Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA (2021)

Right now, we all are trying to stay safe at home, and this time this has become really challenging as most of us have already spent months sitting at home due to the pandemic but still, you can do lots of interesting things to keep yourself busy and one of the best things is stargazing in order to explore the night sky sitting at the backyard of your house or from the terrace. Currently, the sale of the best telescope for stargazing is on the rise and the United States being one of the largest markets of the telescope shows the enthusiast mind you have for exploration of the sky. Keeping that in mind, our team has researched and come up with Top 8 best telescopes for stargazing in the USA.

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No matter, if you are a beginner or looking for the best professional telescope, we have included all in different price brackets while reviewing different telescope models in Top 8 best telescopes for stargazing in the USA.

Before making your purchase, it is important that you must figure out the budget you are planning to invest in your stargazing telescope. Apart from the budget, there are many other factors that you need to consider while going ahead to choose your best telescope for viewing planets. We will be talking about the related factors in detail in our buyer’s guide section of this article.

Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA – Top 8 Reviews

As said earlier, we have divided our article into 3 basic sections. In the first section we will list out top 8 best telescope for viewing planets and for beginners. In the second section we will be discussing about the factors you should consider while going to buy your best telescope for astrophotography while at the end we will try to answer some of the frequently asked questions that we came across over the internet during our research on the topic.

So, let’s start first with the top 8 picks.

Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope – Portable Refractor Telescope

– Ideal Telescope for Beginners, Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA

4.2 out of 5, 3200+ Reviews

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Credit: Celestron

Celestron is one of the world’s best telescope brands which has started its operation in 1960. Based in California, today Celestron is preferred not only in the USA but the whole world. The 70mm travel telescope from Celestron is one of the best telescopes for beginners and the affordable price of the telescope further makes it an attractive bet. Some of the important features of the Celestron travel scope are:

Features

  • High-quality optics, Fully coated glass
  • The lightweight frame (3.3 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 70mm objective lens

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Cheap & portable
  • One of the largest sold telescope models
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces (20mm & 10mm)
  • The package contains a tripod, backpack, and software
  • 2-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • Comes with manual Alt-Azimuth mount
  • Only for beginners, not powerful enough

Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope (Teal)

-Best telescope for space, Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA

4.5 out of 5, 250+ Reviews

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Credit: Orion

The next reflector telescope model in our list is the Orion StarBlast which is suitable for a newbie star explorer or a kid of up to 13 years age. The Orion is an American retail company which is also a leader in manufacturing telescopes, binoculars and its accessories. The Orion is an age-old brand which started in 1975 from California. Being a table top telescope model, it is easy to handle. Some of the important features of the Orion telescope for space are:

Features

  • High quality optics, Fully coated glass
  • Sturdy frame (13 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 114mm objective lens aperture
  • Focal length: 450mm

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Cheap & portable
  • One of the largest sold telescope models
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces (17mm & 6mm)
  • A great piece to start your space exploration
  • 2-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • Comes with manual Alt-Azimuth mount
  • Only for beginners & intermediate sky explorers

Gskyer Telescope, 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount

Best Astronomical Refracting Telescope for Kids Beginners

4.6 out of 5, 1400+ Reviews

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Not sure whether the kids would be able to handle their first telescope for space? looking for an affordable alternative then Gskyer telescope might be a good choice for you due to its functionalities at a much lower cost. But you must understand that the quality of the telescope might not be as good as the best telescope for beginners from the leading brands like Orion, Meade, and Celestron.

The Gskyer is the best telescope for kids who are enthusiasts to dive into space but at the same time, they need more time to learn, how to handle these telescopes. Let us look into the important features of the best telescope for kids from Gskyer

Features

  • Good quality optics with the coating
  • The sturdy frame (13 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 70mm objective lens
  • Focal Length: 400mm

Pros

  • German technology but no clear representation of the country of origin
  • Cheap & portable
  • One of the largest sold telescope models
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces (25mm & 10mm)
  • A great piece to start your space exploration
  • Package includes a mobile adaptor and wireless remote to click the images and a tripod
  • Lifetime maintenance and support

Cons

  • Comes with manual Alt-Azimuth mount
  • Suitable for kids and beginners

Meade Instruments – Polaris 70mm Aperture, Portable Backyard Refracting Astronomy Telescope for Beginners –Stable German Equatorial (GEM) Manual Mount

-Best telescope for beginners, Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA

