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.
5 Best Telescope for Viewing Planets: Editor Recommended
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.
Important features to look for:
Factors that play important role in planetary observation are Aperture, Focal length & Optics.
Let’s discuss these point one by one:-
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.
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
- Perfect Beginners Telescope: The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ is an easy-to-use and powerful telescope, the PowerSeeker series is designed to give the first-time telescope user the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power
- Navigate the sky with our refractor telescope. It features a German Equatorial mount with a slow-motion altitude rod for smooth and accurate pointing. Adjust rod to desired position, then easily secure by tightening cross knob
- COMPACT AND PORTABLE: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together is compact, lightweight, and portable. Take the telescope to your favorite campsite or dark sky observing site, or simply the backyard
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.
2) Celestron Astro Master 102AZ Refractor Telescope
- POWERFUL REFRACTOR TELESCOPE: The Celestron AstroMaster 102AZ Refractor telescope is a powerful and user-friendly refractor telescope. It features fully-coated glass optics, a sturdy and lightweight frame, two eyepieces, a StarPointer red dot finderscope and an adjustable tripod.
- HIGH-QUALITY 102MM OPTICS: The heart of the system is a fully-coated 102mm primary mirror. The AstroMaster mount features a panning handle that allows you to make precision adjustments to view celestial and terrestrial objects.
- QUICK SETUP & LIGHTWEIGHT FRAME: This telescope for adults and kids to be used together features a lightweight frame and a manual Altazimuth mount for smooth and accurate pointing. Setup is quick and easy, with no tools required.
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.
3. Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope (around 450$)
- Nexstar computerized telescope: The NexStar 4SE Computerized Telescope features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers.
- 4-Inch aperture: The four-inch primary mirror in this Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope for adults and kids to be used together packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that our Solar System has to offer, while retaining a compact form factor.
- Fully-automated go to mount: Featuring a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects, the go to mount built into our telescopes for astronomy beginners automatically locates and tracks objects for you.
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.
4. Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope
- Wonderful wide-field refractor telescope for viewing deep-sky objects with crisp resolution
- 120mm (4.7") aperture and 600mm focal length refractor provides sharp views of nebular clouds, star clusters, and galaxies
- Also capable of achieving pleasing views of the Moon and bright planets. Bearing material- Friction bearings
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.
5. Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope
- EXPERTLY MATCHED GLASS: The EvoStar series features a matched doublet objective including one synthetic fluorite element, providing excellent color correction for visual and photographic uses
- OUTSTANDING COLOR CORRECTION: Using the finest quality glass and proprietary Metallic High-Transmission Coatings (MHTC), EvoStar refractors produce tack sharp images with accurate color and minimal aberrations
- EVOLVES WITH SKILL: No need to replace this telescope as your skill set evolves. Whether you’re a seasoned astrophotographer or a budding novice, EvoStar refractors are versatile enough to use as your primary optical tube as your skill-set improves
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.
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.