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Telescopes Made Easy – The Ultimate List Of What to Buy

Telescopes Made Easy – The Simple List Of What to Buy

telescopes

Telescopes are tough to choose and confusing. There’s this type and that type. Big ones and small ones. Wooden ones. Plastic ones and telescopes made of metal. Telescopes with mirrors. Telescopes with lenses. Some long. Some short. Computerised, equatorial and manual. The list of different features, specifications and options goes on and on! Which one do you choose?

You can buy astronomy magazines. Read all the ads and research the internet. Ask around, seek advice and spend a lot of time deciding on the right telescope. Time-consuming and confusing for many!

Don’t worry, help is at hand.

This isn’t a guide to choosing telescopes, it’s a list! There are guides on this site, such as the Beginners/ family telescope guide.  This article lists telescopes in a simple way. What they do and suitability for you!

The list will only cover beginner and intermediate telescopes.

More information can be found on each telescopes page. Scroll down the list to find a telescope you may be interested in. (There’s no need to read the whole list)

Click on the links or images for more info. Images and descriptions credit: Amazon.co.uk

Telescope List

Dobsonian Reflector Telescopes

Pros:

  • The best type of telescope for general visual observing.
  • Large apertures for less money – Larger the mirror, the more objects seen, with more detail.
  • The easiest type of telescope to setup and use.
  • Perfect for beginners through to advanced astronomers. A no hassle telescope to manually explore the sky.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for long exposure photography.
  • Some can be physically big and heavy.
  • Mirrors may need collimation (adjustment) occasionally.

Celestron 76 mm Firstscope

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This quality Dobsonian style telescope features a 76 mm aperture reflector optical tube. FirstScope is an ideal entry level astronomical telescope. It is very easy to observe with, the user simply navigates the night sky by moving the tube in the direction of their desired object, making the viewing experience a snap! The compact design makes it easy enough to take with you on your next outdoor adventure. FirstScope is also stylish enough to be a decorative fixture on your bookshelf or desk.

Skywatcher HERITAGE-100P Tabletop Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope

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The compact Heritage-100P is a lightweight and convenient grab-and-go scope. With its quality 100mm f/4 parabolic optics, it can be used to view the Moon and bright planets and also has enough light-gathering for the observation of star clusters, bright galaxies and nebulae. A 3/8″ thread located on the base allows it also to used on a suitable field tripod. Supplied with gift box.

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope

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Orion offers quality telescopes for the whole family that are easy to use and will inspire your natural inclination to explore. The StarBlast, pint-sized in stature, is a real reflecting telescope that’s super-simple to use and yet manufactured with the kind of quality you’d expect in more expensive models. The StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope is a point-and-view telescope that swivels smoothly on its sturdy, low-profile base. It comes pre-assembled and ready for astronomical action right out of the box! Just carry the telescope outdoors by its built-in handle, place it on the ground or on a picnic bench, and let the fun begin!

Skywatcher Heritage130P FlexTube Dobsonian Telescope Black

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Large aperture for little money – that’s always been the guiding principle for the purchase of a Dobson telescope. With the Dobson Black Diamond Skywatcher, a classic has been reinvented. Thanks to a sliding rod, the device is very easy to transport. In addition, the flexible focal point can be moved via the sliding linkage.The optics Skywatcher N 130/650: It’s not just a high-precision optical instrument but also a beautiful collector’s piece and ideal gift. The telescope tube is adorned with the names of many famous personalities who made a significant contribution towards promoting astronomy in the last 400 years, including Galileo Galilei himself.

The core of the optical system is created by the same excellent parabolic primary mirror, which is also used in the larger Newton model. The telescope is an all-round device and offers a beautiful view of the moon, planets and the first deep sky objects. The patented grid tube system, it is very comfortable to carry and store. The position of the focal point can be flexibly adjusted. The uncomplicated handling of the Dobson mount is an excellent way to get started with astronomy as a hobby and it also has an ultra compact case. The complete telescope with mount comes fully assembled right out of the gift box. Most Dobson telescopes are only available from the 200mm class. This 130mm Dobson can be considered as an exception and is therefore, an optimal travel companion.

Skywatcher Dobson Teleskop N 150/1200 Skyliner Classic DOB

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Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x48 & x120 Highest Practical Power (Potential): x306 Diameter of Primary Mirror: 153mm Telescope Focal Length: 1200mm (f/8) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25″): 10mm & 25mm Parabolic Primary Mirror 0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports 6×30 Finderscope Direct SLR Camera Connection Wooden Alt-Azimuth Mount with Accessory Tray 73% more Light Gathering than 114mm.

SKY WATCHER SKYLINER 200P 203MM (8″) F/1200 PARABOLIC DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

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The Skyliner 200’s flat-packed base is very easy to build and set up, and comes with excellent instructions….The optics were sharp across 80% of the 1 degree field of view….We were very pleased with the appearance of al the test objects – we even managed to find the Crab Nebula, M81 and M82 in near-full Moonlight, whereas the other scopes were struggling. Under darker skies the Double Cluster had that ‘Wow’ factor when it was centred using the 25mm eyepiece, as did M35. The Pleiades (M45) was just a bit too large to fit in the field of view, but the main central stars looked stunning….Turning to Saturn, the view really took our breath away: we saw five moons, a clear-cut Cassini Division and a colour difference between the A and B rings. Not only that, but Saturn also displayed a prominent belt – with this scope planetary detail is certainly not compromised….Fans of deep-sky observing would certainly find the Skyliner satisfying….The Skyliner was a joy to use.

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 250PX 254MM (10″) F/1200 PARABOLIC DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

The Skyliner (standard type) Dobsonian features a high-precision Newtonian optical tube assembly, coupled to a stable, non-motorised mount. A rugged design for the practical observer that delivers all-round performance on the Moon, planets and deep space. Sky-Watcher Dobsonians also feature a unique patented Tensioner/Carrying handle. By lifting the handles together, you can easily carry the whole unit in an upright position with the help of a friend.

