A telescope is a wonderful device to discover the secrets of the sky. A lot of people are getting the hang of science and what it entails by exploring the world through the means of a telescope. You don’t have to be an astronomy lover to make great use of a telescope. Beginner models will help you understand the sky and celestial bodies from the comfort of your home. From school projects to the simple joys of life, such as examining the sky to your heart’s content to stave your thirst for knowledge, the best telescopes for beginners will help you in your quest.
Orion 10015 StarBlast
While searching for good beginner telescopes, don’t forget about this model. Astronomy enthusiasts are beyond pleased with how portable and ready to use this model is. The 4.5-inch aperture and its fast focal ratio are capable of providing you with a bright and crisp image of celestial bodies such as the moon, and you can also observe the planets, as well.
The tabletop base will let you manipulate the telescope with ease, for manual tracking of the objects in the sky you want to examine. The model also comes with some exciting accessories that will convince it is a great buy. You will get two eyepieces, and an EZ Finder II reflex sight, among other things.Buy from Amazon.com for ($188.85)
Celestron 21024 FirstScope
This Dobsonian model is another excellent choice for entry-level astronomy enthusiasts. The table top construction will make it easy for you to find a place where you can store it and put it when you want to start exploring the sky above. It must be mentioned that the model is lightweight and you will have no troubles moving it.
Ease of use makes this model an excellent choice for a novice. The only thing you need to do is to move the tube so that you can examine through the lens the celestial bodies that are of interest to you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($48.99)
Celestron 21061 AstroMaster
While reading through the numerous reviews of telescopes for beginners available, we noticed another name that stood out. The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster is an excellent pick for a beginner who starts exploring the mysteries of the sky.
The erect optics makes the model a good option for terrestrial observation, too. The dovetail attachment releases quickly, for maximum convenience, and you will not need any tools to set up this telescope correctly. The image provided is bright and clear, and you will be able to examine details, such as the rings of Saturn or Jupiter’s moons.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.95)
Orion Observer 80ST
Among the beginner telescopes for sale, the Orion Observer 80ST stands out through its compact size and high performance. If you like the idea of having a telescope that you can bring along with you on trips without encumbering your backpack, you just found yourself the ideal model. For a small telescope, as it is, however, it offers outstanding performance.
The 80mm objective lens diameter will gather enough light from the surrounding environment to provide you with clear, bright images of the celestial bodies up in the sky. You will be able to examine star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies to your heart’s content.Buy from Amazon.com for ($109.99)
Orion 10034 GoScope II
As a stargazer on the go, you most probably like most the idea of having a lightweight and ergonomic telescope to use for examining the sky. This model comes with an aluminum tripod that is easy to set up and is also lightweight enough so that it does not become just an extra burden. The backpack offered with your purchase is rugged and resistant to wear and will keep the telescope protected against dust and damage.
You will be able to use this one for terrestrial observation and examining the night sky. Accessories such as two eyepieces, are supplied with your purchase, offering you extra versatility.Buy from Amazon.com for ($74.99)
How to find a good telescope for beginners
There are plenty of models on the market pretending to be the best beginner telescopes, but can you tell which ones are, indeed, the best that these manufacturers can offer? You can always settle for the idea that a reputable brand will provide you with a model that you can count on, but even such companies carry more than just one model for novices, so you may still have a hard time trying to find the right one.
Knowing how difficult it can be to pick the model that could be the absolute best from the broad range of products available, we decided to offer you this comprehensive buying guide, from which you will learn what aspect to focus most on, and what beginners would appreciate.
There are essential differences between the type of telescope you would get for someone who is already an astronomy aficionado and the kind you should buy as a gift for a beginner. Certain aspects are more important than the rest, which is why we will focus on them as follows.
Don’t waste your time and effort reading lengthy instructions and convoluted explanations, no matter how motivated they might be by good intentions. We like to keep things simple so that the advice we offer is actionable and ready to use.
How we chose the best telescopes for beginners
One thing we did to identify the most suitable models for novices was to read the beginner telescopes reviews that many buyers and experts offer. We put together a list of characteristics and aspects to bear in mind when you go shopping for this kind of product. It doesn’t matter if you want to purchase a telescope for yourself or as a gift; all these recommendations apply.
What will the telescope be used for?
This might sound to you like a redundant question, as the first thing that probably comes to mind is that a telescope should be used for the exploration of the night sky, but actually, this question has a definite purpose. Some telescopes are built for terrestrial observation, or land viewing, as this is also called, while others are more suitable for astronomy use, as you already expect.
Can you have both? The answer is that you can, but some caution is advised. It is true that you can get a model that is well equipped for both land and astronomy viewing, but any expert can tell you that if one purpose is attained, the other might not be, at least, not at the same level of performance. In other words, if a telescope is great for land viewing, it might not be just as good for astronomy observation.
If you are looking for gifts for tweens, learn first what kind of viewing the person who will receive your present would most likely be doing. In case your kid will prefer to examine what is happening on earth level rather than celestial bodies, there is no point in investing in a high-performance telescope.
A pair of binoculars, or, better yet, a spotting scope, might be a better decision. However, seeing that we are talking about models for beginners that are not particularly over the top regarding pricing, you can go for an all-around device that will satisfy your young one’s thirst for knowledge.
What’s the most important technical aspect? We would say aperture!
When you’re reading the specs on a telescope, you will notice that there are plenty of technical details that any manufacturer will include. This doesn’t mean that you need to become an expert in astronomy to balance all the performance aspects so you can get some gifts for techies, yet, at the same time, it is not a bad idea to learn the basics of how a telescope works and what all those details mean.
Any expert can tell you that the aperture of a telescope is the most important. But what is an aperture and what is its role? The aperture is the diameter of the lens used for the optics of a telescope. On this particular aspect, it depends how much light you can get your telescope to use from the surrounding environment.
This is crucial for the image quality you will get. The more light is captured by the lens, the brighter the image, and the more details you will be able to examine. As expected, you will explore the sky and its bodies at nighttime, so you will not have ideal light conditions.
The logical consideration would be to get the largest aperture you can find, but that is hardly a wise choice. The problem with a large aperture is that it equals a large lens, and that, in turn, will require a large housing for it. All these will result in a huge telescope that is a pain to move around. And that brings us to the next consideration.
Portability and overall design
If you want to pick telescopes from the many available that can readily be offered as science gifts for adults, do not opt for the highest performance, or most complex construction. You need something simple, and that is why we will focus here on the overall design of the product you intend to purchase.
The telescope of your choosing should be lightweight, and, if possible, portable. Many beginners are excited about going outside and watching the night sky, but you won’t be able to do that if the item you choose is impossible to hold.
A good idea would be to have a tripod, but, if we are talking about portability, this tripod should be easy to fold and pack. Some manufacturers even provide their buyers with a case or a backpack especially for carrying their telescope around.
Should you get a model with superior magnification?
The power of a telescope, or how much zoom it can handle, is called magnification. We are listing it at the end of our recommendations for the simple fact that it is not as crucial as the rest.
What is more important is the type of eyepiece provided by the manufacturer. This will help you see a clear image, and that is why it is essential. Just like a TV might show you a large picture, but with a poor resolution and a not-so-clear picture, a telescope with a large magnification will not necessarily provide you with the means to notice the tiniest details.