A telescope can be a pretty handy tool for a lot of different reasons. It can be a great way to look at the night sky and see things like comets and stars that you might not have been able to see otherwise. Another cool use for telescopes is bird watching. It’s safe to say that a lot of hobbies can be facilitated with the right telescope, it’s just finding the right one can be quite difficult. Listed below is a comparison table of the 10 best telescope, followed by a buying guide and reviews.
Meade Infinity 102mm AZ Refractor Telescope
Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ
Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
Celestron 22150 Omni XLT AZ 102mm Refractor
Orion 9827 AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope
Celestron Omni XLT150 Refractor Telescope
Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope Kit
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT
SkyWatcher S11220 Quattro Imaging Newtonian
One of the most important aspects of your telescope is the aperture. Aperture is a term used to refer to the diameter of the lens that the scope uses to gather light. If you get a telescope with a high aperture, you will be able to see distant objects more clearly, and light will be less likely to mar your view in some way. High aperture telescopes can be quite expensive, but you should still try to get one that has an aperture of at least 70mm.
Another thing you will have to consider is the type of telescope that you are looking to buy. Here are the various types that are available.
Types of Telescopes
This is possibly the most common type of telescope on the open market and is one that you have probably used at some point in your life. A refractor has a lens at the front end of the casing and is generally popular because it is easier to maintain and relatively affordable. That being said, higher aperture models can often be dreadfully expensive and will require slightly more maintenance.
Whereas refractors use a lens at the front end of the tube, reflectors use a mirror that is at the very back end of said tube. If you want a higher aperture model on a budget, then a reflector is going to be your best bet. One thing that you should keep in mind is that reflectors require a fair amount of maintenance. The optical alignment will have to be regularly calibrated, especially if the telescope undergoes rough use. That being said, the alignment process is not overly complicated, and you will quickly get the hang of it.
These telescopes are also often referred to as catadioptric telescopes. They combine the elements of refractors and reflectors to get you a closer look at faraway objects. These kinds of telescopes are usually quite lightweight which makes them perfect for frequent travelers that need something they can carry with them at all times. They require the most maintenance, however, with frequent calibrations being necessary for the optimal functioning of the scope. Unlike with reflectors, the calibration process for compound telescopes is fairly complicated.
One thing you should note is that all of these telescopes basically employ the same mechanism to view far away objects so any type should do if you are a beginner.
Once you have decided on a specific type of telescope, the next step is ascertaining the power or magnification of the scope that you are interested in. This is something that plays an enormous role in how effective said telescope will be at helping you meet your intended goal. Calculating the magnification power of a telescope is quite easy. You need two numbers, that of the focal length as well as the size of the eyepiece. All you need to do is divide the focal length by the length of the eyepiece, and you will have successfully ascertained the magnification power of a certain telescope.
Finally, once all of the previous items have been ascertained, it is time for you to look at one of the most important aspects of a telescope, one that many people often ignore: the mount. In a lot of ways, your telescope can only really be as good as the mount that it is resting on. An unsteady or poor quality mount will make the telescope move far too much to allow you to look at any reasonably far away objects accurately.
Types of Mounts
These are the more versatile kinds of mounts. They give you a lot of control over where you point your telescope and allow side to side motion. In terms of stability, they tend to be far superior to most other kinds of mounts, but it should be noted that they tend to be somewhat expensive and are usually only for people that are serious about using their telescopes. They tend to come with tripods which can help you optimize stability for your scope and get beautiful views of the night sky.
This mount sacrifices a bit of durability for a wider range of motion. You can fix your telescope at a certain angle and subsequently move the scope within a fixed range that would allow you to track objects like shooting stars and quickly flying birds. You would have to calculate the trajectory of these objects in advance, but this kind of mount does give you the ability to apply your mathematics which is a huge bonus for seasoned and experienced astronomers.
This is a variant of the Altitude-Azimuth mount that is a little simpler and a lot more elegant. It is a platform that is usually made of wood. This kind of platform is perfect for people that want to keep their telescope in one place rather than travel with it.
These types of mounts are for the truly dedicated among you. They use a motor to aim the telescope and have built-in computers designed to help you track objects with the highest degree of accuracy. They are the most expensive kinds of mounts and can tack on a hefty additional fee to the original price tag of the telescope that you are using.
All in all, stargazing can be a lot of fun if you have the right kind of telescope. However, even with a buying guide, it can get difficult for you to find something worthwhile since the market is saturated with options that you could potentially end up purchasing. Hence, to make the process even simpler for you, the best telescopes on the market have been reviewed below.
Top 10 Best Telescope Reviews
#10 Meade Infinity 102mm AZ Refractor Telescope
#9 Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ
#8 Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
#7 Celestron 22150 Omni XLT AZ 102mm Refractor (Blue)
#6 Orion 9827 AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
#5 Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope
#4 Celestron Omni XLT150 Refractor Telescope
#3 Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope Kit
#2 Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT
#1 SkyWatcher S11220 Quattro Imaging Newtonian
There you have it! The telescopes that have been mentioned above are going to be pretty hard to beat. There is something in this list for everybody, whether you are a beginner or an expert or someone that wants a telescope to play around with now and then. Now that you are armed with the best telescope you are ready to venture out into the right kinds of areas and take a good, long look at the night sky and all of the gorgeous details it has to offer. Try not to get lost in the stars!