Guide for choosing a Good Telescope for Beginners

During the beginnings of an amateur astronomer, there are endless questions that must be addressed, one of them is how to choose the best telescope for beginners?

Such a tool allows you to observe beyond your natural field of vision, which ranges from terrestrial observation until the astronomical one!

However, the purchase of your firstScope should not be a bad choice and so your observation results are what you expect.

In general, in our store, we always recommend buying the best telescope for beginners that allows you to observe exactly what you expect.

Best Telescopes for Beginnners for the money

When you are going to buy a telescope suitable for beginners, the first option you have to evaluate these devices is for the money that you will pay to acquire it.

In general, the price of the product gives us an idea of its quality and functionalities. Here is our telescope selection and their description:

TelescopeProductPriceFeaturesCost
 Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope - Cheap telescope for beginnersCelestron 21035 70mm Travel ScopeRefractor telescope; Weight: 3.3 lbs; Aperture: 2.8”Cheap
 Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope - Cheap Telescopes for BeginnersCelestron PowerSeeker 80EQ TelescopeRefractor telescope; Weight: 19 lbs; Aperture: 3.15”
Cheap
 Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector Telescope - Cheap Telescopes for BeginnersCelestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector TelescopeReflector telescope; Weight: 17 lbs; Aperture: 4.48”Cheap
Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope - Telescopes for BeginnersOrion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector TelescopeReflector telescope; Weight: 23.5 lbs; Aperture: 6”Affordable
 Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope - Telescopes for BeginnersOrion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector TelescopeReflector telescope; Weight: 24.2 lbs; Aperture: 5.1”Affordable
 Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope - beginners telescope Celestron NexStar 4 SE TelescopeReflector telescope; Weight: 30 lbs; Aperture: 4”Medium to high
 Orion XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope - beginners telescopeOrion XT10 Classic Dobsonian TelescopeDobsonian telescope; Weight: 54 lbs; Aperture: 10”Medium to high

Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope, a lightweight telescope

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 is one of the most purchased telescopes by beginners, being small and extremely light, which makes it ideal to take it anywhere you want.

The Travel Scope is a refractor telescope perfect for terrestrial and celestial viewing on the go, and to the surprise of many the level of chromatic aberration is minimal.

Novices in search for a telescope should consider the Celestron Travel Scope 70, for its size and price, it is fun and satisfies the needs of the observer who does not have much time and wants an easy-to-use computer.

Surely, you will feel extremely satisfied with this telescope.

Pros

  • Great portability.
  • Lower Price.
  • Easy to use.
  • Simple Assembly.

Cons

  • Few plastic parts.
  • Unstable tripod.
  • Finder needs improvement.

Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope, built with beginners in mind

The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ is a refractor telescope with an 80mm aperture, which is able to deliver more cleared and crisper images. This feature allows this telescope to be used for terrestrial viewing as well.

PowerSeeker 80EQ have a simple overall design, is portable and is easy to use, also if you like astrophotography, you can easily start with this model.

The 80EQ allows the viewer to see in detail the moon’s craters, even planets as far away as Saturn as well some interesting stars.

The german equatorial mount with setting circles is perfect to locate and tracking objects as they move across the sky really easy and precise.

Overall is a good telescope that will deliver the excitement of the astronomer.

Pros

  • Easy assembly.
  • Small, compact, lightweight.
  • Does not require A/C source.

Cons

  • Limited overall power.
  • Feeble tripod.
  • Difficult backpacking due to long tube.

Celestron 31042 AstroMaster 114 EQ, most beginners are satisfied with this Telescope

The Celestron AstroMaster is the perfect choice for a novice enthusiast of astronomy, and a best-seller from most retailers.

The AstroMaster 114 EQ is appropriate for both celestial and terrestrial viewing, this is one of our favorites choice under $200.

This telescope produces bright, clear images of the Moon, planets, and deep space objects. These views offers amount of details, those are sufficient to satisfy beginners and even long-time stargazers.

The Celestron Astromaster is a bit more complex than the other mentioned telescopes, but its additional features make up for it.

Pros

  • Easy to set up & operate.
  • Coated glass optics for crisp images.
  • Versatile use: terrestrial and astronomy.

Cons

  • Delicated plastic parts.
  • Short optical tube.
  • Tricky counterbalance.

Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope, an affordable beginner telescope

The Orion Starblast is an appealing and affordable choice for beginners. Its Dobson mount makes it highly portable and offers similar results to larger telescopes.

