Adult’s telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best telescope for adults, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. We have been able to gather plenty of information that has enabled us to compare products based on product surveys, actual owner feedback and ratings and reviews in expert review sites for this type of product. According to our findings/research, the Orion 10015 StarBlast is the best because of its innovative compact grab-and-go design that makes it the perfect tool for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts. Boasting a generous 4.5-inch aperture, this instrument comes with a speedy focal ratio of f/4 to deliver bright, detailed views of our Solar System’s components such as the Moon and planets, along with farther objects such as star clusters and nebulae. Its stable tabletop base delivers remarkable altazimuth motion to enable easy manual tracking of celestial objects as they move across the sky. If the Orion 10015 StarBlast is unavailable, your second option should be the Orion 9024 AstroView.
The telescope is indisputably the tool of choice whether for beginner-level or intermediate-level celestial observations. A good quality telescope offers convenience and dependable performance using award winning telescope capabilities and features. How can you distinguish the best telescope for adults from the inferior ones on the market?
The best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies comes with an optimally large aperture
The power of the telescope is determined by the size or diameter of the mirror or its light-collecting lens. This is simply known as the instrument’s aperture. The aperture is specified in the product’s package, and is also indicated at the front part of the tube and sometimes, near the focuser. The aperture or lens/mirror diameter is commonly expressed in millimeters and sometimes in inches. One inch is equal to 25.4mm. An aperture of at least 70mm or 2.8 inches or higher is preferred in any decent quality telescope.
A larger aperture means the mirror or lens has a higher capability for light gathering, providing greater detail in viewed objects. This also enables you to view fainter objects with greater detail than when using low aperture telescopes. You might view a huge number of deep sky targets in locations far from the lights of the city. Electric lights tend to interfere with the light-gathering ability of the optical components of a telescope. An 80mm or 3.1-inch aperture telescope lets you observe galaxies beyond our own especially in dark locations. In suburban settings, you can do this using a 6- to 8-inch telescope. Regardless of the intense brightness or darkness of the night sky, a high-aperture instrument lets you achieve exceptional views as against using a telescope with a small aperture.
Magnification, no matter how manufacturers blow it up in their products’ boxes, is not a reliable indicator of a scope’s power. Some manufacturers of cheap telescopes place too much emphasis on this element by using awe-inspiring numbers such as 500x magnification and the like. Technically, the maximum useful magnification of the device is 50 times the aperture in inches, which is equal to the aperture in millimeters taken twice. Thus, if you are to genuinely obtain 500x magnification, two conditions should be met: the viewing conditions should be perfect and free from air currents, and you will have to use a 10-inch scope as well.
Magnification is calculated using the focal length of the scope’s objective. Take the focal length and divide it by the dimension of the eyepiece, which can be found on the eyepiece barrel. Thus, if you have a focal length of 750mm and a 25mm eyepiece, you can achieve a 30x magnification, or the value obtained from 750/25. Plenty of models include one or two eyepieces in the package, enabling you to switch magnifications by changing the eyepieces to get a different focal length.
Consider the type of product in the best telescope reviews that you can easily work with
Telescopes on the market typically come with a refractor optical design. A refractor scope features a lens at the front of the tube. Typically requiring minimal maintenance, a refractor scope tends to fetch a higher price because of its typically large aperture. Apochromatic scopes help you achieve better quality images and this means higher acquisition costs than comparatively sized achromatic scopes.
Reflector scopes have the mirror or lens at the rear of the primary tube. Reflectors cost the least for a given aperture. They also require diligent adjustments to their optical alignment most especially when they are accidentally bumped askew. Adjustment of the optical alignment is simply known as collimation and is relatively simple to perform.
Compound or catadioptric telescopes utilize a network of lenses and mirrors. They come with compact tubes plus a relatively lightweight design. Maksutov-Cassegrain and Schmidt-Cassegrain.are the most widely-used catadioptrics.
The best beginner telescope for adults comes with a robust mount
The mount frequently gets the least attention but it is in fact of prime importance. A lot of models ship with their own tripod or mount. Smaller models typically come with a mounting block that accommodates a standard tripod for photography using a screw. Please remember though, that what might work for photography may not be suitable for astro-imaging or astrophotography. Mounts designed for telescope use feature larger and more rigid plates or rings and not just attachment blocks with single-screw designs.
Some mounts enable horizontal swinging of the scope as well as up and down orientation adjustments just like a standard photo tripod. These are called altitude-azimuth mounts, or simply altazimuth or alt-az mounts. A version of the altazimuth mount is the wooden platform of Dobsonians.
