Newtonian telescopes are known for their sheer power and reliability, but the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster takes stargazing at a whole new level. This type of telescopes takes and combines only the best that reflector and refractor telescopes have to offer.
Regarded solely as a stargazing instrument, the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is more attuned to professional stargazer than to beginners of amateurs. Everything about this telescopes inspires power and accuracy, starting with its design, optics, and mount.
Compared to other Newtonian telescopes, the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is much more advanced, being capable of producing breath-taking images thanks to its multi-layered lens coating and improved German equatorial mount.
The first thing you discover about the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is that it puts precision and sheer power above everything else. Thanks to its 1.25-inch steel tube tripod, the telescope will stand firm, no matter how the terrain is configured.
Furthermore, the steel tripod, doubled by the German Equatorial motor drive mount guarantees that the ensemble won’t fall to the ground if you try to attach a larger SLR or DSLR camera.
As far as celestial tracking is concerned, the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster has an included motor drive included on the mount, making precision tracking much easier. Just point the pointer towards a fast-moving object and the motor drive will do the job for you.
Also, the German EQ mount comes equipped with setting circles, which increases locating and tracking accuracy.
Other features and specs:
- Coated glass optics for crisp and stunning images;
- Erect image optics – very useful for both celestial and terrestrial observations;
- Dovetail attachment – this means that the telescope does not require any specialized tools in order to be set up;
- Regular Starpointer – the built-in star pointer can be swapped with a red reticle for increased tracking accuracy;
- Aperture: 130 mm;
- Focal length: 650 mm;
- Focal ratio: 5;
- Magnification factor of eyepiece one: 33x;
- Focal length of the first eyepiece: 20 mm;
- Magnification factor of eyepiece one: 65x;
- Focal length of the second eyepiece: 10 mm;
- Mount: the telescope sports out a CG-3 EQ mount with a motor drive;
- Combined magnification factor: 307x.
What’s in the Box?
After you have had purchased your first Celestron 31051 AstroMaster, here’s what you’ll find in the package, which weighs approximately 37.9 pounds depending on the expeditor.
- The Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ MD 130 mm Reflector Telescope Kit;
- Motor Drive Mount;
- Starpointer Finderscope;
- 2-year warranty;
- User’s manual;
- One 20 mm eyepiece (32.5x);
- One 10 mm eyepiece (65x);
- 25-inch steel tube tripod;
- Deluxe accessory tray.
Accessories for the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster
You can always buy more accessories to turn your stargazing experience into something truly memorable. Here’s a short list of some of the most common accessories bought together with the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster.
- 25-inch Moon filter which you can use in order to see the Moon’s surface in details;
- Night Vision Flashlight;
- Universal 1.25-inch T-adapter – use it in order to attach an SLR or a DSLR camera to the Finderscope;
- AstroMaster Accessory Kit, which includes one 15 mm Barlow lens, one 6 mm Plossl eyepiece, two Barlow lenses with T-threads optical treatment, one #80 Blue Filter, one #25 Red planetary filter, one 1.25-inch Moon filter, one microfiber cloth, and the foamed-lined plastic case;
- 25-inch collimator eyepiece for increase precise calibration;
- Celestron Sky Maps;
- “TheSkyX- First Edition” – CD which includes over 10.000 celestial object and 75 star maps;
- Celestron LensPen Cleaning Tool.
- Excellent field of view thanks to its 130 mm aperture;
- Sturdy construction;
- Motor drive makes tracking celestial objects easier;
- Easy to set up and to use;
- No tools needed to assemble the telescope;
- Decent optics;
- The slow-motion cables and the motor get in the way;
- RA motor cable is sometimes useless;
- South and North hemisphere controls are reversed;
- Heavier than other Newtonian telescopes.
All in all, the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster has some pretty good reviews considering the fact that it is far from being a truly professional telescope. According to Amazon’s customer review section, many beginner’s praises this telescope for the way it combines simplicity with performance.
However, some of the customers have complained about the telescope being too heavy to carry around. Also, according to some other reviews, the telescope tends to have a couple of issues with the 20 mm eyepiece. Most customers said that due to the fact that the first eyepiece is made out of plastic, it tends to break quite easily.
Furthermore, there are more complaints regarding to the Celestron’s plastic Finderscope, which seems to have the same issue as the 20 mm plastic eyepiece.
Although the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is far from being the perfect Newtonian telescope, it still managed to receive a 4.5-rating on Amazon.com.
Where to Buy It
The best place where you can buy your very first Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is Amazon.com. Currently, Amazon has a great offer for this telescope: you can buy it for a measly 249.99 dollars and Amazon with even throw in the delivery.
Here are some other sites from where you can order this Newtonian Telescope:
- astronomics.com – for 279.95 dollars and free shipping;
- bhphotovideo.com – for 294.99 dollars. The shipping fee is not included in the offer.
- opticsplanet.com – for 299.49 dollars, shipping fees not include in their offer.
The Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is a good and reliable piece of equipment, suitable for all ages. It takes a little while to get used to it, but once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll get a kick out of each stargazing experience.
If the telescope is calibrated correctly, you should be able to see the finer details of the Moon’s surface, along with Jupiter’s moons and Saturn Ring. After buying this telescope, we strongly suggest to buy the additional metal 20 mm eyepiece.
The one available on the telescope tends to break very easy, and it should be replaced from scratch. Also, it would be a good idea to watch some training video before setting up the telescope. You might get a clearer picture of what you can do with the RC cables.
Like with all Newtonian telescopes, collimation is another issue that should be addressed from the start. Our suggestion is to buy a specialized laser collimation tool. It might seem pricey, but it will rid you of having to stay around for hours just to calibrate the mount.
Another great thing about the Celestron 31051 AstroMaster is the fact that you can basically attach any type of DSLR or SLR camera on the Finderscope. Due to the tripod’s tubular construction, you won’t have any issues with the telescope’s stability.
Do keep in mind that due that the Newtonian telescope is heavier than refractor telescopes by default, which means that you won’t be able to carry it around so easily. Together with the additional star charts and the CD, each observation will surely turn into an adventure.