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Celestron was first founded as Valor Electronics, an aerospace electronics firm by Tom Johnson, who, while searching for a suitable telescope for his two young sons, decided to build a telescope from scratch. Starting with a 6-inch reflector, he progressed to building increasingly larger and more sophisticated designs. Tom’s hobby soon grew into a full-time business, offering Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes in 4-inch to 22-inch models.

His immediate challenge was to find a way to efficiently produce the Schmidt corrector plate, and in 1970 Celestron designers and engineers announced a revolutionary method of producing Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes at reasonable cost and in volume. This optical breakthrough was incorporated in the first Celestron C8.

Celestron has experienced impressive growth over the years, since Tom Johnson sold the company in 1980. Between 1980 and 2002 there were a couple of changes in ownership of the company. In 2002 three of Celestron’s senior management team purchased the assets of Celestron and initiated a whole new era for Celestron. Under this ownership the company expanded distribution channels and product offerings, and launched the CGE Series of computerized equatorial telescopes.

SW Technology Corporation

In April of 2005, SW Technology Corporation, current owner acquired the company. Celestron was provided access to a supply chain network with state of the art technology and many years of technical and manufacturing experiences. Backed with these competitive advantages, Celestron is now able to concentrate its resources towards offering an unprecedented level of customer satisfaction and a wide range of products to the market place.

Today Celestron sells and markets its products worldwide through a variety of specialty retail outlets and international distributors. A privately held company with corporate offices and manufacturing facilities, in Torrance, CA.


Celestron has a long history of sponsoring and participating in public outreach events in astronomy, including being a major sponsor of the 100 Hours of Astronomy, a cornerstone project of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

Celestron is a Partner Organization of the AstronomyOutreach network.

External Links

Celestron Official Website

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