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Best Telescopes 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated February 1, 2019
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Maurice TurnerLet’s get started. After considering 45 of the most highly rated telescopes and testing eight of them for more than 15 hours, we’re find the best telescopes of 2018.

Eventually, I found something that would suit my needs but it occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who might be having the same problems I did. So, you will find reviews on some models of telescopes that impressed me (and a good many other people), and you will find a few informational pages as well.

Best Telescopes of 2018

I’ve based my selection methodology on customer feedback, the size, functionality, and budget to meet various demands. Simply review and buy them.

You must have heard that the best telescopes should allow you to save money, right? Sure, but that’s not the only reason you should consider getting one. I make the search easier for you, by reviewing the best telescopes on the market.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Product
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Style
5 points
4 points
5 points
Materials
5 points
4 points
4 points
Durability
5 points
5 points
4 points
Value
4 points
5 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

 

 

№1 – Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope

 
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope

Pros
3x Barlow Lens
German Equatorial Mount
127mm Aperture
Cons
Not found yet.
 
Total:
4.8

Why did this telescopes win the first place?

I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.

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Style
5

5star

Materials
5

5star

Durability
5

5star

Value
4

4star

 

 

№2 – BARSKA Starwatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope w/ Tabletop Tripod & Carry Case

 
BARSKA Starwatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope w/ Tabletop Tripod & Carry Case

Pros
Entry-level telescope with 300x power and 400mm focal length
Coated glass optics for enhanced image brightness
Interchangeable eyepieces with 3x Barlow lenses for versatility
Cons
A little on the heavy side.
Limited official sellers leave room for fakes.
 
Total:
4.5

Why did this telescopes come in second place?

I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.

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Style
4

4star

Materials
4

4star

Durability
5

5star

Value
5

5star

 

 

№3 – Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope

 
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope

Pros
3x Barlow Lens
German Equatorial Mount
127mm Aperture
Cons
The large size.
Pretty costly.
 
Total:
4.3

Why did this telescopes take third place?

It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.

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Style
5

5star

Materials
4

4star

Durability
4

4star

Value
4

4star

 

 

Telescopes Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy telescopes, right? No!

Focal Length

If a telescope’s aperture is its most important spec, its focal length comes next. Say you have two telescopes with the same aperture but different focal lengths. The one with the longer focus (that is, a higher-numbered f/ratio) will generally lend itself better to high-magnification viewing. (The f/ratio is just the focal length divided by the aperture.) One reason: you can stick with longer-focus eyepieces, which are easier to use, especially for eyeglass wearers. Another reason: “fast” objectives, those with low f/ratios, are harder to manufacture well, and thus they tend to make fuzzier images unless you’ve paid a premium for top-quality optics.

Sky & Telescope illustration; image courtesy Sadao Nojima

Is Bigger Always Better? “So it’s simple: I should go for the largest, longest telescope I can afford.” Maybe; maybe not! A long focal length is preferable if your primary targets are high-power objects like the Moon, planets, or double stars. And a large objective is a necessity if you dream of viewing numerous galaxies. But if you want to take in large swaths of the Milky Way or sparkling showpieces like the Pleiades in a wide view, then a short, small, scope is called for — one that works nicely at low power.

Sky & Telescope illustration; photo courtesy Akira Fujii. “Why’s that?” Because high power only let you see a small patch of sky at once. With standard eyepieces (those with 1¼-inch-wide barrels), a focal length of 20 inches (500 mm) can provide a 3° field of view — enough to take in all of Orion’s Sword. A scope with a focal length of 80 inches (2000 mm), by contrast, barely lets you encompass M42, the Orion Nebula in the Sword’s center. “What if I want to do a bit of everything?” Don’t worry, there are plenty of midway compromises. Many astronomers think of the 6-inch reflector as an ideal “do-it-all” instrument. But even with that aperture, you still face a tradeoff between a wide-field performance (f/or thereabouts) and high-power performance (optimal at f/and up). And remember that the long-focus unit will be bigger and heavier and so will require a beefier mount — making it harder to carry, set up, and store. Everything’s a tradeoff.

Eyepieces.

