Author Archives: Abraham Stuart

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Review: The Best Telescope For The Money?

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What makes this the best telescope for the money? Here’s my experience…

You can take the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope anywhere, set it up in a matter of minutes and this powerful tool will allow you to view neighboring planets, constellations, moons and nebulae in remarkable detail.

a picture of the celestron 8 seSolving the age old problem of long and tiring assembly, I love that the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope is able to be built and deconstructed almost instantly with ZERO tools required.

The expertly crafted steel tripod has an integrated wedge for optimal EQ alignment and feels extremely smooth to use while observing planets.

This telescope combines exceptional user-friendliness with sophisticated features to give you an unbelievable stargazing experience.

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope has built-in SkyAlign telescope alignment technology. Simply chose an object from the menu and the telescope will automatically locate it for you, saving you a considerable amount of time spent on trying to locate it yourself.

Not only will this device help you find thousands of galaxies, stars, planets, and much more at the touch of a button…

If you choose to use the “Tour” feature, it will offer a tailored list of the best objects in the sky to view from your exact time and location, no matter where in the world you may be. Simply enter the date and time (along with your location) into the hand held control panel, then position the telescope towards any three bright objects in the night’s sky, and watch as the telescope does the work for you. (this is my favorite feature!)

But it doesn’t stop there…

Oh no, after the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope finds objects for you, it will even educate you about them as well!

You don’t even need to know the names of the stars, because the Information on the most popular objects will appear on the LCD screen of your telescope’s hand held control panel.A picture of the celestron nexstar 8 se optical tube.

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE’s mirror incorporates revolutionary enhanced coatings for maximum light transmission and clarity, is GPS compatible, and comes with a 2 year warranty.

The Downsides:

  • Possibly cost. This telescope is firmly on the mid-range side as far as telescopes go, but if you love astronomy as much I do, it is definitely worth the investment.

Pros and Cons

Positives:

  • The Celestron Nextstar 8 SE comes with a 2 year guarantee. You can simply return the item if you are not satisfied with it.
  • 8 Inches of aperture means that the details in even the faintest of celestial objects are revealed.
  • The patented single fork arm mount makes the set-up quick and easy.
  • Nexstar+ hand control accurately locates over 40,000 celestial objects
  • SkyTour shows you the best objects currently visible.
  • SkyAlign technology makes aligning your telescope a breeze.
  • Can be controlled by your iPhone or iPad
  • As one of Celestron’s most beloved telescopes, you will never have to worry about finding replacement parts for it.

Negatives:

  • Some people may require time to get used to the device.
  •  It’s not ideal for small children to use.
  • As I mentioned before, the cost is firmly mid-range but it’s a steal when it comes to great telescopes.

Still not sure whether to invest your money in this telescope? Here are some reviews from other users!

” If I had to choose between [the Celestron Nexstar 6 SE or 8 SE], I’d say go for the 8 SE, because all other things being equal, aperture rules. I checked the specs for these and you get a lot for the money.”

-Reddit User jjlava

“I’ve had absolutely no regrets with it. Setup time is maybe 5 minutes if it’s already dark out, it’s relatively light, easy to use, and gives a great view. I bought mine for nearly $1200, and it’s well worth it.”

-Reddit User brent1123

“The Celestron Nexstar 8SE is fun, powerful, and [has] really good optics. The night I first used it I used the Skyalignment and [it] worked perfectly along with auto 2 star alignment. That night I saw Saturn in really good detail, and what was surprising was I was able to see Swan Nebula and Hercules Cluster all from a heavy light polluted sky.”

-Amazon Verified Purchaser, Bammieb

“This review is for the NexStar 8 SE, the 8 inch one … Easy to put together and set up. Make sure you get the AC adapter because it eats through the batteries pretty quickly. Even though it’s an Alt- Azimuth mount (not an equatorial) it tracks objects pretty well. [talking about the attached pictures] The final result is 50 10-sec frames stacked. You can see a video of the whole thing on youtube under Nm7Pxb3jENs.”

-Amazon Verified Purchaser, Herb H

Celestron Nexstar 8 SE FAQs:

1. How long does it take to set up?

About 5 minutes, with no tools needed.

