Best Telescope For Home Use 2021; Reviews
Here in this “Best Telescope for Home Use” article we’ve rounded up 12 of the best telescopes of various types, specifications, and budget perfectly suited to be used at home. 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.
Table Of Contents
- 1 COMPARISON TABLE
- 2 Best Telescope For Home Use 2021
- 3 Best For Beginners
- 4 Best To See Saturn
- 5 Best For Astrophotography
- 6 Best Budget Telescope
- 7 Best GoTo Telescope
- 8 Best To See Planets
- 9 Best Telescope Under 1000
- 10 Best For Viewing Galaxies
- 11 Best For Night Sky
- 12 Best Large Home Telescope
- 13 Best For Moon
- 14 Best Reflector Telescope
- 15 Telescope For Home Use; Buying Guide
- 16 Important Features To Consider When Choosing A Telescope For Home Use.
- 17 Conclusion
|TopTop Top Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ||Best For Beginners||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 127 mm(5″), Focal length: 1000mm, Focal Ratio: f/8||See on Amazon|
|Top Top||Orion 9024 AstroView||Best To See Saturn||Type:Refractor, Aperture: 90mm (3.54″), Focal length: 910mm, Focal Ratio: f/10.1||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - NexStar 6SE||Best For Astrophotography||Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain, Aperture: 150mm (5.9″), Focal length: 1500mm, Focal Ratio: f/10||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Meade Instruments – Infinity 70mm||Budget Pick||Type: Refractor, Aperture: 70 mm (2.8″), Focal length: 700mm, Focal Ratio: f/10||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - NexStar 130SLT||Best GoTo||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 130mm (5.12″), Focal length: 650mm, Focal Ratio: f/5||See on Amazon|
|Top||Orion 10013 GoScope||Best For Planets||Type: Refractor, Aperture: 80mm (3.14″), Focal length: 350mm||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Sky-Watcher Flextube 250 Dobsonian 10-inch||Best Under $1000||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 254mm (10″), Focal length: 1200mm, Focal Ratio: f/5||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector||View On Amazon Best For Viewing Galaxies||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 114mm (4.5″), Focal length: 450mm, Focal Ratio: f/4||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope||Best For Night Sky||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 70mm (2.8″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5.7||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Orion GoScope II 70mm Refractor||Best For Monn||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 70mm(2.75″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5.7||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - AstroMaster 130EQ||Best Reflector||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 130 mm(5.1″), Focal length: 650mm, Focal Ratio: f/5||See on Amazon|
Are you looking for a telescope so you can watch and observe the night sky from the comfort of your home? Then we assure you – you have definitely landed on the right page and we will assist you in finding your best telescope for home that you can use along with your family and friends and organize stargazing parties right in your home’s backyard.
Home telescopes are a great way to see magnified views of celestial objects from your abode without having to travel to a dark site and fulfill your love of astronomy.
Considering the vastness of the variety of telescopes for home use in the market, it can be a tedious and time consuming task to find the best telescope for home that suits your’s and your family’s needs.
Moreover, these are great times for anyone to cultivate the hobby of astronomy and stargazing, especially for kids at home & amateurs. That’s because there’s more choice, more accessories to make an amateur astronomer’s stargazing hobby more practical and fun.
We have researched everything you need to know about buying a new telescope for home use.
We have combed through the details and reviews for dozens of great models to find the best ones so you don’t have to.
Other than the focal length, mounts and eyepieces, we examined some very important features that you might want in a telescope for home use, such as – size, weight of the scope, affordability, ease of carrying it and how easy or difficult it is to set up and start using it. We even looked at the ease of understanding of the scope’s instruction manuals and included DVDs and downloadable softwares.
We’ve also included a home telescope 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.
Best Telescope For Home Use 2021
With so many models with so many features available today, it can be a tedious task to find the best telescope for home use. We have analyzed the features ( aperture, focal length, ratio, portability etc.) that make the best home telescope that you can enjoy with your whole family and fulfill your love for astronomy.