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 300P FLEXTUBE FLEX-TUBE 305MM (12″) F/1500 PARABOLIC TRUSS-TUBE DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

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The SKYLINER 300P FlexTube features a retactable OTA making it easy to transport and store, offering the ultimate flexibility for owning an otherwise large telescope. It features a 2-part telescope tube attached with a 3-arm support. When in use the tube is fully extended and each arm’s axis is clamped to ensure a rigid optical system. After use, the clamps can be loosened and the tube retracted into a convenient compact size. Owning a large telescope has never been so easy!! Ade Ashford Says… “Despite their great performance to cost ratio, Dobsonians can be rather bulky in larger apertures, but Sky-Watcher have addressed this with their innovative and aesthetically-pleasing Flextube range.

With their collapsible tube design, these versatile instruments are easy to store and can be readied for observation at a moments notice. Ideal for deep-sky viewing, these ‘scopes will also deliver stunning planetary images The SKYLINER 300p models feature Paraboloidal primary mirrors made of Low Thermal Expansion Pyrex Glass resulting in substantially shorter cooling times.

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 350P FLEXTUBE 355MM (14″) F/1600 PARABOLIC TRUSS-TUBE DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

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The SKYLINER 350P FlexTube features a retactable OTA making it easy to transport and store, offering the ultimate flexibility for owning an otherwise large telescope. It features a 2-part telescope tube attached with a 3-arm support. When in use the tube is fully extended and each arm’s axis is clamped to ensure a rigid optical system. After use, the clamps can be loosened and the tube retracted into a convenient compact size. Owning a large telescope has never been so easy!! Despite their great performance to cost ratio, Dobsonians can be rather bulky in larger apertures, but Sky-Watcher have addressed this with their innovative and aesthetically-pleasing Flextube range. With their collapsible tube design, these versatile instruments are easy to store and can be readied for observation at a moments notice. Ideal for deep-sky viewing, these ‘scopes will also deliver stunning planetary images The SKYLINER 350P models feature Paraboloidal primary mirrors made of Low Thermal Expansion Pyrex Glass resulting in substantially shorter cooling times.

Computerised Dobsonian Telescopes – Same as standard Dobsonians with the ability to find and track objects.

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 200P FLEXTUBE SYNSCAN GO-TO 200MM (8″) F/6 PARABOLIC GO-TO DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

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Combining the power of a large optical tube,the extreme portability of the patented collapsible FlexTube design and SynScan computerised Go-To technology, the new Skyliner FlexTube Synscan Dobsonians bring over 42,900 celestial objects right in front of your eyes, and automatically track them as they move across the night sky – its as easy as a walk in the park! The patented dual-encoder design allows you to manually move the telescope anytime and to anywhere you wish – with no need for realignment. Slewing to an object on the opposite side of the night sky no longer feels like watching a kettle boil. Simply push the tube close to the object and let the computer do the rest of the work.

Orion SkyQuest XT8i IntelliScope Dobsonian Telescope

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Orion’s SkyQuest XT8i Intelliscope Dobsonian Computerized Telescope combines powerful 203mm-diameter reflector optics with point-and-view simplicity in a nicely portable package. With the included IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator, the amateur stargazer can pinpoint the location of 14,000+ celestial wonders stored in the IntelliScope’s databank. It’s like having your own personal tour guide to the universe! The optical tube houses an 8″ (203mm) parabolic mirror and rides on our state-of-the-art Dobsonian base, equipped with springless CorrecTension friction control for smooth movement and always-perfect tube balance. One-year limited warranty.

Orion SkyQuest XT10g Computerised GoTo Dobsonian Telescope

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Orion Dobsonians have always been known for superb optical and mechanical quality, wonderful ease of use, and remarkably affordable prices. One other thing they – and almost all other Dobs on the market – have had in common: you pushed the telescope to your observing target by hand. Until now. Orion is pleased to herald another giant leap in Dobsonian evolution with the introduction of the SkyQuest XTg series of fully motor driven GoTo Dobsonians. Now, pointing a Dob to even the most elusive of NGC curiosities is as easy as pushing a button or two on the XTg Dobsonians’ illuminated hand controller. High-torque servo motors guided by two pairs of high-resolution encoders then slew the telescope right to your object of interest – any of over 42,000 objects in the GoTo controller’s database. No more nudging the telescope tube continuously to keep the object from drifting out of the field of view, either. The XTg automatically tracks the object’s motion, keeping it

High-torque servo motors guided by two pairs of high-resolution encoders then slew the telescope right to your object of interest – any of over 42,000 objects in the GoTo controller’s database. No more nudging the telescope tube continuously to keep the object from drifting out of the field of view, either. The XTg automatically tracks the object’s motion, keeping it centred in the eyepiece while you savour the view. What’s more, the closed-loop electronics of the XTg let you move the telescope manually – or endure the accidental bump – without losing orientation for accurate, automated GoTo pointing!

Orion SkyQuest XX12i Dobsonian Telescope, Shroud & Case Set

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If the idea of a big-aperture telescope appeals to you, but the portability issue has kept you on the fence, you can hop off it now. We’ve got the perfect solution – the SkyQuest XX12i IntelliScope Truss Tube Dob. It’s a deep-sky observer’s dream scope, offering jumbo 12″ Pyrex optics (f/4.9), IntelliScope object location technology; and a truss tube design that disassembles in about a minute into compact, easily portable components. Finally, a deluxe, large-aperture Dobsonian that fits comfortably in a car for transport to your favourite observing site!

