Whether you’re just one of those people who love star-gazing, observing the planets, or looking for the ideal gift for an amateur explorer, the best telescope under $1000 can be difficult. Many astronomers believe that the more money you have to spend, the easier the whole process of getting the perfect telescope is. Well, this is true as there are many quality telescopes for you at this price.
In this article, you’ll get to learn all about finding the best telescope under $1000. With the useful information available to you, you’ll be able to make the right investment of a telescope for your budget.
Read on to find the right fit for your astrological activities.
- Best Telescope Under $1000: Editor’s Top Picks
- Top 10 Best Telescope Under $1000 Reviews:
- 1. Celestron – NexStar 8SE Telescope
- 2. Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
- 3. Sky-Watcher ProED Doublet APO Refractor Telescope
- 4. Celestron – NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope
- 5. Orion 8974 SkyQuest XT8 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
- 6. Celestron – NexStar 6SE Telescope
- 7. Gskyer AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope
- 8. Sky-Watcher 8-inch Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope
- 9. Meade Instruments Cornado PST Personal Solar Telescope
- 10. Zhumell Z8 Deluxe Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
- Buying Guide
- Different Types of Telescopes
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1: What Are the Objects That I Can View Using A Telescope?
- Q2: How Do I Know the Power of My Telescope?
- Q3: How Can I Transport My Telescope Safely?
- Q4: Will I Be Able to See Objects as They Appear in Photographs?
- Q5: What’s the Advantage of a Telescope with a Large Aperture?
- Q6: Can I Use My Telescope without An Eyepiece?
Best Telescope Under $1000: Editor’s Top Picks
Top 10 Best Telescope Under $1000 Reviews:
1. Celestron – NexStar 8SE Telescope
If you’re just getting started with telescopes or would like to have an upgrade to your current one, then the best go-to telescope under $1000 for you is the Celestron – NexStar 8SE telescope. It has a 40,000-object database and motorized tracking all for a reasonable price. Its 8-inch primary mirror is quite attractive. At this aperture, you’ll be able to see objects as close to a magnitude of 14. This means Pluto will be within your reach as long as the skies are dark enough.
We like that the NexStar 8SE’s optics are exceptionally made to provide impressive detail and image clarity. With its focal length and aperture, you can push this telescope beyond a magnification of 200x and enjoy a perfect view of planets and the moon.
The 8SE also comes with a computerized tracking motor that keeps the objects in your eyepiece as they slowly move across the night sky. By simply telling the 8SE your location, it can find up to 40,000 different objects for you to view. So, looking for the best telescope for beginners? You’ve got a winner.
- Impressive optics.
- Easy to set up and disassemble.
- Accurate tracking and go-to motor.
- Great value for money.
- It can automatically locate and track up to 40,000 objects.
- There’s a minor eyepiece vibration while focusing.
2. Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
The Orion 8946 is a telescope with a real light bucket that includes a primary mirror with a large aperture of 10-inch. Generally, you’ll be able to see objects under the dark and clear skies at a magnitude of 15. This means you can easily reach up as far and distant as tiny Pluto with this unit. Besides being affordable, you won’t be disappointed with the 8946 and would always enjoy astronomy in your backyard or on your rooftop.
Despite its light-gathering power, this is one of the best telescopes of Dobsoniancreated to fuel your astronomy interests. This telescope goes ahead to use the latest Correct Tension technology to keep it in balance regardless of the angle it’s pointed out. With its 1200mm focal length and 50 pounds of weight, you’ll achieve a clear reach to the object you’re searching the skies for.
We like that the 8946 is quite portable, high-performing, and simple in its design. These features make it ideal for intermediate-level and beginner astronomers to enjoy views of the night sky. So, if you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use telescope with impressive optical capacities, then your search ends here.
- It has a huge 10-inch primary mirror.
- Easy to use with a ‘point and shoot’ feature.
- Affordable price for its size.
- Works perfectly under dark and clear skies.
- It offers great views of deep-sky objects and close-up views of more nearby objects.
- Lacks the option for astrophotography.
3. Sky-Watcher ProED Doublet APO Refractor Telescope
The Sky-Watcher ProED is an impressive edition of budget-friendly and high-quality refractor telescopes. This telescope is the most affordable model that’s the ideal blend of price and quality. It uses an 8mm APO Refractor and an ED Schott-made glass merged with its 600 mm focal length built into a great telescope. You’ll enjoy the amazing optics and portability pf this telescope.
