CGEM-925 9¼” SCT with Starbright XLT multicoatings

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Starbright XLT optics
This advanced optical coatings package includes multiple layers of vacuum-deposited high reflectivity aluminum on both primary and secondary mirrors. The coating layers are enhanced with titanium dioxide for maximum reflectivity and then overcoated with a protective layer of silicon monoxide (quartz) for long life.

A unique combination of magnesium fluoride and hafnium dioxide high transmission antireflection coatings is vacuum-deposited on both sides of the Schmidt corrector lens for maximum light throughput and contrast. The corrector lens itself is made of high transmission water white float glass instead of the conventional soda lime glass (which has 3.5% lower transmission than water white glass) that’s used in other telescopes.

Starbright XLT multicoatings give you higher light transmission for brighter deep space images and shorter exposure times during CCD and DSLR photography. Across the total visual/photographic spectrum from 400nm to 750nm, independent laboratory tests show the new Starbright XLT coatings are 16% brighter overall than even the original industry-standard Starbright multicoatings. The XLT coatings also visibly increase the contrast on subtle lunar, planetary, and nebula details when compared with a scope with standard coatings or ordinary multicoatings.

NexStar CGEM computer
The NexStar computer hand control supplied with the Celestron CGEM telescopes is powered by the CGEM mount itself. No extra batteries or power supplies are needed. The

The NexStar computer has a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars and objects it can find and track for you. These include the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars; the planets, the Moon, and others. The custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number; the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; selected variable stars; non-planetary solar system objects; and asterisms. You can also store and edit the right ascension and declination of 400 additional user-defined objects of your own choosing, such as the comet and asteroid coordinates published monthly in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines. The computer control can find any of those objects with only a few keystrokes, and track them with high accuracy for visual or photographic applications. There is enhanced information on over 200 of the most note-worthy objects.

All of the database and mount operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, liquid crystal display on the NexStar hand control. There are 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons to make it easy for you to control the NexStar computer without affecting your dark-adapted vision. An RS-232 communication port on the hand control allows you to operate your telescope remotely via a personal computer using the supplied RS-232 cable and NexRemote software CD-ROM.

The NexStar hand control provides a constant digital r. a. and dec readout of your scope’s position on the sky. This provides much greater accuracy than conventional manual setting circles for star-hopping or locating objects by their celestial coordinates alone, should you want to observe the old-fashioned way without using the computer to find objects for you.

The software built into the CGEM NexStar hand control includes mount calibration, database filter limits, hibernate, five alignment procedures, user-defined slew limits, a new "All-Star" polar alignment routine that uses any bright star for a quick and accurate polar alignment, and more. Built-in adjustable backlash compensation permits precise corrections during astrophotography and when observing visually at high powers. A high precision pointing subroutine in the computer lets you point accurately at objects that you want to photograph that are too dim to be seen though the scope.

The software includes permanent programmable periodic error correction (PEC) to correct for the minor periodic tracking errors inherent to all worm drives that might otherwise mar your long exposure photographs. The NexStar computer retains the PEC corrections when it is powered down. The hand control and motor control software is flash-upgradeable to allow you to download the latest product updates over the Internet to keep your NexStar computer control always at the cutting edge of technology.

Five different alignment methods are built into the NexStar computer – 2-star align, quick align, 1-star align, last alignment, and solar system align – allowing you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. Alignment is easily accomplished in only a few short minutes. You can be observing in less than 15 minutes after you first take your CGEM-mounted scope outdoors.

In addition, the NexStar computer hand control is GPS-compatible (using an optional inexpensive CN16 GPS module) for full GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite accuracy. Adding GPS to the computer is something no competitively-priced mount can do. Once the scope is approximately polar aligned, the 16-channel CN16 GPS system uses signals from government satellites to calculate the scope’s location on earth with an accuracy measured in meters. The system also calculates the current time based on the split second accuracy of the GPS time signals. After the CN16 quickly completes these calculations and enters the information into the computer control for you automatically, the computer can then orient the scope with the sky, slew to a pair of guide stars, ask you to confirm that the stars are in the center of the field (and center them if they’re not precisely aligned), and then start finding and tracking over 40,000 objects for you at your command. With the CGEM go-to mount and the CN16, orienting your scope in time and space on earth and aligning it on the sky becomes almost as easy a task as simply turning the mount on.

CGEM mount
The German equatorial mount has long been the favored choice of astronomy buffs and astrophotographers because of its stability and portability. It is more stable because the center of gravity is directly over the center of its base, and more portable because it can be broken down into smaller component parts than a fork-mount telescope for easy storage and transportation.

