Many companies featured on ReadWrite partner with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and in-depth research determine how products may be selected and ranked. Learn more about how we make money.

Embark on a budget-friendly journey through the stars with our guide to the best telescopes under $500 in 2023. Astronomy doesn’t have to break the bank, and with the right telescope, you can explore the wonders of the night sky without compromising on quality. In this article, we have curated a selection of top telescopes that offer impressive performance, excellent features, and affordability, making them ideal choices for both beginners and intermediate astronomers. Join us as we discover the best telescopes that deliver exceptional value for your money.

Telescope Model Aperture (mm) Focal Length (mm) Mount Type
Zhumell Z130 Telescope 130 650 Dobsonian
Orion 10015 StarBlast Telescope 114 450 Tabletop
Orion 10012 SkyScanner Telescope 100 400 Tabletop
Orion StarBlast II Telescope 114 450 Equatorial
ExploraPro 70AZ Maksutov Telescope 70 350 Altazimuth
Sky-Watcher Skymax Telescope 127 1500 Tabletop
FEIANG Refracting Telescope 70 400 Altazimuth
Cassini Galileo Telescope 80 800 Altazimuth
SVBONY SV48P Telescope 90 500 Equatorial
Zhumell Z100 Portable Telescope 100 580 Tabletop

Zhumell Z130 Telescope

The Zhumell Z130 Telescope is a user-friendly, compact Dobsonian telescope, ideal for beginners, earning a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Key Stats:

  • Aperture: 130mm (5.1″) Parabolic primary mirror
  • Focal length: 650mm (25.6″), f/5
  • Eyepieces: Two included (10mm and 17mm)

Reasons to buy:

This telescope is perfect for those new to astronomy or looking for an easily transportable unit. The Z130 boasts a 130mm aperture which provides crisp and clear views of celestial objects. In addition, two eyepieces are included allowing for different magnifications, giving users a variety of viewing options. The simple and sturdy Dobsonian mount ensures a smooth and easy-to-use experience in locating and tracking objects in the sky. Its compact design and affordable price make it an accessible option for aspiring astronomers.

Reasons to not buy:

The Z130 may not be the best choice for experienced users who desire more advanced features and a larger aperture for deeper sky exploration. Additionally, as a manual telescope, it does not have any computerized features, which may be a limitation for some users. The build quality of the mount and accessories may not be as durable as more expensive telescopes on the market, and could potentially lead to issues over time.

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Suitable for beginners and casual stargazers
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use Dobsonian mount
  • Two eyepieces included

Cons:

  • Not ideal for advanced users seeking more features
  • Manual operation with no computerized features
  • Build quality of mount and accessories may be less durable
  • Limited deep sky exploration due to smaller aperture

Orion 10015 StarBlast Telescope

Orion 10015 StarBlast Telescope

The Orion 10015 StarBlast Telescope is an excellent entry-level, tabletop reflector telescope delivering incredible views of celestial objects with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Key Stats:

  • Aperture: 4.5 inches (114mm)
  • Focal Length: 450mm
  • Magnification: Up to 75x with included eyepieces

Reasons to buy:

The Orion 10015 StarBlast Telescope has a user-friendly design, making it an ideal choice for astronomy enthusiasts of all ages. Its compact size and sturdy tabletop design offers easy portability and storage, while the 4.5-inch aperture offers bright and crisp views of the moon, planets, and deep-sky objects. The telescope’s reasonable price point, coupled with Orion’s reputation for quality, makes the StarBlast a great value for beginners looking to explore the night sky.

Reasons not to buy:

While the Orion 10015 StarBlast Telescope offers excellent viewing capabilities for its size, more experienced or serious astronomers may feel limited by the 4.5-inch aperture and 450mm focal length. In addition, the tabletop design may not always provide a comfortable or steady viewing experience for taller users, who may want to invest in a tripod or consider a different telescope model.

Pros:

  • User-friendly and easy to set up
  • Compact and portable design
  • Clear, bright views of celestial objects
  • Good value for the price

Cons:

  • Limited aperture size and focal length for experienced users
  • Tabletop design may not be suitable for all users or viewing locations
  • May need to purchase additional accessories or eyepieces for better viewing experiences

Orion 10012 SkyScanner Telescope

Orion 10012 SkyScanner Telescope

The Orion 10012 SkyScanner Telescope is a user-friendly, compact, and affordable option for beginners and casual stargazers, earning a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Key stats:

  • Aperture: 100mm (3.94 inches)
  • Focal length: 400mm (15.75 inches)
  • Focal ratio: f/4

Reasons to buy:

The Orion 10012 SkyScanner Telescope offers great value for its price, catering to beginners with its ease of use and portability. The 100mm aperture allows for the viewing of celestial objects such as the Moon, planets, and even some deep-sky targets like the Orion Nebula. The included eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) provide a variety of magnification options for an enjoyable viewing experience. Additionally, the tabletop design offers stability and a simple setup, without the need for a bulky tripod.

