I would highly recommend getting an equatorial mount and larger newtonian reflector, or a wide field refractor. All in all I have this telescope to thank for my new hobby.