By bringing light to a focus, a telescope forms an image — a little picture floating in the air inside the tube. But you need a way to view the image! That’s what eyepieces are for. Think of them as like little magnifying glasses for looking at the image. Changing eyepieces lets you change a telescope’s magnifying power (which equals the objective’s focal length divided by the eyepiece’s focal length). Every telescope owner should have several.

Finders.

The reason is that even with its lowest-power, widest-field eyepiece in place, a telescope shows you such a tiny piece of sky that you can’t tell exactly where you’re aiming.

Three ways to take aim at the sky. Left: Lensless peep sights suffice for small telescopes with wide fields of view. Center: Reflex sights project a dim red dot or circle on the sky, improving precision. Right: Finderscopes make more targets visible and enable the most precise pointing. But watch out for tiny, cheap ones with dim, fuzzy views.

Star Charts.

Once you warm up a new car and hit the road, you need a map to find your way — especially if you’re in brand-new territory that you’ve never seen before! So it is with a telescope. In fact, even the most expert telescopic travelers use the biggest, best, most detailed sky maps they can get. © Sky Publishing Corp.

You may already own a planisphere, a rotating “star wheel” that helps identify constellations. Certainly you should be adept at using a wide-sky constellation map like this before embarking on telescopic astronomy. However, a planisphere alone will no more get you to the Cat’s Eye Nebula, say, than a map of the Earth will get you to the shoe store at the corner of Park and Elm. To mine the heavens’ riches, you need a set of more detailed star charts.

Most astronomical atlases display all stars brighter than some specified magnitude, along with an assortment of nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. An atlas that reaches 6th magnitude (the faintest you can see with the unaided eye under a dark, unpolluted sky) suffices for users of binoculars. But an 8th-magnitude atlas like our famous

Sky Atlas 2000.0 (shown at right) better serves a telescope user.

If you haven’t used star charts before, there’s no better way to get started than with binoculars (see our primer on binocular astronomy). Stargazing with binoculars offers two bonuses: views are right-side-up, and the field of view is wide enough to take in recognizable formations of naked-eye stars. The view in binoculars is very much like the view in a good finderscope. “Smart,” Go To Telescopes

Refractor

Refractor telescopes have been in use since the early 1600s and are very traditional-looking. An objective lens bends light through an enclosed tube, and an eyepiece lens straightens the image back out on the other end, making it look clear. Refracting telescopes are well-known for providing great detail when looking at the moon and planets.

Because the lenses are fixed within a sealed tube, it is not possible for dust to get in and need to be cleaned off the lenses. This drastically reduces the amount of maintenance required in caring for the equipment. Additionally, this gives the telescope a bit of durability, as the lenses will not shift around or need to be collimated before use.

Pros: Low maintenance, sharp details on bright objects, can be used to see across great distances on land

Cons: More expensive in regards to aperture size, smaller aperture size, not great for faint or deep sky viewing

Reflector

Reflecting telescopes create images by allowing light in through the aperture on one end of the tube and bouncing it off of a curved, primary mirror on the opposite side. That image bounces to a flat secondary mirror near the aperture, where it is magnified and directed toward the eyepiece. They generally have larger apertures than refractors, allowing them to view fainter objects than refractors.

There are many different types of reflecting telescopes with different configurations for the secondary mirror and eyepiece, but they are relatively shorter than refractor telescopes, making it easier to transport. Additionally, they can easily be mounted for secure, sturdy viewing. Dobsonian telescopes are fairly large, but produce amazing images.

Pros: Large aperture, less expensive aperture size, easy to transport, stable

Cons: Optics will need to be cleaned, mirrors can become misaligned

Light path of a Newtonian telescope. Credit: Krishnavedala via Wikimedia Commons

Catadioptric

Pros: Internal dust minimized, large aperture, great for astrophotography

Cons: Lenses need to be collimated, more expensive than reflectors

Light path of a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Credit: Griffenjbs via Wikimedia Commons

Many telescopes use tripod mounts, and it is important to select one that is heavy and sturdy enough so the telescope can be moved smoothly and securely.

Non-computerized altazimuth mounts are a more inexpensive option, but are not ideal for viewing objects deep in space. Computerized altazimuth mounts are able to use coordinates and be pointed precisely toward a certain object in the sky.

