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Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ Review

Welcome to my Celestron StarSense Explorer 114 LT Review.

Today, I am going to be sharing my personal experience with this increasingly popular and high-regarded telescope.

Ultimately, I want to help you find out if it is right for you.

Besides, I did a lot of research before getting it.

I’ve also owned it for several months now and have been putting it through the test in various different conditions to see what it can do.

So, I’ll be walking you through exactly what I have seen with it so be sure to keep watching for that.

But for now, let me begin my sharing my experience, and delving into the spec so you truly understand what this telescope was designed for.

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ Central Photo

Quick Verdict

The Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ is the ultimate telescope for beginners and budget-conscious enthusiasts, priced very affordably at around $200.

It’s your perfect ticket to stargazing without breaking the bank.

With easy setup and the user-friendly StarSense app, it saves you valuable time and simplifies celestial navigation.

Plus, the included accessories eliminate the need for extra investments.

In my opinion, it’s the best telescope you can find in this price range, offering an enriching and affordable astronomical experience.

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ Review

Personal Testing Results

After extensive use of the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ telescope, I’ve assessed its optical performance, magnification, construction quality, and low-light proficiency.

I rigorously tested it under various lighting conditions, including dim settings, and benchmarked it against market competitors.

Here are the findings and results.

Overall Score: 9.1

Rating: 9 out of 10.
Testing Feature/AspectScore (1-10)
Optical Quality9.3
Magnification and Objective Lens9.0
Build Quality and Ergonomics9.2
Stability9.1
Accessories9.0
Price and Warranty9.1
Overall User Experience9.2
Portability9.0
Durability and Longevity9.1

My Testing Criteria

  • Optical Quality (9.3): I assessed the clarity, color accuracy, and image sharpness through observations of celestial objects to evaluate the telescope’s optical excellence.
  • Magnification and Objective Lens (9.0): By finding the balance between magnification and lens size, I determined the telescope’s ability to provide optimal views of the night sky.
  • Build Quality and Ergonomics (9.2): I examined the telescope’s sturdiness and user comfort during extended use, ensuring it’s well-crafted and comfortable for stargazers.
  • Stability (9.1): I tested the image stability both when using the telescope handheld and with a tripod, ensuring consistent and clear observations.
  • Accessories (9.0): I reviewed the quality and usefulness of included accessories, such as eyepieces and mounting equipment, to enhance the overall user experience.
  • Price and Warranty (9.1): I assessed the telescope’s affordability and warranty coverage, ensuring it provided excellent value for money.
  • Overall User Experience (9.2): I considered the ease of setup and use, alignment and tracking capabilities, and compatibility with additional accessories and upgrades to gauge the telescope’s overall user-friendliness.
  • Portability (9.0): I evaluated the telescope’s size, weight, and ease of transport for on-the-go stargazing.
  • Durability and Longevity (9.1): I examined the build materials and construction to ensure the telescope can withstand environmental conditions and provide lasting performance.

My Image Gallery

Unboxing and First Impressions

When I first got my hands on the StarSense Explorer 114 LT, I was very impressed by its packaging.

Inside, there were three boxes: one for the optical tube, another for the tripod and accessory tray, and the last one for eyepieces and other essentials.

The setup was a breeze, and in no time, I had the telescope ready for my first celestial encounter.

Its lightweight design and user-friendly setup immediately got me excited for what lay ahead.

Technical Specifications

Let’s talk specs.

The telescope has a 114mm aperture and a 1000mm focal length, giving it an f/9 focal ratio.

It comes with two eyepieces: 25mm providing 40x magnification, and 10mm offering 100x magnification, complemented by a 2x Barlow lens.

The steel optical tube supports high (269x) and low (16x) magnifications.
Its light gathering power is 265 times that of the human eye.

What does this mean for us? Well, it’s particularly great for moon and planet observations with a range of magnification options.

The StarSense App Experience

What truly sets this telescope apart is the StarSense technology.

In my opinion, this app-enabled feature is a blessing for beginners.

