If you want a telescope with plenty of features, that won’t cost a fortune, and gives up to 307x magnification, the Celestron Astromaster 130 series is a wise choice. There are two versions of this telescope available, the ‘EQ’ and ‘MD’ models.
The MD is motorized, but other than that, they are identical. This is a Newtonian, or Reflector telescope, which is very high quality for the money, and easy to use, making it suitable for beginners and more experienced alike. It’s a good looking device as well.
The aperture size is 130mm, and the focal length, (length of the body), is 650mm, and it weighs 28lb, making it quite compact and easy to carry around. The telescope is supported on sturdy steel tube legs, with an accessory tray adding rigidity, so it’s resistant to movement or shake when you are trying to concentrate on an object, and it all fits together quickly and easily, with no tools needed.
On the telescope body itself, you will find a permanently fixed Star Pointer, which makes lining up the telescope easier, and a German Equatorial mount. Using this mount, you simply follow the instructions provided to get a Polar Alignment, and you can then use the setting circle to locate any objects. A counterweight helps make tracking of objects much easier.
The lenses are all coated in aluminum for a sharp image, and longer life, and two eyepieces are provided with the basic kit. The 10mm eyepiece gives you a magnification of 65x, and the 20mm eyepiece gives you 32.5x magnification.
The maximum magnification for the whole telescope becomes 307x, more than enough to see details of Saturn’s rings, distant nebulae, and Jupiter’s moons. The Celestron Astromaster 130 is also designed to operate as a terrestrial telescope, so you can see closer objects in amazing detail.
The motor driven model makes tracking of objects far easier. Software is provided with a database of over 10,000 objects, and once you have located what you want to look at, the motor will automatically track it, saving you a lot of time and effort trying to keep a moving object in your field of view.
Celestron also supply a great accessories kit, which contains six eyepieces, from 4mm to 32mm, a number of color filters, to highlight details and a 2x Barlow lens, which effectively doubles the magnification. It would have been useful to have some instructions on which color filters to use for which objects, but it shouldn’t take long to decide which is best for you.
In all, the Celestron Astromaster 130 is a fantastic choice for the telescope, – not too complicated, simple to set up, powerful, and well made. To get it at the best price, I recommend going to Amazon where, at the time of writing, there were some good offers on. Amazon also have loads of customer reviews for this item.