Next Steps

Telescopes for Kids

It’s great that you want to buy a telescope for your kid! First off, please avoid anything you see in Walmart, Target, or any other big box department store. Most of these are little more than toys that quickly lead to frustration and disappointment. How can you tell? If it advertises magnification (something like 300x, 400x, etc) on the box, just walk away. ANY telescope can be given darn near any magnification multiplier, and any telescope advertised this way falls into that category of a toy vs. a real astronomical instrument.

Why shouldn’t you buy a toy telescope? Because they have such shaky, unsteady mounts and poor optics, that about the only thing they are good for looking at is the moon. While cool, this also gets old with the limited capability of these telescopes. So, most of these toy telescopes quickly make their way to a dusty corner of the garage, to be sold off at a garage sale as soon as summer comes along. Do yourself and your future scientist a favor, and invest a little more in a tool that will be worth pulling out again and again, because there is always more to see.

What telescopes do we recommend for kids? Here are two of our budget friendly favorites that you can read more about below:

Celestron NexStar 4SE

This is the first computerized Go-To telescope on the list, and is a really good entry level telescope if you want something that you can orient to the sky, and have the telescope locate and move itself to objects for you. Go-To telescopes like this also track objects as they move with the sky, so you don’t need to constantly adjust the position of the telescope for long looks at any object. The Maksutov-Cassegrain (Mak) and Schmidt-Cassegrain (SCT) telescopes that generally make up this Go-To category are very compact instruments with a long focal length.  (A notable exception to this is the 130SLT, a short focal length newtonian scope, discussed below.)  The 4SE is good for smaller deep sky objects, but it makes it impossible to view all of larger objects like the Andromeda Galaxy or The Pleiades in a single view.

Who it’s good for : People comfortable with technology AND reading the manual! People who have already learned the constellations, or who are not interested in learning to star hop, but instead prefer to spend their time looking at specific objects.

When setup properly, very accurate at pointing to dim deep sky objects.

Very compact, lightweight, but powerful package; will show you great detail on the moon and planets.  Recommended for people observing from light-polluted areas who are usually going to be looking mainly at the moon and planets.

Go-To telescope that locates dim objects for you, and then tracks the sky to keep them in view.

Includes a “best of the sky” feature to suggest objects to see on any given night.

Because the 4SE is a Maksutov design scope, will not need to be collimated.

Can only be used through the keypad interface; cannot be moved manually. (Add an external Powertank, or bring extra batteries.)

Because it’s a long-focal length scope, it has a narrow field of view that will not let you see a small handful of the very largest DSOs all in one view.

Celestron NexStar 6SE

The Celestron NexStar SE series are Go-To computerized telescopes that you command through a keypad. Optically speaking, the 6SE and 8SE are both Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, and will provide wonderful sharp views. They are very compact instruments with a long focal length. This is good for smaller deep sky objects, but it makes it impossible to view all of larger objects like the Andromeda Galaxy or The Pleiades in a single view.

We highly recommend adding a dew shield to any Mak or SCT telescope to prevent the front lens from collecting dew or frost, and cutting your evening’s observing short.

Who it’s good for

People comfortable with technology AND reading the manual. People who have already learned the constellations, or who are not interested in learning to star hop, but instead prefer to spend their time looking at specific objects.  People who are pretty sure they’re committed to the hobby of astronomy.  

When setup properly, very accurate at pointing to dim deep sky objects.

Celestron 8-24mm Zoom eyepiece

The 8-24mm range in magnification means that it goes from a relatively lower magnification all the way up to three times that magnification.  The field of view at the lower end of magnification is a little bit small at 40 degrees, but opens up to 60 degrees at the higher magnifications. (Soggy uses this eyepiece for public outreach viewing, and it produces quite satisfying and sharp images across the whole zoom range for the price.)

Nightwatch

These two books are great introductory texts, both for beginners and intermediate astronomers, too.  Turn Left at Orion gives detailed area maps and starhopping techniques for users of non-computerized scopes so as to be able to find all of the Messier objects, and a few other worthy DSOs to look at as well.  Nightwatch gives more of an overview of astronomy in general, and telescopes in particular, as well as some of the more interesting sights in the sky.  However, if you get one of these two books, don’t get the other, as they do tend to overlap somewhat.  