4.4 out of 5, 240+ Reviews

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Credit: Meade Instruments

This is another good telescope from the house of Meade. The telescope model is known as Polaris and it comes with a more stable mount. If you are willing to see the Saturn rings, then you need to add a 6mm eyepiece and hurray! You are ready to dive in. The eyepiece you get with the package is suited for gazing at the moon surfaces. Some of the other features of the Polaris 114 are

Features

  • Good quality optics with a coating
  • The sturdy frame (17 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 70mm objective lens
  • Focal Length: 900mm

Pros

  • World class brand from USA
  • Cheap & portable
  • One of the largest sold telescope models
  • Comes with 3 eyepieces (6.3mm, 9mm, 26mm)
  • Includes Astronomical Software and Instructional DVD
  • German Equatorial Mount with slow motion controls
  • Red dot finder included
  • 1-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • Jiggly in breezy conditions

Celestron – NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope – Compact and Portable – Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Design – SkyAlign Technology

– Computerized Hand Control – 127mm Aperture

4.2 out of 5, 250+ Reviews

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Credit: Celestron

If you are searching for a more advanced telescope from the best telescope brand of the world then you can give a look at NexStar computerized telescope. The model is a fully computerized advanced model which makes it easy to find stars and planets in the sky. So, no more need of manual adjustments for long hours to find your planets. Some of the features of the Celestron NexStar 127SLT are

Features

  • Good quality optics with the coating
  • Opticals: Maksutov-Cassegrain
  • The sturdy frame (20 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 127mm objective lens
  • Focal Length: 1500mm

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Value for money and powerful
  • One of the largest sold advanced telescope models
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces (9mm, 25mm)
  • Includes Astronomical Software and interactive sky simulation  
  • 2-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • You need to learn from YouTube videos before start using it

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope (Black)

Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA, Best telescope for space

4.7 out of 5, 28+ Reviews

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Credit: Orion

Our next pick is an all-purpose and value for money telescope model Orion SpaceProbe. Its comparatively lower price yet powerful makes it a perfect gift to your loved ones. If you are a beginner then also you can give it a try to start with. You can easily watch Saturn rings with the included 10mm eyepiece. However, the rings would not be clear enough but yes, you can have a look as a starter. Some of the other features of the Orion Space Probe are

Features

  • High-quality optics, Fully coated glass
  • Sturdy frame
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 130mm objective lens aperture
  • Focal length: 650mm

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Cheap & portable
  • One of the best telescope models
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces (10mm & 25mm)
  • A great piece to start your space exploration
  • Orion Moon Map 260 included
  • Star Target planisphere to plan your observing sessions year-round
  • 2-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • Comes with manual Equatorial Mount
  • Only for beginners & intermediate sky explorers
  • The mount is not sturdy enough

Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope

– Manual German Equatorial Telescope for Beginners

4.0 out of 5, 2530+ Reviews

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Credit: Celestron

This telescope model from Celeron is one of the best telescopes for beginners. This power-packed telescope comes in affordable pricing making it one of the best picks for gifting to your loved ones or for using it yourself. With this telescope, you can easily dive deep into space. You can even upgrade it with the motorized mount available from Celestron. We have talked about the motorized mount at the end of our list. Some of the best features of the PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope are:

Features

  • Good quality optics with the coating
  • The sturdy frame (28 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 127mm objective lens
  • Focal Length: 1000mm

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Value for money and powerful
  • One of the largest sold advanced telescope models
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces (4mm, 20mm)
  • 3x Barlow lens included
  • Manual German equatorial mount
  • Starry Night Astronomy Software Package available for download
  • 2-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • Jones-Bird Reflector design, that means it is difficult and somewhat time consuming to collimate.
  • Heavy

Celestron – NexStar 8SE Telescope

– Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users

4.4 out of 5, 353+ Reviews

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Credit: Celestron

Features

  • Good quality optics with the coating
  • Opticals: Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • The sturdy frame (20 pounds)
  • Powerful eyepiece for up-close viewing
  • Large 203mm objective lens
  • Focal Length: 2032mm

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Value for money, powerful, and best general-purpose telescope
  • One of the largest sold advanced telescope models
  • Compatible with star sense technology, Wi-Fi
  • A fully computerized altazimuth mount
  • Comes with 2 eyepieces
  • Includes Astronomical Software and interactive sky simulation 
  • 2-years warranty with unlimited technical support

Cons

  • High cost

Recommendations: NexStar 8SE Telescope Acessories

For best use of the telescope, you can also buy some extra accessories:

Celestron 2-Inch XLT Diagonal Mirror (for SCT Telescope)

Credit: Celestron

Celestron 93436 Luminous 2-Inch 2.5x Barlow Lens (Silver) allow you to more than double your magnification with any eyepiece, and some better eyepieces.

