Your Telescope gets you from Earth to the Stars with a lens

Do you love looking at the stars? Telescopes let you get an up-close and personal view of the night sky, and they’re a great way to explore new galaxies and planets! 

If you’re thinking about buying one, here’s everything you need to know to make the right decision for your needs.

Watch the Moon without leaving Earth
Watch the Moon without leaving Earth.

What are the best telescopes for sale?

Sale
Telescope 80mm Aperture 600mm - Astronomical Portable Refracting Telescope Fully Multi-coated High Transmission Coatings AZ Mount with Tripod Phone Adapter, Wireless Control, Carrying Bag. Easy Set Up
  • Excellent Quality Optics: This telescope is 600mm(f/6.7) focal length and 80mm aperture, 80mm aperture to capture more light picture and multi-fully high transmission coated all-optical lens enhance image brightness and clarity. 18
  • Optimum Magnification: Our telescope for kids and adults is quipped with two replaceable excellent-quality eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) for 24X and 60X magnification. 3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece. magnificate moon up to 72 or 180 times. Also with 5x24 finder scope makes locating objects easy.
Sale
Telescope 70mm Aperture 500mm - for Kids & Adults Astronomical refracting Portable Telescopes AZ Mount Fully Multi-Coated Optics, with Tripod Phone Adapter, Wireless Remote, Carrying Bag
  • Excellent Quality Optics: Astronomical telescope features 500mm(f/7.1) focal length and 70mm aperture, provides stunning views and protects your eyes.18
  • High Magnification: Our telescope for kids and adults is quipped with two excellent-quality eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) and a 3x Barlow lens.it trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece. Also with 5x24 finderscope makes locating objects easily.
Sale
Telescope 80mm Aperture 600mm - for Beginners & Adults Astronomical Refracting Telescopes AZ Mount Tripod Fully Multi-Coated Optics 24X-180X High Magnification, with Wireless Control, Carrying Bag
  • 80mm Large Objective Lens: This telescope is an 80mm aperture and 600mm(f/6.7) focal length. 80mm aperture to capture more light pictures and multi-fully high transmission coated all-optical lens. Reduce the reflection of light, Enhance image brightness and clarity.
  • Powerful eyepieces Optimum Magnification: Our telescope for adults & 8-12 kids & astronomy beginners is quipped with two replaceable excellent-quality eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) for 24X and 60X magnification. 3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece. Magnificate moon up to 72 or 180 times. Also with 5x24 finder scope makes locating objects easy.
Sale
Telescope for Adults & Kids, 70mm Aperture Refractor Telescopes (15X-150X) for Astronomy Beginners, Portable Travel Telescope with Phone Adapter & Wireless Remote, Astronomy Gifts for Kids
  • 【Great Telescope for Kids& Beginners!】 The telescope meets all the needs of astronomy beginners, the adults & kids’ astronomical journey begins from here! Equipped with 3X Barlow len and two eyepieces, H20mm and H6mm, you can get magnification of 15X to 150X. This is a great telescope for adults astronomy beginners.Whether it's viewing planets and stars, our telescope is the best helper for adults & kids.
  • 【70mm Large Aperture】The telescope equipped with 70mm aperture and 300mm focal length, which provide more lights and clearer images, even beginners can get clear images. The bigger the aperture, the bigger the field of vision, and the clearer the image.
Celestron - NexStar 8SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+ Celestial Objects - 8-Inch Primary Mirror
  • Nexstar computerized telescope: The NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers.
  • 8-Inch aperture: The 8-inch primary mirror in this Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for adults and kids to be used together packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that our Solar System has to offer, while retaining a compact form factor. Compatible with starsense technology, Wifi
Sale
ABOTEC Telescope for Adults Astronomy, 90mm Aperture 800mm Refractor Telescopes for Kids & Beginners, (32X-400X) Multi-Coated High Transmission Telescope with Carry Bag & Phone Mount &Wireless Control
