Best telescope for beginners [2021 buying guide]
Jan 04, · With hundreds to choose from it can be hard to work out what telescope to buy. I got it all wrong with my first telescope – it was too bulky and heavy for my small apartment. It was powerful, but more than I needed as a beginner. If I were to buy my first telescope today, I would get something smaller and easier to funslovestory.comted Reading Time: 7 mins. Choosing your first telescope can be overwhelming. Here are the most important things to know and do before buying your first telescope.
This means we may be compensated if you click links on this page at no telesscope cost to you. I got it all wrong with my first telescope — it was too bulky and heavy for my small apartment. It was powerful, but more than I needed as a beginner. If I were to buy my first telescope cor, I would get something smaller brginners easier to use. It then becomes much easier to grab-and-go and use in your backyard without too much planning. If you have the budget, then you might want to consider a smaller compound telescope with GoTo functionality, such as the NexStar 4SE from Celestron.
This is the smallest on this list and probably the easiest to use. It comes apart easily to a few components so it is easy to store or transport.
It ticks all the boxes to be the best telescope for beginners but that also means it comes in a slightly higher price bracket than those offered above. Each one offers steadily better astronomical viewing. The in-built GoTo technology means that it will find whatever you want to see in the sky from a database of over 40, objects in space at the push of a few buttons on the keypad that comes with it.
This is the only computerized telescope that telescoe would recommend for beginners, as other models in this price range tend to be unreliable. This is the lowest power model on this list. It suits those with lower budgets looking for a first telescope but is a great option. An alternative begjnners to have a small what to use for a time capsule container Dobsonian reflector telescope, like this model from Celestron.
It has a much larger aperture and therefore provides better imaging but is still relatively lightweight and small. This is also a manual telescope, not GoTo. It comes with two eyepieces, a Barlow lens, and a red dot finder. For the reasons listed below, refractors make for great models for beginners. Like this 80mm model from Celestron. If you want something that you can pull out into their garden, or take on a trip fpr learn to get comfortable with over hlw, then this could be perfect for you.
We love the compact size which makes it perfectly portable and storable. It comes with easily-operable alt-az mount. There are also models at 90mm and mm that offer steadily improving viewing capabilities.
Similar to the Celestron Cometron FirstScope above, this is a tabletop telescope. There are many different brands as well as different types with all sorts of different specifications. After this, we tell you how to put it all together to choose the right telescope for you and provide our recommendations.
In summary, catadioptrics are best in my opinion for beginners. Followed by refractors, then reflectors. You can read more about this in our in-depth dive into reflectors vs refractors.
We now ran a poll asking this question and the results as of February agree that compound telescopes are best:. In particular, there are two main things you will want to be able to interpret at least on a basic level.
These are:. This is the most important specification that you should pay attention to when buying a telescope. The aperture of a telescope is the diameter of its main lens or mirror. Essentially, the bigger the aperture, the more light can be what is the load range index on a tire and the sharper, brighter and more detailed the image will be. GoTo helescope are also known as computerized.
They are operated either directly by a keypad or similar interface on the telescope, or via a remotely operated interface, such as an app your phone, tablet or computer.
You can then command geginners mount to point the telescope to objects in space from a pre-programmed database, or celestial coordinates inputted manually by you. Having the telescope be able to find objects you want to see in space without you having to understand locating astronomical objects via coordinates can be a huge positive. This is really the one and only advantage. Our advice — especially for beginners or for casual users — is to go for a GoTo telescope if your budget can stretch to it.
In contrast, if you are already an experienced astronomer then you may prefer to get more telescope for your money by going for one without GoTo. This is another measurement that is included with telescopes and it can be confusing as to what this means, especially versus aperture. It is the distance between the objective the lens or primary mirror of the telescopeto the point where it focuses the light the eyepiece.
With a refractor telescope, it will be a linear measurement from the lens to the eyepiece, and so beginnerz is essentially the length of the telescope tube. With a reflector or catadioptric telescope, it is based on how far the light travels inside the tube via the mirror system and to the eyepiece.
This telesccope why the measurement is longer than the tube length in these types of telescope and why they can be smaller but have similar magnification to refractors with the same focal length. The focal ratio of a telescope is the focal length divided by aperture. Higher focal ratio means more magnification but the downside is that it also means a narrower field of view.
