Celestron Astromaster 130 Review

The limitation of our eyes requires aid when trying to observe or see something placed further from you. This is because of our small eyes so the object doesn’t take up much space on the retina. This is why telescopes like Celestron AstroMaster 130 was first developed; to see further, the space. This model is very ideal for beginners or anyone who wants to spend less but without compromising the quality. If this sounds like you, here what you can get from the telescope.

In This article, we are going to give you information about:

  • How Telescopes Work
  • What is Celestron AstroMaster 130
  • What Celestron AstroMaster 130 Look Like
  • What are the Specification of Celestron AstroMaster 130
  • How are the Performance of Celestron AstroMaster 130
  • Who Celestron AstroMaster 130 is made for
  • Is Celestron AstroMaster 130 for you

Telescope Mechanism

Telescopes were a very important invention that opened up a new page in human knowledge especially in astronomy and as amazing as this device was, the mechanism is actually quite simple. The earliest record on the one who got the credit for a telescope or the one with a lens or Refractor is Hans Lippershey and continued by Galileo in terms of first use in astronomy and then Kepler who improved it to have two convex lenses that resulted in the image upside-down.

  • Refractor or Traditional Telescope

A Refractor or the type that uses lenses are built with a long solid tube made from metal, plastic, or wood combined with a glass lens at the front end called as objective and another one on the opposite edge called as an eyepiece. The tube is holding both lenses in place and at the correct distance of one another while also keeping the lenses from dust or moisture and light that may get in the way of the performance.

The objective lens function is to gather light and bend or refracts it to a focus near the back of the tube in which then the eyepiece will bring the image to the eye while magnifying it. Even though both lenses have focal lengths, you will notice that the eyepiece will have it shorter than its objective.

  • Reflector or Newtonian Telescope

The other main type of telescope is Reflector which is developed by Isaac Newton hence it is also familiarly known as Newtonian. This was a response to chromatic aberration or rainbow halo problem which is common in Refractors during that time and instead of using lenses, the telescope is using curved metal mirror or primary mirror to collect the light and reflect it to a focus. The shape is similar to those former telescopes but now it uses a primary mirror in the back of the tube.

Since mirror reflecting light back into the tube, Newton had to use a small, flat mirror or secondary mirror in the focal path of the primary mirror to deflect the image out through the side of the tube, to the eyepiece in which if doesn’t, his head will get in the way of the incoming light. For those who are not familiar with Reflector might think the additional small mirror will block some of the image but this mirror is very small in comparison to the primary one so it won’t disturb the mechanism.

  • Compound or Catadioptric Telescope

As technology and knowledge are getting more advanced, in 1930 there is a new design of telescope which combines the two main types called as compound or catadioptric and made by a German astronomer Bernhard Schmidt. This telescope has a primary mirror at the back of the device and a glass corrector plate in the front of the telescope to remove spherical aberration. It used to be utilized in photography since it had no secondary mirror or eyepiece where it is replaced by photographic film at the prime focus of the primary mirror.

Nowadays, the most popular compound is Schmidt-Cassegrain such as Celestron NexStar 8SE and 6SE that was invented relatively new in the 1960s and continues being the favorite of many. This type is using a secondary mirror that bounces light through a hole in the primary mirror to an eyepiece.

About Celestron AstroMaster 130

Choosing a telescope can be very tricky because while the main types are only two or three with the addition of Compound, there are various information that we have to gather before being able to decide which will benefit us the most. In general advice, if you are a beginner or those who just get into the hobby, looking for their first telescope or present for another enthusiast, the Reflector or mirror type is the most affordable and easy to use.

- POWERFUL REFLECTOR TELESCOPE: The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope is a powerful reflector telescope for astronomy beginners.
- HIGH-QUALITY 130MM OPTICS: The heart of the system is a 130mm glass optic objective lens.
- QUICK SETUP & LIGHTWEIGHT FRAME: This telescope for kids and adults to be used together features a lightweight frame manual German Equatorial mount for smooth and accurate pointing.
- INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: We’ve included two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm), a travel tripod, and a StarPointer red dot finderscope.