Best For Beginners
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 one of the best telescope for home use for beginners and it 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 travel telescopes under $500. 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 To See Saturn
The Orion AstroView has exceptionally good optics. Its excellent optics, weight and size make it one of the best refractor 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 For Astrophotography
Celestron – NexStar 6SE
The NexStar 6SE offers consumers the proven quality of the Celestron brand in a compact, portable, and technologically advanced telescope.
The scope’s 6-inch aperture, portable design, fully functional computer, and extensive database, among other features, make it easy to use, easy to transport, and easy to enjoy regardless of experience level. The NexStar 6SE is quite evidently the best celestron telescope under $1000 on our list.
The NexStar 6SE is a 6-inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope, which has an actual aperture of 150 mm and focal length of 1,500 mm, giving it a focal ratio of f/10. The OTA comes on a Vixen-style dovetail bar, which fits into the dovetail saddle on the mount.
The telescope also comes with a 1.25” prism diagonal, 25 mm Plossl eyepiece (providing 60x when used with the 6SE) and Celestron’s StarPointer, which is a zero-power red-dot-style finder.
The Celestron NexStar 6 SE is a solid and sturdy telescope, perfect for home use and astrophotogaphy.
The Celestron NexStar 6 SE is easy to align with Celestron’s SkyAlign Go-To Alignment system.
On average it takes a new telescope user approximately 5 minutes to do a full sky alignment with the NexStar 6 SE.
Once aligned, the telescope is incredibly easy to operate. The hand controller on the NexStar 6SE allows you to move the telescope at your discretion. If you are looking for a telescope that your entire family can use without much supervision and guidance then look no further than the NexStar 6SE as it one of the best home telescopes under $1000.
The NexStar 6SE’s hand controller offers a tour of the night sky and easily allows you to locate planets, galaxies or any of the 40,000 celestial objects in its database.
To power the 6SE you have two options, 8x AA batteries or 12v DC power supply. The 8x AA batteries would last you about 3 hours (included alignment of finderscope and general terrestrial viewing and the 40 minute observation session).
You can download all the available upgrades from Celestron’s website. In this way, you can keep your telescope up to date, and you can even control your telescope via computer.
The 6SE makes a good choice for consumers living in areas with light-pollution who are looking for clarity and accuracy in their viewing experience.
It is also one of the best telescopes for beginners under $1000 who are willing to invest a fair sum of money into the hobby in order to learn more about the star gazing experience. Also, the 6SE is a good choice even for more experienced star gazers who wish to have a more portable scope for easier transport and for viewing deep space objects.
- Easy to mount and to use
- Good optics
- It’s very sturdy and low maintenance
- Motorised and automated GoTo mount
- Portable, fits perfectly in the back of any normal car
- 8 AA batteries tend to drain out fairly quickly
- User manual and instructions are not very clear
Best Budget Telescope
Meade Instruments – Infinity 70mm
The Infinity 70mm is designed for beginners, the 70mm f/10 Alt-Azimuth Refractor Telescope from Meade is intended to introduce viewers to astronomy by giving them a complete set up for viewing the Moon, planets, and meteor showers.
It includes an altazimuth mount with a built in slow-motion control rod, for easy and quick tracking of celestial objects. This 70 mm (2.8″) Altazimuth Infinity Refractor Telescope by Meade delivers bright images and it is ideal for viewing both land and celestial objects.
The Infinity 70AZ is one of the best telescopes for home use as it comes with two eyepieces: A 26mm eyepiece giving 27x and a 9mm one giving 78x. Meade also supplies a 2x Barlow allowing you to achieve 52x with the 26mm eyepiece and 156x with the 9mm eyepiece.
The telescope is offered with anti-reflection fully multi-coated optics. This enhances the ruggedness of the telescope, keeping the lenses functioning optimally. Even with the coating, the lenses allow in enough light to offer bright and crisp images. With fold-down rubber eyecups, the lenses are kept secure when the telescope is not in use.
The Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor also includes an auto start suite astronomy planetarium DVD which operates only on Windows PC. This software is made to guide the beginners to the basics of astronomy and instruct them how to use the telescope properly.
This planetarium DVD contains 10,000 celestial bodies to view and learn. This telescope also includes an accessory tray that holds the telescope’s accessories when observing and an infinite collection software.
