Best Telescopes

5 Best Telescopes Under $1000 (Reviews Updated 2020)

You might experience a lot of hype, especially when trying to pick the best telescope below $1,000. But there is never a thing to worry as long as you’re aware about a few hints before going ahead with your purchase. Based on lifestyle, observing hobbies and budget, a telescope makes one of the most popular gifts, especially during the holiday seasons. It connects the eyes with the astounding elements of the universe and paves the way for lifetime enjoyment. But nothing comes perfect without variety in choice and features!

Our buying guide and carefully picked list of the best telescopes below $1,000 might be of great help, especially when you’re scouring the online market in search of your new gift of wonder. Continue reading to get the one that’s totally meant for you!

Here is our list of the top 5 telescopes you could swear by:

Best Telescopes Under $1000

Here are our under $1,000 telescope reviews.

1. Celestron – NexStar 6SE Telescope

Celestron Nexstar 6se Telescope Computerized Telescope For Beginners And Advanced Users

Your journey through the cosmos would have never been this good, thanks to this NexStar 6SE Telescope from Celestron. Equipped with fully automated GoTo mount and SkyAlign technology, this is one of the best telescopes below $1,000. If you’re looking for a high-quality telescope that’s the #1 choice among stargazers and astronomers, then this amazing telescope from Celestron is definitely the perfect pick.

  • Schmidt-Cassegrain Optics for impressive views of the celestial bodies.
  • Built-in wedge for seamless astroimaging.
  • Compact and lightweight design for easy portability.
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2. Celestron – NexStar 5SE Telescope

Celestron Nexstar 5se Telescope

A computerized telescope with fully automated features in an easy grab and go functionality is what makes NexStar 5SE Telescope one of the best telescopes below $1,000. Infused with the latest computer technology in an iconic orange tube design, this highly functional telescope from Celestron fits the bill of astronomical enthusiasts, especially beginners. Crafted with an array of features in a sturdy design, the NexStar 5SE Telescope is the perfect instrument that would grow with you in your astronomical adventure.

  • Assembled weight of just 27.6 lb for easy portability.
  • Rapid setup with Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign technology.
  • Fully automated GoTo mount for great accuracy and tracking.
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3. Sky-Watcher ProED 100 mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope

Sky Watcher Proed 100mm Doublet Apo Refractor Telescope

If you’re looking to make great value for money with a telescope purchase that fits the bill of your desires, then the Sky-Watcher ProED 100 mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope is what you need. This telescope is designed with functional standards and mechanical quality, making it one of the best telescopes below $1,000. This refractor telescope from Sky-Watcher is crafted to give amateur astronomers a lifetime stargazing experience.

  • Dual speed 2-inch Crayford style focuser for precise images.
  • Tube ring attached hardware for extra protection.
  • Aluminum carry case for seamless portability.
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4. Orion 8974 SkyQuest XT8 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope Kit

Orion 8974 Skyquest Xt8 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope Kit

A fan-favorite instrument with a dedicated base of followers among amateur astronomers is what makes Orion 8974 SkyQuest XT8 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope Kit one of the best telescopes below $1,000. An alluring metallic blue finish to the optical tube with a portfolio of upgraded accessories and top-notch features makes this telescope a must have for an amazing stargazing experience. Crafted with a variety of magnifications and easy adjustments, this telescope from Orion is the perfect instrument astronomical enthusiasts could swear by.

  • Smooth fine-focus control with dual speed Crayford focuser.
  • Safety solar film filter for safe daytime astronomy.
  • DeepMap 600 folding star chart to plan deep sky viewing adventures.
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5. Sky-Watcher 12″ Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope

Sky Watcher 12 Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope

If you’re looking forward to enhancing your stargazing experience, then you can never afford to miss the Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope. Viewing through the super 12-inch aperture makes the way for some serious celestial adventure with scout groups, friends and other backyard astronomers. This one of a kind telescope from Sky-Watcher is a serious buy for an astronomical amateur who loves exploring the deep sky, making it one of the best telescopes below $1,000.

