Astronomy isn’t a cheap hobby. Although a fundamental telescope can allow you to see a couple of stars, the moon and perhaps Jupiter’s’ moons if you are fortunate, and oftentimes an excellent pair of binoculars cannot be worse than a low-cost telescope.
A telescope is an ideal present for a beloved one or yourself, also it may bring years of instruction, amusement and inspiration. Yet, that isn’t to say that there are not great entry level scopes, it can only take a little of time to discover one.
For a first-time stargazer, the quantity of information thrown at you are able to be overwhelming. Magnification, reflection, refraction, catadioptric, Dobsonian… the language can all really be somewhat arcane and complicated. Nevertheless, there are a couple of tricks you’ll be able to remember to assist you pick up a decent range on the cheap.
For more recommendations on the best telescopes for amateur astronomers under $1000 for you, read our guide.
Find out more about how to use a telescope for stargazing in our buying/beginner guide. We’ve got lots of telescope deals – great if you aren’t sure what model you want and you’re just looking for a bargain.
Best Telescope Under $300 : Comparison Table
|Telescope Model||Aperture Size (mm)||Focal Length (mm)||Mount Type||Magnification Range||Price Range ($)|
|Celestron 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope||114||1000||Computerized Alt-Az||21x – 269x||$250 – $300|
|Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope||130||650||Equatorial||19x – 307x||$200 – $250|
|Meade Instruments 209006 Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope||102||600||Alt-Azimuth||12x – 204x||$150 – $200|
|Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope||90||910||Equatorial||33x – 180x||$200 – $250|
|Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope||114||450||Equatorial||14x – 228x||$200 – $250|
|Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Telescope||130||650||Equatorial||19x – 307x||$150 – $200|
|Gskyer Refractor Telescope AZ90600||90||600||Alt-Azimuth||18x – 180x||$100 – $150|
Top 7 Best Telescope Under $300
By using a basic telescope or binocular, you can get the view of a couple of stars and moon only. Deep sky viewing is not possible with it. Thinking of such cases, we have made a list of some ideal telescopes under 300 dollars to let you make the start of your astronomy hobby.
1. Celestron – 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope
The Celestron – 114LCM is the most cost-effective advanced telescope of this time. It can be operated automatically as it is completely computerized. If you are a beginner, you will love the experience of its celestial objects tracking. Its internal database includes galaxies, stars, planets, and whatever you want to see.
This well designed and compact telescope can be the perfect companion for your outside tours like camping, star parties, or backyard sky seeing. If you are using a telescope for the first time then the “Sky Tour” button of it will guide you to observe the objects up there in the sky.
The Celestron- 114LCM is the best computerized telescope under $300. It includes 2-high quality eyepieces, a star-pointer red dot finder-scope, and an adjustable aluminum tripod. Additionally, you will get access to downloading the top-rated astronomy software program for free.
From the buying date, 2 years of warranty will be on your side. No matter whatever technical difficulty you face with this, the experts will be there to help you.
What Do We Like About It?
The Celestron – 114LCM gives you the opportunity for better viewing. It has two eyepieces (25 mm and 9 mm) with a star-pointer so that you never miss anything. Its full construction including the tripod and mount are completely durable. As it is fully computerized, you might never have to operate anything manually.
What Don’t We Like?
Though you are getting a set of accessories with this finest telescope, the batteries are not included in it. So, you have to look for a good battery to operate it.
2. Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope
If you are serious about your star gazing and need clear, bright views of planets, moon and the stars then attempt the Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector Telescope. It’s among the finest entry level telescopes. While the cost is somewhat more expensive then some of the more inexpensive versions, you’re rewarded with sharp and clear views of the moon, planets and other galaxies and nebula.
It looks good, has great optics and comes at a cost you are able. The 31045 AstroMaster has a 130mm aperture with a focal length of 650mm. It comes with several other amazing attributes which make this a brilliant buy for the beginner astronomer as well as two eyepieces.
The Celestron 31045 AstroMaster is a reflector telescope with an aperture of 130mm or 5.12 inches. It’s a really high useful magnification of 307x. It comes with all of the needed extras such as two eyepieces, a tripod with steel tube legs, an equatorial mount, built-on StarPointer. This is for the serious beginner who would like to get excellent views of the night time skies. It is additionally a double-purpose telescope and is suitable for terrestrial viewing too.
For a beginner, I believe it’s among the finest scopes available and tremendous value for money considering that specific meade telescope of the exact same aperture and particular nexstar set scopes have rather high cost for quite few features that are additional. Read the Full Review
3. Meade Instruments 209006 Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope
The Meade Instruments 209006 Infinity 102 AZ Refractor Telescope comes complete with all that you have to look at out wonders of the nighttime skies for the very first time.
