Telescopes: Guides & Recommendations

Hunting for a good deal on a first telescope for yourself or someone who you care about? Or are you looking for a fancier upgrade? Learn about the differences between reflectors, refractors, and compound telescopes to get a telescope that best fits your needs. Discover why (and if) you should care about aperture, magnification, and resolution and find out whether bigger is always better. We recommend several telescopes under $100 and even some compact travel-scopes that would fit in your carry-on. You’ll also find articles about your telescope’s most essential ingredient: its eyepiece. A good eyepiece can help you make the most out of your scope, and we’ll tell you how to pick the right one. Looking for a more visual approach? Our series of telescope-tutorial videos has got you covered. No matter what type of telescope you’re looking for, browse the articles below before you buy to find the best telescope for you.

Tony Flanders's biggest and smallest telescopes.

What to Know Before Buying a Telescope

Looking through a telescope introduces you to a whole new world of unexpected wonders. But telescopes come in a huge range of sizes and shapes. Here's a detailed, printable guide to the essential features that every good scope needs to have.

Best Starter Telescopes

In the December 2005 issue of Sky & Telescope, Gary Seronik reviewed a collection of telescopes costing less than $200. It's quite likely that if we were to conduct the same survey today, we would still pick the same 5 as our top scopes.

The Amazing $20 Telescope

Sky & Telescope has reviewed innumerable telescopes, and only a handful of the ones that we've tried and liked cost less than $200. Now we're going to recommend a telescope that's selling for $20, and your response is going to be "you're kidding, right?" No, we're not!