Your first telescope is an important purchase that cannot be made on a whim. There are many principles that you must understand before you commit to any brand. Here, you will find a guide to two popular Celestron telescopes, both fundamentally different but each very functional. Take a look at CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE, for an unbiased analysis of what either of these has to offer.
I come from a family of astronomers and many astronomy enthusiasts, so I have had my fair experience with vetting and purchasing of telescopes. Coupled with a career in astronomy it is fair to say I have a deep appreciation and understanding of telescopes. One of my favorite things to do is meeting beginner users or amateur s to astronomy and sky gazing because I can introduce them to all the wonders outside the scope of our planet.
The most popular question after these interactions if often, what kind of telescope I would recommend to start out or even more insight on telescopes to help make this important choice. My top two favorite options for beginner telescopes are both by Celestron but from different lines: the SLT (Star Locating Telescope) and the SE series. Both these telescopes are designed with beginners and intermediate users in mind, making them ideal for either category. Here is CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE for further insight.
What are the differences between the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT and the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE
Aperture 130mm, 650mm Focal length, f/5 Focal ratio and 26X, 72X magnification. Comes with the following included accessories : 2 eyepieces (20mm, 9mm) and red dot finder scope
Aperture 102mm or 4 inches, 1325mm Focal length, f/13 Focal ratio and 241X, 15X as highest and lowest useful magnification. Comes with the following included accessories : 2 eyepieces (25mm, 9mm) and red dot finder scope
TYPE OF TELESCOPE
Newton Reflector Style Telescope
Hybrid telescope with Maksutov-Cassegrain Optic system
Altitude Azimuth mount
Fully Automated GoTo mount
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE- How do these telescopes compare?
Below is a detailed comparison of some of the key differences and some similarities between the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE.
Features for beginners
This wouldn’t be a useful telescope for beginners guide if it didn’t highlight and compare the amateur features that make these telescopes useful for beginners. The CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT comes with an easy to use mount, and a quick release arm mount among other design integrations that make it great for beginners. This telescope is ideal for users interested in terrestrial or even celestial observing. On the other hand, The CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE is enabled with automated features making the telescope quite easy to use.
Telescopes are divided into different types based on many criteria, among which the most important is the working principle. The CELTRON NexStar 130 SLT for example, is a Newtonian refractor style telescope, Maksutov-Cassegrain scopes are telescopes that are considered hybrids. They operate by a combination of mirrors and lenses. The CELTRON NexStar 4SE is this sort of telescope which combines benefits of a low cost and high quality refractor.
When talking about telescopes, there are many aspects to think about. However, the telescope optics is among the most important part of the telescope. The way the lenses or mirrors or both are arranged will affect the entire telescope. In terms of optics, the CELESTRON 130 SLT, Aperture 130mm, 650mm Focal length, f/5 Focal ratio and 26X, 72X magnification. On the other hand, the 4SE includes an Aperture 102mm or 4 inches, 1325mm Focal length, f/13 Focal ratio and 241X, 15X as highest and lowest useful magnification.
Alt-Az, as it is commonly known is an altitude azimuth mount is name d so because it uses 2 motions to follow objects across the sky. The Azimuth motion allows the telescope to track southerly stars form. Altitude lifts your scope as it follows an object or star to its highest elevation and then lowers in again. Interestingly, this mount uses a single fork rather than a double design many other Alt-Az mount utilize. On the other hand: the NexStar 4SE utilizes Enabled with the Sky Align feature, beginners can rely on the telescope to align itself.
Both these telescopes utilize a single fork arm mount feature which is a patented design that perfectly combines all the elements of a great mount. The result is a simple to transport, easy to set up and straightforward use mount.
Yes, there are some free perks accommodated within this purchase among our favorite is the Starry night software. With access to this database, you won’t simply use the telescope, but learn from it using vetted and well celebrated astronomy software.
Celestron equips some of its computerized telescopes with this software for the benefit of its users. Models from the SE line, which the NexStar 4SE is part off, allow users to access the 40K object database while the 130 SLT allows access to the 36k object database. Moreover, this instrument comes with a sturdily built stainless steel tripod for all your set up needs.
The Celestron 4SE utilizes rechargeable AA batteries or the alternative twelve VDC-750mA option as a power source. Similarly, the Celestron 130 SLT uses the 12 VDC option or eight double A batteries which are usually not included with the purchase.
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE- A comparison review
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT- Overview and Key features
Celestron designed and markets the 130 SLT as a Newtonian Reflector telescope designed for powerful, yet simple use. Because of the 130mm aperture on this model, it is known as the 130 SLT. If you know some Celestron series history, then you are familiar with other models within this series. The 130 SLT is simply an upgrade of the .In fact; the 130 SLT is the largest in this series. It is part of the Celestron NexStar (SLT) Star Location Telescope. Among the features that make this telescope so wonderful include the following.
