The guide below will help you determine the best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies. Planets that are visible with our naked eye include Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
Neptune and Uranus may require a set of binoculars to be seen. However, you need an excellent telescope to get a clear view of those planets.
An excellent telescope has an ideal magnification and resolution which are the key function for viewing the planet.
10 Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies 2019
1. Sky-Watcher ProED 80mm – Best Telescope for Viewing Planets
The Sky-Watcher Refractor Telescope is arguably the best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies. It comes with several features that include an aluminum carry case, which, means that this device will serve you for long.
Additional reasons to buy this telescope are the (tube ring) attachment hardware and 80 mm refractor. Below we look at these features in detail.
Optical Powerhouse (Portable)
When searching for the best telescope, you need one that provides you with the best optical properties. It’s the reason why you need to consider buying the Sky-Watcher Refractor Telescope. It enables you to capture high-quality images that the best telescope optical design should offer.
80 mm APO Refractor
The Sky-Watcher telescope has an APO refractor along with an ED Schoot glass. That means you will have the chance to obtain high-quality imaging.
Tube-Ring (Attachment) Software
The tube ring (attachment) software ensures that your device is compact. That means you don’t have to worry about the attachments falling off.
Aluminum Carry Case
You want to enjoy carrying your telescope while in the outdoors. This brand comes with a sturdy aluminum carry case, meaning it will serve you for longer.
Great Field of View
It has a 2″ Dielectric Diagonal, 8×50 RA , 20 mm and 5 mm 1.25 viewfinder. You’ll love using this telescope as a result of its amazing rear finder and dielectric diagonal.
It has a 600 mm focal length thanks to its (f/7.5), 1.25″ adaptor, as well as the Dual-speed 2″ (Crayford-type) focuser. The long focal length along with focuser ensures you enjoy using your telescope. Keep mind that you want to capture the best views without spending too much effort.
- The Sky-Watcher Refractor Telescope ensures you capture breathtaking views, which every astronomer covers.
- Its excellent optical properties ensure you obtain high-quality imaging.
- For some users, one downside of this scope is that it’s long. For instance, if you want an overhead shot, it is possible for a diagonal or camera hitting a tripod leg.
The Sky-Watcher Refractor Telescope is good value for money. Its optics are sharp while the device itself is well made. If you’re looking to carry out astrophotography and visual activities, make sure you consider this brand.
2. SkyWatcher S20530 Telescope Mount- Best Telescope for Astrophotography
The SkyWatcher S20530 Telescope provides you with a reliable and smooth way to POLAR ALIGN your perfect mount.
Among its stand out feature include the micro-adjustment knobs, latitude adjustment knobs, star adventure accessory and V-style dovetail plate.
That’s why it is among the best telescope for astrophotography on the market. This review looks at why you need to purchase this device.
Latitude Adjustment Knobs
If you want to align your scope to the north celestial pole easily, the internal gearing in the latitude cope makes the process repeatable and easy. That means you will find it easy to use this telescope.
Mounting Block Threads
It’s easy to dismount or mount this telescope to the latitude base, thanks to the mounting block threads. On the other hand, you can use the latitude degree markers to adjust this scope to its correct placement.
You may want to mount one of the popular photo tripods available in the market today. The 3/8 threads ensure you find the process fast and simple.
- The SkyWatcher (S20530) Telescope is a well-built telescope that comes with smooth adjustments. It means if you are planning to have long periods checking out the night sky, you should purchase this device.
- The moment you tighten everything up, you will find this device to be solid, which means it provides you with quality service.
- It’s portable, meaning you will find it easy to carry around.
- The (DECLINATION) ADJUSTMENT LOCK doesn’t seem to be working. However, you may not find it to be a big deal since its knob ensures the declination is fine with little slop in the gears.
If you’re a dedicated sky watcher, the SkyWatcher (S20530) Telescope mount is a must buy for you. The reason is it’s well made, lightweight and sturdy, which is one thing you want when looking for a telescope.
3. Orion 9005 Refractor Telescope – Best Telescope in the World
The Orion 9005 Refractor Telescope is one perfect device for viewing objects in the sky. For instance, it offers you a crisp resolution, making it a must buy for you.
The 600mm focal length refractor along with 120mm aperture ensures you get sharp views of star clusters, nebular clouds and galaxies. Let’s look at the stand out features of this amazing scope.
