Historically, a telescope is a vital tool used to see beyond the ordinary; little wonders why the optical instrument is widely used and accepted.
Are you a lover of the telescope? Have you been wowed by the magnificent prowess of telescopes and still don’t know how they work? Or do you want to get a quality telescope here in the United Kingdom but don’t know the right one to get? Check out this guide to get the right answers.
😍 Our Pick Celestron 21035 Travel Scope View product
Bottom Line You get what you pay for. Overall, it is great for travelling and to use in your backyard, once you get a better tripod.
Pros This telescope is great for novices or beginners. You can see the moon clearly and some other planets. Also great for birdwatching!!
Cons The tripod is very wobbly and so, you would have to get a much sturdier one. There have also been complaints about the limitation of the lens. If you want to see more, get a replacement.
Budget Choice Telmu Telescope For Beginners and Kids View product
Bottom Line For beginners only. Great gift for kids who are interested in space or the moon.
Pros Very easy to set up as instructions are very clear on that. It is very functional for kids.
Cons The lightweight causes the telescope to move easily on the tripod, and so any slight movements could damage your starwatching.
Bresser Classic 70/350 Refractor Telescope View product
Bottom Line Great buy! An amazing choice for travellers. This is because of it's portability.
Pros Really good scope! Also very easy to pack and travel with and easy to set up.
Cons The supplied eyepieces are not the best around, and the limits of the scope are also quickly tested.
Gosky High Definition Monocular Telescope View product
Bottom Line Good choice for your next hike. The handheld telescope is overall very recommendable for outsiders and nature lovers.
Pros Amazing monocular! The zoom is particularly exceptional. It’s also light and so easy to carry about.
Cons If you are used to binoculars, it could be a difficult switch for you.
Celestron Zhumell Reflector Telescope View product
Bottom Line Great for watching the night sky. Overall, it's still a very decent telescope, could be wonderful for kids and even adults.
Pros The nature of this telescope is such that it is not affected by tripods so you can place it on any surface you choose. It’s also incredibly easy to assemble with nice eyepieces.
Cons Not particularly built for photography. The viewfinder is also located at the side of the unit and so in setting up, that needs to be considered.
Top 10More information on the best options.
|1|| Celestron |
About: SUPERIOR OPTICS: The Celestron 70mm Travel Scope features high-quality, fully-co... Show more
98 / 100 TELMU Kids Telescopes for Astronomy 50mm Aperture & 600mm Focal Length Portable Telescope with AdjustableTELMU
About: BRING THE SKY CLOSER - With 600mm focal length and 50mm aperture, This telescope... Show more
|3|| BRESSER |
About: Due to its large diameter, the powerful and compact lens telescope is especially... Show more
93 / 100 Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Smartphone Holder - 2019 Newest WaterproofGosky
About: 12x55 high power magnification - have the best view in your outdoor adventures. ... Show more
|5|| Celestron |
About: Industry standard 1.25” Focuser, compatible with many different Accessories. | C... Show more
|6|| Celestron |
About: Quick and easy no-tool setup Slow motion controls for smooth tracking. | Erect i... Show more
|7|| Celestron |
About: Motor Drive for the automatic tracking. Star pointer finderscope | All coated, g... Show more
|10|| Celestron |
About: Easy to assemble 50 mm refractor suitable for celestial and terrestrial viewing ... Show more
Our Ranking Criteria
- customer reviews [30%] - how customers rated this product? Literally, the higher, the better.
- popularity [30%] - how many people seem to buy this product compared to other options.
- brand trustworthiness [15%] - the more other high-rated products by this brand, the more trustworthy we consider the vendor
- value for money [25%] - adjust the above for price. If there is a better option for lower price, product is ranked higher.
What about the price?
Price only accounts for 25% of the score because price is a tricky thing. It boils down to your individual preference - do you want to go higher-end or budget?
Ideally, we try to recommend better-featured items that have a lower price and high customer score, but in most cases you can't espace the fact that extra features/quality cost extra money.
Please take a look at the price chart for telescopes to see the best picks in each budget.
In a nutshell: 3 most popular options
What is a Telescope?
A telescope is an optical device used to view far objects. This instrument makes a far object look nearer and bigger to you. Its ability to do this makes it a favourite tool in astronomy.
Telescopes allow you to view planets, sky, and earth with little or no stress. Whenever you see a telescope, think of it as a light collector.
