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Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope – Review

Last Updated: 29.11.21


Main technical features


The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 comes with a large 130mm aperture equatorial reflector design that ensures the delivery of wide-angle views of even the most elusive components of our solar system. This Newtonian telescope is equipped with a 650mm focal length and f/5 focal ratio. It comprises all glass mirrors on its optical system, all coated with superbly reflective aluminum and layered over with quartz to provide durability. No plastic components go into the making of this telescope, and the 24-inch long aluminum optical tube is outfitted with protective tube end rings.

This model is designed for easy use. It comes with a rack-and-pinion focuser, two eyepieces of varying magnifications, and a finderscope. Large dual focusing knobs are on the 1.25-inch focuser. You also receive a low power 1.25-inch 20mm erect image eyepiece with a 1.5-degree field of view, along with a medium power 1.25-inch 10mm eyepiece. The erect-image eyepiece enables the use of the telescope for terrestrial viewing applications. The battery-operated red dot finder has a non-magnifying design and is permanently affixed to the side of the optical tube.

The robust CG-3 equatorial mount is precisely engineered for celestial observations. You simply align it with the north celestial pole. The slow motion control knob can be turned to follow the stars and the planets across the sky. An optional battery-operated #MDASTRO right ascension motor drive provides automated tracking. Hinged split rings are in the optical tube mounts and are attached to a dovetail bar that fits on the top into the quick-release dovetail groove. There are graduated scales or setting scales marked in degrees or hours and minutes in the right ascension and declination.


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In-depth information


This Newtonian telescope lets you view even the most difficult-to-locate galaxies, nebulae, open star clusters and more. Boasting a high level of functionality and premium quality craftsmanship, this model offers excellent views of deep space and for observing things on terra firma. You enjoy purple haze-free views of the moon and the planets with no visible color aberrations around them, which is something that low-quality reflectors cannot provide. You see nothing less than clear and sharp images. Both mirrors can also be collimated or aligned to give the sharpest views. The cell holding the primary mirror is geared with a unique push/pull system so alignment is rarely needed. This dual-purpose telescope accommodates both terrestrial and celestial observation applications, with correct views of both land and sky. The 5.1-inch diameter of the telescope provides exceptional light collection capability. The large aperture enables easy locating of faint objects in the sky while providing a wide field of view. The coated glass optics ensure the delivery of bright and clear images of the planets and the moon.

The dual focusing knobs on the rack and pinion focuser provide precise image tuning and control using either hand. You can also operate them with your hands in mittens or gloves for cold-weather observing. The supplied erect-image eyepiece with 32.5X magnification allows terrestrial use of the telescope. Correctly-oriented images are presented for trouble-free viewing. Best for lunar viewing, the erect-image eyepiece lets you see a familiar image of the moon with proper orientation. Both supplied eyepieces carry a high-quality optical design compared to competitor models. The anti-reflection coatings on the surfaces of the lenses ensure great contrast and clear images. The non-magnifying red dot finder appears to project a dot of red light on the landscape at daytime or at the night sky exactly at the area where the telescope is pointed to. This enables easy centering of distant objects so there’s no need to search for them first. The finder has collimating knobs that enable precise aligning of the red dot with the primary optics for painless centering.

The rugged yet stable German equatorial mount is equipped with manual slow motion controls for both right/left and up/down adjusting. This means you can manually track and locate deep space and solar system objects across the sky. For Photography applications, you can get an optional motor drive that also facilitates hands-free tracking without the need to re-aim every time someone else steps up to take a peep through the telescope. This lightweight and compact scope makes it easy to install the optical tube on the mount even in the dark. No tools are needed to lock the tube in place. The variable speed control on the #MDASTRO allows you to follow the varying speeds of the moon, sun, planets and stars as they move across the sky, thanks to the switch-controlled northern/ southern hemisphere operation. You get up to 40 hours of runtime from the drive on just a single 9-volt transistor radio battery, depending on air temperature. The two slow motion manual controls are easy to reach on the mount. The setting circles enable approximate alignment of the scope with a celestial object.


Known issues

Although this scope is marketed as suitable for both celestial and terrestrial observations, the equatorial mount may not make it easy to follow targets on the ground. The slow motion controls on the finderscope facilitate the precise tracking of objects in the night sky, which do not really move too speedily and erratically unlike live creatures that can move in any way on the ground. The equatorial mount is also not designed to match fast motion on land despite being highly useful for lunar and/ or celestial observing.


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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