AstroMaster 114 EQ, 4.5" Equatorial reflector

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The Celestron AstroMaster 114 is a great gift for the young budding astronomer, one that won’t break Grandma or Grandpa’s birthday or holiday budget. It’s also the right size scope for the grownups to plop down on the patio for quick glimpses of the sky between dunks in the pool on a hot summer night.

The optical quality of this Celestron is surprisingly good, considering its very modest price. You’ll see detailed and high contrast views of the Moon, planets, binary stars, and star clusters – as well as the brighter nebulas and galaxies outside the solar system. 

The rugged and stable CG-2 equatorial mount has manual slow motion controls in both axes. These let you easily locate solar system and deep space objects and manually track them across the sky. At only 17 lbs., it’s lightweight and compact enough to fit in virtually any storage space, but it’s optically big enough to keep an observer happy for years.

This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • Reflector optical tube: 114mm (4.5”) aperture f/9 focal ratio Newtonian reflector. All-glass mirrors, coated with highly reflective aluminum and overcoated with quartz for long life. There are no plastic optical components. 20 inch long 1000mm focal length aluminum tube with protective tube end rings. The reflector design of the scope is totally free of the purple haze of spurious color visible around the Moon and planets in lesser refractor scopes. Images are sharp and clear. You can even collimate (align) both mirrors for the sharpest images. This will have to be done only rarely, thanks to the special design of the cell holding the lightweight primary mirror.

  • Rack and pinion focuser: The 1.25” focuser has dual focusing knobs for precise image control with either hand. The large focus knobs are easy to operate, even while wearing gloves or mittens in cold weather.

  • Two eyepieces: You get a medium high power 1.25” 10mm (100x) eyepiece and a lower power 1.25” 20mm (50x) erect image eyepiece with a 1.4° field of view (almost three times the diameter of the full Moon). The 50x erect image eyepiece lets you use the 114EQ terrestrially, as its images are not upside-down as they are with most reflectors. Both eyepieces are a higher quality optical design than you'll find in most other telescopes in this price range. They have antireflection coatings on their lens surfaces for sharp images and very good contrast. Instead of providing low quality eyepieces that give unrealistically high (and generally unusable) 200-300x magnifications, Celestron has chosen to provide higher quality eyepieces with sensible powers you can use and enjoy every time you take your AstroMaster out to observe.

  • Finderscope: A non-magnifying red dot finder is permanently attached to the side of the optical tube. The battery-operated red dot finder seems to project a dot of red light on the sky or on the daytime landscape exactly where the telescope is pointed. The red dot will help you center distant objects in the telescope so you don’t have to search for them using the narrow eyepiece field of view. Collimating knobs on the finder let you line up its red dot precisely with the main telescope optics to make centering distant objects easy and painless.

  • Supplied software: The AstroMaster includes a comprehensive CD-ROM called TheSky Level 1. This is a computerized sky map for your PC that features a 10,000 object database, 75 color images, and custom sky chart printing. It lets you print out star charts for use with the telescope that make it easier to find difficult objects by comparing the appearance of the sky through the eyepiece with the star field on the star chart. It is for use with a PC only (Windows 95 and newer).

This Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Equatorial mount: The sturdy CG-2 equatorial mount is designed for astronomical observing. By aligning the mount on the north celestial pole, you only need to turn one slow motion control knob to follow planets and stars as they travel across the sky. Two counterweights on the opposite side of the mount from the telescope balance the weight of the optical tube and makes it easy to move the scope effortlessly from one part of the sky to another. No tools are required to adjust the position of the counterweights to quickly and precisely balance the optical tube. A micrometer control lets you adjust the altitude of the scope mount for fast alignment on the north celestial pole with no tools required.

  • Split Ring Optical Tube mount: The optical tube is fitted with a split ring dovetail system that fits into a quick-release dovetail groove on the top of the mount. Installing the optical tube on the mount is quick and easy, even in the dark. The optical tube locks securely in place with no tools needed.

  • Setting circles: Setting circles (graduated scales marked in either hours and minutes or degrees) are provided in both right ascension (the east/west position of objects in the sky measured in hours and minutes) and declination (the north/south position measured in degrees). These allow you to align the scope on the approximate position of an object in the sky by using its r. a. and dec coordinates from a star chart – before you search for it in the red dot finder and eyepiece. Setting circles can reduce the time it takes for you to find the fainter and more difficult deep space objects.

  • Manual slow motion controls: There are two slow motion control knobs conveniently positioned on the mount so they are easy to reach while observing. One controls the scope’s motion in right ascension (the east/west direction in the sky). Turning this knob enables you to follow the motion of celestial objects as they travel from east to west across the heavens. The second controls the scope’s motion in declination (the north/south direction in the sky). Turning this knob enables you to correct for any north/south drift a celestial object may take as it drifts across the sky, due to an improper alignment of the scope on the north celestial pole when you first set it up. The two controls combine to give you complete access to any part of the sky. They give you the ability to star hop from a known object to any other object by using a star chart. They let you center objects in the field of view, and track them effortlessly with only an occasional quick turn of the r. a. knob.

  • Tripod: The very rigid tripod has 1.25” diameter stainless steel legs for vibration-free observing. The legs easily adjust in length to put the eyepiece at the most comfortable height for virtually any observer, young or old. The no-tool locking knobs that adjust the height of the tripod are located on the inside of the tripod legs. This keeps them from snagging clothing in the dark, a thoughtful touch sure to be appreciated. The tripod includes an accessory shelf with cutouts to hold three eyepieces. A lip on the shelf keeps accessories from falling off during use.

  • Two year warranty: As an expression of Celestron’s confidence in the quality of their products, the AstroMaster is protected by Celestron’s two-year limited warranty against flaws in materials and workmanship.
Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

1.02 arc seconds
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
The weight of this product.
17 lbs.
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
Based on Astronomy magazine’s telescope "report cards", scopes of this size and type generally perform as follows . . .
Terrestrial Observation:
Observing terrestrial objects (nature studies, birding, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial observing. Scopes with apertures under 5" to 6" are generally most useful for terrestrial observing due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes. 
Lunar Observation:
Visual observation of the Moon is possible with any telescope. Larger aperture scopes will provide more detail than smaller scopes, thereby getting a higher score in this category, but may require an eyepiece filter to cut down the greater glare from the Moon's sunlit surface so small details can be seen more easily. Lunar observing is more rewarding when the Moon is waxing or waning as the changing sun angle casts constantly varying shadows to reveal craters and surface features by the hundreds.  
Very Good
Planetary Observation:
Very Good
Binary and Star Cluster Observation:
Very Good
Galaxy and Nebula Observation:
2 years
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AstroMaster 114 EQ, 4.5" Equatorial reflector

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AstroMaster 114 EQ, 4.5" Equatorial reflectorFull-length image of the Celestron AstroMaster AM114E.Close-up of the focuser and finder of the Celestron AstroMaster AM114E.Close-up of the equatorial head of the Celestron AstroMaster AM114E mount.
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Our Product #: AM114E
Manufacturer Product #: 31042
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The Celestron AstroMaster 114 equatorial reflector proves that you don’t have to pay a big scope price to get big scope performance.

. . . our 37th year