Telescopes Buying 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.

25% Sale Bestseller No. 1
Telescope 80mm Aperture 600mm - Astronomical Portable Refracting, 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 6..
  • 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!
25% Sale Bestseller No. 2
Gskyer Telescope, 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Astronomical Refracting Telescope for Kids Beginners...
  • Quality Optics: 400mm(f/5.7) focal length and 70mm aperture, fully coated optics glass lens with high transmission coatings creates stunning images and protect your eyes. Perfect full positive telescope for astronomers to explore stars and moon.
  • Magnification: Come with two replaceable eyepieces and one 3x Barlow lens.3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece. 5x24 finder scope with mounting bracket and cross-hair lines inside make locating objects easily.
  • Wireless Remote: Free includes one smart phone adapter and one Wireless camera remote to explore the nature of the world easily through the screen and take amazing celestial images.
  • Adjustable Tripod: This telescope allows for many different viewing positions with a adjustable aluminum alloy tripod and a carry bag, the telescope and tripod can fit inside the bag for easy traveling and storage.
  • Satisfaction: TWO-YEAR warranty. And technical support from our team of experts in 24 hours.
Bestseller No. 3
MEEZAA Telescope, Astronomy Telescope for Adults High Powered, 90mm Aperture 800mm Professional...
  • 【Professional Astronomical Refractor Telescope】If you are interested in astronomy or like to explore the night sky, the MEEZAA astronomical telescope is for you.MEEZAA is committed to introducing affordable telescopes that combine quality, performance, and better user experience for kids, adults, and beginners. Great telescopes for adults astronomy & kids 8-12 & astronomy beginners. Perfect for stargazing, moongazing, city night views, bird watching, outdoor scenery, and more.
  • 【90mm Fully Multi-coated High Transmission Coatings】This astronomy telescope is 800mm(f/8.88) focal length and 90mm aperture. 90mm objective lens collects more light than 60mm, 70mm, and 80mm telescope, so the image appears brighter in the eyepiece, making the image sharp and clear. Fully coated optical glass lenses with high-light transmission coating create amazing images and protect your eyes. The perfect telescope for adults astronomy & kids & beginners exploring the stars and the moon.
  • 【32x-240x High-Powered Magnification】The telescope for adults astronomy kids and beginners comes with two interchangeable eyepieces (10mm and 25mm) and a 3x Barlow lens. The 3x Barlow lens triples the magnification power of each eyepiece. The magnification is 32x-240x. The finder scope makes locating objects easy. And zenith mirror ensures you get an erect image. A perfect telescope for astronomy beginners to observe up-close celestial objects at night and terrestrial objects during the day.
  • 【Adjustable Tripod & Phone Adapter】Our telescope for adults is equipped with a stable tripod. The tripod is made of thick stainless steel, which is more stable and not easy to shake. It can move 360° horizontally and 180° vertically, allowing a variety of different viewing positions, bringing you an excellent observation experience. The adjustable tripod can extend from 28.5” to 45”. With the phone adapter, your phone can be connected to the telescope, and take and share pictures and videos.
  • 【Great Gift & Satisfied Service】MEEZAA astronomy telescope is a great Christmas or birthday gift for kids or astronomy beginners. It can help them build an interest in astronomy and science, and explore the unknown. We have a complete set of paper installation guidelines. Very easy to set up and operate. We also offer lifetime maintenance. If you are not satisfied with our product or have any questions, please feel free to contact us to get 24-hour technical support from our expert team.
Bestseller No. 4
MEEZAA Telescope, 150EQ Reflector Telescope for Adults Astronomy Beginners, Manual Equatorial...
  • 【150mm Large Aperture Powerful Reflector Telescope 】The reflector telescope is a 650mm focal length and 150mm aperture to capture more light pictures, high resolution, good light collecting ability, imaging brighter, and more suitable for the observation of deep space celestial objective. Compared with refracting telescopes, reflecting telescopes have stronger light-gathering ability and no chromatic aberration. The 150EQ reflector telescope is ideal for adult astronomy beginners.
  • 【High-Quality Optics & Powerful Magnification】Objective lens features fully-coated glass optics, which can improve the optical system performance of astronomical telescopes, and help you observe brighter, more detailed planets. It is equipped with two replaceable excellent-quality eyepieces (25mm,10mm) for 26X and 65X magnification. 2X Barlow lens to double the power of each eyepiece. Magnificate moon up to 52X or 130X. With a red dot, the finderscope makes locating objects easy.
  • 【German Equatorial Mount】MEEZAA reflector telescope features a manual German Equatorial mount with 2 cables slow motion Knobs for smooth and accurate pointing. German Equatorial with dial and fine-turned control cables. Adjust the rod to the desired position, then easily secure it by tightening the knob. Precise positioning and fast-tracking of celestial bodies make your observation more stable. You can enjoy the amazing process of manual tracking of the moon and planets.
  • 【Stable Tripod and Phone Adapter】The telescope comes with a high-quality large diameter adjustable stainless steel tripod. The tripod's stable structure stable enables you to Locate celestial objects smoothly and accurately. With the phone adapter, you can install a mobile phone on the telescope to watch, and take photos and videos. Simply touch your phone's screen, then you can record special astronomical moments, and share your excitement with family and friends in real-time.
  • 【Multiple Accessories】Come with 2 High-quality Eyepieces, a 2X Barlow Lens, a Red Dot Finderscope, a Moon Filter, a Color filter, a Phone Adapter, an Adjustable Stainless Steels Tripod. The telescope contains all the accessories you need to observe. 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!
9% Sale Bestseller No. 5
Celestron - NexStar 6SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users -...
  • NEXSTAR 6SE COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPE: Celestron’s iconic orange tube telescope combines legendary 8" Schmidt-Cassegrian optics with updated technology and the latest features for an amazing stargazing experience for beginners and experienced observers..Resolution (Rayleigh) : 0.93 arc seconds. Resolution (Dawes) : 0.77 arc seconds.
  • 6-INCH APERTURE SCHMIDT-CASSEGRAIN TELESCOPE: Large, 6-inch primary mirror packs enough light-gathering ability to deliver impressive views of the Moon and planets, along with deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula, while retaining a compact form.
  • FULLY-AUTOMATED GOTO MOUNT: With a database of 40,000+ celestial objects, NexStar SE's GoTo mount locates and tracks objects for you. It's the perfect telescope for astronomy beginners. NexStar SE is also compatible with StarSense and SkyPortal WiFi.
  • EASY TO SET UP & USE: Assembling the telescope takes just a few minutes.Once you're set up, built-in SkyAlign technology helps you align the telescope fast. When you're done observing, the telescope breaks down into small components for easy storage.
  • UNBEATABLE WARRANTY & SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from Celestron, a leading telescope brand in California since 1960. Your purchase includes a 2-Year US Warranty and unlimited support from our team of US-based experts.

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.

Click here to find out more about the best computerized go-to telescopes and see which are the best ones

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