Best Celestron Telescope 2021; Reviews

Here in this “Best Celestron Telescope” article we’ve rounded up 18 of the best Celestron telescopes of various types, specifications, and budget perfectly suited for beginners, intermediates or advanced astronomers.. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each, as well as an elaborate buying guide to help you pick out the one that suits you the most.

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Celestron has been a pioneer in producing world class telescopes since the early 60s. In the late 1950s, Tom Johnson, founder of Celestron, built a telescope from scratch to introduce his sons to the wonders of stargazing. What began as a hobby soon grew to be Johnson’s driving passion—Celestron.

Johnson devised a new manufacturing process to make high-quality telescopes more affordable. Before Celestron, Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes (SCTs) were produced individually by master optical craftsmen who spent hours hand-figuring the glass. 

He streamlined this process by developing ultra-precise match plates, which allowed for mass production of the Schmidt corrector. This technique allowed Johnson to create telescopes of unparalleled quality and bring them to market at a surprisingly low price.

Our comprehensive review of the best Celestron telescopes will introduce you to some amazing telescopes that will enable you to scope out this stellar scenery and satisfy your cosmos curiosity.

best celestron telescope

Best Celestron Telescope 2021

Since there are so many options available in the market today, we did a survey among fellow astronomy enthusiasts, and consulted 3 in-house experts and came up with 14 popular of the best Celestron telescopes.

We have tried our best to include a Celestron telescope for everyone and for all-level users, from beginner to professional, for backyard astronomy to astrophotography. 

Best For Beginners

Celestron – AstroMaster 114EQ

The Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ reflector telescope is a great beginner telescope for an adult or a teenager. It’s 4.5” mirror will provide clear and bright images of the Moon, the planets, and dozens of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the great star cluster in Hercules, and much more.

 It features all-glass optical elements, smooth operating steel tripod mountings with manual motion controls, and coated optics for enhanced image brightness and clarity. The quick-release, no-tool dovetail attachment makes setup a breeze. It’s all anchored by a rugged, pre-assembled tripod with 1.25-inch steel tube legs, providing a rigid and stable platform. 

The scope is outfitted with a 1.25 rack-and-pinion focuser and two eyepieces (20mm & 10mm) to get new users started, and an unmagnified red-dot finder to help set-up, align and navigate easier.

The Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ reflector telescope comes with a 4.5” mirror as its light-gathering source, and with optics that large, an amateur astronomer can see millions of light years into the Universe.

With the telescope, you will also receive a wonderful piece of software with the Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ reflector telescope. 

TheSkyX First Light Edition planetarium software can be loaded on your computer to help assist you with an observing plan. It has a 10,000 object database and enhanced images of celestial objects

Pros:

  • Easy to setup and use
  • Versatile telescope
  • Excellent optics for the price
  • Sturdy, retractable tripod
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Modest focuser
  • Not good for astrophotography

Best Under $1500

Celestron – NexStar 6SE

The NexStar 6SE offers consumers the proven quality of the Celestron brand in a compact, portable, and technologically advanced telescope. 

Click here to read Celestron NexStar 6SE’s full review.

The scope’s 6-inch aperture, portable design, fully functional computer, and extensive database, among other features, make it easy to use, easy to transport, and easy to enjoy regardless of experience level. The NexStar 6SE is quite evidently the best celestron telescope under $1000 on our list.

The NexStar 6SE is a 6-inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope, which has an actual aperture of 150 mm and focal length of 1,500 mm, giving it a focal ratio of f/10. The OTA comes on a Vixen-style dovetail bar, which fits into the dovetail saddle on the mount.

The telescope also comes with a 1.25” prism diagonal, 25 mm Plossl eyepiece (providing 60x when used with the 6SE) and Celestron’s StarPointer, which is a zero-power red-dot-style finder.

The Celestron NexStar 6 SE is a solid and sturdy telescope, perfect for home use and astrophotogaphy.

The Celestron NexStar 6 SE is easy to align with Celestron’s SkyAlign Go-To Alignment system

On average it takes a new telescope user approximately 5 minutes to do a full sky alignment with the NexStar 6 SE. 

Once aligned, the telescope is incredibly easy to operate. The hand controller on the NexStar 6SE allows you to move the telescope at your discretion. If you are looking for a telescope that can help you transition from beginner to a bit advanced astronomer without much guidance then look no further than the NexStar 6SE as it one of the best rated Celestron telescope that money can buy.

The NexStar 6SE’s hand controller offers a tour of the night sky and easily allows you to locate planets, galaxies or any of the 40,000 celestial objects in its database.

To power the 6SE you have two options, 8x AA batteries or 12v DC power supply. The 8x AA batteries would last you about 3 hours (included alignment of finderscope and general terrestrial viewing and the 40 minute observation session). 

You can download all the available upgrades from Celestron’s website. In this way, you can keep your telescope up to date, and you can even control your telescope via computer.

The 6SE makes a good choice for consumers living in areas with light-pollution who are looking for clarity and accuracy in their viewing experience. 

It is also one of the best computerized telescopes for beginners under $1000 who are willing to invest a fair sum of money into the hobby in order to learn more about the star gazing experience. Also, the 6SE is a good choice even for more experienced star gazers who wish to have a more portable scope for easier transport and for viewing deep space objects.

