The Powerseeker 127eq is aimed at amateur astronomers who are looking to buy their first telescope and want a product that is affordable and can offer the performance needed to explore the beauty of the night sky. It is one of the most popular entry-level Newtonian reflector telescopes currently on the market.
This model performs very well and it is a beautiful instrument to behold, and truth be told, we expected nothing less from one of the most appreciated telescope manufacturers. It is part of the popular Powerseeker series which is specifically designed for aspiring astronomers and it delivers impressive value for money.
The telescope is very easy to use and portable, which means that the entire family can gather around it to explore the night sky since it can deliver crisp views of the Moon, Jupiter’s Galilean moons and the breathtaking rings of Saturn.
Once you get more used to it you can also turn the objective to distant celestial bodies and go beyond our solar system to explore the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy and many more.
Thus, if you’re in the market for an affordable entry-level telescope that can deliver great performance, the Celestron Powerseeker 127eq is a good start for any amateur stargazer.
Although this is a great scope that should please any amateur astronomer, it does have a small quirk that you should be aware of before buying and that we will explore right now. While the Newtonian Reflector design is one of the main advantages of this option since it produces exquisite images, it also comes with a small disadvantage.
For first time users, Newtonian Reflectors can take a bit of time to get familiar with aligning them (collimation). The process may take you a while to figure out but once you do, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of seconds to check and fine-tune the telescope before each use.
You need to be equipped with a lot of patience or have someone more experienced with you to guide you through the process of collimation. The good thing is that the instruction manual is very helpful and the internet is now full of free resources with step-by-step guides and video tutorials about collimation that will be very useful for any beginner who’s keen to learn.
Other than that, there is little else to say against this model once we take into account its low price point and the fact that it is aimed mainly at beginners.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($189)
Main features explained
The Powerseeker 127eq is a Newtonian Reflector and that means that it uses mirrors to gather light from the objects you are observing and then it reflects the light back to your eyes. The advantage of this option is that unlike glass lenses, mirrors are much less expensive to produce and that helps the manufacturer keep the price as low as possible.
While a Newtonian Reflector is indeed cheaper to produce, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the performance it offers is worse, quite the contrary. This design offers more value in terms of inches of aperture and the larger the aperture is, the clearer and more precise your view will be.
This option has an aperture of 127mm (5 inches) which is good for a starter to intermediate scope and it will allow you to get superb views of the Moon surface in great detail as well as bright planets, star clusters, and nebulas.
Even with a large aperture, a telescope still needs top-quality optical elements and the Celestron model features optical components made from fully coated glass with high-transmission aluminum. They help give more refinement and definition and are a sign of a high quality and premium design.
Portable and easy to use
The telescope is designed to be used by adults and kids alike, which is why it comes in a very compact, lightweight, and portable form factor. You can take it with you at your favorite campsite, dark sky observing site or you can just take it out in the backyard to have fun with the entire family.
While it is by no means the lightest option on the market, it certainly won’t weigh you down. Once you have it fully assembled with all the accessories you get in the pack, the unit will weigh only around 28 pounds. As far as size is concerned, it is not large at all so you’ll have no problem transporting it in your car.
Additionally, you won’t need any tool to mount this telescope and the assembly process can be completed in a matter of minutes and it is extremely easy to get a grasp of it. Beginners, in particular, will certainly appreciate this aspect and if you have any issues, you can use the included instruction manual.
There is also a link to an instruction video made by Celestron for people who find it much easier to follow video instructions as opposed to printed ones.
As any seasoned astronomer will probably notice from the “EQ” present in the product name, the Celestron Powerseeker 127eq comes fitted with an equatorial mount that will enable you to track the stars and other celestial bodies and compensate for the Earth’s rotation so that you don’t lose sight of what you’re observing.
Once you find the celestial body that you wish to explore, you simply need to move the axis of the mount left/right to keep it in your eyepiece. When compared to standard Alt-Azimuth tripods that need to be moved constantly up and down, and left and right to track an object, this option provides a much better experience for beginners.
The main issue with an equatorial mount is that it can be a bit confusing to align for the first time. The mount relies on equatorial movement and in order for it to provide accurate results, it needs to be aligned to the celestial pole star. It does sound a bit confusing, but there’s no need to worry too much about it.
Celestron has included detailed instructions on this matter and you can also find tons of video tutorials online that will show you everything you need to know about how to set up an equatorial mount the right way.
If you analyze the price and the optical performance that this telescope comes with, you will be very pleasantly surprised. This is one of the products that have the highest price-quality ratio on the market right now and considering that we are talking about a telescope for beginners, the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is pretty amazing.
For you to understand why the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ has high performance in terms of the optical quality, we are going to make a brief description of how a reflector telescope works. Telescopes work with light and they create the image you see by gathering the highest amount of light they can and increasing the size of the celestial objects you are looking at.
The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ does this by using 2 mirrors, one that gathers light, which in this case, as we have already said, has a diameter of 5 inches, and a secondary mirror that directs light to the eyepiece. The eyepiece is the lens you are looking through to see the image and this telescope comes with an eyepiece of 4 mm and one of 20 mm.
Included Barlow lens
Beginners do not usually have all the facts right from the beginning and, because most of the beginner users do not understand what a Barlow lens is, we are going to explain it to you so that you can maximize the use of this telescope and understand why the fact that you get one included is such a great thing for beginners.
