Jack Horkheimer Star Gazer

Best Telescopes 2021: Top picks for beginners, viewing planets & astrophotography - Reviewed by Jack Star Gazer

Telescopes helps you see far beyond the physical human eyes, and buying the best telescope that fits your needs is a great way to start your naked eye astronomy and star gazing.

Choose from the best astronomical telescopes in 2021 for stargazing to view planets & see deep space objects

Jack Star Gazer have reviewed and compared the very best telescopes for beginners, viewing the planets, astrophotography and all-rounder’s for different budgets and from top manufacturers like Celestron, Sky-Watcher, Meade Instruments and Orion.

Choose a telescope that fits, to begin your naked eye astronomy.

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Best telescope overall: Meade Instruments LX90-ACF 1210-90-03

The optics performance of the Meade Instruments LX90-ACF 1210-90-03 telescope model is out of this world and qualifies it as an instrument to be used by professionals.

Best telescope for beginners: Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector telescope
image of the complete Orion StarBlast Astro Reflector Telescope kit

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector telescope is a compact and easy to use telescope that comes with a decent-sized aperture and good quality optics to make astronomy easier and interesting for beginners.

Best telescope for astrophotography: Gskyer Astronomical Refractor Telescope
image of Gskyer Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Gskyer Telescope Astronomical Refractor Telescope is a beginners telescope, offering superb observable power that is designed for beginner astronomers or hobbyist astro-photographers.

If you’ve ever wanted to see the galaxies, view planets or be able to take pictures of the galaxies (astrophotography), a good telescope is what you need. The best telescopes of 2021 helps you get started on your journey to naked eye astronomy.

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The Top 10 Telescopes

  1. Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector – best telescope for beginners
  2. Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ reflector
  3. Meade Instruments LX90-ACF 1210-90-03 – best for professionals
  4. Orion SkyQuest XT8
  5. Orion 09565 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope – best for astrophotography
  6. Gskyer Telescope Astronomical Refractor Telescope
  7. Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Reflector Telescope
  8. Gskyer Telescope 600x90mm AZ Astronomical Refractor – best refractor telescope
  9. Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope Moon Kit – best telescope for kids
  10. Celestron CPC 925 GPS Computerized Telescope – best catadioptric telescope

Since the beginning of time, man has been a curious creature. When exploring the earth and discovering the newest species that lived among us on this planet got boring, we decided to start looking beyond our world, and into the skies.

With the help of a great telescope, which includes; the best telescopes for beginners, professionals, kids and astrophotography, you can satisfy that craving for infinite knowledge that every man has inside of their souls. This telescopes review also includes; reflecting telescopes, catadioptric telescopes and refracting telescopes.

Detailed Review of the Best Telescopes to buy in 2021

Best telescope for beginners

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope

The Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector telescope is a compact and easy to use telescope that comes with a decent-sized aperture and good quality optics to make astronomy easier and interesting for beginners.

With this telescope, you will be able to get very good views of the planets, the moon, nebulas and the brighter galaxies. The f/4 focal ratio ensures bright images of the targets you choose to observe.

Mount

The Orion StarBlast 4.5 employs a sturdy desktop mount, which swings along the axes of altitude and azimuth, so sky watchers will need to ensure that they use a sturdy table for steady observations of the night sky. Slewing is a very smooth process with the StarBlast 4.5.

What’s in the box?

It comes with a Starry Night software to help you choose your targets and pinpoint them in the night sky. Two eyepieces — a 17mm and 6mm — is supplied with the telescope, providing magnifications of 26x and 75x.

Features

  • Comes with a Orion moon map called “Moon Map 260”, EZ Finder II reflex sight, adjustable-height tripod and more.
  • Includes an Equatorial (EQ)1 mount makes it easy to keep moving objects centered in the eyepiece with its handy slow-motion controls.
  • Includes an Astro-track drive which provides hands-free motorized tracking for convenient stargazing.
  • Fast f/4 telescope optics that provides a very wide field of view thus, making it easy to locate and observe celestial objects.
Pros
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Ideal for professional astronomers.
  • Included is a Standard Field Tripod.
Cons
  • Doesn’t support long exposure to astrophotography.

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ Reflector Telescope

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ reflector telescope is a reliable and sturdy smartphone app enabled telescope with great value, made for people beginning their journey in amateur astronomy as well as intermediate sky-watchers— especially those who want to spend less time setting up a telescope and more time observing.

Coupling.
The coupling time of the Celestron Starsense Explorer telescope is less than 20 minutes.

With StarSense Explorer, locating objects has never been easier, faster, or more accurate. Within minutes of setting up the telescope, you’ll be navigating the sky with confidence.

Build and design.

The StarSense Explorer comes with a phone dock, with a smartphone holder and a mirror. With these, you can use this simple, basic manual telescope to easily locate objects via a touchscreen phone and the StarSense app.

To use the smart tech feature, simply download the StarSense app and take a smartphone image through the eyepiece, while the app works out the stars that are in the telescope’s field of view to calculate the astronomer’s orientation.

Features

  • You get to UNLEASH THE POWER OF YOUR SMARTPHONE.
  • Comes with a manual altazimuth mount with smooth, dual-axis slow-motion controls which makes it easy to follow the on-screen arrows to your desired target
  • Comes with a PATENT-PENDING STARSENSE SKY RECOGINITION TECHNOLOGY which uses your smartphone to analyze star patterns overhead and calculate its position in real time.
  • Presence of highly reflective coatings and enough light gives you the ability to view all celestial objects in the best form possible.
Pros
  • Easy to set up and align.
  • Its a great telescope for astrophotography designed for those with no prior knowledge of astrophotography.
  • Comes with an App that tells you what’s in the sky based on your exact time & location.
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a computerized mount.
  • Starsense app can be challenging for some persons to use.

