Best Beginner Telescope For Adults in 2023 (Reviews)

best beginner telescope for adults

With advances in technology, there are now affordable telescopes designed for novice astronomers at reasonable prices that allow them to see lunar craters, Saturn’s rings, and Jupiter’s moons.

If you want to skip the reviews, we say get the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ.

Best Beginner Telescope For Adults Reviews

StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ

StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ Smartphone App-Enabled Telescope – Works with StarSense App to Help...
  • UNLEASH THE POWER OF YOUR SMARTPHONE: Let your iPhone or Android phone take you on a guided tour of the...
  • PATENTED STARSENSE SKY RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY: This one-of-a-kind telescope uses patented, award-winning...
  • STARSENSE EXPLORER APP: The app generates a list of the best objects to view based on your exact time &...
  • EASY TO SET UP AND USE: Manual altazimuth mount with smooth, dual-axis slow-motion controls makes it easy...
  • HIGH-QUALITY 130MM NEWTONIAN REFLECTOR: The 5" primary mirror features highly reflective coatings and...

If you have been relying on second-hand binoculars for viewing the night sky, the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ telescope provides excellent views of the Moon and planets even under low-light skies.

While not considered one of the finest telescopes available today, its easy technology will delight beginners.

It features a 5.1-inch Newtonian reflector equipped with 25mm and 10mm 1.25 inch-fit eyepieces as well as a red dot finder mounted on a manual altazimuth mount, as well as a red dot finder.

However, unlike smartphones-attached telescopes that track via apps directly, physical alignment of this telescope with objects in the sky is required before tracking can begin using an app; while this can take time in low light conditions but we found its controls worked smoothly enough to make even novice telescope-gazers enjoy themselves during their experience!

The StarSense app is a straightforward solution that uses your phone’s camera to help locate objects in the night sky. A smartphone cradle adjusts to fit, with a small cover over a mirror reflecting screen images into your telescope for easy alignment.

Once this process has been completed, live views of targets appear on your phone screen!

Though we found StarSense an invaluable navigational aid, long observing sessions do use up quite a lot of power; due to this Celestron has thoughtfully provided an opening at the base of their smartphone clamp so a portable battery could sit at rest on an accessory tray on an accessory tray nearby!

Celestron designed their DX 130AZ as a visual telescope with quality optics at an attractive price, and we were quite satisfied with its results.

Even in urban conditions, we could distinguish some details of Jupiter’s stripes and Galilean Moons along with its Great Red Spot. Saturn’s rings and largest moon Titan were clearly displayed through its low-power eyepiece revealing an attractive yellow-green hue of the planet.

But to see truly amazing images of globular star clusters and distant galaxies, larger apertures would be necessary. We suggest starting off with one of Celestron NexStar 8SE or Apertura AD8 Dobsonians from this firm as a gateway into more advanced imaging – for instance, the DX 130AZ is an excellent first step!

Sky-Watcher Classic 150 Dobsonian

Sky Watcher Sky-Watcher Classic 150 Dobsonian 6-inch Aperature Telescope – Solid-Tube – Simple,...
  • LARGE APERTURE: Get a bright, bold viewing experience at a fraction of the cost of other optical designs.
  • PROPRIETARY TENSION CONTROL HANDLES: These patented handles allow for accurate movement without the need...
  • 94% REFLECTIVE MIRRORS: Fully multi-coated borosilicate primary and secondary mirrors deliver exceptional...
  • TEFLON BEARINGS: Proprietary Teflon bearings ensure smooth azimuth movement.
  • COMES COMPLETE: All accessories such as, 2-inch Rack-and-Pinion focuser with 1 1/4-inch adapter, two...

Dobsonian telescopes are some of the most affordable and efficient beginner telescopes available, making the Sky-Watcher Classic 150 Dobsonian an exceptional value.

Offering more aperture for visual observing dollars than other comparable-size scopes, Dobsonians provide ample viewing power when used for deep sky objects, nebulas, or star clusters that would otherwise remain invisible with smaller scopes.

Borosilicate glass coated with Radiant Aluminum Quartz (RAQ) coating ensures 94% reflectivity allowing stars down to 12th magnitude with a long focal ratio. Also makes an effective planetarium telescope.

This Dobsonian telescope is easy to set up and transport. It includes a telescope mount, tripod, tube assembly with two Plossl eyepieces (18x and 45x magnification respectively), 2x Barlow lens and moon map – as well as red LED night vision protection light and Red-Dot finder – as well as an equatorial design mount capable of both polar and erect images; with full instructions included.

