Best Telescopes Review
Best Telescope for Beginners
Celestron 22097 NexStar 127 SLT Mak Computerised Telescope
Designed to be an entry level to mid-level computerised GoTo telescope, the Celestron 22097 is our recommended choice based largely on the strength of the computer governed motorised Go To function and the good size of the mirror at just over 5 inches. The Go To makes it easy to locate and track objects, and the size of the mirror means that faint objects well beyond the capacity of the naked eye can be seen clearly and in good details, With pre-assembled, adjustable stainless steel tripods and quick release fork arms and tubes, NexStar SLT telescopes can be set up in a matter of minutes – with no tools required. With this telescope you’ll be able to see details of the lunar surface, Venus and its phases, polar caps on Mars, Jupiter and its four moons, Saturn with its rings plainly visible which makes it an excellent and the best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies.
The big selling point of the scope is the Go To function and there are several options for using this. The general approach is to point the telescope at a star or stars (planets can also be used), using the motor to move the scope to another star. The more names of stars you know the quicker it all is but if you know none that’s fine, most of the fun is learning new stars and expanding your knowledge. The telescope needs to be pointed at three objects in succession reasonably well spaced in the sky and at different altitudes. The computerised telescope will computerise its aligning and then will go automatically to any of the objects in its database just by selecting them on the handset. You can also enter your latitude and longitude which is not essential as you can use the pre programmed locations in the handset. This only needs to be done once and the handset retains the information for future outlining. The scope will also track objects once set up so they are kept in the field of view with little adjustment meaning it makes great entry level telescope.
Using the supplied 9 mm eyepiece (72times magnification) you will be easily able to see four moons of Jupiter, craters of moon will have you going ‘’wow’ and galaxies, which are very hard to find without the Go To as the computerised function really comes into its own her.e The bigger star clusters and nebulae are the forte of this telescope and may find yourself spending a age just staring at them.
If you’re looking for the best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies this may be it and great price.
Best Rated Telescope
Celestron NexStar 8SE
The granddaddy of the telescope game and is great choice if you have decent budget $1200 – $1600 depending on accessories. Personally if you where going to spend this kind of money I would go with the 8″ over 6” as it collects roughly over 78% more light than the 6SE model, given the price fact of the 6SE, I would push a little further and get the 8SE model.
The squat 150mm Schmidt-Cassegrain tube is connected to a speedy, sturdy GoTo mount, with a handset that can take you straight to over 40,000 different celestial objects. High transmission lens coatings is applied ensures impressive views of the moon, cloud bands around Jupiter and a good range of deep-sky objects, with the supplied 25mm. It does also have the option for you buddying astrophotography’s out there as you can Fit a DSLR to the optional digital camera adaptor, but II have to say it is not ideal for astrophotography, as it is an Altitude/Azimuth (ALT/AZ) telescope and BOTH motors must run at the same time to track an object, which is not as precise as a German Equatorial Mount (GEM) where only one motor has to run to track an object. GEM’s require polar alignment, which is a bit complex for the beginner getting into astrophotography, personally if your getting in to astrophotography, go with ..
At 8” and over 30lbs it is not the most portable telescope for stargazer with a smaller car like myself, that is not to say that it is not portable at 8” and 30lbs it still doable and if you have bigger car or van you won’t have any issues here.
Some accessories which come with this telescope such as the finder scope is too small to get the best of this telescope, strongly recommend that you buy a 2″ diagonal and eyepiece setup. Again, the scope, out of the box, only comes with a single 25MM 1.25″ eyepiece, which has a narrow field of view and not enough magnification to really enjoy your first astonishing views that get you hooked on astronomy, like looking at Saturn and seeing the gaps in the rings. Celestron sells a kit that has a diagonal, 2X Barlow Lens and three 2″ eyepieces (Kit #94305). You can buy that for starters to get you going with 2″ eyepieces at the lowest cost.
The sharpness and clarity of viewing object is where this telescope shines you’ll be in awe as you view the rings of Saturn, clearly make out Jupiter. It will blow your mind if you’ve never seen those planets with your own eyes. The scope is good for beginners, as it can be set-up in about 10 minutes, and aligns easily by pointing to three bright objects in the sky. It is the ultimate “grab-n-go” telescope if you have a higher budget
Most Powerful Telescope
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm
Celestron a household name in the telescoping work, the CPC series is their advanced and premium top of the line telescopes for home use and the most powerful, The largest aperture of the CPC GPS line, The CPC 1100 GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope has the most light gathering power out there and has a limiting magnitude of nearly 15! Which is huge!
The cpc also comes with all the bells and whistles as it takes full advantage of its vast database of thousands of NGC and Abell galaxies as well as delivering a new level of detail to all our favorite deep sky objects. Featuring Celestron’s premium StarBright XLT coatings making the optical vision of this telescope unrelieved. With sophisticated software features like Hibernate function, the CPC can maintain its star alignment night after night without needing to be realigned, making it an ideal instrument for a permanent observatory facility, and can handle light population well if your area is not good. The scope offers really impressive views of planets and you can really see some amazing detail on the surface of Jupiter; see Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn, and even resolve details on the surface of Mars. Even the distant planets of Neptune and Pluto are within your reach of this amazing pieces of hardware, it also offers quick and simple alignment as an internal GPS receiver can download the latest data from orbiting satellites.
