Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT Review

When you’re looking for a telescope it can quickly become very overwhelming given the vast amount of choice you have at your fingertips.

A simple internet search for ‘best telescopes’ or something similar will bring up hundreds of different models. This is made even more difficult if you are a beginner in the world of telescopes and do not really know what you are looking for.

In this article, we wanted to show you just one of our favorite telescopes. The Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT is a great model for beginner to intermediate star searchers.

In this article we are going to be giving you a product review for this model, telling you all about the fantastic features, what specifications it has, and what we liked (and didn’t like) about it. 

Information about the company 

Spanning six decades, Celestron has long been a key player in the world of optic technology.

Their first model, the C8, launched in the 1960s, and since then the company has gone from strength to strength, becoming key figures in the world of telescopes and beyond. 

In 2013, one of their telescopes was used on a Japanese mission to the international space station, a very proud moment for the company.

In 2020 they celebrated 60 years as a company, and have since launched telescopes that can be controlled via smartphones, bringing the company firmly up to date.


The Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT is a computerized star locator telescope. The model offers the user a huge database full of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and much more.

It uses Celestron’s trademarked StarPointer technology which can pinpoint your object with precise accuracy.

The StarAlign capabilities mean that you can point your telescope towards three bright objects in the sky (for example, the moon, or bright planets such as Venus), and the telescope will automatically align and locate thousands of objects for you.

It can also track objects for you, making the experience even more enjoyable as you will never lose sight of what you were looking at! 

The telescope comes with a stainless steel tripod that can be adjusted to suit your needs. On the tripod sits the single fork arm Computerized AltAzimuth Mount which is the feature that allows the telescope to track your chosen object as it moves across the night sky.

The telescope is compatible with two-inch eyepieces and comes with a 130mm aperture which gathers all the light you will need to see our Solar System.

The telescope itself can be transported easily thanks to its compact size and easy portability. This makes it the ideal choice for families looking to fit in some stargazing to their camping trips and hikes.

Set up is fast and simple, meaning you do not need to be fussing with it for hours to get it ready for use. There are no tools needed for set-up either, which we are sure will be a popular selling point!

It enables you to see stars, of course, but you can also impress your family and friends by showing them the craters of the moon, the ice caps of Mars.

Saturn’s rings, and the fascinating cloud bands surrounding Jupiter. You can even use it for land-based observations in daylight, checking out the wildlife. 

Celestron’s Nexstar 130 SLT is a great choice for a beginner as it is compatible with many other Celestron accessories and software. This means that the telescope can grow with you, adjusting to your needs as they arise.

As you become more used to navigating the skies, you can up your status from total newbie to seasoned and experienced amateur astrologist.

You can purchase the StarSense AutoAlign accessories, the SkyPortal WiFi module, and even the PowerTank to enhance your experience. It also works well with the free software download that you get with each purchase (more on this later!). 

The telescope is compatible with WiFi, as well as working with ease with the StarSense technology software packages. When purchasing this telescope you also get access to fantastic software for free.

You get to download one of the top-rated astronomy software programs in existence, Celestron’s StarryNight, enabling you to have interactive sky simulation in your home!

This extremely powerful software can help you to learn all about the night sky, what celestial objects are out there, and can help you to plan your next stargazing session.

There are some fantastic resources on this software, giving you incredible knowledge of our solar system, as well as what lies beyond.

Customers of Celestron will also be happy to know that if they have any issues, questions, or queries they need to be answered, then they have unlimited access to Celestron’s technical support team, who are all US-based and experts in the field.

There is also a two-year warranty on the telescope that you can utilize if needed.

Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT Buying Guide

What you get when you purchase the Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT: 

  • Red dot StarPointer finderscope
  •  2 eyepieces (25mm and 9mm). 
  • The telescope
  •  Adjustable, full-height steel tripod with accessory tray 
  • Free access to StarryNight software 

Features and specifications 

In this section, we are going to be taking you through some of the technical specifications related to the telescope such as overall weight, the optical design, focal ratio and length, and magnification information.

We will then be taking you through some of the stand-out features. 

Specification Table

Optical design
Features a Newtonian Reflector
Magnification
26x and 72x 
Aperture
130mm (5.12”)
Focal length 
650mm (26”)
Focal Ratio
f/5
Assembled Weight
18 pounds 

Key features

  • Durable stainless steel tripod
  • NexStar+ computerized hand control
  • 130mm Newton Reflector optical tube 
  • No-tool set up
  • Superfast SkyAlign software
  • AltMazimuth computerized mount
  • Database of 1000s of stars, galaxies, and more 
  • Access to stargazing software for free 
  • Battery-powered with a choice of using 8 AA batteries or a PowerTank portable battery (both of these are sold separately). It can also be powered with a 12V AC adaptor which is also sold separately. 

What we liked 

  • We loved how lightweight this telescope was in comparison to other ones we have experience of. It is easy to transport around, making it the perfect choice for camping trips and hikes
  • Set-up is simple and requires no tools. This is especially appreciated by beginners who can be daunted by complicated looking telescopes
  • A fantastic choice of telescope for beginners or intermediate telescope users
  • Comes with everything you need for a good quality set up, and is compatible with even more accessories from Celestron
  • The auto tracking and alignment features are excellent, meaning you never lose the object you are looking at and can begin stargazing easily as it focuses quickly
  • Great eyepieces included that can be used to see the moon in great detail
  • It can be powered via batteries, making a great telescope for transportation on trips, or plugged into a 12V AC adaptor at home
  • It comes with downloadable free software that can help expand your knowledge of the solar system and inspire your stargazing sessions 

What we didn’t like 

  • Some customers have found that the mount is a little on the shaky side, meaning that even the slightest touch can cause vibrations sometimes. This has a knock-on effect when viewing because it can cause you to lose sight of objects
  • You may find that the eyepieces included are not up to scratch for your needs, especially if you have used higher quality ones before. They are great for basic solar and lunar viewing, but for more detailed viewings you may want to invest in more eyepieces
  • The stainless steel tripod is prone to rust, so do bear this in mind if you plan to use it outside often 

Verdict 

Overall, the Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT is a great choice when you are looking for a new telescope. We think that it is best suited to a beginner or intermediate level star searcher, but we have found through research that many experienced amateur astrologists also like this model.

It is easy to set up and use, lessening the worry from newbies of setting up a complicated telescope.

It comes with everything you need to have an enjoyable stargazing session, and whilst you may want to add extra accessories if you want more detailed viewing, the eyepieces included allow you to see the moon very clearly, as well as galaxies and nebulae. 

The telescope also comes with free downloadable software, made by Celestron called StarryNight that can be used to expand your knowledge of the solar system, and to plan out your stargazing sessions thanks to the amazing inspiration it gives you. 

The materials used for building the tripod and mount are not the best quality, but that being said, they still offer great support for basic use, and the other pros of the product far outweigh these relatively minor issues.

All in all, if you are looking for a good quality telescope for beginning your stargazing journey, then this is the one for you! Buy it today for a competitive price on Amazon and see for yourself! 

Gordon Watts

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