The Bresser Messier N130 or 130N is a 5” or as the name implies a 130mm aperture Newtonian Telescope with a focal length of 1000mm/100cm/1m.
The Bresser Messier 130N was my first telescope purchase, and I was glad to know that it came complete with a number of eyepieces – 25mm, 15mm, 10mm and a Barlow lens, a planisphere, a good manual, as well as the astronomy software Cartes Du Ciel which can also be downloaded for free on the internet.
I paid £190 for the telescope new. At the time I only wanted to pay a maximum of £250 for a telescope, so it was nice to have some money spare, although this money and more was subsequently spent on astronomy accessories.
There were two largish boxes to unpack; one contained the tripod and equatorial mount whilst the other box contained the scope and the accessories. It did not take me too long to unpack and setup the telescope, although reading the manual was necessary.
As soon as I unpacked the telescope I was amazed that the equatorial telescope mount was so well made and very sturdy for the amount I paid. You may find the tripod quite heavy especially when you add the balancing weights to the tripod, so the 130N scope is not for young children due to the weight. The tripod height can be altered by loosening the tripod locks on the legs in order to get the telescope to a comfortable height for viewing. The tripod base underneath also has a plastic triangle to lock the legs in place, this also doubles up as an accessory tray, which can hold three 1.25 inch eyepieces and other bits and bobs.
When it’s your first telescope you never know what to expect when it comes to what you are going to see. I began by using the scope to see trees and plants outside of the window, and I was amazed to find out that I could see magnified images of ants on trees which were about 30m away.
Using the telescope indoors also gets you used to using the scope and how the equatorial mount works and how to get the scope in focus etc.
The 130N moves across the RA and Dec axis via manual control, although an optional RA motor drive can be fitted to the MON1 mount in order to track objects.
One good thing about the 130N is that you can remove or unscrew the barrel part of the eyepiece focuser on the telescope, which provides you with even more focusing range when doing imaging with the scope.
I have used the 130N many times for taking images of the moon (see my gallery to view the images) and this telescope excelled at viewing the moon as well as planets such as Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. I also managed to use a web cam to get some great images of Jupiter, unfortunately due to the time of year when I owned the telescope; Saturn and Venus were not available for imaging.
I was also able to view other objects such as the Ring Nebula, Hercules cluster, Andromeda Galaxy and Whirlpool galaxy. But don’t expect to get views such as those from the Hubble Space Telescope for £200, but you can see a whole lot of sky if you can find the objects. Astrophotography of certain fast moving deep sky objects will be very difficult with this scope but viewing them will not.
Moving and setting up the Messier 130N telescope was relatively easy with most of the weight being in the tripod mount, it was then just a matter of setting the tripod height and then placing the telescope tube onto the mount and tightening it onto the mount via a screw and you are ready.
After a while I got used to polar aligning the scope as directed in the user manual and then finding objects by using the RA and Dec settings.
Really I don’t know what else to say about the scope, other than for the price the telescope was very good value for money, and I can definitely recommend the Bresser Messier 130N as a starter scope.