It’s ideal for wide-field observations of elevated nebulae or close-by galaxies and also perfect as an astrograph for sky photography. What we like about this telescope is the fact that it can virtually get rid of residual chromatic aberration to leave you with flawless colors.
If you want this telescope to perform at its best, then you’ll need to get out of the city as it doesn’t do so well in light-polluted areas. It doesn’t come with a tripod, so you’ll need to make sure that you find something fitting for it before concluding on the purchase. This might not be the strongest telescope out there but it’s the best refractor telescope under $1000 and what you’ll see with it will leave you mind-blown.
- It provides high-quality images.
- Quite portable.
- It comes with interior padding for protection.
- Easy and quick to assemble
- Ideal for beginner astrophotography
- The focuser slips with heavy eyepieces.
4. Celestron – NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope
The Celestron NexStar is a Newtonian telescope that presents itself as a robust upgrade from other types of scopes in this price range. Its 5-inch primary mirror allows at least 30% more light to enter into it, giving you more opportunities to see clear images of the moon, the cloud belts on Jupiter, and over 600 other galaxies. Its Newtonian design also lets it produce fully color-corrected object views.
Designed for hobbyists, the NexStar 130SLTcomes with a rugged stainless-steel tripod. Our favorite part of this telescope’s exterior is the fact you can take the scope out of the box and have it ready for use in only a couple of minutes. You’ll enjoy its SkyAlign technology and how it removes the need for you to have a manual pole aligned yourself.
Its optics are clear, crisp, and deliver impressive results for beginners, eliminating the trial and error that many novice astronomers usually go through from the start. The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT has much to offer you if you’re interested in stargazing through a telescope, either as a beginner or expert.
- It allows for a wide field of view.
- Serves as a handheld computer that makes it easier to find heavenly bodies.
- Lightweight enough for easy carriage.
- It provides deep views of the sky.
- Clear, crisp, and detailed views.
- Its motor uses up batteries too fast.
- The date and time need to be set after each use.
5. Orion 8974 SkyQuest XT8 Plus Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
The Orion 8974 is constructed around a bent primary mirror mounted on a cast-aluminum support cell that provides it with sturdiness. With this telescope, you can view some of the faintest structures in indistinct galaxies. You’ll be getting clear, crisp views with its 1200mm focal length most especially at medium to high magnifications to clear skies at night.
You’ll be able to closely observe several celestial bodies in excellent detail like Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter. Thanks to its improved reflectivity mirror coatings, you’ll enjoy about 94% reflectivity so there’s a maximum amount of light transmitted to the eyepiece that ensures the delivery of amazingly clear views.
When you need to observe the sun in dark conditions, its bright white base helps you avoid accidents. It comes with a highly visible white trim that allows for an effortless visual in the night sky. It’s also easy to carry around and store. Looking for a telescope that would provide precise focus adjustments for sharper views? Then the Orion 8974 is yours for the taking.
- Stable and simple configuration.
- It offers amazing images of your favorite heavenly bodies.
- Great quality to price ratio.
- Ideal for beginner and experienced astronomers.
- Quite portable.
- Fragile finder-scope.
6. Celestron – NexStar 6SE Telescope
Next is the NexStar 6SE that features a High Point telescope bundle. We’re continually impressed by its sharp 6-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain optics, a proven NexStar SE mount, and smart Go-To hand controller. It also comes with a 40,000-object library database and an amazing range of accessories that are available for this telescope, like the Celestron StarSense which offers leading align assist technology. With its Celestron SkyPortal, you’ve got a wireless control of your telescope via your smartphone and a free app.
We also love that the Celestron NexStar 6SE is designed to grow with you over time but still works like a charm right out of the box. This is indeed a clear definition of getting value for your money.
From an impressive technology to the satisfaction that you’ll get from having a telescope that’s easy to use, the Celestron NexStar 6SE is one telescope that does more than letting you explore the night sky. It creates and leaves lovely memories that you can share with your loved ones as well.
- Impressive value for money
- Males it easy to track and find objects.
- Quite easy to setup
- Makes object finding clearer.
- Easy to use,
- You might need new eyepieces for it.
7. Gskyer AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope
The Gskyer Telescope 80mm AZ is an impressive telescope for beginners designed for you to view close-by objects at night plus beautiful landscapes and wildlife in the daytime. It comes with every necessary equipment it needs to get started from a stainless-steel tripod to several eyepieces for its different magnification levels. Its high-quality build and affordability make it an ideal choice for families with kids who are eager to learn more about nature and science.