2. Do you need to be an astronomer to know how to use it?

No, celestron has tons of instructional videos on their youtube channel and each telescope comes with it’s own user manual so it’s easy for you to get the most out of your telescope.

3. How much does the Celestron Nexstar 8 SE cost?

It is not in line with Amazon policy for me to give an exact price of their products on my website because it’s subject to change, so the best way to check the current price is to visit the Amazon page itself here.

4. What if it breaks?

This Celestron comes with a free 2 year warranty, you can send in your broken telescope and have it repaired by the manufacturer themselves.

The Final Verdict…

If you’re starting your journey into astronomy for the first time, or if you’re a veteran astronomer looking for a portable scope with meticulously developed features, a Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope is a sound choice of equipment. It really doesn’t get any better than this!

4.5/5 Stars (Yeah it’s that good)

If you would like to own this phenomenal machine, I highly recommend you buy it online through Amazon here, you won’t find a new one this cheap anywhere.

 

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The Celestron 21061 Astromaster Telescope Review: Best Telescope Under 200 Dollars!

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The Celestron 21061 Astromaster 70AZ puts the relaxation back in stargazing by keeping the money in your wallet!

celstron 21061 astromaster The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope, with such great value (given it’s price range), is more than worth it for young children or amateur astronomers!

Read what other people who bought this have said here.

This telescope comes with a one-of-a-kind software program called “The Sky“. It features more than 10,000 items in it’s planetarium database to correctly identify celestial objects.

The AstroMaster uses glass optics in the refractory component of the scope, which means light is gathered and bent to provide a clearer picture of a far away object.

Rather than awkwardly looking straight through an eyepiece at the end of the telescope, the 21061 has an optical viewer that a person of any size can comfortably look into by simply leaning over. When in use with the affixed StarPointer feature, it is much easier to find magnified objects.

The long scope mounts on an already assembled tripod, the handle right below it allows for panning side-to-side for the optimal view, it can also be moved up or down to meet the height of the viewer, from tall men to small children.

While adult assembly of the unit is required, no tools are needed and the telescope can be used with little to no supervision, with consideration to the age of the youth. The whole thing weighs about 20 pounds and can be moved or positioned fairly easily by adults.

Unlike most tripods, the 21061 model is sturdy. With legs 1.25 inches in diameter, it will withstand movement during use without tipping over.

A convenient tray located on the tripod may be used to hold small items while stargazing or bird watching.

Capable of providing clear on-earth and space images, this telescope will give it’s user hours of educational fun. Good news for those looking to buy this telescope – you can get it really cheap on Amazon through this link!

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Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Showcase: A Great Home Telescope For Kids!

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Why the Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT is the best children’s telescope:

celestron 130 slt product image

I was constantly awed by astronomy and space as a kid, it motivated me to go out and earn a degree in astrophysics that allows me to have a great job and enjoy doing what I love.

Today, my children are at the perfect age (10 & 13) to be impassioned with this hobby just like I was, so I chose to buy this telescope for them and even though I got it at a pretty cheap cost ($499!), I knew the look on their faces would be priceless.

The model I decided on was the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT and it turned out to be a great choice…

Assembling it was not a hassle and we finished in a couple of minutes (the parts were lightweight and we had no problem carrying them). Right away, I was amazed at how far these scopes have progressed since I was young…

The lens’ 130 mm reflector works so much better than the 90 mm designs of my old models and with over 2 times more light-gathering capacity!

Not to mention the color-correction feature makes everything seem closer and colors more vibrant!

However, the real eye-opener came with it’s motorized mount features; high-tech software named “SkyAlign” alignment technology uses the “StarPointer Finderscope” along with a red LED laser to automatically move the telescope and pinpoint objects in the sky so you can sit back and let the telescope do all the work.

Remarkably, it has knowledge of more than 4,000 space objects and we were able to swiftly locate ones like the planet Saturn, and even something obscure like the globular cluster in the constellation Hercules (M13).

