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NexStar 102 GT

In the spring of 2004, Celestron introduced a new NexStar GT model employing a 102mm short-tube refractor.  The general description of GT mount as found in The NexStar User's Guide applies equally to this scope.

The NexStar 102 is the big brother to the NexStar 80.  Like the NexStar 80, this scope is a short-tube achromatic refractor.  The focuser is a 2" variety and the scope comes with 2" to 1.25" adapter and 1.25" diagonal.

The extremely wide field of view and added light-gathering ability make this an excellent scope for exciting views of open clusters, nebulae, galaxy groups and other wide-field treats.  For extremely wide views usually reserved for binoculars, use a 2" diagonal and long focal length/ wide field 2" eyepiece. 

NexStar 102 GT at a Glance

Optical System: achromatic refractor
Approximate Street Price: $420 (includes tripod)
Aperture: 102mm
Focal Length: 500mm
Focal Ratio: f/5
Supplied Eyepieces: 10mm (50x)
                                  25mm (20x)
Maximum Magnification: 200x
Maximum Field of View: 3.6
                       5.7 with optional 2" diagonal/eyepieces
Magnitude Limit: 11.7
Resolution Limit: 1.4 arcsecond
Finder: 1x power red-dot
Objects in HC Database: 4,033
Weight (includes tripod): 14 lbs. (6.4 kg)

With a minus-violet filter and a Barlow lens to pump up the magnification, the NexStar 102 will also provide nice views of the planets and the Moon.  Favorable passes of Mars will easily show the darker surface features as well as the polar caps.  You will easily spot the Cassini Division on Saturn and on nights of good seeing conditions a dark band on the planet's disk will also be visible.  Jupiter will display at least 3 bands, the Great Red Spot and a bit of detail in the bands.  Incredible detail on the lunar surface will keep you coming back for more.  To provide the best views, I recommend the Baader Fringe-Killer filter as described in this review.


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Michael Swanson
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