Best First Telescopes
Looking to get into astronomy with no prior experience? Here are my top telescope recommendations for someone starting out.
Before I get into the list, I must explain why I only recommend newtonian reflectors as beginner astronomy scopes. The reason is that they offer the largest size for the lowest cost. Newtonian reflectors use two mirrors to collect and focus the light, which is ejected out of the side of the telescope tube. Cheap newtonian reflectors can provide really great viewing experiences at the fraction of the cost of similar telescopes of the same size. Since the light is shot out of the side of the scope near the top, it is possible to use in a dobsonian style, which is by far the best kind of scope you can use as a beginner.
As a foreword, astronomy gear supply chains are heavily strained while demand for astronomy gear is at an all time high. The best types of telescopes for beginners (dobsonians) cannot be found anywhere online. In light of this, I will be updating this list with more recommendations as supply chains recover.
With that out of the way let's get into it!
Celestron Cometron 114: https://bit.ly/3b5wt2K
The first scope I’m recommending is the celestron cometron. This is a simple 114mm wide newtonian telescope with an alt-az mount. This means you will point it by moving it up-down and side-to-side. It will be very straightforward to use, and will let you see saturn's rings, craters on the moon, the great red spot, and many nebulae and galaxies. If you take it somewhere very dark you can get great views of space. This is an excellent choice for a first telescope.
Orion starblast 4.5: https://bit.ly/3B91ehZ
This scope is essentially identical to the celestron cometron, and it was actually my first telescope. The only difference between these scopes is that this is a tabletop dobsonian, meaning it doesn’t have a tripod and is better suited to being placed on a table or chair for viewing. This will give great views of the solar system and beyond as well!
Celestron Firstscope: https://bit.ly/3GgLeOO
The celestron firstscope is a smaller version of the starblast, it is also a tabletop dobsonian. It is really small but will still provide good views of the moon and some brighter deep sky objects. Its small size does make it extremely convenient to use and take places.
Iphone adapter: https://bit.ly/300CLOR
If you want to take pictures of anything in the sky through these telescopes, then you will really benefit from having a phone adapter to hold your phone to the eyepiece. This will make it very simple to snap images, and you can get some very nice images of the moon this way.
Warning, DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH ANY OF THESE SCOPES WITHOUT A PROPER FILTER. If you want a solar filter for these scopes, you need to look up a solar filter which matches the size of the telescope, such as this one for 114mm scopes: https://www.365astronomy.com/Solar-Filter-for-114mm-Newtonian-Telescopes