Equipped with dual-speed (11:1) 2″ Crayford focuser, large 8″ altitude bearings, full set of great accessories, a computerised database of 14,000 celestial objects — the XX12i is one killer telescope deal. One-year limited warranty. Package includes a custom-designed light shroud and three double-stitched polyester/nylon cases specially designed for the SkyQuest XX12i. WARNING! When using a truss tube Dobsonian for solar observing, always use a Light Shroud and a properly sized solar filter. Make sure there are no gaps between the Shroud and the telescope where direct sunlight can reach the mirror, otherwise eye injury or damage to the telescope can occur. Before using any telescope for solar observing, install protective covers on all optical components. Glancing through an uncovered optical system can cause permanent eye damage. Always install protective caps on all optical instruments if left out during daylight hours.

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 350P FLEXTUBE SYNSCAN GO-TO 355mm (14″) f/4.5 PARABOLIC DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

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Combining the power of a large optical tube,the extreme portability of the patented collapsible FlexTube design and SynScan computerised Go-To technology, the new Skyliner FlexTube Synscan Dobsonians bring over 42,900 celestial objects right in front of your eyes, and automatically track them as they move across the night sky – its as easy as a walk in the park! The patented dual-encoder design allows you to manually move the telescope anytime and to anywhere you wish – with no need for realignment. Slewing to an object on the opposite side of the night sky no longer feels like watching a kettle boil. Simply push the tube close to the object and let the computer do the rest of the work.

SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 400P FLEXTUBE SYNSCAN GO-TO 406mm (16″) f/4.4 PARABOLIC DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE

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This Telescope is Massive! Combining the power of a large optical tube,the extreme portability of the patented collapsible FlexTube design and SynScan computerised Go-To technology, the new Skyliner FlexTube Synscan Dobsonians bring over 42,900 celestial objects right in front of your eyes, and automatically track them as they move across the night sky – its as easy as a walk in the park! The patented dual-encoder design allows you to manually move the telescope anytime and to anywhere you wish – with no need for realignment. Slewing to an object on the opposite side of the night sky no longer feels like watching a kettle boil. Simply push the tube close to the object and let the computer do the rest of the work.

Refractor Telescopes

Pros:

  • Sealed optical tube with no adjustment needed
  • Typically smaller than other telescopes – Lightweight and portable.
  • Clear, crisp images.

Cons:

  • Small apertures restricting visual observing to brighter objects.
  • Refractors usually have equatorial mounts which can be complicated to use.
  • Some small/ cheaper models can be no better than toys.

Celestron Travel Scope 70 Telescope

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Compact and portable, the travelscope is made of high-quality materials to ensure stability and durability. With high optical performance, it’s suitable for several astronomical applications. It features an optical tube with 70 m opening and 400 mm focal length. A specially designed backpack holds the telescope and accessories.

Celestron 21061 Astromaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope

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If you´re looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky. The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments.

For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors.With the permanently mounted StarPointer and erect image optics, the Astromaster is ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, accurately locating and tracking sky objects so you can set your sights for that perfect view of the stars and other celestial objects of interest, all shown in crisp clear detail thanks to the all coated glass optics.

Celestron 60mm Zoom Refractor Spotter

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In need of a spot of spotting? Have you ever been in the position where you are out walking in the countryside and want to take a closer look at something you have seen, whether that be an animal or something else, but are not able to without any high-quality equipment with a zoom. You need one of the Celestron Spotting Scopes, brought to you by Hama! Start spotting! The Celestron 60 mm Weatherproof Spotting Scope, brought to you by Hama, is a good choice for bird watching, nature or wildlife observation, hunting and enjoying scenic views. The spotting scope boasts fully coated optics for fantastic clear views, with an impressive zoom of up to 60x, which allows you to spot those very hard to see things.

This scope is extremely lightweight (under two pounds) and comes with both a soft case and an aluminium case for easy transportation wherever you go. Furthermore, the high-quality metal tabletop tripod for resting your spotter scope on ensures you are comfortable spotting and can enjoy using your spotting scope all day long. ,The high-quality optics come at an economical price and the great thing is you can enjoy a no fault limited lifetime warranty with this product.

Celestron 90 EQ AstroMaster Refractor Telescope

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If you’re looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky. The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors.

Celestron 90 AZ AstroMaster Refractor Telescope

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If you´re looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky. The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments.

For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors.With the permanently mounted StarPointer and erect image optics, the Astromaster is ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, accurately locating and tracking sky objects so you can set your sights for that perfect view of the stars and other celestial objects of interest, all shown in crisp clear detail thanks to the all coated glass optics.

Meade Instruments Infinity 102AZ Refractor Telescope

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Meade Infinity 102 Altazimuth Refractor Telescope comes complete with everything you need to view the wonders of the night sky the first time out. Large 102mm (4″) Refracting Telescope delivers bright and detailed images that is perfect for viewing both land and celestial objects. Features a precision Altazimuth mount with slow motion controls that makes it easy to track celestial objects as they move across the night sky. Comes with 3 eyepieces that provide low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing a wide range of objects (Moon, planets, or land). Bonus Autostar Suite Astronomy planetarium DVD with over 10,000 celestial objects (Windows PC only).

Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope Kit

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For beginning stargazers or families who want a starter telescope capable of providing more oomph and more performance than a traditional 60mm refractor, we present the Orion Observer 70mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope. Compared to a 60mm refractor, the Observer 70 EQ can reveal an even greater variety of stellar gems and provide greater resolution of old favorites like the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Orion Nebula. The Orion Observer 70 EQ Refractor Telescope features a multi-coated, achromatic glass objective lens that’s 70mm in diameter, with a focal length of 700mm (f/10).

