I was torn between a reflector and a refractor, but finally went with the refractor because I didn't want to deal with the temperature issues reflectors have. WOW am I glad I got this scope! I can see for myself how freaky planet Saturn looks. It's tiny, but I can absolutely make out it's weird ring (although I can't see the so-called "Cassini division"). Jupiter is currently too close to the sun to see, but I hope to get a good look at it towards the end of the year. Assembly instructions are pretty terrible (get a magnifying glass) and don't explain how to attach the Barlow, which I haven't yet successfully used.
Birthday gift for a gifted 7 year old has him over the Moon with his new telescope. His father is just as happy and cannot wait to use the software included to explore the money constellations and celestial objects they will seek out with this telescope. Seems perfect for a beginner and I love it that it is portable because they travel a bit to places with clear skies for better viewing. Only reason I did not give 5 stars is because I have not seen it in action but I have a feeling it will be wonderful and an educational experience as well.
I would hope that this review would help some newer people to the hobby like myself, in finding a great quality first scope. For weeks I have researched a lot of websites and watched many videos on *** concerning choices for a "beginners scope". I had been more impressed with Celestrons offerings than the *** company. I didn't want to spend the money on the *** so I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled on the Celestron SLT90 goto telescope. Needless to say I found it here on Overstock.com for the best price and ordered it right away. The scope arrived within a week and the first thing I noticed was the packaging was very good. Celestron protected the components very well and the scope itself was a breeze to put together. Within 10 minutes I was up and running and was able to take the scope outside for some terrestrial viewing. The lens quality seems very good as the scope was crystal clear. Alignment of the star pointer was easy so I was ready for the celestial viewing later that evening. About 9PM I started up my Stellarium software and noticed that Mars and Saturn were in close proximity and setting in the southwest sky. (Stellarium is a free open source astronomy program) I did my sky alignment procedure with the handset and star pointer scope and the telescope was ready for what I wanted to see. It was a very simple process as you just point to 3 bright objects as long as they are stars and the scope will be ready to go. I chose the Solar system choices and first up was Saturn. The scope slewed quietly until it stopped. When I looked through the 25MM Kellner eyepiece and BAM...there was the little planet with rings!. The view was small but crystal clear. Almost looked fake it was so clear. Immediately I changed to the other included 10MM eyepiece and the image grew much more in detail and was still very clear but with just a little less brightness. The scope continued to track the planet perfectly and when I changed lenes again to my 6.3MM (that I bought separately)...Saturn was now so magnified, I could see its moon Titan and stars that were beyond Saturn which painted a great view. Needless to say this was a great first impression. Mars was also impressive....but naturally just round but with more color. Now one thing is for sure the go to capability will eat batteries.....I used up 8 in one evening as many hours later the scope was slowing down. I think a must purchase now is that bigger battery pack that you can recharge. I'm not sure how good the scope will be for deep space objects until I go to a darker location than my home. This scope is great for planetary viewing in the suburbs for sure. I have seen the Meade ETX scopes up close and I can tell you this Celestron seems to be much better quality. Im sure the Nextsar SE series is very high quality but this SLT series is not far behind. The tripod you get with the 90 SLT is very study. Its all stainless steel. The eyepieces are Kellner design but have good field of view for planets. The motors in the arm are very quiet compared to Meade.....they are not annoying at all. Overall I think this is really a nice little scope. Even if you get larger aperture scopes in the future, this will be a great portable scope to keep around for many years.
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