Best Astronomical Telescope 2021; Reviews
Here in this “Best Astronomical Telescope” article we’ve rounded up 12 of the best telescopes of various types, specifications, and budget perfectly suited for viewing planets and galaxies and other celestial objects. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each, as well as an elaborate buying guide to help you pick out the one that suits you the most.
Deciding on what kind of astronomical telescope you need is extremely important when buying one since you wouldn’t want to have a disappointing experience.
Since there are so many options available in the market today, we did a survey among fellow astronomy enthusiasts, and consulted 3 experts and came up with 11 popular categories of astronomical telescopes.
We then took a look at the entire popular telescope market, we combed through the details and customer reviews for dozens of scopes and chose the best astronomical telescope in each of the 11 shortlisted categories.
In researching these telescopes and ranking them based on their quality and usability, we took a look at many specific features, the most important of these include the aperture ratio focal length ratio, mount type, number and quality of the eyepieces, quality of the finderscope, price and portability.
We have combed through the details and reviews for dozens of great models to find the best ones so you don’t have to.
We’ve also included a buying guide. If you want to learn more about telescopes before you buy, or just want to make sure you’re getting good value for your money, be sure to check it out.
Table Of Contents
- 1 COMPARISON TABLE
- 2 Best Astronomy Telescope 2021
- 3 Best for Beginners
- 4 Best for Astrophotography
- 5 Best For Kids
- 6 Best Value Astronomical Telescope
- 7 Best Under $500
- 8 Best Computerized Telescope
- 9 Best Portable Telescope
- 10 Best For Home
- 11 Best Professional Astronomical Telescope
- 12 Best Budget Telescope
- 13 Best Small Telescope
- 14 Best Refractor
- 15 Best Astronomical Telescope Buying Guide 2021
- 16 Features To Consider When Choosing A Good Astronomical Telescope
- 17 Conclusion
|TopTop Top Top Top Top||Celestron - AstroMaster 114EQ||Best For Beginners||Type: Newtonian reflector, Aperture: 114mm (4.49″), Focal length: 1000mm, Focal Ratio: f/9||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO Doublet Refractor||Best For Astrophotography||Type: Apochromatic Refractor, Aperture: 80 mm(3.2″), Focal length: 600mm, Focal Ratio: f/7.5||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Gskyer Telescope, 70mm||Best For Kids||Type: Refractor, Aperture: 70mm (2.75″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5.7||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ||Best Value||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 127 mm(5″), Focal length: 1000mm, Focal Ratio: f/8||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST||Best Under $500||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 130 mm(5.1″), Focal length: 650mm, Focal Ratio: f/5||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Celestron - NexStar 127SLT||Best Computerized||Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain, Aperture: 127mm (5″), Focal length: 1500mm, Focal Ratio: f/12||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope||Best Portable Pick||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 70mm (2.8″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5.7||See on Amazon|
|Top||Orion 9024 AstroView||Best For Home||Type:Refractor, Aperture: 90mm (3.54″), Focal length: 910mm, Focal Ratio: f/10.1||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Celestron NexStar Evolution Telescope||Best For Professionals||Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain Edge HD, Aperture: 203.2mm (8″), Focal length: 2032mm, Focal Ratio: f/10||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Meade Instruments – Infinity 80mm||Best Budget Pick||Aperture: 80mm (3.15″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Celestron - PowerSeeker 70EQ||Best Small Option||Aperture: 70mm (2.8″), Focal length: 700mm, Focal Ratio: f/10||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top||Gskyer Telescope||Best Refractor||Aperture:90mm(3.5”), Focal length: 600mm, Focal Ratio: f/6.7||See on Amazon|
Best Astronomy Telescope 2021
With so many models with so many features available today, it can be a tedious task to find the best astronomical telescope. We have analyzed the main features ( aperture, focal length, ratio, portability, affordability etc.) that make a good astronomy telescope that you can use to enjoy the night sky and fulfill your love for astronomy.
Best for Beginners
Celestron – AstroMaster 114EQ
The Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ reflector telescope is a great beginner telescope for an adult or a teenager. It’s 4.5” mirror will provide clear and bright images of the Moon, the planets, and dozens of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the great star cluster in Hercules, and much more.