Astrophotography

This article really focuses on telescopes for visual use, and pretty much ignores astrophotography (AP). It’s possible to take basic pictures through any telescope simply by holding a compact camera or smartphone camera up to the eyepiece.  However, this only works for bright objects like the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus. If you want to get deeper into astrophotography, here are a few recommendations.

Telescopes for Astrophotography

I’m going to pull a bait and switch here and recommend a camera lens instead of a telescope. What??? Why??? Simple: You can start doing Astrophotography with a DSLR and any camera lens you already have. No, you aren’t going to get close up photos of the moon or planets with your stock 18-55mm kit lens. You can, however, get some nice images of the milky way and constellations, and even make out various nebulae and galaxies.

Explore Scientific 10ED Triplet

A larger aperture and lower cost option in the refractor space, for a good balance of quality and price. 

714mm focal length gives a relatively wide field of view, which is suitable for larger DSOs, and with a barlow, for planets and smaller DSO as well.

Optically a small step down from the Stellarvue telescopes, but still very good.

AstroTech 8RC

Excellent value for long focal length for imaging planets and smaller deep sky objects.Tend to require more maintenance than refractors, and the long focal length requires an auto-guider for long exposure images.

Narrow field imaging telescope, same basic optical design as the Hubble.

Requires collimation of the mirrors.

Recommend a higher capacity mount for long focal length telescopes. (These telescopes, plus camera and autoguider are heavy.)

Alternatives: Astro-Tech RC scopes are generally in high demand and often have a wait list. These same optical tubes are sold under several different brands, including Orion. The specific set of accessories and mount rails varies with the model, but they are all the same excellent optics.

Camera Trackers

Not ready for that level of investment? I’ve been having the most fun doing AP this past year with a simple camera tracking mount and a camera lens. No, this doesn’t work for getting the cloud bands of Jupiter, but it’s absolutely awesome for some of the larger nebulae and galaxies like Andromeda. Camera tracking mounts are accurate enough when setup properly to take several minute exposures with lenses up to 200mm focal length. You would be surprised how much there is to see in that range. It’s fantastic for capturing such wonders as the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion Nebula, or the Pleiades cluster. iOptron SkyTracker Pro

Collimate w ith a homemade tool

Get an old plastic film canister and pierce the base in the centre with a 1-2mm drill bit. Put a paper-reinforcing ring on the exact centre of the telescope’s main mirror.

Take out the eyepiece and replace it with the collimation tool. Adjust the set of screws on the secondary mirror that aren’t on the back of it so that the paper ring is in the centre of the view, seen through the tool.

Make sure that the secondary mirror appears circular, not slightly elliptical, when seen through the collimating tool by adjusting the same screws on the secondary mirror.

Centre the main mirror by adjusting the screws on the back of the mirror holder. Look directly through the collimation tool. The view should look like the third image above, with the hole in the collimation tool in the middle of the paper-reinforcing ring. Your scope is now collimated.

Refractor Telescopes

The refractor telescope is usually the most common type that people are familiar with today. When a person is viewing this telescope, they can usually identify it by its overall shape. This is because it is designed with a big lens at the front and is easy to identify when people see them in any setting.

With this type of telescope, buyers would find that there are both pros and cons that they should be aware of, especially if they want to make the best decision possible for their needs. The pros of this type of a telescope are as follows:

While this version has quite a few advantages to it, there are some cons that must be considered before making a purchase and they are as follows:

Compound Telescopes

The compound telescope is also known by other names such as Catadioptric  and Schmidt-Cassegrain. This is because it is made with two separate mirrors; one in the front of the telescope and one in the back of the telescope. It is also designed with a lens.

Although most people may see all the benefits of this telescope and may prefer it over the other two types, there are a few more aspects that the buyer should know before making a choice. Unfortunately, this involves some of the cons of this type of telescope. These are as follows:

After an individual has reviewed each type, one of the next steps is to review the price of these telescopes. Because the ranges can differ greatly, the buyer needs to find the best one that fits into their budget.

What To Look For When Choose Amateure Telescope

You have to have a notion regarding where you are and then the darkness in the heavens when you decide to purchase a beginner telescope. You also ought to remember the degree of observation how great of an onlooker are you and you would like to get. Before purchasing the telescope for long-lasting services the price of the thing also has to be understood.

