A good telescope is a stargazer’s most precious tool. It gives them a clearer, wider view of the stars, the planets and the galaxies they are interested in. Nowadays we even have some cameras that have a huge optical zoom. For example this one. Anyways, whether you are buying your first telescope or the fifth one, it is always crucial to know what to look for and who makes the best telescopes for viewing stars and planets.
After thorough research and analysis on the best telescopes for viewing stars and planets, we have come to the following conclusion:
“Celestron 20135 70mm Travel Scope is the best telescope for viewing stars with focal length f/5.7 which provides sharp, bright and clear images. For making star watching easier and magnification power-adjustable, it comes with two eyepieces of 20mm and 10mm.”
Why Is Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope Our First Choice?
- Celestron 21035 comes pre-assembled, so you don’t have to go through all the effort of assembling the whole thing from scratch every time you want to use it. Whereas for setting up Orion SkyQuest Xt8 you require around 20 to 30 minutes to assemble all the parts together.
- It is an inexpensive option as compared to other choices in the list. On the other hand, Orion SkyQuest Xt8 is expensive while the other 8 inches Dobsonians in this price range offer more accessories.
- With the lightweight mount and plastic parts, Celestron 21035 is light in weight and portable as compared to other telescopes with metal parts making them heavy to move from one place to another. Orion SkyQuest Xt8 is also a bulky and heavy telescope and you might need a van to carry it with you while traveling.
Why Is Orion SkyQuest Xt8 Runner Up?
Orion SkyQuest Xt8 is one of the top five best telescopes with 48x magnification power, but it lacks few features because of which it has become the runner up.
- Orion SkyQuest Xt8 is an expensive telescope while other 8” Dobsonian telescopes in its price range offer more accessories. On the other hand, Celestron 21035 is an affordable and inexpensive choice.
- This telescope is quite heavy and bulky, so it is not conveniently portable while Celestron 21035 is light in weight because of the plastic parts making it portable and easy to carry. Check here on Amazon.
- For setting up Orion SkyQuest Xt8 you need around 20 to 30 minutes for assembling all parts together before using it while Celestron 21035 comes pre-assembled, so you don’t have to go through all the effort of assembling the whole thing from scratch every time you want to use it.
Why Is Orion SkyQuest Xt8 Still Not A Deal Breaker
- Although the mount of Orion SkyQuest XT8 takes time to adjust, but it has a strong base and CorrecTension springs that provide the required resistance to keep the telescope upright and stable even when you are moving. Whereas Celestron 21035 comes with a plastic mount that is ideal to place only on a flat surface or a table.
- Orion SkyQuest Xt8 comes with an additional 25mm Plossl eyepiece that allows 48x amplification while Celestron 21035 and other telescopes on this list lack this feature.
- With focal length 1200mm and focal ratio f/5.9, this telescope provides clear images of stars and planets as well as help to observe small details as compared to other telescopes of its category.
Brief Review of 5 Best Telescopes in the Market
When you look for telescopes, it is important to know who makes the best telescopes, get to know their specifications and then choose your pick according to your budget.
When it comes to who makes the best telescopes, there are a few well-known brand names in the market that offer a wide range of best telescopes for viewing stars and planets. By the way, this telescope is the largest telescope you can buy. And Meade LX600-ACF 16″ f/8 with StarLock telescope is the most expensive one, its in 16 inches. Amazon only has the one with 12 inches. See here. If you are into cameras then you have to look at this lens, Only 1 left, on Amazon.
Now, you must be wondering who makes the best telescopes? Some of the famous brands who make the best telescopes are Celestron, Orion, and Meade.
Here are the top 5 best telescopes for viewing stars and planets.
1- Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
Celestron is a great name with over 50 years of experience when it comes to brands who make the best telescopes in the market. Their travel scopes are no exception when it comes to the quality, performance, and value for money.
Celestron 20135 70mm Travel Scope is affordable at just under $100. Yet it is one of the best travel scopes available in the market at this price point. It is an excellent choice for beginners as well as intermediate professional astronomers for their on the go traveling needs.
Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope - Portable Refractor Telescope - Fully Coated Glass Optics - Ideal Telescope for Beginners -...
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- SUPERIOR OPTICS: The Celestron 70 millimeter Travel Scope features high quality fully coated glass optics, a potent 70 millimeter objective lens, and user friendly features. Its quality is unmatched in its class and against competitors
- POWERFUL EYEPIECES FOR UP CLOSE VIEWING: This Celestron telescope is equipped with two quality eyepieces (20 millimeter and 10 millimeter ) that provide low power and high power views of celestial objects at night and terrestrial subjects during the day
Celestron 70mm is lightweight and portable. The best part is that it comes pre-assembled so you don’t have to go through the effort of assembling the whole thing from scratch every single time. It is, therefore, very easy to use.