It features all-glass optical elements, smooth operating steel tripod mountings with manual motion controls, and coated optics for enhanced image brightness and clarity. The quick-release, no-tool dovetail attachment makes setup a breeze. It’s all anchored by a rugged, pre-assembled tripod with 1.25-inch steel tube legs, providing a rigid and stable platform.
The scope is outfitted with a 1.25 rack-and-pinion focuser and two eyepieces (20mm & 10mm) to get new users started, and an unmagnified red-dot finder to help set-up, align and navigate easier.
The Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ reflector telescope comes with a 4.5” mirror as its light-gathering source, and with optics that large, an amateur astronomer can see millions of light years into the Universe.
With the telescope, you will also receive a wonderful piece of software with the Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ reflector telescope.
TheSkyX First Light Edition planetarium software can be loaded on your computer to help assist you with an observing plan. It has a 10,000 object database and enhanced images of celestial objects
- Easy to setup and use
- Versatile telescope
- Excellent optics for the price
- Sturdy, retractable tripod
- Modest focuser
- Not good for astrophotography
Best for Astrophotography
Sky-Watcher’s ProED series provides fantastic value for the price. The ProED 80, in particular, is an excellent scope for the beginning astrophotographer, or as a grab n’ go visual instrument.
The ProED scopes all use a standard achromatic doublet design with FPL-53 and Schott glass in the lens elements.
The scope’s slow focal ratio of f/7.5 additionally helps with controlling chromatic aberration, and makes it easy to achieve high magnification without ultra-short focal length eyepieces.
Its two-speed Crayford-style focuser helps make fine-focusing fast and precise without backlash. The EvoStar comes with several accessories to help you get observing faster and easier.
First, are two long eye relief eyepieces that produce 30x and 120x magnification, a 90° star diagonal for more comfortable viewing, and a large 8×50 erect-image finderscope to make finding your celestial objects faster and easier.
This Doublet APO Refractor Telescope comes with a 2” Crayford-style focuser which is one of the best focusers in telescopes as it is a Dual-speed one. A 1.25-inch adapter is also included along with it.
With a petite footprint, the Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED Pro is a light, compact instrument that fits into a small space while providing easy portability.
If you want to try your hand at astrophotography, then the Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope is the ideal optical tool for it.
This powerful, yet affordable telescope delivers the kind of quality we would expect from a far more expensive telescope, for only a fraction of the price.
Due to the extra-low dispersion (ED) grade-A glass doublet, you will have an amazing color correction that will make your photos more reliable, taking them closer and closer to the reality.
The Sky-Watcher Pro Apochromatic Telescope has enough high contrast/high resolution optical performance to let you use it on an alt-azimuth or equatorial mount.
It’s only 6.6 lbs., lightweight and doesn’t require a big and expensive mount, so it’s easy to afford and easy to take out and set up for observing on a moment’s notice.
The Sky-Watcher ED-APO features a contrast-enhancing internal light baffles in the tube and focuser drawtube and a specially darkened tube interior providing dark sky backgrounds and high terrestrial contrast.
This apochromatic telescope comes with a dew shield which slows the formation of dew on the lens in cold weather to extend your undisturbed observing time.
- Best for professionals
- Maximum magnification
- Accurate in focus
- 8×50 RA viewfinder
- Two-inch dielectric diagonal
- Focuser slips with heavy eyepieces
- Flimsy case
Best For Kids
Gskyer Telescope, 70mm
The Gskyer’s AZ70400 Telescope is a 70mm aperture and 400mm short focal length refractor telescope mounted on a camera type tripod. It includes a 45 degree diagonal, a carry case, finder scope, two eyepieces, and a 3x Barlow lens.
The overall assembly of the telescope is straightforward and perfect for anyone with little to no prior knowledge.
The included 3x Barlow lens, 25mm, and 10mm eyepiece all offer varying levels of magnification. The maximum magnification is x120 and provides clear images of the moon, planets, and some star arrangements.
