The Best Telescope For You Review

Thinking about buying a telescope? Then this is the site for you...we will cover the basics of what you should look for, giving you the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. First

though, you will need to figure out what you want to use it for. Knowing this will determine whether a cheaper option might be more suitable.

We've separated out the best Telescopes, based entirely on our Customer Reviews. Looking at this feedback is a very good way to find out if these Telescopes will live up to expectations.

Our Best Rated Telescopes page has the best equipment, as determined by people just like yourself.


      LATEST Telescope REVIEWs                          

Celestron PowerSeeker 70 AZ Telescope

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Celestron 21037 PowerSeeker 70 EQ Telescope

Celestron 127 EQ PowerSeeker Telescope

Celestron COSMOS FirstScope Telescope

Here are our top 3 recommendations at a glance.




Comaparison Chart

Our comparison chart can help you make an informed selection based on your own preference.

Before You Purchase a Telescope You Should Consider:

Remember large telescopes are very heavy, the telescope that is easiest to set up is the one that will get used the most.

Remember no matter what telescope you purchase you ar not going to see anything like what you see on the NASA website or on calenders and posters. Those images were taken by multi-million dollar equipment, generally from space. You will be able to see planets and the Orion Nebula through an amature telescope but anything else may just look like a ball of light.

For this reason concentrate on viewing the planets. They are incredibly beautiful and never fail to please. The planets are breathtaking through even the smallest telescopes and binoculars.

Power - A good scope will not talk about its Power: If the box blares "300X" or other numbers about the ?Power? the scope within has, Caution! High power sounds great, but, there?s a catch. While high magnification makes an object appear larger, light gathered by the scope is spread over a larger area creating a fainter image. Also, "high-powered" scopes have restrictions of the eyepiece design, which may limit how much of the large image you can actually see. Sometimes, lower power provides a better viewing experience. Further, many of the coolest objects, like galaxies and nebulae, can only be seen fully under low power because of their size.

Aperture size is the true key to the "power" of a telescope: The aperture of a scope refers to the diameter of either the objective lens of a refractor or objective mirror of a reflector. Its ability to gather light is directly proportional to the size of its aperture and the more light a scope can gather, the better the image you will see. Typically, 2.4 inch (60mm) and 3.1 inch(80mm) refractors and 4.5 inch and 6 inch reflectors are popular for most amateurs.

Know a Telescopes Focal Ratio: The focal ratio is calculated by dividing aperture size into its focal length. The focal length is measured from the main lens (or mirror) to where the light converges to focus. As an example, a scope with an aperture of 4.5 inches and focal length of 45 inches, will have a focal ratio of f10.

While a higher focal ratio does not always mean a higher quality image, it often means as good an image for similar cost. However, a higher focal ratio with the same size aperture means a longer scope, which can translate into transportation woes.

The Main Types Of Telescopes And There Uses:

1. The Refracting Telescope or Refractor

Refracting telescopes are the most common form of the telescope - a long, thin tube where light passes in a straight line from the front objective lens directly to the eyepiece at the opposite end of the tube.

* Easy to use and consistent due to the simplicity of design.
* Good for distant terrestrial viewing
* Excellent for lunar, planetary and binary stargazing especially with larger apertures
* Sealed tube protects optics and reduces image degrading air currents
* Rugged, need little or no maintenance

* Generally have small apertures, typically 3 to 5 inches
* Less suited for viewing small and faint deep sky objects such as distant galaxies and nebulae
* Heavier, longer and bulkier than equivalent aperture reflectors and catadioptrics
* Limited practical usefulness

* Good-quality refractors cost more per inch of aperture than any other kind of telescope.

2. The Reflecting Telescope or Reflector

Reflecting telescopes use a huge concave parabolic mirror instead of a lens to gather and focus the light to a flat secondary mirror that in turn reflects the image out of an opening at the side of the main tube. You look through an eyepiece on the side of the tube up near the top.

* Easy to use and even construct
* Excellent for faint deep sky objects such as remote galaxies, nebulae and star clusters because of their larger apertures for light gathering.
* Low in optical irregularities and deliver very bright images
* Reasonably compact and portable
* A reflector costs the least per inch of aperture compared to refractors and catadioptrics since mirrors can be produced at less cost than lenses

* Generally, not suited for terrestrial applications
* Slight light loss due to secondary obstruction when compared with refractors
* The tube is open to the air, which means dust on the optics even if the tube is kept under wraps
* Reflectors may require a little more care and maintenance

3. Catadioptric Telescope

Catadioptric telescopes use a combination of mirrors and lenses to fold the optics and form an image. Catadioptrics are the most popular type of instrument, with the most modern design, marketed throughout the world in 3 inch and larger apertures. There are two popular designs, the Schmidt-Cassegrain and the Maksutov-Cassegrain.

In the Schmidt-Cassegrain, light enters through a thin aspheric Schmidt correcting lens, then strikes the spherical primary mirror and is reflected back up the tube to be intercepted by a small secondary mirror. The mirror then reflects the light out an opening in the rear of the instrument where the image is formed at the eyepiece.

* Most versatile type of telescope
* Best near focus capability of any type telescope
* First-rate for deep sky observing or astrophotography with fast films or CCD's
* Excellent for lunar, planetary and binary star observing plus terrestrial viewing and photography
* Closed tube design reduces image degrading air currents
* Compact and durable

* More expensive than reflectors of equal aperture
* Its appearance may not be suited to everybody's taste
* Slight light loss due to secondary mirror obstruction compared to refractors

The Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope design has basically the same advantages and disadvantages as the Schmidt. It uses a thick meniscus-correcting lens with a strong curvature and a secondary mirror that is usually an aluminized spot on the corrector. The Maksutov secondary mirror is typically smaller than the Schmidt's giving it slightly better resolution for planetary observing.

However, the Maksutov is heavier than the Schmidt and because of the thick correcting lens, it takes a long time to reach thermal stability at night in larger apertures. The Maksutov optical design typically is easier to make but requires more material for the corrector lens than the Schmidt Cassegrain.


Top 3 Telescope Reviews

1)Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope Review

 Full Review

By Lana Archvadze on July 3, 2013... I am just a 13 year old girl who is very much interested in stars. I have wanted to get a telescope for 3 years and since this year i got good grades my mom decided to get it for me. I did some research and found out that this was in the top 10 best telescopes for beginners and it was in 8th place, the judge said that it was affordable, good for beginners and it was easy to set up. When i bought it, it came in 2 days it took me about an hour to set it up but it was worth it!!!

2)Celestron 21037 PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope Review

 Full Review

By M Hill on December 12, 2012...I am really enjoying this telescope. I was able to see Saturn, Jupiter with 3 moons and a gorgeous full moon crater big as can be. I did buy an accessory pack including 2 additional lenses and moon and planet filters which have enhanced this nicely. I would recommend this to the casual star gazer, I love it.

3)Celestron COSMOS FirstScope Telescope Review

  Full Review

By T. A. Ashley "Lover of all things gadgety"on September 14, 2009... I belong to a pretty vibrant online astronomy community, and had seen some of our members chat about this scope. While I wasn't really in the market for a new scope it was too good to pass up.

PROS: Surprisingly good construction, very good views for a starter scope of this aperture

CONS: Eyepieces leave somewhat to be desired, they work exceptionally well on the moon.

For the money, this is a solid little scope for those evenings when you don't want to lug out the big guns and just want a quick peek at some brighter objects. For kids or newcomers to the hobby, this little scope will get them jump-started very nicely.

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