Ah, the majesty of the night sky!
Throughout history, people have been inspired by looking upwards, leading to poetry ranging from “Teach Me Your Mood, O Patient Stars” to “Twinkle, Twinkle”.
The focus in astronomy has now shifted from the mystical to the scientific, but the night is no less beautiful to those with the right equipment. Luckily, today’s skygazer has a greater selection of top-quality telescopes than ever before, and at reasonable prices too.
So, if you’re thinking of taking up this pastime, why not read on and see what telescopes are available? You will most likely be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
With 50mm to 102mm aperture, Meade Instruments offers a nice range of relatively inexpensive telescopes. Good for a gift or casual viewing.
The optical quality is about what you’d expect at this price, while you may find durability to be an issue.
A good example of getting what you pay for, and then some. Any of the 6 options will make a fine starter telescope.
Well-made and with good image quality, it’s easy to start using this scope immediately.
Although 90mm is on the high end for refractors, it can’t compete with apertures of similarly-priced reflectors. Optical quality is better, though.
With a good optical tube, three different eyepieces and a steady tripod, this scope should be perfectly satisfactory for most users.
An apochromatic lens system and large apertures (for a refractor) result in very high-definition images.
Extremely expensive, even without a mount or most of the accessories you’ll require for photography.
If you need this telescope, you’ll know it. Most people will prefer to pay less.
With a high focal ratio of almost f/14, this telescope offers good performance in a compact package. Costs less than many 90 mm reflectors.
Difficult to use with a camera, while the lack of a tripod may cause some frustration.
With great optical performance, this is certainly something to consider when looking for a mid-range beginner’s telescope.
Very powerful for its size, this 150mm reflector telescope can be upgraded with a computer-assisted aiming module for over 14,000 celestial objects.
Its main flaw is that taking photographs with it is quite difficult.
The huge amount of viewing power make this a great choice for the demanding hobbyist.
An easy-to-use automatic finder coupled with good optics makes this all the telescope many people will need.
The computerized go-to drive, though convenient, pushes up the price significantly.
A good scope for someone who doesn’t want to struggle with aiming. With good optics, it’s also great for taking pictures.
Lightweight and portable, this refractor telescope can accompany you nearly anywhere.
With only a 70 mm objective lens, image quality is necessarily not all that amazing.
Not the best telescope as such, but a very good choice if you plan to take it on trips.
Dobsonian construction makes an 8″ aperture possible at a very low price.
This telescope’s size makes it difficult to store and very troublesome to transport for more than a few feet.
If you believe that “aperture is king” and don’t want to spend too much, this is a very good option.
A professional-quality telescope that features automatic guidance and top-notch optics.
Way too expensive for almost all hobbyists, you’re more likely to buy this scope for a school or club than for yourself.
Really everything you could dream of in a telescope, but owning one will probably remain a dream.
Priced very competitively considering its 127 mm aperture.
Very difficult to collimate before each use, while the stand could have been sturdier.
Experienced users will find this to be good value, but it’s not the first reflector telescope you should buy.
Despite being a full-fledged Dobsonian telescope, a collapsible design makes storage and transport easier.
The tube’s open sides and the heavy base can be inconvenient.
If you need the wide aperture of a Dobsonian design but also want something that will fit into a compact car, this is it.
The equatorial mount and serviceable optics make this telescope worth considering for astrophotography.
Though not bad value, many users will be able to find something equally suitable for them at a lower price.
There are some good points in its favor, but whether this one is for you depends on your specific requirements.