The telescope comes with an altazimuth mount screw tripod made of aluminum alloy for support and stability while viewing distant objects.
In addition, the telescope comes with a rack and pinion mechanism to assist the focuser in bringing distant objects closer for easy and detailed viewing. The slow motion lever enables you to track celestial objects in motion quite easily.
Setting up the scope typically takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Regardless of previous astronomical equipment experience, the step-by-step guide makes putting the telescope together quick and easy.
Because of its rugged design, this type of telescope provides reliable performance in the most demanding conditions so images are kept steady, with no interferences or reflections on the path of light.
- Easy to setup and use
- Very portable
- Perfect for beginners and family
- Decent optics
- Comes with its own backpack
- Robust design
- Instruction manual is a bit vague
- Difficult to collimate
Best Value Astronomical Telescope
Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ
The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ telescope is a Newtonian reflector, which means it uses mirrors to gather the light of the skies, and reflects it for viewing. With mirrors being much less expensive to produce than glass lenses, reflector telescopes offer more value in terms of inches of aperture.
The PowerSeeker 127EQ comes with two eyepieces (4mm and 20mm) and a 3x Barlow lens.
The 5-inch mirror on the 127mm PowerSeeker model limits useful magnification to about 250x, which is achieved using the 4mm eyepiece.
The larger 20mm eyepiece provides a more useful 50x magnification. This grows to 150x when coupled with the 3x Barlow.
If you’re considering an additional eyepiece, something like a 15mm Plossi would be a good option. This provides you with 66x magnification, or 198 when coupled with the Barlow.
The telescope is ideal for near and deep-sky observation, Celestron’s PowerSeeker 127EQ 127mm f/8 Reflector Telescope features a respectable focal length and a large, parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve bright distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.
The beauty of a Newtonian telescope is the longer focal lengths which can be offered in much shorter tube sizes—1000mm focal length in a tube which is only 20 inches (508mm) long .
The PowerSeeker 127EQ is highly portable and one of the best budget telescopes to see planets. You could easily fit this telescope and tripod in the trunk of a car and still have room for your other equipment, or maybe a late night picnic.
Additionally, you receive a copy of Starry Night astronomy software with a database of over 10,000 celestial objects.
Considering the telescope’s low price, compromises had to be made, and one such compromise is the use of a spherical mirror rather than a parabolic mirror.
Optical aberrations tend to be more common with spherical mirrors. This telescope does, however, feature an erect image diagonal for the right way up images, which prevents some aberration.
This telescope comes with an Equatorial mount, designed for astronomy telescopes. Included are two manual slow-motion controls, these allow for smoother tracking of objects as they pass across the night sky.
The tripod is made of aluminum, although lightweight, it is robust, solid and also comes with a very handy accessory tray which lets you keep extra eyepieces and T-rings for a camera, close to hand.
- Solid build quality
- Stable mount
- Comes with a 3x Barlow lens
- Spherical mirror leads to some amount of aberrations
- Occasional collimation of the mirrors required
Best Under $500
Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST
The Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Newtonian Reflector is an excellent and one of the best astronomical telescopes to see the planets and Moon. It is well-suited for both beginners as well as intermediate stargazers.
The SpaceProbe 130ST is a 130mm f/5 Newtonian reflector telescope.
This 5.1″ aperture reflector telescope gathers an ample amount of light for great views of the planets and Moon, as well as brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters
The telescope also comes with tools to help you assemble the product, and two eyepieces: 10mm for 65x, and a 25mm for 26x magnification, respectively.
The quick set-up and ease of use makes the SpaceProbe 130ST EQ a very versatile telescope which the whole family can enjoy.
This Orion space probe telescope also boasts a short 24″ long optical tube design which enhances its portability, while the 130mm optical diameter, and the 650mm focal length are in perfect balance with the f/5.0 focal ratio.
In addition, it possesses design features, such as a parabolic mirror and a specially designed holder for the secondary mirror, that focus the light captured by the aperture and use it to sharpen the images produced by the scope, even with its shorter tube.
