Telescopes for beginners – the best buyers guide

Purchasing a telescope for the first time can be quite an appalling experience. We’ve prepared you with the guidelines meant to help you better understand the features to look for while buying a new astronomy telescope.

Types of astronomy telescopes

The Newtonian reflector telescope is an all-rounded telescope highly recommended to beginners. The design with which it is built is uncomplicated, and it costs less compared to its six-inch mirror. The mirror provides the viewer with the best view of the galaxy.

The other most popular type of astronomy telescopes is the refractors. The refractors are best suited for astronomers that are interested in focusing on the moon and the stars. Refractors are built with a series of the lens that aid in bring whatever you are observing to focus at the eyepiece end of the tube.

Dobsonian is another type of telescope highly useful for observing dim and obscured objects. The large mirror found in Dobsonian telescopes assists capture plenty of lights that help bring dimmer objects into focus. The Dobsonian telescope is the best option for observing obscured galaxies and nebulae.

The other make is the catadioptric telescope. The advantage of the catadioptric telescope is their portability due to their compact size. They are also built with a high focal ratio making them most useful for observing lunar and planetary. The catadioptric telescopes make use of both corrector lenses and mirrors.

Buying the right telescope

Buying the right telescope means purchasing the telescope that meets your specific requirements. A refractor that is optically superb must be portable. A superb Dobsonian should be able to provide the best view for faint and dim objects. It is advisable to take sufficient time in consulting and researching on the best telescopes before making the final decision on the type of the telescope to purchase.

52% Sale Bestseller No. 1
Telescope 80mm Aperture 600mm - Astronomical Portable Refracting Telescope Fully Multi-coated High...
  • Excellent Quality Optics: This telescope is 600mm(f/6.7) focal length and 80mm aperture, 80mm aperture to capture more light picture and multi-fully high transmission coated all-optical lens enhance image brightness and clarity.
  • Optimum Magnification: Our telescope for kids and adults is quipped with two replaceable excellent-quality eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) for 24X and 60X magnification. 3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece. magnificate moon up to 72 or 180 times. Also with 5x24 finder scope makes locating objects easy.
  • Portable And Convenient: Comes with a phone adapter and an adjustable aluminum tripod. Wireless remote control and carrying bag make it easier for you portable and capture amazing images.
  • Easy To Set Up: In order to save your time. Even for novices, no tools are required to set up the telescope. quick and easy to focus. Truly realize a no-tool-set telescope.
  • Satisfaction Quality: lifetime maintenance. If you have any questions about the product and service, please feel free to contact us, we will do our best to help you in 24 hours!
Bestseller No. 2
Celestron - NexStar 8SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users -...
  • Nexstar computerized telescope: The NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers.
  • 8-Inch aperture: The 8-inch primary mirror in this Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for adults and kids to be used together packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that our Solar System has to offer, while retaining a compact form factor. Compatible with starsense technology, Wifi
  • Fully-automated go to mount: Featuring a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects, the go to mount built into our telescopes for astronomy beginners automatically locates and tracks objects for you.
  • Easy to assemble and break down: The single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all assemble and break down from separate components for easy transportation. SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready in minutes.
  • Bonus free starry night software: The NexStar 8SE Telescope includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation.
20% Sale Bestseller No. 3
Telescopes for Adults, 70mm Aperture and 700mm Focal Length Professional Astronomy Refractor...
1,339 Reviews
Telescopes for Adults, 70mm Aperture and 700mm Focal Length Professional Astronomy Refractor...
  • Telescope for Kids and Adults - This telescope provides erect image optics, for terrestrial and astronomical use. The fully multi-coated optics glass lens with high transmission coatings creates stunning images and protect your eyes.
  • Optical Quality - 70mm Aperture and 700mm Focal Length telescope has 10mm and 20mm Plossl eyepieces, the magnification is 70X and 35X. Plossl eyepiece have better optical performance than K and H eyepieces. Effectively reduce chromatic aberration and halo.
  • Equatorial Mount Type - The mount comes with two slow motion control cables that allow you make fine pointing adjustments to the telescope in both R.A. and Declination.
  • Quick and Easy No-Tool Setup - We provide professional astronomical telescopes. In order to save your time, our telescope can be installed without any additional tools, and truly realize no-tool-set telescope.
  • Phone Adapter and Tripod - Full size stainless steel adjustable tripod meet any height and angle, it brings you stable, safe and durable. Smartphone adapter with 1.5X Barlow Lens which provide 70x magnification, capture and share the images and videos.
50% Sale Bestseller No. 4
Telescope for Kids & Adults - 70mm Aperture 500mm AZ Mount Fully Multi-Coated Optics Astronomical...
1,786 Reviews
Telescope for Kids & Adults - 70mm Aperture 500mm AZ Mount Fully Multi-Coated Optics Astronomical...
  • Excellent Quality Optics: Astronomical telescope features 500mm(f/7.1) focal length and 70mm aperture, provides stunning views and protects your eyes.
  • High Magnification: Our telescope for kids and adults is quipped with two excellent-quality eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) and a 3x Barlow lens.it trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece. Also with 5x24 finderscope makes locating objects easily.
  • Portable And Convenient: Comes with a phone adapter and an adjustable aluminum tripod. Wireless remote control and carrying bag make it easier for you portable and capture amazing images.
  • Great Gift Ideas: The telescope is a perfect gift or birthday gift for kids or beginner astronomers. It helps them build interest in astronomy and science, exploring the unknown, enjoy nature and away from the screen. The kids' astronomical journey starts from here!
  • Satisfaction Quality: lifetime maintenance. If you have any questions about the product and service, please feel free to contact us, we will do our best to help you in 24 hours!
Bestseller No. 5
Celestron - NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope - Compact and Portable - Newtonian Reflector...
  • Computerized star locating telescope: The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is a computerized telescope that offers a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. The telescope locates your object with pinpoint accuracy and tracks it. Compatible with 2 inch eyepieces
  • Compact and portable: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is ideal for weekend camping trips or excursions to dark sky sites. Its compact form factor makes it easy to transport and assemble just about anywhere.
  • Newtonian reflector optical design: The NexStar 130SLT is the largest in the SLT family. The 130mm aperture gathers enough light to see our Solar System and beyond. View Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud bands, and the Moon in brilliant detail.
  • Fast setup with skyalign: Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign procedure has you ready to observe in minutes. Simply center any 3 bright objects in the eyepiece and the NexStar SLT aligns to the night sky, ready to locate thousands of objects.
  • Bonus free starry night software: The NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope includes a free download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation. Compatible with starsense technology and Wi-Fi

