1Best Celestron Telescope Reviews and Recommendations for All-Level Stargazers
July 8, 2020
by Barbara Hogg
It’s an exciting time for space exploration, so why not jump in on the action and get yourself kitted out with the best of gear? In case you were looking for the best Celestron telescope on the market, we have ten picks for you!
We have all heard the fun fact that we have explored more of outer space than we have our own planet, but that is not a bad thing. Because now you can too!
It can be a lot of hard work to choose the right telescope that is going to fit your needs and your budget. Luckily, we have done all the work for you. We have combed through all the best Celestron telescope reviews, products on sale, and space exploration buffs’ recommendations to narrow down our top ten choices. All these Celestron telescopes offer amazing views of our universe with crystal clear images.
If you are new to astronomy, I suggest that you check out our Optical Concepts Explained: How do Telescopes Work? and our guide on the 9 Best Telescopes for Beginners. These articles will show you all the important things to consider when buying and using a telescope. Moreover, before you begin your hunt for the best Celestron telescope on the market this year, make sure you understand the different types of telescopes available, so you pick the right one depending on your needs.
Even if you have limited knowledge of the subject, you won’t have anything to worry about with Celestron. As you will see, all the telescopes on our list come with lots of fun educational packages to make you a pro in no time! If you are looking for a more professional experience, there are plenty of telescopes that will still impress you and make your explorations much easier and enjoyable.
|Celestron NexStar 8 SE||Schmidt-Cassegrain||8 inches||Motorized AZ||Check Latest Price|
|Celestron NexStar 6 SE||Schmidt-Cassegrain||6 inches||Motorized AZ||Check Latest Price|
|Celestron NexStar 127 SLT||Maksutov-Cassegrain||5 inches||Motorized AZ||Check Latest Price|
|Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ||RNewtonian reflector||4.48 inches||Manual Equatorial||Check Latest Price|
|Celestron ExploraScope 22103||Newtonian reflector||4.5 inches||Manual AZ||Check Latest Price|
1 Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope
For all you serious stargazers out there who have dreams of traveling the galaxy, you are going to need the tech to back you up.
The Celestron NexStar 8 SE should be top of your list. It’s jam-packed with features and added extras that are worth every cent. It boasts a huge 8-inch aperture guaranteed to give you clear images of deep space. It’s simple to set up and use and will not disappoint.
|BEST FOR Deep Space Viewing
|Item Weight||55.4 pounds|
|Item Size||42 x 25 x 13 inches|
|What You See||Cassini’s Division in Saturn’s rings, cloud bands on Jupiter, the Great Red Spot, stars of the Hercules Globular Cluster, and the spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy.|
|Magnification||Up to 400x|
|Aperture||8 inches / 203.2mm|
|Special Features||5 eyepiece sizes, 2x Barlow lens, Moon filter, 6 Wratten filters, computer-assisted alignment, StarPointer finderscope, LCD display, customizable sky tour, steel tripod|
Why choose the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope?
This is probably the best Celestron telescope in the family if your interests lie with planet viewing. It comes with plenty of added extras and its specs are hard to beat. The kit is filled with a multitude of eyepieces and filters to help you explore deep space. It even comes with a computerized system that will find stars and constellations for you. If you find that’s still not enough, it has more to offer:
- Access to the educational database containing over 40,000 stars and constellations
- f10 focal ratio, focal length 2032mm
- Motorized ToGo mount with auto-explore feature
- LCD information display
- Assisted alignment with the help of SkyAlign technology
- The StarFinder finderscope will give a larger field of view while searching for distant objects.
|Multitude of lenses giving up to 400x magnification|
|Large 8-inch aperture gives crystal clear images|
|Easy to set up with no tools|
|You can upgrade it with accessories|
|Requires external power source|
The first installment on our best Celestron telescope on the market is worth every cent. It is easy to see why this is at the top of our list of the best Celestron telescope reviews guide. With up to 400x crystal clear images and a computerized system with auto-find features, you’ll be surfing the Milky Way in no time.
