7 Best Telescopes Under $1000 For 2017 Revealed

There is a vast selection of telescopes that you can buy even though your budget is pegged at $1000. You can even go below that limit because there are some devices that are sold at a cheaper price.  But to ensure you won’t regret buying the wrong item, you have to take some aspects into consideration. Please take time to look at the following:

Telescope Buying Guide

  • Aperture: Telescopes that have 70mm objective lens sucks in light 100 times more than the naked eye while an 8” telescope enhances this ability to almost 1000 times. Therefore, the best telescopes are those that are large so that images generated are sharper, brighter, and bigger.
  • Refractors: A small refractor with an objective lens like the Alt-Azimuth mount provides crisp and high contrast to bright objects that’s why it is widely used by newbie observers. Provided an expensive Flourite glass or ED is used, the larger ones may bring blue color fringing or generate a false color.
  • Reflectors: Reflectors or mirrors enable gathering of more light but there is a downtime while waiting for them to adjust to the night temperature before generating great images. Dobsonian reflectors show up to 8” or 10” aperture. One person can easily managed these reflectors that can break down clusters into individual stars.
  • Compound or catadioptric telescopes: Computerized telescopes with 90mm to 8” Catadioptric designs are highly preferred due to diverse functionalities. These types of mounts help in finding thousands of galaxies, stars, and galactic nebula. Nevertheless, they need a rechargeable power source because its internal AA batteries can only last for a few hours.
  • Eyepieces: Today’s telescopes are equipped with one or two 1.25” eyepieces. The combined power of a 900mm telescope and a 10mm eyepiece brings about 90 times magnification capacity. Avoid telescopes using 0.96″ eyepieces because most likely, they utilize H type or Huygenian eyepieces, known for generating fuzzy images and narrow view field.
  • Magnification: 70mm refractors show lunar details of up to 140x magnification; pushing it beyond this level may produce larger but fuzzier images. Avoid small telescopes claiming of providing 500x magnification; it is not possible to see anything using that power.
  • Optical Coatings: Multi-layer coatings are more efficient than having a single layer coating as this helps prevent losing a great amount of light that passes through the eyepiece.
  • Finder Scopes: Telescopes need wide field finder scopes. Red-dot finders work best in finding bright objects like the planets and the moon. Using 6 x 30 or 9 x 50 optical finder scope is best because of the cross hair which allows precise aiming.
  • Alt-Azimuth Mounts: These are light and allows for easy usage. However, as a downside, these mounts need a computer to help track stars and planets. These can work along extraordinary levels when used for small telescopes and using lower magnification.
  • Equatorial Mounts: Also known as the GEM (German Equatorial Mount), an equatorial mount makes use of counterweights to balance the telescope and allowing it to track stars and planets using a single slow-motion knob or a motor drive. These mounts are expensive but will keep a target centered in the eyepiece whether using high power.
  • Photography: Combining a webcam and an image processing software produce remarkable images of the planets, but it takes practice to obtain the right results. When aiming for close up views, planet observers use Celeston NexImage which works like a webcam.

Best Telescope Under $1000


User Experience
Price to Expect
Our Rate
NexStar 6 SE TelescopeBest in portability, performance & ease of usage; lightweight - only 30 lbs with StarPointer technology for simple alignment of scope; features 6” aperture with over 44 % of light gathering capability; 1500mm lens uses StarBright XLT high transmission coatings & 40,000 object database ExcellentMid-Range4.7 / 5
Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian TelescopeUses classic Dobsonian reflectors & a 10” aperture; characterized by simplicity + ocular strength; features a 25mm eyepiece, focuser & finder to locate & focus on celestial objects with ease & accuracy Very GoodMid-Range4.5 / 5
Skywatcher 10” Collapsible Dobsonian TelescopeCollapsible scope comes in various aperture sizes; highly recommended for amateur observers & comes with 2 25-mm & 10mm eyepieces, 1200mm focal length + 2” focuser; designed for easy transport Very GoodMid-Range4.4 / 5
Skywatcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor TelescopeUnit comes with a 100mm doublet + APO refractor; features extra-dispersion (ED) that eliminates fuzzy edges + capable of producing sharper & clearer views like larger scopes; comes with 25mm &10mm eyepieces, aluminum carrying tube + 2” focuser & 2” dielectric diagonal Very GoodMid-Range4.1 / 5
Meade Personal Solar TelescopeSmall & inexpensive but provides amazing views of the sun; lightweight at 2 lbs. & comes with 40mm aperture; also includes 20mm Kellner eyepiece & can be threaded to almost all types of tripod GoodMid-Range4.0 / 5
Vision Scientific VT0203 8″ Equatorial Reflector TelescopeFeatures aperture of 203mm or 8” with a focal point of 800mm; includes 2X Barlow lens & 3 Plössl eyepieces at 6.5mm AF 50°, 10mm AF 43°, and 25mm AF 40°; capable of 64X, 160X, and 246X magnification levels GoodMid-Range4.0 / 5
Gskyer Refractor 400 X 80mm Dual-speed Slow Motion Mount TelescopeFeatures wide bright multicoated eyepiece that works at f 80mm aperture max; has a Dia-sturdy 1.27” stainless tripod making it an observer’s perfect partner to view the moon or planets; comes with 80AZ Refractor, a 400mm+50mm power refractor+ beginner’s version of Deepsky Astronomy software GoodLow3.9 / 5

7. NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Portability, performance and ease of usage define this new model. Lightweight at only 30 lbs., it has owns the StarPointer technology for simple aligning of the scope to obtain the clearest view possible view. This telescope has a 6” aperture that provides more than 44 % of light gathering capability and a 1500mm lens.  It uses StarBright XLT high transmission coatings and the scope’s 40,000 object database provides for easy understanding of objects being explored. Price: $799.99.

6. Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

This telescope uses classic Dobsonian reflectors, a 10” aperture and characterized by simplicity and ocular strength. Its 25mm eyepiece, focuser and finder allow users to locate and focus on celestial objects with ease and accuracy. Due to its shape and its carrying handle position, makes it hard for users to carry but its optic performance is tops. This telescope may be simple in design but heavy in providing viewing experience. Price: $629.99

5. Skywatcher 10” Collapsible Dobsonian Telescope

The collapsible Dobsonian scope of this telescope model comes in different aperture sizes but its 10” model offers powerful optics at an affordable price. This is highly ideal for an amateur observer who just wants to enjoy clear views without worrying how to manage complicated scopes.  It comes with two 25mm and 10mm eyepieces, a 1200mm focal length, and a 2” focuser. The scope’s most distinct feature is its collapsible tube designed for easy transport.  Price: $738.36

4. Skywatcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope

This unit comes with a 100mm doublet and an APO refractor that rivals scopes that have larger apertures. Its appeal lies on its refractor technology and not in its size. The scope is extra-dispersion (ED) which is good at eliminating fuzzy edges surrounding the edges of objects being viewed and capable of producing sharper and clearer views like what larger scopes generate. It comes with 25mm and 10mm eyepieces, an aluminum carrying tube, a 2” focuser, and a 2” dielectric diagonal.  Price: $679.99

3. Meade Personal Solar Telescope

This scope is small and inexpensive but can provide amazing views of the sun. It is lightweight at 2 lbs. and comes with a 40mm aperture. This scope has no moving parts that make it easier to carry and usage is extraordinarily simple. Astrophotography is somewhat complicated but reviewers reportedly captured acceptable photos of the sun and its activity. It comes with a 20mm Kellner eyepiece but taking on any other eyepiece is possible. This telescope can be threaded to almost any kind of tripod. Price: $629.00.

2. Vision Scientific VT0203 8″ Equatorial Reflector Telescope

With an aperture of 203mm or 8”, this telescope also has a focal point of 800mm. It includes a 2X Barlow lens and 3 Plössl eyepieces at 6.5mm AF 50°, 10mm AF 43°, and 25mm AF 40°. Using the Barlow lens, it is capable of 64X, 160X, and 246X magnification levels. This telescope features a 1-year warranty and an equatorial mount with cable controls. Price: $425.00.

1. Gskyer Refractor 400 X 80mm Dual-speed Slow Motion Mount Telescope

The wide bright multicoated eyepiece of this telescope works at a maximum of 80mm aperture. It has a Dia-sturdy 1.27” stainless tripod and is an observer’s perfect partner when viewing the moon or planets. It has an 80AZ Refractor, a 400mm+50mm power refractor, and includes a beginner’s version of Deepsky Astronomy software. Its multilayer glass green coated optics allows for enhanced image brightness and a moon filter that serves to protect the eyes. Item comes with 3 free separate interchangeable eyepieces, a 3X Barlow lens, a handy bag and a 1-year limited lifetime warranty. Price: $198.00.

Summing Up

With this guide, you can be on your way to a wonderful viewing experience with the galaxy and whatever you can find in the skies. Choose wisely using the comparative features and functionalities for a more valued purchase.