Reasons not to buy:

The Orion 10012 SkyScanner Telescope may not be suitable for advanced astronomers looking for a more powerful telescope with higher magnification capabilities. The limited aperture may struggle to provide clear images of more distant and fainter objects. Additionally, the tabletop design, although compact, may not be ideal for those who want the flexibility of using a tripod for elevated viewings.

Pros:

  • Affordable for beginners
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Decent aperture for its size and price
  • Tabletop design provides stability

Cons:

  • Not suitable for advanced users
  • Limited aperture for distant objects
  • Lack of tripod compatibility
  • Lower magnification capabilities compared to higher-end models

Orion StarBlast II Telescope

Orion StarBlast II Telescope

The Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope is a compact and powerful stargazing tool with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Key stats:

  • Aperture: 4.5 inches (114mm)
  • Focal length: 450mm
  • Mount: Equatorial

Reasons to buy:

The Orion StarBlast II is an affordable and user-friendly telescope for beginners and intermediate astronomers. Its 4.5-inch aperture allows for clear and crisp views of celestial objects such as the Moon, planets, and even some deep-sky objects. The equatorial mount ensures precise tracking and easier object location, while being compact and lightweight, it is portable and easy to transport to various observation locations.

Reasons to not buy:

While the Orion StarBlast II is a great telescope for its value, it may not be suitable for advanced astronomers looking for more powerful optics. The equatorial mount might require some learning for complete novice users and the tripod included may not be as stable as desired for more serious observations. Additionally, the lack of a motorized tracking system might hinder extended viewing sessions.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Compact and portable
  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate users
  • Clear and crisp views
  • Equatorial mount for precise tracking

Cons:

  • Might lack desired power for advanced users
  • Tripod stability could be better
  • No motorized tracking system
  • Equatorial mount may require learning for complete beginners

ExploraPro 70AZ Maksutov Telescope

ExploraPro 70AZ Maksutov Telescope

The ExploraPro 70AZ Maksutov Telescope is a solid and versatile option for beginner to intermediate astronomers, earning a 4 out of 5 stars rating.

Key stats:

  • 70mm aperture Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design
  • 25mm and 10mm eyepieces included for 52x and 130x magnification
  • Adjustable aluminum tripod with accessory tray

Reasons to buy:

The ExploraPro 70AZ Maksutov Telescope offers users an easy-to-use, compact, and portable design suitable for stargazing and terrestrial viewing. Its Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design provides sharp and clear images, while the 25mm and 10mm eyepieces offer a range of magnification options. The adjustable aluminum tripod ensures comfortable and stable viewing, and the accessory tray is perfect for keeping your equipment organized and accessible.

Reasons to not buy:

While the ExploraPro 70AZ Maksutov Telescope is an excellent choice for those who are new to astronomy, it may not satisfy advanced users seeking higher aperture, better light-gathering capabilities, and more sophisticated features. As the aperture size is relatively small (70mm), it may limit the observer’s ability to see faint celestial objects. Finally, users may outgrow the provided eyepieces and would require additional purchase to further enhance their stargazing experience.

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design provides sharp images
  • Two eyepieces included for different magnification options
  • Adjustable aluminum tripod with accessory tray

Cons:

  • Not ideal for advanced users
  • Limited light-gathering capabilities due to 70mm aperture
  • May require additional eyepieces for more experienced users

Sky-Watcher Skymax Telescope

Sky-Watcher Skymax Telescope

The Sky-Watcher Skymax Telescope is an incredible piece of astronomical equipment, earning a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars for its excellent performance and user-friendly features.

Key Stats:

  • 127mm aperture Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tube
  • 1500mm focal length with f/12 focal ratio
  • Comes with 10mm and 25mm eyepieces

Reasons to buy:

The Sky-Watcher Skymax Telescope is a fantastic option for both beginners and experienced astronomers alike. With its compact, yet powerful Maksutov-Cassegrain design, it provides impressive, high-contrast views of the moon, planets, and deep-sky objects. The included 10mm and 25mm eyepieces ensure versatility, catering to different viewing preferences, and the scope’s overall portability makes it great for taking on camping trips, star parties, or simply setting up in your own backyard. This telescope combines its exceptional optical quality with a user-friendly setup, making it an excellent investment for those looking to dive into the wonders of the night sky.

