The five-inch diameter reflector is regularly thought-about an excellent alternative of astronomical telescope for the intense newbie, occupying a candy spot of excellent light-gathering energy with cheap financial system. The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is aimed firmly at this market and is the most important and strongest scope within the Powerseeker vary.
It comes full with a German equatorial mount, to facilitate simple monitoring of objects throughout the evening sky when correctly arrange and aligned, and a good aluminum tripod that gives a gradual base.
The usual equipment features a 20mm erecting eyepiece, a 4mm high-power eyepiece, and a 3x Barlow lens.
Optical design: Newtonian
Focal size: 39-inches/1000 mm
Lowest helpful magnification: 20x
Highest helpful magnification: 250x
Whole equipment weight: 22lbs/10 kg
Mount kind: German equatorial
On the face of it, that is a beautiful bundle at a beautiful worth from a trusted astronomy model, providing every thing you would possibly want to start out making some worthwhile nighttime observations of the celebs, planets and nebulae. That is why it options in our information to the very best finances telescopes for below $500.
Nonetheless, our checks revealed that this instrument does have some shortcomings that it is best to contemplate earlier than buying. Particularly, the optical high quality of the first mirror, its correcting parts, and the provided eyepieces and Barlow lens. The finder scope whereas of excellent high quality is sadly poorly positioned, the accent tray is not as sturdy because it could possibly be, and the set-up directions omit any reference to the important job of polar alignment.
There are some good parts right here although and the entire bundle presents a helpful start line.
Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ: Design
- Hen-Jones Newtonian offers longer focal size on the expense of optical high quality
- Nicely-engineered equatorial mount
- Assembles in below an hour
A standard Newtonian reflector telescope has a parabolic major mirror that collects mild and directs it to the flat secondary mirror, which is mirrored 90 levels into the eyepiece. The design of the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is subtly completely different. As a substitute of a parabolic major, it makes use of a less expensive spherical mirror with extra optical parts to appropriate the ensuing distortions. The additional parts are put in downstream of the secondary mirror inside the main target tube, and in addition serve to extend the telescope’s focal size. That is how Celestron squeezes 1000mm of focal size right into a tube simply 440mm lengthy.
This Hen-Jones association is not essentially a foul factor. It leads to a extra compact and economical telescope, that means the buyer will get a greater dealing with instrument with extra light-collecting energy for his or her cash.
However with any optical compromise, there shall be a trade-off. Each extra optical component steals a few of these valuable photons collected by the mirror, giving a barely dimmer and fewer sharp picture. Celestron takes some steps to reduce this impact, utilizing totally coated optics, though they don’t seem to be multi-coated.
The telescope comes as commonplace with a 20mm erecting eyepiece and a 4mm high-power eyepiece, plus a 3x Barlow lens. The 20mm lens gives 50x magnification, or 150x used with the Barlow, whereas the 4mm offers 250x and (in concept) a whopping 750x with the Barlow.
Nonetheless, the utmost usable magnification of any telescope is restricted, and the same old rule of thumb is 50x per inch of aperture (or 2x per mm), below best circumstances. That 4mm lens is pushing the boundaries of what any five-inch telescope can ship, not to mention one with a spherical major and extra correctors.
The Powerseeker comes as commonplace with a well-engineered German equatorial mount which is nearly able to supporting the tube. The included aluminum tripod gives a gradual base and is mercifully mild.
Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ: Efficiency
- Good finderscope is light-weight
- Colours considerably muted by means of the glass
- 4mm eyepiece is just not fully sensible
The telescope is available in a considerable field weighing about 28lb (12.5kg), and requires a little bit of meeting. The meeting proved easy, though it is best to take care to unfold the equatorial mount earlier than attaching the tube and seven.5lb counterweight.
The finderscope is a light-weight plastic affair unit that works surprisingly effectively, contemplating its small measurement. It’s mounted comparatively near the tube although, which generally is a little awkward when sighting by means of it.
First mild on our scope was on a distant telegraph pole, about three-quarters of a mile away, to align the finder. Utilizing the 20mm erecting eyepiece a powerful quantity of element could possibly be seen on the goal — even clearly figuring out the species of pigeon that landed on the pole by its distinctive white collar.
Celestron’s meeting instruction leaflet doesn’t point out the significance of aligning the mount with the celestial pole, and this important element is simply discovered buried on web page 17 of the telescope handbook provided on the CD. There are two features to this: setting the proper latitude for the observing location and aligning the mount on a real north-south axis with a stage base.
The latitude scale on the Powerseeker 127EQ covers a full 90-degree quadrant, that means that you may set the proper latitude for any location on Earth. Some telescopes, together with others in Celestron’s vary, solely cowl a smaller arc from 20 to 60 levels latitude, which is ok until you occur to be in Alaska, Sweden, or the tropics.
