This scope has an aperture of 5.1 inches, this is a very respectable size for a first scope. The general rule with aperture is that for every inch it delivers 50X magnification, hence the 260X. If you ever see a telescope advertised as having 600X do not buy it as these are generally poor quality scopes that cannot handle that kind of power. The scope is around 650mm in length to give it some kind of scale, it will seem much bigger if you buy it! The focal length of 650mm is also used to work out how much magnificaiton you will get from an eyepiece, for example, if you were to use a 10mm eyepiece you would get 65X, this is simply the focal length divded by the eyepiece. The primary mirror is parabolic which is not usually seen in the more beginner side of astronomy, this is a welcome addition as it offers better pictures. On the outside of the scope there is a red dot finder which makes locating objects in the eyepiece much easier. The eyepieces themselves are good quality and do the job but there are better out there.
The mount that is supplied is of a good quality but is a basic mount. It is reasonably sturdy and the accessory tray is a handy thing. The mount can be fiddly at times, especially when changing the angle which can become extremely tedious. It is not too heavy but it is by no means light. The RA drive is also a useful addition that is fitted into the right ascension axis. Its movement couteracts the movement of the earth which allows objects to stay in the eyepiece. Note that the RA drive can only be used when the scope is polar aligned. This process is not too difficult. The fine motion controls on the mount are very good and offer a very smooth motion.
Overall, this is a very good starter scope and offers good clear pictures. I have not had many clear nights but have already seen Saturn and the orion nebula as well as the obvious, the moon. The lunar eclipse looked much better through the scope! If you are looking to start astronomy this is a great starter.
"The Sky-Watcher Explorer range are standard Newtonian reflectors of excellent quality and ... more
versatility, ranging in aperture from a respectable 130mm to an incredible light-gulping 300mm aperture, catering for astronomers of all levels. Whether your interest is Deep-Sky, the Moon and Planets, or a combination of both, the Explorer range offers excellent all round Diffraction-Limited performance. The Explorer-130 is ideal for the serious beginner and comes with a stable, aluminium tripod and a solid EQ2 equatorial mount with slow motion controls for smooth and easy guidance around the night sky."
Sky-Watcher EXPLORER-130P SynScan AZ GOTO, 130MM (5.1") F/650 COMPUTERISED PARABOLIC ... more
NEWTONIAN REFLECTOR, Fantastic performance from this highly capable all-rounder. Its precision Parabolic primary mirror captures 30% more precious starlight than a 114mm reflector for bright, sharp, contrasty views of a wide range of night sky objects. Now supplied as standard with x2 Barlow Lens!! "Its sharp optics and relatively small central obstruction ensure s that it delivers bright, diffraction-limited images¦.can view a true field in excess of 2°¦.will give you memorable views of the Moon and bright planets¦In short, its a great all-rounder in its class" Ade Ashford, www.scopetest.com. "I was most impressed by the views revealed by the scope during tests¦.Despite a phase of nearly 96 percent, the waxing gibbous Moon revealed a seemingly inexhaustible amount of fine detail" Astronomy Now Magazine. Sky-Watcher Explorer-130P SynScan AZ GOTO Telescope Features. Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x26, x52, x65 & x130, Highest Practical Power (Potential): x260, Diameter of Primary Mirror: 130mm, Telescope Focal Length: 650mm (f/5), Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm, x2 Deluxe Barlow Lens (1.25") with camera adaptor, Parabolic Primary Mirror, 0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports, 6x30 Finderscope, 2 Rack & Pinion Focuser with 1.25 adaptor, SynScan AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount, Power Requirement: 12v DC 1Amp Power Supply (Tip Positive) or AA Batteries (not supplied), Stainless Steel Tripod with Accessory Tray, 30% more Light Gathering than 114mm