While some telescopes make use of curved lenses or mirror to collect light, others combine both.
Some of the typical telescopes include binoculars, monoculars, theodolites, spyglasses, etc.
There are many records regarding the invention of a telescope, but the earliest and the most acceptable one is the one of 1608. The inventor is still unknown.
After this discovery, Galileo galilee invented a widely accepted telescope that brought about a breakthrough in the astronomy world.
Types of Telescopes and their Differences
There are different types of telescopes, but the basic ones are the refractors lens telescope, reflectors lens telescope, and catadioptric. They all work through the same mechanism.
They collect and focus light. The eyepiece lens/mirror magnifies the object, thereby producing a clearer and bigger image appears.
For the refractor lens telescope, we have Fraunhofer achromatic lens, ED-Apochromat lens, and the Achromatic lens; each of these telescopes is an advancement of the former.
The significant advancement is the addition of ED-lens and lens system to ED-Apochromat and Achromatic telescope, respectively.
The reason for this addition is to reduce and correct the spherical and colour aberration that is associated with the Fraunhofer achromatic lens.
For the reflector lens telescope, we have Newton reflector, Makustov Cassegrain, and Schmid-Cassegrain; these reflectors are arranged in their order of advancement.
Though each of these telescopes has a primary and secondary mirror, Maksutov Cassegrain and Schmid-Cassegrain have been fortified with extra Meniscus-shaped lens and Schmidt plate, respectively. The reason for this addition is to reduce and correct any form of image distortion.
Telescope differs in so many ways such as:
- Design: While some are refracting lens telescope, others are reflecting lens telescope.
- Optic specification: The lenses of different telescopes have different diameters and focal lengths.
A telescope with a high diameter collects more light, automatically producing a clearer and magnified image; they are suitable for viewing small or faint objects.
- Control: Not all types of telescopes can be controlled through a PC or a smartphone. Some telescopes possess a controller, which allows you to see planetary bodies by mere tapping of your PC or smartphone.
- Mount: A mount provides the telescope with the ability to aim at any part of the atmosphere/sky.
The mounting of a telescope can either be a simple azimuthal or an astronomical mount. While the former is the best for most observations, the latter is cool for observing the celestial bodies in the day.
What are the Uses of a Telescope?
A telescope does three essential things. 1. It collects light as much as it can 2. Give more details to an image 3. It makes the image look bigger. You can also view the sun and other planetary bodies with much clarity.
A telescope allows you to see the top of high mountains! If you are that curious, then a telescope is the right tool for you.
How much does a Telescope costs in the UK?
The cost of a telescope in the UK depends on factors like image quality, design, specifications, mounting, and other factors.
How much you are going to spend will be determined by your preferences.
For beginners, you can get a telescope for as low as £30 in the United Kingdom, but you will be much limited. If you are willing to stare more into the sky and get great results, be ready to budget at least £300.
The higher you invest, the better the telescope's performance. However, there are still cheap quality telescopes out there.
Should you get bored of astronomy, you may opt for binoculars.
How to Assemble a Telescope to Work Optimally
Knowing how to put a telescope together to work optimally is an essential task; this will determine how much you will do with the telescope. Though telescopes vary in designs, assembling the pre-assembled and other components parts is very much similar. To effectively put a telescope together to work, you should:
- Read the user's guide. Familiarise yourself with the pre-assembled and other components. Also, check if all these parts are present in the newly bought telescope.
- As a beginner, put your telescope together indoor first. Start observing outdoor once you've become a pro. The reason for this is to help you preserve your eyesight. It is dangerous to view the sun with the aid of the telescope without using the appropriate filters.
- Follow the assembling procedure that has been well explained by the manufacturer in the manual.
How to Maintain and Clean a Telescope Properly.
A Telescope is a precious tool; hence, it should be treated as such. How a telescope is being taken care of will determine how long it will last.
- Keep the telescope in a dust-free room. The temperature of the room should be closed to the one outside. An observatory is the best place to keep a telescope; unfortunately, not everyone can afford to build one.
- Always cover the front of your telescope with a dust cap while the focuser is connected. If the dust cap is missing, cover the focuser with a plastic bag. This practice prevents dust from accumulating on those parts of the telescope.
- To prevent your telescope from becoming a haven for microorganisms, ensure that all parts of the telescope are dry before keeping it.