This means it gathers more light in a shorter period of time. This reduces exposure times and makes it easier to photograph the moving objects that you are tracking for your image. Read our ultimate beginners guide to astrophotography to learn more about this. Lastly, the magnification of a telescope is the number of times bigger an object appears when compared to viewing it with the naked eye.
A magnification of 10x means what you are looking at will look ten times larger than when viewed unmagnified. Magnification is calculated by the focal length of the telescope divided by the focal length of the eyepiece you are using. So this can be altered by using different eyepieces. For example, if you use a befinners eyepiece with a mm focal length telescope you get a magnification of 60x. Use a 10mm eyepiece with the same telescope and you get a x magnification.
As you can see, the longer the telescope focal length and the shorter the eyepiece focal length, the higher the magnification achieved. One thing to note though is that higher magnification is not always what is best. For instance, bbuy higher magnification, your telescope is much more sensitive to vibrations that can come from the wind or other factors and this impacts the images. Obviously, you are going to get a telescope that allows you to see as much in the night sky as possible, but this will need to be balanced with other factors.
The key thing you are going to want is as high aperture as possible. This means improved brightness and detail of what you can see. Are what type of stage technology is most recent a beginner or experienced? How ot how to buy telescope for beginners can you dedicate to what is the voltage in croatia Is it for a young child, teenager or adult?
You will have to decide if you or the person using the telescope are going to be able to invest a lot of time learning to use it hiw if it is more of a telscope thing to have around and use occasionally. Do you have space for a large telescope in your house or would you need to be able to pack it way? Also, do you want something you can pick up and take on trips? This is an important thing that can be overlooked — size, weight, portability, and how easy it will be to store.
For my first telescope, I went a bit ambitious and bought a large reflector telescope which was heavy and awkward brginners store.
Those living in big cities may need to consider higher performance high aperture in order to be able to spot objects in the sky due to light bbuy. Typically, this is what you can beginnefs in the higher beginneers catadioptric telescopes covered in the bginners models below.
Depending on your budget, you may want to work out what you are prepared to spend and then see what you are prepared to compromise on. For instance, is size and portability an issue to you? If not, get a big reflector. If so, get a refractor or catadioptric telescope and sacrifice some aperture in exchange for a smaller size telescope.
Or if you want to learn how to locate stars yourself, then maybe skip the GoTo and save money that way. There is teoescope perfect answer, but there are plenty of great models and we recommend some teescope these above. The best telescopes for viewing planets like Saturn and Jupiter will ffor a longer focal length — for good magnification and a telescopd field bdginners you — as well as higher aperture — which will improve brightness and the amount of detail tlescope can see.
The narrowness is what you want with viewing the planets in our solar system because they are relatively much closer to the Earth than far off stars and much smaller than galaxies that need a wide field of view yow observe.
The moon is the closest, telescpe therefore easiest, object in the night sky to see through a telescope.
You can, therefore, do this with lower-spec telescopes recommended for beginners above. Higher focal length will allow higher magnification and higher aperture will improve brightness and details. You can see some deep sky objects with the naked eye, and so a quality beginner telescope will be able tp improve on that massively.
You will need to use a low power eyepiece to give you a wide field of view. See our guide to the best telescopes for kids. Astronomy binoculars can be great and have some advantages to telescopes, such as being smaller, easier to use and cheaper.
If you want to know more, read our article on astronomy binoculars. Please see our guide to telescope accessories. This beginers uses Akismet to reduce spam.
Learn how your comment data is processed. With hundreds to choose from telewcope can be hard to work out what telescope to buy. So, learn from my mistakes fo choose one of the five great telescopes for beginners below! Table of Contents. Best computerized. Mini tabletop telescope.
What telescope should you buy?
You also have to keep in mind that except telescope you will need accessories too. So, my recommendation is to buy a telescope around $ which is not cheap but also not expensive. This price range is the sweet spot in telescope world for beginners, and . The Best Telescope For Beginners. Buying a telescope is an important first step towards a new level of appreciation for the night sky, and the wonders found within it. I was once in this position myself, and I found the number of telescope options funslovestory.comted Reading Time: 9 mins. When buying a telescope mount, Altitude-Azimuth mounts are most commonly seen on Dobsonian types of telescopes. Alt-Az mounts move your telescope in an up and down motion or side to side motion. While Alt-Az mounts are ubiquitous and easy to use, they have one drawback, especially for astro-imagers looking to make long-exposure funslovestory.comted Reading Time: 5 mins.
