Computerized telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best computerized telescope, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our research the Celestron CPC 800 is the best because it comes with a tube and tripod so you can start using it right out of the box. It also comes with a 12v adapter and battery pack so you don’t need to be near an electrical outlet in order to use this computerized telescope. With an 8×50 finder scope it is easy to zero in on selected targets, and with 50x magnification thanks to the plossl eyepiece you will be able to see everything from Saturn’s rings at night to the individual stars in the Orion Nebula. Even though this is a powerful model, it is still easy enough for beginners to operate. If the Celestron CPC 800 is not available, you second option should be the Celestron NexStar 6 SE.
At some point every astronomer will probably want to invest in a computerized telescope simply so they can see farther objects clearly in the sky. While looking at the moon’s surface is fascinating, there are other galaxies, stars and planets to explore. Even the best entry level computerized telescope will be able to perform better than a manual model. If you are interested in a computerized telescope but don’t know what to look for, the following tips in this buying guide will help you get started.
Before you even start shopping the best computerized telescope reviews recommend first deciding on a budget. You should expect to pay more for a computerized model than you would for a manual one, but it is possible to find a great one at an affordable price. The cost of the telescope is usually determined by its power, optical and alignment systems, along with any included features and accessories.
It is also important to consider how the telescope will be used when you are deciding on a set spending limit. If it is for casual astronomers a basic, inexpensive model will probably be fine, especially if you are not trying to discover a new galaxy. Students and avid stargazers might want to consider paying a little more for a telescope that comes with a higher magnification. The materials used in its construction will also affect its price, and you want to make sure that you don’t sacrifice quality simply to save a few dollars.
The best value computerized telescope should be powerful enough to allow you to see distant nebulas and planets, and this will depend on its magnification. The size of the aperture, which refers to the diameter of the main lens will determine how bright and clear distant objects appear and it will also affect its magnification capabilities. Larger apertures will provide you with crisp bright images, and also allow for higher magnification. An easy way to see if the telescope will have the power you need is to remember that generally you can depend on a useful magnification of 20x to 50x per square inch on the aperture. If you want to be able to make out features on Mars when it passes by or details on a star cluster you will want to choose a telescope with at least 150x magnification.
The diameter of the eyepiece will also affect magnification and your field of view. Almost all computerized telescopes come with at least one eyepiece, and some come with two or more. Though this does affect its price. Some telescopes have interchangeable eyepieces so you can add the ones you need at a later date. You also want to pay attention to the telescope’s focal length since this will affect the amount of light that enters into your field of view, along with how easy it is to use. Some of the best computerized telescopes for beginners come with a long focal length, and this is also ideal for glasses wearers.
There are two types of mounts to choose from, equatorial and altazimuth. Both will allow you to move the telescope horizontally and vertically, but altazimuth mounts are significantly easier to set up. If the telescope is for a beginner you will probably want to chose one with this type of mount. Altazimuth mounts are also lighter in weight, but it should be noted that they are harder to motorize. While this type of mount makes it easy to zero in on an object, if you are tracking something moving across the sky you will have to move the telescope in two directions at once.
Equatorial mounts are designed to make it easy to track objects as they move across the sky, but if you are not familiar with the setup it can be time consuming and frustrating to use. An advantage to these mounts is that they can be motorized and this does make it significantly easier to use. Along with your familiarity with computerized telescopes your personal preference will also help you choose a mount that is right for you. It should also be mentioned that there are now Dobsonian mounts that are durable, sturdy and usually priced lower.
Top computerized telescope reviews in 2017
If you want to be able to easily distant planets and galaxies you need the power you get from a computerized telescope. Since these telescopes come at a variety of price points chances are you will be able to find the perfect one to meet your needs and budget. While we can’t choose the right model for you we can help you make an informed decision, which is why we have the best computerized telescopes in 2017 showcased below.
There is very little not to like about this computerized telescope from Celestron. It has the power students and avid astronomers need to see distant stars, nebulas and planets, while also being relatively easy to use. It comes with an 8 inch reflecting Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope so you can rest assured you are getting a quality product.
