Whether you are an amateur or seasoned astronomer, you know that your telescope is your ticket to the stars. Using a reliable, solidly manufactured device can open up a world of possibilities. Using a less-than-ideal one, however, can have you staring into the abyss.
The best beginner telescope for you will depend on your skill level, age, and expectations. Continue reading more about what telescope could help you shoot for the moon—or at least land amongst the stars.
How to Choose the Best Beginner Telescope
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. There are a handful of things that you need to consider before ordering your next gadget.
We understand that what may be the “best” telescope for some people is not necessarily the best telescope for others. Before placing your order, here are some things that could help you understand what you are looking for:
- Where do you live? Where you live plays an integral role in what you will be able to see. For instance, if you live in an urban area, you probably want a telescope that filters out light pollution.
- What are your expectations? What do you plan on viewing? Stars? Planets? What should your new telescope allow you to see?
- Have you operated telescopes in the past? Of course, you’ll want a beginner-friendly telescope if you’ve never owned one before.
- How often do you plan on using your device? Look for telescopes that are made with high-quality materials and have great warranty plans for long-term use.
- What is your price point? What does your budget look like?
The answers to each of these questions could help you hone your search.
3 Best Beginner Telescopes
Despite the vast differences in telescopes, here are our top three favorite telescopes that will meet most (if not all) of a beginner stargazer’s needs:
The Celestron 70mm Telescope
In the astronomer community, everyone knows that the Celestron NexStar 8 SE is the cream of the crop. Using a touchpad, you can use “StarAlign” to find certain celestial bodies. However, if you’re just starting out, you probably don’t want to commit to spending $1,200 on your new telescope.
You should start out with a simpler model, like the Celestron 70mm Telescope. This product works with StarPortal, an app that allows you to map out stars, moons, and planets in the night sky. Some of our favorite things about this product include:
- Great customer service. Not only can you reach Celestron’s customer support through multiple channels, but certain aspects of your telescope come with a lifetime warranty.
- Easy-to-use parts. You can adjust your telescope’s latitude and longitude coordinates by using the dials. This allows you to map your exact position in the night sky.
- Easy assembly. You will not be overwhelmed with parts when you take this telescope out of the box. It is designed to be built and disassembled virtually anytime, anyplace. You do not need to hassle with small parts or power tools.
The Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope
Just because you don’t have the Hubble Space Telescope in your backyard does not mean that you have to settle for a grainy, low-resolution visual of the planets. The Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope offers:
- Smartphone compatibility. You can use your smartphone in tandem with this device to take pictures of your favorite celestial bodies up close.
- Superior lens. Using a 750mm lens, you can gaze into the outer worlds like never before. Its easy-to-use dials also allow you to zoom in and out as needed.
- Compact and portable. When you’re on the move, you don’t want to be troubled by a heavy telescope. This product is easy to take apart and put back together while also weighing less than 2.6 pounds. You can slide it into your backpack if needed.
One of the best parts about this telescope is that it teaches you to be a better astronomer. You can remove the telescope’s “lid” to see a bird’s-eye view of how the lens work, and learning the science behind telescopes is just one part of your journey into space!
The TELMU Telescope
You want to share pictures of your space adventures with your friends—understandable. The TELMU Telescope not only comes with a convenient carrying case, but it also comes with a smartphone adapter so that you can take pictures and see images up close.
Some of its more notable features include:
- Easy to assemble. You do not need any screwdrivers or drill bits to put it together.
- High magnification features. This includes two replaceable eyepieces.
- Ideal for viewing interstellar objects. Take a closer look at the stars and moon!
It also comes with a two-year warranty. You can rest assured that if your telescope is hurt during transport or does not work as expected, the manufacturer will replace or repair your device.
We could go on and on about how the three products we listed above could enhance your star-gazing experience. However, the best telescope for you will ultimately rest on your own needs and preferences. You can explore what telescope is right for you by searching on Amazon.
Note: When starting your search, you’ll find the Gskyer Telescope is highly rated—if not the highest rated beginner telescope. However, many of its five-star reviews result from recent purchasers taking advantage of the manufacturer’s offer to give out a $15 Amazon gift card in exchange for a good review, so keep that in mind.