2 Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope
Second in the NexStar range and our best Celestron telescope reviews list is the 6 SE. You may recognize this model from our 9 Best Telescopes for Beginners to Learn and Stargaze Like Pros top. This particular telescope is a little easier on the wallet than the S8. With 60x magnification and a 6-inch aperture, it provides stunning views of our galaxy and beyond.
|BEST FOR Learning
|Item Weight||21 pounds|
|Item Size||32 x 26 x 12 inches|
|What You See||Saturn’s rings with Cassini’s Division, cloud bands on Jupiter, Moon geographic features, Orion Nebula, the Hercules Globular Cluster, the Whirlpool Galaxy’s spiral arms, etc.|
|Aperture||6 inches / 150 mm|
|Special Features||Fully automated GoTo mount with database of 40,000+ celestial objects, a focal length of 1500 mm, 10 focal ratio, SkyAlign technology, unique single fork arm design, sturdy steel tripod, Celestron Starry Night Special Edition software (PC and Mac), etc.|
Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope?
This telescope has almost the same features that make the 8 SE so amazing but with a considerable price drop. The main difference is the 6-inch aperture, which is still going to let you see deep space at top quality. The computerized system with auto-find and database access will guide you through the cosmos and educate you along the way. But let’s see other interesting features:
- Access to the Celestron database with 40,000+ objects;
- SkyAlign technology;
- Motorized GoTo mount;
- 6-inch aperture allows deep space exploration with clarity;
- StarFinder Finderscope to help with deep space navigation.
|Fully automated control|
|Easy set up with no tools|
|Excellent tech specs for the price|
|Compatible with many accessories|
|Batteries don't last long, and you will likely need external power|
With an affordable price range, this telescope is the more economical choice for beginners compared to the 8 SE without sacrificing too much quality. The Celestron database and auto-find features are the real sellers when it comes to these models. Whether you are an invested beginner or an amateur astronomer, you will find your explorations are much easier with this model. It’s a solid and trustworthy telescope that is built to last. As we said on a previous occasion, the Celestron NexStar 6 SE is an impressive piece of technology for deep space explorations, making the transition from beginner to intermediate and advanced levels smooth and educational.
3 Celestron NexStar 5 SE Telescope
If you are a budding astrophotographer or would just like to snap some cool cosmos pics for your album, you’ll want to get the NexStar 5 SE with smartphone attachment. This iconic “orange tube” comes with the features of the more expensive models, this time with a 5-inch aperture and amazing compatibility with other smart gadgets. In case you did not check out our guide on the best telescopes for astrophotography, you should now that the Celestron NexStar 5 SE is on our top list of preferences, so feel free to look at that article as well!
|BEST FOR Beginner Astrophotographers
|Item Weight||28 pounds|
|Item Size||32 x 26 x 13 inches|
|What You See||Moon, planets, Orion Nebula, rings of Saturn, clouds of Jupiter, Whirlpool Galaxy, Hercules Globular Cluster|
|Aperture||5 inches / 125mm|
|Special features||Fully automated GoTo mount with star database containing more than 40,000 objects, 1250mm focal length, f10 focal ratio, smartphone attachment, camera control feature, LCD screen that displays information on over 200 objects.
Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 5 SE Telescope?
This telescope is another great option for those wanting a high-quality product without paying the top prices. The 5-inch aperture provides breath-taking views of the galaxy and beyond. The smartphone attachment will allow you to capture and share your experience. A few other things to mention are:
- The database of over 40,000 objects helps you navigate your way around;
- The SkyAlign technology helps you with alignment;
- The NexYZ adapter connects your smartphone to your telescope, spotting scope, binocular, monocular, and microscope so you can capture images and video through the eyepiece;
- The telescope works with a wide range of mobile phone models, including all the latest devices from Samsung, Google, and Apple.
|Smartphone attachment camera features|
|Includes the SkyAlign technology to help with alignment|
|Best Celestron telescope for beginner astrophotographers|
|Small buttons that you can press easily by mistake|
The NexStar 5 SE is the best Celestron telescope package for those looking to share their discoveries. It doesn’t even need to be you that discovers the sky’s most amazing and breathtaking celestial bodies because the auto-find feature does the work for you. But that will be our little secret. All in all, this is the best Celestron telescope for astrophotography beginners and it is worth the price.
