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Yep, another n00b with a Costco Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ with Eyepiece Kit that has questions

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#1 NathanielHornblower

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:01 PM

Hello Community,

 

I received a Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ with Eyepiece Kit from Costco for Christmas. I've read a few opinions here and elsewhere that generally say this isn't a great telescope but a decent one for the price. Ultimately it seems to come down to, "What do you want to look at?"

 

Good question. I have no idea.

 

This is my first telescope. I know jack about stars although I have been known to find the big dipper a few times in my life. I like going out and watching the space station fly overhead at night (Thanks, SpotTheStation!). I'd say I have a casual interest in looking at things in the night sky, but admit it is a bit intimidating reading on here how to set up the telescope, needing to buy an Collimation eyepiece, etc. I just want to casually "Browse the sky" and take in the sights. Based on opinions I've read, I don't know if I'll end up getting frustrated with this telescope instead of using it.

 

While at Celestron's website, I saw some computer based telescopes that seem to be dummy proof - it'll know where you're at and show you stuff in the sky - at least that's the impression I've gotten. I'm wondering if I should get something like that. Maybe something I can use my iPhone to take pics too.

 

Anyways, enough of my rambling. I'm looking for some guidance on the appropriateness of this telescope for me. I understand it's basic and an optical store wouldn't recommend it but is it good enough for someone that has a casual interest in browsing the sky? With the upcoming fancy moon making itself known in a few days, I thought about unboxing the telescope, but wanted to share my thoughts and ask for input first. 

 

Thanks!

 

 



#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:17 PM

Do you have binoculars in your house? Even $20 will do. You can use those to look at the sky and find big, bright deep sky objects DSOs. These are star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies beyond the solar system. You can use binocs to get oriented, then point your scope at what you just saw in the binocs.

 

What to look at? Sky Safari is an app that a lot of the experienced users have to see what's in the sky. There is a Pocket Sky Atlas that many around here swear by. https://www.shopatsk...ocket-sky-atlas

 

These monthly free downloadable 2-sided sky maps are useful. On one side is a map and month's calendar, on the other side are lists of naked eye, binocular, and telescope targets for the month. http://www.skymaps.c...s/tesmn1901.pdf

 

Regarding getting a GoTo mount. Sometimes they are not as easy to use as you might think.

 

Best advice is to seek out your local astronomy club. I think your scope has a GEM German Equatorial Mount. It would be good if a seasoned observer helped you with setting it up properly and using it for observing.

 

Good luck, and have fun.


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#3 Napp

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:21 PM

I suggest you go to an outreach event or star party at your local astronomy club.  If you are unsure whether to keep the scope just go look through different scopes and see what they can do.  Talk to the members about what you want to do.  If you are keeping the scope take it to the event and members will be happy to check out the scope and show you how to use it.  Your club is probably doing an event for the lunar eclipse Sunday night (for the Americas).  Contact the club about it.



#4 vtornado

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:24 PM

Hi Nathaniel and welcome to cloudy nights.

 

Actually the 130mm f/5 telescope is a pretty good starter telescope.   It has good light gathering power, a wide field of view,

and is not overly big.  The EQ mount will take a bit of study on how to set it up.   Basically, level the tripod, point the

R/A axis north, and set the latitude adjustment to your latitude.

 

The question you ask is very personal.   The computerized telescopes do what they say they do, but there is more to it than just setting

it down and turning it on.

 

There is what is called an alignment process, that has to be done before the scope will move where you tell it.  You will have to master

this process.    The scope on of these mounts cannot be moved by hand.  You have to use the motors to move scope, which is kind of slow

if you move a long distance in the sky.   Most of these kits come with a small box for batteries, and they chew threw them quickly.

You will probably want to buy a power tank type battery.  Even though the scope may say it contains thousands of objects it can

find, if you live in heavy light pollution, many will be invisible.

 

So if  the above is better for you than having to find stuff yourself, then go for it.

 

Personally, I would use your existing scope and first just look at bright stuff that is easy find.  The moon.

Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are up at sunrise.    Orion is up and is made up of very bright easy to find stars.

Once you can find these thing easily you can move onto more challenging stuff.

 

VT


Edited by vtornado, 17 January 2019 - 09:13 AM.

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#5 futuneral

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:37 PM

1. Just take it out and pretty much just look through it. Regardless of where you're pointing, the first time looking through a scope is a eerie experience. Even if you don't see much. Being able to focus and see more than with you naked eye is a good start.

