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Stargazing is mesmerizing experience I have recently experienced it and can say for sure that you can spend hours in observing beautiful stars through your retractable roof or outside. So, the equipment you need to have the awesome experience varies however, some people use binoculars, and some prefer telescopes. In my experience telescopes are the best option for observing astrological events and entities. Hence, we decided to put the list of best telescopes for stargazing in this article with their pros and cons. Like always, in the end you are going to find useable buyer’s guide which is very essential to help you choose best telescope.
Stargazing is an excellent hobby it does not only make you wonder about things in universe but also refreshes your mind. In this article you are going to find telescopes which are very fitting for stargazing.
These telescopes are chosen after vigorous research of 48 hours. Now without any further hoo-hah ?, let’s check them out.
Quick Search & Comparison of Best Telescopes for Stargazing
Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope– Editor’s Choice
Nexstar 6 SE by Celestron is one of the best telescope for stargazing due to the fact it is suitable for both beginners and professional gazers. So, no matter where you are what you do if you are interested in observing in stars and other heavenly objects you can count on this telescope.
Let’s look at its major features first.
Celestron is famous for its orange tube for observing stars and this telescope comes with it. It has 6-inch apparatus with excellent lighting to make your stargazing experience magical. No seriously, its not a gimmick to trick you to buy this telescope. We never ever do that here at econsumermatters.
This telescope comes with 40 thousands plus database of cosmic objects with auto mount function so, you can detect and start gazing then in no time.
Nexstar 6 offers sky alignment feature which aligns your telescope quickly and you can jump right into observing beautiful star. Also, if you are beginner and you are not acquainted to night sky it assists you in opting for any three bright objects.
If you are looking for a telescope which is easy to carry, then we think you are going to like its design. Now, if we look at it you will find that it comes with single fork arm mount which makes it compact and easy to carry. Moreover, its parts are easily detachable into small pieces so, when you want to carry it anywhere you can detach it easily and can carry anywhere you want. Anyplace which is favorite of yours.
So, one of our star geek and researcher tried to take pictures with Nexstar telescope and according to him this telescope can take pictures if you own DSLR, but it has limitations e.g. you cannot take photos without having a T-ring which does not comes with this telescope you have to buy it separately. Also, you will need T-adapter. These both accessories are not expensive however, if they were included in the box would have been nice.
The other major flaw we observed in this telescope is that it runs on 8 AA batteries which can be consumed very quickly. So, you surely going to need an AC adapter or if you are outside you need to have a car adapter so, you can connect it with your car battery and keep it running. Also, Celestron offers their Power tank you can purchase that if you want.
If you are in a humid area or place with dew factor you will experience drops of dew in lens which is normal however, we are expecting this telescope to have dew shield. Yet again, you can buy it separately.
Celestron advertise this telescope for both beginners and professionals but according to our research its not true. This telescope is only suitable for beginners as it does not provide enough clarity hence, professionals or people who are looking to upgrade their already owned beginners telescope should not upgrade to this.
See following pros cons before making your decision about Celestron Nexstar 6 SE.
Nexstar 6 is one of the best telescope for stargazing especially for beginners. It offers database of more than 40,000 celestial objects which makes it easy to use for new stargazers. You can detach every part of this telescope, so it is one of the most portable telescope as well. Moreover, it offers sky align feature which is also fitting for beginner stargazers as it will assist you in observing.
On downsides, it runs 8 AA batteries which wears out pretty quickly, so we highly recommend you go for Power tank of theirs or Ac adapter. Also, the lens does not offer enough clarity if you have an ? (eye) of professional.
Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8
The second telescope we recommend for stargazing is Orion 8945. SkyQuest xT8 is well known for stargazers who are on tight budget. So, if you are looking for a best stargazing experience within budget then this telescope should be in your mind.
Orion 8945 is user-friendly Dobsonian telescope for beginners as well as for people who are looking it to use at home. It comes with 8-inch reflector with enough light to view different planets, moon as well as dim Nebulas and stars.
The base of this telescope is very stable which keeps the reflector balanced and does not let you lose grasp easily.
This telescope also comes with different accessories like 2-inch Cray ford focuser which permits you to use 1.25 to 2 inches eye pieces. It also offers 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece.
You can many other accessories like star night software, EZ finder II reflex sight (this tiny instrument allows you to have accuracy thanks to red dot sight it comes with). Also, collimation cap comes in the box.
It has very simply design as it is Dobsonian telescope. There is not much to look into it however, the basics are that it has sturdy base which keeps the reflector in balance. It has large optical mirror. its base is moveable due to unique two axis. Like, we said Dobsonian telescopes are simple all you have to place them and start observing the stars. However, if you are using it first time you will need sometime to adjust to this design.
Every product has its shortcomings. So, lets take a look at some drawbacks of Orion 8945.
We know that it has simply design but its not easy to assemble. The base can take a lot of time to get adjusted properly so, keep the spare time in hand while assembling this telescope.