4 Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope
The NexStar 4 SE is another great telescope from Celestron. It has a 4-inch aperture and comes with a few noteworthy extras to help you navigate the night sky with ease. This Celestron NexStar 4 SE Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope is among the best telescopes for viewing planets according to experts. Let’s get into the details and tech specs, shall we?
| BEST FOR Night and Day Viewing
|Item Weight||21 pounds|
|Item Size||32.4 x 27.2 x 13.4 inches|
|What You See||Rings of Saturn, Moon, clouds of Jupiter, Whirlpool Galaxy, Hercules Globular Cluster|
|Aperture||4 inches / 102mm|
|Special Features||Automated ToGo altazimuth mount, database of over 40,000 objects, SkyAlign technology, night vision flashlight, sky maps, moon filter, cleaning kit, 1325mm focal length, F13 focal ratio, camera control features.|
Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope?
This telescope gives stunning visuals throughout the day and night. It comes with a flip mirror to make the image stay the right way up so you can use it for birdwatching as well as stargazing.
It has the same computerized system as the other NexStar models, with the GoTo mount and SkyAlign tech. It also comes with loads of added extras:
- Night vision flashlight to help you find your perfect viewing spot;
- Book of sky maps for manual referencing;
- Access to Celestron database with 40,000+ objects;
- Camera control features for stunning astrophotography.
|Flip mirror for daytime use|
|Night vision flashlight|
|Good price for the tech specs|
|Easily upgraded with add-ons|
|Narrow field of view|
The NexStar 4 SE is the best Celestron telescope for terrestrial and astrological viewings. Whether you are trying to see a yellow tailed warbler or the clouds of Jupiter, this is the best you can get. Do you want to learn more about space or check out some information regarding planets? This Celestron telescope will get you a few steps closer to your goals!
5 Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Telescope
The NexStar 127SLT Maksutov-Cassegrain is a great option for amateur astronomers. It has a 5-inch aperture providing amazing detail of the galaxy. It also comes with a downloadable education package that will make you a pro in no time! According to the manufacturer – and we tend to trust Celestron – this innovative NexStar Star Location Telescope (SLT) has been a customer favorite for years. It sports a unique combination of excellent optics, user-friendly computerized interface, and a single fork fully computerized Altazimuth arm mount.
|BEST FOR Amateur Astronomers
|Item Weight||20 pounds|
|Item Size||40 x 19 x 11 inches|
|What You See||Moon, Planets, Rings of Saturn, Moons of Jupiter|
|Magnification||60 X and 167 X|
|Aperture||5 inches / 127 mm|
|Special Features||Computerized mount with access to 10,000 objects, book of sky maps, StarPointer finderscope, SkyAlign technology, 90° viewing angle, 2 eyepieces, focal length 1500 mm, f12 focal ratio|
Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 127 SLT?
This is a great option for both beginners and professionals alike. It comes with top of the range features, like the SkyAlign and the red dot StarPointer finderscope with 2 eyepieces (25mm and 9mm).
If that isn’t enough, it also has 2 magnification strengths, so that you can focus on the fine details while exploring. It comes with a book of sky maps and a downloadable database of over 10,000 objects for it to explore for you.
