There is no doubt at all that stargazing is a fun and enjoyable hobby. Even simply walking outside your home after dark and looking up at the skies is enjoyable; however, it can be much more fun when you do it using a high-quality telescope. However, telescopes can be quite expensive, especially if you’re on a budget.
There’s no need to despair. Nowadays, there are plenty of inexpensive telescopes on the market and you can get one costing under $100 that can expand your viewing capacity hugely and get the job done. In our article, we have reviewed some of the best telescopes under $100 that are definitely worth the money.
Best Telescopes Under $100
Here are our under $100 telescope reviews.
1. Celestron 70 mm Portable Refractor Telescope
If you’re looking for a mobile telescope that is also very easy to use, then nothing can beat the Celestron 70 mm Refractor Telescope. The telescope works extremely well considering that it is inexpensive and offers clear and excellent view of the skies compared to a lot of high-end models. The Celestron 70mm portable scope is excellent for beginner and intermediate astronomers and is one of the best telescopes under 100.
- The travel scope is equipped with top-quality fully-coated optics and a powerful 70 mm objective lens.
- The telescope features 2 high-quality eyepieces of 10 mm and 20 mm that offers high- and low-power for viewing objects both in the day and night.
- The telescope has a very lightweight frame and comes with a custom backpack to carry the scope and all the accessories.
2. Gskyer Travel Scope
Next on our list of best telescopes under $100 is the Gskyer Travel Scope that offers a great combination of performance, quality and price. The beginner-friendly scope is compact and portable, yet it offers excellent optical capabilities and visual resolution, which makes it an excellent buy. The telescope features an aluminum alloy tripod that can be adjusted for different viewing positions.
- The telescope has a 70 mm aperture and 400 mm focal length and it offers high-res, precise images.
- The scope features a fully-coated optic lens that delivers stunning images.
- The travel scope comes with a smartphone adapter and a wireless camera remote that allow you to explore and take stunning pictures of celestial objects.
3. Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ Refractor Telescope
Perfect for a beginner to explore both terrestrial, as well as astronomical objects, the Meade Infinity Refractor Telescope is a great option. The telescope features high-quality optics and offers superb value. The telescope has a 70 mm aperture that offers bright and sharp images of both celestial and land objects.
- The telescope has an altazimuth mount with a slow-motion control rod that lets you track celestial objects.
- The scope features two eyepieces offering low- and high-power magnification that lets you view a wide range of objects.
- The telescope comes with the Autostar Suite Astronomy planetarium DVD and astronomical software.
4. Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope
The solid CelestronPowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope has all the features required for a beginner and casual astronomer. Despite the low cost, the PowerSeeker 70EQ offers all the specs needed for good magnification and clear images that improve your view of the night-time skies. The user-friendly scope is very easy to set up and is a great option for anyone wanting to start their astronomical journey.
- The scope has a German Equatorial mount featuring a slow-motion altitude rod that delivers accurate and smooth pointing.
- The scope features a cross knob, which can be tightened to adjust the apposition of the altitude rod.
- The scope has two eyepieces of 4 mm and 20 mm and a 3x Barlow lens that triples the power of each eyepiece.
5. Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope
Looking for the best entry-level telescope? Then surely the PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope from Celestron is a great option. The telescope features an altazimuth mount that is light and easy to use. Overall, the PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope is an excellent small telescope for an extremely affordable price.
- The telescope features a manual yoke mount that has a slow-motion altitude rod that offers accurate and smooth pointing.
- The PowerSeeker 70AZ is lightweight, compact and portable.
- The telescope is equipped with two eyepieces of 4 mm and 20 mm and a 3x Barlow lens that triples the power of each eyepiece.
Telescope Under $100 Buyer’s Guide
Before you actually go out and buy a telescope that costs less than $100, it is a good idea to consider a few things that you should look for before making your final purchase decision. Generally, telescopes under $100 do not have loads of features and do not have the bells and whistles that expensive, high-end models have.
Nevertheless, the best telescopes under $100 are good and solid scopes that are good for observing terrestrial and celestial objects that are closer, which do not require large aperture telescopes. The best telescopes under $100 have the capability of seeing deep-sky bodies that are brighter such as Messier objects. Most of the good models feature simple altazimuth mounts and you can expect solid tabletop or tripod mounts that will do your job effectively while ensuring that they do not burn a hole in your pocket.
The best telescopes under $100 are compact and highly portable, offering good performance, irrespective of wherever you take and use them. Also, these scopes are very easy to set up and use, even by beginner astronomers. Now, let’s take a closer look at some important things that you should consider when buying the best telescopes under $100.
This is a very important consideration while selecting the best telescope under $100 and one where you need to be cautious. Low-quality optics can compromise the performance of the scope; however, high-quality optics can be quite expensive. A major problem with low-quality optics is poor image clarity and chromatic aberration due to inefficient transmission. However, the telescopes under $100 that we have included in our list of best telescopes under $100 feature high-quality optics at very affordable prices.
Typically, the best telescopes under $100 have larger apertures, which firstly allow more light and expand the viewing capacity of the scope. Usually, objects that are at a greater distance are more difficult to see because they transmit very little light to your eye; however, with a larger aperture, you can see more objects in the night sky in more detail.
Secondly, the aperture of the scope is directly proportional to its f-ratio, which is the ratio of the tube length to the aperture. The f-ratio can affect the focus and clarity. If the f-ratio is very small, the images will not be sharp and crisp.
And, finally, the aperture size is equal to the field of view. Using a telescope under $100 with a very small aperture at high levels of magnification results in poor-quality images and unpleasant viewing experience. As the aperture size increases, the items that can fit into the field of view also increases and your viewing experience also becomes more pleasant.
Usually, telescopes under $100 do not have impressive mounts. So, it is important to look for scopes with a simple, yet stable mount that will let you view without image vibration. Telescopes having smaller mounts are easier to use and are more stable.
While accessories can help to increase the functionality and flexibility of the telescope, the accessories included with the telescope should not be instead of poor optical quality.
In conclusion, the best telescope under $100 will offer all you need to view terrestrial objects, as well as for stargazing. It is always a good idea to look for a telescope that offers the best optics and then see if you get any extra bells and whistles at the under $100 budget. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite best telescope under $100 and start your stargazing journey.
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