Best Telescopes in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 27, 2018
Learning the secrets of the Cosmos - this has always been seen as a way to improve your knowledge and outlook on the world. Maybe you want to buy a powerful tool and do astrophotography? Modern telescopes have an option for everyone. Our review will show you 5 of the best available. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Optical surveillance system
Aperture size and Focal length
Mount
Eyepieces and magnification
Special features
Warranty
 
PROS

The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is a fully computerized model with special software designed for you to easily find whatever you want in the night sky.

CONS

The initial setting might pose a challenge for beginners.

OUR VERDICT

This cutting edge Celestron telescope is one of the best models for the in-depth studying of space objects. By combining hi-end computing solutions with a classic Newtonian optics, the manufacturer has created a device that allows you to monitor the movement in the Universe.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system

Reflector

Aperture size and Focal length

130 mm / 650 mm

Mount

Altazimuth

Eyepieces and magnification

25 mm eyepiece: 26x

9 mm eyepiece: 72x

Special features

The Sky and NSOL CDs
StarPointer finderscope
Fully computerized hand control
Anti-reflection multi-coated optics

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Multi anti-reflection blue film used in this telescope for optical coating is a great solution for long operating life as it offers a quality protection against damage and abrasion.

CONS

Rather heavy.

OUR VERDICT

After you set this robust telescope at home, you will be able to see even the furthest stars and planets much and much closer thanks to the nice collection of three different eyepieces.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system

Refractor

Aperture size and Focal length

80 mm / 900 mm

Mount

Equatorial

Eyepieces and magnification

25mm (0.98 in): 36x

10mm (0.39 in): 90x

5mm (0.2 in): 180x

Special features

Multi anti-reflection blue film
Stainless steel tripod and accessory tray

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Convenient, compact, and portable. A quality product from a well-known brand. Wide viewing range. Comes with a handy carry bag.

CONS

The tripod is somewhat unstable and needs to be reinforced.

OUR VERDICT

A great telescope at a reasonable price. Perfect for those who want to start their astrology hobby without breaking the bank.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system

Refractor

Aperture size and Focal length

70 mm / 400 mm

Mount

Altazimuth

Eyepieces and magnification

20mm: 20x

10mm: 40x

Special features

Multilayered anti-reflecting optics
Convenient bag
The Sky X - First Light Edition software

Warranty

2 years

PROS

There are four different eyepieces in the initial delivery box, plus an erecting eyepiece and a Barlow-Lens. With a set like this, you can freely choose how far and how much you see.

CONS

Might appear somewhat wobbly.

OUR VERDICT

In addition to the regular stargazing, with a special smartphone camera cell phone adapter holder mount you can take up astrophotography and save photos on your smartphone.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system

Refractor

Aperture size and Focal length

60 mm / 900 mm

Mount

Azimuthal

Eyepieces and magnification

H20 - 45x

H12,5 - 77x

H6 - 150x

SR4- 225x

Special features

Smartphone camera cell phone adapter
Plastic boxes to store eyepieces

Warranty

30 days

PROS

The purchase includes a backpack where you can store your telescope when not in use or carry it with you when you travel somewhere far from the city lights obstructing the view.

CONS

No covers for optic, exercise care when transporting.

OUR VERDICT

Simple in assembling/disassembling and setting yet highly durable, this refracting telescope will be equally good to use in your room, backyard, or during a trip.

detailed parameters
Optical surveillance system

Refractor

Aperture size and Focal length

70 mm / 400 mm

Mount

Equatorial

Eyepieces and magnification

K6mm - 67x

K25mm - 16x

Special features

Aiming control and lock
Horizontal motion lock

Warranty

2 years

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT 31145

Number One Manufacturer

Looking for an amateur telescope, you will undoubtedly stumble upon the name Celestron pretty soon. The company has been around since the 1960s, although it had changed "hands" several times throughout the years. Nevertheless, Celestron today is a brand known and respected in amateur astronomy circles all over the world.

The SLT series is an upgrade from the Celestron's previous GT series. SLT stands for Star Locator Telescope. This family includes reflecting and refracting telescopes that offer improved performance, better mounts, and feature a new hand control.

The NexStar 130SLT is the latest addition to the Celestron telescopes' SLT family and the biggest reflecting telescope in it, making 130mm for the reflector (hence the 130SLT name). Being designed with observatory telescopes technology in mind, this Newtonian telescope offers one of the best light gathering abilities you'll find on the market, making it possible to locate planets, galaxies, nebulae, and bright twin stars even in deep space. You will open up the Universe anew with all its uncountable marvels.

Review of Celestron NexStar 130 SLT 31145 Newtonian Reflector Telescope

Hand Control

The included hand controller offers several interesting features. For example, a Constellation Tour and the Identification. The database of celestial objects includes over 4,000 names, for the most popular of which there is expanded info. You can also add your own objects to the database and, when the time comes for an upgrade, you can suggest your objects to be added to the general database.