The Infinity 70 will show you a lot of detail on the Moon, Mercury and Venus’ phases, as well as Jupiter’s cloud bands, the Great Red Spot, and its satellites, also the Saturn’s rings and its moon.
- High-quality images for a beginner telescope
- Come with rack-and-pinion focuser
- Strong and durable stainless steel tripod
- Fold-down rubber cups to protect lenses
- Images are correctly positioned
- Easy to set up
- Not suitable for Nebulae & Galaxies
Best GoTo Telescope
Celestron – NexStar 130SLT
The NexStar 130SLT is a unique reflector telescope from Celestron. The reflector technology uses mirrors to obtain the maximum amount of light possible and therefore to produce images of remarkable clarity, even when located deep in space.
It’s a 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope which is a complete platform for making observations of the Moon, planets, and bright deep-space objects such as binary stars, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae.
With a focal length of 650mm, this model is an f/5 scope. F/5 scopes are fairly fast, meaning that you have a wide field of view, which is useful for short exposure astrophotography of big portions of the sky.
The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope removes the issue of struggling to find a planet or star using a paper star map.
With the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope comes a handheld computer that features SkyAlign technology incorporated right into the telescope, automatically finding and pointing the telescope to the planet or star that you would like to see by way of a few button presses.
This is an ideal telescope if you plan to travel or do stargazing from home or your backyard along with your family
This telescope comes with a pre-assembled, adjustable stainless-steel tripod, quick release fork arm, NexStar+ computerized hand control, 130mm Newtonian Reflector optical tube, and lots of amazing accessories.
The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is designed to maximize celestial views. The scope does so by using its reflector method to bring about clear views of details such as the Hercules globular cluster, stars, or the Great Orion Nebula. These views are made possible by the telescope’s ability to use mirrors to collect and distribute the light that creates the detailed views of far away objects.
The computerized hand control of this SLT telescope gives you the ability to automatically slew to any of its 40,000+ objects, including over 600 galaxies, 300 clusters, stars and planets.
For astrophotography since The NexStar SLT telescopes use Alt-Az mounts, you will be limited to short exposure photographs.
With the high aperture of the NexStar 130 SLT, Deep Sky Observation with medium-length exposure times are certainly possible.
For example, you will be able to get some great shots of the Moon (closeups and wide shots), while also being able to photograph some nebulae and other deep sky formations and objects. The reason for this is that Newtonians like NexStar 130 SLT have a fairly wide field of view.
- Wide field of view
- Handheld computer makes it easy to find celestial bodies
- Weighs only 18 pounds for simple transport
- Deep views of the sky
- The motor uses up batteries fairly quickly
- The date and time must be set after each use
Best To See Planets
The Orion GoScope 80mm Tabletop Refractor Telescope, is a rare telescope model that has the advantage of being both incredibly portable, as well as extremely easy for a beginner to use.
This ultra-compact, entry-level refractor with a tabletop mount makes a great, high-quality first telescope for children and beginners.
Although it may look like the telescope for kids, it’s not just for newbies – the GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor’s convenient small size makes it a true “grab-and-go” telescope, perfect for on the move experienced stargazers.
The telescope comes complete with 10 mm and 20 mm eyepieces, and can magnify objects in the night sky by up to 165 times their size. An EZ finder is included that allows novice astronomers to locate objects in the night sky, and follow their movements with ease.
The entire telescope weighs just 5.65 lbs. assembled (including eyepiece and reflex sight) so it’s easy for anyone in the family to take it out to the backyard table or an observing site.
The Orion GoScope 80mm Tabletop Refractor has an 80-mm aperture that captures a large amount of light to give you the benefit of very bright images. The brightness gives the telescope the ability to target distant objects in the deep sky, so that you can see things like the Orion Nebula that smaller telescopes would likely miss.
Being light (around 9 pounds), compact and easy to travel with, the Orion 10013 GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope will definitely become your best pal in trips or while camping with the family. If you want any extra height, you can place it on a regular tripod as the Go Scope has a special insert on the bottom.