Credit: Celestron

Until now we have reviewed the top 8 picks of the telescope from our end. However, We also felt that in most of the cases you might not find some of the accessories specially the mount up to the mark and so we have also listed the best mount you can buy if your mount received is not up to the mark or you want to upgrade your manual mount to a full computerized mount with compatibility to astrophotography.

EQ6-R – Fully Computerized GoTo German Equatorial Telescope Mount – Belt-driven, Motorized, Computerized Hand Controller with 42,900+ Celestial Object Database

– Astrophotography EQ Mount

4.5 out of 5, 46+ Reviews

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Credit: SkyWatcherUSA

If you already have your telescope and not satisfied with its mount then you can give a look at the EQ6-R German equatorial telescope mount. The fully computerized functionality of this mount not only helps you to find your object in the sky easily but also help you to mount any telescope which you may plan to buy in the future. Its universal compatibility makes it a decent choice to add up to your adventure package. Some of the important features of the universal telescope mount are:

Features

  • The sturdy frame (40 pounds)
  • German Astrophotography Equatorial Mount

Pros

  • World-class brand from the USA
  • Value for money and sturdy mount for your telescope
  • SNAP port allows for fully automated, remote-controlled DSLR camera operation.
  • Compatible with Astrophotography
  • Belt driven motor for quieter operation

Cons

  • High cost

Celestron – StarSense AutoAlign Telescope Accessory

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Credit: Celestron

If you have selected a computerized telescope to dive into the sky then you must also give a look to the top-selling StarSense auto-align telescope accessory which when mounted on your best-computerized telescope will help you to auto-align your telescope to find the stars and planets in the sky. With this auto-align accessory, finding the stars and planets will be like having a cup of cake. Check out the video to know how it works.

Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA – Quick Buyer’s Guide

This is the second section of our article where we will list out important factors you shall consider while going to buy your best telescope for astrophotography. IT is very important that you should keep in mind the technicalities related to the telescope as it varies over the long-range depending on the price of your telescope. Understanding the technicalities also plays an important role when it comes to your requirement of telescope i.e. whether you are buying it to gift it to a kid or you are planning to buy for yourself or a close friend who is very much in love with the night skies.

So, let us begin with understanding the components of your telescope first. There are 4 crucial & basic components in a telescope.

Aperture-Primary Lens/mirror

The primary lens or mirror of your telescope which captures the light and focuses it is known as the primary lens. It is also termed as an objective lens as it faces the object in the first place. As per the technical experts, it is said that the best telescope for viewing planets must have at least a 3.5-inch aperture for refractor type telescope while 5 inches for reflector type telescope.

Focal Length

The focal length of the telescope is defined as the distance between the objective lens and the point where the image is formed. As per the experts, the best telescope for viewing planets must have a minimum focal length of 39 inches for both reflector and refractor type telescopes. The long focal length will give you a narrow field-view but the object will appear larger which the vice versa is true for the shorter wavelength.

Eye Piece

The eyepiece doesn’t matter much while selecting your best telescope as you can even buy eyepieces separately for varied magnification requirements. To make it simpler, let us take a telescope with a certain focal length that produces a 10mm in diameter image of a full moon. Now if you use another telescope with a comparatively larger focal length, then the image produced will be larger. Now in order to further magnify the full moon image, we use the eyepiece that acts as a microscope. So, the larger will be the initial image, the higher will be the magnified image quality.  One should also keep in mind that; the magnification will blur the image. So, every telescope is suitable for maximum magnification after which the magnified image will be too blur to be noticed.

If you are looking to dive deep into space with the larger and clear image then you should go with the telescope with a higher focal length and aperture together which is then further magnified with any eyepiece of your choice

Types of Telescope Mount

The telescope mount is another important component which not only defines the stability of your telescope but also caps the price of it. Since your telescope is magnifying a distant object by several folds, a slight movement or vibration in your telescope mount will result in the image going out of the screen. So, it is very important that your telescope mount should be rigid and supports minute adjustments. There are basically 3 types of telescope mounts you will generally find for sale.

ALT AZIMUTH Mount

This is one of the most used and affordable telescope mounts that has both horizontal and vertical movement. With this mount, you need to set both horizontal and vertical movement in order to find your planet in the sky. As you need to set both horizontal and vertical movement of your telescope, using this mount needs a lot of patience and practice to master. You can find this mount in most of the affordable telescope models on sale.

DOBSONIAN Mount

This is one of the cheapest telescope mounts usually used with simple Newtonian reflecting telescope tubes. If you are planning to buy a telescope for kids in your home then it has a high possibility that the telescope you choose will have a Dobsonian mount. The mount is not as potable as the other two.