Pros:

  • Easy to mount and to use
  • Good optics
  • It’s very sturdy and low maintenance
  • Motorised and automated GoTo mount
  • Portable, fits perfectly in the back of any normal car

Cons:

  • 8 AA batteries tend to drain out fairly quickly
  • User manual and instructions are not very clear
Related

Best Portable Celestron Telescope

Celestron – AstroMaster 130EQ

The telescope is fitted with a 1.25 rack-and-pinion focuser and two eyepieces to get new users started – a 10mm that yields 65x power and a 20mm for a 32.5x magnification. 

The 20mm eyepiece integrates an erecting system to correct images horizontally and vertically to allow easy terrestrial use. 

The AstroMaster 130EQ also features an unmagnified red-dot finder to help set-up, align and navigate easier.

Celestron’s AstroMaster 130EQ 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope features a 650mm focal length and an oversized parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.

The 130EQ comes on a lightweight German equatorial mount that works well enough for the 130 mm f/5 OTA, and it should work okay with a DSLR camera piggybacked on top.

Since it can get quite hard to keep the object in the view because of the Earth’s rotation, there is an upgrade for this mount to help you with that. 

It is a simple clock motor which you turn on after you get the object in the view and it will track the object keeping it in the middle of the eyepiece. It’s much easier to stargaze like this rather than twisting the knobs while looking through the eyepiece. The motor is not included but it can be bought separately.

best celestron telescope

The Celestron’s AstroMaster 130EQ is one of the best budget Celestron telescopes for beginners as not only is it great for planetary viewing, with the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn being star attractions, but being a reflector telescope with a wide aperture, it could be one of the cheapest telescopes on offer that can decently display deep space objects.

At just 17 lbs total weight and thanks to its compact design, the Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ is very portable. You can take it literally everywhere with you, unlike heavier and bulkier telescopes for professional use.

Pros:

  • Very good optics
  • Decently priced telescope
  • Suitable for beginners as well as advanced users
  • Clear crisp mirrors

Cons:

  • Focuser is of limited usability
  • No filters included

Best Budget Telescope

Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ

The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ telescope is a Newtonian reflector, which means it uses mirrors to gather the light of the skies, and reflects it for viewing. With mirrors being much less expensive to produce than glass lenses, reflector telescopes offer more value in terms of inches of aperture.

The PowerSeeker 127EQ comes with two eyepieces (4mm and 20mm) and a 3x Barlow lens.

The 5-inch mirror on the 127mm PowerSeeker model limits useful magnification to about 250x, which is achieved using the 4mm eyepiece.

The larger 20mm eyepiece provides a more useful 50x magnification. This grows to 150x when coupled with the 3x Barlow.

If you’re considering an additional eyepiece, something like a 15mm Plossi would be a good option. This provides you with 66x magnification, or 198 when coupled with the Barlow. 

The telescope is ideal for near and deep-sky observation, Celestron’s PowerSeeker 127EQ 127mm f/8 Reflector Telescope features a respectable focal length and a large, parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve bright distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies. 

The beauty of a Newtonian telescope is the longer focal lengths which can be offered in much shorter tube sizes—1000mm focal length in a tube which is only 20 inches (508mm) long . 

best celestron telescope

The PowerSeeker 127EQ is highly portable and one of the best cheap Celestron telescopes. You could easily fit this telescope and tripod in the trunk of a car and still have room for your other equipment, or maybe a late night picnic.

Additionally, you receive a copy of Starry Night astronomy software with a database of over 10,000 celestial objects.

Considering the telescope’s low price, compromises had to be made, and one such compromise is the use of a spherical mirror rather than a parabolic mirror. 

Optical aberrations tend to be more common with spherical mirrors. This telescope does, however, feature an erect image diagonal for the right way up images, which prevents some aberration.

This telescope comes with an Equatorial mount, designed for astronomy telescopes. Included are two manual slow-motion controls, these allow for smoother tracking of objects as they pass across the night sky. 

The tripod is made of aluminum, although lightweight, it is robust, solid and also comes with a very handy accessory tray which lets you keep extra eyepieces and T-rings for a camera, close to hand.

Pros:

  • Solid build quality
  • Stable mount
  • Comes with a 3x Barlow lens

Cons:

  • Spherical mirror leads to some amount of aberrations
  • Occasional collimation of the mirrors required

Best For Astrophotography

Celestron CPC 800 XLT 

The Celestron CPC 800 comes with its own SkyAlign feature by the NexStar Computer Control Technology. Simply follow the directions in the screen and wait for a few minutes while the system aligns to the chosen star or celestial body. 

This computerized telescope from Celestron comes with a solid build so you know it will last for years. The drive base and CPC tripod are constructed from sturdy materials which ensures plenty of stability no matter where you decide to set the telescope up.

The Celestron CPC 800 is state of the art fork-mounted Schmidt-Cassegrain scope. It includes the premium StarBright XLT coatings. 

It features an internal GS receiver, which downloads the date and time automatically from orbiting satellites, pinpointing its exact position on earth. 

The telescope has an 8 inch aperture. An 8 inch aperture guarantees that you will be able to view thousands of stars, planets and other deep space objects while the telescope is still portable enough for easy set-up and use.

Its SkyAlign technology allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process and with a 9×50 optical finderscope it helps you look for your desired celestial objects.

best celestron telescope

It comes with a 1.25″ star diagonal along with a 40mm Plössl eyepiece that yields 51x magnification. The motorized dual-tine fork mount has dual-axis servo motors that provide precision movements and an integrated 16-channel GPS receiver that sends information to the hand controller and requires limited input from the user. 

