Is the Astromaster 130EQ a good telescope?
This is a Newtonian reflector telescope with a primary mirror diameter of 130mm. The optical qualities of the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Reflector Telescope are good for beginners. Although, the mount and tripod have both received some user complaints in the past.
It has been known for quite some time as one of the best telescopes for beginners for the price range. But it also has its downsides. Please keep reading to find out.
About the Company Celestron
Celestron is a corporation established in Torrance, California, that makes telescopes and sells telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, and accessories. Some of them are made by its parent company, Taiwan’s Synta Technology Corporation.
Valor Electronics, an electronics and military components company founded in 1955 by Tom Johnson, was Celestron’s forerunner. Johnson became interested in telescopes after constructing a 6″ reflecting telescope for his two boys.
As a result, Johnson founded Valor’s “Astro-Optical” division in 1960, which would eventually become Celestron.
What is included:
- Optical tube assembly with mounting rings and dovetail bar
- StarPointer red-dot finderscope
- Equatorial mount with a counterweight
- Lightweight steel legs
- Accessory tray
- 2 eyepieces (20mm and 10mm)
- Celestron Astromaster 130EQ manual
- A travel tripod
- Astronomy software program
Product information (Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review)
Here is some product information and specifications:
35 x 19 x 12 inches
130 mm (5.11”)
650 mm (25.6”)
Starry Night Astronomy Software
1 Lithium battery (included)
Objective Lens Diameter
4.3 out of 5 stars, from 3219 ratings.
Optical Tube Assembly (OTA): Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
The telescope tube is called OTA, or optical tube assembly. It consists of a metal tube with certain plastic parts on both ends and preassembled mounting rings with a dovetail bar. It has a really great design, and the colors are particularly appealing.
The last section has adjustment screws for the primary mirror, which are used for collimating the telescope. You must collimate your telescope after getting it or later in usage.
Collimation is critical because it allows you to achieve the optimum focus with a crystal-clear image. Collimation is a simple technique of adjusting both mirrors, and there are several tutorials available on the subject. So, you won’t have problems with that.
The Main Mirror: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
Newtonian reflectors have spherical or parabolic primary mirrors. The mirror is never quite flat. Spherical mirrors are less expensive to manufacture and suffer from spherical aberration, which is more of an issue with larger mirrors.
The optimal shape design also refers to the parabolic mirror. The image produced by the parabolic main mirror is of greater quality than the image produced by the spherical mirror, and it is free of spherical aberration.
However, the parabolic mirror is more costly, and it might be more important with larger apertures.
The Focal Ratio: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
The focal ratio determines how “quick” the telescope is. So, the quicker scope produces a brighter image than the slower scope. On this telescope, with a 130mm aperture and a 650mm focal length, we get a focal ratio of F/5.
The focus ratio is calculated by dividing focal length by aperture. This means that, the picture with an f/5 telescope, for example, will be four times brighter than the image in an f/10 telescope.
You’ll be able to view fainter nebulas and galaxies with the quicker scope. Therefore, the f/5 Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ may be used to view deep sky objects.
The Red Dot Finder: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
The star finder on certain early variants of this telescope was permanently fixed, making it difficult to operate.
Many individuals expressed their dissatisfaction with it. It was essentially worthless, and locating something with this detector was so hard. Celestron is now equipping the telescope with the popular “red dot finder.”
This is a very popular and simple to use locator. The red laser projects a little dot on the small front glass, thus the name red dot finder. To begin, align it with the telescope during the day, if possible.
Simply point the telescope toward an object, look through the red dot finder, and adjust the red dot so that it is pointed directly at the item seen via the telescope eyepiece.
The Eyepieces: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
For low magnification views, the 130EQ, like all AstroMaster Newtonian reflector models, comes with a 20mm erecting Kellner eyepiece. This is the same eyepiece that comes with Celestron’s PowerSeeker scopes.
The most basic understanding of how eyepieces work is to realize that your magnification is determined by the eyepiece.
The focal length of the Astromaster 130EQ is 650mm. If you utilize the 10mm eyepiece, you will get a magnification of 65X. 65 magnification = 650mm focal length divided by 10mm eyepiece.
Using the same reasoning, 650mm/20mm = 32.5X magnification is obtained with the 20mm eyepiece. In general, these included eyepieces are very basic.