The included aluminum tripod is very sturdy, and also includes an accessory tray that can be very useful when you are outdoors in the dark and need a place to organize your accessories neatly.
The equatorial mount is perfectly built and allows manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects as they move across the sky.
The mount can also be upgraded at a later time to a motorized option that tracks objects automatically, so that’s a nice option to have and definitely a plus if you are using the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST for astrophotography.
Just like many other similar products, the Orion 09007 also comes with Orion’s Starry Night software, which is very useful for beginners, and has the added benefit of alerting the user of upcoming celestial events.
Short 24″ long optical tube design for easy portability and fast f/5 focal ratio for pleasing wide-field performance makes the SpaceProbe 130ST EQ a very versatile telescope the whole family can enjoy
- Nice set of accessories
- Can be upgraded to have motorized tracking
- Comes with an Equatorial mount and a versatile tripod
- Easy to assemble and transport
- Plastic focuser and mount parts
- Somewhat confusing instructions
Best Computerized Telescope
Celestron – NexStar 127SLT
The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is an entry-level GoTo telescope designed for anyone looking for a reliable telescope with which to enjoy the nighttime sky.
The telescope features a 127mm aperture and Celestron’s SkyAlign technology, this telescope offers consumers good views. In addition, the telescope’s single fork arm and simple design make it easy to set up and use.
The scope’s focal length is 1500mm, and it has a focal ratio of f/12. As far as eyepieces are concerned, each Celestron NexStar 127 SLT telescope comes with a 25mm eyepiece and a 9mm eyepiece, having a maximum magnification of 167x with the default 9 mm eyepiece.
The Celestron NexStar 127 SLT telescope stands on top of a motorized Altazimuth mount, which can be controlled via the provided digital hand controller.
Alternatively, the mount can be hooked to a computer for increased precision.
With preassembled, adjustable stainless steel tripods, and quick release fork arms and tubes, the NexStar 127 SLT telescope can be set up in a matter of minutes with no tools required.
The 127 SLT with its large aperture is great for viewing the surface of the moon, phases of Venus, rings of Saturn or Jupiter and its four largest moons, and other deep-space objects.
The Celestron NexStar 127SLT is also the best astronomical telescope under $500 on our list.
The Celestron NexStar GoTo mounts are powered by eight AA user-supplied batteries, or an optional AC adapter, making them perfect as a travel telescope.
With Celestron’s SkyAlign Technology, aligning your telescope is fast and easy. Simply input the date, time and location (the CPC models have built-in GPS that does this for you) and then align the telescope to three bright stars of your choosing.
You do not need to know the names of the stars, you can even pick the moon or bright planets. The NexStar computer system will automatically figure out which stars were chosen and then align the telescope.
The 127SLT’s diagonal is a prism, and a nice one at that – unlike the cheap diagonals supplied with many entry-level scopes which are cheap mirrors that aren’t very flat, which tend to offer dim and fuzzier images.
- Super optical construction
- Very easy to operate with
- Compact and portable design
- Included needed additional accessories
- Suitable for lunar/planetary astrophotography
- 8 AA batteries required but not included
- Tripod can be more stable
Best Portable Telescope
Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope
This telescope works great considering the fact that it is an inexpensive, portable scope. It provides wide, clear views of the sky that compare with much more expensive models.
The aperture performs surprisingly well given its size, and will most likely suit your needs given that it is a small, portable and one of the best travel portable astronomical telescope to observe the night sky.
The Travel Scope also comes pre-assembled and ready-to-use, so you can just grab it and go.
Its an easy to use and easy to set up telescope and you don’t have to exert a lot of effort on the installation of this travel scope. Moreover, you don’t even need any tools or equipment to assemble the scope before using it.
The 2.76 inch aperture is well-suited for the purpose of this home telescope and provides bright and crisp views given its size.
All of its optical components are glass coated for an efficient performance. Nevertheless, the light weight tripod is readily adjustable made from pre assembled aluminum and silver finish.
Incorporating a focal length of 400 mm, this device allows you to see clearly the rings of Saturn or the craters of the Moon. It should give you the magnification you need to spot the terrestrial objects you’re looking for in the night sky.