The included stainless steel tripod helps reduce vibrations to ensure clear resolution during observation or imaging sessions.

The Celestron 800 XLT is one of the best Celestron telescopes for astrophotography and deep space objects because of its extraordinary optics and heavy-duty mount.

Additionally, it comes with sturdy handles that allow you to comfortably lift and move the telescope from one location to another. 

The large levers and knobs are easy to hold and use. 

It also comes with a star diagonal that provides a more comfortable viewing position when observing deep space objects.

The Goto feature works well once all objects are aligned, also the hand control is easy to use while the button layout is also easy to master. 

It’s convenient to be able to choose a variety of objects with the touch of a button. This means that even if you aren’t an expert on star names and constellations, you can still get to viewing right away. Also, needless to say, that the view from the scope is outstanding.

Pros:

  • Easy to setup and use
  • Amazing optics produce great quality images
  • Perfect for astrophotography and viewing deep space objects
  • The GoTo system is remarkable
  • Tripod and mount are both extremely steady
  • Light gathering capacity 843x greater than the human eye

Cons:

  • Bright power light
  • Doesn’t come with a power cord

Best Under $1000

Celestron – NexStar 130SLT

The NexStar 130SLT is a unique reflector telescope from Celestron. The reflector technology uses mirrors to obtain the maximum amount of light possible and therefore to produce images of remarkable clarity, even when located deep in space.

It’s a 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope which is a complete platform for making observations of the Moon, planets, and bright deep-space objects such as binary stars, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae.

With a focal length of 650mm, this model is an f/5 scope. F/5 scopes are fairly fast, meaning that you have a wide field of view, which is useful for short exposure astrophotography of big portions of the sky.

The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT  is one of the best computerized Celestron telescope and it  removes the issue of struggling to find a planet or star using a paper star map. 

With the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope comes a handheld computer that features SkyAlign technology incorporated right into the telescope, automatically finding and pointing the telescope to the planet or star that you would like to see by way of a few button presses.

This is an ideal telescope if you plan to travel or do some outdoor stargazing.

This telescope comes with a pre-assembled, adjustable stainless-steel tripod, quick release fork arm, NexStar+ computerized hand control, 130mm Newtonian Reflector optical tube, and lots of amazing accessories.

best celestron telescope

The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is designed to maximize celestial views. The scope does so by using its reflector method to bring about clear views of details such as the Hercules globular cluster, stars, or the Great Orion Nebula. These views are made possible by the telescope’s ability to use mirrors to collect and distribute the light that creates the detailed views of far away objects. 

The computerized hand control of this SLT telescope gives you the ability to automatically slew to any of its 40,000+ objects, including over 600 galaxies, 300 clusters, stars and planets.

For astrophotography since The NexStar SLT telescopes use Alt-Az mounts, you will be limited to short exposure photographs.

With the high aperture of the NexStar 130 SLT, Deep Sky Observation with medium-length exposure times are certainly possible. 

For example, you will be able to get some great shots of the Moon (closeups and wide shots), while also being able to photograph some nebulae and other deep sky formations and objects. The reason for this is that Newtonians like NexStar 130 SLT have a fairly wide field of view.

Pros:

  • Wide field of view
  • Handheld computer makes it easy to find celestial bodies
  • Weighs only 18 pounds for simple transport
  • Deep views of the sky

Cons:

  • The motor uses up batteries fairly quickly
  • The date and time must be set after each use

Best Refractor Telescope

Celestron – AstroMaster 102AZ 

The Celestron – AstroMaster 102AZ Refractor Telescope is perfect for observers who want clear views of the Moon, planets, star clusters, galaxies and more. 

This 102mm refractor telescope is extremely portable, meaning you can bring it with you on camping trips, hikes, and stargazing parties.

The instrument is of a perfect size if you are looking for a good entry-level telescope which is relatively lightweight and portable, but still has plenty of optical power for viewing deep sky objects. 

The AstroMaster 102AZ is a refractor telescope that is well-constructed, resistant to shocks and bumps, sturdy and requires little maintenance.

This telescope is one of the best 4” refractor telescopes that you can buy. 

It comes with two eyepieces; 20mm and 10mm eyepiece. This gives you adjustability as you can watch near and distant objects. A Red Dot Finderscope is also offered to allow you to track objects with great ease.

As a 4” refractor telescope, it is an ideal for deep sky astronomy. It provides clear images of the Ring of Saturn, Moons of Jupiter and thousands of craters of our Earth’s moon.

The altazimuth mount and the easy-to-use pan handle control gives you the freedom to follow the target of your choosing without losing any of the accuracy and clarity of the image you are inspecting through the telescope.

Celestron Star Diagonal is a 1.25″ 90° Erect Image Diagonal. Using this diagonal, you can enjoy daytime viewing as well. The diagonal will flip the image that the refractor inverts, making the sights right-side-up.

The model comes along with a lot of amazing accessories. For instance, the steel tripod is not only sturdy, but it is also adjustable to provide you with excellent viewing conditions. There is also an accessory tray that you can use to keep eyepieces etc. during a viewing session.

The scope includes a ‘Starry Night’ computer software which allows you to connect the telescope to a computer and track and plan your observations. As an added bonus you can access valuable information on 10,000 celestial objects.

