So, you have finally decide to jump in and grab a telescope. Observing the sky can be a very enlightening experience. But you need to have the right equipment to get the best view possible. There are a lot of telescopes and astronomy equipment on the market today. It can be very difficult for non-experienced users to determine the best telescope that truly meets their needs and expectations. This article will attempt to clarify most of the confusion that you may encounter when shopping for telescopes. It highlights the major things to look for in your desired telescope. Telescope reviews are also provided for a number of carefully selected products.
Types of Telescopes
Refractor Telescopes: These are mostly commonly used as home telescopes. An objective lens is used to gather light. This light is then focused at the eyepiece. You can get very high quality imaging using these professional telescopes. More affordable eyepieces are typically used for these telescopes due to their long focal lengths. Overall, they are great value for the money if you intend to use them at home.
Reflecting Telescopes: Unlike refractor telescopes, in this type, the light from the tube is received by concave mirrors, which send it off to a secondary mirror, which, in turn, direct it to the eyepiece. A reflecting telescope is easy to set up and cost-effective. Thanks to their short focal length, these telescopes are usually compact and highly portable. They are a good choice for the amateur sky observer.
Smart Scope Telescopes: All the other telescope types mentioned here offer some sort of a smart telescope. These telescopes have built-in computers that are smart enough to locate objects for you to observe. They are great for beginner sky observers and veteran astronomers as well.
Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes (SCT): An SCT is a compact telescope in which mirrors and lenses are used together in one tube. They are growing more popular due their use of computation and the wide array of accessories they have.
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Telescope
If you are willing to invest money in a quality telescope, you should consider this Celestron telescope. It is a high-end product that is fairly expensive. This all-round telescope is truly powerful, highly portable and easy to use. You will get unmatched optical quality using this machine. Some astounding features of this device include the SkyAlign System and CPC GPS. You will enjoy an unforgettable experience viewing the sky with this telescope.
Orion StarBlast 6i
The Orion StarBlast is one of the best telescopes on the market. With this tabletop telescope, you will have access to a computerized object locator which can come very handy if you are a beginner. This object locator relies on a database that includes information on some 14,000 astral objects. Equipped with high quality lenses, the StarBlast 6i offers impressive imaging quality. You will have accurate viewing even for distant objects thanks to the 750mm focal length of this device.
Orion 27194 XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
Another amazing telescope that is great for both amateurs and veterans is the Classic Dobsonian. With an 8” aperture, it can draw in more light and thus provide better viewing of galactic structures. These details are not reachable using similar telescopes in the same price range. It features a Sirius Plossl 25mm eyepiece. The EZ Finder II is also included along with a snap-on dust cover. This impressive instrument is designed for ease of use and performance. Astronomy Magazine described it as “a work of art”.
Celestron NexStar 127 SLT
The NextStar is a comparatively expensive telescope. Some reviewers consider it the best telescope for beginners. The NextStar 127 SLT makes locating celestial objects a lot easier thanks its computerized operation mode. Many aspiring astronomers wind up abandoning their path in astronomy because they find extremely difficult to locate celestial objects in the sky based on their sky maps. The computerized telescope saves the beginner astronomer a lot of effort and gets their up on their feet. This telescope is a great value for the money. It strikes a balance between quality and cost. Overall, Celestron telescopes are renowned for their high quality.
Celestron 76LCM Computerized Telescope
The Celestron 76LCM Computerized Telescope ranks as one of the best telescopes for amateur astonomers. The 76mm aperture of this device delivers stunning views of the sky and astral objects. In your package, you will find everything you need included except the 8 AA batteries. There will be high and low power eyepieces and a red dot finder. One outstanding feature of this telescope is its altazimuth mount. With the use of Celestron’s SkyAlign techonology, it makes observing astral objects an enjoyable and memorable experience.
SmartStar R80 Computerized Refractor Telescope
SmartStar R80 telescope comes equipped with computerized Alt-Azimuth mount. A greater degree of precision in astronomical tracking is provided thanks to the 9-speed drive system of this device. The 80mm length is another notable feature of SmartStar R80. Intuitive and easy to use controlling is insured with the use of the GoToNova hand controller. An aluminum tripod is included in the package for optimum placement of the telescope. The medium and high power eyepieces provides further control over the viewing experience.
Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ is an upgrade from the 70AZ version. The quality of the telescope was greatly improved. Most parts are now made of metal to ensure durability and sturdiness. The equatorial mount of the PowerSeeker 70EQ permits slow-motion controls by the user. Selling at a very affordable price, this device features decent optics and includes all the necessary accessories for astronomical observation. Thanks to its detachable parts, the 70EQ is highly portable and easy to carry around as you travel.
Orion SkyQuest XT8
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 is one of the most expensive telescopes on this list. But it is also one of the top rated telescopes by customers. It can be used by hobbyists and professional astronomers alike. The image quality you get with this device is comparable to that of professional telescopes. The Orion 8945 is an ideal choice for stargazers at all levels. It is common for beginner astronomers to start with a scope in the lower range and then switch to a more sophisticated one as their skills improve. The XT8, however, is not the kind of telescope that you would abandon after year of use or so. For capturing videos and photography, a camera can be attached using an additional piece which you need to buy.
Included in the package is the Starry Night astronomy software. Beginner users will find it very useful to use. Veterans have little to no use for it. The overall weight of this scope is around 40 pounds. The Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 is a great product for the money for the passionate stargazer. If you want a telescope that provides for your growing astronomy skills, we highly recommend the SkyQuest XT8.