Buying the Best telescope to see galaxies and planets that meets your needs without leaving a dent in your finances is a balancing act.
You can choose the telescope that does the most and with the highest price, but these can be too complex for a beginner. Of course, the other extreme is that you spend so little on your telescope that you end up with an unnecessary toy.
A good place to start is knowing how much you want to spend and what you find most exciting about observing the sky: is seeing planets up close, looking into deep space for galaxies and nebulae, to dive into astrophotography or a bit of everything? It’s also worth considering whether an interest in observing or photography is going to stick with you for a good period of time – if you’re unsure, binoculars might be a great choice for you instead.
We’ve Best telescope to see galaxies and planets, planetary viewing, astrophotography, and all-arounders for a variety of budgets and top manufacturers like Celestron, Sky-Watcher, Meade Instruments and Orion.
Designed with American innovation for novice astronomers, the Celestron Travel Scope 70 is a professionally designed refracting telescope that is perfect for celestial or terrestrial observation on the go. It is the perfect telescope for adults and children to use in conjunction with its high quality fully coated glass optics, including a refractor-style 70mm objective lens. The opening allows for high resolution viewing without adding much extra weight. The added coating on the 70mm lens allows light to enter, providing a sharper and sharper view of celestial and terrestrial objects during the day or at night.
How to pick the Best telescope to see galaxies and planets
Are you thinking of buying your first real telescope? It can be overwhelming when you first start searching as there are so many to choose from. It’s so easy to get excited about a new telescope that you may not stop to think about how practical it will be for your lifestyle. But if you have a basic understanding of the different sizes, types and mounts of telescopes, it will be much easier to choose a telescope in your price range that you will make the most of.
Bigger is better, right?
The main specification that you want to consider when choosing a telescope is its aperture – the diameter of the primary mirror or lens. The larger the diameter, the more light the telescope collects, allowing you to see fainter objects and more detail on nearby, bright objects like the moon. Telescopes that are 4 or 5 inches in diameter are great for viewing objects in the solar system such as the planets, our moon, and Jupiter’s moons. Viewing Neptune and Uranus can be difficult with such a small scope, but it’s not impossible. A telescope this size is likely a good starting point for a beginner.
If you want to improve your stargazing and see fainter objects in the deep sky like star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae, you need something larger than 4 or 5 inches. However, before deciding on the largest telescope you can afford to see more objects, consider how convenient it would be to use a large telescope on a regular basis. Do you want to go to the hassle of dragging it to the back yard every time you want to use it?Will you be able to transport it to your favorite dark area or to an observation party? Do you want it to be something that young children can use?
Telescope aperture is more important than magnification, although magnification is a feature you see often in advertisements. The magnification depends on both the focal length of the telescope and the eyepiece used, so if you have different eyepieces, you can change the magnification of the telescope.
But the aperture determines how much detail you can see, even if you have a high magnification. A small telescope with a high magnification will only increase the blurry image because your telescope cannot collect enough light for you to see more detail. Atmospheric conditions can also limit the detail you see. Even in the clearest skies, our atmosphere tends to lose detail, so magnification only goes so far. As a result, enlargement is not everything! Magnification more than 200 times will not be of much benefit to a beginner telescope.
Another aspect of the telescope to consider is its mount. This is what makes the telescope stable and allows it to rotate smoothly to view different parts of the sky. There are 2 main types of mounts: Altitude Azimuth (also known as alt-az) and Equatorial. The alt-az mount is like a photo tripod; it moves up and down (height) and from left to right (azimuth). Equatorial mounts have 2 axes, one of which is aligned with the Earth’s axis of rotation. This allows the telescope to be easily moved to track an object as it moves across the sky all night long.
Equatorial mounts are a bit less intuitive for beginners, so I recommend sticking to the alt-az mount. However, if you’re really interested in tracking objects moving across the night sky, you might consider Equatorial Mount. To set up the equatorial mount, you must point one of the axes at the Polaris, also known as the North Star, when using it for the first time.
There are also telescopes with computerized assemblies that allow you to choose the object you want to view from a database, and then the telescope automatically moves to that object. They are also called GoTo telescopes because you are telling the telescope to “go to” a particular object. They make it easy to find objects of interest to a beginner and are good for areas with a lot of light pollution, where it can be difficult to find reference objects using a sky map. But if you really want to learn about the night sky, a computer-mounted telescope may not be the best place to start.
Types of telescopes
Refractors use lenses to focus the image on the eyepiece. Larger diameter refractor telescopes can get expensive if you go 4 or 5 inches. One advantage is that they require less maintenance than reflectors – you just need to keep the lenses clean and you’re done.
