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Celestron’s NexStar 102SLT Review

10 May 2019, 05:54 UTC
Celestron’s NexStar 102SLT Review
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Celestron’s NexStar 102SLT is a surprisingly decent entry by Celestron into the low-priced GoTo telescope market. With a sturdy mount, a wide field of view, enough aperture to actually see the deep-sky objects that the hand controller will guide you to, and quality optics and mechanics, it would certainly be one of the better computerized telescopes under $500 out there, though for beginners I continue to steadfastly hold by my recommendation of a larger manual Dobsonian.
This telescope is not to be confused with the 102GT, which has a longer f/10 focal ratio which strains the mount as well as cheaper accessories. The 102GT is typically found at big-box stores.
However, with all consumer-priced telescopes, the NexStar 102SLT has limitations, so let’s go over those in this review.
Overview of NexStar 102SLT

The Optical Tube

The NexStar 102SLT is a 102mm (4”) f/6.47 achromatic refractor, thus with a focal length of 660mm. Being a standard Fraunhofer doublet achromatic refractor with crown and flint glass lenses, the 102SLT does show chromatic aberration or “false color”, which is worsened by the fast f/6.47 focal ratio. The Moon and planets are still observable, of course, but the sharpest views can be obtained with ...

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