Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope review

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is a no frills, affordable option for beginners

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope
(Image: © Celestron)

Digital Camera World Verdict

A telescope and mount combo made with the novice astronomer in mind. Although serious long-exposure planetary or deep-sky astrophotography isn’t feasible with the AstroMaster 130 EQ, snapshots of the Moon and planets through the optical system is pleasing for a budget instrument. All in all, this offering from Celestron will spark a lifetime of interest in photographing the night sky. However, you will almost certainly want to upgrade on the eyepieces to make the most of the optical system.


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    Good sized aperture

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    Suitable for beginners

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    Great views of the Moon and planets

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    Portable and lightweight

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  • -

    Included eyepieces only offer low-power views

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    Only really suitable for basic astrophotography

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    Some beginners may find the set up confusing

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The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is powerful enough to give good views that will both satisfy and leave the skywatcher wanting more, making it an ideal telescope for beginners looking to mix between observing and basic imaging. It's also an affordable piece of kit that boasts a complete package – supplying the observer with everything they need for a successful night of stargazing.

What's more, it doesn’t have a fancy GoTo, nor any complicated electronics, making it easy to use. The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ can be purchased with or without a motor drive, but as we’ll see, neither are entirely suitable for serious long exposure imaging. 

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Gemma Lavender

Gemma is content director of science and space magazines How It Works and All About Space, history magazines All About History and History of War as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) kids education brand Future Genius. She is the author of several books including "Quantum Physics in Minutes", "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Large Hadron Collider" and "Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual to the Milky Way". She holds a degree in physical sciences, a Master’s in astrophysics and a PhD in computational astrophysics. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011. Previously, she worked for Nature's journal, Scientific Reports, and created scientific industry reports for the Institute of Physics and the British Antarctic Survey. She has covered stories and features for publications such as Physics World, Astronomy Now and Astrobiology Magazine.