With its 400mm focal length, you’ll be getting bright, clear images of the night sky which is still useful in daylight. Its high-quality optics are coated with a blue anti-reflection film to help keep views sharp. Though distant objects can be viewed, you’ll get the best of this scope when you use it for viewing objects like the moon and nearby planets.
Also, you can use the Gskyer AZ to view the details on the Moon’s surface, the rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moons, and other celestial bodies.
- Ideal for celestial and terrestrial use
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use.
- Comes with many high-quality accessories
- The lenses are coated with a multilayer film
- Not ideal for astrophotography
- Not ideal for deep-space viewing
8. Sky-Watcher 8-inch Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope
The Sky-Watcher 8-inch is a collapsible model that offers up to 8-inch of aperture that allows for a better viewing option. If you compare this with a 6-inch aperture, you’ll discover that this telescope will provide you with over 70% of light. With this, you’ll be able to see even the faintest objects much clearer in the deep sky like galaxies, nebulae, and clusters.
What makes this telescope more impressive is the fact that you’ll always be getting the best results you’ll enjoy when it comes to seeing skies with plenty of light collection. With a magnitude of 14, this is quite an affordable telescope.
You’ll also get about an f/6 focal ratio with a 1200mm focal length which is a great configuration. It comes with a base of rocket-mount, a Teflon bearing, and a tension clutch. These features are what make this telescope an ideal point-to-shoot telescope. It weighs about 70 pounds but is still very easy to collapse and assemble whenever you need to.
- Impressive mirror aperture
- Quite easy to set up.
- Simple and effortless to get down
- Easy to use
- Great point-to-shoot device.
- Quite heavy at 70 pounds.
9. Meade Instruments Cornado PST Personal Solar Telescope
Featuring some of the best features for great solar viewing is the Coronado Meade Instruments PST. It features a dedicated H-alpha optical system with a 40mm aperture plus an internal 30mm etalon. This solar telescope also provides the precision and tuning range that’s ideal for viewing the ever-evolving risings at the sun’s edge.
The PST is quite easy to use and comes ready with a 20 mm Kellner eyepiece for a low power magnification of 20mm. It’s designed to be easy to assemble as well and has a 1.25-inch eyepiece holder that’s set at 90° to the optical tube. Its solar blocking system features an an-built blocking filter plus a tuning ring. This device is designed to provide acute and detailed views of the sun including its unique surface features.
With this solar telescope, you’ll be able to get a clear and detailed view of the different elements that make the sun a unique part of our solar system and why it truly deserves to be the center of the galaxy.
- Easy to use.
- Easy to set up.
- It provides a clear and detailed view of the solar system.
- Impressive value for money.
- Long-lasting telescope.
- Its focuser has limited travel.
10. Zhumell Z8 Deluxe Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
The Zhumell Z8 Deluxe Dobsonian Reflector Telescope is one of the easiest telescopes to use without the need to sacrifice its quality and performance. One cool feature of the Z8 is its primary mirror, a battery-powered cooling fan that causes the telescope’s optics to rotate its temperature faster, allowing for less waiting time and improved viewing. Its visual scale allows you to adjust the optical tube’s balance easily depending on the weight of the eyepieces and accessories.
Its finderscope has an 8x magnification and a 50mm aperture. Its two eyepieces are best used for viewing large and indistinct objects like clusters, galaxies, and nebulae. It also provides a 133x magnification that has a smaller field of view and is ideal for smaller objects like small galaxies, globular clusters, planets, and planetary nebulae. With its 2-inch dual-speed Crayford focuser, you’ll be getting fine and coarse focusing.
Its laser collimator comes as a welcome bonus as it makes collimating this telescope a breeze. There’s also a moon filter included, reducing the moon’s brightness for you to see more lunar detailing.
- Good value for its price.
- It comes with two eyepieces of good quality.
- Right-angled finderscope.
- It comes with a laser collimator.
- It has a moon filter.
- It comes with a cooling fan for its primary mirror.
- Quite heavy.
Buying a telescope might not be as easy as you think as there are a lot of factors you’d need to take into consideration before making a purchase. The reliability, usability, and quality of the telescope you choose will depend on these factors as well. To help make your shopping experience go as smoothly and as quickly as you want, we’ve listed these factors in this comprehensive buying guide.
