Best Telescope for Kids - KidsGearGuide

The Best Telescope for Kids

Learning about space is an exciting topic for almost any kid! They’re awed and inspired by the vastness and beauty that is space. While most kids will just read about it and maybe see a few images on Google, why not take it one step further and look at buying your own child their own telescope? If you’ve already introduced them to the microscope, a telescope for kids is an excellent way to further teach kids about scopes, prisms, and distance too. As you’ll know, STEM learning fosters critical thinking and problem-solving. While raising the next generation of innovators, a telescope for kids is certainly an essential item.

The market is saturated with so many telescopes for kids, it’s hard to know which one is best. We’ve rounded up some of the best telescopes for kids that are currently available, with useful features and information on each to help you find the most suited one for your family. While there are many toy options available, our list only includes high-quality, real telescopes.

At the bottom of this article, we’ve added some useful information for you including answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as what features to look for when buying a microscope for kids.

Top Pick
Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope

View the moon in fine detail, or see Jupiter’s moons and cloud belts too. Saturn’s rings or Mercury’s phases can also be seen. Look at the Orion Nebula or even double stars with the AstroMaster 70AZ

How does a telescope work?

In order to understand how a telescope works, we first need to understand how our own vision works. When we look at a distant object, it appears smaller. The farther away the object is, the more light is needed to bounce off that object and reach our eyes in order for us to see it. Therefore, our ability to see things far away relies on two factors: gathering as much light as possible and increasing the apparent size of the object. 

So, put simply, a telescope works by collecting a lot of light in order for our eyes to see the image and then increasing the size of the object through magnification. 

But, how does it do that?

Well, that depends on the type of telescope. There are two basic types of telescopes – either a refracting telescope or a reflecting telescope. The third type is a compound telescope, which combines the features of refracting and reflecting telescopes. 

How Refracting Telescopes Work

When thinking of a telescope, many people will think of the classic long tube with a large glass lens at one end and an eyepiece at the other. This type of telescope is called a refracting telescope. It’s the same kind that Galileo used, and it’s what binoculars use as well. With a refracting telescope, the light passes through curved, clear glass, called lenses. The lenses bend the light passing through it and it makes faraway things seem closer.

The problem with refracting telescopes is that the amount of light that they are able to gather depends on the size of the objective lens. This means that the lens needs to be very large, which makes it very heavy too. The lens must also be made with absolute precision, without any flaws or bubbles, or the image will be negatively impacted.

How Reflecting Telescopes Work

Telescopes have come a long way since Galileo’s time, and thanks to Issac Newton, many of today’s telescopes use mirrors rather than lenses. Telescopes with mirrors are known as reflecting telescopes. Reflecting telescopes work by having a concave mirror at the bottom of the tube. The mirror then reflects the light back up the top of the tube to another mirror, which then redirects the light to the eye. 

Reflecting telescopes avoid the problems found with refracting telescopes, and are much lighter and easier to make. However, reflecting telescopes do have problems of their own. Due to their design, the mirror must be cleaned periodically. After cleaning, the mirror needs to be realigned again too. If the mirrors aren’t properly aligned, you’ll have a blurry image. Originally, reflecting telescope mirrors were made using a silver coating that tarnishes and requires polishing. Today’s reflecting telescopes are aluminum-coated and therefore don’t require much polishing, but the coating itself has to be replaced over time. 

Here is a diagram to further explain how the two types of telescopes work:

Types of telescopes

What is the best type of telescope for my child?

Our list of the best telescopes for kids includes a variety of both reflecting telescopes and reflecting telescopes. Why? Because each type has its own advantage depending on what you’d like to use it for. 

Refracting Telescopes

Refracting telescopes are great for viewing earth objects like birds and mountains. They can be used for viewing the planets or moon, but aren’t ideal for faint objects. Refracting telescopes are simple, easy to use, and require almost no maintenance. If you want a fuss-free and lower-cost telescope, we’d recommend a refracting telescope.