Barlow lenses are usually designed as accessories that you have to attach to the telescope. We are not going to enter very technical details about the way they work, but the essential idea is that attaching such a lens to your telescope will magnify the power of the eyepiece. 5x Barlow lenses enhance the image you get out of the eyepiece 5 times.
The manufacturers have included a 3x Barlow lens in the package. The Barlow lens is used to magnify the image 3 times and you have to use it in combination with one of the eyepieces. Considering that this is a telescope for beginners, the magnification you can get using only these eyepieces and the Barlow lens is great.
Using the Barlow lens in combination with the 4mm eyepiece is not such a great idea, however, because you will get a magnification of 750x which is not useful because you won’t be able to see anything. Using it in combination with the 20mm eyepiece, on the other hand, will give you a magnification of 150 which is exactly how much you need as a beginner.
By using the telescope without any extra image-enhancing accessories, you will be able to get a magnification of 250x by using the 4mm eyepiece. This is possible due to the size of the 5-inch mirror, which is a great feature that many telescopes for beginners do not have.
The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ has a large aperture compared to other telescopes for beginners, which makes it a great choice for anyone who wants to look at celestial objects simply because you can get a clearer image compared to similar products in the line. The more light you get from the environment, the clearer the image will be.
The great thing about this telescope is that the secondary mirror, having a diameter of only 1.6 inches, will obstruct the light by only 32 percent in terms of diameter, which means about 10% of the surface. So, you see, the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is able to gather a lot of light because of its design, also.
Useful magnification is a term that is used for optical instruments and that refers to the range in which you will be able to see the image clear enough. Therefore, you have to have a minimum useful magnification and a maximum one. Keep in mind that the higher the magnification is, the lower the field of view will be.
The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ has a minimum magnification of 18x and a maximum useful magnification of 300x, which is quite a large range if you consider the fact that you can get this telescope for a low price.
You may be wondering how you can get a 300x magnification if we have previously said that the highest magnification you can get is of 250x. Well, you can get a 250x magnification using the accessories that the manufacturers include in the package, but you can get a 300x magnification using other accessories that you have to purchase separately.
The quality of the optical coating
When we talk about the quality of a telescope’s optical components, we have to consider the quality of the coating. The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ has an aluminum coating which enhances reflectivity. NASA used aluminum coating for Hubble, so you can imagine that this type of coating is very effective when it comes to light gathering.
It is true that there is another type of coating, the silver coating, that can offer higher clarity; however, the aluminum coating is usually the best for the needs of beginners because the difference a silver coating brings to the table when it comes to small telescopes is not that big and silver coatings will deteriorate sooner than the aluminum coatings due to environmental conditions.
The lenses that this telescope uses are multi-coated with high-quality layers, which means that they reduce the reflection of light to the maximum for you to be able to enjoy very clear images. Due to the reduction of light reflection and the large aperture, this telescope provides high resolution and high contrast levels.
The reason for which the manufacturers have chosen a German equatorial mount for this telescope is that it makes it easier for beginners to track moving objects in the sky. If you are not familiar with the term, the main thing you need to understand about it is that it uses one axis which is parallel to the Earth’s axis and its purpose is to compensate for the Earth’s rotation.
The fact that this telescope has a German equatorial mount is great because you will be able to more easily keep it fixed on any object in the sky that has a diurnal motion. What we like about the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is that it combines great optical quality with ease of use which is very important for beginners.
Even if things might seem complicated at first, it is important to understand that this is one of the most easy-to-use telescopes compared to others and, in time, you will be able to learn more complicated things to enhance your experience.
If you want to observe a moving celestial object using this scope, the only thing you will have to do is to move the left-right axis, which, compared to the azimuth mount, is a lot easier to do. We can not emphasize enough that the manufacturers have combined all these features to make your job easier as a beginner.
Great accessories included at a low price
Except for the type of mount that this telescope comes with, another great advantage that the Powerseeker 127EQ has is that it has an aluminum tripod included. The aluminum tripod is very durable, very sturdy and also lightweight, which means that you will be able to carry it around easily.
Even though it is not the sturdiest tripod out there, it has the capacity of keeping the telescope steady and you will be able to get very clear images using it. We recommend that you start by using it on even surfaces because it is not that steady on uneven ones.
The most important thing you have to consider if you are a beginner is that you will not use this telescope the way that experienced astronomers do, and this is why the tripod is exactly what you need in terms of how you are going to use it. This telescope, however, is useful also for intermediate astronomers and they might prefer a better tripod.
To summarize our analysis of the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ, we can say that this is a great telescope for beginners and the great thing about it is that it combines a lot of features that make it very easy to use for beginners and also intermediate astronomers. It is one thing to employ only one easy-to-use component and it is another to put them all together.
To top all these great features, the price-quality ratio is really great and this was, is, and will be one of the most useful telescopes for beginners. As a beginner, you might not be that fond of spending a lot of money on an optical instrument that you don’t even know how to use properly, so the price is definitely a plus.
The large aperture and the quality of the optical components of this instrument are great and, compared to other similar products in the line, this telescope does a great job in delivering images of great resolution and contrast levels considering its features. The fact that it is lightweight and easy to mount and move around also makes this telescope a great one.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($189)