- Operates with 8 AA batteries (included) or AC adapter;
- LCD display;
- Upgradable with add-ons;
- Includes an adjustable, full-height steel tripod with an accessory tray to keep you organized in the field.
|Wide field of view, great aperture|
|You can also use it as a land-based spotting telescope|
|Some complained about the product packaging|
With the NexStar 127 SLT, you can explore the far corners of our solar system. It has everything you need to jump in and take a new hobby. The computerized system and assisted alignment will help you find and learn about over 10,000 objects. You won’t be stuck in the amateur astronomer phase for long with the NexStar 127 SLT, that’s for sure!
6 Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Telescope
This telescope is perfect for hobbyists who want to invest in a high-quality telescope without breaking the bank. If you already heard that the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ was among the best telescopes for kids and beginner astronomers, then the AstroMaster equatorial telescope with 130 mm aperture will satisfy even the most sophisticated of your astronomy tastes. This AstroMaster 130 EQ has all the features you need to explore the skies, no matter how much experience you have. One of the best telescopes for beginners, the AstroMaster is an excellent choice for kids, teens, and adults alike.
| BEST FOR The Entire Family
|Item Weight||17 pounds|
|Item Size||35 x 19 x 12 inches|
|What You See||Rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moons, planets, Moon, terrestrial landscapes|
|Magnification||33 X & 65 X|
|Aperture||4.48 inches / 114mm|
|Special Features||Mounted StarFinder finderscope, steel tripod, Equatorial mount, access to the StarryNight software, access to database containing 10,000 objects, image corrector in the 20mm eyepiece, focal length of 1,000mm and f/8.7 focal ratio.|
Why Choose the AstroMaster 130 EQ Telescope?
The AstroMaster 130 EQ includes access to “The Sky” database with over 10,000 objects for you to discover. It also has free software for your PC so you can brush up on everything you know abut space and on what you need to learn to navigate the night sky on your own.
It can just as easily be used during the day for birdwatching or sports events, and with the 65x magnification you won’t miss a thing. If you are still unsure, here are a few more reasons this is an excellent choice:
- The equatorial mount helps you track objects through the night sky;
- Mounted StarFinder finderscope to help you align the telescope;
- Image corrector flips the image the right way up for terrestrial exploration;
- 48-inch aperture gives clear images of the night sky.
|You can use it for both terrestrial and celestial exploration|
|Equatorial mount tracking location of objects|
|A good long-term investment for beginners|
|Two magnification strengths|
|Tripod can be shaky/fragile, but you can easily replace them|
This is a more affordable Celestron telescope that still has the features of the more expensive models. If you are looking to start out and still want all the gadgets of the pros, the AstroMaster 130 EQ is worth checking out. It is one of those beginner telescopes that help kids, teens, and adults to start enjoying stargazing and even astrophotography.
7 Celestron AstroMaster 90 AZ Telescope
Another telescope in the AstroMaster range is the 90 AZ. It has a 3.5-inch aperture and 100 X magnification. It will give you clear views of Orion’s Nebula or the moons of Jupiter without breaking your bank.
| BEST FOR Value for money
|Item Weight||12.4 pounds|
|Item Size||16.54 x 6.3 x 3.9 inches|
|What You See||Rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moons, planets, Orion’s Nebula|
|Magnification||50 X & 100 X|
|Aperture||3.54 inch / 90 mm|
|Special Features||Mounted finderscope, access to Starry Night software, adjustable steel tripod, erect image prism, two eye pieces, focal length 1000mm, f/11 focal ratio.|
Why Choose the Celestron AstroMaster 90 AZ Telescope?
This is another excellent telescope for those beginning their explorations of the night sky. Easy to set up and use, it even comes with illustrated assembly instructions and access to the Starry Night software with printable sky maps.
