Best Telescopes for Stargazing

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 17, 2017
Learning the secrets of the Cosmos - this has always been seen as way to improve your knowledge and outlook on the world. Maybe you want to buy a powerful tool and do astrophotography? Modern telescopes have an option for everyone. Our review will show you 5 of the best available. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Optical surveillance system
Aperture size and Focal length
Adjustment system (Mount)
Eyepieces and magnification
Special features
 
PROS
An innovative, easy to operate telescope of good quality. Long focal length and aperture, but relatively small weight. Modern device for expanding your knowledge in an interactive way.
CONS
The negatives are poor battery life and a poor quality tripod.
OUR VERDICT
Innovative systems, distinctive features coupled with a great price make this the best choice from our top 5.
detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system
Catadioptic telescope, Schmidt-Cassrgrain optical system
Aperture size and Focal length
150 mm, 1500 mm
Adjustment system (Mount)
Azimuthal adjustment
Eyepieces and magnification
25 mm (60x)
Special features
Sky Align navigation system, GPS, remote control
PROS

Due to the special construction of the focal lens, the mirror gathers more light, allowing for clear viewing of star clusters, nebulas, and faraway galaxies.

CONS

The construction is quite bulky, which makes it installation and transportation quite cumbersome. 

OUR VERDICT

The ORION 8945 SkyQuest XT8 will work both for beginning astronomy enthusiast and for the use of the whole family. Despite the simplicity of its construction, it allows for good visibility of the faraway.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system

Classic Dobsonian reflector

Aperture size and Focal length

203 mm, 1200 mm

Adjustment system (Mount)

Azimuthal adjustment

Eyepieces and magnification

25mm (48x)

Special features

The Orion EZ Finder II red-dot sight makes aiming the telescope nice and easy

PROS

Convenient, compact and portable. A quality product from a well-known brand. Wide viewing range. Comes with a handy carry bag.

CONS
The tripod is unstable and need to be redesigned and reinforced.
OUR VERDICT

A great telescope for a reasonable price. Perfect for those who want to start their astrology hobby without breaking the bank.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system
Refractor telescope
Aperture size and Focal length
70 mm, 400 mm
Adjustment system (Mount)
Altazimuthal adjustment
Eyepieces and magnification
Plessl 20mm (20x) and 10mm (40x)
Special features
Multilayered antireflecting optics, convenient bag, and "TheSkyX - First Light Edition" software
PROS
It is very portable as for this type of a telescope. You can easily mount it on a tripod and operate the unit with the utmost convenience.
CONS
The user manual that comes in a package doesn't describe the whole assembly process, so it might be a rather complicated task for a novice.
OUR VERDICT
Due to its equatorial mount and adjustable tripod, this telescope is very convenient for tracking celestial objects in the night sky.
detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system
Newton's reflector
Aperture size and Focal length
130 mm, 650 mm
Adjustment system (Mount)
Equatorial adjustment
Eyepieces and magnification
25mm Orion Sirius Plossl (1.25") - (26X) and 10mm Orion Sirius Plossl (1.25") - (65x)
Special features
A special EQ-2 equatorial mount, slow-motion hand controls and dual setting circles, Starry Night SE Software, 6x30 Finder Scope
PROS
The Meade telescope has a long aperture for improved viewing range, and the refractor ssystem means that it is ready to use straight out of the box. An additional eyepieces and a Barlow lens enhance the magnification and set this telescope apart from the competition.
CONS
Another model with a tripod in need of redesign. However, it doesn't affect the picture you get.
OUR VERDICT
This represents amazing value for your money, backed up by numerous customer reviews.
detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system
Refractor telescope
Aperture size and Focal length
102 mm, 600 mm
Adjustment system (Mount)
Azimuthal adjustment with a classical dovetail mount
Eyepieces and magnification
26 mm (23x), 9 mm (67x), 6,3 mm (95x); 2x Barlow lens (46x, 134x, 190x)
Special features
DVD atlas of celestial bodies

What is a Telescope

The following review is designed to compare the most popular telescopes for those of you wanting to take up astronomy. This invention allows owners to view distant celestial bodies and objects magnifying the radiation given off by distant light sources and analysing it.

The construction of a modern telescope allows the viewer to see distant objects clearly by refracting them or by highlighting a faintly lit object. To gain a broad knowledge about the cosmos and celestial bodies you might need a celestial atlas, a practical guide or an astronomy book.

We also suggest considering one of the night vision devices.

What Features to Compare

The modern telescope market has a wide selection to suit nearly every taste. The correct lens and mirror system are vital when making your choice. There are 5 mains systems to consider when choosing - a reflector, refractor, Cassegrain, Maksutov-Cassegrain, and Schmidt-Cassegrain, thus make sure to not overlook the optical surveillance system. An important thing to consider is the aperture size and the focal length of the telescope because these features predetermine the optical power of the product. 