Skywatcher Startravel-120 AZ-3 120 mm 4.75 Inch f/600 Refractor Telescope White

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Skywatcher Startravel-120 AZ-3 120 mm 4.75 Inch f/600 Refractor Telescope White

Bresser telescope Messier AR-127S/635 EXOS-1/EQ4

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Due to its short focal length, this telescope provides large and bright fields of view.Using BRESSER´s MESSIER AR-127S objects such as the Andromeda galaxy are visible – at an incredible distance of 2 million light-years – as well as spectacular nebulae in outer space. It´s possible to use nebulae filters due to the telescope´s large aperture. These filters enhance visibility thus producing an astonishing level of contrast in observations. The short tube, in combination with the rigid mount, makes this telescope ideal for short viewing sessions and for situations where the telescope has to be transported for viewing. The special super-achromatic construction – despite the refractor´s fast aperture ratio of f/5 – delivers imagery with high colour fidelity and contrast when compared to other two-lensed telescopes.

Celestron Omni XLT 150 R Refractor Telescope

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The Omni XLT Series features high-quality optics. The base of operations for the Omni XLT Series is the CG-4 heavy-duty German Equatorial mount and sturdy tripod equipped with 1.75″ stainless steel legs. The centre tray adds additional rigidity and vibration dampening as well as a convenient place to store accessories. Using aspheric shaping technology in conjunction with hand-figured optics, the Omni XLT presents a spectacular image with virtually no spherical aberration. We also added our famous StarBright XLT coating system to further enhance light transmission for the best image available. This optical system will have you looking forward to the stars coming out every night!

Computerised Refractor Telescopes – Same as standard Refractors with the ability to find and track objects.

Bresser Refractor 80/400 Automatic GoTo Telescope

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The computer-controlled Refractor Telescope BRESSER Automatik 80/400 is a wide-field-lens telescope that goes with you almost anywhere, due to its compact design. The telescope is the ideal choice for beginners and is also perfect for travelling. Take this computerised telescope with you to your favourite observation place, when you’re hiking, camping or on vacation. It may be small, but it still includes an easy-to-use go-to system. The BRESSER Automatik 80/400 can be operated on a desk or with the included tripod.

The computer control allows for an easy alignment of the telescope with the night sky and can navigate to interesting celestial objects automatically by a push of a button. Over 270,000 well known astronomical objects are still stored in its database of the computer control. You can sit back and only need to focus on one thing: the view of the vast, starry firmament! It will show numerous craters on the moon, the cloud belts on Jupiter or Saturn’s rings. These is just the beginning of what can be seen with this telescope.

Meade ETX80 Observer

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Over the years, ETX Series telescopes have provided novice astronomers quality, value and performance, with each new model bringing enhancements and improvements. The ETX 80 Observer continues that legacy. Starting your astronomy journey with an ETX 80 is the perfect choice. Take your 80mm lens and enjoy close-up views of land and celestial objects anytime, anywhere. Packing your telescope and tripod at a moment’s notice is a breeze with the comfortable and durable backpack. The ETX 80 Observer fully equips the modern explorer with a sophisticated, automated and portable telescope .Its dual-purpose design includes a removable OTA that is ideal for both day or night observing and includes exceptional features like AudioStar, GOTO technology, and large 30,000 object database. It’s perfect for daytime observing during camping, hiking, and outdoor activities. Night-sky stargazing is made fun, easy and educational. With the ETX 80, you’ll see planets, stars, galaxies and nebulae with the push of a button. The ETX80 Observer comes with a number of features and accessories, including: Backpack for the mount/OTA; AudioStar

It’s perfect for daytime observing during camping, hiking, and outdoor activities. Night-sky stargazing is made fun, easy and educational. With the ETX 80, you’ll see planets, stars, galaxies and nebulae with the push of a button. The ETX80 Observer comes with a number of features and accessories, including: Backpack for the mount/OTA; AudioStar handbox controller with over 30,000 objects and a built-in speaker; lightweight but sturdy tripod; internal flip function Barlow lens to increase the magnification of the eyepiece in use; Flip mirror to let light focus to the rear of the telescope allowing attachment of a camera on the back of the scope; dew shield to prevent dew buildup and block stray light; Multi-coated optics for higher contrast and brighter details; 45 degree roof prism for a more comfortable viewing position; bubble level/compass to make sure your tripod and mount are level; achromatic design to reduce optical aberrations.

Skywatcher Startravel-102 SynScan AZ GOTO Computer-Controlled Refractor Telescope 120 mm (4 Inches) F/500 Black

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Skywatcher Startravel-102 SynScan AZ GOTO Computer-Controlled Refractor Telescope 120 mm (4 Inches) F/500 Black

Celestron 22096 Nexstar 102 SLT Computerised Refractor Telescope

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Designed to be an affordable entry level to mid-level computerised GoTo telescope, the NexStar Star Locating Telescope (SLT) refractors, reflectors and Maks are available in the most popular sizes and are loaded with valuable design features. With pre-assembled, adjustable stainless steel tripods and quick release fork arms and tubes, NexStar SLT telescopes can be set up in a matter of minutes with no tools required. You can see details of the lunar surface, Venus and its phases, Mars resolved as an orange disc, Jupiter and its four moons, Saturn with its rings plainly visible and much more. Most NexStar SLTs can also be used as a land-based spotting telescope.The popularity of our previous short tube refractor models inspired us to go a step further with the introduction of our NexStar 102 SLT. You’ll find that astronomical viewing is a delight with this large, powerful 4″ telescope. The 102 SLT offers a 63% increase in image brightness over 80 mm models. This short-tube telescope with a fast f/5 optical system gives images that are bright and crisp.