For astrophotography, the German equatorial mount offers easier balancing; unlimited space at the rear of the telescope tube to mount a long camera equipment train that can’t bump into the drive base, as is the case with many fork-mounted scopes; and whole sky access that many fork-mounted scopes can’t achieve.

The Celestron CGEM – a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2010 – is a newly-designed heavy-duty computerized go-to German equatorial mount. The ergonomically designed CGEM has a fresh, attractive, bold appearance. It has a 40 pound payload capacity. This allows it to carry Celestron SCT optical tubes up to 11” in aperture, plus a full load of imaging accessories, as well as virtually any other optical tube and accessory payload less than 40 pounds in weight. The Sky & Telescope Hot Product citation said the CGEM mount offers “unquestionable value when it comes to Go To performance for astrophotographers and observers.”

The CGEM mount head contains dual-axis slewing/tracking motors on each axis for go-to computer control. Steel worm gears and 90mm diameter brass worm wheels assure long-term reliability and high accuracy performance. The use of low cog DC Servo motors with integrated optical positioning encoders offers smooth, quiet operation and precision slewing and tracking. The motor armatures are skewed to minimize cogging for precise jitter-free low speed tracking. The motor drives and their wiring are all internal, keeping them snag-free and free from dust and debris.

The mount requires 1.5 amp 12 VDC power to operate. The maximum 1.5 amp power draw happens only briefly when accelerating to the high speed slewing mode from a standing start. Normal power draw with a well-balanced payload is generally less than half the maximum draw. The mount comes with a car battery cord to operate from the cigarette lighter plug of your car or from a rechargeable 12V battery pack. The 17 amp hour capacity Celestron Power Tank #4517V is recommended and will operate the mount all night long without danger of running out of power.

To make a casual polar alignment for visual use quick and easy, there’s a latitude scale with large ergonomically-friendly altitude and azimuth adjustment knobs. If serious long exposure astrophotography is in your plans, an optional polar finder is available to increase the accuracy of your alignment.

The supplied 17 pound counterweight (one comes with the 8” CGEM800; two come with the 9.25” CGEM925 and 11” CGEM1100) is locked in place on the steel counterweight shaft with a single hand-tighten knob, making it easy to rebalance your scope in right ascension if you add heavy photographic accessories. If needed, optional counterweights are available to balance very heavy loads.

For observing or imaging objects near the meridian (the imaginary line passing directly overhead from North to South), the CGEM is designed to track well past the meridian for uninterrupted imaging through the most ideal part of the sky.

There are nine motor drive speeds: 0.5x and 1x sidereal for guiding; 4x, 8x, 16x, and 64x for centering; and 1°, 2°, and a fast 5° per second for slewing. Preset tracking rates include sidereal, solar, and lunar. Equatorial tracking modes are available for both northern and southern hemispheres.

An autoguider port is located on the electronic pier for long exposure astrophotography. The autoguider port can use a six-pin RJ-12 modular jack ST-4 compatible CCD autoguider to automatically control the drive motors during long exposure astrophotography.

The CGEM mount’s adjustable height tripod has 2” diameter stainless steel legs with a metal center leg brace for rigidity to provide excellent damping characteristics. The center leg brace is drilled to form a convenient accessory tray that holds 1.25” and 2” eyepiece to keep them up out of the dew-soaked grass.

Optical tubes are installed on the CGEM mount using a slot on the mount head that accepts a Celestron CGE-style or Losmandy D-plate dovetail slide bar. This allows the optical tube to be quickly and precisely balanced fore and aft on the mount in declination, eliminating the need for an extra counterweight to balance a camera or other accessories. Setup and takedown times are exceptionally fast, as a single large hand-tighten knob holds the optical tube in place. A second lock knob prevents the tube from sliding off the mount should the hand-tighten knob loosen.

The CGEM mount weighs 75 pounds. The equatorial head is the heaviest component, at 41 pounds. The tripod weighs 17 pounds, as does the supplied counterweight(s) – one comes with the 8” CGEM800; two come with both the 9.25” CGEM925 and the 11” CGEM1100.