Reflective telescopes use mirrors to focus the image in the eyepiece. Some maintenance is required because the mirrors may not line up, especially if the telescope is moved a lot. Reflector telescope tubes are open so dust can enter and require cleaning. It should also be borne in mind that mirror surfaces must be re-coated with aluminum every 10-20 years.
Although reflectors require a little more maintenance, mirrors are less expensive to manufacture than lenses, so reflective telescopes are often the best value for money. You can get a reflex telescope for the same price as a refractive telescope, but with a larger aperture.
Catadioptric / Compound / Cassegrain
This type of telescope uses a combination of lenses and mirrors to focus the image in the eyepiece. They are usually a bit more expensive, but their design allows for higher magnification in a more compact tube. These telescopes also offer a wider field of view for their size, making them ideal for viewing larger objects such as galaxies. This means you can get a powerful telescope that is still portable. Cassegrain telescopes are great table top telescopes that can be very child friendly.
Tips for beginners
One of the best tips we can give aspiring astronomers is to have realistic expectations. Most people have seen pictures of distant galaxies and star clusters, but these were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
It is impossible to obtain images of the same quality with a typical consumer telescope. Some of the best telescopes on the planet have required millions of dollars to build and are unable to even display distant stars in as much detail as Hubble.
The good news is that modern consumer telescopes have a lot to offer, but you need to have realistic expectations and you need to know that the objects you are viewing will not look like in a space magazine
This simple trick is often overlooked and it can make or break your viewing experience. When using a telescope, you should always stay away from buildings and large objects as they give off heat at night, making it very difficult to see distant stars and planets.
Air currents produced by heat from large objects greatly reduce the ability of your telescope to see distant objects. Some of the best places to use your scope are the large, open spaces.
Another common mistake people make is trying to use their telescope to see through a window. For the same reasons, buildings should be avoided, windows can make it very difficult to see distant objects, and you will have a particularly difficult time if there is a large temperature difference between indoor and outdoor air.
If you are forced to look through a window, you should understand that the window will become part of your lens, and for the best results, you should always point the telescope directly through the window.
New telescope owners think they’ll get a better picture if they point the scope through the window at an angle, and unfortunately that’s not true.
Make sure to adjust your eyes
Human eyes are incredible pieces of biological machinery, and to get the most out of a telescope, you need to give your eyes time to adapt to the dark.
Depending on the location, it can take your eyes up to 30 minutes to fully adapt to the darkness in your viewing area. On the other hand, looking at a bright light for a few seconds is enough to reverse the effect of 30 minutes in the dark.
Most astronomers use red light because it is much easier to perceive with eyes that are accustomed to darkness. You can find a variety of lights that use red light, or you can purchase lenses for your existing light.
Practice using reverse vision
Another great tip for novice astronomers is to practice observing distant objects using avoided vision, which involves looking out of the corner of your eye.
By observing objects out of the corner of your eye, it will be much easier for you to see pale objects, which might otherwise be invisible.
Start with the lowest eyepiece
You can find many eyepieces for your telescope, and many modern spotting scopes come with several. When we say the lowest we speak of the eyepiece power and it is usually the item marked with the highest number.
Images viewed through a low-power eyepiece will be sharper and brighter, and in most situations you will get the best viewing experience with low-power eyepieces. Once you have gained some experience, you can experiment with other glasses.
FAQ about your new telescope
Check out these frequently asked questions and answers before investing Best telescope to see galaxies and planets.
Q. What type of telescope should I buy?
Base your decision on your skills, experience, and plans for the telescope. If you need a telescope for astrophotography, you may want a product with an equatorial mount so you can track the movement of celestial bodies. If it is a live display, you will likely want to start with a simple telescope before moving on to a more complex model. Experienced amateur astronomers likely already have certain features in mind when upgrading or replacing their current telescope.
Q: How big does the telescope have to be?
While you can choose almost any telescope, consider not only your plans for the telescope, but also its weight. Portable telescopes can be transported to optimal viewing locations. You can also find smaller table telescopes that you can position in your garden to observe some celestial bodies while stationary.
The choice is yours, but don’t buy a telescope that you can’t move easily unless you have a fixed location for it to set up so it isn’t exposed to the elements.
Q. How far can a telescope “see”?
The range of your telescope depends on the model you choose, your geographic location, and the clarity of the sky. For example, the Hubble Telescope has recorded images over 10 billion light-years away. With an average telescope, you can see celestial bodies at a distance of 1 million light years.
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