Next up, attention must be paid to an eyepiece and magnification. Selecting an eyepiece is a real headache for stargazers, because there are lots of diverse products varying in schemes and design. The scheme of the eyepiece determines its maximal magnification capability.

There are three main types of adjustment (mount) systems in the world of amateur telescopes, which are azimuthal, equatorial and the Dobson system. Each type of adjustment system has its own benefits and downsides. For example, an azimuthal adjustment is not excessive, inexpensive and lightweight, but is incapable of precise astronomical photography. Equatorial adjustment is more excessive and weighs more, but is more accurate when compensating for the Earth’s rotation without computers and servo-motors.

Performance opportunities and an Ease of Use feature give practical advice for easy maintenance. Also, different models offer different additions and special features which simplify handling and make it more enjoyable. As an example, some of the modern telescopes have a navigation system (GPS) which helps a user to find a defined object in a matter of minutes.

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Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Optical Surveillance System

The Celestron NexStar is based on Schmidt-Cassegrain system, which is very popular among manufacturers because it combines outstanding focal length, good value for money, and advanced features for more experienced users. Though the aperture is big, this particular telescope is portable and convenient. The diameter is 150mm, and the focal length is 1500mm. The standard eyepiece is 25mm which provides 60x magnification.
Review of Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Adjustment

The adjustment system of this telescope is azimuthal. This type of system is handy and convenient especially for refractor scopes. As it's been mentioned before, this type of adjustment system is normally used in amateur scope building due to it’s low cost, light weight, and good performance. So, if you've just started doing astrophotography, you'll like it no doubts.
Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope in the use

Performance Opportunities and Ease of Use

This model of a telescope is suitable for observation and offers astronomical photography with a long exposure. It allows you to observe all reachable objects and bodies of the Solar system. In addition, this scope has a remote control option making it very easy and convenient to use. This telescope is also easy for children to operate. Just get acquainted with the guide and start your studies. A modern and innovative telescope set on a metal tripod ( which stops the tripod falling over). The control system is convenient and easy to use for both amateurs and children.

Detailed review of Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Special Features

This telescope is GPS compatible, this model holds cards to connect up a GPS. A GPS Celestron CN-16 should be bought seperately from the telescope. Also, the owner can adjust the telescope precisely and efficiently in regards to the SkyAlign navigator system. SkyAlign gives a chance to keep in memory up to 40 000 objects, that in return gives the owner the ability to store 40,000 celestial objects in it’s memory, making them available at the push of a button.

Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope application

VIDEO
Celestron NexStar SE Tutorial
Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope
Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope
 

ORION 8945

For Kids and Parents Use

The ORION 8945 Sky Quest XT8 is a powerful and user-friendly telescope that has the decent size optics and sturdy construction. Combining the focus length of 1200mm and the Classic Dobsonian reflector, this telescope is best used for space observations. Using it, you should be able to view not only nearby celestial objects but also long-distant star clusters, nebulas, and remote galaxies. Designed with a Dobsonian base, the telescope is easy to move and aim at the night sky. The ORION 8945 Sky Quest XT8 can bring a lot of fun and enjoyment to any family that loves stargazing. Even if you look to buy your first telescope, the ORION 8945 Sky Quest XT8 will suit your perfectly allowing both you and your kids to see the sky as close as never before. The telescope is easy to set up. In less than 30 minutes, you should be able to enjoy your stargazing experience.

Review of ORION 8945 SkyQuest XT8

Optics Specs

The Orion Sky Quest XT8 comes with a large 8-inch diameter primary mirror which allows for the close-up details of the faraway galaxies and nearby celestial objects and features 1200mm focal length along with f/5.9 focal ratio to provide clear viewing of the night sky without image distortion. The included 2″ Crayford-style focuser is of good quality but it's meant mostly for beginners. If you're a more serious stargazer, you will be pleased to find out that this telescope accepts eyepieces of a higher power. This way, in order to achieve the magnification ratio of 48x, you will need to use a 25-mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece.

ORION 8945 SkyQuest XT8 in the use

Balanced Design

The Orion 8945 Telescope has a solid body that gives it enhanced stability and good balance for clear viewing and ease of use. What we wouldn't recommend doing, though, is installing it on the table. The Orion 8945 Telescope is intended for outdoor use. Though the telescope is quite bulky, it has a carrying handle that makes its transportation less troublesome. Furthermore, to make up for the extra weight, the producer fitted it with the springs that enhance the unit's resistance against balance issues and keep it from drifting up and down. Such solid construction along with a 46” long steel-covered tube make the use of the telescope easy and enjoyable, with the option to rotate it in all directions to aim at the objects you'd like to see in close details.

Detailed review of ORION 8945 SkyQuest XT8

Helpful Software

To learn more about astronomy, be sure to download free Starry Night software. With this smart and user-friendly program, you should be able to learn to quickly recognize the objects in the night sky. The software is fully compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.