The beauty of the Celestron StarSense series is that you can read up on the literature offered by the app for each target you observe.

Best telescope for professionals

Meade Instruments LX90-ACF 1210-90-03

The optics performance of the Meade telescope model is out of this world and qualifies it as an instrument to be used by professionals.

The UHTC multi-coatings contribute to the outstanding performance offered, and you will notice, right from the get-go, that this is a model intended for professional use.

A first glance might leave you thinking its a bulky unit, but in all truth, the device features a streamlined design. The patented Meade Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) optical design offers the coma-free pinpoint star images and flatter image fields greatly desired by discerning professional observatories.

Features

  • Comes with a 10″ / f/10 Advanced Coma-Free Optics – 2500mm focal length.
  • Comes with an Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC).
  • It comes with a 26mm Series 4000 Super Plössl.
  • Includes an Audio Star hand-box with speaker and Astronomer Inside.
Pros
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Ideal for professional astronomers.
  • Included is a Standard Field Tripod.
Cons
  • There is just one eyepiece available with your purchase.

The LX90 comes fully equipped with a heavy duty height adjustable Meade Field Tripod, 1. 25″ diagonal prism, Series 4000 26mm 5-Element Plössl eyepiece, and Meade AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition Software for PC and an 8×50 viewfinder with quick release bracket.

Scope weight is 50 pounds with 19 pound tripod. Ships in 2 boxes. Product carries full one year Meade limited factory.

Orion SkyQuest XT8

The Orion SkyQuest XT8 is a large aperture Classic Dobsonian reflector telescope that comes at a very affordable price. It can be difficult to get a professional instrument at an affordable price without having to sacrifice performance, yet this model manages to offer just that.

It boasts 8” diameter reflector optics that will let you get detailed views of the Moon, planets, and even far-distant astronomical objects such as nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies, while the Dobsonian base help keeps the optical tube balanced.

A perfect Dobsonian telescope that can last a lifetime for the beginning astronomy enthusiast or whole family.

 

Features

  • Includes a 2″ Crayford focuser that accepts 1.25″ and 2″ telescope eyepieces, a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, an EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, Starry Night software, and more.
  • Presence of an 8″ diameter reflector optics lets you view the Moon and planets in close up detail, and has enough light grasp to pull in pleasing views of faint nebulas, galaxies and star clusters.
Pros
  • It is a perfect Dobsonian telescope that can last a lifetime for the beginning astronomy enthusiast or whole family.
  • Comes with an ultra-stable Dobsonian base that helps keep the reflector optical tube perfectly balanced for point-and-view ease of use.
  • Comes at a very affordable price and durable to last long.
Cons
  • The bearings for the base are made of thin nylon which is not very durable.

The ultra-stable Dobsonian base keeps the reflector optical tube perfectly balanced for point-and-view ease of use. Includes a 2″ Crayford focuser that accepts 1.25″ and 2″ telescope eyepieces, a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, an EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, Starry Night software, and more

Best telescope for Astrophotography

Orion 09565 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

Orion 09565 EON telescope is an apochromatic refractor telescope having better correction of chromatic and spherical aberration, perfect for astrophotography.

If you are a serious hobbyist astro-photographer, then this telescope is a perfect match for you. The optical performance on this telescope is premium, exquisite and of great quality for its price, with a high-end fit and finish.

Weight and Portability.

This telescope weighs 22.5 lbs, which makes it so easy to transport. It comes with a hard-carrying case and tube rings but no mount, as you might have to buy a suitable telescope mount yourself.

The Orion apochromatic refractor telescope has a focus-lock thumbscrew; once in focus, you can use this to stay in the same position as long as you want to.

Apo” reflectors (apochromatic) capture amazing images of the night sky. They are long-lasting and heave-duty, adapt fast change in temperature as well. It comes with a dew shield to protect the lens against the dew or moisture forming on the lens.

Features

  • Three-lens ED optics and moderately fast f/7.0 focal ratio work together to provide superb visual and astrophotographic performance.
  • Huge 3 inch dual-speed (11:1) Crayford focuser provides precise focus control for sharp images and crisp visual observations.
  • A beautifully constructed, fully multi-coated triplet refractor telescope sure to impress any aficionado.
  • Includes two split-clamp tube rings and a triple-latch hard case for protection during transport and storage.
Pros
  • Premium, 130mm (5.1 inch) aperture triplet ED apochromat offered at an unbelievably low price.
  • Easy to move and carry.
  • Effective and user friendly.
  • Designed to make image framing simple for astro-photographers.
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a mount.
  • The case only fits scope with no attachments.

Gskyer Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Gskyer astronomical refractor telescope is a beginner friendly telescope, with an incredible observable power specifically designed to help beginner astronomers or hobbyist astro-photographers get started.

Spotting an adjustable aluminum tripod, the Gskyer astronomical refractor telescope is able to provide sky watchers various angles for viewing the night skies and let viewers star gaze with many different viewing positions.

The height of aluminum tripod can be adjusted from about 31.5-inch to 49-inch.

Features

  • Comes with a 600mm(f/6.7) focal length and 90mm aperture, fully coated optics glass lens with high transmission coatings creates stunning images and protect your eyes.
  • Come with three replaceable eyepieces (24X, 60X, 120X) and one 3x Barlow lens. 3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power of each eyepiece.
  • No tools are required for reflecting telescope even for the novice. It is quick and easy to focus.
Pros
  • Easy to setup.
  • High quality optics.
  • Heavyweight style tripod.
  • Comes with 3 eyepieces, with a 12-month worry-free support and friendly customer service.
Cons
  • Cheap Barlow lens.

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