You could obtain a better view by upgrading to a higher-quality eyepiece, such as the Celestron 8-24mm adjustable zoom eyepiece.
This will give you a range of 8mm (81.25X mag) to 24mm (24X mag) (27X mag). And a better zooming experience.
The Mount: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
The mount is very basic, with significant vibrations that take several seconds to steady before you can see a stable image in the eyepiece. Any modifications you make with this mount will result in you having to wait a long time for your view to cease swaying.
You will see that the mount isn’t the greatest. Some users have had trouble polar aligning the EQ mount, so don’t get discouraged. You don’t require precise polar alignment for simple visual observation.
For changes on both axes, the CG-3 has flexible slow-motion controls. However, depending on where you’re gazing in the sky, you’ll need to transfer the right ascension wire from one side of the mount to the other.
The mount lacks a polar scope, although this isn’t a big deal for a scope designed for visual usage and at most rudimentary astrophotography.
Slow-motion altitude and azimuth adjustments are available on the mount for exact polar alignment.
So, this mount is good for novices; simply point your mount north and change the latitude to suit your location.
Make sure the telescope is balanced using a counterweight, and you will be ready to go. You may see that the mount is a little shaky.
You can make it better by not extending the legs at all if feasible, and putting something heavy between the legs on the inside to lower the center of gravity and make the mount more sturdy.
Motorized upgrade - Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
Because of the earth’s rotation, it’s difficult to maintain the object in view even if the mount includes slow motion right ascension and declination adjusting knobs.
As a result, there is an upgrade for this mount that can assist you with this. It’s a basic clock motor that you switch on once you’ve gotten the item in view, and it will follow the object and maintain it in the center of the eyepiece.
Instead of turning the knobs while staring through the eyepiece, it’s much easier to stargaze this way. The motor is not included but it can be bought separately, or you can buy the telescope that already has it.
The Starry Night Astronomy Software
A CD with the Starry Night Astronomy program is included as a bonus with the package. It’s an excellent piece of software for learning about astronomy and locating space objects in the night sky.
It also features a live sky projection, so you can see what things are currently in your view and where they are in real-time.
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ – What can you see?
The AstroMaster 130 can show you a lot of deep-sky objects. With decent sky conditions, the brighter open star clusters and nebulae like the Orion, Lagoon, and Swan will look great.
Some bright galaxies, such as Andromeda, M82, and M64, will exhibit their dust lanes, and M51 and M101 may just expose their spiral arms under extremely dark skies.
The moon’s craters may be seen, as well as Jupiter’s bands, Saturn’s rings, and deep-sky objects including nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters. If you update it with a motorized drive, you may also try basic planetary and lunar astrophotography.
With the Starry Night software, you may discover more about different sky objects, our solar system, and the night sky. It also features a live sky projection, so you can see what things are currently in your view and where they are in real-time.
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Images
Ready to buy Celestron Astromaster 130EQ?
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Astrophotography
Theoretically, webcam planetary imaging with a 3x or 5x Barlow lens linked to the optical tube is conceivable. However, in practice, the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ is not the best for astrophotography.
Can you connect a camera to Celestron Astromaster 130eq?
Yes, you can. You will need to add Celestron’s Universal Barlow & T-Adapter and Canon T-Ring. You can also attach your DSLR camera directly to one of the telescope’s mounting rings for wide-angle astrophotography.
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ: How to use it?
These are the first steps you will need to follow to start using your Celestron Astromaster 130EQ. A full, detailed manual will be provided.
- Set up the tripod
- Attach the equatorial mount
- Install the counterweight bar & counterweights
- Attach the slow-motion cables
- Attach the telescope tube to the mount
- Install the diagonal & eyepieces
- Install the eyepieces on the newtonians
- Balance the mount in R.A
- Balance the mount in Dec
- Adjust the equatorial mount
- Adjust the mount in altitude
The tripod and several of the elements that make up the mount appear to be extremely delicate. Therefore, the telescope should be transported gently from room to room.
If dust has accumulated on the optics, use a camel’s hair brush or a can of compressed air to clear it. For around two to four seconds, spray at an angle to the glass surface.
Remove any leftover material with an optical cleaning solution and white tissue paper. After applying the solution on the tissue, place the tissue paper over the optics.
Low-pressure strokes should be applied from the lens’s (or mirror’s) center to the edges. DO NOT RUB IN CIRCLES.
