Why the StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ is perfect for a novice hobby astronomer

9 Comments2 June 2020  |  Admin

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZI recently bought the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ, as I was really intrigued by being able to use a smartphone to guide me as a fairly novice hobby astronomer through the night sky. As with every new technology I was at first sceptic but… This actually works amazingly well. With no prior experience of the night sky and celestial objects you can take this telescope out, set up your phone and just like that, you are looking at the moon, star systems and various planets! This while also knowing what you are looking at thanks to the Starsense app. As I have had quite bad luck with the weather with Sweden, I have not been able to try it out with deep space objects, so I cannot comment on that, but based on the size of the telescope, it should be able on a day with clear skies. Celestron StarSense Telescope

The telescope itself is exactly what you can expect from a Newtonian 114 reflector telescope from Celestron. Good build quality, very light (just under 5 kg or 10.4 lbs.) so it's easy to carry around. The tripod is in what I think is steel and for this price, this is a very good tripod, I have seen worse in this price range. For accessories, in the box you receive a decent 2X Barrow lens, a better than expected red dot finder scope that can be used to manually focus on objects when you are not using the phone. For the eyepieces, you receive 2 decent entry level eyepieces (10 mm & 25 mm). Here I would suggest buying a separate 15 mm eyepiece to cover the area in-between once you have some more experience. You also receive an accessory tray for the tripod mount where you can house the accessories.

Setting up the telescope for the first time is very easy and should not take more than 10 mins. You receive a very clear instruction manual that you can follow, but if you rather like visual guidance, there is an excellent 2-min setup video on YouTube provided by Celestron. Once it's setup, download the app, enter the code you receive in the box into the app and follow the instructions. Starsense Explorer

To summarize, if you are looking into getting into astronomy and want to buy something equipped with the latest technology and is slightly above entry-level telescopesin terms of what you get in a similar price range, I would gladly recommend StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ to anyone, novice or more experienced.

Review by Robert N

12 October 2020  |  20:32

Friend a question, can you see the rings of saturn with this telescope?

13 October 2020  |  9:45

Yes, you will be able to see the rings of Saturn.

Here's what the manufacturer says:
"You can expect sharp, bright views of Jupiter's four Galilean moons, its cloud bands and Great Red Spot, the rings of Saturn, the trapezium in the Orion Nebula, and beautiful Pleaides Open Star Cluster."

16 October 2020  |  22:03

Alright! Thanks for the good review. Helped alot!

04 February 2021  |  12:59

Does it include the smartphone holder? Reason I ask is that the picstop site recommends buying a smartphone holder as an accessory but is probably just a dumb algorithm.

04 February 2021  |  13:11

The Celestron Starsense models feature a dock for your smartphone that enables you to use the Free Starsense APP and use your phone screen to see what you are looking at, however, the phone docked in this position does not allow you to take images.

If you wanted to take photos you would need to buy a smartphone adapter and clamp that over the eyepiece to take photos.

So essentially you either need two phones or you dock the phone, find the location, then move the phone to the adapater over the eyepiece.

Another alternative for astrophotography, if you have a DSLR camera you can buy two accessories, a T-Ring and T-Adapter, you can then directly connect a camera and take photos via the telescope.

Peter Williams
03 November 2022  |  19:24

can you fit a camera to the telescope?

08 November 2022  |  15:55

In all honesty, the required 'T' adapters fit, but we would not really recommend it for this telescope, as it would be difficult to balance (the camera) with this scope and mount due to the weight of the camera and adapters. A NexYZ Smartphone adapter and second phone would be better. For serious astrophotography, a more substantial EQ computerized mount would be a better option.

04 June 2023  |  10:31


I am a beginner and seeking something to see some planets, moons, etc. Does the telescope only function with the app, or the app is there just to assist in identifying what I am looking at?

23 June 2023  |  15:04

The telescope will function with or without the APP. However, the APP will help you locate objects easily when manually moving the telescope using the mount.

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