The optical tube assembly of the GoScope 80mm Refractor Telescope is attached to its sturdy table-top swivel base with a quick-release dovetail saddle which features adjustable altitude tension. This allows you to set the up/down tension of the mount according to your preference, for smooth motion.
The GoScope travel telescope tube can easily be removed from the base and mounted on an optional photo tripod, utilizing threaded holes on the optical tube mounting block.
Alternatively, the GoScope’s swivel base itself can also be mounted on a camera tripod to raise the telescope if you cannot find a convenient flat surface nearby.
- Surprisingly good optics
- Great for beginners and children
- Easy to use and travel with
- Can be easily attached to a mount
- Produces extremely bright images
- Not good for astrophotography
- Not for professionals
Best Telescope Under 1000
Sky-Watcher Flextube 250
Sky-Watcher 10″ Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope features an elegant truss tube design that was carefully engineered to combine ease of use, extreme portability and consistent performance in an affordable package. This is the exact reason why this amazing dobsonian should be your first choice if you are looking for an extremely efficient telescope for home use and you dont mind spending a few extra bucks for quality.
Unlike other truss tube designs, the Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dobsonian does not need to be disassembled between uses.
It transports as two compact pieces that can be assembled and ready to use in minutes. It is easy to collimate once set up, and it holds its collimation throughout the viewing sessions.
It is essentially a Dobsonian style Newtonian with a large 10″ aperture which is ideal for beginners who can invest a fair amount as well as professionals.
The telescope comes with a great focal length of 1200mm and with a focal ratio of f/5.
The Sky-Watcher 10″ Collapsible Dobsonian features a 2″ single speed Crayford style focuser and comes with a 1.25″ adaptor.
25mm and 10mm 1.25” super Plossl eyepieces are included. Metal construction, captive recesses on the barrels and rubber fold-down eye-cups make these good quality eyepieces that are certainly adequate to get you started.
The scope has a low-hassle OTA design which is not only simple in construction and use but it also provides the viewer with maximum light for viewing deep space objects without any aberrations or blurriness.
The Sky-Watcher 10″ Dob utilizes quality components throughout.
On each parabolic primary mirror, and elliptical diagonal mirror aluminum is vacuum deposited to the front glass surface and then over coated with hard quartz. Additional layers of Titanium Dioxide and hard quartz are then applied.
The mechanical and structural components of the OTA exhibit rigid construction and outstanding stability.
The mount construction is sturdy and rigid. Mount design, while simple, facilitates smooth motions about both axes.
The Sky-Watcher 10” comes with quality accessories that enhance the observer’s viewing experience.
- Easy to transport due to collapsible tube design
- Focuses very accurately
- Easy to use
- Can be used by beginners & professionals
- Viewfinder helps in easy spotting of objects
- Built with high quality materials
- Doesn’t come with a Barlow lens
- Needs a light shroud
Best For Viewing Galaxies
Orion StarBlast II 4.5
The StarBlast II 4.5 EQ is one of the best telescope for home use that the whole family can enjoy, thanks to its great optics, convenient portability, and easy-to-use operation.
Views of everything from the Moon and planets to distant objects like star clusters and galaxies appear bright and clear through this amazing telescope.
It works amazingly well with the included Expanse telescope eyepieces which yield a very wide 66° apparent field of view that allows you to see distant deep space objects as well as moon and planets.
The included 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece provides 18x power magnification, while the 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece bumps up the power to 45x magnification. The 25mm is a great eyepiece to begin observing sessions with, since it provides a large window of night sky for you to view.
The telescope’s combination of short 450mm focal length and sizable 4.5″ aperture means the StarBlast II 4.5 EQ will provide brighter views at any magnification compared to longer focal length telescopes, which makes it easier for everyone, and especially beginners, to locate interesting sights in the night sky.
The StarBlast II sits inside two felt-lined tube rings that bolt onto the EQ-1 mount’s top plate – larger/more expensive equatorials use a Vixen dovetail and saddle which is slightly more convenient, but the simple system used with the StarBlast II works just fine.