The meaning of the numbers indicated in a telescope

Telescopes are built with certain specifications that are crucial for a beginner to understand. The amount of light that can be captured by the lens of a telescope is dependent on the size of the front lens. The telescope lens comes in inches yet it is usually measured in millimetres. Bigger lenses can capture plenty of lights thus giving the viewer a perfect view even for objects that are distant.

The quality of the lens can be determined by observing objects at a distant during daylight. The superb quality lens shows crisp, clear edges to the objects in the field of view. It is important to anyone going to purchase a telescope for a first time to ensure the lenses are of a good quality.

The focal ratio of the telescope is acquired by dividing the focal length by the aperture. It is symbolized the ‘F number’ written on the telescope. Individuals interested in observing smaller field views should consider going for telescopes with a higher focal ratio as they are capable of providing a narrower field of view seen in the eyepiece. The focal ratio is also referred to as speed. Telescopes having a lower focal ratio are associated with high speed while those with a higher focal ratio are slower.

The power to produce a massive magnification should not be considered in the selection of a good telescope. Poor telescopes are also capable of producing high-quality magnification.

The mount

This provides the telescope with a solid platform to rest. The mount should be of a higher quality to provide the telescope with the required stability. The mount should be sturdy enough to avoid compromising the view of the sky at night. The two major types of mounts include the Altaz and the equatorial.

The Altaz is the short form for altitude and azimuth. The Altaz is built in a very simplified manner enabling the telescope move on a base that is parallel to the ground. The Altaz also enables the telescope move up and down in an altitude manner and left and right in azimuth.

The equatorial mount is built in a different way, and it is more complicated to use compared to the Altaz. The equatorial mount has two axes; one of the axes is located towards the direction of the viewer’s latitude while the other axis is parallel to the celestial equator. The equatorial mount can ascend to the right and decline. Newtonian telescopes usually come built with the equatorial mounts. They are the most convenient for astronomers since they are only needed to adjust the right ascension axis to be able to maintain the view of an object in the sky at night, unlike the Altaz where one would be required to adjust the two axes to maintain view of an object in the sky for a longer period.

The finder scope

This refers to the small microscope mounted on top of the bigger one. The finder scope provides the best field of view compared to the main telescope. It enables an individual to adjust the main telescope and be able to locate objects more easily. The finder scopes are mostly useful for locating celestial objects. The most popular finder scope is the miniature telescope that is attached by a bracket close to the eyepiece of the main telescope. The miniature consists of a low magnification thus offering a wild field of view. The finder scope is also equipped with crosshairs that resemble a gunsight. An object gets into the main telescope view when the finder scope is aligned accurately with the main telescope with the object centred in the cross hairs. Alignment of the finder scope and the main telescope should be ensured before making an observation. The main telescope needs to be aligned towards a distant object during the daytime. The observer should ensure their eyes are kept away from the sunlight as this could lead to harmful effects. High-quality finder scopes should be acquired. One should consider looking for optical finders with an aperture that is larger than 25mm and should appear well built.

The most common alternative is the reflex sight. The reflex sight directs a point of light to the background sky when an observation is made from behind. The reflex sight is the most preferred option by many people. The disadvantage with the reflex sight is that one gets limited to naked-eye objects since the reflex sight finder do not produce magnification hence there is no more light-capturing aperture apart from the pupil of the viewer.

The Aperture

The aperture is among the most crucial specifications of a telescope. This refers to the diameter of the lens or the mirror of the telescope. The ability of the telescope to capture plenty of lights and its resolving power are all determined by the scope’s aperture. A telescope with a six-inch mirror enables one get a superb view of objects. The aperture of the microscope does not determine the quality of the magnification. The aperture is involved in limiting the power that gives a brighter view with a certain instrument.

The eyepiece

The eyepiece for telescopes is usually available in two standard sizes, the two-inch and the 1.25 inch. The eyepiece is also designed in different ways including the orthoscopic, the Plossl and the Nagler. The eyepiece consists of the focal length that is measured in millimetres. An exquisite magnification usually comes with a smaller number of the focal length. To acquire a decent magnification from your telescope, one should acquire eyepieces with a focal length of ten millimetres or larger focal length ranging between 20-40 millimetres. Individuals interested in purchasing of only one eyepiece, they are advised to go for an eyepiece with a 20-millimetre focal length. It is also advisable to purchase eyepieces made of glass lenses since plastic lenses are not fully efficient.

The Go-to scope

Telescopes are sold with an inbuilt computer together with a database simplifying the location of objects. The mounts in the Go-to scopes are controlled by the built-in computer or by an external personal computer. The Go-to units enable the location of objects such as asteroids, star clusters and faint galaxies. The viewer is required to enter their geographical location, together with date and time before beginning each new session. This enables the calculation of positions of celestial objects. The telescopes tube must be levelled; it should point towards north or south in the southern hemisphere. The process of setting up the whole apparatus is usually mastered after frequent practice.

Scroll to Top