How We Pick & Test
- Specs: We look for Telescopes with apertures that are larger than 70 mm and focal lengths greater than 500 mm for wide-field views.
- Ease of use: We spend plenty of time practicing with our contenders’ eyepieces, and we use tripods whenever possible.
- Field testing: We set up each of our contenders on one of our reviewers’ backyard decks or rooftops, and we repeatedly stargazed and observed the moon.
- Reader feedback: We conducted a reader poll and also took reader comments into consideration to come up with our criteria.
And the winers:
- Best Overall Telescope: Celestron - 80mm Travel Scope - Portable Refractor Telescope -
- Best Value Telescope: Telescope 70mm Aperture 500mm - for Kids & Adults Astronomical
- Best Saving Product: Gskyer Telescope, 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Astronomical Refracting Telescope
Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
- The optical aperture: The optical aperture is the diameter of the main light-gathering lens. The bigger the aperture, the more light enters the telescope, which makes it easier to see fainter objects.
- The eyepiece: Eyepieces come in different magnifications, and allow you to view different ranges of an object's surface.
- The mount: Telescopes come with two main mounts: altazimuth and equatorial. Altazimuth mounts have moving parts, which can cause vibrations and tracking errors. Equatorial mounts move an object around, allowing the viewer to pan and scan.
- The field of view (FOV): The larger the FOV, the wider your field of view.
- The weight: A heavy telescope can be difficult to handle, and if a telescope is too heavy, you’ll be less likely to bring it along.
If you’ve just moved into your first apartment, or even if you’re just looking for a gift for a camper, I highly recommend checking out what telescopes under $200 have to offer. They’re great for beginners and will provide hours of entertainment. If you’re looking to invest in something a little more advanced, check out my top-rated telescopes that are on the market right now. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!
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