It is another dual-purpose telescope that can be used both during the day and at night. It comes with 20mm and 10mm eyepieces that offer 50 X and 100 X magnifications providing stunning detail from a distance. A few other things to mention:
- It comes with asmartphone adapter that connects your smartphone to a telescope, binocular, spotting scope, or microscope, so you can capture images and video through the eyepiece;
- Works with most smartphone devices;
- Comes with an adjustable steel tripod;
- 20mm and 10mm eyepieces;
- Mounted finderscope for large view field while searching;
- Illustrated setup guide;
- Image flip for day use.
|Excellent telescope as a gift for teens and adults|
|Excellent price for the hi-tech specs|
|Easy to install and use|
|Day and night uses|
|Mount does not track stars|
The AstroMaster 90 AZ is another budget-friendly option that is perfect for beginners and amateurs. It’s a versatile model that can be used anywhere anytime with easy no-tool setup. It also makes an excellent science gift for kids and teens, not to mention is a great investment if you need a beginner’s telescope.
8 Celestron ExploraScope Telescope
Another fine addition to our list of best Celestron telescopes is the ExploraScope. This little beauty features more basic options than our previous entries, but you should not worry about its quality. All the major features are still there to provide stunning views of the night sky as well as beautiful terrestrial landscapes.
| BEST FOR Price/Performance Ratio
|Item Weight||6.7 pounds|
|Item Size||36 x 52 x 32 inches|
|What You See||Moon, rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, planets|
|Magnification||50 X & 250 X|
|Aperture||4.5 inches / 114 mm|
|Special Features||Slow motion rod, StarPointer finderscope, 2 eyepieces, Barlow lens, aluminium tripod, SkyPortal app, Starry Night software, Focal length 1000mm, f/9 focal ratio|
Why Choose the Celestron ExploraScope Telescope?
The two eyepieces offer 50 X and 250 X magnification and you can triple them to 150 X and 750 X with the use of the Barlow lens. The StarPointer finderscope and slow-motion rod provide higher accuracy and control. As with most of the Celestron telescopes, it has access to educational software to further your knowledge and enjoyment.
- Adjustable aluminum tripod;
- Access to SkyPortal app which offers educational material;
- Access to Starry Night software with 10,000 stars and constellations.
|Fully coated glass optics and a lightweight frame|
|Access to SkyPortal app which offers educational materials|
|Erect image diagonal for correct image orientation|
|Excellent users' reviews|
|Some accessories can be difficult to attach|
The ExploraScope has more magnification and deeper space exploration capabilities than most items in its price range. The 4.5-inch aperture gives clear images of distant star systems, and the StarPointer finderscope will help you navigate your way through the stars as a master of the skies. This is one of the best Celestron telescopes for beginners on this list.
9 Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ is a legend when it comes to best Celestron telescopes in general and best telescopes for viewing planets in particular. It is also one of the best Celestron telescopes for younger stargazers. The software will educate young astronomers along the way and make it easy to find distant galaxies. Another major feature is its assisted tracking and slow-motion controls that help with precision.
| BEST FOR Educational Value
|Item Weight||13.9 pounds|
|Item Size||39 x 13 x 10 inches|
|What You See||Moon, rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, planets|
|Magnification||35 X & 175 X|
|Aperture||2.76 inches / 70mm|
|Special Features||Two eyepieces (20mm & 4mm), 3x Barlow lens, Starry Night software, database of objects, equatorial mount, erect image optics, steel tripod, focal length 700mm, f/10 focal ratio|
Why Choose the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope?
This is a great introductory telescope for teenagers and young astronomers. It’s super easy to set up with no tools needed to get going. It comes with two eyepieces offering 35x and 175x magnification that can be tripled (up to 525x) with the use of the Barlow lens. You won’t be disappointed with how much you get for the money.
- Image corrector for daytime use;
- Printable sky maps;
- Starry Night software;
- Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use;
- Fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity.
|Quick and easy no tool setup|
|Great educational value|
|Enthusiast customers' reviews|
|May be hard to focus for the inexperienced ones|
If you are planning a camping trip for the whole family or a school science outdoor project, this is a must-have. A fun and engaging way to introduce any kid or teenager to the wonders of the night sky and science in general, the PowerSeeker also makes an excellent science gift for young astronomers and adult hobbyists. From school science fair projects to back yard family entertainment, this is probably the best Celestron telescope for education.