The StarBlast 6 is an ideal telescope for viewing the objects of our Solar System. Also, the Astro reflector under dark skies will show plenty of deep-sky objects such as galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters.

If you want something fairly good, choose the StarBlast 6.

Pros

  • Easy to set up & operate.
  • Compact & lightweight.
  • Clear and crisp views.

Cons

  • Collimation for beginners.
  • Short optical tube
  • Plastic focuser little convenient.

Orion SpaceProbe 130ST, an all in one novice’s telescope

The Orion SpacePorbe 130ST is a reflecting telescope with good aperture supported on a sturdy equatorial mount, ideal for observing celestial objects of deep sky.

The dimensions of its opening allows to collect a large amount of light, added to the wide field of vision provided by the Orion 130ST telescope, it is easier to look for celestial objects.

In addition, beginners will feel more comfortable, because this telescope includes the Starry Night astronomy software. With this software you can plan observations, simulate the night sky and other features such as telescope control.

The SpacePorbe 130ST it is a wonderful beginner’s telescope, it is easy to set up and the optics are easy to adjust.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Portable.
  • Good eyepieces
  • Pleasing wide field performance.

Cons

  • Need periodic collimation.
  • Height of the tripod is a challenging adjustment.

Celestron NexStar 4SE, a good GoTo Telescope for Beginners

The Nexstar 4SE telescope is a highly popular choice among beginners and astronomy enthusiasts.

The Nexstar 4SE, being a catadioptric telescope, offers together the qualities of reflector and refractor telescopes. That is to say, he works in a good way both daytime spotting scope and at night for impressive views of the Moon and planets, along with deep sky objects.

Its portability facilitates the learning process of using a telescope with a Goto mount. Also its SkyAlign technology, allows the scope to automatically align itself and in just a few minutes make observations of stellar space

Finally, if you love the astrophotography of the moon and planets, with the 4SE it is great to do so.

Pros

  • GoTo mount, i.e., easy to use.
  • Excellent astrophotography for solar system objects.
  • Compact form – portable.

Cons

  • Somewhat narrow field of view.
  • Needs external power supply .

How to buy a Telescope for Beginners

Whenever the doubt arises in acquiring a telescope for sale, the most simplistic solution must be applied, directly related to the investment we will make:

Buy Binoculars (the most practical and affordable option)
Buy a “normal” Telescope (intermediate cost)
Computerized telescope (medium-high cost)

Buy Binoculars

Certainly is not the most eye-catching solution, but with a pair of binoculars, you can start to observe things in the sky and surroundings. As a general rule, both for terrestrial binoculars and for astronomical binoculars, they must be 100% waterproof.

Also, loving astronomy, it is advisable that you buy a pair of astronomical binoculars. This way you will have room to maneuver to observe everything you want.

Terrestrial Binoculars

There is a great variety in the market, here we list good binoculars that serve the vast majority of situations:

BinocularProductPriceClassificationWeight
 Olympus Trooper 10x50 DPS I Binocular (Black) - Terrestrial BinocularsOlympus Trooper 10x50 DPS I Binocular (Black)10 x 501.88 lbs
 Bushnell 10x42 H20 Waterproof Binoculars - Terrestrial BinocularsBushnell 10x42 H20 Waterproof Binoculars10 x 421. 56 lbs
 Nikon 7578 MONARCH 5 12x42 Binocular (Black) - Terrestrial BinocularsNikon 7578 MONARCH 5 12x42 Binocular (Black)12 x 422.25 lbs

Astronomical Binoculars

Binoculars for astronomical observation should always be at least 50 mm in diameter, and ideally above 10 times in magnification. For example, with these two numbers we have an astronomical prism 10×50 (10 magnification, 50 mmm lens).

Our recommendation is that you buy a tripod next to any binocular for astronomy, this for two reasons:

  1. They are quite heavy
  2. During the winter, when your body trembles, it is complicated to hold a prismatic and much less have good image stability.

Also, do not forget to purchase a metal adapter that attaches the tripod to the binoculars. The astronomical binoculars that we recommend are the followings:

BinocularProductPriceClassificationWeight
 Celestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black) - Astronomical BinocularsCelestron 71454 Echelon 20x70 Binoculars (Black) 20 x 704.12 lbs
Orion 9546 Resolux 15 x 70Orion 9546 Resolux 15 x 70 15 x 705 lbs
 Bresser Spezial Astro 20x80 - Astronomical BinocularsBresser Spezial Astro 20x80 20 x 804.7 lbs

Buy a Regular Telescope for Beginners

Obviously it is a more expensive instrument than a prismatic one, nevertheless as it is evident it has greater potentialities. Now, when choosing, we must consider the type of telescope and its type of mount.