All of these striking tech features meant that once my children got hold of it, it was hard to get them off and send them to sleep. Now they know how to operate this particular telescope better than I can and when their friends come over, they run to it to show them this planet or that moon.

It proved to be not just a toy or a cheap techno gimmick (like most things for kids these days), but a brilliant learning tool, and this was exactly what I wanted, something that would not only capture their tiny attention spans but educate them also.

I do not know how long their obsession with this will be and perhaps I will have to supplement it with other edu-science gadgets one day, but I saw that it was one of the best things I could do for them at this stage of their development.

Features

The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT is ahead of it’s class when it comes to other telescopes within the same price range. It offers an astounding amount of features for an excellent price. The sleek, head-turning design together with the features I mention in the next section, make it a true pleasure to use.

The most eye-catching features on this unit include:

  • Two inch eyepiece compatibility
  • Wide field views
  • High quality 130 mm reflector
  • 30% more light gathering power than the previous 114mm model
  • The StarPointer finderscope helps you perfectly align the telescope, allowing you to precisely locate objects
  • The computerized Altazimuth mount puts the power in your hands, enabling you to accurately pinpoint over 4000 interstellar objects along with galaxies and stars
  • Quick, tool free setup, which is made possible by the quick-release fork arm mount, optical tube and accessory tray
  • Durable stainless steel tripod
  • Included CD-ROM titled “The Sky”, which will educate you on what you will be seeing through this telescope and also gives you printable maps

User Reviews

Other owners can’t stop raving about the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT! Here’s what some of them are saying:

“This telescope’s view is exceedingly crisp and the alignment process is simple. It weighs in at about 18 pounds and that makes it easier to transport. It is most definitely worth the money.”

-Phillip Matthews, filipmat.us

“I live in a large neighborhood. I’m surrounded by fences and trees and that has always been a hindrance while watching the sky. This telescope, along with the two inch eyepiece, have allowed me to view the sky perfectly even in the midst of all the clutter and lights. I can’t imagine using any other telescope.”

-Amazon Verified User, Jon Beltran

“My whole family enjoys using this telescope. The diversity of it being good enough for me to use and simple enough for my children to use is great. My search for an amazing telescope is over!”

-Amazon Verified User, Hank Vera

Pros and Cons

Positives:

  • Great telescope for kids to use, it educates and takes all the unnecessary work out of setting-up a great view.
  • Simple design allows for quick assembly, even my kids can do it by themselves (as long as I’m watching them though, haha).
  • Telescope alignment can be really tricky if you don’t know how to do it, the “Skyalign” makes this step extremely easy so the only thing you need to do is gaze at the stars.
  • If you don’t know what to look for but want to see some beautiful sights, the “skytour” will show you the best things in the sky, just put in your location, time and date.
  • 2 full years of warranty, if your telescope breaks (ours hasn’t, but accidents happen.) then send it to Celestron and they will fix it for you.

Negatives:

  • It doesn’t have as much feature as something like the Celestron Nexstar 8 SE, but that telescope is in a different price range. I personally paid $499 and got more than what I paid for.
  • My Daughter was upset with the fact that they don’t make them in pink (c’mon Celestron! haha).

Telescope FAQs

How much does it cost?

It is not in line with Amazon policy for me to give an exact number since it is subject to change, so the best way to check the price is by going directly to the amazon page here.

What does 130mm reflector mean?

130mm is the aperture or “size” of the telescopes mirror, the bigger that number is, the sharper and brighter your view will be.

All those techno gadgets sound complicated to use, how skilled do you have to be to operate this telescope?

Anyone should be able to operate this telescope fairly easily, there is a user manual included and tons of helpful set-up videos on celestron’s youtube channel.

What do I do if my telescope breaks?

In the unlikely event your telescope breaks, (these things are sturdy!), there is a free 2 year warranty with the purchase of your telescope, simply send it to Celestron and they will fix it for you.

My Final Verdict

Yes, yes, yes, my kids and I love this great telescope and I’m sure it will stay in our home for years to come! it’s cool watching the telescope rotate itself and having it educate my children on different space objects. The looks on their faces filled my heart with warmth and I hope this continues to cultivate in them a sense of curiosity and wonder with the world. If this sounds like something you would also want for your kids, you can get it on sale here.

