Experienced amateur astronomers who want to explore the universe on a regular basis usually find small telescopes insufficient because those cheap models are not powerful enough to properly view planets. In fact, it is usually pretty tough to identify any planet with just a standard telescope.
For proper stargazing, you need a telescope with a much larger optical lense and much more magnification. This is exactly where the CPC 1100 telescope comes in.
This telescope by Celestron is big and powerful enough to allow you to clearly view deep sky objects. It’s a perfect investment for beginner astronomers.
However, the CPC 1100 by Celestron isn’t the cheapest telescope on the market. If you are going to dish out over $4500 dollars for a telescope, then it is probably a good idea to research it thoroughly to ensure that it has all the features you might be looking for.
That is exactly where this handy guide comes in. We’ll explore the features of this advanced telescope and reveal all of its capabilities.
The Celestron CPC 1100 certainly does look nice with its sleek finish, portable design, and all-black color with the Celestron logo on the side. But in astronomy, it is not what a telescope looks like that is important but rather what it is capable of.
The CPC 1100 offers quite a few great features, including a 279mm lens diameter, 2800mm focal length, and up to 661 times magnification. In addition to these features, it is also equipped with advanced technology like GPS and SkyAlign, which eases the use of this gigantic telescope.
Here is a quick look at some of the main features of this telescope.
- Dimensions: 36 x 19 x 37 in. folded size
- Weight: 83 Pounds
- Color: Black
- Focal length: 2800 Millimeters
- Optical lens diameter: 279 Millimeters
- Focal ratio: f/10
- Magnification: 40x – 661x
- Eyepiece: 40 Millimeters and 2x Barlow
- Finderscope: 9 x 50
- Stand: Heavy-duty stainless steel (55 – 70 inch height)
- Compatibility: XDR camera
- Lens coating: Star Bright XLT optical coatings
- Technology: GPS technology, SkyAlign alignment technology, and CPC database
- Good price for a semi-professional telescope
- Made of good-quality materials
- The mount has a sturdy feel to it
- A hand controller eases the functionality and adjustment of the device
- There are separate or additional eyepieces available
- You can adjust the telescope using its GPS system or its manual mode
- You can connect a camera for space photography
- Ideal for viewing various planets or nebulas
- Optics are fantastic even for daytime observing
- You get access to the NexStar database, which makes it easy to look for over 40,000 celestial objects
- GPS system and SkyAlign allow for simple alignment
- The telescope is big and heavy, which makes it difficult to travel with
- It does take quite a bit of time and effort to set up
- External power source required for the GPS system
Setting Up and Usage
This large telescope offers quite a few features that probably have your fingers itching to hit the “add to cart” button. But before you decide to buy it, you should be aware that it might be slightly more difficult to use compared to cheaper models.
Telescope Size Might Be an Issue
The telescope does fold to a relatively compact size, but it is still pretty heavy and bulky even when folded. The telescope itself weighs 63 pounds and the tripod weighs an additional 20 pounds, which makes it pretty difficult to move. It is entirely possible to move it around all on your own, but this isn’t the type of telescope you want to bring on hiking expeditions or camping trips. Its bulky design of 36 x 19 x 37 inches also takes up a lot of space, which can make storage or transportation difficult.
It Takes a While to Fully Set Up
Another thing to keep in mind is that this telescope isn’t quite as quick or easy to set up. It usually takes about 20 minutes to get it out of the car and ready for viewing your first objects. The device can be controlled manually, but it is much easier to use the GPS and SkyAlign technology. In order to use this function, you will need an external power source like a car battery.
The time it takes to complete this setup certainly is worth the effort if you have a dedicated stargazing spot or if you want to witness a major celestial event. But this can be a lot of effort if you just want a quick look at the skies. For a quick peek, a small telescope can be much easier to set up. With that said, the telescope is remarkably functional once set up.
GPS Technology Is a Dream
Its GPS technology can automatically detect the time, date, and exact coordinates of your current position even without any cell phone reception, which eases the alignment process a lot. The telescope control software also makes it very easy to locate constellations, planets, and other celestial objects even as you switch from location to location.
SkyAlign Technology Eases the Learning
It also features SkyAlign technology with a large object database that allows you to easily pinpoint thousands of deep-sky objects within moments. These sophisticated software features are easy to navigate thanks to a handheld controller that allows you to alter the settings or positioning of the telescope digitally. With this expansive database, you can learn a lot about the universe and discover more about a dark sky location.
If you don’t have access to a power source, you can still use the 9 x 50 finder scope to get your telescope manually set up and ready for viewing objects.