This is a 70mm refractor telescope with 2.76 inches aperture and 40 mm focal length. It has a good focal ratio of f/5.7, which makes for bright, sharp and clear images. This telescope comes with two eyepieces of 10mm and 20mm, so the magnification power is adjustable. This makes star watching easier.
The Sky X software allows you to learn basic astronomy. It is, therefore, very useful and convenient for beginners. This telescope comes with an Altazimuth mount. The mount also is lightweight with plastic finder and focuser, unlike the regular telescopes which are metal and thus quite heavy.
The tripod, however, is quite small and not very robust either, yet, it works perfectly well as a portable telescope because of the lightweight. Moreover, given the small size of the aperture, the performance of this telescope is really good. It comes with a padded case for safe storage when you are traveling.
- Decent eyepieces
- Fits in a backpack easily
- Comes with a padded backpack style case
- Quick and easy setup
- High-quality optical view
- Comes with a Sky X software
- The tripod works well on a flat surface or table, but if you are going out to an observation point, it might not be the best option.
- The plastic parts make it fragile
2- Orion SkyQuest Xt8
Orion is also a great name when it comes to brands who make the best telescopes for viewing stars and planets. The Orion SkyQuest XT8 is one of the most affordable yet good quality telescopes for viewing stars and planets.
Orion SkyQuest XT8 is a Dobsonian telescope with high range reflection technology. With an Alt-Azimuth mount, this telescope is quite user-friendly and easy to set up though you will need a screwdriver and around 20 to 30 minutes to assemble all the parts together.
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- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
- A large aperture Classic Dobsonian reflector telescope at a very affordable price!
- 8" diameter reflector optics lets you view the Moon and planets in close up detail, and has enough light grasp to pull in pleasing views of faint nebulas, galaxies and star clusters
- A perfect Dobsonian telescope that can last a lifetime for the beginning astronomy enthusiast or whole family
However, once you are past this initial assembling, the telescope is very simple and easy to use. The mount has a strong base which keeps the telescope stable and upright even when you are moving it around to adjust to locate the stars and planets.
It has a large diameter of 203mm and 48x magnification power along with a large focal ratio of f/5.9. this allows for clear views along with all the minor details you will love as a stargazer. Whether you are a beginner, a hobbyist or a professional, this is the best telescope for viewing stars and planets.
The tubes move and slide easily making it easy to locate the desired nighttime objects. Moreover, the CorrecTension springs offer the right amount of resistance to keep the telescope upright for stargazing. The only drawback is that this telescope is quite heavy as well as bulky so it is not quite conveniently portable. Setting it up and keeping it in one place is the best idea to use it conveniently.
- 8 inches primary mirror allows easy viewing of various objects
- With focal length 1200mm and focal ratio f/5.9, you get a clear view
- The Dobsonian mount offers a huge level of reliability and stability
- Easy to use
- CorrecTension springs provide excellent resistance to keep the telescope upright
- Heavy or bulky
- The 25mm Plossl eyepiece is not well equipped to observe planets
- Not suitable for advanced users
3- Gskyer Telescope AZ70400 German Technology Travel Reflector
Among the brands who make the best telescopes, Gskyer offers the most affordable and best telescopes for viewing stars and planets. It is lightweight, portable and easy to use. The AZ70400 by Gskyer is an ideal choice for the amateur skywatchers who like to get away with their nighttime journeys.
Gskyer AZ70400 comes with a 70mm aperture along with 400mm focal length and two different eyepieces along with a 3x Barlow lens allowing for adjustable magnification power. The alt-azimuth mount is solid and steady for hassle-free nighttime sky watching.
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- 【Ultra-clear Refracting Telescope】With 400 mm focal length and 70 mm aperture to capture more clear picture and optical glass coated for enhanced image brightness to protect your eyes.
- 【Optimum Magnification】Two replaceable eyepiece(16X, 40X) to enhance the power for this astronomical telescope. 5X24 finderscope with mounting bracket and cross line.
- 【No-tools required】No-tools quick set up and easy find your objects, perfect telescope for kids and astronomy beginners.
Moreover, this telescope is quite easy to assemble. You don’t need any tools or screwdrivers to assemble this telescope. This quick and convenient assembling along with hassle-free, simple use makes it the best telescope for viewing stars and planets.
It is lightweight, portable, easy to use, easy to assemble, offers clear, bright images with lots of minor details visible. All this within the price range of $100. What more you could ask for? Gskyer AZ70400 is definitely the best telescope for viewing stars and planets within a limited budget that is why it made it to our list of top 5 best telescopes in the market.