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Orion Spaceprobe 130ST EQ Telescope: Perfect for the Occasional Observer!

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Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Telescope Review

product image of orion spaceprobe I’m really loving my Orion 130ST, it comes in handy whenever I’m in the mood for a spontaneous stargaze. With it’s compact size, and beautiful image quality, the value you get for the price is almost a steal.

If you want to read what other people have said about this scope click here.

Even though there is a small amount of light pollution in my area, I have a pretty great view of everything I want to look at. It is no problem at all to simply point the telescope and see Jupiter’s moons or Venus in amazing detail.

The scope, only about 24 inches long, is a breeze to maneuver and attach/remove on the mount. Of all the scopes I have used, this one falls on the lower end of the weight spectrum which is always a good thing. As I plan my camping trip to Garner State Park, I know I am definitely bringing this baby along. It can be assembled extremely quickly; and  be ready to use in as little time as five minutes.

The 130ST has a diffraction-limited F5 parabolic primary mirror, which supplies a lot of light and produces crystal-clear images with excellent depth. The secondary mirror has advanced technology that provides more light and helps to eliminate diffraction spikes.

The eyepieces, manufactured by “Plossl,” are what most telescope-enthusiasts believe higher-quality than the “Kellner” eyepieces that can be commonly found in a scope around this price range. The scope’s focal length is 650mm, which is great because it makes for a really wide field of view that results in a superior image.

Overall, I would highly recommend the 130ST telescope to beginners who are looking for a high-quality scope and to intermediate stargazers who are looking for great performance. The value for the price is exceptional. It comes with a one-year warranty, which is good in case something goes wrong, although my 130ST has never given me any trouble.

If you are trying to buy this telescope, I highly recommend you buy it from Amazon here. You will not find this cheaper anywhere on the market.

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Celestron C6-S GT XLT Telescope: The Most Powerful Cassegrain Telescope On Amazon!

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My Celestron C6-S GT XLT Telescope Review

Product image of the celestron C6-S GTI originally bought the Celestron C6-S GT XLT for my father on father’s day but now after watching him use it, I’m seriously considering buying this model for myself. This telescope has a ton of useful features that not only allow it’s user to look at the stars but explore them as well. It is even light weight and effort-less to transport.

Technical Specifications:

  • Optical Design: 150mm (6″) Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Focal Length: 1500mm f/10
  • Tripod: adjustable 2″ Steel Leg Tripod with Accessory Tray/Leg Brace
  • Object database: 40,000+
  • Communication port: RS-232 on hand control

The Celestron C6-S GT XLT Advanced Series 6″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope boasts an amazing 1500mm focus length for the best in viewing capabilities available in a personal telescope. With the Advanced GT computerized mount that comes with this model telescope, you get some of the best some of the best Tin software and hardware features available.

This telescope features Celestron’s patented (and proven) Nexstar computer control technology, giving the user access to a database that has over 40,000 objects to discover and learn about.

With the RS-232 communication port that is featured on the hand controls you can control the Celestron C6-S GT XLT Advanced Series 6″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope with the use of your own personal computer. When designing this amazing telescope, Celestron even incorporated an automatic guider port for astrophotography.

With the use of the two inch steel leg tripod plus accessory tray and leg brace, you can set up your new Celestron C6-S GT XLT Advanced Series 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope anywhere you want for the best viewing of the universe.

The great software and hardware included in this model telescope is an excellent tool for children as well as adults and is perfect for everyone from the inquisitive beginner to the most advanced astronomer.

If you want to buy this telescope, you can get it cheapest here online through Amazon.com.

But you don’t just have to take my word for how great this product is.

Here is what Robert Peterson, a current user has to say about this telescope:

“When considering the purchase of this telescope, I was a little hesitant. It was delivered in three separate boxes and I had to put it together, but it was easy to do. I began exploring the various features and settings as soon as I had the telescope assembled. This telescope gives you the ability to reset the settings to the factory originals so you cannot mess anything up by exploring your new telescope. This model is designed to transport from one location to another if you like to travel around very easily.”

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