The Celestron CGEM-925 with Starbright XLT coatings puts the high contrast optics of a 9¼” aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube on newly-designed Celestron CGEM heavy-duty high-precision computerized go-to German equatorial mount. For the ultimate in brightness and contrast, the CGEM-925 optical tube has state-of-the-art Starbright XLT multicoatings that are 16% brighter than original Starbright multicoatings across the entire photo/visual spectrum. Its light grasp is approximately 1125 times that of even the sharpest dark-adapted eye, revealing to you star clusters, nebulas, planets, and galaxies in amazing detail.
The finely-crafted Celestron CGEM go-to mount makes finding over 40,000 of those stars and objects easy and automatic, so you can spend more time looking at those objects, rather than looking for them. The CGEM mount combines the portability of the economical Celestron Advanced Series German mount with the precision performance of a premium-level Celestron CGE mount and puts it in a sleek and modern-looking package you’ll be proud to own and use. The ergonomically designed CGEM mount is capable of carrying payloads more than twice the weight of this system’s 21 pound 9.25” optical tube, making this mount/OTA combination ideal for rock-steady imaging and visual observing.
The 9.25” aperture f/10 CGEM-925 optical tube is the latest version of the Celestron-pioneered optical system that took phenomenally expensive Schmidt-Cassegrain optics out of the hands of professional astronomers and made them available for the first time at a reasonable price to all amateur astronomers. In essence, the original Celestron SCT made modern amateur astronomy possible. The computerized CGEM-925 makes today’s astronomy easier than ever before.
The CGEM-925 with Starbright XLT coatings is priced to make big aperture go-to astronomy available to almost everyone. Its light weight optical tube and easily assembled mount make it easy to set up and enjoy – either in your back yard or at a distant dark sky site. Its superb optical quality and very reasonable price for a full-featured computerized go-to mount make it a telescope that virtually any beginning or advanced astronomer can afford and enjoy.

This Telescope’s Optical System . . .
  • Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube: 9.25” aperture (2350mm focal length f/10). Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance. The 22” long aluminum optical tube weighs only 21 pounds, making it easy to transport and assemble the scope in the field.

  • Starbright XLT fully multicoated optics: This high transmission/high reflectivity optical coatings package gives you visibly higher light transmission for brighter deep space images and shorter exposure times during CCD and 35mm photography. It also increases the contrast on subtle lunar, planetary, and nebula details when compared with a scope with ordinary coatings or multicoatings. For more details, click on the “Starbright XLT” icon above.

  • Focusing: Focusing is accomplished by turning a knob at the rear of the scope body that moves the primary mirror fore and aft along a central baffle tube to adjust the focus. The Celestron focusing mechanism is supported by two pre-loaded ball bearings, minimizing the “mirror flop” typical of bushing focus mechanisms that causes image shift during critical focusing.

  • Finderscope: 6 x 30mm straight-through achromatic design, with a wide 7 degree field of view.

  • Visual back: Removable 1.25” visual back holds visual accessories such as star diagonal, tele-extender, etc.

  • Star diagonal: 1.25” prism type.

  • Eyepiece: 1.25” 25mm Plössl (94x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.53 degrees, just big enough to hold the full Moon.

This Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Heavy duty CGEM computerized German equatorial mount: The CGEM mount includes dual-axis slewing/tracking motors on each axis for go-to computer control. There are nine motor drive speeds: 0.5x and 1x sidereal for guiding; 4x, 8x, 16x, and 64x for centering; and 0.5°, 2°, and a fast 4° per second for slewing. Preset tracking rates include sidereal, solar, and lunar for precise tracking of celestial objects inside the solar system as well as out in deep space.

  • Powering the CGEM-925: The mount comes with a car battery cord to operate from the cigarette lighter plug of your car or from a rechargeable 12VDC battery pack. The 17 amp hour capacity Celestron Power Tank #4517V is recommended and will operate the scope all night long without danger of running out of power.

  • Polar alignment: To make a casual polar alignment for visual use quick and easy, there’s a latitude scale with large ergonomically-friendly altitude and azimuth adjustment knobs. No polar alignment finderscope is available to aid in the precise polar alignment required for long exposure astrophotography, nor is any needed. A unique Celestron All-Star Polar Alignment program built into the NexStar hand control helps you do a very precise computerized polar alignment in mere minutes, using any bright star, even when Polaris is hidden by trees or buildings. The program works in both northern and southern hemispheres.

  • Adjustable height tripod: The tripod has 2” diameter stainless steel legs with a metal center leg brace for rigidity, for excellent vibration damping characteristics. The center leg brace is drilled to form a convenient accessory tray that holds 1.25” and 2” eyepiece to keep them up out of the dew-soaked grass.

  • Mounting the scope: A dovetail slot on the top of the mount holds the long dovetail slide bar mounted under the optical tube. This allows you to slide the optical tube fore and aft in the dovetail slot to quickly and precisely balance the optical tube in declination when you add or subtract accessories, eliminating the need for an extra counterweight to balance a camera or other accessories. Setup and takedown times are exceptionally fast, as a single large hand-tighten knob holds the optical tube in place. A second lock knob prevents the tube from sliding off the mount should the hand-tighten knob loosen. The oversized dovetail mounting platform assures secure vibration-free tube attachment.

  • Balancing the scope: The two sliding counterweights (one 17 pound and one 11 pound) are locked in place on the counterweight shaft with a single large hand-tighten knob each. This makes it easy to rebalance the scope in right ascension if you add heavy photographic accessories. For more details, click on the “CGEM mount” icon above.