4.7″ Aperture Along With 600 Mm Focal Length Refractor
The perfect scope should provide you with sharp views of the star clusters, galaxies and nebular clouds. That should make you opt for the Orion (9005) Refractor Telescope. It’s capable of ensuring you get pleasing views of bright planets and the moon.
Sturdy and Adjustable Height Tripod
For precision performance, the adjustable mount enables you to enjoy slow motion, manual celestial tracking, meaning you will capture the best views.
Can Accommodate both 1.25″ And 2″ Diagonals
The cast metal, 2″ rack and pinion focuser can accommodate both 1.25″ and 2″ diagonals. The result is you’ll enjoy precision tracking. Remember you want value for your money, which means the optional EQ-3M electronic drive will offer you the chance to get automatic tracking.
- The Orion (9005) Refractor Telescope offers you good value for your money. It may have a few plastic items such as the polar alignment cap, but it generally gives you good value for money.
- It comes with instructions to set up, meaning you will use within a short while. For example, you can use to watch the moon and stars perfectly.
- The viewfinder is perfect, meaning you’ll enjoy using this device.
- The instructions may be hard for a beginner. The good thing is that you’ll get the best value for your money.
The Orion (9005) Refractor Telescope ensures you spend hours looking at the sky. As the above review shows, you will have the ability to view galaxies and stars, which are the reasons you chose to invest in a scope.
4. Emarth Portable Telescope – Best Telescope for Deep Space
Are you searching for the best portable telescope for beginners and kids? The perfect option for you should be the Emarth Portable Telescope for Kids/Beginners. It offers you a 70mm aperture along with 360mm(f/5.1) focal length.
That gives you the stunning images with increased clarity and brightness. This review looks at the reasons why you should buy this brand.
High Transmission Coatings Along With Fully Coated Optical Glass
If you want to enjoy stunning images with increased clarity and brightness, you should settle for the Emarth Portable Telescope for Kids/Beginners. That’s because of its 70mm aperture along with 360mm (f/5.1) focal length.
It’s easy to set up, meaning beginners will find it the perfect device to explore the sky. If you have young ones who love astronomy or science, you should consider checking out this scope.
Locating objects will be easy since this brand comes with high-quality optics. They include the erect-image diagonal, interchangeable eyepieces and 5×24 finder scope. That means you will get value for your investment.
Carry Bag and Adjustable Tripod
You will enjoy several viewing positions since the Emarth Portable Telescope has an adjustable tripod and carry bag. If you love star gazing or easy traveling, this device should be your choice.
- The Emarth Portable Telescope is easy to set up. It means you should choose it if you’re a beginner or buying it for your young one.
- The high-quality options ensure you get excellent value for your money.
- It’s portable, which is one quality you need to consider if you’re going to use your device in the outdoors.
- The tripod isn’t well suited for adults, but considering it’s aimed for children or beginners, this shouldn’t be a big deal.
The Emarth Portable Telescope is a good buy for beginners and kids. Remember its portable and is easy to use, which means you will love using it in the outdoors.
5. Orion SkyQuest Reflector Telescope – Best Telescope Under 1000
The Orion SkyQuest Reflector Telescope (Dobsonian) is an upgrade of the XT8 Classic Dobsonian. It boasts of several key features, which have been enhanced along with many included accessories.
The optical tube, which is of appealing metallic blue and tension knobs, which can be adjusted, give you peace of mind that what you’re getting is the best deal.
Its redesigned base has weight reducing cutouts along with visible white trim on its baseboard. You can use heavy accessories with your XT8 PLUS without this telescope drifting downwards.
2″ Dual-Speed (Crayford Focuser)
If you want to get sharp details, you should use its 2″ dual-speed (Crayford focuser), which lets you get the best details of celestial targets.
Convenient (Thumbscrew-Adjustable) Secondary Mirror
You will enjoy easy collimation without the need to use tools. That’s because the adjustable secondary mirror and convenient thumbscrew allow you to adjust its alignment without the need to use tools.
- The Orion SkyQuest scope is a good device for beginners.
- For instance, it provides you with good views of Saturn, Mars and Jupiter along with the moon.
- The build and quality of the scope are also good, which means its one device that will serve you well.
- The collimation cap ensures that carrying out rough adjustments is easy.
- The different eyepieces make this device to among a great companion for users who want to enjoy astronomy.
- You may find the star attachment to be cheap, which means the manufacturers should do better in this area.
- However, carrying out adjustments at night can be difficult since it relies on ambient light.
The Orion SkyQuest Reflector Telescope (Dobsonian) is one device that provides you with excellent value for money. The build and quality of the scope are great and setting it up is easy. That means you should consider buying it if you want to enjoy viewing the moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.