Buying a telescope is an important first step towards a new level of appreciation for the night sky, and the wonders found within it. I was once in this position myself, and I found the number of telescope options overwhelming. From my experience, the best telescope for beginners is one that guides you through the process of learning the night sky in a straightforward and gratifying way.
It is best to start with visual astronomy before adding a camera to attempt astrophotography. This telescope will allow you to observe the night sky through the eyepiece, and enjoy a live experience of the stars and planets above. A manual telescope, like the Dobsonian reflector I recommend, will help you connect with our Universe on a deeper level than any computerized telescope ever could.
The moment you find a glowing nebula through the eyepiece, while scanning the sky, will take your breath away. Because you are moving the telescope by hand, you have complete control. Forget about the wobbly department store refractors you used as a child, a Dobsonian reflector is the top choice of amateur astronomers looking for the ultimate observing experience. I realize that most of the people that visit my website are here because of the information I share about astrophotography.
However, before I dove into the complex and rewarding world of astrophotography, I observed the night sky with my eyes. Looking for astrophotography telescopes? See my top 5 choices. The instrument I recommend for beginners is the type of telescope that propelled my interest in astronomy into a life-altering addiction now known as AstroBackyard. It fostered my curiosity at a manageable pace, and kept me coming back for more. Whether it was viewing the planet Jupiter using high magnification, or seeing The Pleiades star cluster for the very first time, that first summer under the stars with my telescope was a pivotal stage of my life.
The most important aspect of choosing a telescope is to ensure that you buy an instrument that nurtures your desire to observe and enjoy the night sky. A poor user experience may hinder your enjoyment of the hobby overall, so be wary of the cheap telescopes that deliver underwhelming results. A telescope like this can deliver impressive views of the night sky from your own backyard. I have been immersed in the world of amateur astronomy for so long, I often forget to slow down when rhyming off the technical terms associated with telescopes.
The following list of telescope terms must be comprehended to understand why I think a Dobsonian reflector is the best choice for beginners. The telescope specifications listed above will give you an idea of what to expect with the instrument.
Each type of telescopes will excel in certain areas, and not others. However, I think you will find that an 8-inch Dobsonian reflector packs an impressive punch in the most critical areas of a beginner telescope. My goal is to make sure as many people start out their astronomy journey right; with a telescope that catapults their interest in the night sky to new heights.
The enjoyment I experience observing the night sky and sharing it with others has changed my life. Astronomy has given me to another level of appreciation for the Universe and our place within it.
A telescope can open this window. Luckily, there are more quality telescopes available than ever. Essentially, it will all come down to your budget, expectations, and needs. A Dobsonian reflector offers the largest aperture per inch of any type of telescope.
There was a sea of information and technical specifications, most of which went right over my head. Luckily, I ended up making an excellent choice and had I not bought that 4.
A Dobsonian telescope is a Newtonian Reflector design, that includes a large primary mirror at the end of its optical tube. The large primary mirror reflects the image of your object in space to a secondary mirror, and into the telescope eyepiece. The result is an unforgettable real-time view of the wonders above our heads in the sky. I dare you to invoke the same emotion you get by viewing Saturn under clear viewing conditions and a high-powered eyepiece, from a photograph.
The truth is, I appreciate the wonders of our night sky on another level when viewing them in real-time through the eyepiece. Astrophotography is just another creative outlet for me to share my interests with others. This means setting up and traveling with your equipment, aligning and tuning the optics, and understanding how the telescope works.
Not to mention, spending time outside in the dark for an extended period of time. If you have done your homework, buying your first telescope will be an enjoyable experience with the added comfort of knowing that you made the right choice for your needs. A telescope you feel comfortable using will get the most use. There are so many exciting things to observe in the night sky using a telescope.
