Review: Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Telescope

(Last Updated On: March 18, 2018)

AstroMaster 130EQ from Celestron is primarily aimed at amateur astronomer looking to buy their first Reflector telescope. Because of its compact and portable design AstroMaster 130EQ gives a great optical performance that will excite any newcomer to the world of stargazing. Here is an in-depth review that will help you to familiarize with AstroMaster 130EQ great features.

Let’s get started:-

 

Specification

Optical Design: Newtonian Reflector

Aperture: 130 mm (5.12 in)

Focal Length: 650 mm (25.59 in)

Focal Ratio: 5

Eyepiece 1: 20 mm (0.79 in)

Magnification: 32.5x

Eyepiece 2: 10 mm (0.39 in)

Magnification: 65x

Mount Type: CG-3 Equatorial Mount

Optical Coatings: Aluminum

Weight: 24 lb (10.89 kg)

Overview

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is a Newtonian reflector telescope which means it uses mirrors to gather incoming light inside the tube and form the image to the eyepiece, in contrast to refractors where the lens is used. The biggest advantage of the mirror over the lens is they are cheap to manufacture which helps in keeping the price low compared to refractors of the same aperture.

As the name suggests AstroMaster 130 has a 130mm aperture (5.1in), this is consider to be an ideal size for amateur/starter telescope because they have an ideal combination of weight and aperture. They have big enough aperture which collect decent amount of light for brighter and sharper images also they are light enough for an average size user to move it from one place to another.

In, addition to bigger aperture AstroMaster also features a focal length of 650mm and a fast focal ratio of f/5 that makes it a good device for astrophotography/imaging. A feature not commonly found in other low priced telescope.

Apart from Aperture, there is another factor which plays an important role deciding whether your telescope is good or not is the quality of the optical component. AstroMaster 130 doesn’t disappoint on this also, the optical component in the telescope is made from glass and have a highly reflective aluminum coating to improve light transmission, color retention, and contrast.

The mounting of the telescope is as important as your telescope itself. AstroMaster 130 EQ features an equatorial mount which helps in easily tracking of celestial objects as they pass across the night sky.

Thanks to 4.8lb counterweights (for keeping telescope balanced) and dual slow-motion cables now you can smoothly track objects with fine adjustments without any vibration. The tripod comes with a very handy accessory tray which lets you keep your extra eyepieces safely.

What can we see with this Telescope?

AstroMaster 130EQ come with two eyepieces of 20mm and 10mm focal length. When combined with telescopes focal length (650mm) gives a magnification of 32.5x and 65x respectively. This helps to see the wide part of the sky through eyepieces, great for looking the whole moon at once.

The device is large enough to show great surface details of the moon, you can also see the rings of Saturn with it, you will be able to see storm band on Jupiter and also its four moons, you can easily spot nebula with it and with patience and steady hands you can explore much more with it. All in all supplied eyepieces are great but if you are planning on serious observation get some additional filters and lens (more on that on recommended accessories section below).

Overall, there will be little that beginner could want that will be off limit with this AstroMaster 130EQ telescope.

That said, here is one satisfied owner take on this scope,

“The moon comes through in amazing detail even with the basic lenses that are supplied. The lower magnification is great for targeting and then the higher powered one brings out the detail.”

Pros

Great optics- Celestron is known for making a high-quality telescope, AstroMaster 130EQ is no different. Thanks to great optics and wide aperture it is one of the best telescopes for viewing planets.

Erect image- Thanks to erect image mechanism, AstroMaster 130 gives the correct view of the object. Now, you can use this telescope for both celestial as well as terrestrial observation (like a binoculars).  

 

Cons

Red dot viewfinder- One Common complain among many reviewers is about the red dot finderscope, which we find it to be true. Celestron has used the plastic lens in finderscope which is a total waste.

Tripod- Celestron did some price cut in the tripod and it is clearly visible with its quality. But in our opinion, what more can we expect at this price. At least Celestron has not compromised a bit with the main telescope and eyepieces. Believe me, tripod is still decent enough for beginner stargazer and you can easily replace them with better one whenever your budget allows.

Collimation- Like any other reflector, AstroMaster 130 EQ also required being collimated (aligning the mirror). Actually, we don’t consider it to be a negative point because we think it is a process which every beginner astronomer should know whether they need it or not.

 

Recommended Accessories

T-ring Adapter- If you want to attach your camera to take pictures with scope get a T-ring adapter. We are not providing any link to the product here because there is not a specific adapter that supports every camera. You have to do some research before buying that.

Eyepiece kit- As we have already mention supplied eyepieces with the AstroMaster 130 EQ is decent enough but it does not do full justice to the highest useful magnification of the telescope which is 250x (fifty times the aperture in inch). To use this telescope to full potential and to get even more beautiful planetary view get some low focal length, high power eyepieces. Our recommendation is

Celestron AstroMaster Telescope Accessory Kit    (Price 58$ approx.)

Package includes two eyepieces, one Barlow lens, moon filter and some other planetary filters.     

Review Summary

The Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope is an interesting product thanks to its great optical quality, big aperture and dual purpose nature of the telescope. If we ignore one or two drawbacks of the scope (Tripod and Viewfinder, as  they can be upgraded to better one in future), it is almost a perfect starter telescope. If you are looking for a telescope that is perfect for beginners and also has a full potential to be improved in future for further deep sky observation then you can definitely buy AstroMaster 130 EQ.

 

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