HOW WE PICK & TEXT
- Size matters: Small Telescopes are often lighter and more compact, but they can’t match the performance of larger scopes.
- Quality construction: Telescopes need to be well constructed and have sturdy mounts—we look for models made from quality materials.
- Value: The best telescopes can be found from a range of prices, but we recommend models under $1,000.
- Ease of use: Good telescopes are easy to use, but ease of use varies widely among models.
And the winners:
Best Overall Telescope: Celestron - AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian Telescope - Reflector Telescope for
This nice little telescope makes the best gift ever for a kid or family member. The Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ is a refractor telescope that is easy to use and easy to set up. Considering its light weight and small size, this Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ is one of the best telescopes for kids. The image quality is good, and I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the images I was getting and the images from the big observatories. The telescope has no color distortion at all, and the zoom scales on both eyepieces are clearly marked. The telescope comes with a phone adapter, so you can take photos of the moon or Saturn's rings remotely (the telescope's autofocus isn't that fast, unfortunately, so it's difficult to adjust the focus). The telescope has a nice body, and the mount and tripod are solid.
This telescope comes with several eyepieces, a Barlow lens, the carry bag, and the tripod. The tripod is adjustable, so you can set the telescope at your preferred height. The telescope and accessories take up very little space, and you can easily carry the telescope in a carry-on bag. This AstroMaster 114EQ comes with a detailed, full-color instruction manual, so you can set up the telescope right out of the box. There's also a CD with 40GB of content from NASA and Celestron. The CD includes images of celestial objects, video clips, and presentations about astronomy and science. Again, this is a high-quality telescope for juniors and adults.
- Well-made and very sturdy
- Nice accessories
- Clear and bright images
- Comes with a manual
- Tripod is a sturdy and adjustable
- The tripod is a bit loose
- Adapter for cell phones is inconvenient
Best Value Telescope: Celestron - NexStar 5SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners
The NexStar 5SE is an outstanding value. It has a wonderful wide-field view, as well as a great level of sharpness, and it has a lot of feature sets to boot. The telescope is easy to set up and use, and its telescope mount has automatic tracking and USB computer control. All of the NexStar range has computerized GoTo mounts, so NexStar 5SE also has the ability to slew to over 40,000 celestial objects.
This is a great educational tool, and even more so, because NexStar 5SE comes with some software that will instruct users about how to identify the different stars, constellations, and planets visible in the sky. Plus, it's fun to use it on bad-weather nights! The telescope and accessories are all well built and easy to set up, so if you want a fun and convenient introduction to astronomy, the NexStar 5SE is a great choice.
- Excellent 90mm aperture to use with larger eyepieces, like 31.5mm or 1.25" eyepieces
- Long focal length of 800mm
- Fully-automated GoTo mount
- Tripod is very stable
- Good beginner's scope
- Great quality
- Comes with a 1-year warranty, limited
- Difficult to find accessories - eyepieces, filters.
Best Saving Product: Celestron - AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope - Refractor Telescope - Fully
The Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope is a great choice for anyone who loves space. It has everything you need to view planets and stars. This telescope comes with all the accessories you need to get started, including a phone adapter and a wireless remote. It was easy to put together (even for an amateur astronomer), and surprisingly easy to set up and fold down. I was particularly impressed with the telescope's optics, which are sharp and focus well with no discernible flaws. The 3-stage (50mm, 75mm, and 100mm) eyepieces provided good images of the Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter (all of which looked a lot more vivid than through my iPhone), and I found the wide-angle 75mm eyepiece for terrestrial use to be excellent, too. A 3-inch diagonal mirror attached to the nosepiece provides a nice bright view of the ground, and the 25mm and 10mm eyepieces (also attached to the mirror) are ideal for terrestrial viewing.
This telescope has a very sturdy aluminum tripod, and the adjustable height from 28.5" to 45" provides a good viewing experience for kids and adults alike. The tripod also locks down for extra stability, and the included case makes it easy to store and transport. The Starry Night Sky 5 astronomy software suite from the Celestron educational division makes this telescope a great value. It includes detailed contact information for local astronomy clubs, as well as access to professional development resources.
- An affordable, versatile scope
- Fully coated optics provide clear and bright images
- Great image quality for the price
- Phone adapter included, connection is quick and easy
- Good multi-coated eyepiece and Barlow lens assortment
- Optical tube is lightweight and portable
- Comes with a 90 day warranty
- Limited eye relief
- Tripod legs have plastic end caps
Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Finding the best telescope for solar system viewing should not be hard since there are so many options available. However, there are some factors you should consider before buying a telescope. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
- Size of the telescope: The size of the telescope determines the magnification. This means that choosing a telescope with a bigger lens means that you can magnify an object.
- Price: The prices of different types of telescopes vary widely. The most expensive types of telescopes are the most expensive because they have more lenses and therefore, provide better magnification.
- Resolution: The number of lenses in a telescope determines its resolution. This is measured in microns (μm). A telescope with high resolution means more light can be gathered and this means that more objects can be seen at once.
- Focus: Focus refers to the sharpness and clarity of the images that the telescope provides. This means that a telescope with fast focusing ability will provide images with increased sharpness and clarity.
- Aperture: The term aperture refers to the size of the primary lens. The larger the size of the primary lens the more light that can be gathered and this means more objects can be seen.
- Weight: A telescope that is heavy can make it cumbersome to carry. This means that you need a telescope that is lightweight.
- Warranty: The warranty on a telescope determines the period of protection provided by the manufacturer.
Even though your gears are covered by the manufacturer's warranty, accidents happen. That's why ASURION offers affordable 2-year accidental damage protection plans - all for as little as $3,99!*
Asurion's 2-year accidental damage protection plans cover you from the day you buy your plan. If something happens to your covered product, all you need to do is file a claim. ASURION will even send you an Amazon e-gift card for the purchase price.
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If you’re planning a trip to the space, you’ll definitely want a telescope. And if you’re like me, you’re probably overwhelmed when looking at all the different telescope models on the market. So, to help, here’s my best telescope for solar system viewing. Keep reading to learn more, and don’t forget to let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
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