If you have the feeling that planets, black holes, and meteors always piqued your interest, you can buy a telescope to pursue your passion for the stars. However, knowing how much you want to spend and what you enjoy most about skywatching are good places to start. Is it viewing planets up close, looking into deep space at galaxies and nebulae, dabbling in astrophotography, or a little bit of everything? It’s also worth evaluating if your passion in watching or photographing will last a long period. And if you’re not sure, you can start with binoculars instead.
Orion SkyScanner 100 Reflector
The Orion SkyScanner 100 is designed to make astronomy accessible to beginners, with a decent-sized aperture and high-quality optics for the price. The planets, moon, nebulae, and brighter galaxies will be visible, and the f/4 focal ratio assures brilliant pictures of the subjects you choose to observe.
Also in the box is Starry Night software to help you focus on your targets and pinpoint them in the night sky. Two eyepieces — a 20 mm and 10 mm — are supplied with the telescope, providing magnifications of 20x and 40x.
The Orion SkyScanner 100 has a sturdy desktop mount that swings along the axes of altitude and azimuth, thus skywatchers should utilize a sturdy table for stable views of the night sky. With this telescope, slewing is a fairly smooth operation, and certain models of the SkyScanner 100 include a tripod.
Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ
While the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114 is ideal for novices, it may also be loved by intermediate skywatchers, particularly those who prefer to spend less time setting up and more time watching. It takes less than 20 minutes to assemble.
Celestron’s StarSense technology is included into this reflector, making it simple to align the telescope and allowing the onboard GoTo system to determine the direction the instrument is facing. To utilize the technology, stargazers just download the StarSense app and capture a smartphone photograph through the eyepiece, and the software determines which stars are in the telescope’s field of view.
The Celestron StarSense series is unique in that you may read up on the literature provided by the app for each target you see. We discovered that the StarSense Explorer LT 114 is a stable piece of equipment that performs well while slewing from one target to another. One small disadvantage is that there is no motorized mount, thus skywatchers must manually push the telescope.
Meade ETX90 Observer
If you are a beginner, you do not want to waste time constructing your telescope when you can use it for watching. The Meade Instruments ETX90 Observer is a fantastic beginner’s telescope since it is quick and simple to assemble and calibrate.
One of the features that make ETX90 Observer better than others is it can reveal bright deep-sky targets easily, which is very tempting for beginners. Star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies are all within reach, and views of the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) via the telescope are particularly impressive. There is some blur in the corner of the field of vision, which causes the brightness of some targets to dip slightly, but this does not detract from the breathtaking vistas on offer.
There is a drawback of this product’s setup is the hand controller is hard to read if you don’t have enough light, so make sure that you have a red flashlight to protect the dark-adapted vision.