Setting up and using the EQ-1 is pretty easy – just level the tripod, put the mount/scope together, balance the scope on both axes, and roughly line up the mount’s polar axis with Polaris.
Thanks to this design, it’s easy for anyone in the family to manually track a celestial object using slow-motion control cables. You can even add an optional electronic motor drive (sold separately) to the EQ-1 equatorial mount so it can track objects automatically once you’ve centered the object in the telescope eyepiece.
- Wide field of view
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use
- Compatible with high-quality accessories
- Suitable for astrophotography
- Great for beginners and families with children
- Sturdy equatorial mount
- No finder scope
- Not suitable for use in daylight
Best For Night Sky
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 telescope for home use 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 Large Home Telescope
Orion SkyQuest XT8 Plus
- Type: Refractor
- Aperture: 203mm (8″)
- Focal length: 1200mm
- Focal Ratio: f/5.9
- Eyepiece: 28mm, 10mm
- Magnification: 120x, 43x
- Weight: 42 lbs. (19kg)
- Our Rating: 9/10
The XT8 is an 8” f/5.9 Newtonian reflector with a fairly simple design. That is why it can be your first choice if you are looking for a best large telescope for home use.
It includes a 28mm DeepView 2-inch eyepiece, 10mm Plossl 1.25-inch eyepiece, 1.25-inch 2x Barlow lens, full-aperture solar filter, red-dot finder, collimation cap and the planetarium program Starry Night.
You can observe various heavenly bodies including Mars, Saturn and Jupiter that you can view in excellent detail.
Thanks to the enhanced reflectivity mirror coatings, you can get up to 94% reflectivity so there’s an optimal amount of light transmitted to the eyepiece, which ensures delivery of astoundingly clear views.
The XT8 PLUS has a focal length of 1200 mm (f/5.9) to allow you to achieve clear and crisp views at intermediate to high magnifications on clear nights when seeing conditions are favorable.
The SkyQuest XT8 Plus comes with a large 2″ dual-speed Crayford focuser.
A step-down 1.25″ adapter is included to allow the use of 1.25″ as well as 2″ eyepieces. The Crayford design enables smooth, precise focus adjustments that are essentially free of backlash and flexure.
For easy transport and storage, the Orion XT8 PLUS telescope can conveniently be broken-down into two separate pieces.
By unthreading the two altitude tension knobs from the Dobsonian base, you can detach the 46.5″ long reflector optical tube and transport each piece separately.
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian’s sleek redesigned base not only has an appealing look, it also features cutouts for reducing weight to give the XT8 PLUS more portability. The base also has white trim to make it detectable at night..
- Large aperture for a low price
- Decent optics and mechanics
- Very good single-speed Crayford focuser
- Red dot finder is of extremely limited utility
- Other 8” dobsonians offer more accessories
Best For Moon
Orion 10034 GoScope II
The Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope Moon Kit is a specifically designed telescope for advanced moon viewings from one of the best telescope brands in the world.
The affordable Orion GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope features a 70mm achromatic lens system for sharp images of distant subjects.
This provides high quality, crisp and sharp images of distant objects. The resulting images are far better than other telescopes in this price range.
This 400mm focal length telescope (f/5.7) is perfect for daytime birding use as well as viewing wildlife, scenery and nighttime observing of the Moon and bright planets with the entire family.
The telescope includes 5×24 finder scope and two 1.25″ telescope eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) for 16x and 40x magnification.
It also comes with the Orion MoonMap 260 which helps you and your family learn more about the Moon and it’s surface.
Its light weight of just 3.5 lbs. makes it easy for kids and beginners to take the telescope anywhere.
Is is most certainly one of the best telescopes for home if you are interested in observing the moon from your backyard.
The telescope and its aluminum tripod can be easily stored and carried to your favorite observing location in it’s included backpack.
The Orion 10034 GoScope Refractor Travel Telescope is one of the best budget travel telescopes in regards to value for money, and is a great tool for travelling and outdoors activities. It’s light, easy to use and doesn’t require extensive knowledge of either telescopes or astronomy.
You will find a lot of uses for the respectable optics of the Orion GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope, and a lot of times and places to use them, day or night.
