7 Best Telescopes Under $100

 Best Telescopes under $100, Astronomical enthusiasts enjoy stargazing as a pastime. Astronomy enthusiasts would like to see stars up close using telescopes, in addition to simply looking at constellations. However, the functionality and features of telescopes are sufficient indicators of their high prices. Fortunately, there are several best telescopes under $100 that are suitable for both beginners and experienced users. The following are seven of these models:

Check our Buying Guide for a good telescope

Best Telescopes Under $100

Item Best Features User Experience Price Level Our Rate
Celestron COSMOS FirstScope Optical tube designed with nebula wrap; features primary 76mm mirror for gathering better lighting & improved visibility; tabletop design with Dobsonian-style stand; comes with Kellner eyepieces & works great for beginners Good Mid-Range 4.0 / 5
Orion SkyScanner Features metallic red wrap & perfect for beginners; compact & lightweight – weighs around 6 lbs; features 100mm aperture & 400mm focal length + sets up in 10 mins Very Good Mid-Range 4.1 / 5
Celestron 21035 Travelscope Designed for stargazers & comes with adjustable tripod; refractory-type telescope with 70mm optical tube delivers good images – uses 400mm focal lenses; the body comes with plastic parts making it lighter & great for traveling Good Mid-Range 3.9 / 5
Orion SpaceProbe 3 The optical tube comes in 3” aperture & reflector design; features a 700mm focal length for crisp images; somewhat expensive but a good investment Very Good Mid-Range 4.2 / 5
Celestron 21037 PowerSeeker The product is similar to a refractory-type Travelscope & comes with tripods; features a longer optical tube that offers quality imaging; diameter measures 70mm – ideal for beginners; also features 3x optical zoom with a focal length of 700 mm + Finderscope Very Good High 4.3 / 5
Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector-type that guarantees top-caliber optics; produces quality images of star clusters, nebulae & moon; includes 2 eyepieces & comes with a 4.5” aperture Very Good Very High 4.4 / 5
Orion FunScope 76 Features 76mm optical tube with a focal length of 1 ft; delivers high-quality images & meant for beginners on a budget; compact body provides a good field of view & can tweak images using 10mm & 20mm eyepieces Excellent Mid-Range 4.5 / 5

Celestron COSMOS FirstScope

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Best telescopes under $100 COSMOS First Scope has the most entertaining design of any Celestron model. Its optical tube is wrapped in a nebula, fitting for its name. This nebula wrap is a limited-edition feature that distinguishes this model from other beginner telescopes. In fact, the wrap alone is enough to make it appear expensive despite its low price.

The primary mirror, which measures 76mm, is one of its most noticeable features. This feature allows this small telescope to gather more light for better visual quality. COSMOS will provide users with high-quality images of celestial elements via this feature. This model has a better appearance and can be placed on a tabletop with its Dobsonian-style stand. Users will have confidence that the telescope will remain in place and function properly thanks to this stand. It’s ideal for beginners who want the best quality from a low-cost telescope.

The model also includes Kellner eyepieces, which ensure better viewing capabilities. Other accessories that will get you started using a telescope for your hobby may be available depending on the deals you find online. Prices start at $50 and go up from there.

Orion Sky Scanner

orion skyscanner
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Best telescopes under $100 Skyscanner, with its metallic red wrap, is also a good model to get for beginner users looking for a high-quality telescope design. It’s a tabletop model from Orion, but with lightweight features for easy transport. It weighs about 6 pounds and has a compact body, making it easy to transport or store in small spaces. Skyscanner’s design allows users to easily set it up in 10 minutes and be viewing celestial elements in no time.

The optical tube has a 100mm aperture and a focal length of 400mm. These features, combined with three eyepieces, provide improved image magnification even at a distance. Despite darkness and pollution, many users can see celestial bodies.

Although this model can be carried around for travel, it does not include the same travel accessories as the Travelscope. To transport this telescope to a different location, users must purchase them separately.

Celestron 21035 Travelscope:Best Telescopes under $100

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This Celestron model is designed for stargazers on the go. Outdoor stargazing is far superior, which is why Celestron designed the 21035 Travelscope to withstand outdoor conditions.

Travelscope, unlike COSMOS, comes with a tripod for outdoor viewing. Users can adjust the height of the tripod to their preferred viewing height and comfort while viewing celestial elements.

