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Still have questions? We have answers.

How Do Telescopes Work?

We have a great blog article detailing the three main types of telescopes and how they work, including pros and cons of each. Head to our blog post titled How To Use A Telescope For Beginners to learn more!

What Is The Best Telescope For A Beginner?

There are a variety of great beginner telescopes out there, and it depends on what your budget is and what you'd like to do. If you're looking for something small and portable, a tabletop Dobsonian is a great choice, especially for kids. However, we usually recommend getting the largest telescope you can both carry and afford, as a telescope's aperture (front opening) is its most important feature. Full size Dobsonians provide the best bang-for-your buck in terms of aperture, so if you want all the light-gathering power you can get, go with a Dobsonian.

If you'd like a telescope that assists you with finding objects in the night sky, Celestron's StarSense Explorer series uses your smartphone's technology to help you locate objects. If you have a bit of a higher budget, the Celestron NexStar SE series can not just find objects but automatically point the telescope at them too. Last but not least, if you'd like a telescope that can do it all and take great astrophotographs with the push of a button, smart telescopes are an ideal choice and can wow your friends and family.

What Night Sky Objects Are Good For Beginners To Observe Through A Telescope?

The moon is a fantastic object to observe through any telescope.We recommend observing the moon around the first or third quarter phase when the moon is halfway illuminated. This is one of the best times to see details in the many craters on the moon, which is guaranteed to impress beginners of all ages. Other great objects in the solar system to observe are Jupiter, where you can usually see its four main moons, and Saturn, which you can usually see its rings. As a reminder, never look at the sun through a telescope, as it can cause permanent damage to vision.

Other great objects to observe with children are star clusters like the Double Cluster and Hercules Cluster, as well as the Orion Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, and the Andromeda Galaxy.

What Accessories Should I Buy When Buying A Telescope?

Most beginner telescopes come with everything you need to get started, which includes the telescope, the tripod (mount), and at least one eyepiece. Other accessories to consider when buying a telescope are:

  • A quality eyepiece, which will greatly improve the view. Be sure to get an eyepiece that can fit in your telescope's focuser, which is usually the 1.25" size for beginner telescopes.
  • A red dot finder, which will help you easily locate objects in the night sky. Some beginner telescopes come with a red dot finder already, but if yours doesn't, you may want to consider buying one so you can easily locate objects in the night sky. Simply align your finder with the object you want to look at, and it will appear centered in the eyepiece.
  • An AC power adapter or portable battery, which will allow your motorized telescope to plug into AC power or be used out in the field.
  • A laser collimator, which will align your telescope's optics. This is essentially a must-buy if you're planning on purchasing a Dobsonian or Newtonian telescope, and is good to have if you're purchasing a Schmidt-Cassegrain.
How Do I Store A Telescope When It's Not In Use?

Protecting a telescope when not in use is important maintenance that often gets overlooked. When not in use, always place the included dust covers on the front of the telescope and eyepiece so no dust can enter the optics. We recommend storing the telescope in a closet inside your home. Ideally, your telescope remains close to room temperature when not in use.