  • 【90mm Multi-Coated Optical Lens】The telescope aperture is 90mm and the optical objective lens is fully multi-coated, which can enhance the brightness and clarity of image. Large aperture can collect more light and multi-coated high transmission objective lens can reduce light refract, allowing your eyes to get more light and you will see the images are clearer and brighter. Great telescopes for adults astronomy & kids 8-12 & beginners.
  • 【32X-400X High Magnification】Our telescopes for adults astronomy are equipped with 3 eyepieces(K25mm / K10mm / K6mm)and a 3x Barlow lens. The telescope focal length is 800mm, so you can get 32X-400X high magnification, This magnification is enough to allow you to see the craters of the moon, Saturn and Jupiter. The telescope for adults has the 5x24 finder scope, which cross-hair lines inside makes locating objects easy.
Celestron - NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope - Compact and Portable - Newtonian Reflector Optical Design - SkyAlign Technology - Computerized Hand Control - 130mm Aperture
  • COMPUTERIZED STAR LOCATING TELESCOPE: The Celestron NexStar 130SLT offers a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more. Simply choose an object and the telescope finds it for you in the night sky and tracks it as it moves.
  • NEWTONIAN REFLECTOR OPTICAL DESIGN: With a large, 130mm aperture, the NexStar 130SLT can gather enough light to see our Solar System and beyond. View Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud bands, the Moon's craters, and the Orion Nebula in brilliant detail.
Sale
Gskyer Telescope, 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Astronomical Refracting Telescope for Kids Beginners - Travel Telescope with Carry Bag, Phone Adapter and Wireless Remote
  • Large Aperture: A great option for amateur astronomers who want to explore the night sky. With a focal length of 400mm(f/5.7) and an aperture of 70mm, it can provide clear and detailed images of celestial objects such as stars and the moon.
  • Quality Optics: The fully coated optics glass lens with high transmission coatings can help to reduce reflections and increase the amount of light that reaches the eyepiece, resulting in brighter and more vibrant images. Additionally, the lens is designed to protect the eyes of the observer, making it a safer choice for extended viewing sessions.
Sale
ToyerBee Telescope, 70mm telescopes for Adults Astronomy & Kids & Beginners, 300mm Portable Refractor Travel Telescope (15X-150X) with A Smartphone Adapter& A Wireless Remote, Astronomy Gifts for Kids
  • High Magnification: The telescope equipped with 2 eyepieces(H20mm and H6mm) and a 3X Barlow lens. The 3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece, so kids can get magnification from 15X to 150X. Whether it's viewing planets or moon, our telescope is the best helper for adults & kids. It’s a great telescope for adults & kids 8-12 & astronomy beginners.
  • 70mm Large Aperture: The refractor telescope is equipped with a large 70mm objective lens and the lens is fully coated with high transmission coatings. The high transmission optics lens can increase light transmittance and reduce the reflection of light. The bigger the aperture is, the bigger the field of vision will be, so you can see the clearer and brighter images. Professional astromomy telescope can help adults & 8-12 kids view the planets and stars more easily.
Sale
Telescope for Adults & Kids, HOROX 70mm Aperture 400mm Refractor Telescope for Astronomy Beginners, Fully Multi Coated Optics w. Pro Tripod & Phone Adapter, Portable Telescopes Backpack,Cool Tech Gift
  • COOLEST MOON WATCHING GEAR, EVER: This astronomical telescope built with premium fully multi-coated large 70mm diameter glass objective lens & 400mm focal length, ensuring BEST IN CLASS stunning moon image with JUST RIGHT brightness & magnifications. Be amazed with a telescope born to discover the moon and universe.
  • EASY TO INSTALL, FOCUS & USE: Equipped with professional grade aluminum tripod, offering superior stable watching experience with highly adjustable heights between 20 to 54 inches for both Adults and Kids. Also comes with the well organized, straight forward user manual PLUS setup tutorial video online to ensure an exceptional smooth installation experience.

Types of Telescopes

There have been telescopes since the 1600s, so needless to say they have evolved quite a lot. Nowadays, you find three main types of telescopes that are widely used. 