Reflecting Telescopes

Reflecting telescopes are ideal for viewing faint or deep-sky objects like galaxies. They are more expensive and require more maintenance than refracting telescopes, but produce higher-quality images. Reflecting telescopes are also lighter and more compact in design. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend a reflecting telescope.

What is a good age to start using a telescope?

Around the age of five or six years is a good age to start using a telescope for kids, with supervision and guidance. At this age, kids can look into the eyepiece and actually understand and appreciate what they are viewing. Younger kids and toddlers are just not going to have any comprehension of what they are looking at nor will they really be able to learn anything at that age. For independent, unsupervised use, a telescope is suitable for kids aged around seven or eight years old. At this age, they should be able to handle the telescope correctly and carry it around themselves.

A Word on Safety

When buying a telescope for kids, it’s important that you brief them on the following safety aspects before allowing them to use it independently and without supervision:

A telescope should never be used to look at the sun without a solar filter. Serious eye damage (and even blindness) can result. Rather than just telling kids never to look at the sun, instead, educate them on how they can view the sun safely. 

When using a telescope at night in a very remote or dark area (such as when camping), it’s a good idea to have some red light torches on hand. This helps navigate in the dark and prevent any accidental falls or injuries, as well as damage to the telescope.

A child should never be allowed to use a telescope near a poor or large body of water, particularly if unsupervised. Kids can get so absorbed in what they’re viewing, they may forget about their surroundings and side-step into the water. 

The 10 Best Telescopes for Kids

1. Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope

Top Pick Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.76”)
  • Focal Length: 900mm (35”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/12.9
  • Magnification: 45x; 90x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

The Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope is an excellent first telescope for kids. This 700mm refractor telescope mounts onto a lightweight tripod, making it easy for kids to operate independently. This specific model is mounted on an altazimuth stand, which works similar to a ‘point and shoot’ camera. As opposed to the EQ range which mounts on an equatorial mount, the AZ model is particularly suited for kids to operate due to its ease-of-use. 

While the 70mm lens won’t allow you to see deep sky objects, don’t underestimate the AstroMaster 70AZ telescope’s power! With the 70AZ telescope, not only will kids be able to view the moon in fine detail, but they’ll also be able to see Jupiter’s moons and cloud belts too. Saturn’s rings or Mercury’s phases will all be viewable. Beyond our solar system, the Orion Nebula or even double stars can be viewed. The AstroMaster 70AZ can also be used during the day to view large birds of prey or distant landscapes. 

Included with the AstroMaster 70AZ telescope are two eyepieces (10mm and 20mm), an erect image diagonal, an illuminated reticle, and a tripod. The stand is rugged and perhaps one of the nicest Celestron stands we’ve seen thus far. The inclusion of the tray not only provides great stability to the stand, but it also allows for kids to keep all of the telescope eyepieces and other accessories not in use while using the telescope. 

Celestron also includes fantastic educational software with the telescope. The Starry Night Educational Software is free to download and provides a full interactive sky simulation. Additionally, the Celestron SkyPorta app is available to both Apple and Android users, which allows you to locate and track constellations in real-time.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Best kids telescope
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Free educational software included

2. Celestron Travel Scope 70 

Celestron Travel Scope 70
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.76”)
  • Focal Length: 400mm (16”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.7
  • Magnification: 20x; 40x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

If you’re looking for a very cheap and very portable telescope for kids, look no further than the Celestron Travel Scope 70. For less than $100, it’s the cheapest telescope you’ll find with the highest quality. In terms of portability, the telescope along with all the accessories come with a very handy backpack to make transporting your telescope a breeze. It’s also incredibly lightweight, with the whole pack weight less than 5 pounds in total. 

So, what do you get? Along with the Celestron Travel Scope 70 Telescope, you’ll get two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) which provide a magnification of 20x and 40x. A tripod, along with a backpack to store everything in, is included as well. 

While the telescope is exceptionally high-quality for this price point, we feel like the budget cut is evident in the low-quality flimsy tripod.This is perhaps the only let down of the Celestron Travel Scope 70, and if we have to choose where we would compromise quality for lower cost, we’re glad Celestron choose the tripod rather than the telescope.

