The Best Telescope Under 500 Dollars in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

Everett Ferris
  Feb 4, 2023 1:33 PM

If you're looking to buy a telescope for yourself, you're probably overwhelmed with all the options. So, we've put together this list of the Top 10 Best Telescopes Under $500 for you to consider. We've also included some recommended accessories for each telescope that will help you enjoy your viewing experience even more.

The telescope is a device that allows the user to see objects and details in the universe. Telescopes are used for celestial bodies and terrestrial applications such as viewing the night sky, studying the stars, and watching the planets. 

In this article, we are going to talk about The Best Telescopes under 500 dollars in 2023. After all, there are so many different types of telescopes to choose from! We'll look at some of the most important considerations when shopping for a telescope so you can make the right choice.

Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

HOW WE PICKED & TESTED TO FIND THE BEST TELESCOPES UNDER 500 DOLLARS

When it comes to picking the Best Telescope Under 500 dollars, there are several factors that come into play.

  1. Research: The first step we took to find the best telescope under 500 dollars was to do extensive market research. We looked at a variety of telescopes from different brands, in order to get an idea of what features and options existed for telescopes within that price range. 
  2. Consideration: After researching the available options, we considered what factors would be important for finding the best telescope under 500 dollars, such as magnification power, clarity of view, ease of setup and use, durability, etc.
  3. Shortlisting: We then shortlisted a few telescopes based on our research and considerations that were most likely to provide the highest quality experience within our budget range, while still meeting all of our criteria. 
  4. Testing: Next up, we tested the shortlisted telescopes in real-life scenarios in order to see how they worked under various conditions and environments. This process included taking pictures or videos with each telescope and seeing how far away stars or planets could be seen clearly through them as well as any other specific tests according to particular conditions. 
  5. Grading and Ranking: Finally, after testing each telescope individually, we gave them grades according to their performance in each test and ultimately ranked them from one to ten with 1 being the best telescope under 500 according to our criteria and 10 being the least suitable option for that price range

And the winners (Short-version):

Best Overall Telescope: 

Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic is a great choice for amateur astronomers. Its 6-inch aperture and powerful 1400mm focal length allow users to see objects in the night sky with remarkable clarity. The telescope's Dobsonian design gives it a stable base, making it easy to track celestial objects as they move across the sky. The 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece included in the package provides an impressive 70x magnification, allowing one to see even faint stars and distant galaxies.

Additionally, its light weight of 29 pounds makes it highly portable, allowing you to take your stargazing adventures on the road. All in all, this telescope is a great value for its price and will provide hours of entertainment and exploration for aspiring astronomers of all experience levels.

Features We Like:

  • Telescope can help you see distant objects in space with clarity. 
  • Dobsonian telescope is easy to use and set up. 
  • Look up at the stars and feel like you're a part of something much bigger than yourself. 
  • Experience the joy of learning about something new and exciting.

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Best Value Telescope: 

GEREFEREN Telescope for Astronomy Beginners (16X-120X)

GEREFEREN Telescope for Astronomy Beginners (16X-120X) is the perfect tool for star-gazers of all ages. With a powerful 70mm aperture and 16x-120x magnification, the telescope makes it easy to observe planets, stars, and galaxies from the comfort of your own home or backyard. The telescope’s fully multi-coated optics ensure crystal-clear images and its AZ mount tripod provides superior stability.

This telescope is user-friendly and features simple instructions that make it ideal for beginners as well as experienced astronomers. With its lightweight and portable design, you can take this telescope with you on your next camping trip or just keep it in your home observatory. Whether you’re an astronomy lover or just looking to explore the night sky, the GEREFEREN Telescope will provide hours of fun and discovery.

Features We Like:

  • Get a clear and bright view of the stars.
  • Explore the universe without having to leave your backyard.
  • Stargaze under the blanket of the night sky. 
  • Feel like a kid again, discovering something new every time you use it.

