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!
The Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ is a computerized telescope that uses a smartphone app to assist in aligning and finding celestial objects. The telescope has a 130mm aperture and a focal length of 650mm, which allows for detailed views of celestial objects such as the Moon, planets, and deep-sky objects such as galaxies and nebulas. The telescope mount is an alt-azimuth mount, which makes it easy to track objects as they move across the sky. The app, called StarSense Explorer, uses the camera on the smartphone to take a series of images of the sky, which it then analyzes to determine the telescope's position. The app then provides a list of objects that are currently visible, and allows the user to select an object to view and the telescope will automatically point itself at it. The telescope also comes with two eyepieces, a 20mm and a 10mm, which provide different magnifications. The Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ is a great choice for both beginners and experienced stargazers.
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