And the 102 SLT, like the other models in the SLT Series, comes with a fully computerised hand control with a database of over 4,000 celestial objects. With its pre-assembled, adjustable steel tripod, the NexStar 102 SLT can be up and ready to use in a matter of minutes. Our new SkyAlign alignment technology, and the included StarPointer Finderscope with a red LED, makes aligning a breeze. Because of its wide 1.7 ° field of view, the NexStar 102 SLT is optimal for scanning large areas of the sky and for superb terrestrial (land) viewing. A wonderful entry to mid-level astronomical scope, with the use of an optional erect image diagonal, the 102 SLT can also be used as a land-based spotting telescope.

Celestron NexStar 4 SE Computerised Telescope

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Celestron NexStar Telescopes, The new NexStar SE Family combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with state-of-the-art features including a fully computerised operating system, flash upgradeable hand control, superior StarBright XLT high transmission coatings, CelestronÕs revolutionary SkyAlign telescope alignment software and much more. Including everything you need to get started viewing the night sky, the NexStar even comes with its own ultra-sturdy steel tripod with accessory tray and built-in wedge, making it the perfect companion for any budding astrophotographer. Perfect for Astronomers of any Level. Whether you are a seasoned astronomer looking for a portable scope with advanced features, or just starting your astronomy adventure and looking for an easy way to enjoy the night sky, a NexStar SE will help you take a closer look.

Bresser Messier AR-127S Telescope with GoTo Mount and Tripod

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Due to the short focal length, this telescope provides large and bright fields of view. Don’t forget to observe the Andromeda Galaxy with the MESSIER AR-127S!
The glow of this object that you can observe from the immense distance of 2 million light-years is as spectacular as it is to watch large nebulae with the MESSIER AR-127S.
Because of the large aperture, it is even possible to use nebular filters on the Messier AR-127S. These filters can enhance the appearance of emission nebulae to an astonishing contrast level.
The short tube and the rigid mount also make this combination ideal for short easy viewing sessions, especially if the telescope has to be moved for observation.

Newtonian Reflector Telescopes

Pros:

  • Same general purpose optics as Dobsonians.
  • Large apertures for less money – Larger the mirror, the more objects seen, with more detail.
  • Good for amateur astronomers who are technically minded and like using equatorial mounts.
  • Suitable for long exposure imaging with clock drive or computerised mount.

Cons:

  • One of the most difficult telescopes to set up and use if used with an equatorial mount
  • Some can be physically big and heavy.
  • May need to cool outside to achieve optimal image quality.
  • Mirrors may need collimation (adjustment) occasionally.
  • Some small/ cheaper models can be no better than toys.

Celestron 31042 Astromaster 114EQ Reflector Telescope

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The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors. , ,With the permanently mounted StarPointer and erect image optics, the Astromaster is ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, also featuring a German equatorial mount with Setting Circles Ð to accurately locate and track sky objects so you can set your sights for that perfect view of the stars and other celestial objects of interest, all shown in crisp clear detail thanks to the all coated glass optics.

Celestron 130EQ Astromaster Reflector Telescope

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The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflectors. , ,With the permanently mounted StarPointer and erect image optics, the Astromaster 130EQ MD is ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, also featuring a German equatorial mount with Setting Circles Ð to accurately locate and track sky objects so you can set your sights for that perfect view of the stars and other celestial objects of interest, all shown in crisp clear detail thanks to the all coated glass optics

Celestron 31051 Astromaster 130EQ-MD Motor Drive Reflector Telescope

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If you´re looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving views of both land and sky. The AstroMaster Series produce bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. It is easy to see the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with every one of these fine instruments. For views of the brighter deep space objects like galaxies and nebulae, we recommend the larger aperture and light gathering ability of the Newtonian reflector telescopes.

With the permanently mounted StarPointer and erect image optics, the Astromaster 130EQ is ideal for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, also featuring a German equatorial mount with Setting Circles – to accurately locate and track sky objects so you can set your sights for that perfect view of the stars and other celestial objects of interest, all shown in crisp clear detail thanks to the all coated glass optics.

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope

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Telescopes are a great gift for families and beginners interested in space and the stars. Especially a telescope like the Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ. It’s a genuine, real reflector telescope with sophisticated features to help inspire stargazers night after night. With its 4.5″-diameter reflector tube and sturdy equatorial (EQ) mount with slow-motion controls, this telescope goes beyond the capabilities of smaller beginner models to support families as their interest in space grows into a lifelong appreciation of stargazing and science. The compact Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ is a favorite of both beginners and expert astronomers alike, thanks to its great optics, convenient portability, and easy-to-use operation. The StarBlast 4.5 EQ will amaze the whole family with bright views thanks to its big, 4.5″-aperture telescope tube, which collects a lot of light from the night sky to send bright, clear images of objects in space to the telescope eyepiece for viewing.

Computerised Newtonian Telescopes – Same as standard Newtonians with the ability to find and track objects.

Celestron 31150 LCM 114 Short Computerised Reflector Telescope

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This LCM 114mm Newtonian reflector telescope from Celestron couldn’t be more perfect for the job with its NexStar computer control technology consisting of a database capable of locating over 4,000 celestial objects, with a built on SkyPointer Finderscope to help you align the scope and achieve outstanding views of stars, moons, planets, comets and the endless array of other exciting features waiting to be discovered in the night sky.

Celestron 31145 NexStar 130 SLT Series Newtonian Reflector Telescope

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The popularity of our NexStar 114 telescopes inspired us to go bigger! We are proud to introduce NexStar 130 SLT. The NexStar 130 SLT has 30% more light-gathering power than our 114mm telescope.  And the 130 SLT, like the other models in the SLT Series, comes with a fully computerised hand control. The computerised hand control gives you the ability to automatically slew to any of its 4,000+ objects, including over 600 galaxies, 300 clusters and dozens of beautiful binary stars. With its pre-assembled, adjustable steel tripod, the NexStar 114 SLT can be up and ready to use in a matter of minutes. Our new SkyAlign alignment technology and the included StarPointer Finderscope with a red LED makes aligning a breeze.