DEFINITELY consider the fact that it is big and heavy. The scope is about 40 lbs, and the tripod is about 20. I find the 63 pound tube to be a bit heavy, but still quite manageable and it has well-placed carrying handles that make it easy, so that’s no issue. But it is certainly not a telescope that you can just pick up and go stargazing with on a moment’s notice. It takes time and effort to set up, and that can be a disadvantage if you get a “spur of the moment” urge to use it! You should also know that it doesn’t hide away in a tiny corner of the closet (or your car, for that matter), so you’ll need some space to store it and transport it as it may be short and diminutive but is very bulky.
With its short tube and sturdy mount, is relatively impervious to wind, and slight bumps hardly affect it. It’s diminutive size makes it fairly easy to use, as the eyepiece is usually in a comfortable position. The viewing is still fairly comfortable. The more comfortable you are, the more you see. A well charged 12v storage battery can easily run the telescope, and charge my computer for at least 6 hours. The ability to go to any place in the sky, by entering J2000 coordinates is great feature and the Celestron gains some brownie points here.
The quality of the scope and tripod are evident – this really feels like a premium product. I’ve used it many times already, and have no complaints whatsoever, aside from wishing I had a better yard and less light pollution! I’ve had no trouble doing alignments, and have even aligned it using the moon, Jupiter, and Sirius when they were all in the same general area in the sky. Once aligned, the goto feature works extremely well. All in all, an extremely excellent telescope, and highly recommend it if you are prepared for the size, weight, and the time it takes to set up.
Best Budget Telescope / Best Value Telescope
PowerSeeker 127 EQ
• Quick and easy no-tool setup
• Slow motion controls for smooth tracking
• Erect image optics – Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use
• Fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity
• 3x Barlow lens triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece
• Accessory tray for convenient storage of accessories
• The Sky” Level 1 planetarium software with 10,000 object database and /-enhanced images
The power seeker pops up on several of our “Best of” lists and for good reason, it’s a marvellous telescope for this price range, it provides good views of the night sky, a great entry level scope that will provide a lot of fun. Buying upgrades for the scope will add to your viewing pleasure of course and is completely optional. You will be able to see our planetary neighbours, the moon looks fantastic, get it a little further away from light populations and the details it gives is great for such affordable telescope. Is this a good scope for beginners? Yes, easy to set up with no tools required, If you’re just starting out and collimation, calibration and generic tinkering is not your thing, this is a great way to get hands on and learn all the nitty gritty stuff. Prefect to get you up running in the telescoping world.
At a very affordable price this is very capable telescope aimed at new amateur astronomers, It would make an idea gift for kids that have expressed interest in stargazing and you want to gauge how serious they are or if it’s just a passing fade. There is no need to spend big money if their interest ends up being short-lived and it starts collecting dust in a few weeks.
I used this telescope to view the moon and I was very pleased with the results, once it was in focus you can clearly see the craters and other distinctive lunar landmarks that are so impressive that it will get you hooked. The product comes with the following included eyepieces, a 4mm (150X), 12mm (50X) and 20mm (30X), this gives a nice spectre of magnification for you to play around with, the telescope will require some adjustment as you change up the eye pieces as the mount could be sturdier, that’s not to say it’s not a good mount the adjustment just needs a little tweak and will not completely throw of your position, all in all it is quite a smooth mount for horizontal and vertical plane movements, but if you’re looking for a more sophisticated mount with locking and fine-tuned adjustment system, you have two options – either to buy a second mount or look at the more higher end models. Overall we are very pleased with this model and the price
Best Travel Telescope / Most Portable Telescope
Celestron 21038 Travel Scope 70
The Celestron 21035 Travel Scope 70 was designed with the traveller stargazer in mind and made with durable materials, at 70mm the telescope blends in the perfect combination of portability, convenience and optical performance. Of course, there are better scopes out there with better viewing properties, but those are bulky and cumbersome and not ideal for conveniently for packing into a handheld suitcase, the tripod, and all the accessories will also fit!
The accessory package includes a 45-degree correct image prism, a 20mm eyepiece for 20X magnification, and a 10mm eyepiece for 40X. Along with a copy of “The Sky X” astronomy software.
With a focal length of 400mm and a focal ratio of f/5.7, the Travel Scope 70 compares surprisingly well with other popular travel refractors but at a much cheaper price. The downside is that a number of components are made of plastic but this keeps the cost and weight down, I’ve personally travel a few times with this kit of found the telescope to be quite durable.
A note on the optics, I recently was able to view the lunar eclipse and I have to say the results were very surprising as it looked simply amazing, the 10mm eyepiece will also allow you to see the four moons of Jupiter on clear nights.
The tripod is designed to be light and compact, but that means the legs are quite thin and wobbly when fully extended.
- ✓ Light, portable, and affordable
- ✓ Excellent wide field views
- ✓ The Sky X software included
- ✘ Lightweight tripod
- ✘ Plastic components
Best Kids Telescope / Best Telescopes for Kids
Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope
Overall this is an ideal first telescope for your kid as it has enough power to enable the discovery of the moon and our solar system. Given that its a table top design, the scope comes fully assembled, great for those possessing little to no prior knowledge of telescope equipment. Priced very competitively it makes for an ideal initial investment for anyone not wanting to spend a large sum of money before getting better acquainted with the field of astronomy. As someone with kids, we all know the passing phases they go through, with the little spent you won’t end up regretting the purchase if your child doesn’t take to stargazing. This particular model is small and made for desktop and travel use. Low priced and only 4.5 pounds in weight, it still features a powerful optics for its size