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An expensive, professional, smart telescope aimed at astrophotographers, with casting, scheduling and an extremely heavy rig

Announced in January 2024 to go on sale in May 2024, the Celestron Origin is something of a game-changer for the smart telescope market; however, while rival boutique brands Unistellar, Vaonis and ZWO produce easy-to-use, affordable and portable smart telescopes, huge global telescope Celestron has chosen to make its entrance to the smart telescope with an expensive niche product.

The Celestron Origin, which is based on an existing non-smart telescope in its arsenal with the same name, is designed to revolutionize astrophotography by incorporating advanced AI algorithms. As the telescope records data, these smart algorithms seamlessly stack and process each frame in real-time. Still, unlike the other smart telescopes available, this one has top-quality optics and a relatively narrow field of view, so while other smart telescopes are widening their fields of view to image the moon and the sun, the Celestron Origin is all about getting closer in on remote and dim galaxies, clusters and nebulae—hence the need for superior optics. 

It promises to do things other smart telescopes do not, such as casting live real-time images of deep sky objects to a TV. It can also be fully networked so it will be possible to schedule deep sky viewing while you sleep, which is an exciting idea. But it’s not terribly high resolution. It’s also very heavy, at 41.6 lbs/19kg. It’s nowhere near as portable as the other smart telescopes on sale. 

However, it does plenty of things that other smart telescopes can’t do. Just like Celestron’s StarSense telescopes, the Celestron Origin will have an app made by Simulation Curriculum, the makers of the SkySafari augmented reality planetarium app beloved by amateur astronomers. The telescope will slew to any object the user touches on the smartphone screen while it’s held up to the sky. That does seem like something that should have happened by now, right? And that’s smart telescopes in a nutshell—telescopes catching up with existing digital and AR technology. 

Full review to follow soon.

Celestron Origin: price and availability

  • Announced at the CES Show, Las Vegas in January 2024
  • Originally on sale in May 2024
  • On sale for US$3,999 / UK£3,499 / €3,999

Celestron Origin: electronics and battery

  • Sony Exmor IMX178LQJ (color, back-illuminated) CMOS sensor
  • Raspberry Pi 4 Model B onboard computer
  • 64GB hard disk
  • Built-in LiFePO4, 97.9 Wh rechargeable battery (6 hours) 
  • Ethernet LAN, USB-A
telescope at astroshop

Celestron Origin: mount and tripod

  • Motorised single-arm altazimuth GoTo
  • Aluminium, adjustable height tripod
Celestron Origin
Credit: Celestron

Celestron Origin: optics

  • 152mm/6-inch Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA)
  • 335mm/13 inch focal length
  • f/2.2 focal ratio
  • StarBright XLT coatings 
  • Fully automated heating element integrated into front lens
  • Removable dew shield/lens shade

Celestron Origin: field of view

  • 75 x 51 arcminutes (1.27 x 0.85 degrees)

Celestron Origin: set-up and alignment

  • Autonomous alignment 
  • Autofocuser
  • Full-height tripod
  • Cast the live feed to your smart TV 
  • Compatible with the StarSense Autoguider

Origin: control and app

  • Celestron Origin app made by Simulation Curriculum (developers of SkySafari)
  • iOS 16 or higher/Android 12 or higher
Celestron Origin app
Credit: Celestron

Origin: image quality

  • 6.4 megapixels (3,096 x 2,080 pixels)

Origin: sample images

These images have been shared with us by Celestron: 

Celestron Origin sample image
Credit: Celestron
Celestron Origin Sample image
Credit: Celestron
Credit: Celestron

Origin: specifications

PriceUS$3,999 / UK£3,999 / €3,999
Optics152 mm (6-inch) Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph
Focal length335 mm (13.2-inch), f/2.2
Field of view76 x 51 arcminutes (1.27 x 0.85 degrees)
SensorSony Exmor IMX 178LQJ
Image resolution3,096 x 2,080 pixels, 6.44 megapixels
Image formatJPEG, TIFF, FITS
MountMotorized single arm, altaz, Go-To
BatteryBuilt-in LiFePo4 rechargeable (6 hours)
TripodAluminum, adjustable height
Ports2 x USB-A, Ethernet LAN, 6 x auxiliary ports
App controlCelestron Origin app for smartphones
Weight41.6 lbs / 18.87 kg
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