- Lightweight aluminum tripod for beginners and families on the go
- Rugged and robust, hence will last you a long time
- Good value for money
- Decent optics for the price
- Does Not come with instruction manual
- Not suitable for professional use
Best Reflector Telescope
Celestron – AstroMaster 130EQ
Designed for near and deep-sky observation with a fast focal ratio for astrophotography/imaging, Celestron‘s AstroMaster 130EQ 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope features a 650mm focal length and an oversized parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.
The telescope is fitted with a 1.25 rack-and-pinion focuser and two eyepieces to get new users started – a 10mm that yields 65x power and a 20mm for a 32.5x magnification.
The 20mm eyepiece integrates an erecting system to correct images horizontally and vertically to allow easy terrestrial use.
The AstroMaster 130EQ also features an unmagnified red-dot finder to help set-up, align and navigate easier.
Celestron’s AstroMaster 130EQ 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope features a 650mm focal length and an oversized parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.
The 130EQ comes on a lightweight German equatorial mount that works well enough for the 130 mm f/5 OTA, and it should work okay with a DSLR camera piggybacked on top.
Since it can get quite hard to keep the object in the view because of the Earth’s rotation, there is an upgrade for this mount to help you with that.
It is a simple clock motor which you turn on after you get the object in the view and it will track the object keeping it in the middle of the eyepiece.
It’s much easier to stargaze like this rather than twisting the knobs while looking through the eyepiece. The motor is not included but it can be bought separately.
The Celestron’s AstroMaster 130EQ is one of the best entry level telescopes for astrophotography as not only is it great for planetary viewing, with the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn being star attractions, but being a reflector telescope with a wide aperture, it could be one of the cheapest telescopes on offer that can decently display and photograph deep space objects.
At just 17 lbs total weight and thanks to its compact design, the Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ is very portable. You can take it literally everywhere with you, unlike heavier and bulkier telescopes for professional use.
- Very good optics
- Decently priced telescope
- Suitable for beginners as well as advanced users
- Clear crisp mirrors
- Focuser is of limited usability
- No filters included
Telescope For Home Use; Buying Guide
Buying a telescope for home use is an important step towards a new level of appreciation for the night sky, and the wonders found within it.
Important Features To Consider When Choosing A Telescope For Home Use.
The best telescope for home is one that guides you and your family through the process of learning the night sky in a straightforward and gratifying way. It’s easy to get swept away with an optical instrument that is likely too complex for kids or other members of your family at home to learn early on.
Here is a comprehensive telescope buying guide which will explain the importance of all the parts of a telescope and the important features that you should look for when purchasing a telescope for home use.
Aperture is the diameter, usually measured in millimeters, of the objective (primary) lens or mirror of the telescope. Essentially, the larger the aperture, the brighter images will appear, and the deeper into space you will be able to see.
Focal ratio is the focal length divided by the objective diameter. A long focal ratio implies higher magnification and narrower field of view with a given eyepiece, which is great for observing the moon and planets and double stars.
For such objects, a focal ratio of f/10 or more is ideal. But if you want to see wide views of star clusters, galaxies, and the Milky Way through your best telescope for home use then a lower focal ratio is better. You get less magnification, but you see more of the sky. Wide field telescopes have a focal ratio of f/7 or less.
The focal length is simply the effective distance from the lens or mirror to the focal point, where an eyepiece or camera would go. In refractors and Newtonian telescopes (described more below), the focal length is the actual distance from the lens or mirror to the focal point.
To get an image suitable for observing with our eyes, a telescope uses a second lens, or collection of lenses, called an eyepiece at the focal plane. The eyepiece magnifies the image from the objective. The eyepiece also has a focal length.
The magnification of a telescope and eyepiece is very simple to calculate. If the focal length of the objective is “F” and the focal length of the eyepiece is “f”, then the magnification of the telescope/eyepiece combination is F/f.
For example, if a telescope has an objective lens with focal length of 1200 mm (about 48”) and it has an eyepiece of focal length 25 mm (about 1”), then it will have a magnification of 1200/25=48x. Nearly all telescopes allow you to change eyepieces to get different magnifications.