Beginners often wonder what is possible to see using a basic telescope through the eyepiece. Solar system subjects such as the moon and planets are often the most rewarding targets to observe through a new telescope. The planet Jupiter was one of the very first things I found using my Dobsonian reflector many years ago, and I remember the intense feeling of accomplishment and amazement. Here is a list of satisfying targets to observe using a beginner level telescope such as a Dobsonian reflector.
I have organized the items into two lists, solar system objects, and deep-sky objects. I have numbered the targets from best most gratifying to least. Saturn is perhaps the most incredible sight to see through a telescope, but I have placed it further down the list simply due to size. Jupiter appears larger and will reveal surface detail and its four largest moons using amateur equipment.
It is possible to find all seven planets using your telescope, but Uranus, Neptune, and Mercury can be difficult to identify and observe. This list is very subjective, of course.
There are many more amazing deep sky objects to observe including the Beehive Cluster, the Ring Nebula, and many more. It turns out, my list is strikingly similar to this one from astronomysource.
This further validates my list as objects that are well enjoyed by amateur astronomy enthusiasts around the world. Through a telescope eyepiece, the objects will appear much dimmer and without color. Buying your first telescope can stir up a lot of excitement.
You need to work your way up to that big light bucket. I would suggest you start by enjoying visual astronomy through a simple to use, and well-built telescope. This way you can learn the night sky on your own, casually experience the joys of stargazing, and spending time outside at night.
It is one thing to sit in your comfy computer chair during the day and order a fancy telescope with lots of advanced features, and it is another to actually and comfortably use those features in the dark after midnight.
My wife, Ashley, looking through a refractor telescope. Make sure to account for extra expenses that come along with the purchase, such as eyepieces and filters. The good news is, the telescope I recommend for beginners a little further down the post is not much more than that!
Telescopes come in many different optical formats, such as; reflectors, refractors, and compound telescopes. Each type of telescope has its own strengths and weaknesses. Although I personally favor refractors from an astrophotography perspective, they may not be an ideal choice for a beginner. Newtonian reflectors offer a much larger aperture at a lower price point.
Types of Telescopes — skyandtelescope. In Newtonian reflectors, this is a mirror, and in a refractor this is an objective lens. A larger objective means more detail and the ability to reveal dimmer targets. The reflector design allows for a larger telescope objective at an affordable price, while a refractor of the same size would increase the price dramatically.
Many types of telescope mounts are available, including computerized models that track the movement of the sky. For visual use, a sturdy altazimuth or Dobsonian mount will make stargazing an enjoyable process. For astrophotography, an equatorial tracking mount is required. When properly polar aligned , the telescope will track objects in the night sky as the Earth turns. The number of telescope eyepieces available is staggering.
They come in a wide variety of magnifications and fields of view. Having a set of telescope eyepieces that allow you to observe large swaths of the night sky, as well as high magnification views of planets, is ideal.
A quality telescope eyepiece can last a lifetime if cared for properly. I would highly suggest a telescope that can be easily transported and set up in a reasonable amount of time. If the set-up process is a taxing ordeal, you are less likely to have the motivation to get outside and use it when the clouds finally part at 10 pm on a Saturday night. For this reason, advanced amateur astronomers often build home observatories so that they can keep their large telescope set up at all times.
If you have any health issues or cannot lift heavy objects, an extra-large telescope and mount is out of the question. You are better off with something smaller and more portable. You will get much more use out of it. Based on my personal experiences, I can very comfortably suggest a Dobsonian Reflector. This was the first type of telescope I personally owned, and it totally knocked my socks off.
This simple piece of equipment provided me with my first views of Jupiter, Saturn, the Orion Nebula and more. These were some of the most memorable astronomy nights in my life. If you decide to advance to an astrophotography telescope on a tracking mount down the road, you will still find plenty of uses for a visual performer like this in your inventory.
The reason I have chosen the 8-inch model is that it has enough aperture to show more objects and detail in the night sky than smaller instruments. This telescope is large enough for jaw-dropping views, yet small enough to fit in your trunk or back seat. As I mentioned earlier, there are larger versions available as well if you handle the extra weight and size.
The Apertura AD8 manages to stand out in a busy crowd of competing 8-inch Dobsonian reflectors. This is largely due to the quality of its construction, most notably the steel tension knobs to adjust the balance of the tube within the rocker box. The base of the Dobsonian mount includes an azimuth roller bearing system that provides dozens of support points.