Pros:

  • Dual-purpose telescope suited for terrestrial views as well as astronomical use
  • Fast and simple setup
  • Rugged tripod with steel tube legs
  • Astronomy software allows you to see up to 10,000 objects
  • Erect image optics

Cons:

  • Not for professional use
  • Not good for astrophotography

Best For Deep Space Objects

Celestron NexStar Evolution

The Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 Computerised Cassegrain telescope is a large Schmidt Cassegrain.

It has a large 203.2mm (8″ aperture) and 2032mm focal length

With these specifications, this telescope is capable of reaching high magnifications (480x) suitable for viewing planets and deep sky objects.

The Nexstar Evolution 8 EdgeHD Telescope from Celestron features integral Starsense auto alignment, WiFi and internal Lithium ion battery

This high end telescope has a variety of premium features:

8” EdgeHD optics that provide a flat field with pinpoint start all the way to the edge of field, resulting in superb visual and astro-imaging performance

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for a power source that can provide up to 10 hours of continuous observing

Built-in WiFi that connects directly to your smartphone or tablet — no handset required

StarSense auto align technology provides a hands-free automatic experience, aligning your telescope within two minutes of startup

The telescope features a NexStar evolution mount with a variety of features, including manual release clutches, precision worm gears, eyepiece tray lighting, a USB charge port and more

The NexStar Evolution 8-inch EdgeHD with StarSense is the best computerized telescope for cloudy nights and it also produces high quality images even when confronted with light pollution. 

It gives you the best of two worlds with the coming together of EdgeHD optics and StarSense AutoAlign. 

This innovative telescope allows you to control your telescope wirelessly via Celestron’s SkyPortal app to your smartphone or tablet.

The 8-inch NexStar Evolution HD is one of the best telescopes for astrophotography on our list. 

It is the only fork-mounted telescope in its price range that offers brass worm gears, along with improved motors. 

You can capture images of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula by simply attaching your DSLR camera.  

The EdgeHD optical system is designed to virtually eliminate spherical and chromatic aberrations so views through it are flat and distortion-free across the entire field of view, with accurate color rendition. 

Using Celestron’s proprietary StarBright XLT multi-coating system, light transmission is increased throughout the entire optical path with anti-reflection multi-coated lenses, highly reflective multi-coated mirrors, and four-element rare-earth glass.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up, use and super accurate
  • For its size the scope and mount are light and portable 
  • Easy alignment process with clear instruction manual
  • Produces amazing images even in cloudy nights and light pollution

Cons:

  • On rare occasion the telescope loses wireless connection with your device

Best Under $400

Celestron – AstroMaster 90EQ

The Celestron AstroMaster 90 EQ refractor telescope is a dual-purpose telescope which is perfect for both celestial and terrestrial viewing. 

The AstroMaster 90 EQ telescope is very cheap and economic despite the amazing features this telescope provides.

The Celestron AstroMaster 90EQ 90mm f/11 Refractor Telescope is a complete observational platform for making detailed observations of the Moon, viewing planets, or comet-hunting and that is what makes it one of the best cheap Celestron telescopes for beginners too.

Its manual equatorial mount, when properly polar aligned, can easily track objects using the slow-motion cables with reduced vibrations, and easy-to-read setting circles aid in speeding up celestial navigation to known coordinates. 

Taking into consideration it’s aperture, focal length and focal ratio this telescope performs best while viewing the moon and other nearby astronomical objects like Jupiter and the other planets. 

This AstroMaster comes with two eyepieces (20mm, 10mm with magnification 50x & 100x respectively) that yield a range of magnifications, and a 90° diagonal that sports an integrated erecting prism to correct images and allow the scope to be used as a conventional spotting scope for terrestrial use.

The tripod is sturdy and is made from 1.25″ steel tube legs and it also includes an accessory tray in order to have all your different components and accessories close at hand and well organized.

Pros:

  • Good optics
  • Great views of the moon and planets
  • Sturdy tripod
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Best suited for an adult beginner astronomer

Cons:

  • Finderscope is not very user friendly

Best For DSLR Astrophotography

Celestron – Advanced VX 8”

  • Type: Aplanatic Schmidt
  • Aperture: 203.2mm (8″)
  • Focal length: 2032mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/10
  • Mount: Computerized – GoTo
  • Eyepiece: 40mm
  • Magnification: 51x
  • Weight: 59 lb (26.7 kg)
  • Our Rating: 9.6/10

The Celestron Advanced Series VX 8 inch EdgeHD telescope delivers amazingly flat field views of the night sky. The new Advanced VX Mount improves overall telescope performance making it a robust astro imaging platform. You will be amazed at how fast you obtain imaging results.

This package combines the groundbreaking Advanced VX mount with Celestron’s best optics, the EdgeHD optical system. This setup offers the astrophotographer maximum versatility – allowing up to 3 different f-stop configurations. 

Users can attach a camera to the rear of the telescope and shoot at f/10, or attach Celestron’s optional 8″ focal reducer (sold separately, coming soon) and shoot at f/7. 

Additionally, Celestron EdgeHD telescopes are Fastar/Hyperstar compatible, giving astrophotographers the option to shoot at ultra-fast f/2. No matter which configuration you choose, EdgeHD technology gives you pinpoint stars all the way to the edge of the CCD sensor.