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT 31145 Newtonian Reflector Telescope in the use

Any Eyepiece You Want

In the set with the NexStar 130SLT, you will receive two 1.25" eyepieces, a 25mm one with 26x magnification and a 9mm one with 72x one. However, the telescope is actually also compatible with the 2" eyepieces so if you want to upgrade to a wider field of view you can have it just like that. At the same time, note that the f/5 speed already offers a spectacular field of view, therefore, it is not really all that necessary to buy 2" eyepieces which are, by the way, more expensive than 1.25" ones.

Detailed review of Celestron NexStar 130 SLT 31145 Newtonian Reflector Telescope

All for Your Utmost Convenience

The new tripod designed for the SLT series of Celestron telescopes is more stable yet still quite lightweight steel one instead of aluminum. It has a tray where you can put anything you might need at the tips of your fingers, be it eyepieces or your smartphone. The Altazimuth mount with the SkyAlign alignment technology and StarPointer Finderscope makes aligning your telescope a cakewalk: simply find three bright points in the sky, locate your current position, and you are ready to explore the universe. The Saturn rings or Great Nebula in the Orion? Nothing could be easier.

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT 31145 Newtonian Reflector Telescope application

 

Gskyer EQ80900

Best Telescope for Astrophotography

The Gskyer EQ80900 is a 100% professional telescope for amateur astronomers and especially for astrophotographers. Every detail here is implemented for the best photos, from Equatorial mount, which will stay fixed on your chosen celestial object despite the Earth rotation, to a slow "speed" (or focal ratio) of f/11.25 that offers great magnification. The optical parts are made of glass, the lens coated with the multilayer green film that also adds to the image brightness and clarity.

The focal length of this scope is 900 mm, it will make the objects you look at appear bigger than a shorter product would. And the 3x Barlow lens, added to any of the three eyepieces that come in the box or to any of your other lenses, enhances the viewing power even more. With this telescope, high-power photography is a breeze, you will make pictures of the Moon, planets, and binary stars in the highest quality.

By the way, as this is a refracting telescope, you can use it for natural science photography just as well!

Review of Gskyer EQ80900 Astronomy Instruments PowerSeeker Telescope

Reliable Assistance in Your Observations

The tripod in this model is made of stainless steel, it will stand sturdy and won't wobble or break easily. Granted, it may be a bit heavy for a kid but not too much, in our opinion. The installation takes next to no time at all and requires neither tools nor any special skills. You just follow the included manual. There is an attachment plate for the telescope. There, you can put the eyepieces you don't use at the moment as well as your smartphone or anything you might need at some moment of observation.

The telescope generally does not require any special maintenance.

Gskyer EQ80900 Astronomy Instruments PowerSeeker Telescope in the use

Choose Your Magnification

The complete set you will obtain upon delivery includes the Gskyer telescope itself, a tripod with attachment plate, a manual, a wiping cloth, a Barlow lens, and three lenses of different sizes: 25 mm, 10 mm, and 5 mm. The 25 mm lens will offer 36x magnification, the 10 mm one—90x, and with the 5 mm lens you will see objects 180 times bigger than you would with a naked eye. This way, you have the opportunity to choose the magnification depending on what objects you are planning to observe. All three lenses have 99.5% light transmittance, providing you with a clear natural-looking image that will not cause stress or harm to your eyes.

Detailed review of Gskyer EQ80900 Astronomy Instruments PowerSeeker Telescope

 

Celestron 21035

Optical Surveillance System

The Celestron Travel Scope is based on the refractor optical viewing system. This telescope is a compact, mobile product. The lens construction makes this telescope usable in all weather conditions, despite it average size. It has a diameter of 70mm, this travelscope has a focal length of 400 mm. The product comes with 2 Plessl eyepieces, one 20mm with 20x magnification, the other 10mm with 40x magnification.
Review of Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope

Adjustment

The flexible altazimuth viewer ensures the owner gets blur-free views. This simple, convenient system is perfect for beginners. It is just as good for astronomical photography which gives you clear unblurred images.                                                                                  

Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope in the use

Performance Opportunities and Ease of Use

The Celestron Travel scope is good for both viewing the beauty of the Earth or the solar system. It is portable, compact and easy to operate. It has a solid aluminium platform which ensures a stable viewing base. Travelers and lovers of outdoor activities find this telescope extremely portable and take it with them wherever they go.
Detailed review of Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope

Special Features

Just like the Orion StarMax, this telescope is compact and portable. It comes with its own travel bag for easy packing and mobility. TheSkyX - First Light Edition" software is included with the telescope. The SkyX includes useful information about stars, celestial bodies, and has an informative, cartographical manual. Also, this telescope has a anti-reflection, multi-layered optics.
Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope application