With that said, the telescope is very lightweight and doesn’t need a heavy duty tripod, the one provided does work to do the job just fine. However, the good news is that the tripod connector is universal and can be replaced with a more sturdy tripod you’ve already got. 

If you’re wondering what you’ll be able to see with such a low priced telescope, if anything at all, we’ve got good news! While you won’t be able to see Niel Armstrong’s footprints on the moon, you will be able to see the moon’s craters. You’ll be able to see the rings on Saturn, but you aren’t going to be able to count them individually. For under a hundred dollars, that’s incredible power and an excellent telescope for beginner astronomers. 

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Best budget telescope for kids
  • Travel backpack included
  • High quality and power

3. Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope

Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope
  • Type: Reflector
  • Aperture: 127mm (5”)
  • Focal Length: 1000mm (39”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/7.9
  • Magnification: 50x; 250x
  • Mount: Equatorial

One of the most popular telescopes for kids, the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is ideal for beginners who want a high-quality telescope with a large aperture, at a relatively low price. The equatorial mount enables you to track stars while compensating for the Earth’s rotation, which means you won’t have to constantly move the telescope to keep the object in view (as you do with altazimuth mounts). 

The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope comes with a 20mm and 4mm lens, as well as a 3x Barlow lens too. The PowerSeeker 127EQ has a maximum magnification of 250x, but you’ll rarely use a magnification this high. On most nights, your best magnification will be below 150x  but, when weather conditions are excellent, you can use a higher magnification for bright objects such as the moon. 

So, what can you see with the PowerSeeker 127EQ? The tiny craters on the moon, Saturn’s rings, or the phases of mercury can all be seen. When Mars is closest to Earth, you’ll be able to view the Martian ice caps too. Under a very dark sky, the PowerSeeker 127EQ shows it’s true power. Kids can look forward to seeing all 110 objects in the Messier catalog.

While the PowerSeeker 127EQ has received much criticism in online forums, it’s to be noted that the power provided by the telescope means it’s perhaps not as easy to use straight out of the box like the refractor telescopes are. It’s not a simple ‘point and shoot’ type of telescope.

Most of the time, the mirrors aren’t going to be in perfect alignment after being shipped so you will need to collimate the telescope and line up the finder scope before you can enjoy the PowerSeeker 127EQ telescope. Collimation is the process of aligning all components in a telescope to bring light to its best focus. The instructions on how to do this are provided in the manual though so don’t let this scare you off!

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Best reflector telescope 
  • Ability to view deep-sky objects
  • Excellent value for money

4. Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope
  • Type: Reflector
  • Aperture: 114mm (4.48”)
  • Focal Length: 1000mm (39”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/8.8
  • Magnification: 50x; 100x
  • Mount: Equatorial

Another excellent telescope for kids in the AstroMaster series is the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ. Previously, we reviewed the AstroMaster 70AZ which is a refractor telescope on an altazimuth mount. The AstroMaster 130EQ, however, is a reflector telescope on an equatorial mount. A slightly more powerful telescope to the PowerSeeker 127EQ, the 130mm lens of the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is also the largest lens you’ll find in a beginner telescope but does come at a significantly higher price point as well.

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope features a 130mm primary mirror and a focal length of the 1000mm. This focal ratio (f/8.7) is a popular choice for beginners as it can provide wide angles of view and the mirrors gather enough light to see a lot of deep sky objects.

With the AstroMaster 130EQ, you’ll be able to see all of the same objects that the PowerSeeker 127EQ is capable of viewing such as the fine detail of the moon’s craters, or the deep sky objects of the Messier catalog. The difference is that the AstroMaster 130EQ has a slightly larger lens and focal ratio, giving it a bit more power than the PowerSeeker 127EQ.

