Our Favorite Telescopes for Stargazing

We may not navigate by the stars as often anymore, but these telescopes still let us enjoy their beauty


March 29, 2021
Telescope on a boat
Cast your eyes above the sea to the stars above with a telescope. Unsplash

If you’re thinking of using a telescope to explore the wonders of the galaxy and ponder the meaning of life, consider this: The word “telescope” comes from ancient Greece – of course – and is translated as “to look or see afar.” Sadly, Pythagoras and Archimedes weren’t around in the early 1600s when the first practical telescope – a refracting model – was first introduced in the Netherlands. Fast forward a few hundred years to today, where technology has evolved to the point where any outdoor enthusiast, yachtsman, or adventurer can gaze upon moons, stars, and other galaxies. If you’re considering adding a telescope to your yacht or patio, here are a few we recommend.

Celestron - NexStar 8SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+ Celestial Objects - 8-Inch Primary Mirror

Simple installation

This easy-to-use model combines advanced features with superior optics in one package. Celestron

This telescope from Celestron is compatible with many of the accessories that advanced users covet. For example, add GPS coordinates to this telescope via SkySync or engage automatic alignment functionality with StarSense AutoAlign. The 8-inch primary mirror packs enough light-gathering ability to truly appreciate the solar system, but it still offers a compact design making it great for use on the water. Easy installation means it can be ready to use in minutes.

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope (Black)

Astronomy software included

Users will appreciate this portable unit that’s still feature-rich. Orion

The model from Orion offers superb viewing thanks in part to the included EQ-2 mount and tripod. The 5.1-inch aperture reflector telescope gathers ample light for views of our moon and planets as well as brighter galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. When fully assembled, it weighs 27 pounds. The tripod also includes an accessory tray. The whole package includes two eyepieces, a finder scope, rack and pinion focuser, collimation cap, and Starry Night astronomy software.

Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope - Portable Refractor Telescope - Fully-Coated Glass Optics - Ideal Telescope for Beginners - BONUS Astronomy Software Package

Everything you need

Take this model with you on the road or sea with the included travel backpack. Celestron

This telescope is designed primarily to offer superior optics thanks to the powerful 70 mm objective lens. Also included in this package are two eyepieces, a full-height tripod, and the travel backpack. You can also download free astronomy software programs.

Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Smartphone Holder - 2019 Newest Waterproof Monocular -BAK4 Prism for Wildlife Bird Watching Hunting Camping Travelling Wildlife Scenery

Holds up to any weather

Use the included adapter to capture the images and share them with friends. Gosky

When technology is added to the world of telescopes, things can get pretty interesting. This monocular telescope from Gosky is designed to provide high-res images with incredibly accurate color reproduction. It includes a smartphone adapter so you can save the images as well. It’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof in any kind of weather.

Meade Instruments – S102mm Aperture, Portable Beginner Refracting Astronomy Telescope for Kids & Adults – Bonus Smartphone Adapter & Accessories Included - Adjustable Alt-azimuth (AZ) Manual Mount

Take it on the road

Navigate the sky easily with a red-dot viewfinder and yoke-style mount with slow-motion control. Meade Instruments

If you’re looking for an all-in-one package, this kit from Meade Instruments is one of our favorites. It features a 102 mm lens that provides the user with an image that’s 28 percent brighter and sharper than a 90 mm model. It comes with a tripod, two eyepieces, a universal smartphone adapter, and more. Still, it’s compact enough to be portable.



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