Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope Review

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Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector TelescopeCelestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope is a Newtonian design with a unique functional design of the optical system. This telescope is meant for astronomy as well as terrestrial use by anyone with the intent of getting a good deal for his expenditure. Celestron in this AstroMaster series, has considered the most daunting question: how to get a powerful telescope with compact size at a moderate price? Often the Catadioptrics fall into the options when addressing this question, but again their price poses another question, to get a high-performance scope at a decent price. AstroMaster 114 has a unique design and configuration where it becomes comparable to the Catadioptrics, especially about mounting and ease of use.

A compact Modified Newtonian design 

AstroMaster 114 has a short focal length primary mirror of 114 mm (4.5 inches). There is an inbuilt corrector lens placed inside such that it increases the focal length of the mirror to 1000 mm (40 inches) which gives the emergent focal ratio of F/8.8 in a tube just 18 inches long. The optics are of high precision standards so consequently, this system gives high-quality images without errors of color defects. Of course, it is Celestron and their diligence in designing and building this scope is evident from its performance.

Eyepieces and Power 

Two eyepieces are provided with the telescope, one 20 mm and a 10 mm. The power obtained with the 20 mm eyepiece is 50X and it is highly suitable for viewing the moon and deep sky wonders like star systems and nebulae. It also serves very well for terrestrial viewing. The Power Obtained through a 10 mm eyepiece is 100X which is great for viewing fine planetary details. Details of craters on the moon, Jupiter and its satellites, Saturn’s rings can be easily seen at this power. This telescope produces bright and sharp images of planets at all different powers.

Mount 

The amount provided is a German Equatorial with slow-motion controls. Since this is a high-power modified Newtonian telescope it is provided with finely configured slow-motion controls. They give maximum ease at tracking objects for high power use. A robust steel tube tripod gives sturdy support to the mount. The setting up of the mount is a little time-consuming and if you are a beginner it needs to be learned from an experienced person or the manual provided with it. Beyond that, observing the night sky is an increasingly pleasing experience with this telescope.

Weight & Portability

AstroMaster 114 is very portable because of its compact size. The weight of the telescope is 12.7 kilograms which is high. This is because the mounting is equatorial and it needs counterweights for its functioning. The quality of the scope and functionalities of the mount outweigh the difficulty of setting up the telescope.

Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ Specifications:

  • Optical Design: Newtonian Reflector
  • Aperture: 114 mm (4.49 in)
  • Focal Length: 1000 mm (39.37 in)
  • Focal Ratio: 8.77
  • Optical Coatings: Aluminum
  • Highest Useful Magnification: 269 X
  • Lowest Useful Magnification: 16 X
  • Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 12.8
  • Rayleigh Resolution: 1.22 arc seconds
  • Dawes Resolution: 1.02 arc seconds
  • Light Gathering Power: 265 X compared to the human eye
  • Apparent Field of View:
  • Linear Field of View: 53 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Optical Tube Length: 18”
  • Mount Type: CG-2 Equatorial Mount
  • Eyepiece 1: 20 mm (0.79 in), yields 50x magnification
  • Eyepiece 2: 10 mm (0.39 in), yields 100x magnification
  • Finderscope: Built-on Star Pointer
  • Weight: 17 lb (7.71 kg)
  • Warranty: Two Years

 PROS : 

  1. A wide-field view at 50X power with 20 mm eyepiece for deep sky objects.
  2. Good planetary details at 100X power with 10 mm eyepiece.
  3. More planetary details can be seen with a 6mm Celestron eyepiece.
  4. German Equatorial mount with slow-motion controls.
  5. Can be used for terrestrial viewing also.
  6. A Compact Modified Newtonian System – heavy but less bulky.
  7. It is portable.

CONS :

  1. It is heavy than other scopes.
  2. Being an equatorial telescope needs setting every time.
  3. The red dot finder is not satisfactory.

CONCLUSION : 

It is the best telescope for all, especially students. Looking at its price consumers are getting a big delight at the moderate price. It is an instrument from Celestron which has consistently good reviews from users from around the world. No wonder it has a high preference in all astronomical communities.

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