Reflector prices range varily but you can always get those at around $100 to several times higher depending on the capabilities. While the options of good telescopes brands vary widely, one brand we always recommend to check out when buyers want to have an affordable telescope is Celestron. This company is very popular and what makes it one of the most ideal options to shop from is due to the products quality because despite many are fairly low on the price point, they are not disappointing at all.

We have been talking about a very low-end model recently which you can read in our Celestron AstroMaster 114 Review here and it is great but not very satisfying if you are a bit more serious into the hobby and now for those who are ready to spend a little bit more, another amazing Reflector that may attract your attention is the AstroMaster 130. This is a good inexpensive telescope which may enrich your life and fun to play around without much fuss.

The AstroMaster 130 Newtonian is very much similar to Celestron other 130mm Reflectors such as NexStar Omni XLT 130 mm but with a more affordable price tag. Many have been satisfied with this model and even said it is better than the little brother 114 mm variant but these are from different levels which is not surprising. Overall, we do think it is a good option and performance wise you can view almost anything with it.

Celestron AstroMaster 130 Design

Physical appearance is the same as the AstroMaster line and as you can see, this one has a typical simple black main tube with an Equatorial mount. You will get all the basic setup in the box including the main telescope, tripod, mounting system, and eyepiece but setting up the mounting may take some time as Equatorial needs to be aligned properly. The main tube itself is very light and the total weight including everything is about 25 pounds so it is easy to transport.

The telescope tube itself is fairly huge but still manageable and seems to be made from aluminum which is also sturdy. The focusing tube is retractable and there is some silver layer here and comes with a slight oil coating; probably to smoothen the mechanism. The telescope tube length is 24-inch and the Equatorial mount height can be adjusted from 32 to 51-inch.

Celestron AstroMaster 130 Specification

Just like when shopping for anything, we have to consider what matters the most in a telescope and it is the aperture. The Celestron AstroMaster 130 has an aperture of 130 mm as the model name suggests or 5.11-inch with focal ratio of f/5. Aperture is necessary to know because it determines the light gathering ability or how bright an object will appear as well as the resolving power or how sharp the image looks which makes it the bigger the better.

The telescope at this size is fairly good to discern details in celestial objects such as the crater of the moon. You will also get a pair of eyepiece to use with the telescope or purchase another set of eyepiece from Celestron or other brands if needed. The two included here are 20mm with built-in image corrector eyepiece and 33x magnification accompanied by 10mm standard eyepiece that can magnify objects at 65x.

Celestron AstroMaster 130 Performance

While Celestron AstroMaster 130 sounds great on paper, what most important must be the performance itself and despite being very affordable, this telescope is working very well. A 5.1-inch aperture may not sound amazing but you can actually see quite a details with this model for example the moon and its craters. When the sky is clear with naked eyes, you can try looking at Orion Nebula; you can easily see the stars including the gas cloud.

What we are not very surprised but still disappointed is how unhelpful the finder is. Even when the night is clear and Jupiter should be easy to find as it is very bright, somehow the AstroMaster couldn’t find it even after trying to align the star finder several times by focusing on something else.

Celestron AstroMaster 130 User

Overall, Celestron AstroMaster 130 is a good option for the price point and except for the finder function, we don’t have any complaints. This telescope is able to show a very bright image and is great for any beginners who are willing to spend the budget or hobbyists who want to enrich their life. However, if you are more into the serious side, we don’t recommend it for you will definitely need something more powerful on the spectrum.

Celestron Astromaster 130 Review

- Reflector/Newtonian
- 130mm aperture
- f/5 focal ratio
- 20mm & 10mm eyepiece
- Equatorial
- Inexpensive
- Performing well
- Easy setup
- Easy to use
- Lightweight
- Poor finding function
- May need future adjustment


All in all, you can get a reliable telescope for viewing celestial objects without scarifying so much with Celestron AstroMaster 130. It is a good option as the unit performs well and is very useful without much fuss as long as you don’t mind the unreliable finder or plan to replace it.

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