Everybody wants the most powerful telescope, let’s quickly clear this up, its not about being “powerful” but instead all about the aperture. For instance, I have a Tele-Vue 85 which is a small refractor telescope. The largest (in magnification) lens I can use with it is a 2.7 mm eyepiece before the image becomes fuzzy and un-viewable, a wider aperture is needed. The wider the aperture— the more “powerful” a higher magnification eyepiece can be used. Hence the more ‘powerful’ i.e the more clearly, I can view an object in the dark space becomes.
I hate to see people get turned off with astronomy because they didn’t do their research when selecting a decent telescope. They either bought a trash scope or bought one too big that rarely ever gets used. Please check out 6 Things To know and try before you buy a telescope.
A good quality entry level telescope will start at around 300–500 bucks. A small refractor is a good choice for the beginner. Also, think small before buying big. A good quality small refractor will yield great views of Saturn, Jupiter, Messier Objects and so-forth. Smaller scopes get used more often as they are easier to set up. Instead, learn how to use a simple star chart or sky atlas along with a red lens torch for navigating the night sky. Learning celestial navigation is easy as most objects can be found to be using the Constellations as sign posts.
Now that’s not to say if you have the means and experience that you shouldn’t get the best the telescoping world has to offer, I certainly would and my absolute go to telescope and the most powerful telescope for home use is none other than the:
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm
Quick Specification Break Down
- 11″ Premium StarBright XLT optical coatings =
- Computerized dual fork arm mount with internal GPS, 40,000+ celestial objects in Database
- 9×50 finderscope
- Ergonomic design
- Heavy-duty tripod makes it very sturdy ( 2″ steel legs and accessory tray )
- Ergonomic designed
- Star diagonal and 1.25” eyepiece included
Celestron a house hold name in the telescoping work, the CPC series is their advanced and premium top of the line telescopes for home use and the most powerful, The largest aperture of the CPC GPS line, The CPC 1100 GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope has the most light gathering power out there and has a limiting magnitude of nearly 15! Which is huge!
The cpc also comes with all the bells and whistles as it takes full advantage of its vast database of thousands of galaxies as well as delivering a new level of detail to all your favorite deep sky objects. Featuring Celestron’s premium StarBright XLT coatings making the optical vision of this telescope unrelieved. With sophisticated software features like Hibernate function, the CPC can maintain its star alignment without needing to be re-aligned, making it an ideal instrument for a permanent observatory facility, and can handle light population well if your area is not so good. The scope offers really impressive views of planets and you can really some see amazing detail on the surface of Jupiter; see Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn, and even resolve details on the surface of Mars. Even the distant plants of, Neptune and Pluto are within your reach of this amazing pieces of hardware, it also offers quick and simple alignment as an internal GPS receiver can download the latest data from, orbiting satellites.
DEFINITELY consider the fact that it is big and heavy. The scope is about 40 lbs, and the tripod is about 20. I find the 63 pound tube to be a bit heavy, but still quite manageable and it has well-placed carrying handles that make it easy, so that’s no issue. But it is certainly not a telescope that you can just pick up and go stargazing with on a moment’s notice. It takes time and effort to set up, and that can be a disadvantage if you get a “spur of the moment” urge to use it! You should also know that it doesn’t hide away in a tiny corner of the closet (or your car, for that matter), so you’ll need some space to store it and transport it as it may be short and diminutive but is very bulky.
With its short tube and sturdy mount, is relatively impervious to wind, and slight bumps hardly affect it. It’s diminutive size makes it fairly easy to use, as the eyepiece is usually in a comfortable position. The viewing is still fairly comfortable. The more comfortable you are, the more you see. A well charged 12v storage battery can easily run the telescope, and charge my computer for at least 6 hours. The ability to goto anyplace in the sky, by entering J2000 coordinates is great feature and the Celestron gains some brownie points here.
The quality of the scope and tripod are evident this really feels like premium product. I’ve used it many times already, and have no complaints whatsoever, aside from wishing I had a better yard and less light pollution! I’ve had no trouble doing alignments, and have even aligned it using the moon, Jupiter, and Sirius when they were all in the same general area in the sky. Once aligned, the goto feature works extremely well. All in all, an extremely excellent telescope, and highly recommend it if you are prepared for the size, weight, and the time it takes to set up.