A 20mm and 10mm eyepiece, along with a travel tripod and illuminated reticle is provided with the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ telescope. As mentioned with the AstroMaster 70AZ, the stand is rugged and is one of the nicest Celestron stands we’ve seen thus far. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, with the inclusion of the tray providing added stability and convenience as well. The AstroMaster 130EQ also comes with the Starry Night educational software and SkyPortal app.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Largest lens you’ll find for a beginner telescope
  • Popular focal ratio for beginners
  • Ability to view deep-sky objects

5. Gskyer AZ70400 Travel Scope Refractor Telescope

Gskyer AZ70400 Travel Scope Refractor Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.76”)
  • Focal Length: 400mm (15”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.7
  • Magnification: 16x; 40x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

The Gskyer AZ70400 Travel Scope offers top tier optical quality at a particular low-end budget. With a straightforward and easy assembly, it’s an excellent telescope for kids. Step-by-step picture instructions are provided, while the lightweight and compact build allows kids to easily carry it around. 

Being a refractor telescope, you won’t be faced with the issue of having to align any mirrors before being able to use the Gskyer AZ70400 telescope. Not only does it provide excellent viewing of the moon, but kids can also expect to see Saturn or Jupiter and  four of its moons as well. The AZ70400 is also suitable for day-light viewing and provides clear, up-close images of birds and other wildlife as well.

Unlike many other telescopes for kids, the Gskyer AZ70400 comes Travel Scope packed with accessories. Along with the telescope, you’ll also get a 25mm and 10mm eyepiece, as well as a 3x Barlow lens. A tripod with accessory tray, as well as a finder scope, is also included. Further to that, you’ll also get an attachment for your phone so that you can take pictures of your view, as well as a Bluetooth remote to easily snap your images. Finally, you’ll also receive a convenient travel bag to store the telescope and all of its accessories in as well! 

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • High-quality optics at a low-end price
  • Straightforward and easy to assemble
  • Phone attachment and Bluetooth remote included

6. Gskyer AZ90600 Refractor Telescope

Gskyer AZ90600 Refractor Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 90mm (3.5”)
  • Focal Length: 600mm (23.62”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/6.7
  • Magnification: 24x; 60x, 120x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

The Gskyer AZ90600 Refractor Telescope is another high-quality telescope but at a much higher price point. You get what you pay for though, and the AZ90600 features a larger lens, offering a higher aperture. It also comes with three eyepieces, rather than two, offering magnification levels of 24x, 60x, and 120x. A 3x Barlow lens is also included as well. 

A finder scope, along with an attachment for your phone, as well as a Bluetooth remote to easily snap pictures, are all also included with the Gskyer AZ90600. The full-size, lightweight aluminum tripod included can adjust in height, from 31 inches up to 49 inches. Another great feature about the AZ90600 is that it is very easy to set up. It doesn’t take long to assemble, and kids can  be viewing objects in space within 10 minutes!

In terms of what you can expect to see with the Gskyer AZ90600, you’ll definitely be able to get a high-clarity view of the moon and its craters. Venus, Mars, and its ice caps, Jupiter and its big red spot, as well as Saturn and its rings, will all be very easy to see. Birdwatching and landscape viewing during daylight hours is also a treat with the Gskyer AZ90600 telescope.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Three eyepieces included
  • Phone attachment and Bluetooth remote included
  • Lightweight and easy to set up

7. TELMU F40070M Travel Telescope

TELMU F40070M Travel Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.75”)
  • Focal Length: 400mm (15.75”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.7
  • Magnification: 16x; 67x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

Another excellent telescope for kids that ships with a phone adapter, the TELMU F40070M Travel Telescope is a great beginner telescope. With a 70mm lens and a focal length of 400m, the TELMU Travel Telescope offers a focal ratio of 5.7. It’s fully coated glass optics ensure high-quality and bright images. Kids can mount their phones and pictures or videos to share with friends and family.

Along with the telescope, TELMU also provides a range of useful accessories including 6mm and 25 mm eyepieces, a starfinder scope, image diagonal, tripod, and phone adapter as mentioned above. You’ll also receive a backpack to store the telescope and its accessories in, making transport a breeze.

