The 4 Best Telescopes for Beginners of 2023 Reviews by Wirecutter

Uranus became the first planet to be discovered through a telescope as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were bright enough to be seen and discovered with the naked eye. The C9.25’s 9.25-inch (235mm) aperture is generous, gathering a third more light than an 8-inch (200mm) reflector. Its f/10 optics put it in the slow category and it is best suited for Solar System objects. We used the scope to view a tiny Mars, and the Red Planet’s colour, disc and phase were very evident. We could even see one of its polar caps and evidence of surface markings.
Depending on which celestial body you chose to look at, even the more modest equipment can offer good viewing. The most important thing is to try to observe them without atmospheric turbulence because the planets usually require higher magnification. The slightest turbulence can blur the image and the finer details are no longer perceptible.
The Cassini division and different shades of yellow should be obvious at this point! Superbly sharp, bright thanks to the 8-inch aperture and powerful with a focal length of 80-inches, the NexStar 8SE sits atop a strong, sturdy motorized single fork arm mount. It is visible throughout the year, becoming difficult to spot only during short periods of time when it is too close to the Sun from our perspective on Earth. Looking up to the planets and stars can create magical memories that stay with us for life. But with most of the world’s population now living under light pollution, truly dark night skies can be difficult to come by unless you know where (and when) to go. Here are Hipcamp’s top tips for getting the best stargazing experience without buying an expensive telescope.
Ariel and Umbriel are similar to the smaller round moons of Saturn in size. The moons do not go behind Uranus or change significantly in apparent distance from the planet when it is near the winter/summer solstices, like the present day. The Celestron NexStar 6SE is the smaller cousin with a 6-inch aperture. It has all the computerized bells and whistles like its 8SE version. The installation and deployment of this scope take a couple of minutes.
You can also use the scope with camera attachments if you want to take pictures of the sky. Besides its relatively big size, Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Discover the best telescope for beginners right here! is only exceeded by the sun, the moon, and Venus.
Swapping to a 10mm eyepiece we could see detail in the belts and the Great Red Spot. The Orion StarBlast is the only telescope in our list with an alt-azimuth mount which keeps the price low for a wide-aperture refractor scope. However, it’s included in the list because it does have fine controls which make it easier to keep the planet you’re looking at centred in your eyepiece. At that phase the sun is shining directly down on the moon and there are few shadows.
The SkyMax 180’s long focal length is ideal for planetary and lunar viewing, but the telescope also gives good views of many deep-sky objects. We used it to observe Saturn and found the Cassini Division and several moons on show. The scope comes with a 28mm eyepiece, a star diagonal and Vixen-style mounting bar.
Ian has been fascinated with the stars for over 30 years and has logged thousands of hours at the eyepiece. When he’s not observing the sky, he is enjoying time with his two kids, Amelia and Aurora. Venus is a very bright planet that you can see with the naked eye.