Purchasing a telescope is a delicate process that requires patience, a lot of research and honest advice. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or professional, you must put many considerations into this decision. Take a look at CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE for a review on two different styles of telescopes each with its own working principles, pros and cons.
Being a teacher has its perks, and the biggest one is introducing your students to ideas and concepts that change their lives. I am teacher of physics, but the biggest astronomy enthusiast you might ever meet. Often, my students approach me for advice regarding various telescope issues and purchases. One of the most complex issues I’ve helped hundreds of students figure out is buying their first telescopes. While some of them are absolute beginners, others aren’t: hence the reason for this guide. I am going to compare 2 of my top options for beginner to intermediate level telescopes. Both these models are finely crafted instruments that deserve the utmost care, and not just because telescopes can get pricey. For more on finding a suitable telescope, maintaining it and choosing the right model, take a look at CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE.
What are the differences between the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT and the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE?
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE
Aperture 130mm, 650mm Focal length, f/5 Focal ratio and 26X, 72X magnification. Comes with the following included accessories : 2 eyepieces (25, 9mm) and red dot finder scope
Aperture 150mm or 6inches, 1500mm focal length, f/10 focal ratio. Comes with the following accessories included: 25mm eyepiece with the Starfinder finderscope and the NexStar hand control
TYPE OF TELESCOPE
Newton Reflector Style Telescope
Schmidt-Cassegrain Compound style telescope
Altitude Azimuth mount
Automated Altitude-Azimuth Single Fork Arm
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE- How they compare
Design and family
Because they are from different lines, the SLT 130 and the 6SE have very obvious differences in their design and aesthetics. For example, the 130 SLT comes from the SLT Star location telescope that combines high quality optics, user friendly, fully automated interface and sturdy mounting into an all black compact series of telescopes. Alternatively, the 6SE comes from the orange tube line that is one of Celestron’s most striking lines. This series of telescopes combines excellent optics at reasonable prices for anyone from beginner to advanced user.
Additionally, the 130SLT utilizes lenses instead of mirrors as it is a Newtonian reflector telescope. With this design, you can rely on the instrument to deliver bright colored images over a wide field. However, these aren’t obvious at first glance. The 6SE on the other hand is a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope that uses both mirrors and lenses. The most obvious design difference however is the optical tube. Because the 130 SLT belongs to a different series of scopes compared to the 6SE, it has a different look to it. It is an all black telescope with an aluminum optical tube and reliable mounts. Alternatively, the 6SE is part of the Orange tube series, which obviously, have an orange optical tube. Dimensions of the 6SE are larger than the 130 SLT but we will save that for later.
The way mirrors, lenses or mirrors and lenses are arranged and placed in a telescope will influence its operating principles and many other aspects of the device. In our case, the Celestron 130 SLT is a different telescope type from the NexStar 6SE: Newtonian vs. Schmidt-Cassegrains types respectively.
Newtonian reflector design of telescopes is an open tube telescope with the primary mirror located at the rear end of the optical tube. They rely on this primary mirror to gather and focus the incoming light on the angularly placed secondary mirror which then reflects the image to a focuser whereby it can be viewed from the eyepiece. Alternatively, the Schmidt Cassegrain style telescope is a compound style telescope which both mirrors and lenses to manipulate the optics to form an image. Light enters through the aspheric Schmidt correcting lens after which it hits the primary mirror and becomes reflected upwards where it is intercepted by a secondary mirror. Finally, the light is reflected out through an opening at the back of the device and the image formed on the eye piece. However, just like the Newtonian design, the Cassegrain design is also quite popular for use on beginner level telescopes. This catadioptric design utilizes mirrors to produce the image, as does the Newtonian reflector.
Weight and overall size
Including the tripod, the 130SLT weighs 18lbs while the 6SE weighs 30lbs. Although the 6SE is substantially heavier than the 130 SLT, BOTH of these weights fall within comfortable ranges. They contribute positively to the ‘easy to use’ characteristic on many of Celestron’s models.
TIP: Unless you plan on taking this telescope everywhere with you, weight should be a major issue when choosing between telescopes.
Mounts in telescopes are another essential element to telescope because they will influence the way the instrument moves. Both the 130 SLT and the 6SE are equipped with Alt-Az mounts. This is a pretty basic form of mounting many telescopes use. Both are fully computerized and enabled with the unique single fork arm mount from Celestron.
Magnification plays an important part in telescope capabilities. Upon evaluation, you will notice many telescopes come with eyepiece(s) as part of the accessories. Using these eye pieces, you can adjust magnification as you see fit. However, there is a threshold as to how much and how little you should adjust the magnification. Over magnifying for example can cause the image to blur and get worse. Optimal magnification depends on many things including the type of eyepiece on your telescope or even atmospheric conditions. The 130SLT delivers a basic 26X-72X magnification. Additionally, it has the capacity to achieve 307X as its highest useful magnification. The 6SE on the other hand has a standard 60X magnification but 354X as the highest possible magnification.
