Review: Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GoTo Telescope

One of Celestron’s largest CPC telescopes, the StarBright XLT boasts an extra-wide aperture, diffraction-limited technology, multiple computerized features, and an affordable price tag. Designed to be easy to carry, simple to use, and gentle on the wallet, this telescope gives amateur astronomers unforgettable views of the sun, moon, planets, and deep sky objects. Receiving strong positive reviews from other owners, the Celestron StarBright is an excellent scope for anyone wanting detailed views of the nighttime sky.

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The Celestron StarBright possesses numerous distinctive features. Its many features testify to the telescope’s careful and powerful design. In particular, however, the following specs set this telescope apart as an effective viewing instrument:
• Optical design: Schmidt-Cassegrain
• Highest useful magnification: 661x
• Lowest useful magnification: 40x
• Focal length: 2800mm
• Focal ratio: 10
• Limiting stellar magnitude: 14.7
• Light gathering power: 1600x
• GPS: 16 channel
• Aperture: 11in (280mm)
• Assembled weight: About 65 lbs
• Dimensions: 30in. X 19in. X 37in.
• Warranty: 2-year


The Celestron StarBright is a technologically advanced yet simple to use telescope. Its most immediately noticeable characteristic is its size. The aperture alone is 11 inches in diameter, providing a stunning light gathering ability of 1600 times that of the unaided human eye. In addition, this sturdy instrument weighs in at a hefty 65 pounds. Reviewers report that as a result of this weight, the scope requires a certain amount of physical strength to carry.

Despite its size, however, the StarBright is still relatively easy to mount on the included tripod. Celestron has also included thoughtfully designed carrying handles that consumers report make the scope easier to carry. As a result, if you choose, you can transport the StarBright by car to darker areas for a breathtaking viewing experience away from light pollution.

In addition to its large size, the StarBright boasts strong optics. In addition to its 1600x light gathering capabilities, it offers magnification from 40x to 661x. The scope is diffraction limited, allowing it to achieve the best possible resolution when in use. In addition, its impressive limiting stellar magnitude means that you can successfully find and enjoy numerous celestial objects. Even consumers who have only used the scope in light polluted areas or under other less than ideal viewing conditions report being able to see details such as the bands on Jupiter and deep sky galaxies. Other views that reviewers have been able to achieve with this scope include various nebulae and Messier objects.

Finding, focusing on, and identifying those celestial objects is simple with the computerized technology built into the StarBright. For instance, the scope uses Celestron’s SkyAlign technology, which allows you to align the scope by focusing on three bright nighttime objects. Celestron also offers an even easier two-way align feature. Other alignment options allow you to focus at dusk by using a planet or the moon, or during the day for daylight viewing of celestial objects.

Included in the StarBright’s technological offerings is a database of more than 40,000 objects. You can use this database to identify objects in the sky or to select an object you wish to view that happens to be visible in your part of the sky that night. When you choose an object to look at, the telescope will automatically locate that object for you. Consumers report that the scope aligns almost perfectly with these objects, and they generally find the database easy and enjoyable to use.

The StarBright offers many other features to make your viewing experience more satisfying. For instance, a two-year warranty provides peace of mind, while the design of the secondary mirror allows for astrophotography. A 16-channel GPS allows the scope to more easily locate the celestial objects you wish to see, and reviewers give the scope solid ratings for its performance and ease of use.

Purchasing a telescope can be a big investment. However, finding the right scope can open up the world of astronomy to you in ways you may never have imagined. The Celestron StarBright will do just that. With strong optics, carefully designed features to make it easy to use, and a proven track record of performance, it offers strong performance and value.