- Easy to assemble
- 3x Barlow lens with 25mm and 10mm eyepiece for variable levels of magnification
- Powerful Optics
- Require additional lens for viewing larger celestial objects
- Incapable of showing fine details of stars and planets
- The tripod is not stable
4- Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm AZ
There are very many telescopes that fall into 100 dollars price range, yet simply like everything else, but there is one that is extraordinary and within this price range, it is this one. Meade Instruments Infinity 70 mm AZ Refractor Telescope is predominant telescope in this price range and with this much features.
This telescope has an opening of 70mm (2.8 inches), a central length of 700mm, a central apportion of f/10. Upon buying this telescope, one gets an instructional DVD and Astronomical programming, which enables your stargazing to a higher standard.
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- Aperture: 70mm(2.8"). Focal Length: 700mm. Focal Ratio: f/10. Rack-and-Pinion Focuser
- Altazimuth mount with a slow motion control rod for precision tracking means you can easily track objects day or night
- Low (26mm) and high (9mm) magnification eyepieces give you variety for any viewing situation & 2x barlow lens doubles the magnifying power of each eyepiece
- Red dot viewfinder helps you point your scope at objects you want to observe & accessory tray stores accessories while observing
At its cost range, you may probably see farther into space than with different telescopes in the same price range, even though, it was not intended to enable you to see that far away.
It accompanies an Altazimuth stand that has a moderate movement control, which is fantastic and ensures that the view does not skip when endeavoring to move it physically. Along these lines, you can likewise follow the things that you need to follow, in any case in the event that it is day or night.
This telescope has 2 Barlow focal point which dependably you to twofold the amplification intensity all things considered. It has two distinct eyepieces to look over. The low eyepiece is 26mm, and the high eyepiece is 6.3 It gives you a red spot viewfinder, which will enable you to point at the heavenly items that you need to see.
Thusly, you will be capable better see to your craving. Another resource for acquiring this telescope is the way that it really accompanies an adornment plate. This is advantageous in the event that you are watching the stars out and far from any furnishings. It is in reality sufficiently enormous for your telephone and keys.
Another motivation behind why this is such a phenomenal telescope at its cost is the way that you can utilize it around evening time to watch the universe and amid the day to watch things like winged creatures and the sea.
The get together of this specific telescope is exceptionally simple, particularly since it is a refractor telescope. This implies you will never need to stress over adjusting mirrors. You will really have the option to utilize it straight out of the container.
- Easy to set up
- Includes instructional DVD and Astronomical Software
- High (9mm) and low (26mm) magnification eyepieces ensure high-quality images
- 2x Barlow lens doubles the magnifying power of eyepieces
- Durable and strong stainless-steel tripod
- Red dot viewfinder to point at different objects
- Vibrates while focusing at high power
- Tracking celestial objects is difficult because the controls function up, down, left and right.
5- Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Telescope
Celestron, who makes the best telescopes in the market does not disappoint even with this budget-friendly telescope. At just around $200, Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker is a great investment for amateur astronomers allowing them to explore the marvels of the night sky.
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker is the best telescope for viewing stars and planets. It is a Newtonian reflector telescope with 127mm aperture and a choice of two eyepieces along with a 3x Barlow lens, which increases the magnification of each eyepiece further three times.
Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope - Manual German Equatorial Mount - Telescopes for Adults - Compact and Portable - BONUS...
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- PERFECT BEGINNERS TELESCOPE: The Celestron Power Seeker 127EQ is an easy to use and powerful telescope; The Power Seeker series is designed to give the first time telescope user the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power
- MANUAL GERMAN EQUATORIAL MOUNT: Celestron telescopes for adults feature a sturdy mount with large slow motion control knobs so you can track objects smoothly as they move across the night sky
The two eyepieces have a magnification power of 50x and 250x. This makes it the best telescope for amateur as well as professional astronomers and stargazers. The fully coated glass optical elements inside this telescope create bright, sharp and clear images. The large aperture size of 127mm allows greater light gathering for clearer images.
This telescope comes with a solid German Equatorial mount. The mount along with lightweight aluminum tripod stand with a storage tray is easy to assemble. This equatorial mount allows movement in both axes allowing for smooth tracking movement of the telescope when you want to follow a certain star or a comet.
The SkyAlign database allows to locate the desired objects easily and the high focal ratio makes details visible, making nighttime sky watching an enjoyable and fun activity for the whole family.