Reasons to not buy:

Although the Sky-Watcher Skymax Telescope is a fantastic product, it may not suit everyone’s needs. The f/12 focal ratio means that long exposure astrophotography will be challenging, as it requires more time to capture the same amount of light compared to a telescope with a faster focal ratio. Additionally, its price might be a bit steep for some, particularly for those new to astronomy who might prefer a more budget-friendly beginner’s telescope. Lastly, the included mount might not be sturdy enough for more demanding users, who may need to invest in a more robust mount for optimal performance.

Pros:

  • High-quality optics provide crisp, clear views
  • Compact and portable design
  • Versatile 10mm and 25mm eyepieces included
  • User-friendly setup

Cons:

  • Less suited for long-exposure astrophotography
  • Price may be too high for some budgets
  • Included mount may not be sturdy enough for some users

FEIANG Refracting Telescope

FEIANG Refracting Telescope

The FEIANG Refracting Telescope is an impressive, budget-friendly option for anyone looking to explore the cosmos, earning a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Key Stats:

  • 70mm aperture size
  • 300mm focal length
  • 2 eyepieces (20mm and 6mm)

Reasons to buy:

The FEIANG Refracting Telescope is an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate stargazers, with its 70mm aperture size providing clear and bright views of celestial objects. It boasts an easy-to-use design, and the package includes 2 eyepieces, a tripod, and an aluminum carry case, making it convenient and portable. Given its overall performance and affordability, this telescope delivers great value for money, making it a perfect choice, especially for those just getting started in astronomy.

Reasons not to buy:

One limitation of the FEIANG Refracting Telescope is that it may not be suitable for advanced users due to its modest aperture size and features. Additionally, the included tripod is reported to be a bit wobbly and may not offer the most stable platform for viewing. The refracting design may also lead to chromatic aberration in some situations, which might discourage users who want to delve into astrophotography.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Easy to use for beginners and intermediate users
  • Portable and comes with a carrying case
  • 2 eyepieces included for better viewing versatility

Cons:

  • Not suitable for advanced users
  • Wobbly tripod
  • Potential for chromatic aberration

Cassini Galileo Telescope

Cassini Galileo Telescope

The Cassini Galileo Telescope is a powerful and versatile instrument with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, ideal for both beginner and advanced astronomers.

Key Stats:

  • Magnification range: 60x to 180x
  • Aperture size: 80mm
  • Comes with three eyepieces: 8mm, 20mm, and H20mm

Reasons to buy:

The Cassini Galileo Telescope offers exceptional value with its high-quality optics, durable construction, and ease of use. With a generous 80mm aperture, it takes in ample light to provide bright and detailed views of planets, stars, and deep sky objects. The included eyepieces offer a wide range of magnification options, making it a versatile choice for various celestial observations. Additionally, the user-friendly design ensures a smooth, enjoyable experience for astronomers of all skill levels.

Reasons to not buy:

Although the Cassini Galileo Telescope offers many advantages, it might not be suitable for those seeking a more portable option, as it is relatively bulky and heavy. Moreover, experienced astronomers who desire ultra-high magnification capabilities may find the range of provided eyepieces insufficient, necessitating additional accessory investments.

Pros:

  • High-quality optics for bright, detailed views
  • Sturdy construction for long-lasting use
  • Wide range of magnification options
  • Suitable for beginners and advanced users

Cons:

  • Bulkier and heavier compared to other models
  • Some users may need to invest in additional eyepieces for greater magnification.

SVBONY SV48P Telescope

SVBONY SV48P Telescope

The SVBONY SV48P Telescope is a reliable and versatile product for both beginner and experienced stargazers, earning a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Key stats:

  • Aperture: 90mm
  • Focal length: 500mm
  • Magnification: up to 100x with included accessories

Reasons to buy:

The SVBONY SV48P Telescope is an excellent choice for those looking to explore the night sky. Its 90mm aperture ensures bright and clear images, while the 500mm focal length allows for a wide range of celestial observations. The telescope is also easy to assemble and adjust, providing a smooth and comfortable experience. In addition, the package includes all the necessary accessories, such as a finder scope and various eyepieces, to get started with stargazing right away. Its affordability makes it an ideal option for beginners, as well as a great addition to any experienced astronomer’s toolkit.

