“Our Picks for the Top 3 Best Telescopes for Beginners.” By Saikiran
We all have wondered about what lies in our little starry skies and have wished to take a closer look at the celestial realm. So, one will naturally have the question, “Where and how do I start?”. All you need is a clear dark sky and your trusty telescope to explore it.
As a beginner, it’s a daunting task to select the best telescope. If your first telescope is too big, and requires a lot of adjustments and handling it is possible that you might get overwhelmed and lose interest, leaving the telescope to find a permanent place in your garage – never to be used again. So we have created this guide to include the best 3 telescopes for beginners without much astronomy experience. Whether you are gifting it to someone or buying it for yourself, here are the “best 3 telescopes for beginners” to bet on.
1. Celestron Astro Fi 102
Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Mount: Computerized alt-azimuth single fork arm
Focal length: 1325 mm
Focal Ratio: f/13
Weight: 7.25 kg
The Celestron Astro Fi 102 is a great model with everything a beginner needs. It has 10 mm and 25 mm eye-pieces (providing a magnification of 132.5x and 53x respectively) giving great tours of the night sky. A red dot finder and an adapter for the smartphone will set you up with all you need for astrophotography. The optics provide good views of the moon’s terrain and planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
The Andromeda galaxy (Messier 31), star clusters such as Pleiades, Hercules Globular Cluster, and the Orion Nebula all can be viewed with ease. If you ever plan to visit some dark reserves do try for more objects that include Bodes and Cigar galaxy, Sombrero galaxy, H and Chi cluster, etc. If you are unsure of what object to start with, we suggest you start with the Moon, planets, and some bright clusters. You can refer to apps such as Stellarium, SkySafari, or sky charts to locate the clusters and get going.
2. Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P
Optical Design: Newtonian reflector
Focal Length: 1200mm
Focal Ratio: f/5.9
Weight: 27 kg
The Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P is a great choice when it comes to the Dobsonian mounts because these mounts are the astronomers’ powerhouse observers. Especially with its 200mm diameter aperture, it has the superb light-gulping ability even from the faintest deep sky objects. If you ever wanted to observe some of the faintest galaxies and nebulae then this telescope is for you. It comes with a 25 mm eye-piece (48x magnification) giving you wide field views of the nebulae and galaxies and a 10 mm eye-piece (120x magnification) for taking a closer look at the rugged terrains and craters of our natural satellite – Moon.
Although the Skyliner 200P is portable, it weighs approx 27 kg, and carrying it out at very remote locations is sometimes a daunting task. Also, it needs frequent collimation – a process of aligning primary and secondary mirrors with the help of tiny screws which hold them. A few tenuous jerks can knock the alignment of the mirrors so appropriate tools must always be handy to adjust whenever required.
3. Celestron Inspire 100AZ
Optical Design: Refractor
Focal length: 660mm
Focal Ratio: f/6.5
Weight: 9 kg
The Celestron Inspire 100AZ is a great bet to start for beginners with an interest in astronomy. The small tube gives a perfect view of the Moon and planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Although small, this tube will give some great views of the rings of Saturn and some deep sky objects such as the Pleiades cluster, Beehive cluster, Andromeda galaxy, Orion Nebula, etc. It also has a smartphone adapter which will help you to get beautiful images of the Moon and some deep sky objects. It comes with a 20 mm eye-piece (33x magnification) giving you a wide field of view and a 10 mm eye-piece (66x magnification) for some close-up views of Saturn rings and Moon craters.
Things to keep in mind to buy the best telescope for beginners:
When deciding the best telescope for yourself or a budding amateur astronomer always consider what you need from the stargazing experience. We have curated here the best telescopes for beginners where the beginners can at least observe some of the easily viewed deep skies objects with it.If you have any other doubts do join any of our stargazing events where we have an “introduction to telescope” session at the beginning. Our experts will guide you through the basics of telescopes and the terminology related to them.