ORION 8945 SkyQuest XT8 application

ORION 8945
ORION 8945
 

Celestron 21035

Optical Surveillance System

The Celestron Travel Scope is based on the refractor optical viewing system. This telescope is a compact, mobile product. The lens construction makes this telescope usable in all weather conditions, despite it average size. It has a diameter of 70mm, this travelscope has a focal length of 400 mm. The product comes with 2 Plessl eyepieces, one 20mm with 20x magnification, the other 10mm with 40x magnification.
Review of Celestron 21035 Travel Scope

Adjustment

The flexible altazimuth viewer ensures the owner gets blur-free views. This simple, convenient system is perfect for beginners. It is just as good for astronomical photography which gives you clear unblurred images.                                                                                  

Celestron 21035 Travel Scope in the use

Performance Opportunities and Ease of Use

The Celestron Travel scope is good for both viewing the beauty of the Earth or the solar system. It is portable, compact and easy to operate. It has a solid aluminium platform which ensures a stable viewing base. Travelers and lovers of outdoor activities find this telescope extremely portable and take it with them wherever they go.
Detailed review of Celestron 21035 Travel Scope

Special Features

Just like the Orion StarMax, this telescope is compact and portable. It comes with its own travel bag for easy packing and mobility. TheSkyX - First Light Edition" software is included with the telescope. The SkyX includes useful information about stars, celestial bodies, and has an informative, cartographical manual. Also, this telescope has a anti-reflection, multi-layered optics.
Celestron 21035 Travel Scope application

VIDEO
Celestron Travel Scope 70 Review Model 21035
Celestron 21035
Celestron 21035
 

ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST

Optical Surveillance System

The Orion SpaceProbe 130ST EQ Reflector Telescope is equipped with a Newtonian reflector system that ensures its unpretentious operation. The luminosity of this type of a telescope is quite impressive, so you will be able to track the dim objects. If you choose such a telescope system, make sure to remember that you should avoid abrupt changes of temperature in order not to damage the coating of mirrors.
Review of ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Adjustment

The telescope comes with an equatorial mount that includes two axes. The first is aimed at the celestial pole (polar axis), and the second is in the plane of the equator (declination axis) to compensate the Earth's daily rotation. As a result, you are able to use the telescope not only for surveillance but also for taking pictures of celestial objects. Just imagine how great your photos will look in the interior of your home!
ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope in the use

Performance Opportunities and Ease of Use

This telescope is ideal for tracking not only the moon but also planets, as well as deep-sky objects: galaxies, nebulae and star clusters. The telescope is attached to a durable and stable aluminum tripod. In order to start tracking the sky, there is no need to buy anything additionally. All necessary items are included in a package and have instructions for assembly and adjustment. Here you can find two types of eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) to observe the celestial objects at different zooming range, a tripod accessory tray, a 6x30 finder scope, 1.25-inch rack and a pinion focuser, the Starry Night astronomy software and a collimation cap. Therefore, you won't face any additional expenses to start enjoying your telescope in use.
Detailed review of ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Special Features

The device also comes with the special Starry Night astronomy software, which allows you to get information about all the stellar objects, to easily operate the telescope as well as to plan thoroughly your observations and understand what you see. The program requires a PC with the pre-installed operating system Windows 7, 8, 10, or an Apple iMac with OS X 10.4 or above. In conclusion, we can say that it is an ideal device for both a beginner and an experienced stargazer.
ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope application

VIDEO
Telescope Review - Orion
ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST
ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST
 

Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope

Optical Surveillance System

The Meade Infinity is a refractor telescope, capable of being used in any weather. This telescope with it’s average size is built for outdoor use. Its optical surveillance system gives the owner excellent focus for such a compact telescope. The diameter is 102mm and the length is 600mm. A wide selection of eyepieces come as standard - 26mm with 23x, 9mm with 67x, 6.3mm with 95x magnification specs. A twofold Barlow lens completes the set giving magnification choices of 46x, 134x and 190x.
Review of Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope

Adjustment

The Meade Infinity telescope just like other models has an azimuthal viewing scope, making this telescope more convenient for amateur star gazers.

                                                                                                                           

Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope in the use

Performance Opportunities and Ease of Use

The optical power, the surveillance system, magnifying eyepiece and the lenses all combine to give an opportunity to stargaze planets, satellites and nearby celestial bodies. It offers a clear, blur-free view. A good choice of telescope for for the whole family. It comes with a convenient base and a reliable tripod.
Detailed review of Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope

Special Features

A bonus feature of this telescope is a DVD atlas of celestial bodies, providing valuable information on the name or coordinates of the object you may wish to observe. This makes it an invaluable tool for the novice astronomer looking to discover the wonders of the universe.

Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope application

VIDEO
How to setup the Meade Telescope (HD & Fully Closed Captioned)
Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope
Meade Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope
 
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