6. Meade Eclipse View 82mm – Best Telescope for Viewing Planets
This telescope is designed and engineered for versatility and portability. The telescope has a full spectrum white light filter that fits on the front part of the optical tube (OTA).
That makes it safe to use during the day and at night.
Also, it plays an important role as it allows safe viewing of granulation, sunspot, planetary transit and all phases that are on the solar eclipse.
When the filter is removed, the eclipse view can then be used for celestial subject viewings such as the planets, moon, meteor shower and the Comets.
This telescope has a wide field, a red-dot finder that plays a critical role in tracking and locating the objects easily.
It also makes faster star hopping navigation. The Meade eclipse view comes with a permanent sun finder finderscope fixed on it.
This greatly helps for safe centering of the sun in the field of view. The OTA attached to manual single arm altazimuth, a tabletop that swivels smoothly at 360 degrees. This allows for easy viewing from one horizon to another.
Why it’s Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies?
This Meade EclipseView has two eyepieces that produce high and low magnification, this helps in getting the user viewing right out of the box. There is also a Barlow lens that works effectively by doubling the magnification of the eyepiece, the Barlow lens is already installed without sacrificing the eye relief.
The telescope also includes a 22mm and 9mm eyepieces that are used for high and low magnification. In addition, there is a 2x Barlow lens that helps to double the magnification power in the eyepiece.
The total weight of the telescope is about 3.8lb; this therefore means that you can move it easily around when you need to use it.
The EclipseView 22mm reflector will allow you to set up and easily share the sun gazing experience in just seconds. The good thing is that Meade EclipseView is safe for both night time and solar viewing and is CE and ISO certified.
7. Orion AstroView BX90 EQ 90mm – Best Telescope for Astrophotography
Any telescope aficionado will agree that the virtue of a refractor lies in its pristine image quality that it produces. The only challenge of having a refractor has always been the cost.
That is because they cost more per inch of aperture compared to other telescope designs. But steady advances that are being achieved in the manufacturing technology.
We expect to get budget priced telescopes in the next decade or two.
The Orion AstroView 90mm equatorial refractor telescope is priced to please without its quality being compromised.
This is a planetary power performer device, with its 90mm aperture and a focal length of 910mm, it is able to view planets and moon through the f/10 AstroView.
When aimed to the moon, the AstroView 90mm will yield a tack sharp view of the rocky surface of lunar with mountain region that are visible in high contrast detail.
Why is it Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies?
On a clear evening, the Jupiter cloud banding is starkly visible with its entire four major Galilean moons. Depending on the time of the year that you will be using the Orion AstroView 90mm EQ, you will be provided with jaw-dropping views of the stunning ring of the Saturn.
In addition, you will have a glimpse of Titan which is the Saturn largest moon. With an aperture of 90mm on this device, you will be able to view many deep-sky phenomena. The 25mm Plossl eyepiece is installed in the telescope so as to provide a 36x power magnification.
This will help you have a great view of the Orion Nebula exhibiting the four trapezium stars as perfect blue and surrounded by a greenish gas patch. You can decide to pop in the 10mm eyepiece that is included and pump up the magnification to 91x.
The AstroView 90mm refractor has an adjustable tripod which let you mount the telescope to an ideal height for a long night and comfortable solo stargazing experience. There is also an accessory tray that fits onto the tripod.
That comes in handy when you are out in the field and need storage for extra gears that you are going to use. The telescope weighs 23.7lb and can easily be taken out for impromptu observing.
8. Moutec Telescope – Best Telescope for Beginners
This is a lightweight refractor telescope that is ideal for young astronauts. It is a perfect telescope for casual night observing of the bright planet and the moon with its craters.
Also, this is a great device that can be used for outdoor activities, it is mostly ideal for travelers who are interested in bird watching, wildlife observation and viewing of beautiful scenery.
The 400mm focal length telescope (f/5.7) is designed and manufactured with its optics fully coated with green glass optical components. This plays an important role maximizing the amount of light being absorbed into the telescope.
That will help in getting brighter images even in low light conditions. The coating also ensures that you are able to observe images that are crystal clear and of good quality.
What makes it Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies?
Being a telescope that is for young astronauts, students, astrophiles and amateurs, you can easily and quickly set it up. This will work best for those who love learning science and viewing the space.
This device has an adjustable aluminum tripod where the telescope can be mounted to have clear and steady images. Also, there is a specially designed backpack that is able to hold the 70mm telescope, accessories and the tripod all at once.