Perfect for the onlooker who sees both terrestrial and astronomical things, the Meade Infinity Series joins quality optics along with an altazimuth mount for an outstanding value. For beginners and novices alike, these refracting telescopes are a good method for you to find the outside as well as the cosmos. You will find more with the Meade Infinity Series.
The Infinity 102 Refractor is the greatest telescope to begin in astronomy if you have never owned a telescope before. This big 102mm aperture gives bright, sharp pictures for celestial objects and both property. Whether you are seeing the rings of Saturn, the moons around Jupiter, nebulae, the Infinity 102 Refractor, or property things enables the first-time observer to learn more about beyond, and the world, solar system.
For the cost, it is a great telescope. It’s possible for you to see an amazing quantity of detail, stripes & moons of Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn on the moon. Further sights are just visible but may be made out in good conditions.
4. Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope
The pleasing AstroView telescope in Orion is a 90mm equatorial refractor telescope. As such, it uses the refractor technology to create clear pictures of the nighttime skies.
Possessing powerful reviews from some other owners, and boasting a durable design as well as powerful optical specs, it’s an appealing option for seasoned and amateur astronomers.
The scope also comes with two 1.25in. Eyepieces with apertures of 25mm. and 10mm These eyepieces let you correct the magnification of the scope. The 25mm eyepiece provides a magnification of 36x. While the 10mm eyepiece is harder for novices to make use of, reviewers report that the views in particular further improve supplied by the AstroView with its 91x magnification.
Superior optics and a low cost aren’t the sole justifications to decide on the Orion AstroView for your stargazing experiences. The scope is, in addition, permanent and well-constructed. It’s hefty and big, about five feet high and weighing around 27 pounds in total. Its size as well as weight add stability and it a durability that are appealing to anybody seeking a stargazing device which will endure.
These characteristics in conjunction with a sensible price tag make it an outstanding value for anyone wanting a strong, reliable, and pleasing telescope.
5. Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
If the experts recommend a telescope, then surely it has something extraordinary. The Orion StarBlast II 4.5 is such a telescope of the astronauts’ choice. Seeing through it, you will always get the crystal-clear image as it has a 4.5-inch aperture reflector pipe that gathers an extended amount of lights to provide you a clearer view.
This telescope is for family use. From children to aged ones can use it as it has advanced tech-touch and versatile options. The reflecting optics of it is large enough to set the eyes of all your family members. Everyone will get the views of the moon, planets, and distant objects like galaxies and star clusters.
You do not have to move the telescope with a moving object as the included EQ-1 mount will do the job automatically. No matter how fast any object is, it will be positioned centered in the eyepiece. The slow-motion controls of it will make things easier for you.
What Do We Like About It?
While you buy the Orion StarBlast II 4.5 telescope, a handful of accessories will come with it. So, for a beginner, it will be a great advantage as they are getting everything to pursue their hobby.
The view that this telescope shows is excellent and clean. You will be amazed to see what the universe contains.
What Don’t We Like?
The best place to use this telescope is at home. As it has no included carry case, you might have to purchase it from elsewhere or keep it at home. Moreover, the telescope is a bit heavier than others.
6. Celestron – AstroMaster 130EQ Telescope
The Celestron 130EQ has been the top choice for the beginners. It offers sharp and detailed views of Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s Ring, and more. As the position of the celestial objects does not remain the same all the time, the EQ-mount of it helps to track the objects smoothly.
This Newtonian telescope has everything to start your astronautical hobby. A couple of eyepieces (20 mm and 10 mm), Starry-Night software, and a star-pointer red dot finder-scope will ensure an easy-going with your sky seeing. As all the accessories are here, you are free to explore the universe yourself.
The 130 mm glass optic objective lens is the most exciting feature of this telescope. It has two slow-motion control knobs to maintain precise adjustments of the lens. Though the telescope and the accessories are techs equipped, it is very lightweight. So, easy moving for outdoor night parties or sky seeing is no more an issue for you.
What Do We Like About It?
Bright and clean image is a guarantee with the Celestron AstroMaster EQ telescope. The setup and storage process of it is so easy that you hardly need any tool for it.
As it has non-magnified viewing, you are allowed to see things behind the window. As a beginner, you will enjoy using it and its durability will let you use it for a long time.
What Don’t We Like?
Considering the quality, this telescope has a few issues. Though it covers all the necessary parts, a few of them are rusty. While adjusting from different angles, it may stick at a few times which is very disturbing while sky seeing
7.Gskyer Refractor Telescope AZ90600
The Gskyer AZ90600 telescope is an excellent scope for the beginners. It has high-quality optics with 600 mm focal length and 90 mm aperture. You will see stunning images as its optics glass lens is fully coated with high transmission coating. No matter how long you see through it, the eyes will be protected from any ray of light.