As with many 70mm refracting telescopes, you’ll be able to view the moon in great clarity. While you should expect to see footprints, you can expect to see the moon’s craters. Mars and Jupiter can be viewed, and even the rings on Saturn. For under a hundred dollars, the TELMU F40070M Travel Telescope offers impressive power for a very low price point. What’s more, a 2-year warranty, along with a lifetime maintenance guarantee is also included with the telescope.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Excellent value for less than $100
  • Comes with a travel backpack 
  • Phone adapter included

8. Emarth F360-70 Refractor Travel Telescope

Emarth F360-70 Refractor Travel Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.75”)
  • Focal Length: 360mm (17.17”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.1
  • Magnification: 51x; 128x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

Another great budget telescope for kids showing an interest in astronomy, the Emarth F360-70 Refractor Travel Telescope is exactly as advertised – portable, lightweight, and great for kids! At under $90, the Emarth F360-70 is a great option if you’re looking for a first telescope for your child to test their interest before buying something more expensive.

The Emarth F360-70 comes packaged in a durable black nylon storage bag with shoulder carry strap for easy travel. Inside, you’ll find the telescope, lightweight aluminum tripod, erect image diagonal, 25mm and 10mm eyepieces, a 5×24 finderscope, map of the moon and stars, and a user manual. The telescope tube comes with a lens cape to protect against dust. Additionally, kids with glasses can fold the rubber eyepieces back for a comfortable and easy viewing.

As a budget scope, the Emarth F360-70 tripod is best suited for near-field objects such as the moon. You can expect to see the craters on the moon, as well as many of the planets and their moons including Jupiter and Saturn. While you probably won’t be able to see Jupiter’s red spot, the telescope is also excellent for birdwatching and other daylight wildlife viewing.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Great budget telescope for kids
  • Comes with nylon carry bag
  • Clear images of the moon at night or wildlife during the day

9. Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope

Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 102mm (4.02”)
  • Focal Length: 600mm (23.62”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.9
  • Magnification: 23x, 66x, 95x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

The Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope is perhaps the largest lens you’ll find in a refractor telescope at this price point. Perfect for beginners, the Infinity Series comes with an Altazimuth mount and slow-motion controls help to keep objects in view. The telescope comes with 3 eyepieces, offering a magnification of 23x, 66x, or 95x. A 3x Barlow lens is also included. A battery-operated red dot finderscope along with an image diagonal is included too. 

Overall, the Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm is incredibly easy to set up and operate. As a refractor telescope, it’s not going to be as powerful for deep sky objects as a reflector telescope would be, but the 102mm lens certainly gives it an edge over the other refractor telescopes we’ve reviewed. 

We’d recommend adding a moon filter to your purchase, as it can be overly bright on a full moon. However, kids can expect to see great detail and clarity. Further to that, planets such as Venus, Mars, and Saturn and her rings can all be viewed, along with the moons around Jupiter, or a variety of nebulae as well. The Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope for kids is also an excellent choice for daytime bird and wildlife watching, with the 102mm aperture providing a bright, sharp image.

The Meade Instruments Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope comes with a 1-year warranty. An Autostar Suite Astronomy planetarium DVD with more than ten thousand celestial objects is also included with the purchase. However, the DVD only works on Windows computers, unfortunately.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Large aperture for a refractor telescope
  • Ideal for both celestial and terrestrial viewing
  • Educational software included (Windows only)

10. ToyerBee 700mm Refractor Travelscope Telescope

ToyerBee 700mm Refractor Travelscope Telescope
  • Type: Refractor
  • Aperture: 70mm (2.75”)
  • Focal Length: 300mm (11.81”)
  • Focal Ratio: f/4.3
  • Magnification: 15x; 50x
  • Mount: Altazimuth

Last but not least, we have the ToyerBee 700mm Refractor Travelscope Telescope. For a budget kids telescope, the ToyerBee offers an impressive amount of accessories, as well as a 3 year warranty on the telescope. Being a refractor telescope, the ToyerBee is very easy to set up and works well right out of the box, requiring no lens alignment or adjustments. Step-by-step instructions are provided for all the accessories and kids can be viewing within 10 minutes. 

The ToyerBee 700mm Refractor Travelscope Telescope comes with  an altazimuth mount adjustable tripod, two eyepieces (20mm, 6mm), a 30x barlow lens, finderscope, image diagonal, phone adapter and bluetooth controller. A useful moon filter is also included, along with a map of the stars for easy identification. Being a travelscope, the tripod is just 20.86 inches in height and does not adjust higher. While great for small kids, if you need more height you are able to interchange the tripod with one that you already have as well. 