It is compactly built with the 70 mm refractor including two eyepieces used for high and low powered purposes. Nevertheless, the 20 mm eyepiece possesses 20x magnification while the 10 mm eyepiece has 40x magnification.
Also included is Sky X software, which allows you to learn the basics of astronomy and how to use your new telescope. Sky X is a great addition to any telescope and is an excellent tool to help beginners.
It features a smooth functioning altazimuth mount for easy location and shooting over several celestial bodies.
It is also suitable for astrophotography as it comes with a 2.5-degree field of view for greater scope and to enhance the picture quality that will be taken.
The Travel Scope is easy enough for any family member to use at home, it’s also a great telescope for more experienced astronomers will also be able to make great use of its features.
- Easy to Use
- Perfect for home use
- Lightweight and highly portable
- Affordable Price
- Excellent optics
- Dual powered eyepieces
- Simple assembly
- Shaky tripod
Best For Home
Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm
The Orion AstroView has exceptionally good optics. Its excellent optics, weight and size make it one of the best astronomical telescopes for home with a 90mm aperture and 910mm focal length.
Views of the planets and Moon through the f/10 AstroView 90 telescope are nothing short of spectacular. When aimed at the Moon, the AstroView 90 yields tack-sharp views of the rocky lunar surface with craters and mountainous regions visible in crisp, high-contrast detail.
On a clear evening, you can expect to see Jupiter’s cloud banding and all four of its major Galilean moons.
Depending on the time of year, the Orion AstroView 90mm EQ Refractor can also provide your whole family with exquisite views of Saturn and its stunning rings, also its largest largest moon known as Titan.
The two eyepieces included are a 25mm and a 10mm one which offer a magnification power of 36x and 91x respectively. The eyepieces are of good quality and the package also contains a 90º mirror star diagonal which means you will see the images with the correct side up.
Following a simple alignment procedure, you can use a 6×30 finder scope to accurately aim the AstroView 90mm refractor at objects in the sky like the Moon, bright planets, nebulae and star clusters.
The AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor comes with the Orion EQ-2 equatorial mount, which allows for easy manual tracking of celestial objects as they appear to move across the night sky.
All you have to do is occasionally adjust the equatorial mount’s R.A. (Right Ascension) slow-motion cable to keep any object centered in the telescope eyepiece.
The included aluminum tripod is lightweight and features adjustable legs and a tripod accessory tray for a hassle-free viewing session.
The entire AstroView 90 telescope, fully assembled, weighs only 24 pounds, and being a refractor it doesn’t need collimation, so you can pick it up and easily move it around in one piece or keep it fully assembled and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
- Great optics
- Spectacular views of the moon and planets
- Quality components
- Equatorial mount that makes it easy to track object as they transit on the night sky
- Slight wobble at focus
Best Professional Astronomical Telescope
Celestron NexStar Evolution
The Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 Computerised Cassegrain telescope is a large Schmidt Cassegrain.
It has a large 203.2mm (8″ aperture) and 2032mm focal length.
With these specifications, this telescope is capable of reaching high magnifications (480x) suitable for viewing planets and deep sky objects.
The Nexstar Evolution 8 EdgeHD Telescope from Celestron features integral Starsense auto alignment, WiFi and internal Lithium ion battery.
This high end telescope has a variety of premium features:
8” EdgeHD optics that provide a flat field with pinpoint start all the way to the edge of field, resulting in superb visual and astro-imaging performance
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for a power source that can provide up to 10 hours of continuous observing
Built-in WiFi that connects directly to your smartphone or tablet — no handset required
StarSense auto align technology provides a hands-free automatic experience, aligning your telescope within two minutes of startup
The telescope features a NexStar evolution mount with a variety of features, including manual release clutches, precision worm gears, eyepiece tray lighting, a USB charge port and more
The NexStar Evolution 8-inch EdgeHD with StarSense is the best computerized telescope for cloudy nights and it also produces high quality images even when confronted with light pollution.
It gives you the best of two worlds with the coming together of EdgeHD optics and StarSense AutoAlign.
