- Quick comparision: Best Telescope for viewing Planets.
- Important features to look for:
- Best Telescope for Observing Planets list:-
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||Kids||Under ($100)*||3.5/5|
|Celestron Astro Master 102AZ Refractor Telescope||Beginners||Under ($200)*||4/5|
|Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope||Beginner & Intermediate Users||Under ($500)*||4.5/5|
|Orion AstroView120ST Refractor Telescope||Intermediate & Advance Users||Under ($700)*||5/5|
|Sky-Watcher ProED100mm Refractor Telescope||Advance 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:-
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
Optical Design: Refractor
Focal Ratio: 10
Star Diagonal: 1.25″
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.
|Powerful Optics||Less Aperture|
|Easy to set up||Poor Quality Eyepiece|
|Suitable for Terrestrial viewing also.|
2) Celestron Astro Master 102AZ Refractor Telescope
Optical Design: Refractor
Focal Ratio: 13
Star Diagonal: 1.25″
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.
|Bigger Aperture- 4”||Alt Azimuth mount|
|Larger Focal Length||Poor Quality Eyepiece|
|Easy to Setup & Use|
|Easy to Carry (15lbs)|
|Ideal for Terrestrial Viewing|
3) Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope (around 450$)
Focal Length: 1325mm
Focal Ratio: 12.99
Mount: Single Fork Arm Altazimuth
Tracking Modes: Alt-Azimuth, EQ North & EQ South
Eyepiece: 25mm (Plossl)
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.
|Bigger Aperture||Battery gets drain quickly. Get a Celestron Power Tank (affiliate link)|
|Larger Focal length||Package includes only one Eyepiece|
|40000 Object Database|
|Easy Computerized tracking|
|High-Quality Plossl Eyepiece|
4) Orion AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor Telescope
Optical Design: Refractor
Focal Length: 600mm
Eyepiece1: 25mm (Plossl)
Eyepiece2: 10mm (Plossl)
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.
|Two Plossl eyepieces||Nothing yet, Still we are trying to find one..|
|Biggest Aperture of all scope reviewed on this Page (4.7")|
|Complete Value for Money|
5) Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope
Optical Design: ED Refractor
Focal Length: 900mm
Highest Practical Power: 200x
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.
|ED Schott Apochromatic glass||Mount not included.
Get a “Celestron CG-4 German Equatorial Mount” (affiliate link)
|Large focal length|
|Best Optics of all scope reviewed on this page.|
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.
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