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Best Saving Product: 

Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope

Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope is an ideal choice for amateur astronomers and stargazers who are looking for a high-quality telescope that is both easy to set up and transport. Its compact design makes it perfect for both home use as well as camping trips, allowing you to take your telescope anywhere you go. It features a 130mm parabolic primary mirror that produces bright, crisp images of the night sky.

The simple altazimuth mount allows you to move the telescope with ease while tracking celestial objects and the included two eyepieces provide different magnifications. Furthermore, the Zhumell Z130 is equipped with an adjustable aluminum tripod with a built-in accessory tray for storing eyepieces and other accessories.

Features We Like:

  • 130mm aperture reflector telescope 
  • 900mm focal length 
  • F/6.8 focal ratio 
  • Explore the universe and discover new worlds. 
  • Capture stunning photos of the night sky.

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Details compare table

TOP Choice
1
  • AI Score

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    9.8
  • Brand
    Orion
TOP Choice
2
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    9.7
  • Brand
    GEREFEREN
Most Saving
3
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    9.6
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    Zhumell
4
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    9.4
  • Brand
    Orion
5
  • AI Score

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    9.3
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    Celestron
6
  • AI Score

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    9.2
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    Celestron
7
  • AI Score

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    9.2
  • Brand
    Celestron
8
  • AI Score

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    9.0
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    SVBONY
9
  • AI Score

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    8.9
  • Brand
    Orion
10
  • AI Score

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    8.8
  • Brand
    Celestron

Last update on 2023-02-04 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

BUYING GUIDE WHEN FINDING BEST TELESCOPE UNDER 500

Orion SpaceProbe 130ST EQ Reflector Telescope Kit

When searching to purchase a new telescope, you may be overwhelmed by the vast array of choices available. To make the best decision, it is important to consider several factors.

This buying guide will provide information on what to look for in a telescope under $500, so that you can choose the best for your needs.

  • The first factor to consider is the aperture size. Aperture refers to the diameter of the primary lens or mirror; this determines how much light enters the device and affects its performance. The bigger the aperture, the more light we can collect and thus observe more objects in greater detail. Telescopes with an aperture size less than 70 millimeters (2.75 inches) are generally considered too small to offer meaningful results while those with diameters larger than 150 millimeters (6 inches) tend to exceed $500 in cost. Therefore, when looking for a telescope under 500 dollars, aim for an aperture size between 70mm and 150mm (2.75in – 6in). 
  • Next, decide whether you need a refractor or reflector telescope style. Refractor telescopes use lenses while reflectors employ mirrors. Reflectors offer greater image brightness and clarity compared to refractors but require more maintenance due to their delicate nature and are more expensive as well. If you’re looking for something simpler and don’t mind losing some quality in exchange for convenience then a refractor may be your best bet; otherwise, go with a reflector model. 
  • Mounts are also important when choosing a telescope; this determines how easy or difficult it is to use your scope once set up as well as how steady it stays during observation sessions. Equatorial mounts require precise alignment but allow tracking of celestial objects over long exposures while alt-azimuth mounts are usually easier and less expensive but can wobble slightly if not properly balanced or adjusted correctly. When purchasing a mount for your telescope, focus on stability above all else – it should be able to hold up against wind gusts without budging excessively because even small movements can blur images during long exposure shots due to field rotation effects created by Earth’s rotation around its axis throughout night time hours when observing deep space objects such as galaxies or nebulas. 
  • Finally, consider any extra features you may desire like computerized navigation systems that utilize GPS satellites in order to automatically locate celestial bodies without manual input from user (Go-To), special coatings on optics that reduce chromatic aberrations caused by light entering through different wavelengths inside same optical tube assembly unit (ED/APO/FMC), or camera adapters which allow taking pictures of astronomical events instead of just viewing them through eyepiece lens - these will increase overall price tag but still remain within $500 limit if chosen wisely!  

