Telescopes may look intimidating at first but with effort and time, we can learn how to set up and use them in a fairly short time. Good telescopes don’t have to be expensive because affordable models like Orion StarBlast 4.5 Vs Celestron AstroMaster 114 are available to offer you an experience to take a good peek on what’s out there. For those who want to keep the budget low, see what these telescopes can offer then pick one that matches your preference the most.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- Are You Currently Looking for a Telescope
- What are the Two Main Types of Telescope
- What are Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114
- What Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Look Like
- How are the Performance of Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114
- How are the Mounting of Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114
- Orion StarBlast 4.5 Vs Celestron AstroMaster 114
- 1 Telescope for Astronomy
- 2 About Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114
- 3 Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Design
- 4 Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Specifications
- 5 Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Performance
- 6 Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Mounting
- 7 Orion StarBlast 4.5 vs Celestron AstroMaster 114
- 8 Conclusion
Telescope for Astronomy
Our human eyes are very useful but also very limited especially when it comes to recognizing a further away object which is why a magnifying device is needed in different applications. Due to this limitation, humans tried to make tools to let them see better including for those objects that are far away from our atmosphere. Telescopes is a very well-known device that all people recognize but may not be familiar with as it is not something crucial or has certain necessary value in daily life.
Telescopes are designed so humans can see further but, while the function is the same, there are actually more than one device called a telescope that you should choose based on the application. In fact there are more than a dozen of telescopes when you trail down into its subtypes but in general the designs are separated into two types; refractor and reflector.
- Refractor Telescopes
Refractor telescopes are the oldest invented since the 1600s and it uses lenses to gather light and focus it. This is also the smallest model and you can find them in many stores including in the toy version; the rifle scope is also using this mechanism. The advantages are rugged and more resistant to misalignment thus, require less realignment after the initial process. Since the design encloses the lens, it is very rare to find a user needing to clean it, which means it is easy to take care of.
The biggest disadvantage however is they suffer from chromatic aberration or color deviation that produces a rainbow of colors around the image due to the wave nature of light. Another common issue is the thicker the lens gets, the less light passes through it.
|Orion StarBlast 4.5||Celestron AstroMaster 114|
|Product Dimensions||23.5 x 18.5 x 25 inches||11.02 x 32.28 x 16.73 inches
|Shipping Weight||13 pounds||28 pounds
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
- Reflector Telescopes
The newer type of telescope is a reflector and as the name suggests, it uses a mirror as the medium to gather and focus light. Since all those celestial objects are too far away from our eyes, the light rays coming from them that reach Earth are parallel rays and due to this, the telescope’s mirror is designed in parabolic shape. This mirror focuses the parallel light rays into a single point. The best advantage of a reflector is it doesn’t suffer from chromatic aberration as all wavelengths in the mirror will be reflected in the same way.
Next is since the objective mirror is all along the back side, we can make it big and many beginner or casual enthusiasts often go with this type as it is cheaper in price due to lower cost production. However, it doesn’t mean that the reflector is perfect because the most annoying part about this type of telescope is that the optics can often be out of alignment, requiring the user to realign it again and because the telescope tube is in open design, the optics will need a more frequent cleaning.
About Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114
Both main designs are amazing and depending on which fit your preference the most, they are equally useful and will open your eyes to the world we can’t see with naked eyes. However, just like everything, not all of them will deliver the best experience because it is highly dependent on the certain product and how the company makes them. If this is your first buy, sticking with popular names will make sure that at least we will get a good quality product.
When shopping for a new telescope, you will find quite lots of options out there despite not as many as when shopping for example and new TV. Those companies that are focusing on telescopes will most likely have good products and among those options, Orion and Celestron are two familiar names. These rivals are equally good, equally popular and also affordable for casual astronomers to have. They do carry lots of basic, entry-level models to fit in any pockets.
If you are here then it means a reflector is a telescope of your choice and for those who also want to keep the budget low, Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 will be two great models to consider. Both of them are very ideal if you are looking for a telescope meant for beginners as you already have some knowledge on astronomy since they do require manual setup. These two are also very friendly for your pocket in case we are not sure yet whether to keep the hobby for long or not.
For those looking to give one of these telescopes for a present or for small children, we actually recommend something like SkyProdigy 130 that you can check on our Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Vs SkyProdigy 130 here because it is aligned automatically. As for these two, the specs are very much similar to each other so the performance can be very similar as well yet, they are quite different too in which this difference may affect your buying decision.
Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Design
As you can see from the sample picture above, Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 are very similar to each other. This is because they are listed as reflector telescopes or Newtonian and design wise, they use this medium sized tube with an open top. The tube itself seems to be made from aluminum and they are very sturdy as well yet without the weight, making them great if you will transport the unit often. We also recommend finding a big case to keep them and some cushioning inside.
Side by side, their main tube is identical measured at 18-inch but depending on the mode you choose, the StarBlast 4.5 is actually available in two versions; this one with alt-azimuth, table top styled mounting and a classic equatorial mounting. The AstroMaster 114 itself has CG-2 equatorial or Celestron EQ mounting which personally we are not a fan of. Besides the mounting, you will also get two eyepieces in the box including the tripod if you choose the equatorial mount.
Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Specifications
Moving further, we can guess what a telescope can offer based on their specification and in this side, as you can guess, Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 are 4.5-inch telescope or 114mm models. What’s so different is their focal length and ratio because normally, a telescope with a short tube like this will have less than 1000mm focal length but the latter offers this number which means it is not a true Newtonian compared to StarBlast which is only 450mm.
As for the eyepieces, both models come with two eyepieces in the box so you can start observing quickly. The eyepiece StarBlast have are 17mm with 26x magnification and 6mm eyepiece with 75x magnification compared to AstroMaster that offers 20mm lens with built in corrector and 50x magnification combined with 10mm eyepiece with 100x magnification. You can add a barlow lens as well if needed but none of them are including it in the box.
Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Performance
The next part we want to mention is their performance and here, Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 are very good. One thing you may notice is that Orion will give you a wider view of an object compared to AstroMaster which has an image of a closer object due to the huge difference in focal length. With this an object will also seem bigger on the other but you may have to sacrifice some of the clarity. The reason why Celestron has bigger focal length is because it is a bird-jones type.
To reach the 1000mm focal length in such a short tube, they put a lens on the bottom of the focuser and the disadvantage will come to its collimation. As we know that reflectors will need collimating from time to time and it is very difficult to get a bird-jones to perfectly align unlike a regular Newtonian.
Orion StarBlast 4.5 and Celestron AstroMaster 114 Mounting
The last part we want to mention is their mounting system and for this comparison, we are talking between StarBlast 4.5 alt-azimuth mounting compared to the equatorial AstroMaster 114. In general after the telescope is done set up, it is easiest to do tracking with equatorial mount as it only need one way adjustment but some people prefer the easier to understand alt-azimuth which is more familiar for most people as it is what we used in camera as well yet, it is not very ideal with automatic tracking system.
Orion StarBlast 4.5 vs Celestron AstroMaster 114
These telescopes are ideal for beginners but you have to know some basic astronomy to use them. They are cheap and fairly easy to set up while also performs very good for the price point but side by side, the image in AstroMaster will look a bit closer compared to StarBlast and there is slight sharpness difference yet, we do think they produce really good images for your observation experience. What we are not fond of AstroMaster 114 is the bird-jones design itself as you may find it harder to collimate it later.
Depending on your personal preference, it is best to shop based on what fits you the most but between the two, we prefer a Newtonian StarBlast 4.5 because it will be easier to maintain if we need to collimate it which most likely will happen quite a lot.