Review – Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Telescope
The NexStar 127 is a unique GoTo telescope from Celestron.
The Celestron NexStar 127 SLT features a high quality 127mm Maksutov Cassegrain with 1500mm focal length, and a computerized azimuthal mount.
The NexStar SLT 127 has a built-in GoTo feature with SkyAlign technology, which comes with an extensive database right out of the box – at an excellent price-performance ratio.
The fact that this is a GoTo telescope with high quality optics, makes it equally suitable for beginners and experienced users based on its performance and functionality.
- Accessory Tray No Tool, Quick release
- Alignment Procedures SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, Solar System Align
- Aperture (mm) 127 mm (5 in)
- Apparent Field of View .83 “
- Computer Hand Control Fully Computerized / Flash Upgradeable
- Database 4,000 Object Database
- Finderscope StarPointer
- Focal Length 1500 mm (59 in)
- Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 25 mm (0.98 in)
- Focal Length of Eyepiece 2 9 mm (0.35 in)
- Focal Ratio 12
- Highest Useful Magnification 300 x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude 13
- Lowest Useful Magnification 18 x
- Magnification of Eyepiece 1 60 x
- Magnification of Eyepiece 2 167 x
- Mount Type Motorized Altazimuth
- Optical Coatings Fully-Coated
- Optical Design Maksutov-Cassegrain
- Star Diagonal 1.25
- Tracking Modes Alt-Az, EQ North and EQ South
- Tracking Rates Sidereal, Solar and Lunar
- Tripod Steel
Assembly of the Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT
As previously mentioned, the Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT is a computerized GoTo telescope. In practice, this means that you can find planets, comets and galaxies of your choice immediately, and without any prior knowledge!
A huge range of observable celestial objects is at your disposal through the integrated database, and the Nexstars computer will give you recommendations on what can be observed in the night sky, at the particular moment.
The easily assembled tripod and the quick-release couplings for connection to the fork mount, allows for a set-up in just a few minutes – and even better, you can do it without any tools!
The setup process is extremely easy, and it all boils down to 4 quick steps:
- Extend the tripod to a suitable height.
- Attach mount onto the tripod.
- Mount and secure the telescope over the quick release prism rail.
- Insert an eyepiece.
- Brag about how you assembled a telescope to your friends (not mandatory..)
Design & Use
The Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT share many characteristics in common with the company’s other SLT models. For instance, it is a Maksutov-Cassegrain, computerized GoTo telescope that is extremely easy to use. The telescope has an integrated SkyAlign technology, which makes it capable of aligning itself when aimed at bright objects in the nighttime sky. In addition to this, the scope makes use of Celestron’s Star Pointer Program.
The Star Pointer Program allows the scope to accurately find and orient itself to chosen objects in the sky, making it easier for the user to enjoy the views for which they are looking. An accompanying database gives the user access to thousands of nighttime objects.
This kind of Plug’n’Play-behavior makes the scope very suited for beginner astronomers, who just wants to enjoy the beautiful scenery the night sky can provide.
Besides being designed to be easy to setup and use, the NexStar 127SLT possesses technology that gives the user crisp and clear views. For instance, the scope has an 127mm aperture and 60x magnification. This kind of aperture and magnification give you the opportunity to see details such as the craters on the moon, Saturn’s rings, and the polar caps on Mars.
However, the views do not match those of more advanced (and more costly) telescopes, but the views are considered to be excellent given that it is a beginner telescope, available at an affordable price.
While the views do not match those of more advanced telescopes designed for more advanced observers, its views are generally considered excellent for such a small entry level scope.
With the 127mm aperture, the telescope also collects enough light for you to be able to observe deep-sky objects . Whether you’re in search of binary stars or galaxies, they’re within range with the SLT127, and the telescope is compact enough to easily transport it to a dark-skies location with good observation conditions.
The Nexstar 127 SLT’s mount is an motorized azimuthal single arm mount, which is optimized to be fast and easy to transport. Unlike other classic mount types, you do not have to straighten the telescope to the north, set the pole height or take counterweights.
The mount is simply placed horizontally, and after the alignment (in which simply three arbitrary bright stars are set), the computer automatically makes sure that the telescope find and retains the given objects in the eyepiece. Said in other words, the automatic tracking compensates for the earth rotation independently.
The hand controller that comes with the scope contains a database with over 4,000 objects. Among them are, of course, the planets of the solar system as well as countless galaxies , gas nebulae , star clusters and interesting stars . If the selection is difficult for you, just use the TOUR mode, which shows you a selection of the most beautiful objects every evening.
If you want even more comfort, you can extend the telescope at any time. With the optional Celestron SkySync GPS module, you save time, date and location . These data are automatically taken over by the telescope via the GPS satellites.
Like all Celestron NexStar telescopes, the NexStar SLT can also be controlled through your computer . All you need is the optional Celestron RS cable and if necessary an adapter from RS232 to USB. You can then use the NexRemote software or the widely used ASCOM interface to control the telescope from a Windows PC.
It is important to point out that the computer control relies on electricity. The mount offers multiple power options: Eight commercially available mignon batteries for complete independence or an optional car cigarette lighter socket or an optional power supply.
If we were to point out one downside of the Celestron 127 SLT, it will be that the mount has a tendency to be kind of unstable. The mount also has a tendency to break if not handled carefully, and thus require replacement.
The Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT is available at a relatively low price, and is a good choice for beginner astronomers looking to buy their first telescope. The telescope is easy to use, and through its variety of features, it is right there to hold your hand when running through the maze of the nighttime sky.
Apart from being a great beginner telescope, its portability makes it a good choice for those who are looking for a telescope that they can easily carry with them.