The Moutec 70mm telescope has a 5×24 finder scope with mounting brackets that easily helps you to locate your target faster and at ease. The telescope has two 1.25” eyepieces of 20mm and 44mm for 20x and 44x magnification respectively.
In addition, there is a 3x barrow lens that is used to increase the viewing power, erecting images and make locating of objects easily.
The best thing with this telescope is that you are assured a lifetime service. This is because the device has a lifetime warranty, here your telescope can be repaired or replaced in case of problems. The sweeter part of it is that you have a lifetime guarantee of money back in case the device didn’t deliver as expected.
9. Celestron 21061 – Best Telescope for Astrophotography
The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ is a great device for amateur astronomers. This telescope stands out among other because it allows for both celestial and terrestrial viewing.
The scope is able to achieve this versatility by proving erect image optics, this is found in just a few telescopes.
Scopes that offer inverted images optics only, may work well for night time viewing but will be harder to view anything on earth.
On the hand, erect image optics allow image display in an upright position which is clear both in sky and land.
This telescope is unique because of its various features that make it easy to use. This being a refractor telescope uses the lens to form its image.
The name 70AZ means that the device has an aperture of 70mm and comes with an altazimuth mount, this provides a high level of precision when targeting and aiming terrestrial bodies.
Celestron Telescopes – Why they stand out
The telescope comes with two Plossl eyepieces of 10mm and 20mm which gives a magnification of 90x and 45x respectively, this prevent the apparition of achromatic aberration.
This is more than enough for this kind of telescope. Near the eyepiece is the star pointer which is permanently fixed to the scope, to find any object, you just place the red dot over the object.
Both lenses are coated to provide crisp clear images of the planets and the stars that you are focusing on. You will not only be able to view Venus, Jupiter, Jupiter Moons, and Saturn all in great detail, but you can also catch a glimpse of the Andromeda galaxy and Orion Nebula.
In the refractor telescope niche, this device is praised for the quality of the telescope pictures at a well-balanced price.
There is a free CD that comes with the telescope, the sky” CD-ROM that contains 10,000 object databases that plays as your guide to the universe, you will also find a printable sky map. Being a light device that you can walk around with, you can take it far from busy cities to large fields where star gazing is at prime.
10. Black TwinStar AstroMark 80mm 16-40x – Telescope for Beginners
This is perhaps one of the best and most versatile optical instruments that are available in the market.
Not only is it used for astronomical observation, it can also be used in cityscape gazing, wildlife observation, daytime bird watching and hunting.
People interested in nature observation should invest in this telescope. Though it’s not designed to suite high-level professional uses, it is great for beginner level and aspiring astronomer.
The telescope comes with two powerful Kellner eyepieces that ensure image clarity and brightness is not compromised. The images are observed through a 45 degrees angle prism.
The telescope also features a one eye powered 10mm eyepiece and a one medium powered 25mm high piece. Each of these eyepieces has their own storage container for convenience.
What makes it Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies?
The manufacturers of the TwinStar AstroMark black 80mm claim that by using this device, you will be able to observe the ring of the Saturn as well as the moons of the Jupiter.
Because it’s able to gather more light, it can show messier celestial object like stars, galaxy, nebula clusters and much more. Moons and other planets can be easily seen with clarity when observing through this device.
This telescope has an optimum light gathering power, this becomes very useful in giving clear images in darker and shaded areas. Even when observing in dark skies, one is able to view moon, planets and castellation of tars with full clarity.
Since it’s able to gather a lot of light, it makes this telescope ideal for wildlife observation and hunting in dark areas. The light gathering is achieved by the super fast f/5.0 with a primary objective lens of 80mm and a focal length of 40mm.
An upgrade can be made on this 80mm AstroMark just by adding other eyepieces. The telescope is accompanied with a padded carry case which makes easy for storage and moving it around.
Though some component in this telescope is plastic based, they perform well and suites the price. Telescope that falls within this price ranges doesn’t offer many versatile uses. This telescope is highly recommended for beginners and nature lovers.
Get the Best Telescope For Viewing Planets and Galaxies
Getting the best binocular depends on how much you are willing to spend, the more the money the better device you will get. However, you are well assured that the above telescopes are the best on their prices.
So it’s up for you to decide which among those will best suit your needs. We have tried to give an honest review on each of the telescopes and we hope you have understood something about how they work.
