Buying a telescope has been a childhood dream for me. While I was young, I used to love gazing at the sky and unravel the mysteries of the universe. I was in love with the vastness of the universe and that is when I wanted to get a telescope. So, one thing kept lingering in my mind – ‘which is the best telescope for beginner?‘.
And like me, you might be interested in buying a telescope but have no idea where to begin, right? Don’t worry, I will take you through a list of great telescopes for viewing planets and galaxies and will provide you with detailed telescope and sky watching guide. I will also list the name of places in India where you can visit for amazing stargazing experience.
Let’s jump right into it!
(Disclaimer: the prices of the telescopes were considered at the time of updating this article)
7 best telescopes under 10000 | 15000 | 50000 price
1. Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ Telescope (best for kids)
With a magnification of 113 times and easy set-up, this is a unique telescope that is available in the market. With the best transmission coatings and wonderful brightness of the image, it gives a wonderful astronomical experience.
Refractor one, with an aperture of 50 mm with smooth controls and easy affordability. Now, get the best view of the universe in the dark sky using the barrow lens of the telescope and enjoy stargazing.
|Good magnification, the focal length of the scope is high||Shaky images are observed by the users|
|Adjustable tripod makes it easy to assemble and gaze|
|Compact, small in size, and light-weight|
|Strong built lens with a high focus|
|Perfect telescope if you are a beginner into stargazing|
2. Celestron 21062 AstroMaster 70 EQ Refractor Telescope
The telescope comes along with German equatorial set-up with easy assembly and it is easy to use for the beginners. It comes with tripod and glass coating, and provides wonderful stargazing experience.
With a magnification depth of 150X and an eyepiece of 20mm, the compensation for the chromatic aberration makes this scope the best in the market. During daylight, the blue fringes are also reduced that makes it a very good telescope even during the day.
|Easy assemble of the scope, just within 30 minutes||Heavy, thus cannot be carried easily from one place to another|
|Perfect for the beginners with less hassle of using it||Scratches on the scope mirror is reported (negligible)|
|Comes along with two eyepieces, one of 20mm and the other for 10mm|
|You can also experience the deep-sky objects through the scope, improving the stargazing experience|
|Proper alignment of the scope can make you experience it better|
3. Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Telescope
If you are a beginner in using telescopes, this is a must buy. Why? This telescope comes along with the star-pointer that is permanently located. With no set-up needed, the telescope is easy to use and one of the best ones when it comes to stargazing. You can get a clear view of the sky that makes this telescope stand out amongst others.
|Large aperture of the scope makes it easy to capture and stargaze||Distance up to the moon is clearly visible, but mars are not clear|
|The focal length is more than 600 mm giving a clear image||Weight of the telescope is very much, so cannot be carried easily|
|Easy attachment, so the dovetail can be released quickly|
|It doesn’t move from the tripod due to the rugged exterior|
4. Celestron PowerSeeker 60AZ
With a magnification of close to 142 times and 3x Barlow lenses, this telescope offers an excellent image for you. Erect and not inverted images with no distortion are what make it the best.
You need not set-up the telescope that makes it the best for the beginners and novice. The transmission coatings and the refractory lens with a 60 mm aperture makes the telescope better for stargazing.
|The telescope can be adjusted easily using the tripods||Shakiness of the scope tube due to loss of balance|
|The lens is fully coated that reduces any spreading of the light||Difficult to clean the scope|
|It comes along with basic software, which can be used for improved stargazing experience|
|Perfect for gifting to a child as well as beginners.|
5. FirstScope Telescope
With a different structure of the scope and reduced size, the scope is best to be carried from one place to another. Sharp views of the objects through the eyepieces and the moveable tube makes it very easy to use for the beginners.
The compact size of the telescope makes it easy for stargazing. You can also gift it as a souvenir to the near ones as an art piece.
|Inscription of Galileo on the tube is an inspiration for the beginners||Low resolution images are a bit of concern|
|The large aperture of more than 75mm gives clarity in the images in the sky|
|Magnification of the eyepiece is to the extent of 15 to 75 times, which enables you to see far objects|
|Excellent balance and sturdy body make it easily portable from one place to another|
|Value for money as it provides excellent feature at cheap price|
6. Celestron Travel Scope 70 Portable Telescope (best under 10000 INR)
Travel telescope, as the name says, is the best if you wish to globetrot and enjoy the stargazing. With amazing features and the diagonal image, the views are crisp and oriented in a perfect way. There are two eyepieces that have different focus and magnification to enhance the experience of stargazing.
|Optical elements are coated with glass for crisp views||Tripod is not very strong to withstand the weight|
|Easy operation with smooth sliding, to make required adjustments|
|No need to assemble as the pack comes in a pre-assembled state|
|Easy backpack fit to be carried across everywhere|
|Value for money as it provides excellent feature at cheap price|
7. Ultima 80 – Zoom Spotting Scope
How cool it would be to carry a telescope, which does not have a stand or tripod or a telescope, which is small enough to fit in your bag as you globetrot to count the stars? Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom comes along with coated optics and quick targeting, which makes it visible to cherish the view. The product comes along with a warranty, which makes it even better.
|No more worries about getting touched with water, as it is waterproof||No cons pointed out so far|
|Zippers present to protect it from surrounding dust|
|Views through the lens are more than 75% brighter than a 60 mm lens|
|Focussing of the target object is quite smooth too|
The research: how I picked the best telescopes in India
My research for finding the perfect starter telescopes began with reading journals and publications on Space.com and Skyandtelescope.org, and consulting experts and enthusiasts on online forums. I researched on the features of a telescope and the following helped me a lot:
The working mount of the telescope is an important feature. It has to be smooth such that the movement can be made in a simple way for smoother adjustment.