2. Learn how to point it. With EQ mount, you need to properly  position the mount first and learn how the scope rotates around its axis. On EQ mount it could be a bit confusing, yet interesting.

3. Look at the sky without the scope and find something interesting - a bright star, some barely visible smudge, a close collection of stars - anything. Then try to point your scope there. There is a special satisfaction in being able to point where you want and see what's there.

 

These steps will already keep you busy for a while and hopefully interested. When you get used to pointing your scope to where you want it to point, start looking at some maps. Even free Google Sky Map is enough for starters - it pinpoints all planets as well as major deep sky objects (famous Messier catalog - objects marked as M, e.g. M42, M31 etc). Try to find them in the sky and see them through the scope. Binoculars are very helpful for this.

From there most likely you'll know what you want to improve. Have a bigger scope? GoTo model? More magnification? More field of view?.. You'll have enough context to start exploring other options.


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#6 B 26354

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 12:37 AM

I completely agree with everything ShaulaB said. I would also advise you to get a copy of Turn Left at Orion:

 

https://www.amazon.c...&qid=1499299414

 

...and the 2019 RASC Handbook:

 

https://store.astrol...n25s0b5lqeop526

 

...and a Planisphere that roughly matches your latitude:

 

https://www.amazon.c...r's Planisphere

 

You said:

 

"I saw some computer based telescopes that seem to be dummy proof - it'll know where you're at and show you stuff in the sky"

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Observational astronomy is not an "instantaneous gratification" activity like turning on your TV or cruising the Internet on your "smart" phone. It's a highly nuanced, extremely complex scientific pursuit, in which years of practice are required to become skilled... similar to learning to play a musical instrument. Learning how to read music, and learning the mechanical and physical properties of the instrument -- and how to use it -- come first. Then you practice playing the simplest pieces, gradually training your fingers to respond in ways that allow you to develop expertise and to increase your level of skill.

 

Get those binoculars and the Planisphere, and practice finding things, every clear night you have. Read Turn Left..., the RASC Handbook and the Star Atlas cover-to-cover, about six times.

 

I just read your scope's user manual. It explains how to properly set the whole thing up, and how to use it. Read it about ten times.

 

The scope you have is completely adequate for your absolute-beginner status. The tripod it's on will be a bit shaky... but that's not the end of the world. The equatorial mount is completely manual... which is a good thing. And it has slow-motion controls... which is fantastic. You don't need any automation. That's what your brain is for.

 

For the next several months, use the scope and the materials you have, and learn the sky. A year from now, you'll be far better able to answer the "Do I really like this" and "Do I need something better" questions... and you won't have wasted any money on inappropriate "stepping stones" in the meantime.

 

Also... do yourself a huge favor, and list your general location under your avatar (in your profile, under "Settings" > "Profile Settings  > Profile Information  > Location". This helps other members better understand your current and potential climatic and dark-sky conditions... which allows us to offer more specifically-appropriate comments and answers.

 

Clear skies!  grin.gif


Edited by B 26354, 17 January 2019 - 10:37 AM.

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#7 Stellar1

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 12:48 AM

Baby steps my friend, you are just getting your feet wet but don't be discouraged or feel intimidated, we were all where you are now, the recommendation made above about seeking out an astronomy club may as well be gospel. Don't let that intimidate you either, you're not going to run into a bunch of people with pencils stuffed into their shirt pockets and taped glasses lol. Give it a chance and I assure you one day you'll wonder why you weren't in the hobby a lot earlier. work with what you have now, it wont hurt to read the manual, and all it takes is one outing under a dark sky and, welcome to the hobby! your scope is enough to show you the rings of Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, incredible vistas on the lunar surface and, many of the brighter deep sky objects. 

 

Have patience and stick with it my friend, you'll be blown away.



#8 rnc39560

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 02:59 AM

There is NOTHING wrong about the telescope you have. For the $ it is considerably better than others in the same price range. Like said above, take your time. Also, the Pleiades are up, as well as the Orion nebula. Those two are good easy targets for starters. You have as what is called  a "fast" scope at f5 focal ratio. Which is good for wide scanning views. I like those two targets even with binoculars. Download Google sky for your phone for starting. It's more "user friendly" and basic. After you get used to observing, and know the sky a little, down load Sky Safari. It's a little more in-depth and a bit more complicated,  but VERY informative, but by then you'll be familiar with some things. 