This telescope is a refractory type with a matching 70mm optical tube. The optical tube is not as powerful as COSMOS, but it does produce good celestial images. The 400mm focal lenses produce high-quality images. The entire body is made of plastic, which makes it lighter and easier to transport. Furthermore, the use of plastic materials contributed to the lower price.

Travelscope comes with a variety of accessories, including a 45-degree image prism that produces accurate and clear images. Because this product is intended for travel, another accessory is a travel bag. This bag keeps everything safe while traveling.

Orion SpaceProbe 3

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Best telescopes under $100 While other models are guaranteed to be sold for less than $100, the SpaceProbe 3 may be more expensive in other stores. This model is available in some stores for around $140, making it one of the more expensive options on this list. Nonetheless, if you shop around, you can easily find good deals to kickstart your new hobby.

Despite its high price, this telescope provides unique benefits that will appeal to all amateur users. It has a 3-inch aperture and a reflector design on its optical tube. When these features are combined with its 700mm focal length, it produces crisp images regardless of distance. Users can obtain the images they require by using the two included eyepieces.

If there is one disadvantage to using this telescope, it is the difficult setup that people encounter when using this device for viewing. Many buyers reported that it takes them about an hour to properly set it up. However, if you have a budget of more than $100 and don’t mind the setup, SpaceProbe 3 is a good product to buy.

Celestron 21037 PowerSeeker

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This Celestron model, also known as the 21037 PowerSeeker 70EQ, is regarded as one of the best telescopes under $100, which is difficult to find at this price. This product is similar to Travelscope in that it is a refractory type telescope with tripods as an optional accessory. PowerSeeker, on the other hand, has a longer optical tube than COSMOS and Travelscope, making it a larger telescope than the aforementioned models.

This model has an improved feature that provides high-quality imaging. The diameter of the refractor is 70mm, which is an ideal size for beginners. With its 3x optical zoom feature, you can capture high-quality images. This feature allows users to view celestial bodies from a greater distance while maintaining overall image quality. The focal length is 700 mm, and it is powered by Finderscope. Combining all of these features resulted in positive feedback from customers, who claimed to see Saturn and its rings, as well as Jupiter’s moons, in higher quality.

PowerSeeker also includes a durable and adjustable aluminum tripod as well as two eyepieces.

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro

Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
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(Note – Typically costs over $200, but is a worthwhile inclusion in the list for those with a slightly larger budget.)

Many users praise StarBlast 4.5 Astro, as they do other Orion models. This telescope is a reflector-type device that ensures high-quality optics when viewing celestial bodies. This telescope not only magnifies images of Saturn and its rings, but it also has features that produce high-quality images of star clusters, nebulae, and the moon.

Two eyepieces and a 4.5-inch aperture help to produce high-quality images. Its eyepieces have Kellner quality features and come in two sizes: 6mm and 17mm. Combining both features results in images that distinguish this model from competitors.

Another feature that customers appreciate about this product is its ease of use. It comes pre-assembled, so buyers can use it right away.

Orion FunScope 76

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The Orion FunScope 76 is one of the most affordable telescopes for amateurs. It’s 76mm optical tube provides a good aperture with a focal length of less than a foot. Although it does not gather as much light as the Cosmos, it still produces high-quality images for beginners on a budget. Despite its shorter focal length, it provides a good field of view that many first-time users appreciate. They can also fine-tune images with the 10mm and 20mm eyepieces, which may be sold separately or included in the package depending on the seller’s offer. Because of its small size, it can be moved to different locations for better viewing and combined with other accessories that are sold separately.

Conclusion: Best Telescopes under $100

Overall, using this list to find telescopes under $100 is simple. However, shop around to find these devices at a reasonable price. Some sellers charge exorbitant prices for them. Check out all of the available telescope accessories to get the most bang for your buck.

Telescope Buying Guide

The telescope is one of the greatest inventions in human history. It allows you to see objects that the naked eye cannot see. The design of the telescope has evolved over time, and there are three major types to choose from. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of telescope options available today, this buying guide will assist you in making the best choice. All of the information in this guide will save you time and effort, allowing you to build your own telescope in no time.

  • Knowing the Three Basic Types

There are three types of telescopes: reflectors, refractors, and compound telescopes. These three can gather light and display images in their own unique ways. It is critical to become acquainted with them as this will assist you in determining which telescope will best suit your needs.

