Celestron NexStar 130SLT * This is one serious telescope. Celestron's NexStar 130SLT will keep you enchanted and literally enlightened for years. * A classic Newtonian reflector, it engages you in the physical act of observing. You'll be changing body-position throughout the night; almost dancing with the scope. Like an astronaut on a rocket, you ride up front. Your head goes here with the power of the instrument down below you. * I really love the feel of this focuser… very smooth and precise. And you see it can take eyepieces up to 2 inches. * The engine of a reflecting telescope is its primary mirror. Observing power is all about aperture and 130mm of aperture really hauls in the photons. * This mirror will eventually need to be aligned- "collimated" is the proper term. This telescope makes it straightforward with easy to manipulate setting screws. It's not a hard thing to do, but you need to wrap your brain around it and you may want an accessory like a laser collimator to help. But we think it's totally worth it for the views this instrument can bring you. * Expect to see the seasonal ice caps on Mars and the dark Cassini Division between Saturn's largest rings. You may even catch the shadows of Jupiter's 4 large moons as they transit across the planet's face. Exploded stars called nebulae and star clusters will be within your range. And this scope can go deep into the dim old starlight of galaxies beyond our own. * Go-to capabilities take much of the work out of finding targets. Some astronomers believe that may not be a good thing; that it makes for lazy observers who don't know the sky. We deeply respect that view but we disagree; we think the quicker reward of seeing more targets in each observing session can keep new observers excited about the sky and more willing to learn its secrets. * The software included with the Celestron 130 has a catalogue of more than 4,000 of those celestial secrets. And the set-up of this go-to system is among the most painless we've seen. * You will pay a premium though for this much telescope. But it's not the most expensive one we tested within this category. * And when you take all the factors together, we like this instrument the best. The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is our favorite beginner telescope
Among the best reflector telescopes for beginners, Celestron's NexStar 130SLT boasts big aperture, respectable optics and easy set-up with the Sky Align Go-To computer.
Credit: Dave Brody | SPACE.com