Edited by rnc39560, 17 January 2019 - 03:03 AM.


#9 NathanielHornblower

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 03:30 AM

First, I'd like to thank you all for responding to my post. I expected to check back tomorrow and find a few replies but not so many in such a short time frame. 

 

I'll open the box tomorrow to start reading about the unit and get familiar with the components. Thanks for reassuring me the unit is worth keeping and learning with. I hate opening things and returning them to stores and avoid it if possible. I usually research things quite a bit before buying something and the telescope caught me by surprise. 

 

I was gifted two NatGeo books and a pocket star finder to get me started. The links to additional reading material and star charts are great! I'll be back tomorrow to do some shopping. :)

 

Thanks again for being such a welcoming community and taking the time to provide detailed responses. 


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#10 Spoonsize

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 03:58 AM

Ditto on a local astronomy club AND if you like satellites try https://www.heavens-above.com

Edited by Spoonsize, 17 January 2019 - 04:00 AM.

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#11 Sky Muse

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 04:55 AM

Hello Community,

 

I received a Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ with Eyepiece Kit from Costco for Christmas. I've read a few opinions here and elsewhere that generally say this isn't a great telescope but a decent one for the price. Ultimately it seems to come down to, "What do you want to look at?"

 

Good question. I have no idea.

 

This is my first telescope. I know jack about stars although I have been known to find the big dipper a few times in my life. I like going out and watching the space station fly overhead at night (Thanks, SpotTheStation!). I'd say I have a casual interest in looking at things in the night sky, but admit it is a bit intimidating reading on here how to set up the telescope, needing to buy an Collimation eyepiece, etc. I just want to casually "Browse the sky" and take in the sights. Based on opinions I've read, I don't know if I'll end up getting frustrated with this telescope instead of using it.

 

While at Celestron's website, I saw some computer based telescopes that seem to be dummy proof - it'll know where you're at and show you stuff in the sky - at least that's the impression I've gotten. I'm wondering if I should get something like that. Maybe something I can use my iPhone to take pics too.

 

Anyways, enough of my rambling. I'm looking for some guidance on the appropriateness of this telescope for me. I understand it's basic and an optical store wouldn't recommend it but is it good enough for someone that has a casual interest in browsing the sky? With the upcoming fancy moon making itself known in a few days, I thought about unboxing the telescope, but wanted to share my thoughts and ask for input first. 

 

Thanks!

If you got the kit for $189, then you got a decent deal.  Although, this one would've been better...

 

https://www.highpoin...scope-zhus003-1

 

...in so far as the telescope itself, as it comes with a parabolic primary-mirror, and for sharper images at the higher powers.  The Celestron variant comes with a lesser, spherical primary-mirror, regrettably.

 

But that's not to say that you should return the kit and get another instead, for you do get a CG-3(EQ-2) equatorial mount with the kit, which will enable you to motorise its RA-axis inexpensively, and for automatic, hands-free tracking of any object.  You will, however, need to ensure that the RA-axis overall, including its worm-shaft, rotates freely and smoothly, and with no binding whatsoever, as you would not want to also bind up the motor-drive and damage it...

 

https://www.bhphotov...ft=BI:514&smp=Y

 

I have that drive, and I will be using it on my smaller equatorial mounts.

 

Without the counterweight(s) and the telescope attached, you should be able to at least, somewhat easily, twist the RA worm-shaft with your fingers.  The worm should also mesh to the teeth of the RA-gear squarely and true.  These entry-level equatorial mounts, like my own...

 

equatorials.jpg

 

...do not necessarily arrive from the factory overseas in tip-top condition.  Consequently, they lend themselves quite well to DIY enhancements and improvements.  For the greatest stability, do not extend the legs of the tripod.  Extending the legs is desirable with a refractor, given its eyepiece location at the back, but is not necessary with a Newtonian with its focusser on the side of the tube.  You will also be able to rotate the tube, the focusser, and for more comfortable observing positions.  An EQ2-class mount can be most versatile when mounting many smaller telescopes upon it, like an 80mm f/5 achromat or a 90mm Maksutov, for examples.

 

For the medium to higher powers, the telescope itself will need to be collimated, aligned, the two mirrors with the focusser, upon arrival, and occasionally thereafter as the telescope is used and moved about.  If you want to ramp up the power with the telescope, you'll need at least a quality 2x barlow, if not a 3x, and a collimation-cap or Cheshire...