This innovative telescope allows you to control your telescope wirelessly via Celestron’s SkyPortal app to your smartphone or tablet.
The 8-inch NexStar Evolution HD is also one of the best astronomical telescopes for astrophotography on our list.
It is the only fork-mounted telescope in its price range that offers brass worm gears, along with improved motors.
You can capture images of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula by simply attaching your DSLR camera.
The EdgeHD optical system is designed to virtually eliminate spherical and chromatic aberrations so views through it are flat and distortion-free across the entire field of view, with accurate color rendition.
Using Celestron’s proprietary StarBright XLT multi-coating system, light transmission is increased throughout the entire optical path with anti-reflection multi-coated lenses, highly reflective multi-coated mirrors, and four-element rare-earth glass.
- Easy to set up, use and super accurate
- For its size the scope and mount are light and portable
- Easy alignment process with clear instruction manual
- Produces amazing images even in cloudy nights and light pollution
- On rare occasion the telescope loses wireless connection with your device
Best Budget Telescope
Meade Instruments 209004
The Meade Instruments Infinity 80mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope is a great telescope for budding astronomers and other enthusiasts just getting started in the world of astronomy. It accurately captures both terrestrial and celestial bodies in clear detail.
Many beginners and professionals alike have agreed that it is one of the best astronomical telescopes.
The Meade Instruments Infinity 80mm Telescope comes as a complete set with a tripod, altazimuth mount, eyepieces and other accessories. You can use the telescope to view the moon, stars, planets, meteor showers and other celestial objects.
The Infinity telescope has a 80mm aperture and focal length of 400mm (f/5). The Alt-azimuth mount includes slow-motion control cables that allow for easy and quick viewing across different directions.
With the included accessories such as a Red-Dot Viewfinder, 2x Barlow Lens, and 3 eyepieces that provide varying levels of magnification – this will give you versatility with short and long range distances, the Infinity 80mm comes complete with everything you need to view the planets, stars and galaxies.
The Infinity 80 is again primarily a telescope for low magnifications and wide fields of view. With this scope you can see hundreds and hundreds of open star clusters making it one of the best budget telescope to see stars and galaxies.
It features a stainless steel tripod that you can adjust to meet your viewing needs. The durable SS tripod offers a stable platform when you are watching the sky.
Also included in the shipped product package is an astronomy DVD containing more than 10,000 different celestial objects which the user can use to observe and identify major celestial objects.
The telescope comes with 3 eyepieces that provide low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing a wide range of stars and planets.
- Good for astrophotography
- Decent optics for a beginner telescope
- Comes with 3 eyepieces
- Includes a software for Windows integration
- Displays more than 10,000 celestial objects including planets, stars, galaxies
- Setup time is a bit long
- Software is compatible only with Windows
Best Small Telescope
Celestron – PowerSeeker 70EQ
The 70EQ Power Seeker is a refractor telescope with a 70mm aperture and a focal length of 700mm. Its low price combined with excellent optics, easy assembly, clear instructions, included eyepieces and other features that make it easy to use even for beginners, make it an excellent choice for anyone wanting to learn more about the nighttime sky.
At f/10, there is some chromatic aberration but nothing significant enough to ruin high-power views with this telescope. The optical quality of the Powerseeker 70 is quite good.
The scope’s focuser is a 1.25” rack-and-pinion made mostly of plastic. The focuser even includes a tension adjustment knob, should you find the focuser to be too loose or too tight.
Since Celestron 21037 PowerSeeker 70EQ telescope is a family-friendly scope, it is very easy to set up and use as it needs no extra tools. The instructions manual clearly describes every setup step, giving clear information on each of the telescope’s parts and uses.
With an aperture of 70 mm (2.76“) and a focal length of 700 mm (28”), the Celestron Power Seeker telescope allows stargazers to see the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and other celestial wonders with ease.
The 3x Barlow lens manages to triple the magnifying power of all eyepieces, while the 1.25″ Erect Image Diagonal makes the telescope ideal for both astronomical and terrestrial use.
The telescope includes fully coated optics, meaning that at least one lens in the telescope has been coated with multiple layers of substances designed to capture and focus the light that goes through the lens.