There are a few fundamental essential attributes that each telescope reveals, to be able to provide you with a basic notion and here we list them. A great beginner telescope would undoubtedly come with all these components meeting demands of the user.

Magnification

There’s an overall misconception when folks inquire a telescope can magnify. For being great or not they often refer to magnification as the standards of a telescope. But in reality, it is entirely up to you how much you would like to magnify, determined by the eyepiece you choose to use.

There should be an optimum magnification kept stopping the spread of the light to glowing things, getting them glaze over and to see the things clearly. Astronomers, so, generally favor low magnification power for faint objects, like galaxies and nebulae. Medium to high power places to see things such as planets and the moon.

An excellent telescope would provide optimum magnification that’s medium for vibrant bodies and less for dim bodies without making them glaze over.

Magnification Vs. aperture

The scope has a focal length. Focal length is the distance from the main lens. Determined by the range and the kind of aperture, focal length large number are normally printed on the rear of the scope or the front. It typically ranges between 400 to 3,000 millimeters.

Ensure that you’re trying to find the quality of aperture diameter as opposed to the magnification when choosing a telescope.

The Mount

The mount for this scope was a bit of a compromise for me. I don’t like computerized mounts. However, I want a clock drive so that the telescope will track the object I’m looking at when I use high powers (and if any scope is suited for high power observation relative to its aperture, it’s this one.) These days, that pretty well means you get a computer. Stand-alone clock drives are available, but they’re not the norm.

I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. I got a Celestron AVX mount from Stellarvue with my new telescope. It’s got a computer.

Fortunately, the computer is easy to start up. If you aren’t particularly concerned about alignment, or are willing to do a coarse alignment mechanically, you can just start it up with your last settings and skip any calibration procedure. Calibration procedures are the Great Wall that computer driven mounts erect between the observer and the sky.

If you do decide to calibrate, however, the AVX computer’s calibration is not too onerous, and is fairly flexible in terms of selecting visible stars. These computers have come a long way.

A scope without the GPS

This manual telescope (a type that some people prefer) offers quality optics and design touches that far exceed its price.

The Astronomers Without Borders OneSky Reflector Telescope offers the most scope for the money if you don’t want an electronic GPS function (meaning it won’t automatically find the specific celestial bodies you seek). One reason you may not want a manual telescope: You have to collimate (align) the telescope’s mirrors, which can be tedious or frustrating if you weren’t aware it had to be done. With that in mind, some of our experts told us they preferred (and even advised) learning the ins and outs of astronomy on a manual telescope, so if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll become a smarter stargazer.

Like our top pick, this Newtonian-style reflector telescope has a 5-inch mirror, but it’s designed to sit on a tabletop rather than on a tripod, so it works best if you have a picnic table or other support to set it on. The mirrors expand and collapse, making this model even more amenable to storing indoors. We easily spotted Saturn’s rings and Jupiter and its moons with this model. Even better, free shipping is included in the US.

This big Dobsonian is a bit unwieldy at times, but it can view dimmer objects in the deeper reaches of space.

The traditional Dobsonian telescope, a type of instrument sometimes referred to as a “light bucket,” is all about light gathering, and the images we saw through the lens of the Sky-Watcher Traditional Dobsonian Telescope were awe-inspiring. The 8-inch mirror, which is what captures the light, is larger than that of our top pick, and that means crisper, clearer images and the ability to see fainter objects that are farther away. The trade-off is that this scope is huge: Loading it into a car or even moving it around the yard is a chore, so it’s best suited for folks who have a dedicated space for it at home.

The competition

Celestron Astro Fi 130 mm Newtonian: This new telescope from Celestron offers some neat technological features, as it emits its own Wi-Fi signal and allows you to control the mount using an application on your smartphone or tablet. We really wanted to like this smart-tech interface, but delays and glitches in the connection thwarted our repeated attempts at smooth operation, causing more frustration than we thought this tech was worth. We also found the tripod to be considerably flimsier than that of our top choice.