View the details of the lunar surface, the rings of Saturn, the polar ice caps on Mars, the cloud belts on Jupiter or a number of the Messier objects such as the globular cluster in Hercules (M13), or the Great Nebula in Orion (M42). Begin to explore some of the fainter Messier objects using the additional light-gathering capabilities of the 130 SLT’s 5″ primary mirror. Because of the Newtonian design, the mirror gives fully color-corrected views that are best suited for astronomical use.

Skywatcher Explorer 130P SynScan AZ GOTO (130 mm (5.1 Inches) F/650 – COMPUTER Controlled Newton with Parabolic Mirror 5.1 Inches – Black

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Sky-Watcher Explorer-130P (AZ) SynScan GO-TO Parabolic Newtonian Reflector Telescope Sky-Watcher Explorer-130P (AZ) 130mm (5.1″) f/650 SynScan GO-TO Parabolic Newtonian Reflector Telescope. Fantastic performance from this highly capable all-rounder. Its precision Parabolic primary mirror captures 30% more precious starlight than a 114mm reflector for bright, sharp, contrasty views of a wide range of night sky objects.   Sky-Watcher Explorer-130P Features: Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x36 & x90 Highest Practical Power (Potential): x260 Diameter of Primary Mirror: 130mm Telescope Focal Length: 650mm (f/5) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25″): 10mm & 25mm Parabolic Primary Mirror.

Celestron 6-Inch Advanced VX Newtonian Telescope – Black

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For those new to astronomy and Astro imaging, the Advanced VX 6” Newtonian is an excellent entry-level setup that can grow with you. The Newtonian optical design is excellent for visual observing and offers you the largest aperture for the price. Combined with our Advanced VX mount, you’ll have all the tools you need to learn the basics of imaging. The new Advanced VX mount was specifically designed to provide optimum imaging performance for smaller telescopes.

Now your smaller telescope can take advantage of All-Star Polar Alignment and auto guider support. You’ll be able to track through long exposures using permanently programmable periodic error correction. Image across the meridian without doing a meridian flip, so you can seamlessly image the best part of night sky. Advanced VX features significantly larger base castings than our previous design, improving stability under heavier loads. Improved motors offer more torque and can handle slight load imbalances with ease. Specifications: Optical Design: Newtonian Reflector. Aperture (mm): 150 mm (5.91 in).Telescope Type: Computerized (GOTO)

Orion Atlas 8 EQ-G GoTo Reflector Telescope

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If your interest in amateur astronomy includes both observing and astrophotography, you need a telescope that’s up to the task – like the Orion Atlas 8 EQ-G GoTo Reflector Telescope. It’s an 8″ aperture reflector with precision parabolic mirror optics with a precise heavy-duty GoTo equatorial mount, perfect for both visual and photographic forays into deep space. The reflector telescope is built around its 203mm (8″) diameter parabolic primary mirror which has a focal length of 1000mm (f/4.9) and is center-marked for easier, more accurate collimation. The versatile combination of 8″ aperture and 1000mm focal length is excellent for visually studying a wide variety of celestial objects, from relatively nearby planets to distant galaxies, and the f/4.9 focal ratio is plenty fast for deep-space CCD astrophotography.

Speaking of the mount, the brawny Orion Atlas EQ-G GoTo mount and tripod provides incredibly stable support, thanks to its solid construction and 2″-diameter stainless steel legs, which adjust in height for optimally comfortable use. With the GoTo Atlas EQ-G telescope mount, you can visit any of over 42,000 celestial objects with pushbutton ease. You get a host of great accessories with the Orion Atlas 8 EQ-G GoTo Reflector Telescope. An 8×40 achromatic finder scope lets you find objects to explore and aim the telescope precisely.

SKY-WATCHER EXPLORER 300PDS (NEQ6 PRO) 304MM (12″) F/4.9 PARABOLIC DUAL-SPEED GO-TO NEWTONIAN REFLECTOR TELESCOPE

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This Newtonian Reflector incorporates the same superb mirror-set as the Explorer-300P Black Diamond Series, but with two significant advantages. A Dual-Speed 10:1 ratio focuser is now included for excellent focusing precision. Also, the tube length has been slightly shortened to optimise performance for prime-focus photography. Even better performance for astrophotography and visual use can be achieved when used in combination with Sky-Watcher’s Newtonian coma corrector.

Orion Atlas 10 EQ-G GoTo Reflector Telescope

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Nights under the stars will never be quite the same with the Orion Atlas 10 EQ-G GoTo Reflector Telescope. They’ll be much, much more rewarding. This scope’s huge 10″ optics and precise, heavy-duty computerised GoTo mount will show you what big-telescope performance is all about. It starts with the optics. The Atlas 10 EQ-G features an expertly figured 254mm (10″) parabolic mirror with a 1200mm focal length (f/4.7) for big, very bright views. You’ll soon find yourself grinning ear to ear as your eyes take in beautifully bright views of elusive deep space objects that smaller aperture instruments simply cannot detect. Not to mention the breathtaking scenes the Orion Atlas 10 EQ-G GoTo Reflector will display of the Moon and planets of our solar system. The 2″ Crayford focuser adjusts smoothly without backlash for precise performance and has a 1.25″ adapter to accommodate either size of telescope eyepiece. A 1.25″ 25mm Sirius Plossl telescope eyepiece comes standard, as does a 10mm Sirius Plossl and a nice, bright 9×50 finder scope to help aim this colossal reflector telescope. Then there’s the telescope mount. The capable and computerised Atlas EQ-G mount provides rock-solid stable support and computerised GoTo control, courtesy of dual internal stepper motors that slew the scope at up to 3.4-deg per second and track with

Then there’s the telescope mount. The capable and computerised Atlas EQ-G mount provides rock-solid stable support and computerised GoTo control, courtesy of dual internal stepper motors that slew the scope at up to 3.4-deg per second and track with exceptionally low periodic error. Using the handheld GoTo controller lets you visit any of over 42,000 celestial objects with pushbutton ease. The Atlas EQ-G mount features backlash compensation in both axes and programmable periodic error correction (PEC), and there’s even an ST-4 auto guider port built right into the drive base. The adjustable-height Atlas tripod has large 2″-diameter stainless steel tubular legs, making for a highly sturdy support system. You will need an external 12-volt DC power supply or an AC-to-DC adapter to run off of 110-volt AC, such as an Orion Dynamo Pro (sold separately).