The optical quality of the telescope lens should be good and high-featured. Dispersion of the light coming from the stars should not be there, as it may lead to changes in the positioning of the star. Inaccuracy in the measurement and vision is not great while you are watching the universe.
Though there is no perfect telescope, yet it is important to understand that a bigger telescope has higher accuracy and better features compared to a smaller one.
I knew that aperture of the lens of the telescope is an important feature. It is a measurement of the light-capturing ability of the scope. Measured in mm or inches, the best scopes have an aperture of at least 70 mm. More the aperture, better is the light-capturing feature.
Why is a larger aperture better? Scopes with larger aperture enable you to observe the faint objects and capture the finite movements in the atmosphere.
Spotting galaxies beyond the milky way is possible if you have a telescope, which has an aperture more than 80 mm or 3.1 inches. But, if you are residing in a city, it is better to have a telescope with an aperture of 8 inches.
Are these telescopes only for beginners?
The telescopes mentioned above can be used for both beginners and experienced people. But, we suggest you to read through the guide of the telescope once you purchase it. It will help you to use the telescope and get the best out of it.
Adjusting a telescope can be tricky for the beginner. Telescopes are to be set in the right orientation once you buy them to experience the full universe in your eyeball. Though some telescopes have an automatic adjustment facility to set itself, yet if you are just a beginner, you can search various online sources to learn.
What are the different types of a telescope?
There are majorly two types of telescope:
A refractor telescope has the objective as a glass lens. On the other hand, the reflector one uses the mirror as its objective. With the glass lens present in the front of the telescope, the light rays bend towards the center as they pass through the lens. A refractor telescope has mirror present at the rear of the telescope that reflects the light as it leaves the telescope.
The operating mechanism and the utilities of both the telescopes are different.
Advantages of refractor telescope:
- The telescope remains stable once it gets adjusted. It is due to the rugged feature of the telescope.
- Rare cleaning of the telescope is needed as it is placed in a closed box.
- Less interference from the external media like changing temperature and air currents. It means, the images will be pretty sharp and steady compared to the other telescopes.
The major disadvantage of this scope is the aberration effect due to the difference in the angle of deviation. Light is a wave and the deviation angles might be different for different colors of light making it appear like a rainbow. This is a real turn-off as it happens due to the difference in the wavelength of the light.
Advantages of the reflector telescope
- The major advantage is that reflector telescope doesn’t have chromatic aberration, thus no rainbow effect is observed.
- Support is provided at the back of the objective mirror, thus you can make the object bigger in size
- Less costly as compared to the refractor telescopes
- The objective needs to have only one side to be perfected since light passes through just one side.
Though the above are the bright sides, the downsides are the requirement of frequent cleaning due to the open channel and the loss of alignment of the telescope. The use of the secondary mirror has also proven to cause diffraction effects that is highly demotivating.
What to look for while buying a telescope
While buying a telescope, make sure that you look into the following three features:
Size of telescope: The larger telescopes provide better viewing as they are perfect for clarity in the view. Moreover, if you are residing in the city with polluted skies, I would suggest buying a bigger scope.
Aperture: Aperture of a telescope is important while it comes to focus the light. If the aperture of the telescope is less than 2 inches, you better avoid it. Telescopes up to 6-8 inches are always preferred if you are living in the city with smoky skies.
Focus: Focus is the most important part of a telescope. While you are buying a telescope, it is important to put importance on the focusing power of the telescope. If it is focused properly, it can give better results, which will enhance the experience of using the telescope.
Tips for a new stargazer
While I started stargazing, the early days were very difficult. Either it was the weather which was not supportive or the equipment. But, as time moved ahead, I learned from my experience and implemented the same.
For the starters, make sure you position the telescope at the right place. Positioning the telescope in the wrong place might lead to a harrowing experience when it comes to stargazing.
Secondly, it is also important that you do stargazing from the terrace or in any area which has fewer obstructions. If there are too many obstructions and trees near you, then it might just not be the right way to stargaze. You might find multiple locations from where the stargazing can be better.
I will suggest you use a terrace or a lawn in the park under the night sky. The time of stargazing has a huge impact on the success rate also. Make sure you are doing stargazing when there are not many people around. Mid-night is the best time for stargazing.
I will also suggest buying a red flashlight as it enhances the visibility in the dark night. A star-chart is always the best option to have with you if you are new to stargazing. With the position of the stars in the night sky, it helps you in dealing better with the darkness and spotting your star.
3 best places for stargazing in India
Here is a list of three best places where stargazing can be a treat for the viewers in the night sky.
Neil Island at Andaman Nicobar is our first place. With the blue sky instead of dark, you can see heaven through your eyes. Being the topmost destination for most of the people across the world, it is regarded as the best place, if you have a telescope with you.
Rann of Kutch comes second in our list. The white sand on the earth and blue skies at the top is just a dream place. Lay down on the pure sand and gaze the beautiful stars float all over the sky in the night time.
Turuk Village in Jammu & Kashmir is the best place in northern India, wherein you are surrounded by the wide hills all around along with the bright sky and the river beside is the perfect place for stargazing.
The above telescopes are all manufactured by American company called Celestron and they have a good reputation in the market.
There is no winner in the list. I will say all these telescopes are equally good with amazing performances. If you are a beginner, a student, or have a tight budget, then either PowerSeeker 50AZ or 60AZ is a good choice.
And if you are an amateur astronomer, a space enthusiast, or someone looking for the best telescopes for astrophotography, then get Ultima 80 or AstroMaster 130 EQ.