Orion SkyQuest XT8i IntelliScope Dobsonian: While this large 8-inch Dobsonian telescope offered great views of faint galaxies and nebulae in our tests, its time-intensive setup and many moving parts made it feel less accessible and portable than our top pick. Although it offers a computer database of more than 14,000 objects, this telescope instructs you to position the scope manually instead of moving on a motorized system. This method has its pros and cons, but we’d like the accessibility of motorized mounts if we’re going for GPS functions.

Celestron Inspire 80AZ Refractor: Although this straightforward and easily assembled refractor telescope offered good views of the planets in our tests, with an 80mm aperture, it couldn’t compare to the 5-inch aperture and image quality of our budget pick.

Sky-Watcher Virtuoso: This model is intended to excel at tracking objects in the sky throughout their trajectory, making it suitable for people venturing into astrophotography. But it comes with a difficult learning curve, and it fits a niche segment that is not beginner-friendly.

Levenhuk Strike 90 Plus: This 90mm refractor telescope, while classic in its design, comes with a mount and tripod that produced more shakiness than our budget pick in our tests. We also had trouble getting the included counterweight to control the telescope’s position effectively.

Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector: While we were impressed with the image quality from such a mini Dobsonian, the SkyScanner did not feel as grab-and-go as another Orion model we tested, the kid-friendly GoScope, a refractor scope ideal for casual viewing. The SkyScanner offered better planetary viewing than the kids scope, but when it came to whipping the Orion GoScope out of its specially designed backpack and pointing it at the moon, it really took the cake.

Care and maintenance

Take care of your telescope, and your equipment will serve you well for years. Dust or moisture can build up on the lens or mirror depending on what type of telescope you have. The traditional method for cleaning the lens or mirror is to brush lightly with a camel-hair brush. You can find such brushes in camera shops; their soft bristles will do the least damage in scraping the optical unit. Alternatively you can use a can of pressurized air to spray the glass surface to remove any excess dust particles. If your optical unit is in need of a deep cleaning, you can apply an optical-cleaning solution to remove debris. To minimize the need to clean your telescope, put all lens covers back on once you have finished using it.

That said, the best telescope for you is the one that you use the most out in the field. Dirt will inevitably accumulate in small amounts on your telescope lens and mirrors. You can have quite a bit of dust and crud build up with very little noticeable effect on your viewing experience.

In addition, don’t leave your telescope out and exposed to the elements for any length of time. Avoid inclement weather, and don’t leave it in the heat of your car. We suggest storing your telescope in a safe place inside where it is least susceptible to moisture, dust buildup, and bumps from a child or pet.

A few words of advice

People in the amateur astronomy community are generally very welcoming and willing to share their expertise with newcomers who are just starting out. Getting involved with your local astronomy club and attending its organized star-viewing parties can be a great way to get to know like-minded people and hear some advice about telescopes from seasoned veterans.

Observing the try-before-you-buy maxim, although sometimes an unrealistic goal, can be a good way to make sure you’re purchasing the right telescope for your needs and tastes. As Margaret McCrea, president of the Rose City Astronomers club, emphasized to us, “Telescopes are scientific instruments and not toys. My advice is to go to your local astronomy club and look through other people’s telescopes first to get a better idea of what kind of models are out there and what best meet your individual needs. Another question you need to have answered for yourself is, what do you want to look at? Buying a telescope right off the bat is like buying a set of golf clubs before ever playing the game.”

Spending long nights outside under the stars comes with an element of intensity. Since we did our testing up in the Pacific Northwest, we were very attuned to the frigid winter nights and the cloud cover that often swept in and obscured our views. So depending on where you are in the world, if you intend to spend the requisite nighttime hours to get a grasp on what is above you, be prepared with warm clothes, snacks, and a firm resolve. We suggest investing in a red flashlight or a headlamp with that function so as not to affect your hard-earned night vision or that of your viewing partners. And although it might be tempting, here’s a friendly reminder not to look through your telescope into the sun.

Daniel Mounsey, Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope, interview

Maintenance Factor In Telescopes

Maintenance is another factor, which is worth discussing, as all kind of telescopes requires a certain amount of care from the part of the users. The refractors and hybrid telescopes comes with closed tubes but the optics is known to accumulate little bit of dust over the time which can cleaned easily with help of cotton fabrics. Another thing worth noting is that the air can easily circulate in these two telescopes which allows it adjust and adapt with changing temperature swiftly. These telescopes are also able to keep the image distortion at lower side.