Catadioptric Telescopes

Pros:

  • Jack of all trades multi purpose telescopes.
  • High-quality optics.
  • Advanced controls and mounts.
  • Excellent at both Astro imaging and visual observing.

Cons:

  • Can have a steep learning curve with all the different features.
  • Some can be big and heavy.
  • Expensive compared to other types of telescopes

SKY-WATCHER HERITAGE-90 CASSEGRAIN TELESCOPE

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90MM (3.5″) F/1250 COMPUTERISED AUTO-TRACKING MAKSUTOV-CASSEGRAIN TELESCOPE IDEAL GRAB-AND-GO SCOPE – A PERFECT LIFESTYLE GIFT!! The Heritage-90 packs a powerful punch and is ideal for observing the Moon, planets and double stars, and also can be used for high-power daytime terrestrial viewing. The VirtuosoTM mount provides a stable platform and will track night sky objects automatically once located. The telescope can be slewed automatically in both axes, at five different speeds, via the mount’s electronic keypad. A great feature of the VirtuosoTM is the patented Freedom-FindTM dual-encoder technology which also allows the telescope to be moved manually in either axis without losing its alignment or positional information, giving the user enormous convenience and flexibility during observing sessions.

Furthermore, the VirtuosoTM mount can be upgraded to Go-To by purchasing a SynscanTM AZ Go-To handset and cable, allowing 42,900+ night sky objects to be automatically found from its extensive database. As well as its superb astronomical functionality, the VirtuosoTM mount has a lot of other clever features for photography (camera not included): Camera Cruising: Take photographs automatically with your DSLR at up to 6 preset positions. The mount will stop at each predetermined position and automatically trigger the camera’s shutter release. (Canon-D electronic shutter release cable supplied but other Skywatcher cables are readily available) Video Cruising/Time-Lapse Photography: The mount can automatically move your video camera through up to 6 preset positions without any pause. Up to 5 speeds can be selected in this mode (see below) Panoramic/Matrix Photography: The mount can control a DSLR camera to take long distance panoramas up to 360°. Supplied in attractive gift box.

Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Mak Telescope

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Designed to be an affordable entry level to mid-level computerized GoTo telescope, the NexStar SLT refractors, reflector telescopes, and Maks are available in the most popular sizes and are loaded with valuable design features. With preassembled, adjustable stainless steel tripods, and quick release fork arms and tubes, NexStar SLT telescopes can be set up in a matter of minutes – with no tools required! You can see details of the lunar surface, Venus and its phases, polar caps on Mars, Jupiter and its four moons, Saturn with its rings plainly visible and much more! Most NexStar SLT’s can also be used as a land-based spotting telescope.

Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 SynScan AZ GoTo Telescope

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Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 (AZ) 127mm (5″) f/1500 SynScan GO-TO Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope. A larger version of the Skymax-102 providing a massive 55% more light-gathering power, and packing an even more powerful punch than its smaller cousin for medium-to-high-power work. Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 Features: Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x60 & x150 Highest Practical Power (Potential): x254 Diameter of Primary Mirror: 127mm Telescope Focal Length: 1500mm (f/11.8) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25″): 10mm & 25mm 6×30 Finderscope 90° Star Diagonal (1.25”) SynScan™ AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount

Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain Omni XLT 127/1250 Telescope

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Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope Catadioptric, 127 mm diameter assembled on an equatorial mount Omni CG4 German type very stable with tubular stainless steel tripod.Rapid assembly of the optical tube dovetail and quick assembly of the mount on the tripod by central screw.

Celestron NexStar 5 SE Computerised Telescope

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Featuring high-quality Schmidt-Cassegrain optics, the NexStar 5 SE are ideal telescopes for observing and photographing the wonders of space. With a total weight of 28 lbs including the tripod, the ultra portable 5 SE features a precision optical system with 1,250 mm focal length (f/10) standard with our premium StarBright XLT coatings and offers 56% more light gathering power than a 4″ model. The 5 SE includes a camera control feature that allows you to remotely take a series of timed exposures using your digital SLR camera. Plus the tripod featuring a built-in wedge helps make short-exposure astrophotography a heavenly experience.

The NexStar 5 SE has all the same features as Celestron’s most advanced computerized GoTo telescopes, including our revolutionary SkyAlign™ alignment technology, a sky tour feature, a database of nearly 40,000 celestial objects and easy to use hand control. Plug the optional CN-16 GPS Accessory into NexStar’s auxiliary port and download data from orbiting GPS satellites for truly quick and easy alignments. The universe may be full of mysteries, but using the NexStar 5 SE isn’t one of them. In the tradition of Celestron’s famous orange optical tubes, the new NexStar SE Family combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with state-of-the-art features including a fully computerized operating system, flash upgradeable hand control, our superior StarBright XLT coatings, our revolutionary SkyAlign™ telescope alignment software and much more. Whether you are a seasoned astronomer looking for a portable scope with advanced features, or just starting your astronomy adventure and looking for an easy way to enjoy the night sky, a NexStar SE will help you take a closer look.