Clear images of the craters on the moon or 4 of Jupiter’s moons are possible with the ToyerBee Telescope for kids. You’ll also be able to Saturn and her rings, but you probably won’t be able to count them individually. The ToyerBee is also excellent for daytime terrestrial viewing, allowing kids to view birds and other wildlife, as well as landscapes or landmarks too. 

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Lots of accessories included
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight and compact

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two most important properties of a telescope?

The two most important properties of a telescope are aperture and magnification. For more detail on each, see our section “Features to Look for When Buying a Telescope for Kids” below.

What is the best telescope for viewing planets?

Did you know that we are able to see at least five of the planets in our solar system with our naked eyes alone? If our eyes are able to see them, this means any telescope can see them too. However, if you want to get the best image there are two main factors to look at: focal length and magnification.

Should you buy a kids telescope instead of a regular telescope?

Any telescope that is going to be powerful enough for kids to actually get a clear view of planets or other celestial objects is likely going to be a regular telescope. Unless you’re buying for your toddler, avoid telescopes that are made solely for children only. They are likely to simply be too weak to provide a clear image and will result in a bored and frustrated child. If you want to kill their budding love for astronomy, that’s a quick way to do so!

What is the difference between a terrestrial and celestial telescope?

Celestial telescopes are designed for viewing objects in space like the moon, planets and stars. Terrestrial telescopes, on the other hand, are designed for viewing objects on earth. They’re suited for things like bird watching or looking at other wildlife and landscapes. 

With reflector telescopes, the images appear upside-down. While this doesn’t matter when viewing objects in space, it’s certainly going to matter when viewing birds and other land objects. Therefore, reflector telescopes are not recommended for land use. Refractor telescopes, on the other hand, will produce an image that is upside-down as well but a diagonal can be used to flip it right side up. For this reason, refractor telescopes are best suited for terrestrial viewing, but can also be used to view celestial objects too.

Features to Look for When Buying a Telescope for Kids

While there are many parts and features to a telescope, the three main features you need to be aware of when buying a telescope for kids are:



The aperture of a telescope is the diameter (size) of its light-gathering lens or mirror, also called the objective lens. Most of the time it’s measured in millimeters (mm), and anything larger than 60mm will give you a decent view of planets and satellites. However, the higher the aperture of the telescope is, the more light can enter the telescope. This means that a telescope with a larger aperture will be able to see objects more clearly.


Focal Length and Focal Ratio

While aperture (the telescope’s light-gathering ability) is an important feature of a telescope, it’s not the most important thing when looking for a good telescope to view planets. This is because planets, as well as the moon, are the brightest objects in the sky. If all the light is coming from a small area of the sky, your telescope doesn’t need to be able to gather the light from a wide area. Therefore, what you want to have instead is what’s referred to as a ‘slow’ telescope. Essentially, this means a telescope with a small field of view. To get a smaller field of view, you need a longer focal length. 

The focal ratio value refers to the ‘speed’ of the telescope’s optics. A lower focal ratio will provide a lower magnification with a wider field of view and a brighter image. This is best for viewing planets. The focal ratio of a telescope is calculated by dividing the aperture by the focal length.



Put very simply, the higher the magnification, the larger the image will appear. However, having a high magnification isn’t always best. When a telescope’s magnification gets too high, the image becomes dim and loses contrast. 

When looking at purchasing a telescope, avoid telescopes that use their high magnification level (like 600x, ) as their only selling point. The highest useful magnification level is twice your telescope’s aperture (in millimeters, 50x for inches). This means that in order to get a good image with say, a 600x magnification, you’d need a 305mm (or 12-inch) wide telescope! 

Top Pick
Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope

View the moon in fine detail, or see Jupiter’s moons and cloud belts too. Saturn’s rings or Mercury’s phases can also be seen. Look at the Orion Nebula or even double stars with the AstroMaster 70AZ

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