The equatorial mount supplied with the 70EQ is actually a good match for it. The motions are reasonably smooth, the mount’s extruded aluminum legs are quite steady with such a lightweight tube. Furthermore, the whole setup is pretty light at about 14 pounds.
The 70EQ PowerSeeker is the best budget astronomy telescope for astrophotography as it comes with a camera attachment that allows the user to take photographs of the objects being viewed.
- Family-friendly, easy to setup and use
- Coated glass, decent optical components
- EQ mount with slow motion controls
- Budget option refractor telescope for astrophotography
- High and low power eyepieces
- Ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing
- Not suitable for professional use
- Most components are built with plastic
Gskyer Telescope AZ90600
Gskyer is a German company and is one of the best telescope brands in the world, known to produce high-quality telescopes.
This is a great starter telescope for the explorer who intends to take their telescope with them on their journeys. Hiking, camping, and even moonlit fishing trips will be more fun when you have this telescope along with you.
The Gskyer AZ90600 is one of the best refractor telescopes for the money. If you live in the city and you aren’t able to see much of the sky due to light pollution, you’ll want a telescope like this that’s easy to carry with you.
The 90 millimeter aperture is perfect for viewing most of the things you’d want to view, and all of the glass optics are coated to automatically adjust the brightness of the stars to a level safe and comfortable for observation.
Though this is a beginner telescope, you can use it to observe the moon, stars, meteors, and planets. The telescope offers great clarity, allowing you to see the surface of the moon, the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter.
It also comes with a smartphone adapter, which allows you to use the phone as a screen, or as a camera to take great pictures.
Plus, this model is extremely easy to assemble and doesn’t require any calibration. If you’re a telescope beginner, you won’t have to worry about any tricky steps or complicated tests.
The Gskyer AZ90600 comes with an adjustable tripod. This adjustable aluminium tripod offers the viewer many different viewing positions. The height of the aluminum tripod can be adjusted from about 31.5-inch to 49-inch.
This is one of the best astronomy refractor telescopes, it’s 90mm (3.5″) aperture gives bright, sharp images for both land and celestial objects.
Whether you’re viewing the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, surface details on the Moon, or terrestrial objects, the Infinity 90 Refractor allows the amateur astronomer to explore the solar system and beyond.
- Large aperture
- 3 eyepieces
- Smartphone adapter
- Easy to assemble and use
- Adjustable tripod
- Perfect travel telescope
- Good for viewing planets, stars not so much
Best Astronomical Telescope Buying Guide 2021
The decision to purchase an astronomical telescope is huge, and if you choose the right product, it can completely change your life and how you view life on Earth.
The ability to see deep into the cosmos has a profound effect on most people, and fortunately, it’s much easier to do than you might think.
For a breathtaking planetary viewing experience every time, it is important to make sure you’re purchasing a quality product – not something you’ll find at most department-stores.
The telescope you want has two essentials: high-quality optics and a steady, smoothly working mount. You may also want the telescope to be nice and large, but don’t forget portability and convenience.
Features To Consider When Choosing A Good Astronomical Telescope
The most important aspect of any telescope is its aperture, the diameter of its main optical component, which can be either a lens or a mirror.
The aperture of a telescope is the diameter of the light collecting region, assuming that the light collecting region has a circular geometry . For an optical instrument, the aperture is the diameter of the objective lens (refracting telescope) or the primary mirror (reflecting telescope). The larger the aperture, the more light the telescope can gather, and the fainter the limiting magnitude of the instrument. The field of view of the telescope decreases as the aperture increases, but the resolving power increases.
The focal ratio (f/5.9 for example) is the ratio between the aperture and the focal length. Multiply the aperture by the f ratio to find the focal length.
It is the distance between a telescope’s primary optics and its focal point. It works with the focal length of your eyepiece to produce your desired magnification. In many cases you will get the telescope’s focal ratio instead. This is just the ratio between the focal length of the telescope and its aperture.
