What is the Best Telescope for Viewing Planets?

(Last Updated On: November 19, 2018)

Best Telescope for Viewing Planets!!!

Observing planets and observing stars, cosmos or galaxies is two different things. If you are new to Astronomy and going to purchase a Telescope in near future and like any other astronomers your first aim is also to observe one of the planets, want to observe mars, view the rings of Saturn, and to capture the beautiful red spot on Jupiter by yourself and look at the other planetary details through your telescope, then this review is for you.

We are focusing on the best telescope for viewing planets in this post. If you are looking for general purpose telescope, then read

Otherwise, let’s get started:-

Here is the list of top five telescopes that is perfect for observing planets. Each one is picked on the basis of customer review and suggestion from the experts in the field of Astronomy.

 

Quick comparision: Best Telescope for viewing Planets.

Product Name Product Image Best for... Price* Our Rating**
Celestron PowerSeeker70EQ Telescope KidsUnder ($100)*3.5/5
Celestron Astro Master 102AZ Refractor TelescopeBeginnersUnder ($200)*4/5
Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope


Beginner & Intermediate UsersUnder ($500)*4.5/5
Orion AstroView120ST Refractor TelescopeIntermediate & Advance UsersUnder ($700)*5/5
Sky-Watcher ProED100mm Refractor TelescopeAdvance Users with no Budget issue.Under ($1000)*5/5

*Price daily changes on Amazon, Click on product name to view current price in new tab.

 

Important features to look for:

Factors that play important role in planetary observationare Aperture, Focal length & Optics.

Let’s discuss these point one by one:-

a) Aperture

Aperture is the diameter of primary mirror or lens used in the telescope. Bigger aperture results in more light gathering power thus result in brighter, high-resolution image.

 

b) Focal length

Increased focal length increases the magnification of your telescope which can be calculated by dividing the focal length of the telescope with the focal length of the eyepiece. But there is a limit to that magnification, we can only view the object to the upper limit of magnification which is equal to 50x the aperture of telescope (also known as highest useful magnification) because above that magnification image get degrade due to atmospheric scintillation.

For example, a telescope having focal length above 2000mm and 6-inch aperture doesn’t mean it can support magnification up to 500x. As a rule of thumb, the highest useful magnification of telescope would be 6” x 50 that is equal to 300x.

 

c) Optics

Most important factor in deciding the best planet viewing telescope is the quality of optics. Better optics make for a better experience. Refractors are the best choice for planetary observation. They might be expensive and heavy but there is no comparison to the sharpness and contrast in the image that refractor produces. The main reason for this is there is no secondary mirror to obstruct the light and they concentrates more light into the central airy-disk and first diffraction rings.

Even astronomy experts agree on this that image quality of high-quality 100mm refractors is much better than some cheap 150mm reflectors.

Another recommendation is Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes. Quality of image produced by them is also sharp and they have longer focal length. The best part about this telescope is they are cheaper than refractors and weighs less than Refractors.

Those were the three features that make the telescope ideal for watching planet. Now that you have understood those features, let’s get started with our review of top five telescopes for viewing planets.



Best Telescope for Observing Planets list:-

1) Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope

Optical Design: Refractor

Aperture: 70mm

Focal Length: 700mmbest telescope for observing planets

Focal Ratio: 10

Star Diagonal: 1.25″

Mount: Equatorial

Eyepiece: 20mm – 1.25″

Eyepiece: 4mm – 1.25″

Barlow Lens: 3x- 1.25″

Our Rating: 3.5/5

 

The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope is a great kids telescope to help them open to the new world of astronomy. They are designed to give the perfect balance between quality, feature, and power. Offering exceptional value PowerSeeker 70EQ is powerful yet portable and easy to use telescope.

Price is in low range but that does not impact the quality of optics, Celestron has done a commendable job on optics. Powerseeker comes with glass optical component with highly reflective coating to enhance the brightness and contrast of the image.

 

ProsCons
Powerful OpticsLess Aperture
Easy to set upPoor Quality Eyepiece
Low Price
Equatorial Mount
Suitable for Terrestrial viewing also.

 

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon right now!!!


 

2) Celestron Astro Master 102AZ Refractor Telescope

Optical Design: Refractor

Aperture: 102mm/4”

Focal Length: 900mmbest planet observing telescope

Focal Ratio: 13

Star Diagonal: 1.25″

Mount: Altazimuth

Eyepiece: 20mm

Eyepiece: 10mm

Our rating: 4/5

Most experienced astronomer recommend to get a small well-balanced telescope and learn to use it properly before moving to better and bigger telescope in beginning. Astro Master 102AZ is such type of beginners Refractor style Telescope, with 4” aperture and air-to-glass fully coated optics it brings distant planets up close by giving a bright and crisp image.

Astro Master 102 was built keeping beginners in mind, it reflects in the process of assembling the telescope. With no tool setup, you can assemble this and get ready for your stargazing night in a matter of minutes.

