Telescopes from Celestron – Buying Guide & Comparison
Whether you’re an amateur stargazer or an experienced astronomer looking to find the best telescope from Celestron, we’re here to help. We know that browsing through dozens of pages with technical info on each of the plethora of telescope models can be time-consuming, and this is why we have done the job for you. Celestron is a legendary brand which popularized the telescope and brought it to the masses. While it has many great models for sale, we have found that the Celestron NexStar 6 is the best when considering technical specs, features, and price. It comes with the latest coatings on its glass components, has a large 6-inch aperture, a GoTo mount with a database of 40,000 objects, an easy to use fork mount as well as quality eyepieces and other accessories. In case this model runs out of stock, then you should definitely consider the Celestron NexStar 8.
Finding a good Celestron telescope can be tough these days, with so many things to compare between models, such as focal length, aperture and mounts, and so many Celestron telescope reviews to read. If these terms confuse you, or you simply don’t have the time to do a lot of reading, then you should be glad to learn that we have compiled a short guide which should help you find the best telescope for your needs and budget without allocating dozens of hours to do your own research.
Apertures and image quality
One of the main technical details you often hear about when looking for a telescope is the aperture. This can be described as the diameter of the main mirror or lens which captures light bounced by bright objects. The biggest the aperture, the more light can the telescope capture, resulting in brighter images. But brightness isn’t the only benefit to a large aperture, as its size is also directly related to the level of details. A telescope with a larger aperture will be able to resolve more details, thus have a higher resolution with better and sharper details.
But depending on what you want to study as well as your budget, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money only to get a large aperture telescope. The quality of components also contributes to resolution power, as finely-ground glass mirrors will bring out more detail while being more expensive than lower-quality glass components.
While this may surprise you, the aperture of any given telescope does not affect magnification. What does affect magnification is the focal length of the telescope or lens and the eyepieces you use.
The focal length is the distance between the main lens through which light enters the telescope and the focal plane where the image is formed. This distance is usually measured in millimeters. So a 700 telescope has a focal length of 700 millimeters or 28 inches. Eyepieces have their own focal lengths. The magnification or power of any given telescope is obtained by dividing the focal length of the lens by that of the eyepiece. A 500-millimeter telescope with a 25 mm eyepiece will have a standard magnification of 20.
You can always increase magnification by adding an eyepiece with a shorter focal length. However, you should try not to exceed the maximum useful magnification, which is usually double the aperture number in millimeters or 50 times higher than its value in inches.
Stability is important
With telescopes, it doesn’t matter how large the aperture is or how much magnification you have if you don’t have a stable mount. Without a solid base to rest the telescope on, the image will not only shake in all directions, but it would also be challenging to hold a specific object into the field of view or focus properly.
Fortunately, many telescope models come with great mounts which allow you to easily track celestial objects and to lock on them while also taking into account Earth’s movement.
Top Celestron telescopes reviews in 2017
By getting the right telescope, you will be able to admire Moon’s craters, Saturn’s rings and even far-away objects such as other solar systems, nebulae, and distant galaxies. We have compiled a list of top rated models on the market so that you get to choose the best Celestron telescope to satisfy your passion.
Benefiting from the same iconic orange-tube design that made the series famous in the 70s, the Celestron NexStar 6 comes with all the features and extras you’ve come to expect from this legendary manufacturer. With a 6-inch aperture, this telescope will allow you to closely observe the Moon in high detail, study planets in our solar system as well as look at deep sky objects such as the Orion Nebula.
With this model, you also get a fully computerized GoTo mount which contains a database of a whopping 40,000 celestial objects that it can automatically locate and track. You also get to align your telescope easily by using 3 single bright objects, thanks to the new SkyAlign technology.
You can dismantle the steel tripod, and single-arm fork mount into smaller parts, and that, combined with the compact body of the telescope, should allow you to carry it with you anywhere with ease.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($798.99)
With a long focal length, the Celestron NexStar 8 is the perfect Schmidt-Cassegrain for your star-gazing passion. With a lens focal length of 80 inches, you can view distant celestial objects at great magnification, while the 8-inch aperture will gather more light, allowing you to see everything in finer detail, from the Moon to the distant Whirlpool Galaxy.
Thanks to the GoTo mount, you have the opportunity to view nearly 40,000 celestial objects, and the best part is that the telescope can find and locate any of these for you.
With the standard 25 mm eyepiece, you get to enjoy a magnification of 81x, with a maximum of 480 x useful magnification, opening up the sky to plenty new opportunities to observe. With a compact body and foldable mount and tripod, the Celestron NexStar 8 is the perfect companion to delight yourself either on trips or at home.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1199)
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ is an entry-level model which comes with plenty of good features for stargazing enthusiasts. Thanks to the long focal length of 700 mm or 28 inches, you can enjoy watching distant celestial objects without having to pay a huge amount of money.
With a 70 mm or 2.76-inch aperture, this telescope is able to gather plenty of light and offer a good amount of detail even on distant planets, while the fully-coated glass components will further increase the image quality and remove chromatic aberrations and other optical defects.
With a 20-mm eyepiece, you benefit from 35 x magnification, while the 3x Barlow lens will triple that and make all objects appear even closer. The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ also comes with astronomy software which contains a database of 10,000 objects as well as several printable sky maps which are perfect for beginners.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($109)
The Celestron FirstScope is the perfect telescope for a beginner. It is small and easy to use, equipped with a 300 mm or 12-inch lens. Despite its small size, its aperture is anything but small, measuring 76 mm or 2.99 inches and able to deliver remarkable detail considering the low price this model usually sells for.
You get a 15 x magnification factor which is more than enough to observe the Moon or planets in our solar system, as well as some distant objects. This model is actually a Newtonian reflector, using a reflector optical tube instead of glass elements which makes it cheap, yet still able to provide good quality imagery.
The Celestron FirstScope is also lightweight, and thanks to its table-top design, you can easily transport it or store it in your car and ensure that you get to enjoy great moments no matter where you go.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($45.8)
AstroMaster 114 EQ
The Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ is a 1000 mm (39 in) telescope which is perfect for astronomy enthusiasts. The large 4.49-inch aperture has excellent light-gathering abilities so that you can watch the moon and observe its craters in high detail.
This model is easy to setup and use. You don’t need any tools to start watching your favorite planets or terrestrial objects. Equipped with a German Equatorial mount, this telescope can accurately locate as well as track sky objects while the sturdy steel tripod provides a stable and solid platform to improve accuracy and image clarity.
All glass components are coated using the latest technologies, removing chromatic aberrations and other imperfections while ensuring that you get crystal clear details on far away objects. You also get to use the mounted StarPointer as well as the comprehensive database which contains sky maps, 10,000 objects as well as 75 enhanced images.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($178.84)