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Welcome to my Celestron Nexstar 127SLT Review!
In this review I’ll cover the pros, cons and the Nexstar 127SLT’S features to ultimately help you decide whether it’s a beginner level GoTo telescope worth investing in or one that you should skip.
- Full Name: Celestron Nexstar 127SLT
- Type: Maksutov-Cassegrain
- Aperture: 127mm
- Focal length: 1500mm
- Focal ratio: f/12
- Dimensions & Weight:101.6cm x 48.3cm x 27.9cm by 8. 16kg
- Included eyepieces:kellner eyepieces at 25mm and 10mm
- Rating: 4/5
- Decent in box accessories
- Easy to set up
- Solid performance
- A little pricey
- The mount is somewhat unstable
- The eyepieces provided are sub par
- Computerized star locating telescope: The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is a computerized telescope that offers a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. The telescope locates your object with pinpoint accuracy and tracks it.
- Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is ideal for weekend camping trips or excursions to dark sky sites. Its compact form factor makes it easy to transport and assemble just about anywhere.
- Maksutov-cassegrain optical design: The NexStar 127SLT is the second-largest in the SLT family. The 127mm aperture gathers enough light to see our Solar System and beyond. View Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud bands, and the Moon in brilliant detail.
- Fast setup with skyalign: Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign procedure has you ready to observe in minutes. Simply center any three bright objects in the eyepiece and the NexStar SLT aligns to the night sky, ready to locate thousands of objects.
- Bonus free starry night software: The NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation.
How Do The Celestron Nexstar 127SLT’s Optics Work?
The Nexstar 127SLT falls into Celestron’s Nexstar lineup and is placed at the top end of Celestron’s lower range Nexstar lineup. The other 2 ranges of products include the midrange Nexstar SE line and the top end Nexstar Evolution lineup.
All the lineups have their differences but, they all share the characteristic of being computerised systems.
The 127SLT utilises Maksutov-cassegrain optics which is a sub variation of what is referred to as the compound optical design. The compound optical design is basically a hybrid of the optics found reflector and refractor telescopes.
The Maksutov-cassegrain optical variation within the telescopes tube utilises a corrector plate to smooth out the aberration it would suffer as a result of it using a spherical mirrors inside.
Nevertheless, this design is still pretty solid and will provide you with the following benefits :
- No chromatic aberration
- Great for viewing planets
- As the optics aren’t exposed, maintenance is not required all too often
- Are generally quite compact for their size
That being said there are a few cons too, which includes the following :
- the light within the tube is folded one time which means that there will be a loss of some detail
- Generally more expensive than similar sized reflector or refractor telescopes
In the grand scheme of things the Nexstar 127SLT is a solid telescope for its optical performance even if the system as a whole won’t provide the most detailed of images out there because of its size.
What Do The Celestron Nexstar 127SLT’s Specifications Mean?
Moving onto the specs of the device, the 127SLT’s aperture is 127mm, it’s focal length is 1500mm resulting in a focal ratio of f/12. However, according to users of the device, the aperture of the lens is a little smaller being roughly 120mm in actual usage.
What this means is that the telescope will theoretically be able to achieve a max magnification of around 250x whilst the larger focal ratio makes it a better for observing planets.
These specs should allow the Nexstar 127SLT to view quite a few things, which include the following objects in space :
- Jupiter, it’s red spot and even its cloud bands with solid detail near the max magnification.
- Saturn’s rings and the colour of the planet at the max magnification.
- You’ll be able to make out a good amount of detail on mars when it’s nearest to the Earth.
- Uranus, Mercury, Venus and Neptune can all also be observed although not in very much detail, specifically with Uranus and Neptune both of which will only be visible, in the best case scenario, as tiny blue disc (circle) shaped objects.
- Star clusters
- Andromeda and a few other galaxies.
- A good amount of celestial entities within the messier catalogue.
- The moon and it’s craters in very good detail.
If you’re just starting out, being able to view this much (with the use of good accessories of course) should satisfy you for quite a while and the mount that’s provided should also make the whole process of locking onto planets and celestial objects pretty easy to do.
Regarding the weight and portability of the 127SLT, it is portable coming in with dimensions at 101.6 x 48.3 x 27.9 centimetres with a weight of around 8kg so, if you’re looking for a GoTo device that’s easy to move around, it’s certainly not a bad one to go for.
Accessories Included In The Box?
Along with the GoTo computerized mount the 127SLT comes with two 1.25″ kellner eyepieces at focal lengths of 25mm and 10mm,a starpointer finderscope, a database of over 10k objects found within the provided SkyAlign software, a star diagonal, a tripod a few manuals and other miscellaneous documents.
The eyepieces are fairly low quality but they should get the job done in the beginning. Nevertheless, that is one aspect you may need to look into and invest in (here’s a list of some of the best eyepieces in our opinion). The other accessories however are of a solid quality out of the box and won’t need any kind of upgrading in the beginning.
The Celestron Nexstar 127SLT’s Computerised Mount
The mount used is a GoTo vixen dovetail design which should allow you to move the tube smoothly. The design of the mount is also reaching the threshold in terms of handling the weight of the tube.
This simply means that the weight is distributed at the maximum capacity well and shouldn’t result on the whole telescope wobbling as much as the bigger Nexstar 130SLT however, as it is at the threshold don’t expect it to be an absolutely stable experience when looking through the lens
The mount can either be operated using 8 AA batteries or a portable power supply, of which the latter is definitely the better way to go.
However, one annoying thing you should know is that if your device runs out of battery or if the power supply somehow disconnects, you’d need to go through the entire process of putting in the date and time along with re-aligning the optics so, when using the 127SLT it’s worth knowing this just so you can avoid dealing with this nuisance, even if it is just a minor one.
What Are Users Of The Celestron Nexstar 127SLT Saying?
Users for the most part found the whole set up process and experience to be great as a beginner level individual looking to get into astronomy, particularly due to the fact it has a very convenient GoTo Mount that will essentially lock onto whatever you want to check out.
The only major issue with the device is its somewhat wobbly mount however, as a whole most still found it to be a pleasant experience. Of course the narrower focal length does not make the 127SLT great for checking out the wider expanse of space but, this is just a sacrifice you’ll have to make anytime you go with Maksutov-cassegrain devices.
Other Alternatives Worth Checking Out
Although the 127SLT is a fairly solid device and very convenient to use due to is set up process, there are a few things that it does fall short on, such as its price to performance ratio, which puts it around a $500 device for sub 6 inch device.
If you’re not on a super tight budget, it may be worth looking into some more powerful computerised devices which can be found within this list of ours or if you simply want the best bang for your buck in terms of performance, the SkyWatcher Dobsonian 8 inch is a solid non computerised reflector telescope to go for.
That being said, the Celestron Nexstar 127SLT is a certainly a good device despite its flaws so, if you can accept the somewhat wobbly experience, the sub par eyepieces provided and the relatively expensive price for the specs, it’s still genuinely a solid beginner level telescope worth purchasing.