10 Celestron Travel Scope 80 Portable Telescope
This is by far the cheapest best Celestron telescope option on our list. But, rest assured, no matter its price, it doesn’t mean you will not enjoy its tech specs and features. Even with the low-price tag, Celestron has still a lot of fun accessories to help you dive into your hobby.
| BEST FOR Budget
|Item Weight||4.5 pounds|
|Item Size||22 x 12.5 x 5.6 inches|
|What You See||Planets, Moon, Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy|
|Magnification||20 X & 40 X|
|Aperture||3.1 inches / 80mm|
|Special Features||Backpack, smartphone adapter, 2 eyepieces (20mm & 10mm), erect image star diagonal, finderscope, pan handle, 400mm focal length, f/5 focal ratio|
Why Choose the Celestron Travel Scope 80 Portable Telescope?
The Travel Scope 80 is ideal for those wanting a budget-friendly telescope to start out. It comes with some extras to give you the full experience at a fraction of the price. The kit includes:
- Waterproof backpack to carry it anywhere;
- Smartphone adapter so you can capture and share your experience;
- Finderscope to help with navigating;
- Two eyepieces providing 20 X and 40 X magnification.
|Two magnification strengths|
|Erect image star diagonal|
|Plenty of accessories|
|Some complained about the quality of the mount|
With such a low price tag, you would assume that you would only get the basics. Celestron still provides added extras to help you get a real feel for astronomy without investing lots of money. Keep in mind that while this product is an excellent choice for beginners, you will want to take things up a notch and move on to more powerful Celestron telescopes on this list.
Buying the Best Celestron Telescope: A Short Guide
Celestron has been producing top-quality telescopes since the ’60s. They have revolutionized the way we use telescopes, as they were the ones who released the first GPS star identifier and battery-powered computerized telescope. The company has gone from strength to strength thanks to their advanced systems, which have even been used by astronauts on the International Space Station. Let’s see a few more things about Celestron telescopes and what to get to meet your needs and exceed your expectations!
Is Celestron a good brand for telescopes?
Celestron is one of the best and most trusted telescope manufacturers on the market. From entry-level budget-friendly finderscopes to some of the most poweful optical instruments for astronomy or astrophotography, Celestron is still a name to rely on when it comes to space learning and exploration.
The best part is that all the Celestron telescopes can be upgraded with lots of different accessories. Most notable upgrade options are:
- StarSense AutoAlign, which, as its name suggests, will align the telescope for you to get the best views;
- SkySync gives your telescope GPS capabilities, helping it to find objects easier with more precision;
- SkyPortal WIFI module allows handsfree use of the telescope using your smartphone or tablet.
If you want to learn more about telescopes and optical concepts in general, here is our guide on how telescopes work.
What Celestron telescope is the best for deep space exploration?
There are a couple of Celestron telescopes that are ideal for planet viewings and deep space explorations. We agree with the experts that some of the best for beginner and intermediate astronomers who want to see nebulae and other far-away celestial bodies and phenomena include the following Celestron models:
- The Celestron NexStar 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Computerized Telescope;
- The Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope;
- The Celestron ExploraScope 22103 114AZ Reflector Telescope.
How do I know what Celestron telescope to buy?
As a rule of thumb, you should first match the type of telescope you want to buy with your astronomy goals. Celestron makes some of the best telescopes for home use, advanced astrophotography, deep space viewings, and beginners’ space education. You should consider, however, a telescope’s aperture among your primary selection criteria. For excellent stargazing, you should go for a telescope featuring at least 70 mm aperture. A large aperture allows you to see deeper and in more detail.
In case you used or are using one of the Celestron telescopes on this list, drop us a line sharing your thoughts on their performance and your experience with them!If you don not have yet got your hands on any of these best Celestron telescopes, tell us which one interests you the most!
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