Best Buying Tips for Astronomy Telescopes Refractors [2022]


There are three main types of beginner astronomy telescopes. Refractor, reflector, and catadioptics.

This page is about refractor telescopes. Refractors are generally seen as the long tube type of scope. Refractors were the world’s first telescopes and used by Galileo Galilei to discover the moons of Jupiter.

Like all astronomy telescopes, refractors have their pluses and their minuses.

Refractors are low maintenance and easy to set-up and use. The sealed tube helps keep the inner workings clean too.

Because of the limits on aperture size to cost compared to other types of scopes, refractors are best used for viewing the planets and the moon and brighter stars.

The fact that the objective lens is smaller helps city dwellers though where the light pollution generally limits observing to the brighter moon and planets anyway.

That not to say that you can’t view deep sky objects with a refractor just that it cost more to get a larger size objective lens.

Refractors are also generally heavier, bulkier and longer than the other types of telescopes, so give thought to where,when and how often you will use your scope and if it can remain setup and stored ready to go.

Refractors offer high contrast images and good color.

Orion GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope

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“My son really loves this.” – The GoScope 80mm Backpack Refractor Telescope is a versatile 80mm-aperture, wide-field refractor telescope with a full-length photo-type tripod, plus all the accessories you need to observe wildlife, the Moon, sailboats on the bay, or nebulas in the Milky Way. And all of it fits neatly in the included padded backpack with adjustable shoulder straps, for carrying comfortably to your observing spot.

For portability and low-power, wide-field viewing, look no further than the Orion GoScope 80mm Refractor Telescope. This ultra-compact, entry-level “Mini-Dob” makes a great quality first telescope for beginning stargazers. The included 20mm (18x) and 10mm (35x) 1.25″ eyepieces will aid in your exploration of the solar system as you observe the Moon’s craters and seas, the rings of Saturn, and the moons of Jupiter.

Orion Observer 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope

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“This telescope has been a great investment and a joy to own.” – For beginning stargazers who want a starter telescope capable of providing more performance than a traditional 60mm refractor, we present the Orion Observer II 70mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope. Compared to a 60mm refractor, the Observer II 70mm Refractor can reveal an even greater variety of stellar gems and provide greater resolution of old favorites like the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn.

Our Observer 70 is the perfect telescope for that budding astronomer in your family. This scope excels in both quality and performance. Its 70mm multi-coated achromatic objective lens – focal length 700mm focal length (f/10) – gathers 36% more light than a 60mm. And it’s made of glass, not plastic, as you’d find in many department store models. The optical tube is supported on a sturdy aluminum tripod with accessory tray. This altazimuth model can also be used for terrestrial viewing. Standard accessories include a 10mm (70x) Explorer II eyepiece, a 25mm (28x) Explorer II eyepiece, 90-deg mirror star diagonal, and an EZ Finder II finder scope. One-year limited warranty.

Orion StarSeeker 80mm GoTo Refractor Telescope

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** The original product is no longer available, but we found the perfect substitute for you!! **

The Orion StarSeeker IV 150mm GoTo Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope offers a winning combination of motorized object-location technology and high-power optical performance at a low price. This smart GoTo telescope will lead you and your family on a guided tour of the stars on any clear night. Featuring 150mm-diameter (5.9″) Mak-Cass optics with a long 1800mm focal length, the StarSeeker IV 150mm Mak-Cass serves up bright, high-magnification views. 

Telescopes have come a long way, baby. Witness the StarSeeker 80. You get a fully computerized, electronically driven telescope with outstanding 80mm rich-field optics, which can take you to any of 4,000 celestial objects with a few button pushes on its illuminated hand controller. Wow! From the first night out, any beginner can quickly access the night sky’s finest gems. The multi-coated 80mm (3/1″) achromatic lens is housed in a compact tube equipped with a 1.25″ R&P; focuser, two Kellner eyepieces, star diagonal, and a red-dot finder scope. The one-arm mount is made of cast metal for greater durability than competing GoTo scopes that use lots of plastic parts. The whole setup is incredibly portable and a joy to use.

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