 

https://agenaastro.c...t-eyepiece.html

 

You can also make one of those with the focusser's dust-cap, and by drilling a very small hole precisely in the center, then lining the underside with the dull or shiny side of a circular piece of aluminum-foil, like so...

 

collimation cap.jpg

 

But in order to use the tool, you must first center-spot the primary-mirror...

 

https://garyseronik....primary-mirror/

 

I use the polyvinyl(plastic) reinforcements, not the paper, and for durability, for down the line you will need to clean the mirror from time to time.

 

I would not suggest "tussling" with a laser-collimator, as an entry-level unit oft requires collimating, and before it can be used to collimate the telescope itself.

 

When collimating with a cap, the telescope should be placed in a horizontal position, the front of the tube, the opening, covered with a white cloth or other, then a lamp in front of that to illuminate the telescope's interior.  You then look through the cap and you will see the entire optical system...

 

collimation1a.jpg

 

...with that being the scene from my 150mm f/5 Newtonian, and well collimated.  Your own scene should appear very similar if not identical.  Instructions for collimating a Newtonian abound online.

 

Incidentally, it is known that the telescope of the Meade version of your Celestron kit comes with a parabolic primary-mirror...

 

https://www.bhphotov...ft=BI:514&smp=Y

 

The reason that I have listed those two kits with parabolic mirrors is because you seem to be thinking about returning the Celestron version, but perhaps getting a go-to model instead, the 130SLT(?), or with an entirely different telescope.  Please correct me if I'm mistaken.  In any event, I hope I've explained the nature of the kit you have at present, and of those I listed as alternatives.  If you feel that collimating a Newtonian may prove frustrating, know that a refractor requires virtually no maintenance, no collimating...

 

https://www.bhphotov..._equtorial.html

 

...or... https://www.bhphotov...ft=BI:514&smp=Y

 

...or... https://www.highpoin...3YaAsA1EALw_wcB


Edited by Sky Muse, 17 January 2019 - 04:59 AM.


#12 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 09:52 AM

I have a very similar Meade Polaris 130. There's not a lot of difference between our scopes. In my opinion it's an outstanding telescope to start with, especially if you can get out to fairly dark skies now and then. Ignore the negative reviews. Some telescope snobs like to hate on entry-level scopes but pretty much everyone who actually owns one loves them. Is it a perfect scope? No, but nothing is. Is it a good scope? Absolutely. I've worn the label off my 26mm Erfle eyepiece using it with that scope. Don't stress about the spherical/parabolic mirror debate. I have a suspicion the mirrors in both scopes are the same: at least imprecisely figured parabolic but they aren't advertised that way anymore (they used to be). Customer service reps often get a lot of things flat out wrong about their products, at least the entry-level ones. Meade and Celestron reps have both been quoted saying the scopes have spherical mirrors but mine said "parabolic mirror" on the box it came in.

 

In any case, the mirror as-is will work fine on everything you'll be able to see. I have an 8" SCT and there's not *that* much difference in what I can see from light polluted areas between it and my Polaris 130. The scope is *very* good for looking at star clusters and most other Deep Sky Objects (DSOs). It's not the *best* for moon and planets because high power isn't its strength (but it's still okay for them), but most of your viewing is done at low and medium powers, where the scope's real strengths lie. And there's a *lot* more stuff to see out there than just the moon and planets.

 

I second the recommendation for picking up a book like Turn Left at Orion. The book gives easy to follow directions for finding hundreds of interesting things to look at with scopes like ours. The book is set up for use with a traditional finderscope, but you can use it with the red dot finder your scope came with. For each object, there's a sort of chart of what the sky in the area looks like with a circle showing where the target is. Line up your red dot finder with that general circled area and you should be able to pan around with your lowest power eyepiece in a little spiral until you spot your target. Because a reflector like yours gives upside down views, what you see in the low power eyepiece will match up with what is shown in TLAO's finderscope view charts, just zoomed in a bit more. For most hard-to-find objects that helps you zero in on its location if you are having trouble. TLAO also has a drawing showing what you can expect the object to look like in the eyepiece so you know you've found it. That helps tremendously, because then you know what to expect. Objects in the telescope don't ever look like the Hubble images you see online and in other books. In any case, the scope is a lot more fun when you know what to look for in the sky, and TLAO does a good job of curating objects that are within the capability of small to moderate sized telescopes and they're organized by season so you can plan your nights more easily. One monthly star guide book I recently picked up used to try out listed interesting objects to see in each constellation. For January it had the Orion Nebula (easy to see with a small scope) and the Horsehead Nebula (yeah, you aren't going to see that). I haven't found a book that is easier to use or with more attainable things to see than TLAO.