The Celestron’s optics and systems require an extraordinary amount of power, the equivalent of a car battery. Celestron, therefore, offers a bundle that includes a 12-volt power supply. A 12-volt equivalent and an adapter will be needed if you plan to substitute your own.

A 2-year warranty is included on the telescope in the case of any unfortunate accidents. 

With an 8″ optical tube and Celestron’s portable and fully featured Advanced VX mount, the Celestron Advanced 8″ EdgeHD telescope setup can be easily transported and assembled by one person. You’ll also have plenty of load capacity to attach your camera and other accessories. 

This setup is simple enough for a beginner to use, but can also provide years of enjoyment for sophisticated DSLR astrophotography.

Celestron’s Advanced VX mount was specifically designed to provide optimum imaging performance for smaller telescopes. Now your smaller telescope can take advantage of All-Star Polar Alignment and autoguider support. 

You’ll be able to track through long exposures using permanently programmable periodic error correction. Capture astrophotos across the meridian without doing a meridian flip, so you can seamlessly image the best part of night sky. 

Advanced VX features significantly larger base castings than Celestron’s previous design, improving stability under heavier loads. Improved motors offer more torque and can handle slight load imbalances with ease.

Pros:

  • Corrector optic component in the focuser tube enables a very flat field that is superior to the performance of other “Coma Free” telescopes
  • The HyperStar attachment provides a wide-aperture f-2, wide-field scope while also enabling expremem narrow field (f-10), ideal for deep space photography
  • The secondary mirror holds its settings perfectly even with multiple removals and replacements
  • Great for general viewing, it being a Schmidtt-Cassegrain you will get images that are both inverted and reversed.

Cons:

  • The rail on which the scope is mounted will only consistently work with Celestron branded mounts.

Best Under $400

Celestron – 114LCM

The Celestron 114LCM 114mm f/9 Computerized GoTo Reflector Telescope features a 114mm diameter parabolic primary mirror that is coated with highly-reflective aluminum to allow for detailed observation of the Moon and planets, with the ability to reach outside our solar system and view binary stars, clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.

The 114LCM consists of an optical tube with a 4.5-inch mirror and a focal length of 1000mm giving a focal ratio of f/9. It has a basic rack and pinion focuser that takes 1.25-inch eyepieces: 25mm and 9mm eyepieces are provided giving magnifications of 40x and 111x.

The Celestron 114LCM has over three and a half times the light gathering capacity of a typical 60mm starter scope. That means visibly brighter deep space images and the ability to see many more faint objects than a 60mm scope could ever hope to show. 

It has 90% more resolution than a 60mm scope as well, to let you see more sharper and detailed views of the Moon, planets, binary stars, and star clusters.

A built-in StarPointer red dot finder helps to aim the telescope, especially during the alignment phase.

The tube is attached to the motorised base via a Vixen-style mounting bar that connects to the aluminium tripod using a bolt on the underside.

Pros:

  • Beginner friendly GoTo telescope
  • Decent optics
  • Free download of astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation
  • Multiple accessories

Cons:

  • Weak battery life
  • Calibration can take some time

Best Travel Telescope

Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope

This telescope works great considering the fact that it is an inexpensive, portable scope. It provides wide, clear views of the sky that compare with much more expensive models. 

The aperture performs surprisingly well given its size, and will most likely suit your needs given that it is a small, portable and one of the best travel portable telescope to observe the night sky.

The Travel Scope also comes pre-assembled and ready-to-use, so you can just grab it and go.

Its an easy to use and easy to set up telescope and you don’t have to exert a lot of effort on the installation of this travel scope. Moreover, you don’t even need any tools or equipment to assemble the scope before using it.

The 2.76 inch aperture is well-suited for the purpose of this home telescope and provides bright and crisp views given its size. 

All of its optical components are glass coated for an efficient performance. Nevertheless, the light weight tripod is readily adjustable made from pre assembled aluminum and silver finish.

Incorporating a focal length of 400 mm, this device allows you to see clearly the rings of Saturn or the craters of the Moon. It should give you the magnification you need to spot the terrestrial objects you’re looking for in the night sky.

It is compactly built with the 70 mm refractor including two eyepieces used for high and low powered purposes. Nevertheless, the 20 mm eyepiece possesses 20x magnification while the 10 mm eyepiece has 40x magnification.

Also included is Sky X software, which allows you to learn the basics of astronomy and how to use your new telescope. Sky X is a great addition to any telescope and is an excellent tool to help beginners.

It features a smooth functioning altazimuth mount for easy location and shooting over several celestial bodies. 

It is also suitable for astrophotography as  it comes with a 2.5-degree field of view for greater scope and to enhance the picture quality that will be taken.

The Travel Scope is easy enough for any family member to use at home,  it’s also a great telescope for more experienced astronomers will also be able to make great use of its features.

Pros:

  • Easy to Use
  • Perfect for home use
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Affordable Price
  • Excellent optics
  • Dual powered eyepieces
  • Simple assembly

Cons:

  • Shaky tripod

Best Smartphone Enabled Telescope

Celestron – StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ

With the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope, exploring the wonders of the universe is as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. Dock your smartphone
  2. Launch the StarSense Explorer smartphone app
  3. Observe the moon, planets, stars, and more

This innovative integration of smartphone and telescope offers beginner astronomers a fast and (more importantly) easy way to discover what’s up in the night sky and where to view it.

