Ce­le­stron 114 LCM com­put­erised tele­scope

A great starter scope with which to be­gin your ad­ven­tures in astronomy

Sky at Night Magazine - - CONTENTS - WORDS: PAUL MONEY

ith mod­ern op­tics and com­put­er­i­sa­tion, to­day’s starter tele­scopes are a far cry from the scopes many of us be­gan our astronomy ad­ven­tures with. Ce­le­stron’s 114LCM Com­put­erised Tele­scope, for ex­am­ple, com­bines rea­son­able op­tics with a com­put­erised mount to give be­gin­ners a tan­ta­lis­ing taste of what there is to see in the cos­mos.

The 114LCM con­sists of an op­ti­cal tube with a 4.5-inch mir­ror and a fo­cal length of 1,000mm giv­ing a fo­cal ra­tio of f/9. It has a ba­sic rack and pin­ion fo­cuser that takes 1.25-inch eye­pieces: 25mm and 9mm eye­pieces are provided giv­ing mag­ni­fi­ca­tions of 40x and 111x. A built-in StarPoin­ter red dot fin­der helps to aim the tele­scope, es­pe­cially dur­ing the align­ment phase. The tube is at­tached to the mo­torised base via a Vixen-style mount­ing bar that con­nects to the alu­minium tri­pod us­ing a bolt on the un­der­side. It’s quick and straight­for­ward to as­sem­ble as there are just three main sec­tions: tube, base and tri­pod. The 114LCM comes with a NexS­tar hand con­troller that has a data­base of 4,000 ob­jects from the main deep-sky data­bases (Messier, NGC and Cald­well). Also in­cluded are the So­lar Sys­tem, vari­able stars and dou­ble stars. Power is provided by eight AA bat­ter­ies that sit in a built-in com­part­ment. aAl­ter­na­tively you can use a power tank pro­vid­ing 12V 750mA.

Ducks and dumb­bells

The 114LCM has five align­ment modes. We tested them all and in each case achieved the best align­ment and track­ing us­ing Ce­le­stron’s be­spoke SkyAlign sys­tem. So­lar Sys­tem Align is also use­ful for day­time align­ment, es­pe­cially if the Moon is up. Us­ing the 25mm eyepiece we checked the qual­ity of the field of view by tar­get­ing Al­tair (Al­pha (_) Aquilae). The star was pin sharp across 75 per cent of the view with a lit­tle coma towards the field edge. The view through the 25mm eyepiece is big enough to fit in all of the Moon and more – we es­ti­mate it has a field of view of just over 1.25°.

Us­ing the Sky Tour op­tion we ex­plored a wide range of tar­gets. M11, the Wild Duck Clus­ter, was

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