 

Collimation seems scary at first and will probably take you 45 minutes the first time you do it, but by the third or fourth time it gets much faster. It's really not that hard to do as long as you stay patient. Lasers are more trouble than they're worth; I bought one to try, used it a few times, accidentally left it on, and then  the batteries died. Tossed it in the junk drawer never to be seen again. A cheshire/sight tube or collimation cap is easier to use and plenty good enough for our purposes.

 

The EQ mount takes a while to wrap your head around, but if you just set it to approximately your latitude and point the mount vaguely north you can just trust it to work and it will. It's hard to point at things to the north with one, so if you're having trouble pointing at something just flip it around to point south instead. It won't "track" right anymore but things to the north don't appear to move as quickly so it's not a big deal. Motors are nice but not essential. In manual mode you never have to worry about batteries, and at low powers tracking doesn't matter as much.

 

Eyepieces make a huge difference with the scope, since it comes with kind of marginal ones. Celestron sells two different levels of eyepiece kits: one with inexpensive Huygens ("H") eyepieces and a nicer, pricier set with Ploessl eyepieces. If yours came with the H eyepiece set, don't stress about it; they're still usable and useful. However, after you've used them a while and figured out what focal lengths you use the most (for me it's a 26mm eyepiece and a 10mm eyepiece with a 2x Barlow lens) it's probably worth looking into picking up two or three Ploessl eyepieces. Ploessls are slightly sharper but more importantly give a considerably larger apparent field of view, i.e. a physically larger "circle" you see when you look through them. Makes views through the scope more pleasant.

 

In any case, you've got a scope that you can get a lot of mileage out of, that'll help you figure out what sorts of things you do and don't like to observe, and a scope that'll take a long time to outgrow--and even if you did outgrow it the scope will always be useful as a lighter weight travel scope or "grab and go" scope. I like my 8" SCT, but sometimes the thought of dragging around 50 pounds of stuff is less appealing than just grabbing the Polaris 130 and having an easier time with everything. You can have a lot of fun with your scope.


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#13 Penarin

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 10:35 AM

Just a few tips for starting out:

 

-Get to know the scope in the daylight.

-Align the finderscope and the main scope on a small, distant object.  This is also easier done during the day.

-Always start with your lowest power eyepiece when attempting to find something.  It will probably be marked 32mm or 25mm or something in that range.  You'll get less power and more field of view, so targets will be easier to find.  

 

Here's a good link on how to polar align your German Equatorial Mount-

 

https://themcdonalds...uatorial-mount/

 

The second picture down from the top is helpful.  The one with the green arrow on the polar axis.  Point that part of the mount towards Polaris and enjoy.

 

Have fun with your new scope!


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#14 Sky Muse

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 02:43 PM

Until Celestron(Synta) states otherwise...

 

https://www.celestro...-the-difference

 

...we must assume that the Newtonian in question contains a spherical primary-mirror, and at f/5 no less.  An f/5 primary-mirror should always be parabolic.  The nature of the primary-mirror within the Meade variant, the "Polaris" 130mm f/5, had always been a mystery to the general populace, until recently.  Orion of California offers the Meade kit, and states within the specs that the mirror is indeed a parabola...

 

https://www.telescop...?keyword=meadeĀ 

 

But Orion does not list that kit within its user-friendly menu.  I had to search for "Meade" just now, with no other characters, in order to find it.  The first time I saw the listing, the other day, I had stumbled upon it, inadvertently.  How fortunate for Meade, as it will now be a viable suggestion in future for those first starting out.  I'd like one myself.  Heck, I'd like to have a Meade 127mm "Bird Jones" even, but that's another story.

 

An f/5 spherical primary-mirror is the reflective equivalent of an f/5 achromatic-doublet; to the latter's rampant false-colour when viewing brighter objects.  With said achromat, the refracted colours that make up the image fail to focus at a single point.  The result is blurred, smeared images.

