Differentiating between all the different Celestron Telescopes can get pretty tricky especially if they share some features or capabilities. NexStar130 SLT and Sky prodigy 130 for instance are both 130mm telescopes with the same mount. However, their capabilities and performance differ greatly. Take a look at Celestron NexStar 130 SLT vs. Celestron Sky Prodigy 130 to find out which is the better 130mm telescope.
Because of the ever growing interest in astronomy and the sky, more and more people are now interested in telescopes. Hi, I am Amir and I am a telescope consultant. It might not seem like a real title because I made it up. However, with 20 years of experience in astronomy and sky gazing, I have pretty useful input on telescopes and astronomy in general. Among the most frequently asked about telescopes are those manufactured by Celestron. In this review and comparison, you will find a detailed review and comparison of Celestron NexStar 130 SLT vs. Celestron Sky Prodigy 130. Both the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT and the Celestron Sky Prodigy 130 are very different each with its capabilities, its pros and cons. Read on for more on either option, and to find out which is the better 130mm Celestron telescope.
What are the differences between the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT and the Celestron Sky Prodigy 130?
CELESTRON NEXSTAR 130 SLT
Celestron Sky Prodigy 130
Type of telescope
Newton Reflector Style Telescope
Aperture 130mm, 650mm Focal length, f/5 Focal ratio
Aperture 130mm, 650mm Focal length, f/5 Focal ratio
Alt-Az mount with single fork arm
Computerized Alt-Az single fork arm mount
26X, 72X magnification.
26X, 72X magnification
Celestron NexStar 130 SLT vs. Celestron Sky Prodigy 130 – How these telescopes compare
One of the more immediate differences between these telescopes is the fact that they belong to two different lines both by Celestron. The NexStar 130 comes from the NexStar series of telescopes that has further divisions. This Celestron NexStar 130 telescope is part of the SLT line of NexStar telescopes that are designed with user friendly interfaces and high performance optics with beginner friendly features.
Alternatively, the SkyProdigy is part of the Skyprodigy line that has only one other member without other sub divisions within the line. Usually, different lines have different exterior designs. For instance, the SLT line comes in an elegant all black exterior with some writings. Alternatively, the Skyprodigy comes in a black base with a wine red optical tube, where all its Newtonian optical system is housed.
Camera guided alignment
One of the more noticeable differences is the alignment process on either device. Whole the 130mm SLT relies on the Sky Align technology, among other features for automated alignment, the 130mm Skyprodigy uses a camera guided tracking and location system to automatically align itself.
Tip: While the Skyprodigy does come with a camera, this camera is incapable of taking astroimages and transmitting them to you for viewing. The manufacturer specifies that this camera is meant exclusively for alignment purposes.
Celestron NexStar 130 SLT vs Celestron Sky Prodigy 130 – A comparison review
Celestron NexStar 130 SLT- Overview and Key features
The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Newtonian Reflector telescope designed as a high performance telescope with an easy to use interface. It belongs to the Celestron NexStar (SLT) Star Location Telescope line. Among the features that make this telescope so wonderful include the following.
First off, the 130 SLT includes the following optics specifications; a 130mm aperture on the primary mirror, a 650mm focal length with a f/5 focal ratio. Because of the 130mm aperture on this model, it is known as the 130 SLT. In fact; the 130 SLT has the largest aperture within the SLT telescope series. You can achieve magnifications of 26X using the 20mm eyepiece and 72X using the 9mm eyepiece. Due to the nature of this system, the secondary mirror obstruction lies at 11% by area and 33% by diameter. This is significantly smaller compared to other optical systems. To ensure the optics are performing at prime conditions, Celestron uses Aluminum with SiO2optical coating on the 130 SLT optics. These optics allow celestial and terrestrial observing.
This model incorporates various basic and complex elements into its design, making it a great option for anyone who just started sky gazing. For instance, the alignment process on the 130 SLT is extremely user friendly. Anyone can set up this device as the process does not require tools. Additionally, it is capable enough to keep you interested even when you are past the beginner level, moving on to intermediate level. The 130 SLT is mounted on its sturdy computerized Altitude Azimuth mount with the iconic single form arm mount. Because it comes with an easy to assemble set up, you can have this telescope ready for use as you please. Other Celestron hit features that appear on the SLT 130 include the Sky align technology for the purpose of aligning your telescope. This process is automated and only requires the push of a button. Alternatively, you may align this telescope using the included Star Sense technology which is a fully computerized way to align this telescope.
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. Likewise, you may access information on various celestial objects using the Starry night Software which will teach you about the night sky and its celestial bodies. Using this database as a reference or guide, advancing users/beginners can start planning for sessions with the information they have learnt or referenced from this software. Additionally, with this database access, you can not only view but also print sky maps and enhanced images of star, galaxies and exoplanets.
The instrument is powered by 8 AA batteries which provide enough energy for operation. With these, the 130 SLT can last up to 30hrs without fail.