 

ProsCons
Bigger Aperture- 4”Alt Azimuth mount
Larger Focal LengthPoor Quality Eyepiece
Easy to Setup & Use
Easy to Carry (15lbs)
Ideal for Terrestrial Viewing

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon right now!!!


 

3) Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope (around 450$)

Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain

Aperture: 102mm

Focal Length: 1325mm

Focal Ratio: 12.99

Mount: Single Fork Arm Altazimuth

Tracking Modes: Alt-Azimuth, EQ North & EQ South

Eyepiece: 25mm (Plossl)

Magnification: 53X

Our rating: 4.5/5

 

Celestron NexStar 4SE Telescope is a great Maksutov-Cassegrain designed telescope, perfect for any beginner or intermediate users. With its patented Nex-Star technology user can locate thousands of star, planets, and galaxy at the touch of a button.

With the help of the computerized system, remote and 40000 objects database you can locate anything in the sky easily. Just choose an object you want to locate from the menu on remote, inbuilt computer will find it for you.

Optics is even better, Celestron is using Starbright XLT multi coating where they use an alloy of Aluminum and Silicon dioxide for maximum light transmission and clarity. Highest useful Magnification of NexStar 4SE is 200x, so an additional 10mm eyepiece would be a good option to have in your accessory tray for getting a magnified view of planets.

 

ProsCons
Bigger ApertureBattery gets drain quickly. Get a Celestron Power Tank (affiliate link)
Larger Focal lengthPackage includes only one Eyepiece
40000 Object Database
Easy Computerized tracking
Great Optics
High-Quality Plossl Eyepiece

 

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon right now!!!


 

4) Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope

Optical Design: Refractor

Aperture: 120mm

Focal Length: 600mm

Focal Ratio: 5.0

Mount: Equatorial

Eyepiece1: 25mm (Plossl)

Magnification: 24X

Eyepiece2: 10mm (Plossl)

Magnification: 60X

Our rating: 4.5/5

 

The Orion AstroView 120mm ST is a compact rich field refractor telescope provides an excellent view of planets and moon. Even the wide field view of nebular clouds, distant galaxies and star cluster is nothing short of spectacular.

Orion Astroview features a multicoated optics and well-baffled tube that ensures maximum light to enter into the tube and thus, results in contrast rich image. Telescope comes with height adjustable tripod with equatorial mount that provides stability and slow-motion control for smooth tracking the Objects.

Best part of the telescope is its fast focal ratio, f-ratio of 5 makes the telescope excellent for Astrophotography. In future you can add an  Orion EQ-3M electronic drive (affiliate link) for automatic tracking of celestial objects.

 

ProsCons
Two Plossl eyepiecesNothing yet, Still we are trying to find one..
Great Optics
Equatorial Mount
Biggest Aperture of all scope reviewed on this Page (4.7")
Complete Value for Money

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon right now!!!


 

5) Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope

Optical Design: ED Refractor

Aperture: 100mm

Focal Length: 900mm

Focal Ratio: 9best telescope for viewing planets

Highest Practical Power: 200x

Finderscope: 9×50

Eyepiece1: 20mm

Magnification: 45X

Eyepiece2: 5mm

Magnification: 180X

Our Rating: 5/5 Star

Sky Watcher ProED is the most expensive telescope in this list, with a high-quality additional mount it will cost around 1000$ in the market. There is a reason for this price, quality of optics you are getting at this price is incomparable to any other refractors.

 Sky Watcher uses a finest extra low dispersion glass which eliminates any false color/chromatic aberration from image. They applied finest photon anti-rejection Metallic High Transmission Coating (MHTC) on each air to glass lens surface.

 The tube is made of aluminum and flat blackened from the interior to help prevent unwanted light from reaching the focal plane. 2” Crayford focuser operates at two speed for fine and ultra-fine focusing adjustment. With all this excellent optics Sky Watcher ProED delivers crisp, high-fidelity, contrast rich view of planetary and deep space objects that are second to none.

ProsCons
ED Schott Apochromatic glassMount not included.
Get a “Celestron CG-4 German Equatorial Mount” (affiliate link)
Large focal length
Best Optics of all scope reviewed on this page.
Bigger Aperture
 

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon right now!!!



Summary

Those were our pick for the Best Telescopes for Viewing Planets in their respective price range. If you ask us, which one of these is the best for you? There is no clear answer to that, it depends on the amount you are willing to spend at that moment. The more the price you are willing to pay the better device you will get. However we can assure you that each telescopes mentioned above are best in their price. Now, it is totally up to you to think which one most excite you and which one is best suited in your budget. Overall, we just tried to give an honest review of each of them and sincerely hope you’ve found a winner among these five planet-watching scopes.

 

STILL SOME DOUBT OR REQUESTS? PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW,

🙂 WE’LL BE DELIGHTED TO HELP !!! 🙂

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