Celestron NexStar 102 SLT 102mm achromatic go-to altazimuth refractor


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The NexStar 102 SLT (Star Locating Telescope) is a big aperture fast focal ratio refractor that shows you bright wide-angle deep space views for a surprisingly small price. If you want a scope that will automatically find the faint fuzzies outside the solar system, this Celestron go-to may be just what you are looking for . . .
Our Product #: NS102SL
Celestron Product #: 22096
Recommended Accessories

Product Description

If you want to see the faint fuzzies that populate the skies - the deep space nebulas, galaxies, and open star clusters - but don't know Altair from Zubenelgenubi and wouldn't know which way up to hold a star chart anyway, look no further than this Celestron 102 SLT 4" go-to refractor.

Its new SkyAlign easy alignment technology and Star Pointer red dot LED finder make lining up on the sky a breeze. Once aligned, the scope's computer hand control will find more than 4,000 celestial objects for you and will track them unerringly while you observe at your leisure. With its pre-assembled adjustable height steel tripod and easy no-tool assembly, the NexStar 102 SLT can be up and ready to take you on a tour of the Universe in a matter of minutes.

The 102mm NexStar 102 SLT is almost 60% brighter than an 80mm scope, with 25% higher resolution, for images that are bright and crisp. The huge 1.73° field of its standard eyepiece is superb for scanning wide deep space vistas. It will hold the full Pleiades open star cluster within its field. Put in an optional 40mm eyepiece and you get a 2.5° field wide enough to nearly encompass the great galaxy M31 in Andromeda in its entirety.

With the excellent resolution of its 4" optics, views of the Moon and planets within the solar system (as well as close-ups of birds in your back yard) are sharp and detailed.
Whether an entry-level scope for the beginning astronomer, or a second scope for the more-than-casual backyard astronomer, the NexStar 102 SLT has the features and optical performance that will keep any skywatcher happily observing for years to come.

This Telescope's Optical System . . .

Achromatic refractor optical system: 102mm aperture (660mm focal length f/6.5) aluminum tube. Multicoated optics for high light transmission and good contrast. A no-tool quick release dovetail connects the tube to the mount for fast set-up and take-down. A good-sized lens shade is provided to shield the lens from ambient light for improved contrast and retard the formation of dew for the maximum uninterrupted observing time.

Red dot finder: Star Pointer non-magnifying variable brightness red dot finder on a quick-release dovetail mounting bracket. The Star Pointer is a quick and easy way to point your telescope exactly to the desired object in the sky. There's no need to worry about the inverted images you see through traditional finders. Just align the red dot seen in the Star Pointer with the desired star in the sky and you're done.

Focuser: 2" rack and pinion with a 1.25" eyepiece adapter.

Star diagonal: 1.25" 90° prism.

Two eyepieces: The first is a 1.25" 25mm fully coated Kellner (26x). The eyepiece field of view is 1.73° across, almost three and a half times wider than the diameter of the full Moon for expansive views of nebulas, galaxies, open star clusters and terrestrial observing. The second is a 1.25" 9mm fully coated Kellner (73x) with a 0.61° field for more close-up views of the Moon, planets, and globular star clusters.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Fork mount/drive system: Single fork arm altazimuth design with pre-installed dual DC servo motor drives. A compartment in the drive base accepts eight user-supplied AA batteries for powering the telescope. Selectable lunar, solar, or sidereal (star) tracking rates, with nine different slewing and centering speeds for locating objects (4°/sec, 2°/sec, 1°/sec, 0.5°/sec, and 32x/16x/8x/4x/2x the sidereal rates). For more details, click on the "SLT mount" icon in the support tab above.

NexStar computer control: The supplied computer hand control has an illuminated numeric keypad and a two-line 16-character LCD display. It has a database of 4,033 stars and objects, including the complete Messier and Caldwell catalogs of famous deep space objects; a selection of the brightest and best deep space objects from the Revised New General Catalog (NGC); selected SAO stars, including the best variable stars and multiple star systems; the planets; the Moon; and more.