- Do not clean the lens every now and then. Only clean the lens when the dirt is much. Cleaning it every time can damage the lens.
- To rid the lens of any dust, use a camel brush or a can containing compressed air to remove any dirt. To remove other stains, oils, and dirt, prepare a lens cleaning fluid by mixing 4 cups of distilled water with some amount of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Add a few drops of a mild cleaner like sodium bicarbonate.
- Dip a lens tissue into this mixture. Ensure you squeeze off any liquid in the tissue, after which you can now gently clean the lens
- To clean the telescope mirror, remove it from the telescope. Please consult the user's guide before doing this. The mirror should not be cleaned with a brush; instead, compressed air should be used.
- Look for scratches along the mirror coating.
- Lubricate the focuser occasionally.
What Type of Telescope is suitable for Kids, Teenagers, and Travellers?
For children under six years, I advise they use the infinity telescope; though it is limited, it is portable and easy to handle.
While for children above six years, I recommend they get telescopes with an azimuthal mount. Such a telescope should be a simple one.
The smaller type of newton telescope is the best for children over the age of 8.
A larger telescope will be suitable for teenagers and newbie adults.
For travellers, a more portable telescope is preferred; telescope-like Celestron NexStar SE or the Meade ETX will come in handy.
Can a Telescope be Operated from a PC?
Yes, it is possible, but not all telescopes are computerized. First, the telescope must have the 'Go-To' functions. To control the telescope, you have to install the Stellarium software on your PC. With this, you have entire control over the telescope.
To what Extent can a Telescope see?
Depending on the type of telescope, you can see as far as 2-15 billion light-years. A 2 billion light-year is about 1.89 x 10 ^22 kilometres. The possibility is almost endless.
Is it Possible to vary the Magnification of a Telescope?
Yes, it is. Magnification is obtained through the division of the telescope's focal length by the eyepiece's focal length. It is safe to say your telescope's focal length and the eyepiece's focal length will determine how much a telescope can magnify. The magnification can be increased by using the eyepiece that came with the telescope,
Another technique is by putting a Barlow lens behind the eyepiece. With this, the magnification is doubled or tripled.
Reflector or a Refractor: Which is better?
There is no perfect answer to this. You choosing a reflector or refractor lens telescope is mainly dependent on what you want.
If you prefer contrasting pictures, then a refractor lens telescope is the best for you, but if you love to stare deep into the sky or planet, the reflector lens telescope is cool.
A reflector sheds more light on the image due to its large aperture, i.e., they are suitable to observe faint objects. In a position where the two telescopes have the same diameter, reflectors seem to be the best.
Should a Telescope be used with a Colour Filter?
Yes, a colour filter is an essential accessory of the telescope. The atmosphere is always fluctuating due to the raging air, thereby casting a blur effect on the image.
The Colour filter helps reduce this effect by removing any undesired light's colour or wavelength. With this, the image becomes more explicit.
Also, most planets are well coloured. For example, the mars planet has a red colour. A green filter will increase the planet's details, consequently giving an image with an excellent resolution.
What Binoculars are suitable for Astronomy?
Getting the right binoculars will determine if your astronomical experience will be worthwhile. A suitable binocular for astronomical use should:
Be optically bright
Have a lens with a diameter not less than 42m
Be portable, compact, and powerful enough for that purpose
Some examples of binoculars that are good for astronomy include Omegon 8 by 42, Bresser Hunter 10 by 50, TS 20 by 80 large binoculars.
Do Telescopes need Electricity to function?
Ordinarily, electricity Is not needed to observe objects visually. However, the objected being observed might drift away due to the earth’s rotation. With this, an electric drive is required to be used with an equatorial mount to help neutralize this effect.
What to look out for when Buying a Telescope
To prevent nightmares, you should watch out for somethings before buying a telescope. You should choose a telescope that is easy to operate.
Choosing a suitable mount for your type of telescope is also vital because the mount determines how easy it will be to point the telescope to the sky; stable and robust support/mount is the best. You could choose an azimuthal or equatorial mount.
The quality of the eyepiece and focuser should be factored in before selecting a telescope. Your budget size will also determine if you will buy a reflector or a refractor telescope. While the former is cheaper, it is often hard to maintain. Features like aperture, focal length, and others should be properly understood before picking a telescope.
A telescope is a fantastic device. I am sure you now know better about telescopes and the right one to choose.