The SkyProdigy 90 from Celestron is one of the company’s largest scopes from its SkyProdigy line. As part of this line, it provides fully computerized alignment and star finding capabilities. As a result, it is designed to offer even first-time scope owners a hassle free and automatic way to set up and begin to view the nighttime sky. Its combination of multiple advanced, computerized features, as well as its solid optics and two-year warranty, make it almost entirely unique on the market today.
The SkyProdigy 90’s specs are only a small piece of the many features it has to offer owners. However, these optics, in and of themselves, reveal a solid, high-performing telescope that promises fun views of the sky for beginning astronomers. Following are a few of its most important features:
• Highest useful magnification: 213x
• Lowest useful magnification: 13x
• Light gathering capabilities: 165x naked eye
• Focal length: 1250mm (49in.)
• Focal ratio: 14
• Limiting stellar magnitude: 12.3
• Aperture: 3.54in. (90mm)
• Shipping weight: 32.6lb.
• Optical design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
• Warranty: 2-year
• Dimensions: 39in. X 10in. X 15in.
The SkyProdigy 90 from Celestron is unique among amateur telescopes because of its fully computerized design. This design utilizes a combination of the most modern and advanced technology (titled StarSense technology) to date to virtually eliminate the need to align the telescope and locate celestial objects to view. For instance, the scope possesses an internal camera (used for positioning only, and not for astrophotography). This camera photographs the nighttime sky three times to build a map of the owner’s astronomical location. After using this internal map to align itself, the scope is ready to guide the user to whichever celestial object they wish to see.
Finding these objects is also designed to be entirely automatic. For instance, the telescope comes with a database of objects that the user can access through the handheld controller. Once an object is selected, the SkyProdigy uses its electronic motors and computerized altazimuth mount to bring the object into view.
The combination of automatic alignment with automatic locating of the desired objects results in a telescope that promises to provide all the fun of stargazing without any of the hassle. These features allow even the most inexperienced of stargazers to set up and enjoy the telescope, even if they know very little or nothing about the details of the telescope.
The telescope does require a degree of work on the part of the user. For instance, reviewers note that the telescope requires the user to calibrate the scope every time it is disassembled and moved. This calibration process, however, is clearly described in the scope’s instructions and, once completed, should allow the scope to perform its automatic alignment and location functions. In addition, the SkyProdigy 90 comes with a Sky Tour option that shows the stargazer a tour of the nighttime sky for anyone who is unsure what exactly they want to view or who simply wants to enjoy the highlights of what their particular part of the sky has to offer.
Reviewers make a few notes regarding the telescope’s performance. First, most reviewers are satisfied with the scope’s accuracy and computerized abilities. In addition, the telescope works well even in less than ideal conditions, such as under light pollution or when there is haziness in the sky. Most reviewers report being pleasantly surprised by the SkyProdigy’s accuracy and are amazed at the ease with which it allows them to enjoy the nighttime sky.
In addition to these powerful computerized functions, the SkyProdigy 90 comes with solid optics that reviewers report would make for a good telescope even without the computerized features. For instance, the scope provides exciting views of objects such as the moon and planets, even when they are being observed under less than ideal viewing conditions.
The Celestron SkyProdigy 90 is a one-of-a-kind scope for beginners who want help getting their telescope set up and aligned properly. By doing so automatically, this scope removes much of the work from the process, leaving only the enjoyment of the user’s chosen viewing objects, and the opportunity for even stargazers who are not technically inclined to delve deeper into the nighttime sky.