As I’ve had the chance to use the Celestron telescopes of various acquaintances, I became familiar with these sleek, nicely designed, computerized devices and their features. For this review I got myself the Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Mak Model in hopes to make more of my space observation efforts.
The Main Features
The Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Mak Computerized Telescope benefits of the SkyAlign technology, which is no novelty to NexStar telescopes. This is actually the most interesting feature of some of the best Celestron telescopes – the SkyAlign technology helps this device function in an intuitive way, as it centers on 3 bright stars. The telescope can be fitted with varied optical tubes, with an aperture of up to 127 mm. Any additional accessories can be connected through the auxiliary port. The Star Pointer technology boosts the alignment ability and the accuracy.
NexStar 127 SLT has the Celestron classical finderscope features with a few improvements. You get the Maksutov-Cassegrain quality with a quick release arm mount and hand control with ergonomic design. The device comes with the SkyX Planetarium software and has the following dimensions: 14 x 19 x 11 inches. It requires no setup so you may start using it right away. The model can easily accommodate any compatible accessories you may want to add and benefits of a 2-year warranty along with all these accessories.
This is a non-intimidating Celestron amateur telescope that astronomy fans can rely on. The PDF manual was good enough to help me get started with it. Seeing the other models in the series, I could notice that the single fork arm was improved to provide superior stability and therefore a better performance. This also translated better in terms of precision. The colors of each planet are well rendered and especially the major details like big spots, rings or bands. Yes, the telescope does show the rings of Saturn pretty well. It will all depend, however, on the level of air pollution or the presence of fog in the air. One should not feel disappointed if the image is not too detailed at a first try. It takes a bit of adjustment and the right meteorological conditions to get the best performance out of this telescope. You may enrich it and extend its capabilities through adding accessories and upgrading the software. The telescope works well with accessories like a moon filter and especially with superior eyepieces.
Handling the telescope is easy – it can use hand control or be completely hands-free. The user may access the catalog with a simple push of a button to select celestial bodies. The same way, one may adjust the speed, extra info and more. A great feature of the software is being able to tell you whether or not a certain object in the sky is viewable at that specific time. It saves you from frustration and from wasting time. No need to have extensive astronomy knowledge – the software is there to help with really relevant data.
SLT stands for Star Locating Telescope and each model of this series will have certain features in common: the quick release fork arm mount, the SkyAlign technology, accessory tray, optical tube and an easy setup that requires no tools. All are made to observe not just the sky, but also the territory around you and all come with strong and highly stable tripods. Each model comes with a number of 75 enhanced images and lets you locate 4,000 objects in the sky. There are a few notable differences, however.
The 90 SLT Maksutov has a tube that measures 90 mm and has the well known Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design. Pay attention to the dimensions, as these represent the main difference.
I found the 102 SLT Refractor to be compatible with 2-inch eyepiece. The refractor is tube shaped and measures 102 mm. The mount is entirely computerized.
We also have the 130 SLT Newtonian, with a reflector of 130 mm and also works with 2-inch eyepieces.
It would be perhaps a very good idea to have a look at each model in this series and finally decide for the most suitable one.
Going back to the 127 SLT, it can be said that it is good for a wide range of users. I consider myself a beginner and therefore I can recommend this as a great entry-level telescope, one which also satisfies the more seasoned user through its superior performance. You can sometimes find the best suitable spare parts right at Celestron. There is very little required of you in order to use this telescope – in terms of effort as well as knowledge. SkyAlign will do almost everything for you. The technology employed can magnify up to 300x. If you’re into astronomy/sky observation but don’t want it to be “rocket science”, then you should consider this model.
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