Although most beginner telescopes on this list are designed for visual astronomy with just eyepieces, some offer smartphone attachment options for astrophotography.

A great example of such is the Unistellar eVscope eQuinox that automatically aligns with celestial bodies while simultaneously transmitting live views directly to your phone – however, it will cost over PS2,500!

New astronomers will likely find the Sky-Watcher Classic 150 Dobsonian to their liking, as its aperture provides ample viewing power at an economical price.

You can easily see Jupiter and Saturn with it, as well as capture images using the appropriate accessories.

It uses Teflon bearings for smooth azimuth slewing while its patented tension control handle enables locking into place when nudged; weight is reasonable enough for one person carrying; its optics are quality made, promising long life for budding astro enthusiasts!

Sky-Watcher Skymax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain

Sky-Watcher Skymax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain - Large Aperture Compound-Style Reflector Telescope
106 Reviews
Sky-Watcher Skymax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain - Large Aperture Compound-Style Reflector Telescope
  • EXPERTLY MATCHED OPTICS: The Skymax series of Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tubes features matched primary...
  • 94% REFLECTIVITY MIRROR COATINGS: Using a borosilicate primary mirror with an aluminum coating and a...
  • VIXEN-STYLE DOVETAIL: An industry standard, the Vixen-style dovetail is the most commonly used dovetail...
  • FULLY BAFFLED TUBE: Utilizing a fully-baffled tube, Sky-Watcher Maksutovs prevent stray light from...
  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED: The 127mm Skymax Maksutov-Cassegrain comes equipped with everything you need to get...

Skymax 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope for adults offers sharp, high-contrast views of planets with impressive levels of detail thanks to its long focal length and large aperture, as well as easy set up on any flat surface with an included lightweight mount and compact but sturdy red dot finder for beginners as well as an aluminum dew shield that helps reduce light pollution and condensation while improving contrast.

It features a long focal length for greater planetary detail while the large aperture enables viewing fainter celestial objects from further away than before. Additionally included with your SkyMax is an aluminum dew shield which reduces light pollution while increasing contrast.

As a tabletop telescope, the Skymax 127mm is extremely portable and easy to set up with just the push of a button. Featuring a Wi-Fi-controllable Go-To mount that enables users to select and track celestial targets with one touch, it makes an ideal starter telescope for viewing celestial targets like double stars and some brighter deep-sky objects such as nebulae and open clusters as well as some brighter deep-sky objects.

However, its limited resolving power and light-gathering abilities make this telescope less suitable than more advanced models with similar specs.

The Skymax 127mm Dobsonian telescope offers value to beginner astronomers at an accessible price point. Not compromising on features for price consideration, its affordability makes this an excellent choice.

This telescope comes equipped with a quality, no-frills mount that’s more than capable of meeting even experienced astronomers’ demands, as well as an 8-inch (21 cm) primary mirror capable of collecting enough starlight to reveal details in galaxies, clusters, and nebulae.

The SkyMax 127mm comes fully equipped with an eyepiece and red-dot finder, dust caps, a carry bag, and easy software for dark guiding; as well as dust caps.

Due to its low weight and simple software package for navigation in low light conditions, beginners find this scope easy to transport and set up; additionally, a tripod can be purchased separately but the mount can still be used on standard photographic tripods.

Celestron – PowerSeeker 70EQ

Celestron - PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope - Manual German Equatorial Telescope for Beginners - Compact...
  • PERFECT ENTRY-LEVEL TELESCOPE: The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ is an easy-to-use and powerful telescope....
  • MANUAL GERMAN EQUATORIAL MOUNT: With its slow-motion altitude rod, the German Equatorial mount allows you...
  • COMPACT AND PORTABLE: The ideal telescope for adults and kids to use together, the PowerSeeker is...
  • MULTIPLE ACCESSORIES: The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope comes with 2 quality eyepieces (20mm and...
  • UNBEATABLE WARRANTY & SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from Celestron, a leading telescope brand in...

This telescope is an excellent option for adults just beginning stargazing and children eager to begin this hobby. With its lightweight design, excellent optics, and user-friendly interface, this model can be used effectively in schools, planetariums, and astronomy clubs alike.

Refractor telescopes are popular choices among beginners as they’re simple and need minimal maintenance.

This particular refractor model boasts a 70mm aperture which offers enough light-gathering power to see Jupiter’s moons and rings, Mars’ polar ice caps, and cloud belts of Saturn as well as high-definition views of our moon which will show many craters and mountain ranges on its surface.

Slow-motion controls make this telescope even better, making it easy to track moving objects. A dew shield prevents glare, while its sturdy tripod can be adjusted for different viewing angles.

Furthermore, its compact and lightweight frame makes it easy to transport it wherever dark sky observation takes you – be it your backyard, favorite dark sky observing site, or dark sky observatory site!

In addition, two quality eyepieces (20mm Kellner and 4mm Ramsden), as well as a 3x Barlow lens which doubles the magnification of each, an EQ-1 equatorial mount, and a “SkyX” software CD that displays sky maps and zodiac details are included as standard features in each package.

Although this telescope does have some issues, it still makes a good choice for beginning astronomers looking for their first telescope.

Highly affordable yet offering decent celestial object detail surpassing most models in this category, plus user-friendly with its computerized SkyAlign system helping orient the telescope properly to the night sky and connecting directly to smartphones through the SkyView app allowing control and viewing right from the phone’s screens!

Celestron – AstroMaster LT 70AZ

Celestron – AstroMaster LT 70AZ Refractor Telescope – Easy-to-Use Telescope for Beginners with...
  • Quick and easy no-tool setup
  • Permanently mounted Star Pointer for convenience
  • All coated glass optics for clear, crisp images
  • Pan handle Alt-Az control with clutch for smooth and accurate pointing
  • Rugged pre-assembled tripod with steel tube legs provides a rigid and stable platform

The Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ telescope is an affordable, compact telescope designed for beginners. Thanks to the pre-assembled tripod and accessory tray for holding eyepieces and filters, set-up and use are both simple.

Plus, being lightweight means this compact telescope can be transported easily between observation sites.

This telescope comes equipped with a sturdy yet adjustable tripod, an easy-to-use red dot finder, a Barlow lens that extends your telescope’s optical reach, giving a wider field of view, as well as Bluetooth shutter release so that photos taken through your smartphone or DSLR camera can be shared automatically, and an adjustable shutter release system for shutter release photos with brighter objects can be captured quickly and efficiently.

Celestron has long been recognized for its innovative industrial designs, and this telescope from their line-up certainly fits that bill.

Featuring dark blue paint with black lens covers that stand out from other brands’ offerings, Celestron also provides accessories like an EQ mount and solar filter to protect eyes from direct sunlight.

This refractor telescope uses a lens on its front to form an image, while its name (70 in its case) refers to the aperture size compared to many beginner scopes.

Yet despite being relatively smaller in comparison with others in its class, this telescope still offers great light-gathering abilities and has a high limiting magnitude for deep sky objects – making it perfect for viewing our Solar System’s Moon and planets!

Contrary to its competitors, this telescope does not come equipped with slow-motion controls or a sturdy tripod; therefore it may be challenging to keep objects centered and in focus when using the highest power settings.

Also not suitable for astrophotography due to being incapable of tracking objects for extended periods.

Still an excellent choice for beginners and can make an inexpensive but long-term investment; plus the Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ comes complete with the basic version of Starry Night Astronomy software for added resources for celestial object study!

Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6

Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
  • Perhaps the best beginner Dobsonian reflector telescope you can buy - big 6" aperture at an amazing price
  • A beginner may use a 60mm telescope for a few months or years before deciding they need to upgrade to a...
  • Simple navigation and no need to polar align makes this Dobsonian reflector telescope extremely ease to...
  • The 6" diameter f/8 parabolic mirror is fantastic for Moon and planetary views, and also has enough light...
  • The stable Dobsonian base provides a vibration free image even when viewing at a high powers, and...

The SkyQuest XT6 is an exceptional beginner telescope, as well as one of the most cost-effective Dobsonians available on the market. The optics of this jumbo-sized telescope add an exciting dimension to simple observation, and its easy Dobsonian mount provides the ideal starting point for novice astronomers to begin exploring astronomy.

Some users have noted issues with its base being too flimsy and unstable; these criticisms should be expected from a Dobsonian of this size and price point.

Furthermore, this telescope lacks several accessories needed for optimal use such as a red dot finderscope and Barlow lens – both essential components if your goals include deep sky observing; while later upgrades might include other capabilities.

Planetary detail is one of the XT6’s strengths. You’ll easily be able to spot Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and four Galilean moons, plus good separation on Saturn’s rings and some moons; surface details on Mars such as black stains and Polar Ice Caps are easily seen too! In addition, some eye-catching DSOs such as Whirlpool Galaxy or Crab Nebula may even appear ghostly!