- Two eyepieces, 20mm and 4mm for better viewing
- 3x Barlow lens ensures that the magnifying power of each eyepiece is tripled
- Portable and compact
- For convenient storage of accessories, there is an accessory tray
- Manual German equatorial mount
- The telescope is quite fragile and requires extra care
- Unclear instructions
- It is a perfect option for professionals, but beginners need to learn how it works before using it
Types of Telescopes for Viewing Stars and Planets
There are three main types of telescopes for viewing stars and planets. One is reflective, the other is refractive and the third one is the combination of the first two, also called a compound telescope. Here is how each type of telescope works.
1. Reflective Telescopes
The reflective telescopes have internal mirrors that capture the image and reflect it on to the telescopic lens. This process is quite simple yet ingenious. This kind is the best telescope for viewing stars and planets.
There is a primary mirror at the end of the cylindrical tube of the telescope. It gathers all the incoming light from the star or planet that is being viewed. It reflects the light onto a secondary mirror resides in front of it at an angle. This secondary mirror reflects the light onto the lens forming the final image.
This reflection of light and image formation allows for greater focal abilities to this telescope, creating bright, clear images. This is the main reason why reflectors are the best telescopes for viewing stars and planets.
2. Refractor Telescopes
The refractor telescope comes with more than one lens and mirrors that bend the light till it reaches the final eyepiece, thus the name refractor telescope. In a refractor telescope, one or more lenses at the end of the telescopic cylinder draw in the light. Passing through the lenses and down the telescopic tubes, this light is bent to be able to pass through the final lens, the eyepiece.
A refractive telescope offers larger, clearer images due to its focal abilities offered by the combination of lenses. However, there might be excess colorization as the light is bent and not filtered. This might not be the best telescope for viewing stars and planets, however, it is great for viewing cities and even deepest galaxies if you are not much bothered by the excess colorization.
3. Compound Telescopes
A compound telescope is a combination of the best prospect of both the reflector and refractor telescopes. The combination of lenses and mirrors in a compound telescope creates a perfect image with advanced light manipulation.
There is no colorization as there is in the refractor telescope and the images forms are bright and clear. This telescope offers greater focus abilities, which makes it the best telescope for viewing stars and planets.
A glass lens at the base collects all the initial light for image formation. This light is bent to reach a large mirror, which then reflects the light onto a smaller mirror. The small mirror reflects the light onto the eyepiece lens.
How to Choose the Best Telescope for Viewing Stars and Planets
Like any other thing you buy, telescopes also have some specifications that must be considered for clearer, sharper and brighter images. Here are the main features to consider when buying the best telescopes for viewing stars and planets.
The aperture of the telescope is basically the diameter of the main lens or the mirror, depending on the type of telescope. A large aperture means greater magnification, which in turn means bigger, brighter, clearer, well-focused images. The aperture decides how much light the telescope gathers from the object, which is the most significant part of viewing.
This is because the problem with most of the astronomical objects is not their small size, rather it is their faint and dark appearance that makes them difficult to see. Therefore, the greater the aperture, the more light will the telescope capture and brighter will be the final image.
However, aperture alone does not decide the image quality. There are a lot of other factors that matter like the lens power, focal ration, and mount. If you intend to see far off, faint and dark objects, better invest in a more advanced telescope for the best viewing of stars and planets.
· Focal Ratio
The focal ratio of a telescope is calculated by dividing the diameter of the telescope by its focal length. Higher the focal ratio, better will be the image quality of a telescope.
Two telescopes with the same diameter but different focal length will have different focal ratios and thus different image quality. Same goes for two telescopes that have the same focal length but different diameters.
A telescope mount might sound useless to a layman, but a true astronomer and stargazer know the real value a mount holds. The mount stabilizes the telescope and improves your experience by offering better, clearer images. Telescope mounts range from very simplistic models to computer programmable ones.
The two main types of telescope mounts are equatorial mount and the alt-azimuth mount. The alt-azimuth works like a regular camera tripod stand. It just allows you to adjust the telescope at the desired level and angle for stability.
The equatorial mount, on the other hand, allows you to watch moving objects by allowing you to follow them. These are the mounts that also come in computer programmable models with large astronomical data sets that automatically aim the telescope to your desired objects. Invest in a good quality telescope mount for a better overall experience.
Whether you are a professional astronomer, a beginner or a hobbyist, whenever you buy a telescope, it is important to do some market research and look for the brands who make the best telescopes. This allows you to look for the best options within your budget range.
We have carefully tested and picked the top 5 best telescopes for viewing stars and planets in the market. They vary in the price from as low as under $100 to above $500 and more. However, Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope is our top choice. Read the detailed reviews and pick the best telescope for viewing stars and planets according to your budget range.