We humans have been looking up at the sky for as long as history can tell us. Not only because the sky is really beautiful to look at, but also because of the immense wonders that it holds. Astronomy can be a really fun hobby, but many people who live in cities aren’t able to indulge in this hobby thanks to excessive light pollution. Today, we’re going to be looking at the best telescope for city viewing.
One would think that using a telescope to look at the stars or even to view a city’s skyline would be quite easy. High rise buildings provide the perfect place to set up your telescope and look at the world around you. While there are plenty of vantage points in a city, there’s also a lot of light. Light sources in the city wash out the light that comes from the stars and celestial bodies. This results in these fainter sources of light being washed out by stronger ones. This is the biggest obstacle that city-based astronomers have to deal with.
City viewing can be broken down into two categories; terrestrial viewing and extra-terrestrial viewing. The former is quite easy to do in the city since there’s an ample amount of light. All you need is a decent telescope, and you’re good to go. However, this same light becomes a problem when you point your lens towards the sky. Fortunately, certain telescopes have what it takes to view the night sky. These models are capable of viewing celestial object in areas polluted with light. Telescopes such as these will be the focus of our guide.
There’s a lot more to astronomical telescopes than you might think. If you’re new to the world of astronomy, then you may want to learn a bit about astronomical telescopes at first. One of our previous articles discusses telescopes in great depth.
What to Look For in a City Viewing Telescope
Telescopes that are used for astronomical purposes tend to be bulky. They usually come with a bipod on which they are placed when being used. Their size and bulk make space an issue. People who live in apartments or have limited space may have a hard time finding places to set up their telescope. This is why you need to keep the amount of space that you have available in mind when selecting a telescope.
The focal length matters as well. Larger lenses can capture light more effectively. This means that for city viewing, you want a telescope with a larger focal length.
When it comes to city viewing, the size of your telescope is important. However, there are some smaller details that matter as well. One of them being your eyepiece. An eyepiece with a proper eyecup makes sure that there isn’t any light interfering with your vision as you look into the telescope. Some telescopes come with eyepieces while others can be fitted with store bought ones. Speaking of store-bought add-ons, you can also consider buying a Light-Pollution reduction Filter (LPR). These filters can be attached to a telescope’s viewing lens. As their name suggests, they reduce light pollution and make fainter light sources more visible. However, keep in mind that LPRs can’t increase the brightness of far off objects. You cannot expect them to improve your viewing experience significantly.
Now let’s take a look at some great telescopes for looking at the night sky in the city.
Best Telescopes For City Viewing
Levenhuk Strike 80 NG
Orion StarMax 90mm
Orion Observer 80ST 80mm Equatorial Refractor
Celestron 70mm Travel Scope
Let's go through the 4 best telescopes for city viewing that you can buy right now.
These are some of the best telescopes that you have for viewing the night sky in a city environment. Keep in mind that there are much more powerful telescopes out there that can perform amazingly well in light polluted areas. However, these telescopes are bulky and expensive. Their size makes them impractical for regular use in city environments.