  • Crayford-style focuser with a 1.25-inch adaptor.
  • Solid rocker-mount with Teflon bearings and tension clutch for easy navigation.
  • 4-element Plossl 25 mm and 10 mm 1.25 inch eyepieces and 8×50 RA viewfinder for precise images.
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Under $1,000 Telescope Buyer’s Guide

As hinted earlier, nothing comes perfect without a balanced proportion between choice and features. Remember, your telescope is something more than just high-quality optics and a steady working mount. While every stargazer should definitely own their own piece, it is highly important to narrow down some of the key features you need to focus on before choosing the best telescope below $1,000.

A Short Piece of Advice to Start…

Many beginners who go ahead with buying their telescope even before knowing the basics of what to explore in the sky mostly tend to get frustrated and finally, they give up astronomy even before getting started. With a bit of research and know-how of exploring the sky, new stargazers might transform their first telescope experience into a rewarding and adventurous one.

So let’s get started with our guide to finding the best telescope below $1,000 that suits your needs. Here’s a comprehensive list of few important things you need to know before taking the leap into your telescopic adventures:


When professional astronomers talk about telescopes, they first start with the aperture. An aperture is nothing but the size of the lens that is used to focus the light from various distant objects. In a quality telescope, it is the aperture size that plays a pivotal role in the image quality. For detailed viewing of fainter celestial bodies, the minimum aperture size to rely on would be 20 cm. This simply means that with an aperture of roughly this size, you can see objects that are 1000 times fainter. Also remember that larger magnification on a small telescope produces nothing but blurry images. If you want to enjoy a good view, aperture is what you need to focus on first and not the magnification of the lens.

Mirrors or Lenses?

It is a known statement in Physics—telescopes focus light with reflecting mirrors or refracting lenses. While small-sized telescopes use lenses, mirrors are more adaptable with large telescopes. But you might get puzzled to choose the one that suits your needs.

Let’s get this straight—if you want to enjoy celestial and terrestrial objects, then telescopes with refracting lenses are the ones you’re looking for. Contrary to this, if you’re interested in bird watching and landscapes, then telescopes with reflecting mirrors definitely make an ideal pick.

The Angle

If you’re setting your focus on celestial objects, then you need to position your telescope towards the precise direction. And nothing is more convenient than a portable mount to get that ultimate viewing experience from your telescope. Alt-azimuth mounts are not only functional but are also among the simplest of them all. On the other hand, equatorial mounts are ideal for observing the night sky because of its alignment with the Earth’s axis and rotational shifts. But these types of mounts are not handy for beginners and the inexperienced. Lastly, computerized and GPS-enabled mounts are a common preference nowadays. These mounts allow easy access to the celestial objects, especially in the night sky, and automatically compensate with the Earth’s rotation without the overheads of manual navigation. They are perfect for those who love to dedicate their time and adventurous spree on a detailed view of the celestial bodies.

Solar Filter Is a Must

Lastly, you might fall in love with what you just saw in the sky and the thought of capturing and making a memory out of it could suddenly spring in your mind. For those of you who wish to take photos of celestial bodies, you have various options to swear by. While you can seamlessly take basic photos of the planets and stars with your telescope and phone, you might need a digital camera for precise shots of fainter celestial objects. But remember, setting your glance at the sun through a telescope can cause irreparable damage to your eyes and even shatter your telescope’s lenses. Our cautious advice is—don’t do it! If you want to observe the sun at any cause, then never forget to buy a solar filter that not only protects your eye but also your telescope from being damaged.

So, Where Should You Buy?

Never buy a telescope from departmental stores. The reason is simple—you might not know its standard, quality and what users have to say about it. Simply put, there’s nothing to a product without satisfactory reviews and user experience. The best choice to buy your ideal telescope would be nowhere but online. While decent telescopes are queued up in various online platforms, you can count on Amazon for the best telescopes below $1,000 based on your choice and preference.

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