Refracting – Light creating an image

These are for beginners. It collects light and focuses it on one point. This telescope was invented over 400 years ago and is still the simplest type.

Get a telescope with all you need to get started
A refracting telescope.

How Does refracting telescopes work?

A refracting type of telescope uses light to show an image. The bending of the light creates the image. This type is best for photographing stars or other things you can’t see with your naked eye.

Some cheaper microscopes might have color fringing that is visible at high magnifications. This is not a big problem anymore because there are two types of modern telescopes that solve this issue – the achromatic and apochromatic.

Reflecting – Mirrors that reflect light and create an image

This type uses mirrors to reflect light. This makes the light go into another mirror. The result is shown at the top of the telescope.

Reflective Telescope
Reflective Telescope.

How Does reflecting telescopes work?

This type is different from others because the image is upside down. You can fix this problem by using the finder on the scope.

It comes built-in to most modern reflecting types, but if yours does not have it, you will need to buy an additional piece for your telescope.

Catadioptric – These are both Refracting and Reflecting

You can have a telescope either with lenses or only mirrors. Catadioptric has both. These are famous for being small and compact compared to the other two types. 

There are many kinds of catadioptric telescopes, including Schmidt-Cassegrains, and Maksutov-Cassegrains. The kind you should use for seeing planets is the one that can capture things very close up as professionals do.

Catadioptric Telescope
Catadioptric Telescope.

What to Look for When Buying A Telescope?

Telescopes are not cheap, which is why you need to do proper research and find the best ones for the value you’re paying.

However, remember there is no perfect type as they all have different features, so you simply have to find the ones that work the best for your budget, lifestyle, and needs.

The Aperture determines how clear the image is

This has to be the most important feature. Aperture is the diameter or size of the light-gathering lens or mirror. The bigger the aperture, the better, as then it can collect more light which results in a clearer image.

There are a lot of other factors to consider, such as the bigger the aperture, the more costly it will be. Also, it will be bigger in size so it will not be as easy to travel with.

Even with a very good aperture, the location matters a lot. 

A dark night will yield better results than a very lit city with the same aperture.

Aperture of a telescope
Aperture of a telescope.

The Focal Length and Focal Ratio impacts the magnification of the telescope

Focal length is simply the distance at which the image that gathers comes into focus. It is also known as the magnification of a telescope. The focal ratio is the telescope’s light-gathering ability.

The focal length determines how far away you will be able to see by using it. Generally, the more the focal length, the longer your telescope gets. 

Focal length of a telescope
Focal length of a telescope.

The Mount must be steady

This is often ignored and under-appreciated, but it is important. If your mount is not steady, you will not be able to view the stars.

In fact, the mount needs to be much more stable than a simple tripod used for taking pictures. There are three basic types of mounts to choose from.

Telscope mount
Telescope mount.

“Alt-az” Mount

It manually requires you to move the mount up and down, left and right. 

Equatorial Mount 

This can track celestial objects by turning on a single axis but it needs to be aligned properly towards Polaris, the North Star. These are much more complicated to use.

“Go-to” Mounts

These are the more modern types and can move around the sky with the push of a single button on the hand control. 

How to take care and give maintenance to your telescope?

Although most modern telescopes don’t require much cleaning, they can still get dirty, especially if moved around a lot. Moreover, to make sure that it lasts the longest; you have to take proper care of it.

Storage

The telescope should be kept in a clean place that resembles the outside temperature the most, decreasing the cooling or heating time when set up outside.

Another way to store it properly is to cover the lens after each use and ensure that it is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold.

Cleaning

You should use a camel hair brush to clean the dust, which softly removes all the loose dust. A compressed-air can work well as long as it doesn’t damage the lens.

Next, you need an optical tissue with a lens-cleaning solution to clean the rest of the lens. 

Alignment

Not all telescopes need it, only the reflecting type needs it the most and occasionally catadioptric type may need it as well.

How Do Telescopes Work?

How do telescopes work? | Earth Lab.

Most telescopes work by using glass to look at planets, stars, and other far-away objects. There are two main parts to it. 