 

With a spherical mirror, all of the reflected rays of light that make up an image of an object in the sky fail to focus at a single point, therefore an image will be incomplete, lacking.  The result is, again, blurred, smeared images, particularly at the higher powers.  It will have lost some of its "marbles"...

 

https://www.flickr.c...eposted-public/

 

In both cases, the detriments are akin to a transporter malfunction aboard the Enterprise...

 

https://www.autostra...241-640x480.jpg

 

Don't get left out in the cold. 


Edited by Sky Muse, 17 January 2019 - 04:32 PM.

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#15 Crazyhorse1876

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 03:01 PM

First, I'd like to thank you all for responding to my post. I expected to check back tomorrow and find a few replies but not so many in such a short time frame. 

 

I'll open the box tomorrow to start reading about the unit and get familiar with the components. Thanks for reassuring me the unit is worth keeping and learning with. I hate opening things and returning them to stores and avoid it if possible. I usually research things quite a bit before buying something and the telescope caught me by surprise. 

 

I was gifted two NatGeo books and a pocket star finder to get me started. The links to additional reading material and star charts are great! I'll be back tomorrow to do some shopping. smile.gif

 

Thanks again for being such a welcoming community and taking the time to provide detailed responses. 

Don't forget YouTube will be of great help to you for visual answers to many questions you will have. There are numerous videos on your Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ that show setup, collimation and how to work with an EQ mount. Just about any question you have someone most likely made a video about it and posted there.

 

Cheers and good luck"



#16 vtornado

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 03:37 PM

In my previous post, I saw that scope was an f/5 and a 130mm, I assumed it had a paraboic mirror in it.

These f/5 prabolic synta tubes are as common as grass.

If  the data skymuse says is correct that it is a spherical mirror, and you have not unboxed it, I would be

tempted to take it back.

 

I am not a telescope snob (look at my list).  I don't own one of these, but I would be nervous that 130mm f/5 optics

with a spherical mirror is going to show a lot of sherical aberation.  For beginners the easiest targets are

moon an planets, which are best viewed at high power, which really makes the SA a problem.



#17 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 03:14 PM

Until Celestron(Synta) states otherwise...

 

https://www.celestro...-the-difference

 

...we must assume that the Newtonian in question contains a spherical primary-mirror, and at f/5 no less.  An f/5 primary-mirror should always be parabolic.  The nature of the primary-mirror within the Meade variant, the "Polaris" 130mm f/5, had always been a mystery to the general populace, until recently.  Orion of California offers the Meade kit, and states within the specs that the mirror is indeed a parabola...

 

I'm not sure how to interpret Celestron's statement, other than to suspect it is wrong. People have quoted emails from Meade reps stating the Polaris 130 has a spherical mirror, yet the box mine came in said "parabolic mirror" and now I guess Orion seems to agree. I'm guessing the confusion comes from the fact that at times there has been a 130mm Bird-Jones telescope sold by Meade and others (indeed the current Meade Star Navigator 130 is), which would have a spherical mirror. However, given how many scope brands offer identical looking 130mm scopes with f/5 parabolic mirrors it would surprise me greatly if Celestron were the *only* brand offering a 130mm f/5 spherical mirror. Of course, it's entirely possible that could be the case, but considering how similar Meade/Celestron/Orion entry-level equipment looks I would really be surprised if there was more than cosmetic differences between them. There might be an argument for differences in Quality Control, but the components look identical to me.


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#18 rnc39560

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 05:26 PM

If I'm not mistaken, I think the 130 is parabolic. 



#19 vtornado

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 06:20 PM

The real test is at the eyepiece.  But unfortunately the OP has nothing to compare it to.

 

I would collimate it, let it cool then

I would crank up the power to 150 - 200x, and check for image sharpness, the moon would be a good target.

This also means unboxing and assempbling the the thing too.

You also have to make sure the atmosphere is not all turbulent on the night you test too.


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#20 NathanielHornblower

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 07:33 PM

Responding to a previous post - I think the other half got this telescope on sale for about $149 or so with the eyepiece kit from Costco. Definitely not regular price.

 

Anyways, I ordered Turn Left At Orion last night. Going to unbox it today now that I have some time.

 

Do I need to buy the device to collimate? I saw this link another post but unsure if that's needed or something that makes it easier. https://smile.amazon...5/dp/B00009R7RJ

 

Thanks!