The equatorial mount is a more sophisticated type of mount and is designed to track the movement of the stars across the sky. An equatorial mount is larger and heavier than alt-az ones, and can only be properly used after correct alignment with Polaris or the North Star. Some equatorial mounts are driven by a motor to enable them to follow the movement of celestial objects under observation through buttons on a keypad controller.
Top adult’s telescope reviews in 2017
As the interest in celestial observations grows, so does the market for the best starter telescope for adults. The above buying guide has been prepared to help consumers become more informed buyers. We have also showcased the best products below for even more shopping guidance.
Orion 10015 StarBlast
The Orion 10015 StarBlast is designed to be a fantastic compact grab-and-go telescope for the novice and intermediate-level astronomer.
It boasts a hefty 4.5-inch aperture along with a fast f/4 focal ratio, which ensures bright and clear views of the elements of our solar system, including the planets and the Moon.
What’s even more exciting is the ability of this telescope to enable wide-field viewing of celestial objects such as the star clusters and nebulae. Shipped to you preassembled, this telescope offers out-of-the-box functionality, letting you take it out of its package and set it up immediately in your backyard in just minutes.
Featuring a stable tabletop base, this telescope ensures smooth altazimuth motion for hassle-free manual tracking of heavenly objects, providing genuine learning enjoyment.
This model comes with an EZ Finder II reflex sight that ensures easy aiming. The collimation cap enables problem-free alignment so you can immediately do observations.
This grab-and-go telescope comes with a compact design that makes it perfect for those just learning to explore the beauty of the night sky and the delightful spectacle to behold there.
The relatively large 4.5-inch aperture coupled with the fast f/4 focal ratio delivers bright and detailed views of the solar system components such as the planets and the Moon along with expansive celestial elements including the constellations and nebulae.
The product is shipped to the buyer pre-assembled so there’s no need to figure out how to put everything together first.
The user enjoys a seamless, smooth altazimuth motion that facilitates the effortless manual tracking of celestial objects.
Far from being just a toy, the telescope comes with remarkably high-quality optics further complemented with two Explorer II 1.25-inch Kellner telescope eyepieces.
According to one customer, the tension adjustment knob for vertical height is rather finicky because it can’t be fully tightened so the scope either slides down or can’t be moved that well when tracking objects across the sky.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($205.99)
Orion 9024 AstroView
Engineered to please, the Orion 9024 AstroView is a 90mm refractor telescope that doesn’t compromise on quality despite the amazingly pocket-friendly price.
A solidly-constructed device, this model offers the novice backyard astronomer a great way to learn about the celestial objects, and gives the intermediate-level astronomer something to look forward to during each viewing endeavor.
This model offers spectacular views of the many celestial objects that dot the heavens, including our nearest neighbor the Moon. The 90mm aperture makes this model a genuinely powerful performer that can give fantastic views of the heavens and its amazing denizens including binary stars, star clusters, nebulae and more.
Enjoy amazingly high-contrast detail with every use. Use the telescope on specific or given times of the year to witness incredibly amazing views of Saturn and its awesome rings, Jupiter and its cloud bands as well as four of its major Galilean moons. Be thrilled by the viewing possibilities this instrument can give you.
Delivering vivid, crisp views of the planets and the moon, this telescope is a powerful, high-quality device that gives big returns for such a small investment.
Get sharp images that only a powerful, refractor-type telescope of this caliber can deliver using a multi-coated 90mm objective lens with a 910mm focal length.
The critical optical elements are housed in an enameled aluminum tube that protects the components from the elements while guaranteeing a lightweight structure.
Aside from the two included Sirius Plossl 1.25-inch eyepieces, the scope also ships with a 6×30 finder scope, a 90-degree mirror diagonal to gather light for effortless nighttime viewing, a drag-free 1.25-inch rack and pinion focuser, Starry Night astronomy software, and every component needed for a successful astronomy experience.
When the scope is being focused, the equatorial mount wobbles just a little bit but that’s just because of the extra-pressure from the user’s hands on the unit when adjustments are being performed.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($279.99)
The Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST is a cool Newtonian reflector telescope that offers advanced features for superb viewing experience. Designed for the novice as well as the intermediate astronomer, this model is suitable for targeting deep-sky targets.
This model is a ‘short tube’ version of the SpaceProbe 130 reflector, making it easy to store and transport because of its more compact design. You can get a wider field of view plus more brilliant images thanks to the focal length of 650mm of the 130mm primary mirror. This device features a diffraction-limited parabolic mirror, which used to be exclusive only to reflector telescopes of larger size and higher cost.
The parabolic mirror is necessary for focusing gathered light to a point to ensure the delivery of detailed, sharp images. Light loss and diffraction spikes are minimized thanks to the secondary mirror’s advanced holder outfitted with thin 0.5mm metal vanes.