In a natural evolution of their SkyAlign technology, Celestron now has StarSense. This is a new set of technological upgrades that takes the platform from a database to your smartphone. 

They have chosen a large aperture reflector to attach this new tech package to which has created a powerful and versatile astronomy tool.

The StarSense Explorer DX is a great scope for just about anyone who would like a tech-savvy yet lightweight reflector. 

By placing your StarSense Explore app-enabled smartphone in the specially designed dock, it will analyze the night sky and calculate celestial object positions in real time.

The 130mm aperture is simply huge and really gives you some of the best views available for a tripod-mounted reflector. 

That is a lot of light gathering ability that translates to great deep space visuals and awesome contrast.

This is highlighted by the f/5 focal ratio and 307x highest usable magnification. This combo will give you an amazing view of the galaxy and beyond. 

Nebulas look bright and colorful, nearby star clusters are crisp and recognizable. The whole visual array of this telescope is great.

The telescope sits on top of a sturdy but lightweight aluminum frame with a slight black powder coat to hold off any scratches and for better grip for moving the device. 

The frame itself has two braces for each arm, with a single spike that extends down to hold steady on uneven ground. 

Sitting atop the tripod arms is a heavy-duty integrated mount that’ll hold the telescope itself, as well as handling the finer control arms for adjusting the device in small increments. 

A triangular tray is placed in the middle of the tripod to hold all of your accessories, lenses, and anything else you’ll want to keep an eye on.

This is undoubtedly one of the best smart telescope available in the marketplace today.

The biggest allure of the Explorer DX 130AZ is the StarSense Explorer interface. This app is used to help you quickly locate objects in the night sky. 

Removing a small cover over a mirror, you’ll place your phone’s camera directly over the top of it. The cradle adjusts to accommodate your phone’s camera placement. 

The StarSense app uses something called “Plate Solving” to simplify the otherwise complex process of aligning with a body in the night sky. 

It does this by having your phone take a picture of the night sky, uses the phone’s power to process the image, and then runs it through the application to find that the particular cluster of stars your phone sees lines up.

Pros:

  • Great specs
  • Useful starsense explorer technology
  • Decent accessories
  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • Will require regular maintenance

Best Portable Computerized Telescope

Celestron – NexStar 127SLT

The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is an entry-level GoTo telescope designed for anyone looking for a reliable telescope with which to enjoy the nighttime sky. 

The telescope features a 127mm aperture and Celestron’s SkyAlign technology, this telescope offers consumers good views. In addition, the telescope’s single fork arm and simple design make it easy to set up and use.

The scope’s focal length is 1500mm, and it has a focal ratio of f/12. As far as eyepieces are concerned, each Celestron NexStar 127 SLT telescope comes with a 25mm eyepiece and a 9mm eyepiece, having a maximum magnification of 167x with the default 9 mm eyepiece.

The Celestron NexStar 127 SLT telescope stands on top of a motorized Altazimuth mount, which can be controlled via the provided digital hand controller.

Alternatively, the mount can be hooked to a computer for increased precision. 

With preassembled, adjustable stainless steel tripods, and quick release fork arms and tubes, the NexStar 127 SLT telescope can be set up in a matter of minutes with no tools required.

The 127 SLT with its large aperture is great for viewing the surface of the moon, phases of Venus, rings of Saturn or Jupiter and its four largest moons, and other deep-space objects.

The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is also the best budget computerized telescope for astrophotography under on our list.

The Celestron NexStar GoTo mounts are powered by eight AA user-supplied batteries, or an optional AC adapter, making them perfect as a travel telescope.

With Celestron’s SkyAlign Technology, aligning your telescope is fast and easy. Simply input the date, time and location (the CPC models have built-in GPS that does this for you) and then align the telescope to three bright stars of your choosing. 

You do not need to know the names of the stars, you can even pick the moon or bright planets. The NexStar computer system will automatically figure out which stars were chosen and then align the telescope. 

The 127SLT’s diagonal is a prism, and a nice one at that – unlike the cheap diagonals supplied with many entry-level scopes which are cheap mirrors that aren’t very flat, which tend to offer dim and fuzzier images.

Pros:

  • Super optical construction
  • Very easy to operate with
  • Compact and portable design
  • Included needed additional accessories
  • Suitable for lunar/planetary astrophotography

Cons:

  • 8 AA batteries required but not included
  • Tripod can be more stable

Best Computerized Telescope

Celestron – NexStar 8SE

The NexStar 8SE is an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain with a focal length of 2,032mm, giving a focal ratio of f/10. All of this fits into a compact orange tube that is just 432mm long.

A StarPointer red-dot finder, E-Lux 25mm, 1.25-inch fit Plössl eyepiece and a star diagonal complete the optical tube assembly.

It is ideal for beginners and upgraders who want a huge aperture, easy goto set-up, a 40,000 object database and motorised tracking all for a relatively low price.

The NexStar 8SE has a long Vixen dovetail bar on the side of the optical tube, but it is largely decorative in purpose as the scope will only really balance with the dovetail slid all the way or nearly all the way forward in the saddle.

On average it takes a new telescope user approximately 5 minutes to do a full sky alignment with this telescope. 

Once aligned the Celestron 8 SE computerized telescope is incredibly easy to operate. Optically the Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope is nearly flawless with Celestron’s famous C8 Optical Tube Assembly. 