1. The Aperture Size
Finding the perfect telescope to buy out there should be a fun process. However, if you’d like to get the best value for your money, you’ll need to know the basics. The first main component to look out for is the aperture.The aperture stands for the lens or mirror’s diameter in the telescope. To determine exactly how much you’ll be able to see with the telescope you choose to go for, you’ll need to esteem this factor higher than its other features. A telescope with a bigger aperture is always better for almost every situation.
With a large aperture, you’ll get more light flooding into your telescope. Plus, with more light, you’ll be getting a better-quality image for indistinct objects. If you’re trying to watch your spending, then you should go for the biggest aperture that you can afford since it will make a big difference in its image quality.
2. The Focal Length
The focal length of a telescope is measured as the distance between its objective and where light rays meet in focus. The focal length is the magnifying power of a telescope. A simple rule of thumb to follow is; the bigger the focal length, the bigger its magnification. If you want to look at certain celestial objects, a telescope with a bigger focal length is recommended, but if you’re interested in looking at galaxies or solar systems, you’ll have a bigger advantage with a smaller focal length.
But that’s not all to know about a telescope’s focal length. A large focal length is more reasonable if the telescope’s aperture is also high enough. Here’s how to picture it – if you zoom into a low-resolution image, you’ll notice that it’s difficult to identify small objects. But if you zoom into a high-resolution picture, you’ll be able to identify smaller objects better.
If you’re looking to calculate a telescope’s magnifying power, you can easily do so by doubling its objective in millimeters. This means a 200mm telescope would automatically have a practical magnification limit of 400 times.
We advise that you look for a telescope with a big aperture and focal length but if it comes down to you choosing between these two factors, then we recommend that you pick a telescope with a bigger aperture.
3. The Magnification
The potentials of a telescope are remarkable, with each of its features having a major role to play. Without the right magnification, seeing faraway objects would be impossible.Indeed, all telescopes can magnify objects in the dark sky and its magnification level will be determined by the telescope’s eyepiece and focal length.
Many people believe having more magnification is preferable and so, you’ll find telescopes that are quite cheap that place a lot of emphasis on the magnification. But a high magnification level would be irrelevant if you can’t get a clear image in the end.
4. The Mount
Besides the telescope’s features that you might want to focus on, you must consider the mount as well. In the absence of a high or good-quality mount, it will be almost impossible to move your telescope in the directions you want to for you to view all the objects you’re looking for in the solar system. With a high-quality mount, you’ll be able to track and view the objects in the night sky as you want to.
A rule of thumb for you to follow is that alt-azimuth mounts are much easier for you to use. They’re ideal for beginners as they’re lighter. The equatorial mounts are more ideal for heavier telescopes and for anyone interested in astrophotography. Some equatorial mounts are even computerized which helps you to easily find what you want in the sky, although at a higher price.
Besides a high price, a telescope with a great focal length and a huge aperture might also cost you its portability. Some telescopes can be such a burden for you to carry around. Unless you have the means or a car that you can always use in transporting bigger telescopes, you should always go with smaller telescopes.
But if you’re looking to keep your telescope on your balcony or in your garden, then you can settle for a bigger telescope. This would be subjective but it’s always a good idea, to begin with a moderately-sized telescope and probably upgrade later.
6. Multicoated Optics
The optics of a telescope are among its main features that determine the image quality you should expect. Without clear imaging, a telescope is almost or even useless. To produce clear images in every weather condition, a telescope needs to have multicoated optics.
The coating usually used for this purpose is the Antireflection Blue Film. It’s designed to reflect more blue light than other visible wavelengths. Since this coating is quite thin, it won’t have any effects on the image. Instead, you’ll be able to view other planets, moon, and other objects.
7. Electronic Control
If you’re just an average astronomer with no intentions of getting into astrophotography or having to track moving objects then you don’t need this feature. But if you do, then you should consider an electronic telescope.
Not so long ago, all telescopes had to be manually operated and there was no way for you to automatically set them for specific star clusters.
Nowadays, you’ll come across many electronic telescopes that are aided with the help of an in-built computer to automatically find certain objects in the night sky.
Different Types of Telescopes
A refractor telescope is the most common type of telescope that features a mirror in its back and a glass lens at its front. Light enters the eyepiece through the mirror and the lens. The optics of refracting telescopes are usually in a sealed tube for protection. They’ve been designed to be easy and simple to use. They also don’t need any form of maintenance.