  • Refractor Telescope

This is the most widely used type of telescope. It has a large front lens that allows light to pass directly into the mirror and then into the eyepiece. This type has a straightforward, user-friendly design. It is also useful for viewing earthly objects.

The refractor type is advantageous because of its sealed tube, which protects the optics, as well as its long-lasting and maintenance-free design. This type, however, is not suitable for faint objects. It also has a lower value than reflectors, and its body is bulky and heavy.

  • Compound Telescope

A lens and two mirrors are used in this type of telescope. One of the mirrors is in the front, and the other is in the back. This telescope, also known as a Schmidt-Cassegrain or catadioptric telescope, is useful for viewing faint and earthly objects. It comes with a sealed tube to keep the optics safe.

This type of telescope will undoubtedly appeal to astronomy enthusiasts. This type, however, is usually more expensive. It also appears bulky and large, and the second mirror tends to reduce brightness.

  • Reflector

Reflector telescopes have a mirror at the tube’s end that collects light before passing it through another mirror and into the eyepiece. This type is ideal for viewing faint objects but not terrestrial objects. It can display high-quality images and is more expensive than refractors. Another advantage of this type is its lightweight and compact body, which makes it easy to transport. One disadvantage is that the open tube tends to collect dust, requiring some maintenance.

Which Type Suits You?

All three types of telescopes will perform admirably. It is strongly advised that you select one that meets your viewing requirements. If you’re still stumped, here are some suggestions:

  • Beginners: reflector or refractor
  • Maintenance-free telescope: refractor
  • Viewing earth objects: compound or refractor
  • Viewing faint and deep sky objects: compound or refractor
  • Best image quality: compound or reflector
  • Best value for money: reflector
  • Astrophotography: compound

Key Features to Look For

When purchasing a telescope, four factors must be considered: focal length, computer control, magnification, and aperture. Continue reading to learn more about each of them.

  • Aperture

This is the diameter of a telescope’s lens or mirror. It is the most important factor in determining how much of the device you will see. In general, a larger aperture is preferable. A larger scope will let in more light, allowing you to see fainter objects. If possible, get the largest aperture telescope that fits your budget.

  • Magnification

The eyepiece and focal length of the telescope determine magnification. The greater the magnification, the better. It determines the size of the objects. If money is an issue, you can make do with your unit’s eyepiece. You can always upgrade later if necessary.

  • Focal Length

This is the distance between the focal point of your telescope and the mirror or lens. Although it is not as important as the aperture, a longer focal length will make objects appear larger. It is best to buy a camera with a large focal length and aperture.

  • Computer Control

Most modern telescopes include a built-in computer control. This feature automatically directs the unit to interesting objects. It is a useful tool that allows you to locate celestial highlights and moving objects that you have been dreaming about seeing. You can choose to find objects manually, but computer control makes this task easier.

  • Points to Remember for Beginners

Beginners’ expectations should be adjusted. You’re probably hoping to see the incredible images produced by NASA, but these are produced by professional telescopes. This is not to say that you won’t be able to appreciate what you see through your device. In fact, the right telescope will allow you to see stars, galaxies, planets, and much more in great detail. With reasonable expectations, you will be able to appreciate the wonders of the sky through the lens.

More tips

Below are more tips that you need to take note of when viewing objects through your telescope:

  • The week of the new moon will let you see stars and planets better.
  • Start with objects that are easy to find, like the moon and bright planets.
  • Take advantage of your telescope’s computer control.
  • Use a low magnification setting first to locate objects quickly before switching to a higher setting when needed.
  • Make the focus blurry for a while to help you find stars and planets easier.
  • Weigh down your telescope to make it more stable, and less shaky.
  • Do not look directly into the sun, even with your telescope, or you may go blind.
  • Understand how your device works during the day and night.
  • Use a filter when looking at the moon as it is very bright and can strain your eyes.
  • Avoid buildings, pavements, and other objects that absorb and release heat as it will make the images in your telescope appear less sharp. Look for open areas, particularly one covered in grass, instead.

Looking for the best telescopes under a $100 is not as difficult as you think. Simply follow these tips and tricks to help you narrow down your options, and eventually purchase the right one for you.We hope you have enjoyed this best telescope under $100

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