If you have ever considered stepping into the wide world of astronomy, you’ll want to know where to start. The market for telescopes is wide and deep, with many great companies providing state-of-the-art commercial equipment to get you going.
Amongst those companies, you may have heard of one named Celestron.
Celestron has been a leading name in optical devices since 1964, providing a wide range of telescopes, binoculars, and microscopes. With a diverse range of products to choose from, it’s no wonder they’re a go-to source for beginner hobbyists and educational establishments.
From beginnings in military electronics and components, Celestron’s original owner Tom Johnson has kept his company on the leading edge of innovation. They have never wavered from providing the best in robust products. Their innovations even saw the first marketable computerized telescopes, making commercial scopes more compact and portable.
To suit your needs, buying from Celestron means buying high-quality components and telescopes, simple or complex.
Celestron makes different types of telescopes. The following are its core offerings:
Refractor lenses are designed to magnify images when aligned together. Due to their simple and robust design, refractor telescopes are ideal for beginners. They are less prone to alignment issues than reflector telescopes, making them great for long-term learning experiences.
Reflector telescopes use mirrors instead of lenses to help bring images into focus. They are brilliant at catching the light and are great for seasoned stargazers. Their manipulation takes more skill than refractor scopes and can occasionally fall victim to alignment issues.
A great reflector telescope for hobbyist gazers is the Astro Master 70AZ. This blue reflector telescope is great for both terrestrial and celestial viewing. Users of Astro Master 70AZ report great viewing clarity, with the telescope featuring all-glass-coated optics. It also stands out because of its pre-assembled tripod, which makes the Astro Master 70AZ extremely durable and sturdy.
Celestron’s biggest focus is Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, which the company is best known for. Cassegrain telescopes use a system of concave and convex mirrors to give users a beautiful view of the night sky. These are certainly not for beginners but make a great object to aspire to.
For example, the Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XTL is a Schmidt-Cassegrain model suited to professional and intermediate users. Known for its unique ergonomic design, the CPC 1100 telescope is easy to take from place to place, making it ideal for those on the go. Buyers also get a computerized dual fork arm altazimuth mount and a hand-controlled remote controller. Plus, it offers a a 2800 focal length
What to Consider When Buying A Celestron Telescope
So now you know what products Celestron provides, how do you know the best one to start with? Choosing your first telescope is no easy task, but a great way to start is to consider what it is you want, not in terms of an exact make or model, but your interests.
After all, what you want to do with your telescope will most determine which one you need.
How powerful do you want your telescope to be?
This question seems vague at first, but it’s pretty simple: do you want to view the deeper aspects of the sky or its overall design?
If you’re planning on getting into astronomy to explore the depths of space, you’ll need a telescope that can view far. This means the faraway nebulae or celestial bodies that the naked eye cannot see. If you’re more interested in sights such as constellations or the surface of the moon, then you’ll need a great field of view.
In the former case, you’ll need to consider the telescope’s focal length, the distance between the objective lens and the focal plane. The objective lens is the lens at the end of the telescope through which light enters, while the focal plane is the end you look through. Essentially, this means that the longer the distance between these two lenses, the farther the telescope can see.
However, this comes with the caveat that the field of view will be smaller. If you’re more interested in the latter, then you will need a telescope with a wider aperture, i.e., a bigger objective lens. The bigger the objective lens, the more you can see, but at the cost of viewing distance.
One example of a powerful Celestron telescope is NexStar 15SE telescope. It’s a great option if you want to view far-off distances with good clarity. This telescope has a 1250 mm focal length and a GPS sensor with self-adjustable timing. Its key features include a dual arm mount (the altazimuth type) and a 125mm aperture.
Anyone who appreciates astronomy is likely to value this optical piece. Celestron’s native NexStar computer-controlled technology is present in this affordable telescope.
How portable do you need it to be?
If you’re planning on exclusively stargazing from your backyard, then you’ll have no limits on the size of your telescope. However, if you’re planning on traveling to different viewing spots or have one in mine, you’ll need something transportable. Since you won’t have to move it, it won’t matter how difficult it is to move.
What sort of mounting system will you use?
Like whether you will be transporting your telescope, you’ll need to consider how you will mount it. Some telescopes have easy tripod mounts that are foldable and light. Others have much wider bases that require larger stable surfaces to hold them. If your chosen viewing spot does not have a solid table or surface like this, you’ll need a tripod or other such base.
Celestron has been making and releasing telescopes since the 1960s. So it’s no surprise that they have a ton of models in the marketplace. That means more options for you.
If you’re a stargazing beginner, the NextStar 102 XLT may be an affordable telescope for you. This fully computerized refractor telescope is a safe choice for any aspiring astronomer. Celestron has manufactured it with the highest quality materials and equipped it with many advanced features. Our favorite feature is the StarPointer finderscope, which makes it simple to align with both terrestrial and celestial viewing. Plus, you get 4000 celestial objects pre-programmed in the telescope’s fitted technology.
Want to put the telescope on a tabletop? The 2203 Ambassador makes a great candidate. This telescope is available in three models, one being a smaller tabletop version with an 80m aperture. It also features an objective 5mm lens, a cradle altazimuth mount, and a zoom-fixed brass eyepiece (15-45x power). The telescope weighs under 13 pounds, making it portable enough to carry around and take places. If you’re looking for a great combination of performance and aesthetics, this is a good option.
Will my viewing experience be like photographs I can see online?
Unfortunately, only commercially available telescopes can match the quality of NASA-grade astrophotography. Stargazing is worth it. While you won’t get to penetrate as deep into the cosmos as scientists do, few things can compare to the feeling of seeing space for yourself.
Can you compromise on the width of the aperture in exchange for the focal length?
As a hobbyist, you can always make sacrifices to explore different methods of viewing the stars. However, if you’re considering keeping your telescope for a long time and using it for your education or research, you can always maintain quality. Buy according to your desires, but remember that you will always appreciate better quality in the long run.
If you’re looking for a company to see you through your stargazing journey, Celestron is there for you! A brilliant maker of telescopes and other view pieces, Celestron’s dedication to design and quality makes them a go-to for both beginners and seasoned astronomers.