First, Know the types of telescope and their mounts!
We have the refractor telescope which uses a lens as a lens to form an image. On the other, the reflector telescope uses mirrors to focus light and form images.

As for the telescope mount, there are three basic configurations: the altazimuth mount, the equatorial mount and the Dobson mount. Each one of these mounts affects the manipulation of the telescope, since the stars move diagonally

To follow an object when using a telescope with equatorial mount, it is necessary that the optical tube moves on a single axis (vertical or horizontal), while with the dobson mount and the altazimuth mount, both axes must be moved simultaneously.

The regular telescopes for beginners we recommend are the following:

TelescopeProductPriceTypeWeightAperture
 Orion AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector Telescope – regular telescope for beginnersOrion AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector TelescopeReflector37.1 lbs6"
Sky-Watcher 8Sky-Watcher 8" Collapsible DobsonianReflector27 lbs8"
Celestron Omni XLT 120 Telescope - regular beginners telescopeCelestron Omni XLT 120 TelescopeRefractor46 lbs4.72"
 Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope – regular beginner telescopeOrion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector TelescopeReflector23.5 lbs6"
 Sky-Watcher 10Sky-Watcher 10" Collapsible Dobsonian TelescopeDobsonian42 lbs10"
 Orion XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope - best telescopes for beginnersOrion XT10 Classic Dobsonian TelescopeDobsonian54 lbs10"

In summary, when you are going to buy your first telescope, it is advisable to be guided by the following aperture size:

  • For a reflecting telescope: equal to or greater than 6 cm.
  • A 4-inch refractor telescope is an acceptable size.
  • If it is Dobson type, you can find them for diameters of 8-inch cm at incredible prices.

As a final point, distrust of who sells a telescope for its magnifications, since what you should look for a telescope is that it picks up light, which is directly related to the diameter (of the lens or mirror).

Buy a Computerized Telescope

So, if you really want to take your observations to another level in a simple and automatic way a computerized telescope is your best option. Obviously, the price will be higher, since among its benefits we find that by GPS system and its database, you can find thousands of objects.

Here we leave you the best rated computerized telescopes for beginners:

TelescopeProductPriceTypeWeightAperture
 Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope - best beginner telescopesCelestron NexStar 6 SE TelescopeReflector21 lbs6"
Orion SkyQuest XT8g Computerized GoTo Dobsonian Telescope - best beginner telescopesOrion SkyQuest XT8g Computerized GoTo Dobsonian TelescopeDobsonian52.4 lbs8"
 Celestron 114LCM Computerized Telescope (Black) - best telescopes for beginnersCelestron 114LCM Computerized Telescope (Black)Reflector13.2 lbs4.5"
Meade Instruments ETX80 - best telescopes for beginnersMeade Instruments ETX80Refractor11.7 lbs3"

In addition, inside many of these computerized telescopes have built-in processors that are used for control from a cell phone or computer.

As a point to consider is that they require energy to work, either by an internal battery or electrical network connection.

Additional Accessories that a Beginner must have

Telescope Cell Phone Adapter Mount

This accessory allows you easily to record videos and take photos of the images reflected by our telescope.
Without this adapter you will not be able to have videos or photos of good quality; since to focus the camera of the cell phone to a telescope is really difficult.

Astronomy Books for Beginners

To increase your knowledge about outer space and astronomy in general, you will require bibliographical references that can guide you on new corners to explore, doubts or simply advice for the practice of this fascinating activity.

We have selected the best rated astronomy books for beginners at Amazon:

BookBook NamePriceAuthorEditorial
 Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe (8th Edition) - Astronomy Books for BeginnersAstronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe (8th Edition)Eric Chaisson & Steve McMillanPearson
 NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe – Best Astronomy Books for BeginnersNightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the UniverseTerence DickinsonFirefly Books
Starfinder: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Exploring the Night Sky – astronomy books for beginnersStarfinder: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Exploring the Night SkyCarole Stott & Giles SparrowDK
 The Universe in a Nutshell - beginners astronomy booksThe Universe in a NutshellStephen HawkingBantam

If you want to have a wide collection of astronomy books for beginners: