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Which Celestron telescope is best?

Looking up and seeing thousands of distant stars is a magical experience. Telescopes allow astronomy lovers and hobbyists to feel up close and personal with the celestial bodies that populate the night sky. With a good telescope, you can see the Moon’s craters, other planets and even shooting stars that might otherwise be difficult to spot.

Celestron is one of the most trusted telescope brands out there, but choosing the right telescope can be difficult. Making the right decision is significantly easier after taking a moment to compare the features that Celestron’s equipment has to offer.

What to know before you buy a Celestron telescope

Manual vs. GoTo telescopes

Manual telescopes require you to adjust your equipment manually and scan the sky for interesting objects. Manual telescopes are great for beginners and anyone that prefers to use a telescope the “old-fashioned” way.

GoTo telescopes are motorized and have an internal database of celestial bodies. After selecting an object from the telescope’s database, it uses its motorized adjustment features to automatically find the planet, star or even galaxy that you’d like to view. GoTo telescopes are often more expensive than manual models, but they can be an excellent way to get the most out of your stargazing experience.

Tyles of telescope mounts

Telescope mounts determine how the devices move and keep them from wobbling. A good telescope mount must effectively support its weight to pinpoint the celestial objects you want to see accurately. 

Celestron offers several different types of mounts for their telescopes, including

  • Alt-azimuth: This is the most straightforward telescope mount design and works with either manual or motorized configurations.
  • Dobsonian: Dobsonian mounts are an improved version of the alt-azimuth design that can support larger telescopes. This type of mount is usually used with reflector telescopes and designed for tabletop use.
  • GoTo: GoTo mounts are the motorized mounts used in Celestron’s GoTo telescopes.
  • German equatorial: Equatorial mounts have one rotational axis that runs parallel to the Earth’s rotational axis. This design makes for easier object tracking than other mounts and can be manual or computerized.

Which focal length is best?

A telescope’s focal length is the distance from the device’s primary optic to the point where the light comes into focus. 

A shorter focal length will give a wider field of view, but the objects you’re seeing will appear smaller. On the other hand, a longer focal length provides a narrower field of view, but the objects will appear larger.

What to look for in a quality Celestron telescope

Large aperture

Aperture is one of the primary specifications you should consider when shopping for a telescope. Aperture is the diameter of the telescope’s primary lens or mirror.

The larger the telescope’s aperture, the brighter and sharper the image will be.

A finderscope

Finderscopes allow you to more easily locate celestial objects before finding them with your regular telescope. They act as a lower-powered pre-telescope of sorts. 

Not all telescopes come with finderscopes, and you can buy them separately. Still, it’s often cheaper if you can find a suitable telescope that comes with a finderscope.

A quality eyepiece

Eyepieces play a significant role in your telescope’s magnification abilities by helping to focus the light and sharpen the image. Eyepieces come in various sizes. The lower the number in millimeters, the better the magnification.

Some Celestron telescopes come with Barlow lenses, which often allow you to double or triple the magnification.

How much you can expect to spend on a Celestron Telescope

Celestron telescope prices can range from $50-$2,000, depending on the features and specifications. Celestron’s manual telescopes typically cost $50-$500, whereas their GoTo models can cost $50-$2,000 or more.

Celestron telescope FAQ

Can telescopes take photographs?

A. Not all telescopes can take pictures. Celestron offers various astrograph telescopes that allow you to take photos, but they can be expensive. Many Celestron telescopes enable you to attach your DSLR camera to them using inexpensive adapters.

What is the difference between a refractor telescope and a reflector telescope?

A. Refractor telescopes use lenses to form an image and are often better for viewing the moon or planets. Reflector telescopes use mirrors instead of lenses and are better for viewing distant objects.

What’s the best Celestron telescope to buy?

Top Celestron telescope

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

What you need to know: This high-tech option can automatically find objects in the night sky and is perfect for astrophotographers.

What you’ll love: The motorized GoTo mount, and impressive database of over 40,000 celestial objects, makes using it a cinch. Compatible with a range of DSLR adapters for astrophotography. This device has an impressive 8-inch aperture that produces crisp, clear images. The Nexstar 8 SE offers up to 480x magnification.

What you should consider: At nearly $2000, this device is far from inexpensive. This is one of the heavier options out there, at 33 pounds.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Celestron telescope for the money

Celestron Cometron FirstScope

Celestron Cometron FirstScope

What you need to know: This easy-to-use telescope costs less than $100 and is perfect for beginners.

What you’ll love: The Cometron FirstScope comes with a finderscope and two eyepieces. This lightweight telescope is easy to take with you on the go. It offers magnification up to 120x.

What you should consider: The image quality is not impressive compared to other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Celestron 70mm Travel Telescope

Celestron 70mm Travel Telescope

What you need to know: This highly portable device is perfect if you plan to use your telescope in multiple locations.

What you’ll love: Includes a sturdy travel case. This option includes a bonus software download with information on thousands of celestial bodies. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around. 

What you should consider: The tripod isn’t as sturdy as other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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