Any telescope can provide almost an infinite amount of magnifications – this is because you can switch out a telescope’s eyepieces and therefore you always have new options – however two major features will limit your potential to magnify and object further: the telescope’s aperture and atmospheric conditions.
For your given aperture length, the higher you magnify typically the darker your image will be – and therefore harder to see its details.
The best magnification setting is actually 50 times your telescope’s aperture in inches. For instance, a high-quality 4-inch scope at 100mm shouldn’t be pushed beyond 200x magnification, otherwise what you see through it would not be of good quality.
Eyepieces determine the magnification and field of view of a telescope. Different eyepieces are used to view different objects.
Some objects, such as nebulae and star clusters, appear quite large and are best viewed at low magnifications (which give a wider field of view), whereas planets appear very small and are normally viewed with high-magnification eyepieces.
One of the most common misconceptions in amateur astronomy is that magnification is the most important aspect of a telescope.
In reality, the diameter (aperture) of a telescope determines its power and different eyepieces are used to get the best view of a given object. Often the best view is at a low magnification.
There are two standard sizes of telescope eyepieces. The sizes are determined by the diameter of the eyepiece barrel that fits into the telescope. The two standard sizes are 1.25″ and 2″.
Types Of Telescopes
The telescopes, for all their varied shapes and sizes, types of telescopes can be divided into three classes: refractors, reflectors, and catadioptrics.
The refractor telescope uses a lens to gather and focus light. The first telescopes built were refractors. The glass lens is at the front of the telescope and light is bent (refracted) as it passes through the lens.
Refractor telescopes are rugged. After the initial alignment, their optical system is more resistant to misalignment than the reflector telescopes.
The glass surface inside the tube is sealed from the atmosphere so it rarely needs cleaning.
Since the tube is closed off from the outside, air currents and effects due to changing temperatures are eliminated. This means that the images are steadier and sharper than those from a reflector telescope of the same size.
All refractors suffer from an effect called chromatic aberration (“color deviation or distortion”) that produces a rainbow of colors around the image. Because of the wave nature of light, the longer wavelength light (redder colors) is bent less than the shorter wavelength light (bluer colors) as it passes through the lens.
The second type of telescope, the reflector telescope, uses a mirror to gather and focus light. Its most common form is the Newtonian reflector, with a specially curved concave primary mirror in the bottom end of the telescope.
Near the top a small, diagonal secondary mirror directs the light from the primary to the side of the tube, where it’s met by a conveniently placed eyepiece.
If you want the most aperture for your money, the reflector is the scope for you.
When well made and maintained, a reflector can provide sharp, contrasty images of all manner of celestial objects at a small fraction of the cost of an equal-aperture refractor.
The third type of telescopes are the catadioptric or compound telescope. These were invented with the desire to combine the best characteristics of refractors and reflectors: they employ both lenses and mirrors to form an image.
The greatest appeal of these instruments is that, in their commonly encountered forms (the Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov-Cassegrain), they are very compact.
Their tubes are just two to three times as long as wide, an arrangement allowed by “optical folding” of the light. The smaller tube can use a lighter and thus more manageable mounting. The upshot is that you can obtain a large-aperture, long-focus telescope that’s very transportable.
Our top pick for the best astronomical telescope for beginners is the Celestron – PowerSeeker 114EQ . The scope is Ideal for near and deep-sky observation and is best for beginner adults looking for a good telescope.
It features a respectable focal length and a large, parabolic mirror that produces detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve bright distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.
Our next best astronomical telescope is for astrophotography – Sky-Watcher ProED Doublet APO. This refractor telescope is able to generate sharp images superior in quality to those achievable through any telescope optical design due to their nearly flawless unobstructed diffraction patterns and novel optical properties. The resulting spectacular celestial views are the kind of pristine views envied by experienced amateur astronomers.
Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector is our pick for the Best Astronomy Telescope under $500. This 5.1″ aperture reflector telescope gathers an ample amount of light for great views of the planets and Moon, as well as brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters
Short 24″ long optical tube design for easy portability and fast f/5 focal ratio for pleasing wide-field performance makes the SpaceProbe 130ST EQ a very versatile telescope the whole family can enjoy.