Be awed by the vivid, crisp views of amazing celestial objects including the crater-marked surface of the moon, among many others.
Able to collect a sufficient quantity of light, this 5.1-inch aperture reflector telescope provides astounding views of the Moon and the planets along with the constellations, nebulae, and galaxies outside of our own.
The short 24-inch optical tube design facilitates effortless portability as well as a fast f/5 focal ratio for fantastic wide-field views, making this a genuinely versatile instrument for the entire family.
The sturdy EQ-2 equatorial mount partners well with the adjustable tripod to facilitate the manual, slow-motion tracking of celestial objects as they move across the sky.
The scope only weighs in at 27 pounds when completely assembled, which makes it easy to carry or transport so you can find the perfect spot to do celestial viewing.
The unit ships with everything you need for a successful study of the night sky including a 6×30 finderscope, 1.25-inch rack-and-pinion focuser, tripod accessory tray, two 1.25-inch Sirius Plossl eyepieces, Starry Night astronomy software, and a collimation cap, to name just a few.
This is an instrument that is easy to love except for the supplied instructions that are, according to one customer, terrible. Another buyer said there wasn’t any user guide at all in the package.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.99)
Celestron 21063 AstroMaster
Suitable for beginners, the Celestron 21063 AstroMaster offers versatility for both celestial as well as terrestrial viewing. You can view binary stars, the planets and the Moon along with scenery, birds and any faraway objects on land.
The multi-coated optics ensure crisp and clear images. When used with an appropriate T-Mount adapter, this model enables use for astrophotography aside from astro-imaging. The rugged, pre-assembled tripod ensures dependable support and stability. The 10mm and 20mm eyepieces provide easy viewing while the permanently mounted StarPointer finder scope enables easy locating of objects in the heavens. The Erect Image Optics provide comfortable viewing of celestial and terrestrial objects.
The quick release dovetail attachment enables affixation of an alt-azimuth mount which, together with the pan-handle alt-az control with clutch, will ensure effortless and smooth pointing towards objects.
The 1.25-inch steel tube legs on the pre-assembled tripod help you with a strong and stable platform. The included Sky Level 1 planetarium software comes with a capacious 10,000-object database for learning and teaching as well as easy and clear image viewing.
A great choice for those who want a dual-purpose telescope, this product can also serve as a long-range spotting scope for terrestrial use.
This refractor-style device offers more than twice the light-gathering capacity of standard 60mm units, for clearer and more vivid images.
The unit comes with a fully illustrated quick setup guide that makes it really easy to assemble for out-of-the-package functionality.
The unit comes with everything needed for a successful astronomy viewing experience including the high and low-power eyepieces, an erect image prism, and a valuable astronomy software for use with your computer.
The premium-quality optical system of the scope allows you to enjoy great views every night, from fantastic star clusters to expansive nebulae to the Moon and the planets.
Because the altazimuth mount is a manual type of component, it is unable to track the planets and the stars moving from one end of the sky to the other.
The included starpointer is not so easy to use and comes with a learning curve.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($214.99)
Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ
Engineered for use by intermediate level astronomers, the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ enables you to make celestial observations of a higher degree, helping you enjoy the delightful night sky.
This model provides a complete setup for planetary and lunar viewing. You can also observe deep-sky objects such as galaxies and star clusters. This model ships with two eyepieces that deliver 35x and 175x magnifications and when enhanced with the supplied 3x Barlow lens, gets their magnification tripled for even more clarity and resolution, giving you a wide variety of viewing potentials.
The manual German equatorial mount is geared with Declination as well as Right Ascension (RA) indicators to make celestial navigation positively exciting. The dual slow-motion cables make it easy to track the object you are observing across the sky while ensuring accuracy and minimal vibrations.
This model features an innovative height-adjustable aluminum tripod that supports the scope on a stable platform for flawless viewing. Images are corrected horizontally and vertically for comfortable viewing thanks to the prism of the diagonal.
With its no-tool setup, this telescope comes to you ready for use with just some minor assembly needed. After the scope and tripod have been removed from the box, you only need to attach two components and insert the preferred eyepiece, and it’s good to go.
The telescope facilitates effortless use with its slow-motion controls that enable you to perform fluid tracking of celestial objects moving through the sky.
The device boasts erect image optics that are perfectly geared to facilitate terrestrial and celestial viewing every time.
The fully-coated glass optical elements are treated with high-transmission coatings to enable them to deliver superb image brightness and clarity.
You get thrice the magnifying power from every eyepiece used with the scope thanks to the supplied 3X Barlow lens.
Some buyers may not find any use for the smaller eyepiece in the package but beginner-level astronomers may still consider them good add-ons.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($109)