VIDEO
Celestron Travel Scope 70 Review Model 21035
 

Seben 900-60

All Included

The Seben company offers one of the fullest packages with their Star Commander 900-60 Refractor Telescope, and that's the first thing you notice when you check the description. There are 4 eyepieces in the box, a Barlow-lens, an erecting eyepiece, a Moon filter, a finder scope, a phone mount, protective caps for the tube and accessory socket, a tripod, an Azimuthal mount, and receptacles for the eyepieces. That's quite a set—everything you might need not only for celestial but also for terrestrial viewing, meaning you can observe animals and birds with the same device you watch the starry night sky, no need to pay for anything extra, it's all already in.

The aluminium tripod is vertically adjustable to make for the most comfortable and convenient shifting between watching the sky and the earth life. The inclination is also adjustable and the mount is easy to assemble and lightweight. The accessory socket is 1.25", the standard one.

Review of Seben 900-60 Refractor Telescope + Cell Phone Adapter Holder

Make Memories Last

The Seben Star Commander 900-60 is a long telescope, its focal length is 900 mm, making the subjects of interest for you appear bigger. The finder scope will help you locate the stars and planets without hassle.

The scope also features a smartphone camera mount, meaning you can take photos of what you see in the scope just like that. And since the view is equally clear at night and during the day, you will have both celestial and terrestrial photos.

Seben 900-60 Refractor Telescope + Cell Phone Adapter Holder in the use

The Variety of Eyepieces for Every Purpose

There are as many as four regular eyepieces: 4 mm, 6 mm, 12.5 mm, and 20 mm. These will offer you four magnification options respectively: 225x, 150x, 72x, 45x. Throw in the Barlow lens together with each eyepiece and everything doubles, you now also have 450x, 300x, 144x, 90x. Eight options. That's a lot more than most scope manufacturers offer with the initial purchase package, you'll see somewhere around 11.5 million stars. But that's still not all.

The Moon filter will reduce the glare and enhance the contrast to show you more details like craters and seas on the surface that are usually somewhat smothered.

Finally, there is an erecting eyepiece. This one is designed for terrestrial viewing. You would need it since telescopes, due to their construction, generally show us the picture upside down. The erecting eyepiece corrects the image, turning it upright and with correct sides, in a way you would see an object if you were looking at it unaided. Terrestrial magnification would be 337.5x, 225x, 115.5x, and 67.5x with the erecting eyepiece.

Detailed review of Seben 900-60 Refractor Telescope + Cell Phone Adapter Holder

 

INTEY F40070

Travelling Buddy

The INTEY F40070 is a fairly small and very portable telescope, its focal length is 400 mm and aperture is 70 mm (you can see it in the name). It's light in weight, a little over 2 kilos. You can easily take it along when you visit the countryside, go hiking or mountain climbing, or simply give your kid to carry to the friend's overnight pyjama party. It is, in fact, a great kids telescope, the best choice for their first model since it's not too costly and actually can give some more expensive models a run for their money.

Assembling this cute little guy takes five or so minutes. There is the telescope, its tripod, two eyepieces, a diagonal mirror, a finderscope. All parts are light and easy to manage. The mount has four adjustment angles and a directional adjustment up to 180° vertically and whole 360° horizontally, the latter is lockable. For clarification, the manufacturer has included a manual in several languages.

Review of INTEY F40070 Portable Astronomy Telescope

Convenience Above All

The telescope will come to you in an extremely handy rucksack. With pockets and straps inside, it has all the necessary space to safely store the scope and all its pieces when not in use or to carry along on a journey. It is also sturdy and simple-looking, so it can be used as a backpack where you'll put your other necessities when you travel and leave the scope at home assembled.

The height of the tripod can be set between 16" and 41" so you can stand or sit when you use it.

INTEY F40070 Portable Astronomy Telescope in the use

Up and Down

This kids telescope can be used to watch both sky and earth objects without restriction. Therefore, even if it ever happens that your little explorer outgrows the fascination with the starry sky, he or she can still use the scope to watch ships from the shore or animals in the field.

Detailed review of INTEY F40070 Portable Astronomy Telescope

Basic Set

There are two eyepieces here, one is 6 mm with a magnifying of 67x, the other is 25 mm with the magnifying of 16x. The 25 mm with a 5x finder scope is recommended for finding your target; after that, you can lock it and switch to the 6 mm piece and watch the chosen object for more details. The diagonal mirror will return your target's image to how it should be—necessary since telescopes normally show the objects mirrored upside down and right to left. Note, though, that the diagonal mirrors only rearrange the image vertically, meaning that horizontally, you will still see it reversed. It takes some time getting used to it but usually does not pose an issue.