Because of the additional 9mm eyepiece, the Celestron 130 SLT has some magnification variety but cannot achieve as large enough a magnification as the 6SE can.
Yes, Celestron does throw in some freebies for all their users to enjoy. One of these is the Special Edition Astronomy Starry night astronomy software. You will enjoy access to a 36k celestial object database from which you can print maps, or even renderings of stars, planets or galaxies in 3D. Additionally, getting the 130 SLT grants you access to Sky Align for easy alignment and Star sense tech. The Celestron 6SE comes with even more freebies compared to the 130 SLT. On top of this, the 6SE includes the patented Star Bright XLT coating. All star polar alignment and is compatible with CPWI and Fastar. These are Celestron based technologies that are meant to enhance your astronomy experience.
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE – A Comparison review
CELESTRON 130 SLT Overview and Key features
From the name, you can tell this Celestron model has a 130mm aperture on a Newtonian style reflector style. It is part of the Star Location Telescope (SLT) series and an upgrade from the 114mm model in the series. Here are among the features that make this telescope so capable.
This beginner friendly telescope is equipped with different technologies, one of which stands out is a reliable mount. An Alt-Az is often used on Newtonian style telescopes, and the 130 SLT is no different. In fact, the mount is a fully computerized Alt-Az mount and a single fork which allows. An additional quick release fork contributes to the easy to set up and use nature of this model. In fact, the assembly doesn’t even require tools.
Accessory-wise, you will receive a red dot finder scope two eyepieces, 20mm and 9mm, to add varying magnification for a difference in observing. You will also receive l which provides a right side you for a more comfortable experience.
With the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT, you can access to the NexStar that accommodates 600 galaxies with dozens of binary stars. Classic sky aligning tech makes the alignment process and overall telescope experience smooth. . Don’t know where to start gazing, the Skytour feature provides you a starting point by helping you access the closest and brightest object relative to your time and location. Powered by 8 double A batteries, you can rely on this telescope to perform for long periods of time: if you choose to 12V AC adapter, that fine too.
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
- Easy ton se telescope
- Great warranty deal and customer support
- Rich database for celestial objects and supplementary access to various software will help grow your knowledge and fondness for
- Quick and easy set up
What we don’t like
- There are frustrations and complaints regarding how well the customer support operates
- Considerably short battery life
- This telescope is sensitive to vibration
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 6SE Overview and Key features
The 6SE, part of the orange tube, no doubt one of Celestron’s most popular line of telescopes. Designed in the famous compound Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope style, the 6-inch, has made a name for itself in the telescope-lovers world. Celestron engineered this model with an aperture of 150mm and a 1,500mm focal length. It is where the 6SE derives the 6 in its name, to represent the aperture in inches.
Focal ratio for any beginner buyers is the ratio between the length and aperture to deliver. The 6SE for example has a FR of f/10 which is what you can expect from such an aperture size, and style of telescope. With its excellent light gathering capabilities, you can rely on this telescope for impressive moon and planet viewing. Additionally, objects like the Orion nebula bad other deep sky objects remain visible while retaining its compact form.
You can rely on this computerized telescope to ease many aspects of your sky gazing. One of its super powers is the self alignment features in collaboration with various databases, information sources and other features that make the device very easy to use.
If you wish, you can pair this telescope with a camera, they recommend one of their own, and venture into some astrophotography. Alternatively, you could experiment with different forms of astroimaging thanks to all the capabilities on this telescope.
What we like
- With the 6inch primary mirror, you can observe many important solar system constituents
- Part of the iconic orange tube series, for which Celestron is known
- Compatible with accessories many advanced users will appreciate
- Several great features for advanced users including SkySync GPS for high functionality alignment
- StarSense Auto Align which is the telescopes automatic alignment function
What we don’t like
- Battery life isn’t the best
What you can see with the NexStar 6SE
With this telescope, you have the capacity to view the following:
- Clouds on Jupiter’s bands
- Lunar surface features
- Deep sky objects like stars in the Hercules Globular cluster or even the spiraling arms of the famous whirl pool galaxy.
- Cassin’s Division which is in Saturn’s rings
Both the 130 SLT and 6SE are well developed instruments for sky gazing. However, they are differently equipped telescopes operating on different principles. When pitted against each other, the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE is the more superior model and design, making the Schmidt-Cassegrain Compound style telescope our winner.
Frequently asked questions
Is the 130 SLT good for astrophotography?
While the 130 SLT telescope is capable of many things, the astrophotography aspects will need some help. This model is 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
What is the Newtonian telescope used for?
Newtonian style telescopes, developed by Issac Newton; hence the name is an upgrade to the refractor design that had the chromatic aberration issue found on refractor style telescopes. It utilizes mirrors instead of lenses to gather light to help generate images of faraway objects.
Which are the different types of Celestron telescopes?
Celestron has been in the telescope making business for decades. They have a variety of series, all utilizing different optical system. For example, the 130 SLT belongs to the Star Location Telescope series, while the 6SE comes from the NexStar SE series. Celestron boasts several other series all enabled with features and capabilities great for all sorts of users.