The 8SE is one of the best Celestron computerized telescope for deep space astronomy as it helps you easily view those faint deep sky objects such as nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.

This Celestron telescope yields super crisp images of the night sky and, once aligned, finds objects with complete accuracy. 

It’s mount is a single-arm, altazimuth mount, all-in-one unit with the neatly integrated NexStar hand controller, which can be pulled out when in use.

The NexStar computerised hand controller has been designed to slot into the single arm and provides a database of 40,000 objects to choose from. 

The NexStar 8SE has a long Vixen dovetail bar on the side of the optical tube, but it is largely decorative in purpose as the scope will only really balance with the dovetail slid all the way or nearly all the way forward in the saddle.

Its build quality is robust and it can take the general knocking around that comes with usage of a telescope.

Setting it up is quite easy too, just follow the manual. Takedown is just as quick and the whole scope packs away into rather small dimensions – certainly small enough for the average trunk.

The 8SE mount takes eight AA batteries, but we recommend only using these as backup – get a portable 12-volt DC power supply and cord or Celestron even sells some as the PowerTank meant specifically for astronomical use.

Pros:

  • Excellent optics
  • Easy computerized GoTo tracking
  • Light, portable and affordable
  • Easy setup and takedown
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Plastic accessories
  • Short battery life

Best Amateur Telescope

Celestron – PowerSeeker 80EQ

The 80EQ Power Seeker is a refractor telescope with a 80mm aperture and a focal length of 900mm. Its low price combined with excellent optics, easy assembly, clear instructions, included eyepieces and other features that make it easy to use even for beginners, make it an excellent choice for anyone wanting to learn more about the nighttime sky.

At f/11, there is some chromatic aberration but nothing significant enough to ruin high-power views with this telescope. The optical quality of the Powerseeker 70 is quite good.

The scope’s focuser is a 1.25” rack-and-pinion made mostly of plastic. The focuser even includes a tension adjustment knob, should you find the focuser to be too loose or too tight.

Since Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ telescope is a family-friendly scope, it is very easy to set up and use as it needs no extra tools. The instructions manual clearly describes every setup step, giving clear information on each of the telescope’s parts and uses.

With an aperture of 80 mm (3.15″) and a focal length of 900 mm (35″), the Celestron Power Seeker telescope allows stargazers to see the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and other celestial wonders with ease.

The 3x Barlow lens manages to triple the magnifying power of all eyepieces, while the 1.25″ Erect Image Diagonal makes the telescope ideal for both astronomical and terrestrial use.

The telescope includes fully coated optics, meaning that at least one lens in the telescope has been coated with multiple layers of substances designed to capture and focus the light that goes through the lens.

The equatorial mount supplied with the 80EQ is actually a good match for it. The motions are reasonably smooth, the mount’s extruded aluminum legs are quite steady with such a lightweight tube. Furthermore, the whole setup is pretty light at about 16 pounds.

The 80EQ PowerSeeker is the best small Celestron telescope to see Saturn as it comes with a camera attachment that allows the user to take photographs of the objects being viewed.

Pros:

  • Family-friendly, easy to setup and use
  • Coated glass, decent optical components 
  • EQ mount with slow motion controls
  • Budget option refractor telescope for astrophotography
  • High and low power eyepieces
  • Ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing

Cons:

  • Not suitable for professional use
  • Most components are built with plastic

Best For Viewing Saturn

Celestron – AstroMaster 90AZ 

The Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ altazimuth refractor is a perfect choice for a beginner who is looking to buy their first telescope to venture into astronomy and enjoy the night sky.

This  reasonably priced 90 mm aperture refractor optical system is a good way to begin your journey into the night sky, as well as exploring nature during the day. 

It provides you with detailed high-contrast views of the Moon and planets in the heavens, as well as sharp views of birds and animals across a lake or across the way.

For the astronomy enthusiast whose interests are the brighter solar system and deep space objects, the AstroMaster 90AZ has a lot to offer.

Its 3.5″ aperture has a light grasp 165 times that of the sharpest eye for nighttime use. Its large aperture and diffraction-free images make it surprisingly good for much deep space observing.

This version of the AstroMaster comes with two eyepieces (Sirius Plossl 20 mm,10 mm) that yield low and medium magnifications, and a 90° diagonal that sports an integrated erecting prism to correct images and allow the scope to be used as a conventional spotting scope for terrestrial use.

When used for astronomical viewing, the AstroMaster 90AZ yields breathtaking views of the Moon, Saturn with its ring structure, Jupiter and its belts and moons, nebulae, and star clusters.  

The telescope features all-glass optical elements as well as smooth-operating steel tripod mountings featuring manual motion controls. 

Additionally, the optics are coated for enhanced image brightness and clarity.

Upon its purchase, you can also download Celestron’s Starry Night Software and learn about the night sky, celestial objects, and plan your next stargazing session.

Pros:

  • Great optics
  • Great images of the moon and planets as well as terrestrial images
  • Perfect for beginners as their first telescope
  • Stable tripod

Cons:

  • Finderscope could be better

Best For Jupiter’s Rings

Celestron – NexStar 4SE

Celestron’s NexStar 4SE 125mm f/13 Maksutov-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope is a powerful, versatile, and user-friendly catadioptric-style scope that can be used for observing everything from the Moon and planets to bright deep-sky objects like stars, galaxies, and nebulae.

