“ Brand: Celestron / Type: Reflecting telescope „
Having made good use of Celestrons schmidt cassegrains over the years as well as their excellent refractors, I was intrigued and eager to try my astronomy clubs latest acquisition, the Celestron Advanced C6 N-GT. This is Celestrons answer to the small reflector and comes perched on a sturdy CG-5 mount. The sleek black body of the telescope makes for an aesthetic that is as stylish as the Cg-5 mount is solid, with Celestrons brand name printed horizontally next to the primary cell in orange. An attractive telescope is all well and good, but in this instance, looks must play second fiddle to functionality and the C6 certainly does function. With a mirror of 6 inches (5.91" to be exact) the C6 fills an important niche, its light enough to transport (54lbs) while being large enough to facilitate serious astronomical observation, of not only the solar system but well into the remote and distant cosmos. From a site slightly darker than your average suburb, even the beginner astronomer will have no difficulty in scooping up the large majority of the brighter DSO's (deep sky objects). Most of the messier catalogue is obtainable through the eyepiece of the C6, if you manage to get away from the ever present glare of the light polluted city. As has already been stated, this won't be a problem as the C6 is easily lifted and fits snuggly with the CG-5 into the smallest car boot. A focal length of 750mm coupled with a focal ratio of f5 means the C6 really excels on large faint objects such as M31 (the andromeda galaxy) or- if dark enough skies are found- M33 (the triangulum galaxy). Large, bright star clusters such as the double cluster in perseus are perfectly framed in low power eyepieces, appearing like little islands adrift in the vastness of space. With its low cost, light weight, light gathering capabilities the C6 makes an excellent scope for any observer, whatever their level of involvement in the hobby. Something that's worth baring in mind (especially for the newcomer or beginner) is that such a fast scope will be less forgiving of collimation error than its slower counterpart, at F5, collimation will pretty much have to be bang on. This is an important consideration especially amongst the more casual of astronomers who don't want to be constantly fiddling with collimation screws to get a half decent image. Celestron have hit the trivector here with this plucky little reflector, performance, price and portability converge into one scope making the C6 one to look out for. Parting with £700 is never easy but Celestron make it just that little bit easier with their high build quality, excellent optics and light weight tube.
I was lucky enough to be given a Celestron C6-N as a gift by a family member who no longer required it and I was very lucky indeed. It was quick to assemble - even for me, as a complete novice - using the clearly-written instructions in the manual. The telescope has a convenient viewfinder which allows easy location of stars and planets. It is a Newtonian type telescope with a 6" diameter and 750mm focal length (f/5) and includes a 20mm eyepiece. It's capable of solar, lunar and planetary observation as well as looking into deep space at galaxies and nebulae. It's a great telescope for astrophotography, if you take advantage of the optional extras (Celestron's optional extras for this telescope including a motor drive (which allows the telescope to automatically follow stars and planets which would otherwise drift off view due to earth's rotations) and NexImage, a reasonably priced CCD imaging system.). The only drawback is the weight - it's bulky for moving back and forth from the outside. But overall it's an excellent telescope which is powerful enough to appeal to seasoned astronomers whilst being easy enough to get the hang of for complete beginners like me.