Eyepieces are fundamental components of a telescope and each telescope comes with at least one eyepiece. The eyepiece of a home telescope defines the magnification power and field of view of that telescope.
The magnification power of eyepieces differs from one eyepiece to another based on their focal lengths as well as their field of view.
An eyepiece is rated by millimeters, with smaller numbers indicating higher magnification. A 25-millimeter eyepiece is common and appropriate for most stargazers.
A Barlow lens is inserted into the telescope’s focuser before the eyepiece and instantly doubles (or triples, in some instances) the magnification.
At the expense of a small loss of light, this very useful device can double your eyepiece investment by making each perform at two powers.
If you are contemplating purchasing a Barlow with a set of eyepieces, make sure that they are not simple multiples of one another: a 10 mm eyepiece is largely redundant if you use a 20 mm and a Barlow. Look for “achromatic” and “multi-coated” specifications when shopping for a Barlow lens for your best telescope for home.
There are two basic types of telescope mounts: equatorial and alt-azimuth. Which you choose depends on the application of the telescope, as well as portability and setup considerations.
Equatorial mounts allow a telescope to track the sky as Earth rotates. They do this with motor drives but do not necessarily require a computer system to track, although some equatorial mounts are computerized for finding objects.
Most equatorial mounts are German equatorial mounts, which use counterweights to balance the telescope. This type of mount is versatile and breaks down into smaller pieces, making even large telescopes portable.
Alt-azimuth mounts move up-down and left-right, making them very intuitive to use. However, an alt-azimuth mount must be computerized to track, since the rate of tracking varies across the sky in this orientation.
Many telescopes are computerized now and an alt-azimuth mount makes sense for many observers because of its convenience. Setting up an alt-azimuth mount is extremely easy compared to an equatorial mount.
Fork-mounted telescopes may need to be mounted equatorially for photography, but this is easily done, and there is the advantage with this type of system of being able to change back and forth between the two types of mount. This allows equatorial mounting when necessary but can be converted to the easier-to-use alt-azimuth mount for visual observing.
Dobsonian telescopes are alt-azimuth mounted Newtonian telescopes. This design is very popular thanks to its ease of use and large aperture for the price. Dobs are among the best choices for beginners.
More sophisticated users may want Computerized or GoTo mounts, which can automatically move in the right direction to track objects in the sky.
Usually, you need to input the date, time and location of your session before starting. Some systems require you to point the telescope at two or three bright objects in order to calibrate it.
Types Of Telescopes
While telescopes come in many different forms, there are three general types to choose from.
There are refractors, which collect light with lenses; reflectors, which use mirrors; and compound telescopes, which are hybrids of the two.
Refractors feature a lens at the front of the telescope’s tube. They don’t require much effort to maintain, but they get expensive as the size of the lens gets bigger. There are two main types of refractors: apochromatic and achromats. You should use apochromats because they offer better optical quality, even though they are more expensive, Sky & Telescope said.
Reflectors are a more affordable option than refractors, but they require more maintenance, because their optics can fall out of alignment. To gather light, reflectors use a curved mirror at the back end of the telescope’s main tube.
Compound telescopes use both lenses and mirrors to gather light, and they’re quite portable, because their tubes are more compact and lighter. The most popular designs are Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains.
Our pick for the best telescope for home for beginners is Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ.
Celestron’s PowerSeeker 127EQ 127mm f/8 Reflector Telescope features a decent focal length and a large, parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve many deep space objects such as nebulae and galaxies.
Our next pick for the best telescope for home to see Saturn is the Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm.
It is a powerful, high-quality refractor telescope at an amazing low price. It has a 90mm (3.5″) aperture and 910mm focal length for crisp views of deep-sky objects, the Moon, and planets
Our next pick is the best home telescope for astrophotography is the Celestron – NexStar 6SE Telescope. Its 6-inch aperture with excellent light-gathering ability provides impressive views of the Moon and planets, along with deep sky objects like the Orion Nebula, while retaining a compact form factor.
Also, the fully automated GoTo mount with a database of 40,000+ celestial objects automatically locates and tracks objects for you.