The 4SE also has an integrated “flip mirror” at the back, which means that there is a built-in star diagonal which can be retracted to allow light directly out of the back of the telescope and into a camera adapter, usually for a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 

Celestron’s NexStar 4SE’s big selling point for this model is the GoTo computer.

You can select from a database of 40,000 night sky objects. When you’ve picked a target, the motorized mount will slew the telescope around to point at the object you’ve chosen. 

Once in your eyepiece, the motor will track it as it moves across the sky so you don’t lose sight of it.

Theoretically, this is a great solution for the more casual backyard astronomer who is more interested in spending time outside seeing objects than finding them.

The 4SE’s 102mm aperture isn’t huge, but the portability of this rig far outweighs any size limitation. And Celestron’s nicely coated optics make the most of every photon fetched.

If you want to get your feet wet with astrophotography, the 4SE has a camera control option. It helps you take a series of long duration exposures with your DSLR camera

Just don’t try to hang a very heavy camera body on this little telescope; an oddly weighted mount won’t track well enough for sharp images.

Because it is a compound telescope, you are going to get picture-perfect images and a wide field of view. Of course, the StarBright XLT coating on the Celestron 4 SE helps, as does the inclusion of a 25 millimeter Plossl eyepiece that delivers 53 times magnification, as well as a 12.5 millimeter eyepiece that can be added to give you 100 times magnification. 

As a result, this one of the best portable Celestron telescope will be powerful enough to capture impressive details of many objects in our solar system, including the Moon, Jupiter, Mars and other planets. 

Deep-sky objects, however, will appear less impressive than with a bigger aperture telescope.

The 4SE is so small and light, and the tripod folds so easily, you can quickly jump into almost any vehicle and drive to find dark skies. 

And someday, if you grow into a larger telescope, you’ll probably want to keep this one as a “grab-and-go” scope. It’s great for chasing solar eclipses in faraway locations where you can’t lug a lot of luggage.

Pros:

  • Very sharp optics
  • Quality mount with acceptable gearing
  • Acceptable aperture
  • Very stable
  • Good included low-power eyepiece
  • No collimation required

Cons:

  • Small aperture for the price

Best Celestron Telescope; Buying Guide

Buying a telescope for home use is an important step towards a new level of appreciation for the night sky, and the wonders found within it.

Features To Consider When Choosing A Celestron Telescope

Aperture

The most important aspect of any telescope is its aperture, the diameter of its main optical component, which can be either a lens or a mirror.

A scope’s aperture determines both its light-gathering ability (how bright the image appears) and its resolving power (how sharp the image appears).

Celestron’s aperture sizes range from three to 11 inches in diameter. When learning how to choose a telescope, knowing all you can about the aperture is crucial to your ability to see the night sky.

Focal Length

It is the distance between a telescope’s primary optics and its focal point. It works with the focal length of your eyepiece to produce your desired magnification. In many cases you will get the telescope’s focal ratio instead. This is just the ratio between the focal length of the telescope and its aperture.

The focal lengths of Celestron telescopes range from 360 to 1,250 millimeters.

Magnification

The larger the aperture size, the higher the magnification of the telescope. Most Celestron telescopes have between 120x and 480x magnification. The higher the magnification, the easier it is to view faraway objects.

Eyepieces

Eyepieces determine the magnification and field of view of a telescope. Different eyepieces are used to view different objects.

While most Celestron telescopes have only one eyepiece, certain models ship with more than one.

Some objects, such as nebulae and star clusters, appear quite large and are best viewed at low magnifications (which give a wider field of view), whereas planets appear very small and are normally viewed with high-magnification eyepieces.

One of the most common misconceptions in amateur astronomy is that magnification is the most important aspect of a telescope.

In reality, the diameter (aperture) of a telescope determines its power and different eyepieces are used to get the best view of a given object. Often the best view is at a low magnification.

Portability features

Size: On average, Celestron telescopes weigh between 10 and 50 pounds. Smaller telescopes mostly include tabletop and travel models. These are lightweight and easy to transport. Larger styles, while much sturdier, are significantly heavier and are best left in the spot they’re most often used.

Tripod: Celestron telescopes are usually made of aluminum or steel. They’re well-built and reinforced to support the weight of the telescope without shifting or wobbling.

Storage: Most travel Celestron telescopes come with travel bags. If you plan on traveling with a larger model, purchase one separately. You may be able to purchase one from the Celestron line or you can use a universal case.

Conclusion

The Celestron – AstroMaster 114EQ is our top pick for the best Celestron telescope for beginners. The telescope is ideal for near and deep-sky observation, Celestron’s AstroMaster 114EQ 114mm f/8.8 Reflector Telescope features a long focal length and a large parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.

Our pick for the Best Celestron Computerized Telescope is the Celestron – NexStar 6SE. Its 6-inch aperture with excellent light-gathering ability provides impressive views of the Moon and planets, along with deep sky objects like the Orion Nebula, while retaining a compact form factor.

Fully automated GoTo mount with a database of 40,000+ celestial objects automatically locates and tracks objects for you.

Our pick for the best telescope for astrophotography is the Celestron CPC 800 XLT. The Celestron CPC 800 XLT comes with revolutionary SkyAlign Alignment Technology that redefines everything that amateur astronomers are looking for – quick and simple alignment, unsurpassed optical quality, ease of set-up and use, ergonomics, enhanced computerization and, most important, affordability.