Telescopes can help us see the beauty of the stars, constellations, and other celestial objects. However, the price of some telescopes can be daunting and it is kind of difficult to start a hobby in astronomy when you’re on a budget. But not all of them are expensive because there are also some telescopes that are cheap in price but can produce some great results.
Though, there are some people who make the mistake of quickly running out to the nearest hobby store and picking up a telescope off the shelf that promises more than what it can really deliver. Usually, these telescopes are stocked and bought by people who do not have enough knowledge that is needed to guide their purchase decisions. This can ultimately frustrate any would be amateur astronomer and can only put your money to waste.
So, if you are looking into buying a telescope soon but you want to find a good quality one that won’t break your budget, you’re in the right place because we will give you some points and criteria to be able to pick the best one.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Budget-Friendly Telescope
Here are some of the fundamental criteria for you to find a low-priced telescope that is worth it and you will be able to enjoy. These are the things you should consider:
- Good Quality Construction: It’s important to choose a telescope that has a solid and reliable build quality at a reasonable price. The goal is to find a good cheap telescope and not the least expensive one that is available.
- Easy to Use: The controls of the telescope should be easy to reach and operate. Choose a telescope wherein the optics do not require frequent adjustment in order to provide good views.
- Stable Mounting: Aside from finding a telescope with good optics, having a strong, stable mounting is important as well. Because without a stable mounting, even the best telescope in the world will not be able to deliver good views. Lack of suitably stable mount is the primary downfall of most “cheap” telescopes, therefore, it’s a must to find one that has a stable mounting.
- Portable: It’s also better to choose a portable or conveniently mobile telescope because it will allow you to take it anywhere especially when the skies from your home are badly polluted. You should choose a telescope that is easy to pack up and transport safely, and as well as easy to set up under dark conditions. Also, the telescope must be able to be operated even without access to electricity because you will mostly use it out and away from the lights.
Celestial Objects You Should See Through a Budget Telescope
When you buy a budget telescope, it will not offer you to see NASA-quality images. But there are some sights that are open to you that you can enjoy with it. Here are some of the celestial objects that you will be able to see through a budget telescope:
- Saturn’s rings
- Jupiter’s cloud bands
- Jupiter’s Galilean moons
- Lunar craters
- Andromeda Galaxy
- The Pleiades
- Mercury and Venus’ discs and crescents
- Mars’ disc
- Orion Nebula
- Double stars and star clusters
Budget Telescopes Recommendations
After knowing the things to consider when choosing a budget telescope, we are also giving you a list of the best quality and budget-friendly telescopes we found that you may like.
This telescope comes with a point and shoot stand. It is an easy-to-use telescope for astronomy beginners. It comes with 6.3mm, 9mm, and 26mm eyepieces, however, they are all cheap modified achromats or an updated version of a Kellner which is nothing to get excited about. But you can upgrade to Plossls when you get hooked on astronomy. This telescope also comes with a red dot viewfinder and an astronomy software DVD.
To sum it up, this telescope is great for beginners on a budget because it has a decent aperture for its price, it is simple to set-up and use, and it is light and easy to transport.
This is a 6-inch telescope that is very well made, making it worth it for its price. It is mounted on a Dobsonian base and its design is made to maximize the amount of aperture for the price, making it a simple point and shoot telescope. It is also very much simpler to set up compared to other telescopes.
This telescope is also designed to be transported easily to the dark location of your choice. It also has a 6-inch mirror and 450mm focal length, making it a light bucket telescope. Its base also has very low levels of vibration and it is a much more enjoyable mount to use. This telescope will also give you free access to Starry Night software and it also comes with a 25mm Plossl eyepiece that can give 36x magnification. It is a fantastic and budget-friendly telescope for beginners and kids.
This telescope comes with a basic tabletop base which can provide a stable viewing platform and you can set it on any sturdy table. This telescope is great for younger observers because it’s hard to break and very easy to use. It performs well for its size and it can be easily moved from the tabletop to a different mount when you want to upgrade to a more capable platform. This telescope comes with a removable red dot finder, a diagonal, and two eyepieces.
This is a popular and a low-priced starter telescope. It is simple and easy to set up. In fact, you can set it up and use in a few minutes. It is a basic telescope but it works great especially for new backyard astronomers because it only requires very little constructions. And since it’s a small telescope, you will be able to bring it anywhere easily.
With this telescope, you will be able to see the moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. However, it won’t be able to let you see fainter objects such as galaxies and nebulae. This telescope is great for those who just want to try out astronomy and don’t want to spend a lot of money doing it.
This telescope comes with an equatorial mount and a free copy of Starry Night software that will help you find your way around the night sky. Aside from that, this telescope also comes with 25mm and 10mm Plossl eyepieces that can give 18x and 45x magnification. It comes with a sturdy and robust mount that can reduce vibrations.
Through this telescope, you will be able to see bands on Jupiter’s surface and you will be able to see deep space objects brighter like the Orion Nebula and the Pleiades. In fact, on a good night, you might even see the Andromeda Galaxy.
It’s really challenging to choose a good telescope on a small budget and you definitely need to work out how you will be able to get the best value by balancing all the features a telescope offers. We hope the criteria and the products we shared will help you find a telescope that won’t break your budget but will enable you to enjoy viewing wonderful celestial objects at night.