Celestron CGEM II 1100 11" f/10 SCT Computerized Telescope


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The Celestron CGEM II 1100 puts the big light gathering of 11" aperture Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain optics on a newly-designed high precision go-to German equatorial mount for upscale performance that's surprisingly portable...

Our Product #: CGEMII1100
Celestron Product #: 12012
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Product Description

The Celestron CGEM II 1100 puts the light-gathering power of an 11" aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube - a light grasp almost 1600 times greater than even the sharpest dark-adapted eye - on a Celestron CGEM II heavy-duty computerized go-to German equatorial mount. For the ultimate in image brightness and contrast, the CGEM II 1100 optical tube has Celestron's state-of-the-art Starbright XLT optical multicoatings that are 16% brighter than original Starbright multicoatings across the entire photo/visual spectrum. The 11" optics and Starbright XLT coatings combination will show you faint star clusters, nebulas, galaxies in subtle and amazing detail.

The new and finely-crafted Celestron CGEM II 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 II mount combines the portability of an economical Celestron AVX Series German mount with the high-precision performance of a premium Celestron CGX mount and puts them in a sleek and modern-looking package you'll be proud to own and use. The ergonomically designed CGEM II mount is capable of carrying payloads a full 50% greater than the weight of this system's 28 pound 11" optical tube, making this mount/OTA combination ideal for rock-steady imaging and visual observing.

The 11" aperture f/10 CGEM II 1100 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 II 1100 makes today's astronomy easier and more satisfying than ever before.

The CGEM II 1100 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 for one person to set up and enjoy on their own - either in a 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: 11" aperture (2350mm focal length f/10). Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance. The 24" long aluminum optical tube weighs only 28 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.

• 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: 9 x 50mm straight-through achromatic design, with a substantial 5.8° field of view, in a quick-release bracket.

• 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" 40mm Plössl (70x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.61 degrees, over 20% larger than the full Moon.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

• Heavy duty CGEM II computerized German equatorial mount: The CGEM II 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 II 1100: 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 tripod also includes graduated markings on the tripod legs that will assist in quickly leveling the instrument. 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: New for the CGEM II mount is a dual saddle plate. The saddle plate will now accept both the CGE/Losmandy wide dovetail plate as well as the AVX/Vixen style dovetail plate. The 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 17 pound counterweights 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.

• 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: New for the CGEM II mount, a USB 2.0 communication port on the hand control allows you to operate the telescope via a personal computer using a USB 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 II 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.

• Two-year warranty: All Celestron go-to telescopes have a two-year warranty.

Tech Details

Aperture 11"
Focal Length 2800mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Heaviest Single Component 40 lbs.
Motorized Controls Computer Go-To
Weight 122 lbs.
Optical Coatings StarBright XLT
Resolution 0.42 Arc. Seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 40mm
Telescope Type Schmidt-Cassegrain
View Finder 9x50
Visual Limiting Magnitude 14.7
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
I purchased this package years ago and I should mention that the CGEM mount has changed since I purchased it. The OTA was crisp and a joy to observe through. I set up a guide-scope and was able to get some decent photos through it as well. Makes me curious how the Edge HD version would perform. The mount has been a completely different story for me. I have had to send it in to Celestron at least three different times and was charged quite a bit each time. In 2017, I traveled half-way across the country to photograph the eclipse and when I set up the scope the night before (very dark sky's in southern Illinois.) The mount was locked up. It has sat in the case since. When the mount is working I am able to enjoy it. For someone like me who has to plan a trip in order to find and use dark sky's, having the mount fail ruins a trip. (And in some cases a vacation.) I have sold off much of my gear and when I retire and set up my observatory I will not be purchasing Celestron. (Posted on 7/29/2019)
Review by:
This OTA has excellent optics, best I have seen to date for a mid priced system. The mount is easy to use and very accurate, I usually set it up using star sense and when I slew to my first object it is almost always in the field of view. The tripod is very stable. I have only used it for observing and will be starting to use it for photography soon. (Posted on 10/16/2018)
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