EQUATORIAL Mount

The equatorial mount is one of the simplest handling telescope mounts. It is designed with an axis tilted to the celestial pole and so while setting your telescope you just need to move your telescope in one axis which is much easier to tackle while searching your planet in the sky. The German-designed equatorial mount with slow-motion control is one of the most recommended telescope mounts among all. This telescope mount is generally comes fitted with high-end telescopes

Types of Telescope

 There are basically 3 types of the telescope that have been characterized based on the optics used in each category. The reflector type telescope uses a mirror to reflect light and generate a brighter and clearer image while the refractor type telescope uses a lens to generate the image. The catadioptric type telescope is one of the most powerful of all and uses a combination of both mirror and lens to generate a crisp and clear image. Generally, the cost of the catadioptric telescope is on the higher side.

Some of the other important features of the three types of telescopes are as follow:

Catadioptric Telescope/ Computerized Telescope 

  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate explorers
  • Also known as Computerized Telescope 
  • Uses both lens and mirror to generate image
  • Most powerful and costliest of all
  • High end telescopes are available with this technology
  • Periodical maintenance required
  • Used by industrial as well as home explorers
  • Ability to deep dive into the space with clear surface image magnification

Refractor Telescope

  • Uses lens to generate an image
  • Comparatively costly technology
  • Jack for all trades i.e. can be used for both sky and land observations
  • Best for home use as even smaller lens aperture can generate good image quality
  • Generally used by home users and beginners due to its lower price
  • Very low to no maintenance required
  • Lower end telescope models are available with this technology

Reflector Telescope

  • Uses a mirror to reflect light and generate a brighter and clearer image
  • Comparatively cheaper technology but need a large aperture for quality image production.
  • Suitable only for space observations
  • Best for deep sky objects like galaxies
  • Generally used by space enthusiasts and researchers to capture deep-sky observations
  • Comparatively higher maintenance
  • Value for money in spite of the fact that you might have to shed more to get a reflection telescope
  • Only high-end telescope models are available with reflection technology

If Budget is Not an Issue!

If you don’t have any issue with your budget and looking for something most powerful of all to dive into the sky then you shall think of getting an advanced catadioptric telescope. These high-performance instruments are designed for deep space diving. Apart from this the compact size of the catadioptric telescopes makes it travel friendly too.

Check out some best Catadioptric Telescopes on sale

Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA – FAQs

At last, in this section we have included some of the frequently asked question over the internet related to the topic. However, if you still have query in your mind, feel free to post it in the comment section below. Our team will certainly try to provide the best solution to your query.

Does it have to be dark to use a telescope?

The darker sky allows you to see even the fainter object in the sky due to the contrast between the background and the object. The brighter the sky, it will be more difficult for you to find faint object. And you might need long integration times to compensate.

What size telescope do I need to see the rings of Saturn?

Saturn rings can be seen even with the smallest telescope at 25x magnification. However, for the Saturn rings to be clearly and separately visible, you would need a 3-inch telescope at 50x magnification.

Should I buy binoculars or a telescope?

A normal telescope might not be as good as your binoculars. As there are some binocular’s model which can be used to see objects in the sky. But if you really want to dive deep into the sky, then you need to go with astronomical telescopes. The astronomical telescopes will perform much better than the binoculars due to its gigantic lenses and sturdy support system.

Why can’t I see anything in my telescope?

Not able to see or find anything from your telescope means that your telescope is not properly aligned. Try to first align the finder’s scope to the telescope. The finder’s scope is a small scope attached to the main telescope.

Why is everything in my telescope upside down?

Things always look upside down specially in an astronomical telescope. It is perfectly normal. When compared to binoculars, things look right side up because the binoculars use prism that flips the image for normal viewing.

What is a good telescope for beginners?

The Celestron NexStar 5SE is the best telescope for beginners. It offers enough power and an efficient amount of gathered light that allows you to see deep-sky objects.

Can you see planets with a cheap telescope?

Even with a small telescope, you can see details of the giant planets. Through with a medium-sized telescope, you can see Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn change on a nightly basis.

Final Words

Until now, in this article “Top 8 Best Telescopes for stargazing in the USA” we have talked about some of the best telescopes in different budget range. We have also discussed some accessories which can further enhance your experience with your advance telescopes or if you want to upgrade your older ones.

Do let us know about your experiences and finding with your telescope. In the mean time if you have any queries do post it in the comment section below. Our researchers would love to answer your queries and go in more depth with topic.

In the mean time…

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