Buying a telescope for viewing planets and galaxies can be pretty confusing, right? Especially where there are a plethora of telescopes out there on the market.

However, buying a telescope can be much more straightforward if you know your stuff and understand what you are looking for. First, you’ll have to determine for what purpose you want a telescope and then choose one that will serve that purpose the best.


Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope - Portable Refractor...

Meade Instruments – Infinity 102mm Aperture, Portable...

Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope - Manual German...
Focal Length400mm600mm1000mm
Focal Ratiof/5.71f/5.9f/8
Magnification20x, 40x100x50x, 250x
Mount TypeAlt-azimuthAlt-azimuthGerman Equatorial
Weight4.2 lbs12.2 lbs21.4 lbs

In this article, I’ll list the 7 best telescopes for viewing planets and galaxies. It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur or professional; all of these seven telescopes can serve your stargazing purpose. So, there is no need to get confused seeing hundreds of telescopes on the market as you are guaranteed to get the best one (if you follow my guide).

Suppose you lack the patience or time to read through the complete guide, then I got your back. The best telescope I can suggest for you to buy right now would be the Celestron Nexstar 6SE. It has a great aperture and provides excellent visuals of the moon, planets, and other celestial bodies. In addition, its automatic detection and tracking abilities make it a bliss to use for both beginners and expert users.

Now that we got that out of the way, it’s recommended that you read through the entire review before deciding which one to buy. Telescopes come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. So unless you go through the entire review, you won’t understand which one will honestly speak to your needs.

After giving full descriptions, pros, and cons of each telescope, I will also talk about the things you should keep in mind before buying a telescope, the planets and other objects you’ll be able to see, and other telescope-related topics that will help you out.

Here are the 7 best telescopes you can choose from to begin your journey into the stars.

TelescopeApertureFocal LengthFocal RatioMagnificationMount TypeWeight
Celestron Travelscope 7070mm400mmf/5.7120x, 40xAlt-azimuth4.2 lbs
Meade Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope102mm600mmf/5.9100xAlt-azimuth12.2 lbs
Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ127mm1000mmf/850x, 250xGerman Equatorial21.4 lbs
Celestron NexStar 127 SLT127mm1500mmf/1260x, 167xComputerized Alt-azimuth18 lbs
Gskyer AZ90600 Telescope90mm600mmf/6.7120XAlt-azimuth18 lbs
Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope150mm750mmf/521xAlt-azimuth tabletop23.5 lbs
Celestron Nextar 6 SE Telescope150mm1500mmf/1021xComputerized Alt-azimuth mount30 lbs

1. Celestron Travelscope 70 Telescope

The Celestron Travelscope 70 is an excellent telescope for beginners. It is cheap and very functional for its price. It has an aperture of 70mm that is great for viewing celestial bodies such as craters of the moon, moons, Jupiter’s rings of Saturn, and even some bright deep-sky objects.

It’s a great telescope for beginners to be introduced to handling such equipment. In addition, it has an optical glass coating that provides sharp images to complement its price.

It comes with a 10mm and 20mm eyepiece, a diagonal eyepiece holder, a 5×24 finder scope, a tripod, and a travel backpack.

It is very user-friendly and cheap, making it a good choice for beginners. Moreover, its small and compact form allows you to travel with it easily.


  • Aperture: 70mm
  • Focal Length: 400mm
  • Focal ratio: f/5.71
  • Optical Design: Refractor
  • Mount: Alt-azimuth
  • Weight: 1.9 Kg or 4.2 lbs


  • Portability: If you are always on the go, then the Celestron Travelscope 70 might just be the telescope for you. Its lightweight and slight build allow greater portability than many other telescopes.
  • Cheap Price: This is a very affordable telescope that is excellent for new stargazers to become familiar with using a telescope.
  • User-friendly: It is straightforward to assemble and use. You can also download the free app from Celestron called the Skyportal, which makes locating objects in the night sky a breeze. It is available for both iOS and Android.


  • Cheap and easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Great for children and beginner astronomers
  • Mobile app for navigating through the night sky


  • Not suitable for experts
  • Cheap Build
  • Tripod is not very sturdy

2. Meade Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope

If the value is what you’re looking for, then look no further. The Meade Infinity 102mm telescope is made with a delicate balance between cost and functionality. As a result, it’s a great telescope for beginners who are ready to get into some serious star gazing.

It has an aperture of 102mm. This telescope is excellent for day and night time star gazing. It has a comprehensive view which is excellent astronomical observation. It also comes with a red dot viewfinder to help you point your telescope at your target object. Its larger 102mm aperture allows greater photon absorption, which leads to sharper and brighter images.

With this telescope, you can easily view our solar system’s neighboring planets, moons, and other objects. In addition, deep space objects can also be observed.

It comes with 3 eyepieces (26mm, 9mm, and 6.3mm), a red dot viewfinder, a diagonal eyepiece holder, and a tripod. It also has an Auto Star Suite Astronomy Planetarium app for windows that feature over 10,000 objects.

Its ease of use, good aperture, and relatively low price make it an excellent telescope for armature astronomers.


  • Aperture: 102mm
  • Focal Length: 600mm
  • Focal ratio: f/5.9
  • Optical Design: Refractor
  • Mount: Alt-azimuth
  • Weight: 5.5 Kg or 12.2 lbs


  • Portability: The Meade Infinity 102mm telescope has excellent portability and is comparatively lightweight. Easy to carry around.
  • Great value: The price is relatively affordable, and the performance is also excellent for what you pay.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to assemble and use. It can be assembled in under 10 minutes. The Auto Star Suite Astronomy Planetarium app also enhances the user experience.


  • Great value
  • Easy assembly
  • Portable
  • Right side up image
  • Good terrestrial observations (Day time)
  • Durable build quality
  • 3 eyepieces of different focal lengths
  • Great for beginner astronomers who are serious about stargazing


  • Tracking is not as easy as telescopes with EQ mounts
  • Chromatic aberrations

3. Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ Telescope

The Celestron 127 EQ is another excellent telescope for beginner astronomers. Its ease of use and great value make it an excellent choice for beginners. It has a German Equatorial mount with slow-motion control knobs that allow smooth night sky navigation.

With this telescope, you can get a great view of the moon, the rings of Saturn, and Jupiter’s moons. Objects further away, such as the Orion nebula and Andromeda galaxy. The telescope has a 127mm aperture which ensures bright and clear images. It’s small and relatively lightweight, making it easy to carry around.

The telescope includes 2 eyepieces (20mm and 4mm), a 3x Barlow lens, a finder scope, and a tripod. The 3x Barlow lens allows the user to boost the magnification of the eyepieces by 3 times.


  • Aperture: 127mm
  • Focal Length: 1000mm
  • Focal ratio: f/8
  • Optical Design: Refractor
  • Mount: German Equatorial
  • Weight: 9.7 Kg or 21.4 lbs


  • Portability: The Celestron 127 EQ telescope is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry along on long trips.
  • Great value: It is an excellent telescope for the price. It allows people new to using a telescope to learn about them without breaking the bank.
  • German Equatorial mount: This mount is handy for keeping your object focused. This eliminates the problem of your desired object floating out of focus due to the earth’s rotation.
  • User-Friendly: It is relatively easy to assemble and comes with “The sky” level 1 software with a database of over 10,000 objects that helps navigate the sky.


  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Large aperture
  • Erect images
  • 3x Barlow lens
  • Smooth Slow Motion controls


  • The try-pod is a little unstable
  • The use of the Barlow lens needs some practice

4. Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Telescope

Until now, we’ve been talking about telescopes primarily for beginners. Well, now we enter the big leagues. The Celestron NexStar 12SLT is a powerful telescope designed for intermediate enthusiasts.

It has a Maksutov Cassegrain optical design with a 127mm aperture, making it an excellent choice for observing binary star systems and celestial photography. The high aperture allows sharper and more precise viewing of the planets and moons in our solar system. In addition, it has a closed tube design that provides excellent images.

With a comprehensive database and an automatic tracking system, the telescope locates your objects for you. Sky Align technology makes navigating through the celestial bodies a piece of cake. In addition, it comes with a device called the Sky Tour. An excellent device for newcomers. It automatically generates a list of viewable objects based on your time and location.

It comes with two eyepieces (25mm and 9mm), a tripod, a Star Pointer Finderscope, and a CD for SkyX planetarium software.


  • Aperture: 127mm
  • Focal Length: 1500mm
  • Focal ratio: f/12
  • Optical Design: Maksutov Cassegrain
  • Mount: Computerized Alt-azimuth
  • Weight: 8.16 kg or 18 lbs


  • Portable: It’s a relatively small telescope that makes it very portable.
  • High-quality optics: The optics are of high quality. The catadioptric design makes it an excellent choice for celestial photography.
  • Auto-detection and tracking: The Celestron NexStar 127 SLT is packaged with a computerized alt-azimuth mount, which helps locate and track desired objects. This is especially helpful in long-exposure astrophotography.
  • User-Friendly: The telescope has a fully automatic object locating system that makes it easy to the location and tracking of your desired target. Its Sky Align technology and SkyX planetarium software make it very user-friendly.


  • Ease of use
  • Easy to assemble
  • Great optics
  • Great for celestial photography
  • Automatic location and tacking
  • Sky Tour device holds a database of over 40,000 objects
  • Great build quality
  • A sizeable focal length provides a better view of the planets


  • A bit expensive
  • Narrow Field of view
  • Heavy

5. Gskyer AZ90600 Telescope

The Gskyer AZ90600 is another high-grade telescope for intermediate telescope users. Its 600mm focal length allows a wide viewing angle excellent for profound sky observation. In addition, the 90mm aperture is adequate for showing bright and sharp images.

The optical tube is made of aluminum alloy, making it durable and lightweight. Its internal components are coated with anti-reflection blue film, preventing distortion and producing sharp images. In addition, the optics lenses are fully coated to protect your eyes from harm.

It has three eyepieces (25mm, 10mm, and 5mm), a 3x Barlow lens, a tripod, a 6×30 Finderscope, and a 48⸰ erecting prism. As said before, the Barlow lens increases the magnification by the eyepieces by 3 times. In addition, the erecting prism allows the images to be right side up, which ensures better viewing.


  • Aperture: 90mm
  • Focal Length: 600mm
  • Focal ratio: f/6.7
  • Optical Design: Refractor
  • Mount: Alt-azimuth
  • Weight: 8.16 kg or 18 lbs


  • Durable: The optical tube is made of aluminum alloy, making it very durable.
  • Coated optics: Being coated with anti-reflection blue film prevents distortion of images and protects eyes from harm.
  • User-Friendly: The telescope is elementary to use. It is an excellent telescope for beginners to learn and also great for intermediate users who are looking for an upgrade.


  • Durable build
  • Wide viewing angle
  • Easy to assemble
  • Anti-reflection blue-film coated components
  • 3x Barlow lens
  • Great for new and intermediate users


  • A bit pricy
  • No software included

6. Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope

The Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector telescope is excellent for intermediate to experienced astronomers. Its big 150mm aperture allows at least 35% more light absorption than other telescopes on this list. This makes the images brighter and sharper, providing more details.

This reflector telescope gives it an advantage for viewing deep-sky objects like galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters. It can also be used to observe the moons and planets of our solar system. It has a parabolic primary mirror which eliminates spherical aberrations. The primary lens has a focal length of 750mm and a focal ratio of f/5, providing a wide field of view, making this an excellent telescope for profound space photography.

The telescope sports an alt-azimuth, which allows vertical and 360⸰ horizontal movement. It’s a tabletop telescope. Which means it does not come with a tripod. It must be used on a table or any flat surface. The telescope is too heavy to carry around on hand but compact enough to fit in the trunk of your car.

The telescope comes with Optical tube assembly, OTA dust cover/cap, Dobsonian type alt-azimuth mount, 2 optical tube rings, 25mm Sirius Plössl eyepiece, 10mm Sirius Plössl eyepiece, EZ Finder II reflex sight, Collimation cap, 3-Hole eyepiece rack, Hex key Allen wrench (size 3/16″), a user manual and starry night software.


  • Aperture: 150mm
  • Focal Length: 750mm
  • Focal ratio: f/5
  • Optical Design: Reflector
  • Mount: Dobsonian type Alt-azimuth tabletop mount
  • Weight: 10.7 kg or 23.5 lbs


  • Large aperture: It packs a 150mm aperture primary lens which absorbs many photons to provide bright and detailed image output.
  • Wide field of view: The 750mm focal length provides a decently wide field of view. I am making it great for profound space photography.
  • Great build quality: The Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope is made of durable material, which explains its weight.
  • User-Friendly: The telescope is pretty easy to use. It’s as simple as pointing the telescope at your desired object. Collimation may be difficult for new users, but for experienced enthusiasts, Orion makes it easy by providing a center-marked primary lens and a collimation cap.


  • Large aperture
  • Wide field of view
  • Fairly easy to use
  • Eyepiece rack
  • Parabolic mirror
  • Hassle-free assembly
  • Excellent for profound space photography


  • A bit expensive
  • Heavy
  • Constant collimation required

 7. Celestron Nextar 6 SE Telescope

I think by now, you’ve noticed my love for Celestron telescopes. And why wouldn’t you? They are one of the, if not the best, telescope manufacturers in the market. So four of seven telescopes on this list, being Celestron, shouldn’t come to you as a surprise.

Celestron lives up to its name by taking the top spot on this list with its most popular Celestron Nextar 6 SE telescope. This compact, quality telescope is equally great for beginners and veteran enthusiasts.

It has a large aperture of 150mm, which provides sharp and bright images. The focal length is 1500mm, and the focal ratio f/10. This allows greater magnification at the cost of the field of view. This is excellent for observing the moons and planets of our solar system in great detail. It allows excellent moon, Mars, and Saturn views even under light-polluted skies.

It has a fully automated GoTo mount with a database of over 40,000 objects. In addition, the telescope can automatically detect and align itself to provide a target with the help of SkyAlign technology. As a result, using the telescope is easy and hassle-free. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners.

The telescope is small and compact, making it easy to travel. However, it is a bit heavy, measuring 13.6 kg or 30 lbs, which makes carrying it a bit difficult.

The package includes the optical tube assembly, a single eyepiece (25mm), a star pointer finder’s scope, a computerized alt-azimuth mount, a steel tripod, tripod tray, The Sky software for windows, RS 232 serial port cable for GPS 16 accessory and Nexstar remote control software CD.


  • Aperture: 150mm
  • Focal Length: 1500mm
  • Focal ratio: f/10
  • Optical Design: Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Mount: Computerized Alt-azimuth mount
  • Weight: 13.6 kg or 30 lbs


  • Large aperture: The telescope comes with a 150mm large aperture which allows more excellent absorption of light, allowing crisp and bright images. This provides excellent details of the surface of the moon. Objects further away, like Mars or Saturn, can also be viewed in great detail.
  • Great magnification: Short focal lengths are great for viewing large objects like galaxies and nebulas, but they lack magnification. This is not the case for Celestron Nexstar 6 SE telescope. Its 1500mm long focal length and the 25mm eyepiece provide excellent magnification (60x).
  • Compact: The reasonably small size of Celestron Nexstar 6 SE makes it a compact telescope that can quickly take along while traveling.
  • Auto-detection and tracking: The Celestron Nexstar 6SE comes with a computerized alt-azimuth mount, which helps locate and track desired objects. This is especially helpful in long-exposure astrophotography.
  • User-Friendly: The telescope comes with a computerized alt-azimuth mount. The telescope can automatically align itself to the preferred object using the Sky Align technology and over 40,000 objects database. This makes the Celestron Nexstar 6 SE very user-friendly for amateurs and experienced astronomers.


  • Large aperture
  • Great magnification
  • Compact design
  • Automated Alt-Azimuth mount
  • User-friendly
  • Easy Assembly
  • Great for beginner and expert astronomers
  • Great for astrophotography


  • High price
  • GPS accessory not included
  • Heavy

These are the top 7 telescopes you can choose from to buy your new telescope. If you’re still having trouble making up your mind, then I’m guessing you need more in-depth information.

Don’t worry because I’ve provided everything you need to know before buying a telescope in this article.

How To Choose The Best Telescope For Viewing Planets And Galaxies?

If you’re looking to buy a telescope for viewing planets, you have to keep two things in mind aperture and focal length.

When it comes to astronomical observations, planets are considered small objects. Therefore, they don’t require that much field of view to observe correctly. That’s why if you’re looking to buy a telescope solely for planetary observation, you should go for a refractor or compound telescope.

If you’re on a budget, then refractors should do the trick. They have a great focal length for their price. Of course, cheap refractors come with small apertures, but if nearby planets and moons are all you are interested in, then a refractor is all you need.

If money is not a problem, you might be interested in a compound telescope like the Celestron Nexstar 6SE. These telescopes have a vast focal length that provides excellent magnification. They also come with an incredible aperture. This ensures sharp and bright images that are great for viewing planets.

Refractor, Reflector, Or Compound Telescope For Viewing Planets and Galaxies?

A telescope is an instrument for viewing far-away objects. It uses curved lenses or mirrors to manipulate the light emitting from such objects and then concentrates them on the retina. This is how telescopes allow us to see planets and moons from the comfort of our backyards.

Based on the optical design, there are three types of telescopes:

  1. Refractor telescope
  2. Reflector telescope
  3. Compound telescopes (Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov-Cassegrain)

Refractor Telescope:

The telescopes that use convex lenses are called the Refractor telescope. This is because they collect the parallel light rays from distant objects and focus them at a single point called the focal point. The distance of the focal point from the lens is called the focal length.

The better the focal length, the more magnification can be achieved. But it causes a loss of details and a blurred image. That’s why a larger lens allows a more excellent collection of light, producing a brighter and sharper image.

The downside of this telescope is that larger lenses have more weight, making the telescope heavy. Also, lenses display an optical phenomenon called chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration caused due to different colors or wavelengths of light bending in different directions.

For these reasons, refractor the optical design is usually seen among cheap amateur-level telescopes. However, they are best for observing planets and moons of our solar system.

Reflector Telescope:

These telescopes use concave mirrors to change the direction of parallel light rays and focus them at the focal point. A good thing about the reflector-type telescope is that a giant mirror does not have to be thicker.

As a result, more powerful telescopes can be made without increasing weight. Also, more powerful telescopes can be made without increasing much cost. Reflector telescopes also remove the chromatic aberration problem with refractor telescopes.

The problem with reflectors is that the tube is exposed. There is no glass or lens to contain the interior of the telescope. As a result, the telescope requires frequent maintenance.

Reflector optical design is usually used for making intermediate-level telescopes. However, they are great at observing deep space objects like galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters.

Compound Telescopes:

It is a telescope made of both mirrors and lenses. This optical design takes advantage of adapting the pros of both reflectors and refractors while at the same time reducing or eliminating their disadvantages.

The compound design minimizes the amount of chromatic aberration. This design allows the telescopes to be short with considerable focal length. They are increasing both portability and magnification. A short tube allows the telescope to gain minimal weight with the increase of aperture.

The disadvantage of this type of telescope design is the enormous focal length. Even though it provides excellent magnification, the field of view decreases. Which makes it challenging to view deep space objects. They are best for observing moons and planets.

These telescopes are best for intermediate and expert astronomers.

Slow Or Fast Telescope For Viewing Planets and Galaxies?

A telescope with a long focal length is considered a slow telescope, and a telescope with a short focal length is a fast telescope.

Slow telescopes have great magnifications. But it comes at the sacrifice of the field of view. That’s why buying a slow telescope would be your best choice if you’re looking to buy a telescope for observing objects like the moon, Mars, Saturn, and other planets and moons of our solar system.

Short focal lengths provide a better field of view. As a result, fast telescopes are great for observing deep-sky objects like distant galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters.

Which Mount Is Good For Viewing Planets?

The standard alt-azimuth mount has a problem of losing its target after some time. Because of the earth’s rotation, the target object may float out of the frame, which may not be a problem while simply observing planets but may become a problem during long-exposure astrophotography.

So, in this case, a German Equatorial or Computerized mount can be a great option. They eliminate the loss of focus because of the earth’s rotation and track your object.

How To Choose The Best Telescope For You?

You have to keep some things in mind to choose the telescope that is best for you. The first thing is your experience. You should refrain from buying expensive equipment for your first rodeo. Instead, you should start with a low to midrange telescope if this is your first one. This will help you to get acquainted with using and managing a telescope.

Next, determine what you are interested in doing with your telescope. For example, if you are interested in observing close-by objects like the moon, Mars, Saturn, etc., you should go for a telescope with a long focal length. This is because the long focal length will provide great magnification, making the images appear sharp.

The lost field of view won’t matter because observing small objects like planets, moons, and asteroids do not require many fields.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in viewing deep space objects like galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters, you should go for telescopes with a large aperture and short focal length. This is because the large aperture will absorb more light that is useful for viewing distant objects, and the short focal length will allow a wide field of view required for viewing such large objects.

If you are planning on doing some astrophotography, consider buying a German Equatorial or Computerized mount telescope. Unfortunately, the target object can float out of focus due to the earth’s rotation. This is especially troublesome when shooting long-exposure photographs.

A German Equatorial or Computerized mount will allow the ability to track objects which is a must for astrophotography.


Astronomy is an excellent hobby. It invokes curiosity and discovery. And this journey of discovery begins with you buying your first telescope. In this article, I’ve provided all the information you might need to buy your next telescope and reviewed the top 7 telescopes and their advantages and disadvantages.

I hope all this information was helpful to you and helped you choose your new telescope.

Happy stargazing.

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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