Accessory-wise, you will receive a red dot finder scope two eyepieces, 20mm 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. These accessories ensure that you can advance your astronomy interests and still utilize the same device. For instance, this telescope is equipped with features that allow the user to take astroimages of their favorite celestial objects.
What we like
- It is a computerized telescope with database of stars, nebulae, galaxies and even more
- Compact, portable and easy to use
- Works as both a celestial and terrestrial telescope
- Access to a learning database great for beginners
- Easy and fast set up
- Great warranty deal and bonus customer support
What we don’t like
- There are several complaints regarding the customer support
- Will require regular collimation due to the Newtonian design
What you can see with the NexStar 130 SLT
- Wildlife among other terrestrial objects when used during the day
- Lunar surface details
- Phases of Venus
- Jupiter’s 4 moons
- The polar caps on mars
- Saturn and its rings
Celestron Sky Prodigy 130- Overview and key features
Celestron markets the Celestron Sky prodigy 130 as its revolutionary smart telescope which is a combination of advancements over years of technology. This instrument is an automated easy to use telescope that requires very little input to function. In fact, using the Celestron Skyprodigy 130, you can effectively tour the skies easily and enjoyably. Here are some of the features that make this possible.
The Celestron Skyprodigy 130 is a Newtonian reflector style telescope that has the following optics specifications: 130mm aperture, 650mm focal length and f/5 focal ratio. Using the first eyepiece on this system can achieve a magnification of 26X while the second can achieve 72X magnification. However, the highest and lowest possible magnification the entire optical system can achieve is 307X and 19X respectively.
This telescope’s optics in this system are housed inside a 635mm long, 162mm wide 8lbs aluminum optical tube. The tube is designed in a . Due to the arrangement on this telescope, you will experience Secondary mirror obstruction: 8.9% by are and 29% by diameter. To improve the optics’ performance, Celestron includes optical coatings on their surfaces. This aluminum with SiO2 overcoat helps improve reflecting power and overall performance of this instrument.
The Sky prodigy 130 is mouunted on a computerized Alt-Az mount with a single fork arm. When in collaboration with other features, and mount capabilities, it allows for easy location and tracking of various celestial objects. If you choose to, you may utilize this telescope for both celestial and terrestrial observations. The instrument rests on a stainless steel tripod that comes with an accompanying accessory tray to hold safely all the accessories that come with this instrument.
Together with its optics, the Skyprodigy is a great tool for many users. Its beginner friendly set up and alignment features ensure anyone can use this instrument with ease. The Integrated camera and Sky Sense Technology allows the telescope to automatically align itself according to that geographical location. This system works by the camera capturing an image of the sky and feeds it to its internal systems. During processing, the telescope searches for matches of the image captured by the camera, after which this device will rerun this process twice more to provide accurate triangulation of its location.
Like with many other Celestron purchases, you will receive access to download the Starry Night Software with an organized 36K object database. If you want to, you may print maps and images including 3D renderings of stars, galaxies, exoplanets and more images. This device is Wi-Fi compatible with various accommodations allowing the user to access or even download important things from the internet.
What we like
- Quality optics
- Long lasting battery with hours of charge to fuel long telescope sessions
- Light and compact design for easy movement around the house
- It is a fully computerized telescope with automatic alignment
- Doesn’t require tools to set up
- Designed to eliminate chromatic aberrations
What we don’t like
- Requires regular collimation due to the Newtonian design
- Difficult to maintain as it requires constant care
What can you see with the Celestron Sky Prodigy 130?
- Phases of mercury and Venus
- Mars and her polar ice caps
- Jupiter’s giant gas bands and her Galilean moons
- Saturn’s rings
- Separates binary stars at 5 arc seconds apart
- Open clusters
- Other deep sky objects including messier objects
Verdict: so which is better? Celestron NexStar 130 SLT or Celestron Sky Prodigy 130?
All things considered, the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT is a better telescope than the Celestron Sky Prodigy 130. While the Sky Prodigy is very similar to the 130SLT, the latter adds more to the basic Celestron features to include more users. In fact, the 130 SLT is both beginner and advanced user friendly.
Frequently asked questions
What is a computerized telescope?
Computerized telescopes are telescopes with various automated features allowing both advanced and beginner level users to utilize the same device. Most of these features are often for easy alignment, set up or tracking and location. Both the 130 SLT and Sky prodigy 130 have various features to this capacity.
How is the Celestron 130 SLT in astrophotography?
While this model is centered on planetary imaging; some users have been able to utilize this scope for deep space astrophotography. With the NexImage Solar System Imager for example takes picture of planets however, it will be difficult to capture deep space objects. Often, with the right modifications or additions, it could be possible to use this telescope to photograph deep sky objects.
What is the main distinguishing feature between the 130 SLT and the Skyprodigy 130?
The first and obvious and important difference between these telescopes is that they are both from different lines and therefore have different designs with varying capabilities. The 130 SLT is from the NexStar line of telescopes while the Skyprodigy is from the Skyprodigy series.