The Unofficial  Home for Celestron 5" SCTs  

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  5" SCT Real Science  

C5 Images Lunar Leonids!  Orange-tube C5 and PC-23C video camera make history

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C5 to #93497 Tripod
Pluto for Small Scopes
NexStar Alignment
C5 Dewshield
C5 Counterweight
SCT Corrector Removal and the "Orange Tube"
C5 coating going bad

Why This Page?
The C5, C5+, G5, and NexStar-5/5i, from Celestron, are different mounting configurations for the same 5” (127-mm) diameter, f/10, Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope!  Whether advertised as a spotting scope/telephoto lens, portable observatory, or computerized "Go To" telescope, the optical specifications and general tube mechanics are the same. The convenient size of the telescope makes it a great pick for a variety of observing needs: from casual observing, to piggy-back photography, to yielding excellent image-size in prime-focus photos of the Sun and Moon. This highly portable telescope has been used on Space Shuttle missions and recently did "real" science by imaging Leonid meteor impacts on the Moon! 


Answers to Your Questions
The goal of this site is to gather information, to increase the usability of the 5” series of Celestron telescopes. Several main sections here serve to make this information conveniently accessible:


The Highlights column to the right contains up-to-the-minute news and information for Celestron 5" SCT enthusiasts.

The Quick Specs section has notes on the optical setup of the Celestron 5" SCT.

The Info-5 Links are your gateway to reviews and technical material. 

Around the World exhibits various Celestron 5" SCT setups. 

Learn new techniques by examining Images taken through the 5" SCT series.

Visit other great sites dedicated to the your favorite small SCT. 


If you have question or comments, visit the (no registration required!) Message Board. This is the meeting ground for user-to-user discussions. Post messages with your tips, experiences, and read what others are saying.  Ask for advice. 

E-mail me links to or attachments of images, taken through or guided by your 5" Celestron. Non-astronomy photos welcome -- after all -- these instruments are 1250-mm telephoto lenses! Include exposure, and manipulation data so that we can all learn. 

Have an interesting Celestron 5" SCT setup? I'll feature it in the Celestron 5" SCTs Around the World section of this page.

Have Mods? Send links or instructions with any illustrations to the e-mail below.


Send everything to

  Celestron 5" SCT Quick Specs  

Note #

Objective Diameter:   127-mm (1)
Focal Length (typical, w/diagonal):   1347-mm (2)
Limiting Magnitude:   13.76 (3)
Theoretical Diffraction Limit:    0.892 arc-sec  (4)


For formulas: "D" = lens diameter in mm; "L" is wavelength in mm -- 0.00055-mm for green light.
(1) Nexstar5 specs on Same value derived from Sky & Telescope C5 test Oct. 1993.
(2) My test results for C5+ with included 25-mm eyepiece. For SCTs, focal length changes with focus!
(3) Using formula: ( 4.5 + 4.4 * Log (D)).  North, Gerald. S., 'Better formula for telescopic limiting magnitudes?', The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 107, No.2 (April, 1997), p.82
(4) Using formula: ( 206000*L/D) for arc-seconds.


Technical Support

Manuals: C5/C5+, C5 Orange Tube, G-5, N-5, N-5i Product Page: C5 Spotter, G-5, N-5, N-5i Help: 5" Usage Notes, SCT info, Celestron Support
C-5/5+: Sky & Telescope, Birding / Astro, Excelsis, Excelsis (Orange Tube) G-5: Sky & Telescope, Excelsis NexStar-5: Sky & Telescope, Excelsis N-5, Excelsis N-5i
Buying Used
Uncle Rod's Guide, Stolen, Ebay

Finderscope Light Block Disc, Vibration Dampening Tripod Tray

Accessory Reviews

Select Celestron Eyepieces, Celestron Radial Guider, Celestron 6x30 LER Finderscope, C5+ Drive Base and Circuit

Dead Site Archives
N-5 Unofficial Resource Site, N-5 Connection, Russbag's N-5 Website, NexStar Resource Page

  Celestron 5" SCTs Around the World  

K. Okano (Tokyo, Japan) presents the highly portable and potent imaging combination of a C5 and ST-7 camera.

For film work what can beat James Funkhouser's (Oklahoma, USA) classic single-fork C5+ paired with a classic Pentax K-1000?

John Starr (Los Angeles, USA) must be a dedicated C5+ observer to precariously perch on his roof like that!!

James Ellis (Sidney, Australia) employs a C5 as the heart of an "eclipse-chasing" telescope system.

Dennis Steele (Burlingame, CA) achieves unique "goto" capability with his NexStar-5 installed on a Celestron N114GT mount.

At Sommers Bausch Observatory (University of Colorado) Orange-tube C5s serve as "workhorse" scopes -- scroll down to "Celestron 5-Inch Telescopes" section.

Fernando López (Alicante, Spain) with a hybrid system consisting of a C5 spotter and NexStar tripod/wedge.

Tom Nathe (Oregon, USA) displays details of his C5+ that allows for quick setup and polar alignment.

Matthias Bopp (Langenbrettach, Germany) owns a NexStar-5 with the nickname "Borg". Once you see it you'll understand! Checkout the Astronomy Downloads link for many useful articles.

 Essential Reading for the 5" SCT User  

Stare Ware Nightwatch By Sci.Astro.Amateur's own Mike Covington!
Amazon Link

Amazon Link

More Books!

 Images by Celestron 5" SCTs

Tom Wagner: the Moon with a NextStar-5

Thierry Remy (France) His NexStar-5  images are fantastic! 

Frédéric Féra (France) presents a "GALERIE" of Celestron G5 / webcam images 

Stephan Heinsius (Germany) C5 Sun images  and Saturn Occultation 2001

Andrés Valencia (Venezuela) imaged the Total Lunar Eclipse of April 3, 1996 with a C5+ and Olympus OM-2.

James Funkhouser's (Oklahoma, USA) Lunar eclipse photos with the C5+ and Pentax K1000: 1996 & 1997.

John Sussenbach (Holland) C5 Total Solar Eclipse, June 21, 2001

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Disclaimer Note:
Any material and comments here are not reviewed or endorsed by Celestron.


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