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope

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The classic, 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain revolutionised amateur astronomy in the 1970s. Now, the iconic “orange tube” design is updated with state-of-the-art features to provide the best stargazing experience for beginners and experienced observers alike. Its large, 8-inch aperture with exceptional light-gathering ability provides spectacular views of the moon and planets, along with deep sky objects like the Whirlpool Galaxy and Hercules Globular Cluster. Fully automated, GoTo mount with database of 40,000+ celestial objects automatically locates and tracks objects for you. SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready to observe in minutes. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the night sky, you can easily align your telescope on any three bright objects. Its single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all break down into separate components for easy transport and quick assembly

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 Computer-Controlled WiFi Telescope

51ra1cqmrpl-_sl1200_Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on sturdy, easy-to-transport single-arm fork mount with proven NexStar computer control. WiFi control with free SkyPortal app for Android and iOS devices. Built-in lithium ion phosphate battery for up to 10 hours’ battery life; durable, safe battery. Box contents: 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, NexStar Evolution mount, tripod with accessory shelf, star diagonal, 40 mm eyepiece, 13 mm eyepiece, NexStar handheld controller, StarPointer finder scope, charger.

Celestron 11073 CPC 800 GPS(XLT) Computerized Telescope

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8″ diffraction limited Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope Celestron’s premium StarBright XLT coatings. Fully computerised dual fork arm Altazimuth mount. 8×50 finderscope to help accurately find objects. Newly designed heavy-duty tripod makes attaching the telescope so easy you can do it in the dark; also features sturdy 2″ steel legs and accessory tray. Ergonomic design – Comfortably lift and move the telescopes from location to location. Star diagonal provides more comfortable viewing position when observing objects that are high in the sky. Convenient remote hand control holder. Allows you to view information hands-free while using the scope.

Computerised Mount Features. Proven NexStar computer control technology. 40,000 object database with over 100 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects. Custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number; the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; variable stars; solar system objects and asterisms. Re-designed drive base and drive mechanics – Quiet operation; large drive gears, quick release clutch. SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process. Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet. Permanent PEC. Auxiliary port for additional accessories such as Autoguider, GPS accessory. NexRemote telescope control software and RS-232 cable included for advanced control of your telescope via computer.

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 Telescope

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Celestron’s signature telescopes reach a new level with NexStar Evolution 8, the first Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with integrated WiFi. Leave your hand control behind and slew to all the best celestial objects with a tap of your smartphone or tablet. Connect your device to NexStar Evolution’s built-in wireless network, and explore the universe with the Celestron mobile app for iOS and Android. Use the planetarium interface to view the night sky in real time or display a list of celestial objects currently visible based on your time and location. Our proprietary SkyAlign alignment procedure is built right into the Celestron mobile app, so you’re ready to observe within minutes.

If you’re interested in astroimaging, the 8-inch NexStar Evolution is an excellent, affordable way to get started. It’s the only fork-mounted telescope in its price range that offers brass worm gears, along with improved motors. NexStar Evolution’s tracking accuracy is so impressive, you can capture images of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula by simply attaching your DSLR camera. As you progress in the hobby of astroimaging, you can add our Pro HD Wedge to achieve longer exposures for more detailed astrophotos.Of course, the Schmidt-Cassegrain optical system offers bright, sharp views with StarBright XLT optical coatings-a great choice for visual observers and budding astroimagers alike.

Celestron NexStar Evolution 925 Telescope

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Celestron’s signature telescopes reach a new level with NexStar Evolution 9.25, the first Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with integrated WiFi. Leave your hand control behind and slew to all the best celestial objects with a tap of your smartphone or tablet. Connect your device to NexStar Evolution’s built-in wireless network, and explore the universe with the Celestron mobile app for iOS and Android. Use the planetarium interface to view the night sky in real time or display a list of celestial objects currently visible based on your time and location. Our proprietary SkyAlign alignment procedure is built right into the Celestron mobile app, so you’re ready to observe within minutes.

If you’re interested in astroimaging, the 9.25-inch NexStar Evolution is an excellent, affordable way to get started. It’s the only fork-mounted telescopes in its price range that offers brass worm gears, along with improved motors. NexStar Evolution’s tracking accuracy is so impressive, you can capture images of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula by simply attaching your DSLR camera. As you progress in the hobby of astroimaging, you can add our Pro HD Wedge to achieve longer exposures for more detailed astrophotos. Of course, the Schmidt-Cassegrain optical system offers bright, sharp views with StarBright XLT optical coatings-a great choice for visual observers and budding astroimagers alike.

Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope EdgeHD-SC 203/2032 CGEM 800 GoTo

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The EdgeHD optical system combines all of the compact power popularized by SCT telescopes with an improved high definition optical system for wide field, astrograph quality images. As a visual instrument, EdgeHD optics deliver pinpoint images even with your widest field eyepiece. You can search for all of the Messier Catalog objects, and see hundreds of other NGC, IC and Caldwell objects with amazing clarity. For astro imaging, EdgeHD optics produce aberration-free images across your favorite CCD or DSLR camera. All EdgeHD optics are designed to produce an extremely flat focal plane precise enough to match the strict tolerances of the largest commercial CCD detectors, allowing stars to be in tight focus to the very edge of the chip.

 

4 Responses to “Telescopes Made Easy – The Ultimate List Of What to Buy”

  • Rick says:

    For those of us that live in light pollution (cities), is there any point in getting a bigger/ better unit?

    • VirtualAstro says:

      If you have light pollution, it’s going to be there whether you have a small or big telescope. The larger the telescope the more objects you will see, even with light pollution.
      You may however be able to cut out most of the light pollution using a light pollution filter. These are easily available online

  • Jez says:

    Fantastic guide, thank you.
    I’m interested in the Heritage 130p as a gift, but I’m worried about the practicality of needing a table outside instead of having a tripod mount. Any advice?

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