Most of the telescope has a single or double eyepiece but this refractor telescope has three replaceable eyepieces (24X, 60X, 120X). Additionally, the 3X Barlow lens will treble the magnifying power which is not a common feature for telescopes. The sky is far from you but this scope will bring everything closer to you.
It comes with an adjustable aluminum tripod to allow you to view objects from different positions. Along with it, the height of the tripod is also adjustable from 31.5 to 49”. For assembling and focusing, no tool is needed. Even a novice will do the setup properly. All the features enrich it as the best refractor telescope under 300.
What Do We Like About It?
As a refractor telescope, you might never find anything better than this. It comes with 3 eyepieces that will bring anything closer to you. Travelling, working out, or home viewing, this can be used anywhere.
The optical tube and the ring have been positioned perfectly in it. So, you can change the scope position slowly without hampering the view.
What Don’t We Like?
The setup instruction that comes with it is hard to maintain. So, you might face some difficulty while setting it up for the first time. Though it is lightweight and carriable, no carry case or bag is included with it.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Telescope under $300
Buying a telescope blindly is not the wisest thing to do. If you have never purchased one, then it better is to consider a few facts before choosing the best telescope under $300.
Aperture: The diameter of the light-gathering lens is known as the aperture or objective. A good telescope should have a minimum aperture of 70 mm. The large the aperture value is, the easiest it is to get a better view of the fainter objects.
Mount: When it comes to mounting, you will find two (2) types. The first one is the simple type, known as “altazimuth”, can also be called Alt-Az mount. It has two motion – azimuth (horizontal) and altitude (vertical). The best use of this mount is to scan fainter or unclear objects.
In astrophotography, equatorial mounts are thought of as superior ones. This has been used to observe objects for a long time. By using slow-motion controls, it can aim to any celestial objects and can be easily guided.
Types: Refractor and reflector are the two types of telescopes. For the refractors, there is a glass lens at the front tube that bends the light that passes through. The positive side of these kinds of lenses is that they are easy to maintain.
On the other hand, a reflector telescope uses a mirror instead of a glass lens. It reflects the wavelengths following the same pattern. Therefore, there is no chance of any chromatic aberration at all.
Focal Length: It is the distance between the scope’s mirror and the focus point. This is the area where the light rays met. A short focal length allows you to view the stars widely.
Weight: This is an important factor when you have to consider the portability of the telescope. To get a better view of deep-sky things, you have to use a larger telescope that will have extra weight. If you have an issue with the weight then a small telescope is good for you.
Eyepiece: When you are using a telescope, you are looking through the eyepiece of it. It stays near the focal point to magnify the image. The size and type are not the same for all telescopes. Different eyepieces mean multiple magnification opportunities.
Other Features: The warranty of a telescope is an important fact to look after. Usually, a good-quality telescope lasts for years but who knows when issues will arrive. So, better is to take a telescope with a warranty.
To hold the extras, a tray for accessories is very helpful. It also looks classy when you are keeping the star maps, DVDs, and guides altogether with the telescope.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I get a telescope within $300 budget?
In fact, $300 is not too little. It’s a smart price range and many good choices of telescopes are easily available. Within this budget, you can pick many top-quality telescopes that can fulfill most of your astronomical demands. The products above are the sign that you can obtain a quality telescope within $300.
- Which telescope is ideal for you?
Investigate what do you need and what’s your purpose to buy a telescope. When you find your goal, you can easily select your telescope that can suit your needs. The above reviews contain different types of telescopes to meet various necessities. So, you can conveniently get the ideal telescope for you according to the type, aperture size, mount, and so on.
- How can I view the flag on the moon?
The flag is 125 cm longer on the moon. You need a telescope that has a diameter of 200 meters to see that flag. But unfortunately, the Keck Telescope in Hawaii is the largest and it has a diameter of 10 meters. So, it is impossible to see the flag with a telescope from this earth.
- Which telescope allows you to view the rings of Saturn?
You can utilize a common type of telescope to see the rings of Saturn. A 30X to 50X magnifying telescope can be sufficient to monitor them. From the list above, Celestron – AstroMaster 130EQ and Celestron ExploraScope 22103 are perfect for seeing the rings of Saturn.
- Is a cheap telescope good to see the planet?
A small and cheap telescope can show you many other worlds from the solar system. But the telescope should have at least all the basic features. All of our reviewed telescopes are perfect to see the other worlds and solar system.
Remember, high magnification doesn’t a great telescope make. Galileo discovered planets and the moon using a telescope with no higher than a 30x magnification scope, so for the modern recreational astronomer anything from 70x 100x should be adequate for both wide-field screening and more exact work.
Hi, Daniel Here! When I’m not busy working at my own startup, you may find me roaming around the Univers and whats beyond our sky, telescope is a must.