As with any Dobsonian scope, your magnification abilities may be limited by what can be reached at maximum magnification. When used for planetary observation, the XT6 only reaches 47x using its included eyepiece; which falls short by today’s standards.

To truly maximize its use and make use of all available magnification possibilities, it would benefit to add additional eyepieces like 10mm Plossl or even 1.2x Barlow as these may help achieve higher magnification.

Furthermore, improvements could also include changing its stock mount which currently uses plastic pads instead of Teflon material which would offer smooth motions.

Explore Scientific FirstLight 90mm

Explore Scientific FirstLight 90mm Refractor Telescope with AZ Mount (White) - Telescope for Adults...
  • Stargazing companion - discover galaxies, nebulas, planets and more with our telescope refractor and...
  • Convenient mount - with a simple “U” yoke mount and altitude rod, This mounted telescope is smooth...
  • High quality design - this portable telescope features 9mm and 20mm Kellner Eyepieces, a Red dot...
  • Smart device Compatible - stable and sturdy, our 90mm telescope includes an adapter to aid observers when...
  • Powerful visuals - the Doublet design of our traveling telescope uses a pair of glass lenses separated by...

Explore Scientific’s FirstLight 90mm is one of the most complete telescopes available for beginner astronomers.

This refracting model contains everything necessary for solar system or deep sky viewing; with an aperture that captures everything from lunar details like craters to rilles to bright galaxies, nebulae, and clusters in bright depth sky regions.

Plus its doublet design minimizes chromatic aberrations while its simple yoke mount makes object tracking simple!

Under dark skies, the FirstLight 80mm telescope reveals many globular star clusters such as M45 and M11 as well as the dimmer Wild Duck cluster (M13).

At higher magnifications, you may even detect fainter signs of planetary nebulae such as the Dumbbell Nebula and may resolve some galaxies within the Virgo Cluster itself though most will appear as fuzzy streaks or orbs.

Although this model’s 25mm Plossl eyepiece provides a wide apparent field of view, it features more internal reflection and glare than would be ideal at its price point.

However, its built-in dew shield helps reduce moisture build-up on the lens while its red-dot finder helps locate objects. A smartphone camera adapter is also included so new observers can capture images of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn easily.

This model boasts enough light-gathering power to reveal impressive views of nebulae and galaxies with clear contrast and detail even under light-polluted skies.

Furthermore, its FirstLight line also offers several packages tailored specifically for any unique observing requirements.

Models range from basic alt-azimuth versions to more complex GOTO tracking systems, and each package contains the refracting telescope, an excellent altazimuth mount, two eyepieces, red dot finders, and smartphone camera adapters.

If you need something a bit extra than the included accessory tray, consider upgrading with a 1.25″ draw tube focuser with either K9 or K20 eyepiece and prism diagonal for improved sharpness and contrast.

Furthermore, there’s even an adapter available if you want to use this telescope for astrophotography!

Zhumell Z100 Portable Altazimuth

Zhumell Z100 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
  • Industry standard 1.25” focuser, compatible with many different accessories
  • Changing magnifications is easier than ever with included 17mm and 10mm eyepieces
  • Easy to use red dot finder makes aiming the Z100 a breeze for any level of user

The Zhumell Z100 Portable Altazimuth Telescope is an excellent option for beginner adults and kids, thanks to its compact, lightweight design. Perfect for camping trips and remote stargazing adventures alike.

Easy to use with two eyepieces and 3x Barlow lens included as standard, giving a better view of the moon, planets, stars, etc.

This telescope utilizes a parabolic mirror, which is much better for astronomy than the cheaper telescopes’ spherical mirrors. This means that stars should appear more crisp and bright than their cheaper counterparts, making distinguishing detail much simpler.

Furthermore, this telescope offers a wide field of view at low power to help locate celestial objects easily; additionally, it comes equipped with a finder scope and adjustable tripod to enable viewing objects from all positions.

The Zhumell Z100’s smartphone connection offers another outstanding feature – being able to use a special app to easily identify and locate objects in the night sky, as well as provide information such as its name and description.

You can even record videos and take photos using this application. Perfect for beginners and families alike! Setup and operation are incredibly straightforward.

If you’re seeking an advanced telescope, consider the Zhumell Z114 or Z130 telescopes. Although more expensive, these telescopes feature larger aperture and focal length which allows you to observe more details of the Moon and planet surfaces and more nebulae, galaxies, and open star clusters.

Plus they’re perfect for beginner adult astronomers looking to advance past beginner stargazing as well as being cost-conscious options with limited budgets.

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