Reasons to not buy:

While the SVBONY SV48P Telescope offers many advantages, it does have some drawbacks. The build quality, although sturdy, may not be as durable as some of the higher-priced telescopes on the market. Additionally, the included tripod may not provide enough stability for very long observations or during windy conditions. Lastly, more advanced users may find the telescope’s features lacking, especially if they require specific features like computerized star tracking or image capture capabilities.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Clear and bright images
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced users
  • Includes a variety of accessories

Cons:

  • May not be as durable as higher-priced models
  • Included tripod may lack stability for extended sessions
  • May not satisfy advanced users with specific requirements

Zhumell Z100 Portable Telescope

Zhumell Z100 Portable Telescope

The Zhumell Z100 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope is a compact, user-friendly option for beginners and casual stargazers, earning a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Key Stats:

  • Aperture: 100mm (3.94 inches)
  • Focal Length: 400mm
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs

Reasons to buy:

The Zhumell Z100 is a perfect choice for novice astronomers and those looking for an affordable, portable telescope. With its 100mm aperture, it provides bright, clear images of celestial objects, and the simple altazimuth mount allows for easy navigation across the night sky. Its lightweight and compact design makes it convenient for travel and storage, and the included accessories, such as the red dot finder and eyepieces, offer a complete stargazing experience right out of the box.

Reasons not to buy:

Despite its many positive features, the Zhumell Z100 may not be ideal for more advanced astronomers who seek higher magnification and tracking capabilities. Its 100mm aperture might not provide enough light-gathering capacity for observing more distant objects, and the lack of a motorized mount may make it difficult to track celestial objects for extended periods, which can be frustrating for astrophotographers or those interested in in-depth celestial observation.

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Suitable for beginner astronomers
  • Affordable compared to other telescopes with similar features
  • Easy-to-use altazimuth mount
  • Comes with useful accessories

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for more advanced astronomers and astrophotographers
  • Limited light-gathering capacity due to 100mm aperture
  • Lacks motorized mount for tracking celestial objects
  • May require additional accessories for optimal stargazing experiences

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: What can I expect from telescopes under $500 in terms of performance?

A: Telescopes under $500 can offer excellent performance, providing clear views of the Moon, planets, and some deep space objects. These telescopes often feature decent apertures and quality optics, allowing for impressive levels of detail and clarity. While they may not match the capabilities of higher-end models, they still offer a rewarding stargazing experience within a budget-friendly range.

Q: Are there any specific features I should look for in telescopes under $500?

A: When considering telescopes under $500, it’s essential to prioritize factors such as aperture size, optical quality, and mount stability. A larger aperture allows for better light-gathering capabilities and enhanced views of celestial objects. Additionally, consider the telescope’s stability and ease of use, as a sturdy mount will help provide steady observations.

Q: Can I engage in astrophotography with telescopes under $500?

A: While some telescopes under $500 may have limited astrophotography capabilities, it’s possible to capture basic images of the Moon and bright planets with the right technique and additional accessories. However, for more advanced astrophotography, you may need to consider upgrading to telescopes with specialized features and equipment.

Q: Are there any recommended accessories to enhance the performance of telescopes under $500?

A: Several accessories can enhance the performance of telescopes under $500. Investing in quality eyepieces with different magnifications can provide a range of viewing options. Filters, such as lunar and planetary filters, can improve contrast and reveal finer details on celestial objects. Additionally, a sturdy tripod or mount, a red LED flashlight for preserving night vision, and a star chart or smartphone app for celestial navigation are valuable additions to consider.

Q: Can beginners effectively use telescopes under $500?

A: Absolutely! Telescopes under $500 are an excellent choice for beginners. They offer a balance between affordability and performance, making them accessible for those new to astronomy. Many of these telescopes come with user-friendly features and detailed instructions, enabling beginners to embark on their stargazing journey with ease. With practice and familiarity, users can quickly learn to navigate the night sky and explore various celestial wonders.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2023 brings forth an exciting range of telescopes under $500 that provide aspiring astronomers with remarkable viewing experiences without stretching their budgets. These telescopes offer a perfect balance of affordability, performance, and features, making them ideal for enthusiasts seeking to explore the cosmos without compromising on quality. Whether you’re fascinated by the Moon’s craters, planets, or deep space objects, these top telescopes under $500 in 2023 will unlock a universe of wonders for you to discover.

Discover the best telescopes of 2023

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.


Source link

Previous article8 Reviewers Say Our Sleep Supplement Works Better Than Melatonin*
Next articleMiami-Dade County School Board Rejects Proposal to Make October ‘LGBTQ History Month’ | The Gateway Pundit
Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here