This model incorporates various basic and complex elements into its design, making it a great option for anyone who just started sky gazing. Additionally, it is capable enough to keep you interested even when you are past the beginner level, moving on to intermediate territories. The 130 SLT boasts a user friendly yet capable system that is mounted on its sturdy computerized Altitude Azimuth mount which is single forked to allow the telescope to track an object. Because it comes with an easy to assemble set up, you can have this telescope ready for use as you please.
With access to the NexStar database includes over 600 galaxies and more. When you are new to star gazing, it might be difficult o choose what you want to see but you can rely on the Sky Tour feature which generates an entire list of the best objects to view at your time and location. Powered by 8 double A batteries which provides enough energy for operation.
Accessory-wise, you will receive a red dot finder scope two eyepieces, 25mm and 9mm, to add varying magnification for a difference in observing. Additionally, you receive a star diagonal which provides a right side you for a more comfortable experience.
Like with many Celestron NexStar purchases, you will receive access to the Starry night Software which will teach you about the night sky and its celestial bodies.
What we like
- Compact, portable and easy to use
- Great warranty deal and customer support
- Access to a learning database great for beginners
- Easy and fast set up
- It is a computerized telescope with database of stars, nebulae, galaxies and even more
What we don’t like
- The customer support is great on paper but somewhat frustrating to deal with in reality
What you can see with the NexStar 130 SLT
With this telescope, you have the capacity to view the following:
- Lunar surface details
- Phases of Venus
- Jupiter’s moons
- Saturn and its rings
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 4SE – Overview and Key features
Another popular line by Celestron is the SE line with their signature orange tubes. The NexStar 4SE is a great, affordable option for beginners who want to seriously get into astronomy and celestial bodies.
The 4 in the Celestron NexStar 4SE represents the 4 inch aperture which provides light gathering abilities enough to help view the moon, planets and other celestial objects and still maintain a compact form. It is designed using the Maksutov-Cassegrain design and various specs that make this a capable telescope. Additionally, the Go to mount which is fully automated and a database with thousands of celestial objects to help locate and track said objects for you. The telescope has a 4 inch aperture, a 1325mm focal length and a f/13 focal ratio. The purchase includes a 25mm and 12.5mm eyepiece to amp up magnification for 53 times and 100 times magnification respectively.
It is basically a compilation of revolutionary developments from Celestron that make this telescope what it is. Equipped with Sky Align technology lets you align the device and use it within minutes. This is quite convenient considering these are meant for beginners. However, advanced or intermediate users can utilize this telescope too to observe many detailed celestial objects. Not to forget the unique AltAzimuth single fork arm with its sturdy tripod that benefits any new users planning to transport and quickly assemble. You are advised to use NiMH batteries to power this telescope.
TIP: Pairing your 4SE with a camera could allow you to take images of the moon and planets; Celestron recommends using their Skyris cameras.
What we like
- This telescope doesn’t exclude the advanced user as it allows compatibility with high tech accessories
- Access to database to guide you in locating objects you may be interested in
- Great for beginners
- Enabled with parts for easy transport and quick assembly
- Elegant looking and compact
What we don’t like
- Battery life could be better. You will need an external power supply source or several rechargeable NiMH batteries to power this telescope
- Sensitive to vibration
- Customer service isn’t all that great
What you can see with the NexStar 4SE
With this telescope, you have the capacity to view the following:
- The rings of Saturn
- Jupiter’s color bands
- Lunar Craters and geographic features on the moon
- Other deep sky objects
All things considered, the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT is a very capable instrument that beginners and intermediate users can rely on without issue. This is not to say the NexStar 4SE is not a good choice. In fact, there are some areas where the 4SE has an upper hand over the 130 SLT. However, you might outgrow it too quickly, especially if you plan to move from amateur to intermediate, then your best bet is with the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT.
Frequently asked questions
What is a computerized telescope?
These are telescopes utilizing various technologies to make the alignment, tracking or even location of celestial objects easy and convenient. Depending on the extent to which the telescope is technologically enabled, you can find different celestial objects with just the press of a button. This is unlike manual instruments that require an entire process dedicated to the set up.
Can the 130 SLT be used for astrophotography?
Yes and No. While many know this model as one centered on planetary imaging, some users have been able to utilize this scope for deep space astrophotography. The NexImage Solar System Imager for example only takes picture of planets making it difficult to capture deep space objects. However, with the right modifications or additions, it could be possible to use this telescope to photograph deep sky objects.
How long does a 130 SLT last you?
Good telescopes are built to last you a life time, or until you can’t do anything new or exciting with them anymore. Beginners especially tend to outgrow poorly featured telescopes pretty quickly. The SLT 130 is made of quality material and advanced technologies to last you as long as you intend to use it.