To protect your INTEY telescope between uses without disassembling it, use the included dew shield and dust cap. These two items will shield the lens from damage.

INTEY F40070 Portable Astronomy Telescope application

 

What Is a Telescope?

From Galileo Galilei to Albert Einstein to every other kid in your neighbourhood, stars never cease to fascinate people. Outer space is considered the future of the humanity. How many books and movies are created about mankind adventures out there! And while just setting out to such a journey is still a dream, we watch the Universe through the "eye" of our telescopes, the devices somewhat similar in construction to monoculars.

But telescopes, even the portable ones everyone can have at home, are so much more powerful. Today, this invention allows us to see not only a ship in the sea or a mountain far away but watch distant celestial bodies—by catching the light they emit and magnifying the image to fill the retina of our eyes. The science has gone far since the times of Copernicus, hasn't it?

If you or your kid ever dream of becoming an astronaut going for a space travel, a good overall fitness is a must. Start preparing right now with inversion tables and treadmills.

What Features to Compare

The modern telescope market has a wide selection to suit nearly every taste. The correct lens and mirror system are vital when making your choice. There are 5 mains systems to consider when choosing - a reflector, refractor, Cassegrain, Maksutov-Cassegrain, and Schmidt-Cassegrain, thus make sure to not overlook the optical surveillance system. An important thing to consider is the aperture size and the focal length of the telescope because these features predetermine the optical power of the product.

Next up, attention must be paid to an eyepiece and magnification. Selecting an eyepiece is a real headache for stargazers because there are lots of diverse products varying in schemes and design. The scheme of the eyepiece determines its maximal magnification capability.

There are three main types of adjustment (mount) systems in the world of amateur telescopes, which are azimuthal, equatorial and the Dobson system. Each type of adjustment system has its own benefits and downsides. For example, an azimuthal adjustment is not excessive, inexpensive and lightweight, but is incapable of precise astronomical photography. Equatorial adjustment is more excessive and weighs more, but is more accurate when compensating for the Earth’s rotation without computers and servo-motors.

Performance opportunities and ease of use give practical advice for easy maintenance. Also, different models offer different additions and special features which simplify handling and make it more enjoyable. As an example, some of the modern telescopes have a navigation system (GPS) which helps a user to find a defined object in a matter of minutes.

FAQ:

Q: What are these f/5, f/10 numbers?
A:
 They are called the focal ratio or also the "speed" of the telescope. Focal ratio is calculated by dividing the focal length by the aperture and in simple words, it shows how wide and bright the image you see will be. Faster focal ratios (those with lower numbers) have wider field and lower magnification, good for those users who are into deep space observation. Slower ratios are good to watch the Moon, planets and other big or relatively close objects.

Q: Do I need a Barlow lens?
A:
 That is up to you to decide. Barlow lenses magnify the image of the eyepieces, so, let's say, instead of buying three additional eyepieces with double the magnification of the three you already have, you can buy a single 2x Barlow lens and use it with each. Actually, using a Barlow will offer you a better quality image with less aberration.

Q: Is more magnification always better?
A:
 Not always, it normally depends on what you look at. When you have higher magnification, you simultaneously lose in the field of view and in brightness. Consequently, if the object you look at is already faint, high magnification will not help. To see faint objects clearer and to make them appear brighter, you need higher aperture. Also, at the higher aperture, you can also add magnification.

Q: Do I need all these many eyepieces?
A:
 Different eyepieces are good to observe different objects, so if you are buying a telescope for a single particular type of objects you might not need additional eyepieces but for anyone interested in astronomy in general, the more eyepieces usually the better.

Q: Reflector vs. refractor, which should I choose?
A:
 Again, this is subjective to your goals. Refractors provide more contrasting pictures than reflectors but a refractor with a big aperture for observing deep space would be extremely bulky and will cost an immense amount of money so they are usually better for planetary, lunar observation, and to watch really bright binary stars and nebulae. Reflectors have bigger apertures, thus they gather more light and allow you to see farther into space clearly.

Sources:

1. Lauren Cox Who Invented the Telescope? Space.com. July 13, 2013.

2. Craig Freudenrich, PhD. How Telescopes Work, HowStuffWorks.

3. Daniel Schwartz 10 Things To Prepare You For Space Travel, Flight Centre. April 20, 2015.

4. BUYING A TELESCOPE FAQ, The University of Toledo.

5. Telescope, Wikipedia.

6. Adrian R. Ashford How to Choose a Telescope, Sky & Telescope Media. April 16, 2014.

7. Christopher Witt Telescope Buying Guide, B&H Explora.

8. Ryan Wick Beginner’s Telescope Buying GuideIFL Science.

Other reviews
Comments
0 Comments

Your comment was successfully sent

Error! Please try again later

Publish Date: 2017-09-12 16:25:08