Is the Celestron Astromaster 130eq a good telescope for beginners?
Yes, it is. With crisp objects and a manual equatorial mount that lets the user monitor things as they move across the night sky, this telescope is ideal for beginners.
The telescope comes with an adjustable tripod, a red dot finder sight, and two eyepieces in addition to the equatorial mount.
If you’re buying it as a present, we recommend it for 14+ year old and above because the EQ mount is more difficult than the altazimuth mount.
Warranty And Guarantee Information
Celestron gives a 2-year limited warranty for the Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope that covers any faults in materials and workmanship.
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ vs 114EQ: Which is better?
The Celestron Astromaster 130EQ is a better telescope than the Celestron Astromaster 114EQ. The main differences are Aperture (130 mm vs. 114 mm), lowest magnification (19x vs 16x), highest magnification (307x vs. 269x).
According to customer ratings, people prefer the 130EQ better than the 114EW. Below you will find a comparison table:
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ vs 114EQ:
130 mm (5.11”)
114 mm (4.48”)
650 mm (25.6”)
1000 mm (39.37”)
Other alternatives to the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ for the same price range
Below are some of the best alternatives there are for the same price range:
This 5.1-inch reflector telescope collects enough light to provide excellent views of the planets and Moon, as well as brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters.
The SpaceProbe 130ST EQ is a very adaptable telescope that the whole family can enjoy thanks to its short 24-inch long optical tube design for simple travel and fast f/5 focal ratio for appealing wide-field performance.
Manual slow-motion monitoring of celestial objects as they appear to move across the night sky is possible with the sturdy EQ-2 equatorial telescope mount and adjustable tripod. The counterweight bar is 8 inches long.
You can check the price on Amazon HERE.
Zhumell’s revolutionary Z Series Dobsonian telescopes have swept the amateur astronomy scene. With the Z130, you now receive Zhumell’s unrivaled quality and affordability in a portable tabletop Dobsonian.
It’s a great way to begin into astronomy or to add a portable scope to your collection. The 130mm parabolic main mirror of the Zhumell Z130 Portable Reflector Telescope is a high-end feature not generally found in telescopes of this size.
The parabolic mirror eliminates spherical aberration, resulting in substantially crisper images. Zhumell’s high-reflectivity coatings are applied to the primary mirror and all other optical surfaces.
The Z130 surpasses other tabletop telescopes of comparable size thanks to its industry-leading optical components, resulting in a difference you can see and enjoy beneath the night sky.
You can check the price on Amazon HERE.
This 5.1-inch reflector telescope catches enough light to provide excellent views of the planets and Moon, as well as brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters.
The optical tube is 24 inches long and has a fast f/5 focal ratio. Optical components made entirely of glass with high transmission coatings for improved picture brightness, clarity, and stars.
There is no need to download an app because the remote may be associated with your iPhone or Android smartphone through Bluetooth. You may shoot images or movies with the Bluetooth camera remote and share them with your relatives and friends in real-time.
It includes three eyepieces, a 3X Barlow lens, a finderscope, an adjustable tripod, a smartphone adapter, a bluetooth camera remote, and other accessories. It can be used in any viewing position and enables on-the-go astronomy.
You can check the price on Amazon HERE.
Conclusion: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review
The Celestron Astromaster 130EQ is a good telescope to buy for beginners, at an affordable price. Altough some of its components are basic, you can easily upgrade them to improve the performance of your telescope. Are you ready to buy it?
Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Review - Pros and ConsHere are the pros and cons of the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ Telescope.
In general, it is a good telescope for beginners. Here are the good and the bad aspects of it. Some of the downsides can be improved, like by upgrading to better eyepieces. However, the price is very good for a beginner telescope of these characteristics. A very complete telescope for an amateur astronomer.
- Powerful reflector telescope for astronomy beginners
- A sturdy and lightweight frame (very portable, 17lb total weight)
- Includes a StarPointer red dot finder-scope
- Adjustable tripod
- Great looking telescope, professional appearance
- Quick setup, no sophisticated tools needed to set up
- Good price
- The Mount has been described by users as a bit shaky and unstable
- The tripod seems a bit fragile
- The two eyepieces provided are very basic, it is possible to upgrade
- The scope is not built for astrophotography, although it is possible to connect a camera
- Can be difficult to focus at first, until you gain some experience