How to Choose the Best Telescope – Telescope Buying Guide
Best telescope for viewing planets continue to gain popularity across the world with people get interested in viewing planets and stars. Despite their popularity, a lot of prospective buyers have no idea of what makes a telescope better than the other, what the numbers mean, how it works and a lot more.
Before deciding on the kind of telescope you want to purchase, it’s good to consider these factors.:
- What do you want to look? Moon and the planets, or “deep sky” object and faraway galaxies?
- Where will you be using the telescope?
- Cities have a lot of light pollution and you may be required to get to a place with a dark sky.
- How willing are you to carry it around? This is because there some those are heavy to carry
- Is it for children or for you?
- How much do you afford?
As we can see, telescope depends on your personal choice and preference. But there are some general aspects that apply to almost all telescopes.
This is the most crucial component in any telescope device. Aperture simply refers to the diameter of the main optical components of the telescope.
The size of the aperture will determine how much light will be captured into the telescope. The more the light captured into the telescope, the more objects you will be able to observe in the sky at night.
More light into the telescope also means brighter and clear images you will see. Since astronomy is carried out in places with poor light, having a large aperture means that maximum light will be transmitted for bright and clear images.
It’s good to note also that getting the largest aperture might not be the simplest way of choosing the best telescope. This is because the larger the aperture, the larger the telescope will be and heavy. This as always will not suit everyone
This is a great factor to consider but not the decision making factor of a telescope. The magnification of the telescope is determined by the eyepiece you use. So changing of magnification just involves swapping of the existing eyepiece with one of a higher magnification.
3. Types of Telescopes for Astronomy
The type of telescope will determine the kind of experience and magnification power you will get. There are only three types of telescope existing, these are the reflector, refractor and Cassegrain
1. Refractor telescope
This is probably the most common telescope that you can find around. They are known to use lenses instead of a mirror with the eyepiece located at the bottom of the telescope.
They have a similar design with binoculars and most of the spotting scopes. It’s good to note that images that are from refractor are mirror images and can be corrected using an erecting prism. This might not have a large effect on viewing experience for beginners.
- Excellent for planetary, lunar and binary stargazing
- Easy to use and consistent
- Tubes are sealed thus protecting optics and reduce image degrading.
- Mostly they have small apertures
- Poor image of distant viewing of galaxies and nebulae
- They are heavy, long and bulky
- A good quality refractor will cost more per inch of aperture compared to other telescopes.
2. Reflector Telescopes
This is the kind of telescope that uses a mirror instead of a lens, and the location of the eyepiece is at the side of the main tube. Here, you will be looking through the eyepiece near the top of the side of the tube.
- It has large aperture therefore giving an excellent view of the deep sky objects
- With low optical irregularities, it delivers images that are very bright.
- The cost of reflectors is less per inch of the aperture compared to catadioptrics and refractor.
- It’s cheaper to produce mirrors
- It’s not suited for terrestrial application
- The tube is always open to the air thus letting the optics to catch dust.
- It requires a lot of care and maintenance.
3. Cassegrain Telescope
These are the kind of telescope that that combine the mirrors and lenses to produce images. They are known to have nice and modern design and have 3” larger aperture. The most popular designs of the Cassegrain are the Maksutov Cassegrain and Schmidt Cassegrain.
- They are compact and durable
- It offers excellent planetary, lunar and deep space observation.
- Great near focus capability
- Its appearance may not appeal to everyone
- It’s expensive
This is an important aspect for stabilizing the telescope and determining how to follow the stars while viewing. There are two types of telescope mounting, namely Equatorial mount and Altazimuth mount.
Equatorial mount – this allows the user to follow the sky rotation as the earth turns. They are of great help when finding your way among the stars with a map.
Altazimuth mount – this has a simple design and swing left, right, up and down. You have to move the scope so as to follow the stars, planets and moon as the earth rotates. Altazimuth mount is both light and cheap.
What you are willing to spend to get yourself a telescope matter a lot. This is because more money means that you will be able to get a good quality telescope. Our advice to you is to pick a telescope that not only meets your budget but also meets your precise needs and hobbies. For a decent start, you should be prepared to spend anything from $360 to $750.this will give you clear views when exploring the night sky and space object
Get the Best Telescope For Viewing Planets and Galaxies
It’s good to note that any telescope can literally open the universe to your eyes for celestial delight. Don’t go for a telescope because it’s being advertised, go for the telescope that will suit your need and work perfectly. With just a little knowledge when selecting the right telescope for yourself, you’ll be ready for a lifetime experience of night sky exploration.