If you’re here just to find the best telescope and really can’t afford to take the time to read the excellent reviews and buying advice prepared by our researchers, this short paragraph will highlight all the vital information. To help consumers find the best telescope on the market, our team of researchers have carefully looked over actual user feedback and compared this with the overall brand quality of the products for sale at online sellers, as well as the social media activity for each individual product. We are glad to report that out of all the products we have scrutinized thoroughly, it is the Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker that has gotten our thumbs up. Opening up the wonders of the universe, the Celestron PowerSeeker is expertly engineered for astrophotography. Image clarity and brightness are guaranteed with its fully-coated glass optic components that boast high transmission coatings. This model offers the perfect tool for beginners, with its erect image optics designed for astronomical and terrestrial use along with the 3X Barlow lens that enables each eyepiece to have three times their magnifying power. Enjoy the Level 1 The Sky planetarium software with enhanced images and a 10,000-object database. Should the Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker be difficult to find at your favorite online seller sites, we don’t hesitate to recommend the second best telescope especially for kids, the Celestron 21061 AstroMaster.
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Never has there been a more exciting time to practice being an amateur astronomer than the present, thanks to the vast array of telescopes and accessories that are on the market. Whether you’re just about to purchase your very first telescope or getting a second unit, this buying guide has been created to help narrow down the options for you. In the midst of the bewildering variety of products, these are the important aspects to consider.
Telescopes are of three primary types namely, refractor, reflector and compound or catadioptric. A refracting telescope bends light using a carefully constructed system at one end of which is a convex objective lens with an eyepiece making up the other end. When buying a refractor, make sure nothing hinders the passage of the light through the lens so image contrast is better. Perfect for viewing planets as well as double stars, refracting telescopes offer high contrast to ensure exceptional resolution of small details. A refractor boasts low maintenance, with lenses that do not require recoating unlike mirrors that do. In addition, the lens typically requires no collimation or adjustment since it will not get misaligned.
A reflecting telescope will show no excess color, so you can view even the brightest objects without seeing color fringes around them. This type uses a concave mirror and no objective lens. Less expensive compared to other types, a reflector does not have a sealed tube such as what is in refractors, so one end is open. A cone of light is sent up by the mirror or primary through the tube. The light gets intercepted by a small flat mirror or the secondary and is then sent to the eyepiece on the other end. Reflectors are quite sensitive to bumping and jostling during transport, so they require collimation.
A catadioptric or compound telescope both reflects and refracts light. To produce images, it uses a combination of lenses and mirrors. Boasting the most compact design, a catadioptric telescope is typically marketed as a complete system. Most models carry the Schmidt-Cassegrain design, in which light is allowed through the corrector and is reflected off the primary, after which it is reflected off a curved secondary and then is finally let through a hole in the main mirror prior to reaching the eyepiece. Compact in design, a catadioptric telescope is an ideal grab-and-go instrument with a closed tube. Manufacturers of the most popular compound units install filtered cooling vents located behind the primary to speed cooling of the closed tube when adjusting to the outside temperature.
Aperture over Magnification
The uninitiated can easily fall prey to manufacturer claims of high magnification. This pointless ‘power happiness’ maximizes a common misconception in even the cheapest telescopes. Claims of 500X and 600X magnification are downright preposterous and are used to highlight eyepiece differences. A telescope will indeed give you sky-high magnification but an increased image size will entail getting hazy and extremely unclear details or even no clear details at all. The result is an enlarged and impossibly fuzzy image with an unbalanced and defective design that will be difficult to maintain in the field of view of the instrument.
What is more important is the aperture, or the ability of the telescope to gather light. The aperture size refers to the diameter of the instrument’s light-gathering mirror or lens. If you combine low magnification with a large aperture in a scope, you get an object that looks a bit smaller in the eyepiece, which ensures far better image quality with a lot more detail. Instead of pushing a small scope to its maximum magnification level, you are better off using a scope with a moderate magnification and large aperture.
As a rule, the top useful magnification you want would be twice the aperture of the telescope in millimeters or 50 times the aperture in inches, which is ideal when you have unusually steady night air and the perfect optics to boot. Thus, you shouldn’t have to push a high-quality 4-inch telescope to go over 200X. With good optics, even a small instrument can allow you to view Jupiter’s principal cloud belts or Saturn’s rings even on just 75X magnification.
Mounts, Drives and the Right Accessories
You need a stable mount for the instrument to deliver quality images. An overly light mount may not be able to stand even the wind, making images bounce during focusing. The simplest type of mount is the alt-azimuth model, which moves left and right (azimuth) and up and down (altitude). An equatorial mount has a weight-driven clock drive that enables the scope to follow the same rate of movement to match the spin of the planet, thus enabling the instrument to follow the stars as they move across the sky. Many of today’s equatorial mounts use a motor to drive them.