The telescope also comes with a lightweight aluminum optical tube and sturdy tripod so you can get started viewing the night sky right out of the box. You will also appreciate the included 12v adapter and battery pack so you don’t have to worry if there is an outlet nearby in order to use the telescope.
To make sure that you are aligned properly it comes with SkyAlign technology. This ensures that the telescope is set up to the exact coordinates. The attached remote makes it easy to set the alignment, and it will also scan the night scan automatically with just the touch of a button.
You also have the advantage of Celestron’s Starbright optical system. The 8×50 finder scope ensures that you can locate distant stars and planets quickly and easily. To ensure a wide viewing angle there is also a 40mm plossl eyepiece that can be easily changed out as needed.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($1649)
It’s not hard to see why this is the best computerized telescope for under $1000. Celestron has designed the NexStar 6 to be powerful, easy to use and relatively affordable. The best part about this 6 inch telescope is that its package includes the optics.Like most Celestron models this computerized telescope comes with StarBright optics that are coated to ensure images are crisp and clear.
You never have to worry about not being able to find a planet or constellation thanks to StarPointer finderscope. It will help ensure that the telescope is aligned properly so you can accurately locate what you are looking for. This is always a bonus for students who need to find a distant star or pinpoint the location of a galaxy for their homework.
With a database that includes up to 40,000 objects chances are the coordinates for the one you are looking for is included.
Thanks to the “quick release” mount it is easy to attach the telescope to the sturdy tripod, and you will also appreciate the convenient accessory tray. Even though there aren’t any tools needed for setup, it is still the perfect place to hold pens and pads for convenient note taking.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($699)
The 130mm aperture helps to ensure objects are crisp and clear, especially when this is combined with an impressive focal length of 650mm there is very little you won’t be able to see in the night sky. The long focal length also ensures that images are bright, and it is a great choice for anyone that wears glasses.
As an added advantage this telescope also comes with two eyepieces so you can enjoy exceptional wide views. The eyepieces can also be easily changed out as needed or as your budget permits.
With Celestron’s SkyAlign technology it is easy to align this telescope with almost any point in the night sky. You also have access to the impressive database so finding an object is never a problem.
The SkyAlign system even has the ability to line up with any three known celestial bodies so you can track them and anything in between. The altazimuth mount is one of the few that is motorized so tracking and finding objects has never been easier.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($384.86)
One of the first aspects you’ll notice about this computerized reflector telescope is that it comes with an easy to use Dobsonian mount.
Considered a slight variation on the more common altazimuth, it is sturdy, lightweight and helps to keep the overall cost of the telescope a little more affordable than some similar models. You also have the advantage of the motorized object locator and tracker that can recognize and find over 42,000 celestial objects.
The 8 inch diameter aperture ensures that every detail of the moon, star clusters and distant planets is clearly visible.
You will also appreciate the 28mm and 12.5mm eyepieces. Both will provide you with wide views, and they come with a convenient rack for easy storage.
While the 28mm eyepiece is perfect for viewing objects deep in space, the illuminated crosshairs on the 12.5mm one ensures that you don’t miss the star or planet you are looking for. This telescope also comes with Starry Night software so you will always be able to identify what you are looking at in the sky.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($999.99)
Celestron is well known for their quality telescopes, and the 60LCM lives up to the company’s stellar reputation. It comes at an affordable price, considering its power and included extras, and it is also relatively easy to use.
Students and amateur astronomers will both enjoy using this refractor telescope. The 60mm refractor ensures that you can clearly see star clusters and distant nebulas. The long focal point ensures that even dim, distant planets appear bright and sharp, and you will also appreciate the wide view you get with the included eyepiece. The eyepiece can also be changed out as needed.
The mount is even motorized for easy setup and alignment. It is also surprisingly lightweight, which is always convenient.
The aluminum optic tube and folding tripod are also included so you can start using this telescope right out of the box.
Students and beginning astronomers will definitely appreciate the included software and database that makes it easy to locate celestial bodies without having to spend hours aimlessly scanning the night sky. With over 4,000 objects already in the database, chances are this computerized telescope can easily find the celestial body you are looking for.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)