  • NexStar computer hand control: The supplied NexStar computer hand control has a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars and objects that it can find and track for you. These include the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars; the planets, the Moon, and others. The custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number; the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; variable stars; non-planetary solar systems objects; and asterisms.

  • The NexStar display: All of the database and scope operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, liquid crystal display on the hand control. There are 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons to make it easy for you to control the computer without affecting your dark-adapted vision. The NexStar hand control provides a constant and easily-visible illuminated right ascension and declination readout of the scopes position on the sky. This provides much greater accuracy than conventional (and hard to see at night) manual setting circles for star-hopping or locating objects by their celestial coordinates alone, should you want to observe the old-fashioned way without using the computer to find objects for you.

  • Some NexStar features: The software built into the NexStar hand control includes many, many features and programs discussed at greater length by clicking on the “NexStar CGEM” icon above. An RS-232 communication port on the hand control allows you to operate the telescope via a personal computer using the supplied RS-232 cable and NexRemote software CD-ROM. The hand control and motor control software is flash-upgradeable to allow you to download the latest product updates over the Internet to keep your CGEM mount always at the cutting edge of technology. An autoguider port is located on the electronic pier for guided, but unattended, long exposure astrophotography.

  • Aligning on the sky: Five different alignment methods are built into the NexStar computer – 2-star align, quick align, 1-star align, last alignment, and solar align – allowing you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. Alignment is easily accomplished in only a few short minutes. You can be observing in less than 15 minutes after you first take the scope outdoors. There’s even a new and unique “All-Star” software-assisted alignment of the mount’s polar axis using a single bright star that will have you ready for imaging before it’s even dark enough to see the North Star. For more details, click on the “NexStar CGEM computer” icon above.

  • Two-year warranty: All Celestron go-to telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive go-to scopes.
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.
470x
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).

14.4
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.

2350mm
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.

f/10
Resolution:
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.

0.49 arc seconds
Aperture:
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.
9.25"
Weight:
The weight of this product.
113 lbs.
Heaviest Single Component:
The weight of the heaviest component in this package.
41 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.
Schmidt-Cassegrain
 
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. 
No
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:
Very Good
Photography:
Yes
Terrestrial Photography:
Photographing terrestrial objects (wildlife, scenery, 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 photography. Scopes with focal ratios of f/10 and faster and apertures under 5" to 6" are generally the most useful for terrestrial photography due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes.
No
Lunar Photography:
Photography of the Moon is possible with virtually any telescope, using a 35mm camera, DSLR, or CCD-based webcam (planetary imager). While an equatorial mount with a motor drive is not strictly essential, as the exposure times will be very short, such a mount would be helpful to improve image sharpness, particularly with webcam-type cameras that take a series of exposures over time and stack them together. Reflectors may require a Barlow lens to let the camera reach focus. 
Yes
Planetary Photography:
Yes
Star Cluster / Nebula / Galaxy Photography:
Yes
Warranty:
2 years
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General Accessories
Drive Motors and Drive Accessories (2)
Power Tank 17 Amp-hour 12V DC rechargeable battery
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$129.95 
2.5 Amp AC adapter for Celestron telescopes
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$24.95 
Vibration Dampeners (1)
Vibration Suppression pads, set of 3
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$49.95 
  • Starbright XLT fully multicoated 9.25" f/10 optics
  • Go-to fully computerized CGEM German equatorial mount with one 17 lb. and one 11 lb. counterweight
  • Heavy duty adjustable height metal tripod
  • 40,000+ object computer hand control
  • PPEC (Permanent Periodic Error Compensation)
  • Built-in adjustable backlash compensation
  • RS-232 port for connection to a PC
  • NexRemote remote telescope control software with RS-232 cable
  • CCD autoguider port
  • 6 x 30mm finderscope
  • 1.25" star diagonal
  • 1.25" 25mm Plössl eyepiece (94x)
  • 12V DC car battery cord
  • Dust covers.
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Celestron - CGEM-925 9¼” SCT with Starbright XLT multicoatings

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Celestron - CGEM-925 9¼” SCT with Starbright XLT multicoatingsFull-length image of the CGEM-925 on its tripod.Close-up of the CGEM-925 electronics panel and equatorial head.Close-up of the CGEM-925 equatorial head's altitude and azimuth knobs and NexStar computer hand control.
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Our Product #: CGEM925
Manufacturer Product #: 11098
Price: $2,799.00
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The Celestron CGEM-925 combines high-contrast 9.25” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain optics with a newly-designed computerized go-to German equatorial mount for upscale performance that’s a step ahead of an 8” scope, and at a price that won’t break your budget . . .





. . . our 34th year