A Dobsonian mount, the least expensive among all telescope mounts, has the tube sitting loosely on it to enable easy carrying of the two parts, which is perfect for really large telescopes. The go-to mount is a more recent innovation, with motors attached to both the azimuth and altitude axes. The motors are also interlinked with an onboard computer so you can do more accurate tracking of the heavenly body under observation. Once an object is located by the drive, the component follows the celestial target as it moves through the sky without the need to move the telescope itself. Plenty of go-to scopes now come with large databases featuring thousands of celestial objects.
Some accessories you will find useful include a finder scope, lights (ideally, red ones), power supplies, star diagonals, binocular tripod adapters, star charts, camera adapters, and astronomical filters including color, light pollution reduction and moon or neutral density filters.
Top rated telescopes in 2017
There are plenty of telescope manufacturers and models to choose from. We present the following products considered to be the best telescope models on the market.
If you want to look closely at the night sky you need a powerful telescope to give you nice images. One good telescope is the Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker which has the necessary features to make the night sky come to life. The 3x Borrow lens, 127 mm aperture and 1000 mm focal length ensure that the images which it produces are of high quality. You also get an aluminum tripod and accessory tray included so the telescope comes in a complete package. These qualitis make the 127EQ PowerSeeker a very good choice for an astronomy enthusiast.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($142)
Whether you are an astronomy enthusist or just like looking closely at the stars and planets of the night sky, the Celestron 21061 Telescope can help you in this matter. The set-up is very easy and you don`t even need a special type of tools for it. It has erect image optics that are perfect for both terrestrial and astromical use. Pointing it is simple too because of the pan handle and Alt-Az control that has also a clutch. So many benefits for such an affordable telescope, making it a perfect purchase if you are in to these sort of things.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($122.55)
Professional astronomers and technicians consider the Celestron Powerseeker 50 refractor model as one of the best telescopes in 2017, known for its efficiency and ability to observe the sky with attention. The Celestron Powerseeker has a professional and compact optical design refractor with an aperture of 50 mm, focal length of 600 mm, F-number 12 and a finderscope of 5 x 24 which is more than enough to map out the sky without dealing with any kind of problems. The Celestron Powerseeker telescope is a great instrument for watching the universe with its stars, planets and other celestial bodies even though you are just starting out.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($48.97)
One of the best telescopes in 2017 is the Celestron 21036 Powerseeker 70AZ model, renowned for its characteristics capable of helping the user watch the sky with ease and clarity. The package contains the Alt-Azimuth mount with customizable tripod, different kinds of eyepieces, a pro efficient 3x Barlow lens and also a solid 5 power cross hair finder scope which is more than enough to start your celestial journey. With the 20mm eyepiece you will enjoy detailed magnification of 35x, thus seeing up to five times better then regular binoculars. Furthermore, the model is light, portable and thus you can take it with you on camping trips or hiking.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($74.15)
The Barska 40070 Starwatcher is ideal for amateur astronomers, allowing them to follow the stars or planets with ease every time there is a cosmic event going on. This 300-power telescope is equipped with coated glass optics that provide increased image brightness and interchangeable eyepieces with 3 x Barlow lenses which enhances the viewing power. The Barska comes with the Deepsky Astronomy software that allows the user to search in a database of more than 10.000 objects which include nebulae, double-stars, stars and planets. This is the reason why the present top rated telescopes reviews underline the efficiency of the Barska 40070 Starwatcher.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($68.81)
The Meade 20218 NG-70SM model is one of the best telescopes in 2017 currently available on the market, ideal for people who want to observe the sky in-depth. This refracting telescope is perfect for sky, land or animal viewing, allowing a detailed perception of the objects. The Meade 20218 NG-70SM has slow motion controls on both axes and permits the user to track down with ease various objects that might be of interest. Furthermore, the telescope also includes a red dot projection viewfinder which makes it very easy for you to map out the sky in great detail.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79.95)
Many of the current top rated telescopes reviews underline the efficiency of Tasco 49TN refractor telescope & microscope, a product which is ideal for young observers who love to decipher the mysteries of the Universe or simply watch birds with more detail. The Tasco 49TN has 50 x 50mm table telescope and a powerful 900x microscope which allows for deep and detailed observation of the world around and also beyond the horizon. This 19-piece microscope kit also includes assorted examination slides, sample slides and many other preparation tools.
Click to see the price on Amazon!