Celestron's combination of Schmidt-Cassegrain optics with Global Positioning System navigation first produced the NexStar GPS series, powerful observation tools for the privileged stargazer no matter which size they selected. There are many automated systems for having a telescope take you directly to your object of interest without being tethered by skills and starcharts, but the unquestionable accuracy of satellite communication is in a league all its own.
Now the success of the NexStar GPS series has been further improved upon with the CPC series, which makes alignment simpler than ever and adds some other accoutrements that you will certainly appreciate. Boastful features include a filter which will temporarily eliminate the objects below the horizon from the hand controller's 40,000-item database, simplifying your hunting to solely that which can currently be observed.
But in the realm of the practical, there are a few key improvements over the NexStar GPS series which need to be noted:
- First the mounting of the scope upon tripod was improved, with spring-loaded captive screws that can't be lost and easily communicate to you even in darkness.
- The clutch mechanisms for disengaging the automatic slewing of the scope were relocated to more ergonomically sensible locales, as was the NexStar handcontroller.
- The finderscope bracket was refined to a streamlined dovetailed unit, with the alignment of the bracket being a simple x-y affair rather than trying to use three alignment screws to correlate with the optical tube's view.
- And best of all is the new SkyAlign system, which doesn't even require your scope to be pointed north and level. Simply point the scope at any three bright objects in the sky and assure the correct time and date. That's all there is to alignment!
The StarBright XLT coatings now arrive standard upon all of the CPC series of telescopes These coatings dramatically decrease the total percentage of light loss incurred by the scope's system of lenses & mirrors by a measure of 43%! Light is invariably lost as it passes through lenses or is reflected from mirrors, and this can have a particularly dramatic effect on deep space objects. StarBright XLT coatings are a highly intensive process which diminishes this effect and brings the faintest things your scope can resolve into greater detail. They'll give you the details of larger apertures without adding to the weight of your rig.