#21 NathanielHornblower

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 10:46 PM

Good news. I was able to assemble it this evening. I found the moon! lol


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#22 Sky Muse

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 08:48 AM

Responding to a previous post - I think the other half got this telescope on sale for about $149 or so with the eyepiece kit from Costco. Definitely not regular price.

 

Anyways, I ordered Turn Left At Orion last night. Going to unbox it today now that I have some time.

 

Do I need to buy the device to collimate? I saw this link another post but unsure if that's needed or something that makes it easier. https://smile.amazon...5/dp/B00009R7RJ

 

Thanks!

If you plan to stick with Newtonian telescopes in future, you'll always have a use for that tool.  It's on sale here, and with free shipping as well...

 

https://agenaastro.c...tors-94182.html



#23 B 26354

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:36 AM

There's also this one:

 

https://agenaastro.c...reflectors.html

 

... which doesn't protrude into the focuser as deeply as the Celestron one does. Not sure what the advantage/disadvantage is. Perhaps someone can elaborate?



#24 Sky Muse

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:56 AM

I'm not sure how to interpret Celestron's statement, other than to suspect it is wrong. People have quoted emails from Meade reps stating the Polaris 130 has a spherical mirror, yet the box mine came in said "parabolic mirror" and now I guess Orion seems to agree. I'm guessing the confusion comes from the fact that at times there has been a 130mm Bird-Jones telescope sold by Meade and others (indeed the current Meade Star Navigator 130 is), which would have a spherical mirror. However, given how many scope brands offer identical looking 130mm scopes with f/5 parabolic mirrors it would surprise me greatly if Celestron were the *only* brand offering a 130mm f/5 spherical mirror. Of course, it's entirely possible that could be the case, but considering how similar Meade/Celestron/Orion entry-level equipment looks I would really be surprised if there was more than cosmetic differences between them. There might be an argument for differences in Quality Control, but the components look identical to me.

To be clear, the most common "Bird Jones" kits by Celestron and Meade are 127mm in aperture.  That's an important distinguishing characteristic, and in helping beginners avoid those kits, along with their long focal-lengths relative to their short tubes.  The Meade 130mm go-to kit is a relative newcomer, and more than twice the price of the manual kits.  I would think that far fewer of those kits are considered by those first starting out.

 

Researching online, Celestron's representatives cannot seem to agree upon the exact nature of the 130EQ's primary, and from one e-mail reply to another.  Some have stated "spherical", others "parabolic".  Incredible.  Some have opined that the 130EQ used to have a parabola, but no longer, and due to cost-cutting measures.  Teleskop Service states emphatically that it's a parabola...

 

https://www.teleskop...30-650mm-Newton

 

...but that's the European market.  Are they exactly the same, all over the world?  In that Celestron, here in the U.S., cannot make up its mind, then cost-cutting measures are suspected, for it is easier, and cheaper, to make a spherical primary.  Then we know that when a Newtonian does possess a bonafide parabola, that fact is touted, with no doubt remaining, within others' advertisements and listings.  I wish I could say the same for the Celestron "AstroMaster" 130EQ, and definitively.



#25 Sky Muse

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 12:29 PM

Good news. I was able to assemble it this evening. I found the moon! lol

The eyepiece kit that came with your kit does not contain a barlow, nor Plossl eyepieces.  Don't expect much with the included eyepieces.  With a focal-length of only 650mm, a 2x barlow would get that length up to 1300mm.  You could then ramp up the power more easily...

 

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html

https://agenaastro.c...arlow-lens.html

 

Plossls play well with f/5 Newtonians, and are the barest minimum in performance eyepieces...

 

https://agenaastro.c...shopby/gso.html

https://agenaastro.c.../celestron.html

 

A 130mm aperture is, according to the 50x-per-inch "maxim", capable of 250x.  However, a number of factors will conspire against you in reaching that high of a power; the atmosphere and collimation, for two.  Combining a 9mm Plossl with a 2x barlow will result in a simulated 4.5mm, and for a power of 144x.  The planets will put on a fine show at that power, as will the Trapezium star-cluster of Orion; as well as the Moon's craters and other features, and double-stars.  A 12mm Plossl and a 3x barlow would result in a simulated 4mm, and a power of 163x...

 

https://agenaastro.c...rlow-07278.html

 

I use both 2x and 3x barlows with my 150mm f/5, and its 750mm focal-length.


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