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A Telescope Would Be Nice

Celestron NexStar 130SLT Telesscope

A Telescope Would Be Nice

Sleeping Under The Stars

Sleeping under the stars is not an experience for everyone, however, people that have sleep under a starry sky with a bonus full moon will always try to repeat the experience. This weekend provided me this pleasure.

Although the moon was not full, a half moon did hold court in this star-filled extravaganza. A moonless sky will actually accentuate the starry sky. It was Friday, October 27, and the air at 5000 feet gets a bit chilly when the sun goes down.

Comfortably snuggled in my mummy bag,  it was easy to focus on this Celestial Light Show. Lying on my back, I could see hundreds and probably thousands of stars in the night sky. The half moon lit the sky with all her majesty and as I  stared more intently at the sky, I began to recognize many constellations.

Many people can identify The Big Dipper and Orion. Airplanes, with their flashing red and green lights, are heading to their destination airports.  A little more staring and glaring and soon shooting stars can be seen blazing across the sky, waiting for you to make a wish. I have repeated this exercise many times while camping in the mountains, not the wishing part, but the observation of this action-filled spectacle.

Last night, however, I hurried to make a wish. Some wishes can be uttered openly and others must be kept secret. I am a believer in the former, so I choose to utter my wish to the universe, better yet, why not tell everyone on the world wide web. Since I’m the one wishing and it’s MY wish why not make it a good one. Not too big and not too small, so as to not annoy “the wishing fairy”.

A very close high school friend of mine owns a telescope and he’s offered to let me use it on more than one occasion. Unfortunately for me, this evening, I did not take him up on his offer.

Needless to say that I wished for a telescope. I left the “time window” “open” and continued to observe this celestial banquet.

When I arrived back at sea level, I quickly googled “telescope”. I realized that there were so many options available to budding astronomers. From my youth, I could only remember the standard telescope models. Today’s models offer computerized “star location tracking”,  SLT. This is a push button feature that rapidly locates your target “heavenly body” by punching in its coordinates.

With a few minutes of research, I focused my attention on the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope. I found this model interesting and in a price range and functionality that could easily fit my budget and “Astronomy” skills, which are in the beginner range.

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope

Product Description from Celestron

The popularity of our NexStar 114 models inspired us to go bigger!

We are proud to introduce NexStar 130SLT. The NexStar 130mm SLT has 30% more light-gathering power than our 114mm telescope, and the 130SLT, like the other models in the SLT Series, comes with a fully computerized hand control.

The computerized hand control gives you the ability to automatically slew to any of its 4,000+ objects, including over 600 galaxies, 300 clusters and dozens of beautiful binary stars. With its pre-assembled, adjustable steel tripod, the NexStar 130SLT can be up and ready to use in a matter of minutes.

Our new SkyAlign alignment technology and the included StarPointer Finderscope with a red LED, makes aligning a breeze. View the details of the lunar surface, the rings of Saturn, the polar ice caps on Mars, the cloud belts on Jupiter or a number of the Messier objects such as the globular cluster in Hercules (M13), or the Great Nebula in Orion (M42).

Begin to explore some of the fainter Messier objects using the additional light-gathering capabilities of the 130mm SLT’s 5″ primary mirror.

Because of the Newtonian design, the mirror gives fully color-corrected views that are best suited for astronomical use.

Product Name: Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope

Product Website:  https://www.celestron.com

Price:  Used from $313.58 used or $341.27 new, c/w free shipping  

Best Place to Buy:  Amazon

Rating:  4.7 out of 5

The Good

Here are some of the many fine features of this model

  • Compatible with 2″ eyepieces
  • High-quality 130mm reflector
  • Fully computerized Altazimuth mount
  • StarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objects
  • Quick-release fork arm mount, optical tube and accessory tray for quick no tool set up
  • Sturdy stainless steel tripod and accessory tray included
  • BONUS Astronomy Software download with a 10,000 object database, printable sky maps, and 75 enhanced images
  • There are many used models available, which is always a good place to start if you are a beginner and would like to get the feel of a telescope.
  • Amazon Prime offers free shipping on many items.
  • Check out the details at the “shopping cart” for your specific item.
  • Amazon Prime. Do not ignore this very important feature.

The Bad and The Ugly

  • There is very little “bad and ugly” here
  • Amazon’s guarantee ensures a quick replacement if you are not satisfied

Personal Thoughts

Observing a star-filled sky, hundreds of miles from the glare of city lights is an experience that always fascinates me, not to mention the added bonus of a gain in elevation.

My mind wanders to the deep recesses of space. I am looking at stars that have perhaps died out long ago and only their light is traveling towards Earth for me to witness.

Astronomy and Cosmology have always fascinated me and this telescope is an easy to operate tool of tremendous benefit to all budding astronomers and lovers of the starry sky.

Comments, Questions, and Suggestions

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this telescope or any other model, I would be pleased to reply.

I also want to welcome your comments and questions on Astronomy and Cosmology. These two fields of Science offer never-ending fascination.

An in-depth review of this model by Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank Observatory can be found here.

Happy Star Gazing!

Paul

I am an avid outdoors enthusiast , and I spend most of my free time in the great outdoors . The mountains and rivers , ... and everything in between ... are always calling me . Nature is my sanctuary and my connection to God !

2 Comments

  1. I was given a really nice telescope years ago and loved it.
    It was fantastic just to set it up in the garden and look at the moon and stars.
    Alas, I don’t have it any more and it would be really nice if Santa would get me one for Christmas 🙂

    • Hi, Dinh.
      Telescopes make wonderful toys for adults. They can be used to observe the natural beauty and color of the universe. Galaxies and star clusters all appear before our eyes.
      Shooting stars and constellations are easily visible with the naked eye, however, more magnification does reveal more of the splendid beauty of the universe.
      Next time you see a shooting star you could wish for a telescope.
      Sometimes the shooting star we see IS Santa himself. A wish at this time almost guarantees its realization!
      Keep looking at the night sky … you never what’s up there.
      May all your wishes come true.
      Paul

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