Another advantage of the refractor is the fact that it’s more rugged than the other types of telescopes. This is because its lenses are less likely to be out of alignment. This is why refractors are preferable for anyone looking for a pickup and go’ instrument and have no desire to tinker with optics.
A reflecting telescope comes with two mirrors. Light rays enter through one, then reflects into the second before entering into the eyepiece. They’re portable and lightweight and come with open tubes that make it easy for dust to collect on the optics.
You’ll get far better image quality with the reflector telescope than the refractor telescope but you’d need to carry out some maintenance on the optics to keep them clean. If you’re looking for the highest aperture value for your money, then the reflector telescope is yours for the taking.
As long as you maintain this telescope, you’ll always get sharp, clear images of all celestial bodies at a small fraction of the price of a reflector telescope with equal aperture.
Compound or Catadioptric Telescope
The compound telescope comes with a mirror on each of its end plus a lens that allows light to pass through before it can get to the eyepiece. The optics are also protected in a sealed tube and work perfectly for viewing faint objects.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What Are the Objects That I Can View Using A Telescope?
As long as you’ve accurately filtered your telescope, you’ll be able to see other planets, the sun, and the moon as well. You might likely find Pluto, star clusters, galaxies, nebulae and so much more too. You can also enjoy sports and wildlife viewing as well during the daytime. The only clause to this is that daytime viewing might cause faraway objects to shimmer due to radiated heat over the areas.
Q2: How Do I Know the Power of My Telescope?
There are three different power types when it comes to telescopes. Using the human eye, their measurements can be easily taken too. You’ll discover that there’s a revolving, light-gathering and magnifying power available. All these are vital with the resolving power ranking the highest. If you get a telescope with a long focal length, you’ll see that you’re getting a better-magnified image view. This means whatever image quality you use with your telescope will depend greatly on its powers.
Q3: How Can I Transport My Telescope Safely?
There are two distinct parts of a telescope that you should about. They’re the telescope tube and the amount. First, you’ll need to loosen the thumbscrews found on the tube rings before removing the tube. We also advise that you get rid of other accessories like the eyepiece, bracket, and finder-scope. After removing these parts and accessories and keep them carefully before you start transporting the telescope.
Q4: Will I Be Able to See Objects as They Appear in Photographs?
Yes, and no too. Bright objects like star clusters, the moon, planets and so on display colors just like you’d see in pictures. However, faint objects are quite difficult to see. The human eye is insensitive to be able to detect color at low light levels. This is why even a bright nebular will look like gray shades when you use smaller telescopes.
You can make use of color filters to view the details of planets and with the right ones, you’ll be able to identify a specific planetary feature.
Q5: What’s the Advantage of a Telescope with a Large Aperture?
As we mentioned in our buying guide, the larger the aperture of your telescope, the higher its magnification limit. Since more light rays are collected and brought to focus with the use of a larger aperture telescope, you’ll be able to see fainter objects with it than with telescopes that have smaller apertures. Under good light conditions and non-turbulent air, a larger aperture objective leads to a higher resolution and lets you view finer details.
Q6: Can I Use My Telescope without An Eyepiece?
Without an eyepiece, the human eye can’t process the real image brought up by the telescope’s objective. Eyepieces show the image that your human eye can view and the correct ones will give you a rewarding experience. Even the best telescope won’t be able to perform to its highest visual potentials without a proper eyepiece. If you want to just use your telescope for your camera or other instruments then you don’t have to use an eyepiece for it.
Eyepieces are quite vital to your telescope’s performance and so, if you don’t have one, you can get some from the aftermarket and try out the one that suits your telescope better.
These are a couple of affordable telescopes that will rock your astronomy world. Buying the best telescope under $1000 would need a little research but it doesn’t have to be so stressful.
With our telescope reviews, we believe you’ll be able to understand your options better. If you’re thinking about professional astronomical study, then you should consider the Sky-Watcher options we reviewed in our article. The features are hard to beat.
If you’re looking to save extra cash and to enjoy a casual relationship with your telescope, then you can check out the Gskyer telescope. It’s a high-quality and cheap alternative if you’re a beginner. These are just our recommendations and we don’t intend to tell you what to do. Use our article as a handy resource to pick the perfect telescope for your needs.
With our products list and reviews, we’re sure that you’ll be able to get started on your journey to the moon, stars or nebulae.