This is a review of the Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT Telescope. We’re a huge fan of this telescope for enjoying the stars and planets with your family. While we wouldn’t advise that you allow the children to fiddle with the telescope alone, (the computerized parts) we believe it’s a great backyard accessory that everyone can enjoy together. This is a bright spot in the amateur astronomy world with features that are rated highly among customers. It’s also received awards like the 2013 one for Telescope of the Year.
Pros of the Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT Telescope
- Quick release bracket and foldable tripod
- SkyAlign feature
- On-board GPS
- NexRemote telescope control
- Affordable for the features provided
Cons of the Celestron CPC Telescope
- Heavy and sturdy – which doesn’t make it easily portable
- 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
- Dual fork arm
- Altazimuth mount
- 280 mm aperture
- 2800 focal length
- NexStar control
It can be difficult to know exactly what you’re seeing through the eyepiece. While the moon is an obvious landmark in the sky, other planets and parts of the universe don’t come with name tags. With the CPC’s internal GPS, it’ll automatically download the time and date of your viewing with the use of the same GPS that can give you real-time information on your smartphone. It’ll enter the time, date, latitude and longitude.
With the 280 mm aperture and the 2800 mm focal length, that gives you a focal ration of 10, which ensures that you can see more than the moon’s surface and the fuzzy light of a planet. With this telescope, customers have reported that they can see the edge of Pluto on the outer edges of our solar system. That is some really strong viewing capabilities.
Revolutionary SkyAlign Feature
With the computerized features of this telescope, you’ll be able to look directly at the planet or celestial body of your choosing. When you set up the telescope, the internal GPS will establish your position. After that, you will align the telescope by manually positioning for 3 objects in the sky. Once you’ve done that, the telescope is calibrated to the NexStar technology that will allow you to enter the star or planet that you’d like to view. It’ll automatically move itself based on the database provided in the software.
What’s in the Database?
The CPC database is filled with over 40,000 objects in the sky that you can focus on and examine. All of those points of light in the night sky have names, and many of them can be seen with this telescope.
The Messier objects are included in the database. This is a set of 110 objects that Charles Messier started to chart back in the year 1771, the last item on the list wasn’t added until 1966 based on calculations by Messier. You’ll be able to see the same
The New General Catalogue numbers, or NGC Numbers, are the objects like galaxies, nebulae, and the planets. While there are thousands of objects in the database alone, most amateurs start with the Messier objects.
What’s Visible in the Night Sky?
While some telescopes only allow you to see the biggest, brightest points of light with any clarity, this Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT Telescope can see things like the Sculptor Galaxy, the beautiful pink and blue of the Lagoon Nebula, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, and the stunning colors of the Orion Nebula.
One of the most obvious celestial bodies is the moon. You’ll be able to magnify the craters of the moon, and almost be able to see the footprints that were made in the first space landing! That may be an exaggeration, but you can get really close to the craters, seas, and valleys of the moon’s surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the telescope weigh?
The telescope weighs approximately 90 pounds. The shipping weight is 143.3 pounds with the product measuring 36 x 19 x 37 inches.
How many pieces when broken down for moving?
There are two pieces to break down for transport; the scope and the tripod. If you keep the delivery box, you can use it for storage and carrying. There are handles for moving the telescope, too.
The Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT Telescope is an incredible value for the money. You’re getting such a powerful instrument for viewing the night sky. In fact, many amateur night-time photographers use this telescope for taking clear, crisp, detailed images. It’s perfect for the backyard if you want to enjoy a hobby that the whole family can do together. Your child will remember nights in the backyard gazing at the stars for the rest of their lives. When compared to that kind of experience and memory, the telescope is very reasonably priced.