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12-inch telescopes are a favourite for both amateur and professional stargazers alike. These high-power devices have the ability to produce high-definition images of the planets in our solar system, nebulae, deep space objects and distant galaxies. These are some of the biggest telescopes on the market making them a great choice for anyone serious about taking their astronomy hobby to the next level.
Best 12-Inch Telescopes
Here are our reviews of the best 12-inch telescopes
Unlike many 12-inch telescopes, this telescope, from Meade Instruments, is not just a big telescope; it’s a big telescope that is also highly portable. This practical telescope was designed with portability in mind.
- Red-dot view finder
- Adapter included allows for a wide range of different eyepieces
- No-tool assembly for quick setup and take down
This fully motorized telescope, from Orion, can electronically locate and track up to 42,000 celestial objects with the simple push of a few buttons.
- Quick and easy assembly
- Wi-Fi enabled means this telescope can be controlled from your tablet or smartphone—all you have to do is download the included app.
- Dual-speed, Crayford focuser ensures high-quality images
This popular Dobsonian telescope was built with amateur astronomers in mind. Designed using feedback from amateurs and professionals, Zhumell has put together this sturdy and reliable telescope.
- Comes with two multi-coated eye pieces for high-definition images
- Built-in cooling fan so you can enjoy long, stargazing sessions
- Dual-speed Crayford focuser
Don’t let its massive size fool you, this 12-inch Dobsonian telescope, from Orion, has solved the transportation question with this model. With its lightweight design, easy set-up and deconstruction, this telescope was designed to easily fit in any car for transportation to your favourite dark sky locations outside of the city.
- Fully computerized and programmed to locate over 14,000 celestial objects
- Enhanced reflective parabolic optics collect light for clear, crisp images
- Starry Night software included
12-inch Telescope Buyer’s Guide
Aperture size is one of the most important things to think about when it comes to purchasing a telescope. Yes, there are other important factors to consider like eyepieces, focal length and mount types, but the aperture size should be the determining feature. In this review, as the title suggests, we are strictly looking at 12-inch aperture telescopes. Check out our buyer’s guide for more things to look out for when purchasing one of these massive telescopes.
Amount of light
Amount of light intake is directly impacted by the size of the aperture. In other words, the bigger the aperture, the more light can be gathered, allowing you to see deeper celestial objects with higher-definition. As far as aperture size goes, a 12-inch telescope is one of the best choices available.
Size and weight
As we mentioned earlier, these telescopes are really big. Consider how and where you plan to use your device. If you plan on transporting it to your favourite dark sky locations, then you’ll need a telescope that has easy setup features and can fit easily into any vehicle. If you plan on using your telescope in the back yard or on the deck, then a heavy, stationary device may be a better choice for you.
As with any purchase, cost has to be factored in. These large telescopes can have a large price range. Consider your budget when making your choice. If you’re on a tight budget, consider opting for a manual telescope over a computerized device, as many of the automatic telescopes will cost you an arm and a leg.
Keep in mind: if you don’t have a few thousand dollars to drop on a telescope in one go, Amazon will work with you to set up a monthly billing schedule that works for you.
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- Best Telescopes Under $200
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- Best Beginner Telescopes
- Best Telescopes for Astrophotography
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- Best Dobsonian Telescope
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- Best Amateur Telescope
- Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies
- Best Telescope Under $300
- Best Telescope Under $100