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Can Telescopes Be Used During The Day?

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Just because a telescope is normally used to observe the wonders of the night sky doesn’t mean you can’t use it during the day, as there’s still a world of astronomy visible during the day. 

Key Takeaways:

  • A telescope can be used during the day to observe the Moon, planets Venus & Jupiter, wildlife, birds, people, ships and architecture. Sometimes with a beginner’s telescope you can also see the International Space Station and Iridium Communication Satellite, as both have highly reflective surfaces.

Is it safe to use a telescope during the day?

It is completely safe to use a telescope during the day as long as you don’t directly point it towards the Sun.

It is just plain common sense not to stare at the sun. The same is true when it comes to using a telescope. Staring at the sun with a telescope is the best way to ruin your vision. 

However, if you have a full aperture solar filter, then you will be able to look at the sun without risking damage to your eyesight. 

Most full aperture solar filters come as a piece that fits on the end of your telescope. With this simple device, not even the sun is beyond your viewing ability.

What type of telescope can be used during the day?

There are two basic kinds of uses for telescopes: daytime terrestrial (bird watching, scenery, wildlife) and astronomical (planets, galaxies, stars, the Moon) viewing. All telescopes can be used in some capacity for both purposes, but some telescopes are best suited for only one use. 

Astronomical telescopes, for example, should be as large in aperture as possible, to gather more of the faint light which travels such a long distance from its source. Terrestrial telescopes can be built much smaller, for portability and convenience, since they have lots of light to work with and don’t need so much magnification. 

Telescopes such as Orion 9024 AstroView, Gskyer Telescope, ECOOPRO Telescope (Amazon) are some of the best beginner friendly telescopes that can be used for both terrestrial as well as celestial viewing.

Can a telescope see stars during the day?  

No, it’s extremely difficult to see stars during the day with a telescope except in rare situations such as a total solar eclipse.

Sirius, which is the brightest star in the night sky, would have to shine five times its normal intensity before you could see it during the day.

can telescopes be used during the day

Can you see planets during the day with a telescope?

You can only see Venus and Jupiter during the day with the aid of a telescope. Venus is the brightest natural object in the sky other than the sun and the moon. Venus is often so bright that it is easily viewed by the unaided human eye as a crescent during daylight hours.

Even Jupiter can be seen during the daytime although it isn’t an easy observation. Jupiter is significantly dimmer than Venus, and finding it takes a good bit more effort and excellent atmospheric conditions.

Can you use a reflector telescope in daylight?

Reflector telescopes can be used in the daylight as they use mirrors instead of lenses to collect light. In a reflector, the light travels down the telescope tube to the large primary mirror, which reflects the light back up the tube to the smaller secondary mirror, which in turn reflects the light towards the eyepiece.

Can you use a telescope to look at wildlife?

Yes, most telescopes (reflector & refractor) can be used to look at wildlife or as a terrestrial telescope during the daytime.

A telescope is fantastic because it allows you to see things that are very far away in greater detail. When using a telescope to view things on earth, you need to be a fair distance away from what you are pointing the telescope at.

The focal point is too far away for you to see most things unless you have a very weak telescope. So, you will not be able to see any wildlife unless you are a great distance away.

Can you use a telescope for bird watching?

Yes, telescopes can be used to observe birds from a distance. Such telescopes are called spotting scopes and they can help you see the fine details of birds that are out of reach of binoculars.

Many beginner telescopes which are meant to see larger celestial bodies can also be used as terrestrial scopes perfectly suitable for bird watching or observing wildlife.


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