Discovering true polar alignment proved easy utilizing a spirit stage and magnetic compass. Our observing web site occurs to be near an agonic, a line of zero magnetic variation, so aligning to magnetic north was correct sufficient. Smartphone apps can be found for each stage and compass, though there are benefits to utilizing outdated expertise right here because it helps protect evening imaginative and prescient.
Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ: Performance
- Can be utilized for terrestrial viewing
- 20mm erecting eyepiece offers sharp views
- Software program feels a bit dated
Astronomical observations proved disappointing. The usual 20mm erecting eyepiece delivered clear sharp views of the moon with wonderful shadow definition alongside the terminator. Swapping to the high-power 4mm eyepiece gave a really smooth picture in shades of grey, reasonably than black and white, which proved inconceivable to get into sharp focus. Even high quality 4mm lens could be at, or a bit past, the utmost helpful magnification for a telescope of this measurement. This explicit lens didn’t carry out effectively.
Issues have been a bit higher utilizing the 20mm with the Barlow lens. This gives 150x magnification and gave lunar pictures that have been higher than the 4mm, however nonetheless of decrease high quality than may be anticipated. A Barlow lens inevitably gives a dimmer picture in change for its magnification increase.
Turning to the celebs, the 20mm simply cut up the well-known double star in Ursa Main, Alcor and Mizar, exhibiting different stars within the discipline moderately effectively. Colour rendition was simply OK, with Antares glowing orangey-red and Arcturus making an attempt to impersonate Mars. In each instances, the colours have been reasonably extra distinct in binoculars. Once more, the 4mm eyepiece proved of little use and delivered solely a faint smudge of shade.
Our hunt for nebulae was pissed off by imperfect seeing circumstances, though with endurance, the luminosity of M31, the Andromeda nebula, was detected with the 20mm.
It appears a curious choice by Celestron to incorporate these explicit eyepieces in the usual equipment. The 20mm is an erecting eyepiece, exhibiting an upright picture reasonably than the same old inverted view in astronomical telescopes. This notionally permits the Powerseeker 127EQ for use for terrestrial viewing, however on the expense of astronomy. Erecting eyepieces create right-side-up pictures by introducing extra lenses or prisms, and every new optical floor inevitably degrades the ultimate look.
With the extra correcting parts within the tube to compensate for the spherical mirror, and extra parts within the eyepiece to erect the picture, it’s little marvel that efficiency is decrease than anticipated. Add the Barlow lens, with but extra optical surfaces, and the image worsens.
Any respectable telescope requires each high quality optics and a gradual mount, and at the least right here the Celestron carried out moderately. The tripod proved secure, though the flimsy plastic accent tray was not spectacular. As soon as aligned, the equatorial mount supported the telescope adequately and the slow-motion controls proved easy and glitch-free. All however probably the most delicate of changes resulted in a minor wobble of the scope, which dampened in below a second.
Our collimation verify confirmed that the instrument seemed to be inside tolerances as delivered, however a whole adjustment requires a particular laser sighting software which we did not have, so we didn’t try this.
The instrument comes with software program, the fundamental version of Starry Evening. This feels reasonably dated now, and set up is simply obtainable on PC and Mac computer systems — not smartphones. That is a little bit of an oversight when so many highly effective apps can be found in your pocket.
The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ will take any commonplace 1.25-inch eyepiece. If we got this telescope to maintain, we might ditch each commonplace lenses and put money into 15mm and 9mm Plossl eyepieces. We would additionally drop the 3x Barlow for a much less formidable however extra helpful 2x. This set-up would supply 67, 111, 133, and 222x magnifications, profiting from the 127mm major mirror.
Celestron’s single-axis motor drive unit will preserve your telescope on the right track, mechanically compensating for the turning of the Earth, decreasing the time spent re-centering and ready for the vibrations to dampen. This implies extra time doing astronomy.
Must you purchase the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ?
This telescope is let down by the design compromises in its major mirror, and a poor collection of commonplace eyepieces. It does supply a helpful 5-inch diameter which, even with the necessity for correcting optics, ought to have the ability to give implausible views of the heavens for the intense newbie. The tripod and mount are as much as the job, however to profit from this telescope extra eyepieces are wanted to profit from its potential.
If the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is not for you
If the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is not for you, an alternate could be the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST (opens in new tab). Superficially much like the Celestron, the Orion additionally has a 5-inch aperture however a shorter 650mm focal size and a greater collection of commonplace eyepiece lenses.
Alternatively, there may be the Celestron Powerseeker 80AZ. This refractor telescope has an 80mm goal lens and the simplicity of an alt-az mount. Simply level on the heavens and benefit from the views. A sensible choice for observing the moon and planets.
Lastly, check out the Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P (opens in new tab). Whereas dearer, it should permit you to pick faint galaxies simply because of its bigger aperture however keep in mind this telescope requires frequent collimation so is not fairly as grab-and-go because the Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ (opens in new tab).
Check out our greatest newbie telescopes shopping for information for extra inspiration.