The NexStar Evolution 6 is an entry to mid-level telescope designed to make Celestron’s cutting-edge technology and reliable optics available to anyone desiring a more detailed look at the nighttime sky. The scope, which improves upon the company’s NexStar SE6, boasts an improved tripod and mount, a mobile phone app, SkyAlign technology, computerized operation, excellent customer service, and a reasonable price. The result is a high-quality, reliable telescope that is easy to understand, easy to use, and ideal for anyone looking to delve deeper into the wonders of the nighttime sky.
• Item number: 12090
• Price: About $1,200
• Weight: 44.7 pounds
• Aperture: 150 mm (5.9 in.)
• Eyepiece magnification: 38x
• ASIN: BOOK6E1S3I
• Mount: Single fork arm altazimuth
• Warranty: 2-year warranty on the telescope for damage and defects
• Focal length: 1500mm
• Eyepiece size: 40mm
• Focal ratio: 10
• Highest useful magnification: 354x
• Max slew speed: 4 degrees/second
• Materials: Stainless steel
• Alignment: SkyAlign, 3-Star Align, Solar System Align
• Objects in database: More than 4,000
The NexStar Evolution 6 from Celestron is the company’s advanced version of the SE6. As such, it shares a number of features in common with that model. For instance, it possesses a 6-inch aperture that allows the scope to gather enough of the ambient light to create detailed images of planets and stars. At the same time, the aperture is small enough to help keep the price low enough to be affordable for individual beginner and intermediate star gazers who want to enjoy the beauty and intricacy of the stars without significant investments of money. Other features that the Evolution 6 shares with the SE6 include Celestron’s SkyAlign technology and single fork arm mount. The Sky Align technology allows the telescope to align itself when it is pointed at three bright objects in the nighttime sky, even if the user does not know exactly what those objects are. The single fork arm mount makes the telescope very easy to set up and take down, cutting back on the amount of technical work the user needs to do to get the telescope operational and making it more friendly to beginners and hobbyists.
The Evolution 6 differs from the SE6 in a number of ways, however. These differences reside primarily in the mount and tripod, which boast technological and design advancements that make the Evolution 6 a step up from the older model. For instance, each of the pieces in the Evolution 6 consist of higher quality materials that make for a more durable mount and tripod. The result is that the telescope is more stable and less prone to damage when being handled. In addition, the telescope’s overall design allows it to be more easily transported than the previous model. Besides all this, the mount possesses worm gears and is fully motorized, allowing the scope to be more precise in its ability to locate certain nighttime objects for the observer.
Perhaps the biggest draw for the Evolution 6 resides in its mobile device app, called SkyPortal, which grants access to the workings of the telescope, even remotely. For instance, the app allows the observer to connect the mobile device wirelessly to the telescope and to control the slew of the telescope by using the mobile device instead of the controller. The telescope can also be controlled using manual clutches in case the observer does not want or cannot power the scope otherwise.
Besides the SkyPortal app and improved mount and tripod function, the Evolution 6 sports a number of other appealing features for users. For instance, it comes with a hand controller to give the consumer options regarding how to control the scope. It can be set up within 10 minutes or less, and its ease of use makes it an appealing choice for beginners just delving into the world of star gazing. Like some of Celestron’s other models, the Evolution 6 does drain the 8 AA batteries very quickly, making it easier to purchase a power pack or find another way of supplying continuous power to the telescope. Some consumers have also reported difficulty using the align functions of the scope and finding the instructions for setup somewhat difficult to follow.
However, because of its variety of options for controlling the telescope, its sound optics, ease of use, portability, and SkyPortal app, the Evolution 6 provides an appealing option for a wide variety of star gazers. In general, it is designed for amateur stargazers, those who enjoy the activity as a hobby, and those who are just starting to get their feet wet in the field. When used as such, it can be a fun and informative way to explore the nighttime sky.