The red dot offers very limited sighting. Also, the eyepiece is only 25mm which can be limiting for people who wants to enjoy more scenes.
The one more flaw we found in this telescope is quality of bearings. They felt pretty weak.
The following pros and cons can help you decide if you want this telescope or not.
Orion 8945 is budget friendly and excellent option for stargazing. It truly offers bang for bucks. The quality of Optics is top-notch and thanks to its design it is very easy to use. Its Dobsonian design also makes it easy to store and carry.
On downsides, the axis bearing quality is just weak. As it is budget friendly telescope you cannot experience full protentional of celestial sighting without buying extra accessories.
Celestron NexStar 130SLT
The 3rd and last telescope in this list is also by Celestron. Nexstar 130SLT is computerized telescope. These types of telescopes are easy to use, offers precise control of movement as well as saves your time when you are looking for beautiful stars.
Let’s take a look at features of Nexstar 130SLT.
This telescope comes with the apparatus size of 1300mm and focal length of 650mm. You can use it with up to 2 inches eyepiece. The biggest feature you are going to find in this telescope is its computerized hand control which makes its movements precise.
You will also find data of 600 galaxies and 300 clusters in hand control. There are some more data which rounds up to 4000+. So, yes Like Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope you can count on Celestron for Database of stars.
Just like Nexstar 6 SE this telescope also has Sky align feature which allows you to lock up to 3 bright cosmic objects.
Celestron is famous in manufacturing compact and portable designs. 130SLT by Celestron is no exception it has fairly simple single arm mount design. It is compact which allows you to carry it anywhere. For optical design you are going to find Newtonian reflector.
It also comes with motorized tripod which is easy to attach and detach. The tripod is made from steel also possesses the accessory tray to help you carry extra’s with no trouble.
Okay we have talked about features and design of this telescope which is usually praising of the product as we only try to list best products. However, nothing is perfect so, even in best things you are going to find flaws and we are here to point them out so, you should know beforehand what you are getting.
Now let’s see what is lacking in this telescope.
The number one problem we found out in this telescope is its battery timing. It is similar issue to Celestron Nexstar 6 SE. So, we highly recommend you go for other power options instead of batteries while using Celestron Nexstar 130SLT.
This telescope is prone to vibration so, you need to have vibration suppression pads while using it.
No doubt this telescope is best for stargazing but if you want to observe more like moon or planets you will be required to buy a lot of accessories which even includes moon filter. The accessories are not very cheap, but they can add up pretty quickly in your total bill so, keep an eye on that.
The quality of focuser is average. If you are expecting to have an excellent experience while setting focus manually, we recommend opting for separate focuser.
Below are some major pros cons of this telescope.
Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT is lightweight, easy to use, comfortable to setup, compact and portable telescope for stargazing. It offers computerized hand control along sky align feature to makes it Go-to feature accurate.
On downsides, the battery life is very less so, choose power adapter instead while using this. Also, its design and lightweight makes it wobbly. So, to avoid this issue choose vibration suppression pads. We are sure that you are going to enjoy this telescope for stargazing despite its shortcomings.
How to Choose Best Telescope for Stargazing?
We are here to help you choose the best products only so, we are sure that the following guide will help you choose best telescope. We are consumers just like you so, its our top priority to provide maximum information to our readers because we expect the same from other blogs as a reader as well.
With that said, let’s take a look at buyer’s guide.
Before purchasing any telescope, you have to know what size will be suitable for you? Do you want a telescope which is compact easy to carry, or you want a telescope which is heavy and can be fixed at only one place? Everyone has different want than other. So, if you are the first one who wants a portable telescope than choose the lightest and portable model you can find. If you are the latter than choose a telescope which offers sturdiness.
The lightweight telescope offers on the go stargazing experience while heavy telescopes are sturdy you cannot carry them everywhere easily, but you can count on them for stability. Portable telescopes are prone to vibration.
In short, know what you want sturdiness or portability.
There are three major types of optical designs the most used are reflectors, the second are refractor and third ones are catadioptric. The reflectors are most common and budget friendly option, but they lack in contrast of secondary obstructions. The refractors are expensive however they offer the best image quality to the user. And catadioptric are famous for their compactness but not so famous for quality of an image. Catadioptric has lowest image quality from all three.
The bigger aperture are better for observing dim galaxies or objects. Unless, you want to go deep in the space you can use normal aperture for stargazing.
The lower the focal ratio the wider the view it offers. So, for stargazing the focal ratio from f/4 to f/6 is enough. But you can also choose up to f/10.
The most important thing is your budget. Set up your budget before purchasing any telescope. Choose the telescope which offers plenty of features without compromising the quality as mentioned above in our list.
Wrapping it up
We are concluding this article here. Our team has spent around 50 hours on research so, you can choose the best telescope within reasonable budget. Not many people talk about shortcoming of consumer products separately, but you can see above that we have discussed major limitations of every telescope apart from pros cons table. The buyer’s guide also included so, you can do research right and make the best possible decision.