If you love the night sky and want to explore its wonders, the first step towards your astronomical journey is to invest in the best beginner telescope. A good beginner’s telescope is one that can guide you through the process of exploring and learning about the night sky in a satisfying manner. As a beginner, getting a complex telescope may simply complicate your learning process early on.
Shopping for the best beginner telescope may not be the easiest task. These optical devices are not cheap and you want to buy one that is worth the price. Apart from just the cost, there are several other factors to consider such as the aperture, lens, distance, etc. which can make the decision of the best beginner telescope quite overwhelming.
To make things easier for you, we have researched and shortlisted some of the best beginner telescopes on the market and put together a buying guide. So, read on to know more.
Best Beginner Telescopes
Here are our beginner telescope reviews.
The Celestron 70 mm Travel Scope is one of the best beginner telescopes for astronomy enthusiasts. The telescope is user friendly, easy to set up and lightweight. The telescope features a fully-coated optical lens that delivers crisp, bright and clear images. Although the telescope is simple and basic, it is great for viewing celestial objects, stars, etc.
- The telescope is a manual alt-azimuth scope that is equipped with a panhandle that allows you to navigate the skies with ease.
- The travel scope has a 70 mm objective lens that offers excellent viewing quality and 20x magnification.
- The scope has 2 high-quality eyepieces of 20 mm and 10 mm, that provides low-power and high-power views.
If you’re looking for the best beginner telescope that is not very expensive, then nothing can best the CelestronPowerSeeker telescope, which is a great choice for beginner astronomers. The simple telescope offers an excellent combination of power, quality and value. Extremely easy to set up and use, the CelestronPowerSeeker offers the first-time viewer an excellent viewing experience.
- The telescope has 3 eyepieces of 2, 12 and 20 mm and 3x Barlow lens that triples the power.
- The scope also features a 1.5x erecting eyepiece, which allows you to view terrestrial objects right side up.
- The telescope has a 5×24 finderscope that helps to center the objects.
The Barska Starwatcher Telescope is the perfect scope for a beginner astronomer wanting to learn more about the night sky. The telescope is easy to set up, highly functional and easy to use. The telescope comes with an adjustable tripod and soft carrying case that allows you to carry the telescope around easily.
- The telescope has a 70 mm objective lens that offers 300x zoom power.
- The scope features coated glass optics that enhance the brightness of the images.
- The device offers increased viewing capability, thanks to the interchangeable eyepieces having Barlow lenses with 3x power.
The next on the best beginner telescope list is the Orion SpaceProbe Telescope that has simple, yet powerful features. Weighing just 27 lbs, the telescope is quite lightweight and easy to transport. The telescope has an aluminum tripod with adjustable height and an accessory tray that lets you store all the extras such as eyepieces, flashlights, etc.
- The telescope has a 5.1-inch aperture that gathers plenty of light and provides excellent views of the moon, planets, stars, nebulas, galaxies, etc.
- The telescope’s adjustable tripod and mount let you track celestial objects in the sky in slow motion.
- The optical tube of the telescope is 24 inches long and offers excellent portability.
The NexStar 6SE Telescope from Celestron is a computerized telescope that features the unique “orange tube” design that provides an excellent stargazing experience for beginners and experts. The telescope is extremely easy to assemble and break down for easy transportation. Celestron’sSkyAlign technology allows you to get the telescope ready for use very quickly.
- The telescope features a 6-inch mirror that offers sufficient light-gathering capability to provide the best observation.
- The “GoTo Mount” of the telescope is fully automated and features a database of over 40,000 celestial objects and tracks and locates objects automatically.
- The telescope includes a free download of the Starry Night software that offers incredible interactive sky simulation.
Beginner Telescope Buyer’s Guide
The best beginner telescope can provide plenty of fun and learning. While inexpensive telescopes may not offer the viewing experience that you want, you may not really need an expensive telescope if you’re a beginner. So, if you want to buy the best beginner telescope that is worth the investment and price, read our buying guide. When buying a beginner telescope, here are a few things to consider:
Type of Beginner Telescopes
There are essentially 3 kinds of telescopes – reflector, refractor and compound. However, reflector and refractor telescopes are suitable for beginners, so we will discuss these 2 types.
- Refractor Telescopes: These are the least expensive beginner telescopes and have a basic design and features. These telescopes use the lens as the objective and form an image. However, refractor scopes are bulkier and heavier. Also, they do not produce a lot of details as reflector telescopes. These scopes need little or no maintenance and are suitable to view objects such as birds, etc.
- Reflector Telescopes: These use curved mirrors that reflect light and form an image, which results in higher magnification and a brighter image. These produce high-quality images and these scopes are compact and lightweight. However, they need some maintenance because the open tube can attract dust and over time, there can be some damage. Reflector scopes are more expensive compared to refractor telescopes and are suitable to view fainter, deep sky objects.
This is an important factor that determines how much you are able to see when using the scope. Generally, the scope gathers more light when the aperture is bigger and this makes the views better. A large aperture also allows you to see fainter objects that are deep in the sky.
The magnification of the scope is determined by the eyepiece and focal length and you can make the scope deliver powerful magnification by changing the eyepiece. To view celestial objects such as star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons, you will need a scope with at least 50x magnification; however, if you want to identify the surface features of Mars, etc. you will need a magnification of 150x or more.
This is essentially the distance between the lens/mirror and the focal point of the telescope. The longer the focal length of the scope things will look bigger and when you’re shopping for the best beginner telescope, you must choose one that has a large aperture and a long focal length.
Nowadays, modern telescope models have in-built computer control that helps in tracking and locating interesting celestial objects and bodies. The best beginner telescopes have software that has a database with scores of celestial bodies that you can view.
While astronomy is fun, it can be quite expensive. While there are beginner telescopes available costing less than $100 that are suitable for kids, these scopes have very basic features and you cannot expect too much from them. The best beginner telescopes usually cost around $300-$800 and these have decent features and allow you to enjoy excellent views of the night sky and explore the celestial bodies too.
By now, you probably have sufficient information that will allow you to choose the best beginner telescope. However, it’s a good idea to remember that the best telescopes are ones with longer focal lengths, larger apertures and simple mechanisms. As a budding astronomer, you should buy a telescope that makes you more interested in exploring the stars, moon, galaxies, etc. and even if you’re choosing an inexpensive telescope, it should offer a good view of deep-sky objects.
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