The difficulties in getting the telescope set up are minor for enthusiastic astronomers who are eager to explore the universe. The optical quality and physical capabilities of a telescope are usually much more important to astronomers, which is exactly why we are going to discuss those things next.
The telescope features a large 279mm objective lens that naturally allows lots of light into the scope for a clearer view. This lens is also treated with StarBright XLT optical coatings to enhance the light transmission and get the sharpest possible images of the night sky.
Its long focal length of 2800 mm along with its 40mm eyepiece and 2X Barlow lens offer good magnification. This telescope can make fight stars anything from 40 to 661 times bigger, and it allows you to see much further into the atmosphere.
Users can also buy additional eyepieces like smaller 10mm pieces that allow you to get a closer view of objects, or you can invest in a larger lens so you can use the telescope on objects that are closer, such as the moon.
The visual instrument isn’t just practical for viewing and learning about astronomy. It can also be used to document everything you see or to take great quality photographs of phenomena you might be witnessing.
To take images or videos, you can remove the eyepiece from the telescope and replace it with a DSLR or CCD camera or computer so you can document what you see through solar system imaging apps. As you can imagine, the imaging you will be able to take using this advanced scope is astronomical. You can even capture great coloring using an average DSLR camera.
What You Can View
The CPC 1100 can be combined with different lenses to help you get a clearer view of deep-sky objects that are close by or distant. There are always a number of factors that can impact your ability to get a clear view of objects. Light pollution, for example, can affect your ability to see deep and clearly into space, and some celestial objects are only visible at certain times of the day, year, or even millennium. The type of eyepiece you use and any additional lenses like a Barrow lens can also affect your ability to view distant celestial objects. Here is a quick look at the views you can expect to enjoy with this advanced telescope.
Users have been able to find and see Plutowith a 20mm eyepiece, but the dwarf planet is still small and you won’t see any surface detail.
It is a great telescope for moon viewing, and the included 40mm eyepiece will enable you to explore quite a lot of surface detail.
Users are also able to get a good view of the lunar eclipse,Saturn, Venus, and Jupiter using this telescope.
Other Deep-sky Objects
The telescope is perfect for viewing gorgeous deep sky objects like bright stars, bright planets, galaxies, andnebulaethat wouldn’t be visible with an average telescope.
The Tripod Stand
The telescope comes with a durable stainless steel tripod stand with strong steel legs to keep the telescope nice and steady. This stand is fully adjustable since it allows you to turn the telescope in any direction without moving it. It’s also height-adjustable, so you can get a perfect view through the eyepiece. A comfortable eyepiece height is very important, because you will get a much better view if you feel more comfortable.
When storing the telescope, the stand completely detaches from the telescope mount. You can then fold the stand into a compact size for easy storage.
Hand Controller Functionality
The telescope doesn’t have the best controller. The remote hand control holder is pretty easy to use, and the button layout makes it easy to make adjustments. This controller isn’t remotely operated, and it does have a display, which is unfortunately small and a bit dim.
This hand controller along with SkyAlign technology makes it pretty easy for complete beginners to locate and view a huge variety of constellations, planets, or celestial objects without having to struggle with the finder scope or the other manual adjustments.
We already mentioned that you can manually use and align the telescope with its hand control and without using any power source. But it can be difficult for both novice astronomers and amateurs to get the telescope properly set up and aligned without the GPS software.
In order to use the GPS and SkyAlign software, you will need access to some power source. A 12V storage battery with a battery adapter can easily handle the telescope, so you can use the electronic features and functions of this telescope. You will also need a power cord,since the telescope oddly doesn’t include one with the set.
Some users recommend getting the small Celestron power tank for this telescope instead of investing in an AC power cord in order to maintain portability.
The Celestron CPC 1100 telescope is an ideal instrument to get if you are serious about astronomy. It is a great investment for educational institutions and for experienced amateur astronomers but is much too complex and expensive for average stargazing during a camping expedition.
If you are just getting started in astronomy and are not sure if this hobby will stick, then it is probably better to start off with something much smaller like the Celestron CPC 800. Small portable telescopes might also be a better fit for traveling expeditions or for hiking trips since these are much lighter and easier to set up.
If you need a powerful tool for serious stargazing, then you can’t go wrong with this advanced piece of equipment.
If you are looking for something simpler and more budget-friendly, then you should take a look at some of the other guides we have onStargazing Studio. Our handy website has guides on all types of stargazing equipment for every kind of astronomer.