In summary, when looking for a new telescope under 500 dollars take into account factors such as aperture size, style preference between refractor or reflector designs, mount type selection based on steadiness versus complexity requirements from a user perspective, plus any extra features desired like computerized Go-To systems aided by GPS satellites accuracy or other advanced optics coatings applied onto lenses/mirrors - all these things combined together should help narrow down options towards obtaining perfect fit both budget wise as well as performance level expectations!

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Features We Like

  • Fast, Easy, Convenient Repairs

  • 2 Year No Deductible Coverage

  • 24/7 Expert Tech Support

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FAQS

Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

What are the main features of the best telescope under $500? 

The best telescope under $500 typically has a moderate aperture, usually around 4”-6”, which is large enough to allow for excellent light-gathering capabilities and provide sharp images. It also typically has good quality optical glass with multi-coated lenses with high transmission and will likely have manual slow motion controls for fine-tuning or tracking of celestial objects. Additionally, the best telescopes under $500 often come with accessories like an adjustable tripod and eyepieces, making them more user-friendly and providing greater value. 

What type of telescope should I buy if I am just getting started in astronomy?

If you are just starting out in astronomy and are looking for a telescope under $500, then we recommend going with a refractor telescope or a Dobsonian-style Newtonian reflector telescope. The important features to look for in either type of telescope include an aperture size that is adequately large that it can capture enough light to provide clear images; quality optics with multi-coated lenses; and easy-to-use manual slow-motion controls. 

Are there any accessories I should consider when buying a telescope under $500? 

Absolutely! When considering any telescope purchase (regardless of price), there are some accessories you may want to consider purchasing as well. First off, if your telescope does not come with an adjustable tripod, this is definitely something worth looking into purchasing separately - as having control over your mounting height helps improve your viewing experience immensely. Additionally, different eyepieces that better suit your particular viewing needs can also be beneficial - such as wider field views at lower magnifications or higher magnifications for more detailed observations.  

What type of maintenance do telescopes require? 

Telescopes generally require regular maintenance in order to keep producing clear images and perform optimally while observing the night sky. To keep it functioning properly, it is recommended that you clean its optics whenever necessary (but always make sure you use proper cleaning techniques) as well as check the alignment of its components once in a while to ensure accuracy during observations. Additionally, make sure all connections between parts are secure and tight so that vibrations from wind or nearby objects don't negatively affect their performance.

What is the best Dobsonian telescope under $500?

The best Dobsonian telescope for under $500 is the Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope. It has a 4.5-inch aperture and a 750mm focal length, making it great for viewing planets, nebulae, star clusters, and more. The telescope also features a simple point-and-view design that makes it easy to set up and use, as well as slow-motion controls allowing you to track objects with precision.

Are cheap telescopes worth it?

Whether or not a cheap telescope is worth it depends on what you're looking for. For casual observation of the night sky, a lower-priced telescope may be sufficient. However, if you want to take advantage of advanced features such as magnification and stability, or if you are looking to delve farther into the unseen universe, then a pricier telescope may be the way to go. Just remember that quality often comes at a cost, so if you can afford it, a higher-priced telescope might be your best bet.

What can I see with a cheap telescope?

With a cheap telescope, you can observe amazing celestial sights such as the Moon, planets like Jupiter and Saturn, star clusters, nebulae, and more! Telescopes can also be used to view distant galaxies and explore dark sky areas. Many of these objects will appear as fuzzy patches of light in the night sky.

FINAL THOUGHT

In conclusion, when it comes to the Best Telescopes Under 500 USD, there are a variety of options available to suit all budgets and types of users. The Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope is the best overall telescope for those looking for a quality instrument that provides clear and detailed images. For a more budget-friendly option, the GEREFEREN Telescope for Astronomy Beginners (16X-120X) offers great value for its price point. Finally, if you're looking to save money while still getting an excellent telescope, the Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope offers excellent features and performance at a low price. 

No matter which of these telescopes you choose, all three provide fantastic views of the night sky—so you won't be disappointed with any of them. Each telescope has its own unique capabilities and features that can help give you an even better experience in stargazing or astrophotography. So take your time to research each one and make sure it's the right fit for you!

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