A few keystrokes on the NexStar hand control automatically slews the 102 SLT to any of those 4,033 objects, including over 600 galaxies, 300 star clusters, and dozens of beautiful binary stars. The computer's software can be flash upgraded via the internet so you will always have the most up-to-date software version available.

SkyAlign Technology: With new patent-pending Celestron SkyAlign technology, you don't have to know Altair from Zubenelgenubi or know how to read a star chart to line up your telescope on the sky. Simply input the date, time, and your location into the computer hand control. The computer will normally default to your last observing site automatically, but can remember up to ten different favorite observing locations for you to choose from.

Once you've entered the date, time, and location, use the Star Pointer red dot finder to align the telescope on any three bright stars, or to two stars and a bright planet or the Moon. The NexStar computer system will automatically determine which objects were chosen and then generate an internal map of the sky that lets it move automatically to any star or object you select for the rest of the night.

After the scope has aligned itself with the sky, it takes only a few keystrokes on the computer hand control to have the scope move automatically to your night's first observing target and start tracking it so you can observe at your leisure. You can find hundreds of fascinating deep space objects your first night out, even if you have never used a telescope before. No matter what level of experience you start from, your NexStar SLT scope will unfold all the wonders of the Universe for you, your family, and your friends. For more details, click on the "SLT computer" icon in the support tab above.

Adjustable height tripod: The preassembled tripod has stainless steel legs to damp vibrations quickly. The center leg brace holds a convenient no-tool quick-release accessory tray to keep your eyepieces and accessories up and out of the dew-soaked grass.

Two-year warranty: All Celestron telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive scopes.

Tech Details

Aperture 4"
Binary and Star Cluster Observation Very Good
Focal Length 660mm
Focal Ratio f/6.47
Galaxy and Nebula Observation Fair
Highest Useful Magnification 165x
Lunar Observation Great
Weight 14 lbs.
Planetary Observation Very Good
Resolution 1.14 arc seconds
Telescope Type Refractor
Visual Limiting Magnitude 12.5
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
I love the computerized mount - makes it easy for both amateurs and pros to find sky objects. Optics are quite good. Great short focal length optics - provides great views of star clusters. Provides decent views of planets and moon. Would be better to have a larger reflector or SC with a longer focal length to view deeper sky objects. (Posted on 9/9/2019)
Review by:
I have a 102GT that I'm really enjoying. It looks like celestron has kept the same not quite sturdy enough mount and short dovetail attaching the OTA to the mount.

I'm working on adding a longer 13" vixen dovetail and rings to my old GT that should add more stability. Wish they'd learned from the older mount and mods and corrected this one. (Posted on 1/9/2019)
Review by:
Celestron seem to have a formula for entry/mid level small telescope packages. At this low price point, I think they assume the user doesn't know a ton about astronomy yet. So they give you a mount that does a fair job, but pair it with a cost savings optical tube.

To be fair, this OTA is going to give a nice view. But there are higher quality small refractors out there. I think between this, the MAKs, and the Newt tubes available on this mount, this little refractor is the best choice.

The mount itself is very nifty. Just a fair optical tube that's maybe a 3-star item. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 102mm multicoated refractor optics
  • Go-to computerized altazimuth mount with dual-axis DC servo motor drives
  • Pre-assembled adjustable height stainless steel tripod
  • Quick release accessory tray
  • Hand control with 4,000+ star and object database for go-to operation
  • Internal AA battery compartment (batteries not supplied)
  • Battery-powered variable brightness Star Pointer red LED non-magnifying finder (battery supplied)
  • 2" rack and pinion focuser with 1.25" eyepiece adapter
  • 1.25" prism-type star diagonal
  • 1.25" 25mm Kellner eyepiece (26x)
  • 1.25" 9mm Kellner eyepiece (73x)
  • TheSky Level 1 CD-ROM star-charting software
  • NSOL software for controlling the scope from a laptop or PC
  • Dust covers.