The first one is the objective lens or primary mirror, which collects lots of light from far objects and brings it into focus.

Next is the eyepiece lens, which takes the light from the focus of the object and magnifies it so that it can take a large place on your retina. This is how it works in simple terms.  

Following this logic, the bigger the mirror is, the more light it gathers, so the brighter and more in focus the resulting image is.

The mirrors and lenses need to be of perfect shape, clarity, and in a perfect place to make this phenomenon work.

How does the James Webb Space Telescope Work?

How to Use a Telescope (Especially if you are a beginner)?

Telescopes are pretty easy to use if you can place them properly and understand how they basically work. 

Firstly, you have to find the perfect place to mount it. Ideally, it should be in a high place with minimal lights. Then you have to select the mount. 

After this, the eyepiece is the most important object. It will help you focus and see the object of desire. Always start with a low-power eyepiece to find the target and then find the best comfortable view for you.

What are the Best Brands for Telescopes?

Some brands have made a name for themselves for a reason, so here are top five of them that you should choose for your next purchase.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly beginners telescope, you may want to check the Gskyer telescope AZ70400, which is one of the best selling models because of all the features it has and how affordable it is.

Orion GoScope 80 

This is beginner-friendly and comes already assembled. It is a refracting type that has an aperture of 80 mm.  

Sale
Orion 52596 Goscope 80mm Backpack Refractor Telescope
  • Complete telescope system neatly organized in a padded backpack for on-the-go visual adventures
  • A versatile telescope ideal for daytime scenic viewing or casual nighttime stargazing and moon watching

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ 

A fan of astrophotography will find this reflection type of telescope very useful. It is easy to set up and has an aperture of 114 mm.

Celestron – StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ Smartphone App-Enabled Telescope – Works with StarSense App to Help You Find Stars, Planets & More – 114mm Newtonian Reflector – iPhone/Android Compatible
  • 114mm Newtonian reflector optical tube - 25mm 1.25 " Kellner Eyepiece - 10mm 1.25 " Kellner Eyepiece - 2x Barlow Lens - StarSense Smartphone dock - - Red Dot Finderscope - Altazimuth mount with slow motion control rod - Full Height Tripod - Accessory Tray - Original Box
  • Unleash the power of your smartphone to take you on a guided tour of the night sky no telescope experience required.

Another interesting model is the Celestron travel scope 70 which is very popular among telescopes users. This model is great for beginners and budget-friendly as well.

Unistellar eVscope eQuinox 

This one is another reflecting type of telescope that is super smart and captures objects in stunning detail. It is expensive and has an aperture of 114 mml.

Sale
Unistellar eVscope eQuinox - Smart Digital Reflector Telescope - Computerized, Go to Portable Astronomy for Beginners & Advanced Users, Adults or Kids - Comes with Tripod, Alt-Az Mount and Control App
  • Unistellar eQuinox Digital Telescope: With the eVscope eQuinox, you can enjoy the beauty of deep space, protect the planet against near-earth asteroids, conduct hands-on science, and so much more
  • Enhanced Vision: 100x more powerful than a regular telescope. Technology that allows a live observation of faint objects thanks to the live accumulation of the light we receive from them

Vaonis Stellina Observation Station & Hybrid Telescope 

This is a very compact and beautiful one that uses refraction and has an aperture of 80 mm. It is very easy to use, and hence, perfect for beginners. 

FAQs for telescope beginners

Q. What is the difference between a telescope and a binocular?

A binocular is an instrument consisting of two telescopes, which are designed to be held with both hands, whereas a telescope is one single telescope.

Binoculars are frequently used for activities such as bird watching and hiking, whereas telescopes are frequently used for activities such as stargazing.

Q. Is a telescope expensive?

Telescopes vary in price, ranging from inexpensive ones that may cost less than $100 to extremely expensive ones that may cost more than $1000.

Conclusion: Telescopes are cool gadgets everybody should try

We’ve given you everything you need to know about telescopes in this post. We hope that this knowledge will help you when buying one!

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