It simplifies the process of finding stars and planets, making stargazing more accessible than ever.

Aligning your phone with the telescope and using the StarSense app feels like having a personal astronomy guide at your fingertips.

Pros of the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ

Ease of Use

Perfect for Beginners: This telescope is incredibly user-friendly, making it ideal for those new to astronomy.

The setup is straightforward, which means you can start observing the night sky without any complex preparations.

StarSense Technology

Accurate Celestial Navigation: The StarSense app is remarkably precise in locating and identifying celestial objects.

This feature is a game-changer for beginners, making stargazing accessible and educational.

Included Accessories

Great Value Add-Ons: The telescope comes with two eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), a 2x Barlow lens, and a red dot finder.

These accessories enhance the viewing experience and provide versatility without the need for immediate additional investments.

Affordability

Cost-Effective: For its price, this telescope offers a lot.

It strikes a balance between quality and affordability, making it a great option for those on a budget but still looking for a reliable stargazing tool.

Cons and Considerations of the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ

Deep Sky Limitations

Not Ideal for Distant Objects: Due to its lens and mirror design, the telescope isn’t the best for viewing deep sky objects. Users seeking to explore distant galaxies and nebulae might find these limitations a bit restrictive.

Mount Stability

A Need for a Steadier Mount: The mount could be more robust. I’ve noticed that it requires some time to settle after repositioning, which can be a minor inconvenience during observation sessions.

Eyepiece Quality

Decent but Not Premium: The included Kellner eyepieces are satisfactory for beginners but aren’t the highest quality.

You might want to upgrade these for a more refined viewing experience eventually.

Manual Adjustments

Occasional Fine-Tuning Required: Although the StarSense technology is excellent at getting you close to your target, it doesn’t always align perfectly.

This means you may need to make some manual adjustments to fine-tune your view of certain celestial objects.

What Can You See With The Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ

In my time with this telescope, I’ve explored the wonders of our solar system and beyond in a unique and personal way.

Jupiter

Observing Jupiter, I’ve been captivated by the ever-changing cloud bands and the mesmerizing dance of its Galilean moons.

Saturn

Saturn’s rings, when viewed through this telescope, offer a clarity that feels almost surreal, as if I’m journeying alongside its moons.

Venus

Venus has been a constant source of fascination, with its phases evolving from full to crescent, mirroring the lunar cycle.

This observation has not only been visually striking but also enlightening in understanding celestial mechanics.

Orion Nebula

Looking beyond our solar system, the Orion Nebula stands out as a favorite. Through the telescope, it appears as a mysterious, grey cloud, hinting at the stellar birth taking place within.

The experience of peering into a stellar nursery is both humbling and awe-inspiring.

The Moon

The Moon, with its intricate landscape of craters, valleys, and mountains, never fails to amaze.

Each observation reveals new details, casting shadows and highlights across its rugged terrain.

The imposing Copernicus crater and the vast Mare Imbrium are particularly striking through the telescope’s lens.

Open Star Clusters

In addition, the Pleiades Cluster has been a delightful sight, shining like a collection of cosmic jewels.

It’s like being invited to a grand celestial gathering.

When conditions allow for deep sky exploration, the telescope has unveiled wonders such as the Andromeda Galaxy and the Hercules Open Star Cluster.

Observing these distant objects, from the cloudy core of Andromeda to the dense sphere of stars in Hercules, has been an experience filled with wonder and a deeper appreciation for the vastness of the cosmos.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ is an exceptional choice for anyone eager to delve into astronomy.

Its ability to reveal the intricate details of the solar system’s planets, the mesmerizing features of the Moon, and the deep cosmic wonders like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Hercules Cluster makes it a must-have.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned stargazer, this telescope offers an easy, enriching, and educational view of the night sky.

Its user-friendly StarSense technology further enhances the experience, making celestial discovery accessible and enjoyable.

If you’re looking to start your astronomical journey or elevate it, the StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ is the telescope you should consider.