Refractor and Dobsonian telescopes require the users to adjust the line of sight, in simple terms, ‘collimate’ the mirrors from time to time. It is not a hard thing to do but one has to adjust it often for getting better vision. A hybrid telescope doesn’t need much collimation and Refractor happens to be among the best telescopes for beginners as it simply does away with the adjusting of line-of-sight completely.

Understand the Aperture

Aperture is the opening present in the telescope that allows the light to enter inside in order to frame images. Each telescope comes with a definite aperture size a large size means more are can be viewed through the telescope while smaller results in vice versa. The buyer mostly prefers wider aperture or larger aperture as it offers sharper focus and brighter images.

It should be noted that telescope job is not just to magnify the targets but also funnel the light photons in such a manner that it offers better assembling of images. The best telescopes for beginners should be the one that offer better images and wider area to focus upon while gazing at the targets.

Consider the Option of ‘Computer Control’

Nowadays, most of the best telescopes for beginners come with a simple on-screen on board computers that allows users to pinpoint on the targets with ease. Having computer control makes it easier to find and point at the targets, which helps in saving a lot of time and minimizes the effort.

With the old-fashioned telescopes or telescopes devoid of computer control, a user has to struggle with reading the start charts and finding objects in the changing night sky. However, with telescopes having computer control, this frustration coming from the inability to pin point the celestial targets are simply erased away.

Some of the astronomers disagree with the usage of computer control in the telescope as it makes the task of star gazing too easy for the beginners. But you are certainly not here for such intellectual and hardcore astronomy gigs; therefore, it is better to buy best telescopes for beginners with computer controls.

If you wish to follow the path of old school with telescopes devoid of computer control, you will have to devote a large amount time that will run in hours to pin point the targets. You will gradually learn about the time inductive task of reading the star charts and finding the right constellation and other celestial bodies present in the night sky. It is also a great way to experience the marvels of the nature and the magical stars and bodies of the night sky.

Getting Started

The telescope arrived, your child unwrapped it with excitement and now what? Where does he or she begin? How do they know what to look at? Why is this 70 dollar telescope collecting dust in the corner of my living room a month after Christmas? First things first, sit down with your child and walk through the directions on how to build and use the telescope. While directions are boring, reading them carefully for assembly and giving your kid a tutorial on how the

So… Here we go

These are all perfect Telescopes for kids and beginners. There almost no functional difference between them. They are best suited for rural areas and are good for observing the moon. You might even get lucky and see a slight glimmer of the Orion Nebula under right conditions. Generally the telescopes in this sub 100 USD category come in two version and you’re advised to pick the one with the included red-dot viewfinder or finderscope. It only is a few bucks more but will help you navigating the sky.

There are none really worth buying in this price range.

To sum up

The best telescope for under 200 is the one that suits your viewing conditions and preferences. With a budget of less than 200 you will have to make some sacrifices, but you need to decide which ones you want to make.

Can you do Astrophotography with a 200 dollar telescope?

Telescope Kits

On some mounts the scope swings left and right, up and down, just as it would on a photo tripod; these are known as altitude-azimuth

Some telescopes come with small motors to move them around the sky with the push of a keypad button. In the more advanced models of this type, often called

The Binocular and Telescope Shop

Coming soon to a sky near you…..Total Lunar eclipse!!

The Naked eyes, a pair of binoculars or maybe a small telescope will all give you great varied views of this up coming event….check the link for further info as to when it starts near you, or for full details of this event pick up a copy of Astronomy 2018

Star Explorer Mount Features

SynScan Database with 42,900+ ObjectsTwo Star or Brightest Star AlignmentPointing Accuracy Enhancement Feature (PAE)Unknown Object Identification FeaturePointing Accuracy up to arc minTracking Rates: Sidereal, Lunar, SolarSlewing Speeds: 1x, 2x, 16x, 32x, 64x, 128x, 400x, 500x, 600x, 800xCompatible with V Style BarsPower Requirement: 12V DC or 8x AA Batteries (not supplied)

 

 

 

 

How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the Telescopes by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Telescopes wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Telescopes

 

 

Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about Telescopes is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!



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