Telescope deals: Top picks from Celestron, Sky-Watcher and others
There are loads of telescope deals on the market right now and if you’re trying to scope out the top discounts, our round-up will guide you in the right direction. We’ve also made sure to include something to suit every level of stargazing experience and size of budget, so there’s a telescope deal out there for everyone.
We’ve also made sure to only include telescope deals from reputable retailers too, so you know you’re getting a good deal. It’s also worth noting that some of the best telescopes are on sale too and because we keep this page updated year-round, it’s always worth checking back. Plus if you would like to check out more telescope content, you can always read our round-ups of the best telescopes for beginners and telescopes on Amazon.
With Amazon Prime Early Access sales coming October 11-12 there’s a chance we’ll see even further reductions but if you know what make of telescope you like, why not check out our brand-specific guides for Celestron telescope deals, Sky-Watcher telescope deals, Meade telescope deals and Orion telescope deals.
To make navigation easier, we’ve split this guide up into sections for US and UK based deals and if you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative for your astronomy experience, checking out the best binoculars and binoculars deals could be worth it. However, if you want the best telescope deals on the market, check out our round-up below.
Today’s best US telescope dealsToday’s best UK dealsBuying advice: Finding the right one for you
Finding the best telescope deals on the market is crucial when looking for your next model, but what else should you be on the look out for? It’s also vital you know what it is exactly you want from your stargazing experience. Do you want to see distant nebulas and galaxies or nearby planets and the moon?
If it is planets and the moon you want a closer look at then something with a longer focal point – around 2000mm (80 inches) is an excellent choice. But, if it’s crystal clear views of nebulas, star clusters and galaxies then a shorter focal length of around the 500mm (20 inches) mark would work really well.
Just to make it that little bit more challenging, there’s also three different main types of telescopes to look out for. You have the choice of refractor, reflector and catadioptric telescopes, but don’t worry as we’ve included a run down of the pros and cons to each. It’s important to consider these before picking out the right telescope deal for you.
Refractor telescopes are great for beginners, as they’re easy to assemble and operate. They’re also usually relatively cheap to manufacture, which is reflected in their final price. They are best suited to viewing things like planets and moons, thanks to their typically long focal length, but unfortunately, they do have a tendency to suffer from chromatic aberration.
Reflector telescopes are well-loved by amateur astronomers and better suited to low-magnification targets, such as galaxies and nebulas. These telescopes can be divided into two different types: Newtonians and Dobsonians. Newtonian reflectors are quite versatile and well-suited to astrophotography, but they require quite a lot of upkeep. Dobsonians might be more tempting to amateurs, as they tend to be simpler to maintain.
Finally, there are the slightly pricier catadioptric telescopes, which were created to tackle some of the problems found in the standard refractor and reflector design. Here, we’ve divided them into two categories: the Maksutov-Cassegrain and the Schmidt-Cassegrain. The former model is great for correcting issues such as the “coma” distortion effect and the aforementioned chromatic aberration. The latter is a very versatile model, also boasting reduced chromatic aberration, which typically comes equipped with a GoTo system. This software allows you to automatically point your scope at particular astronomical objects, which is great for beginners.
Newtonian telescope deals
(Image credit: Meade Instruments)
Newtonian telescopes are popular with amateur astronomers because they allow users to focus on a really wide range of night sky objects. They’re complicated bits of kits that require a fair bit of maintenance, so if you are going to buy one of these models then make sure you pick one that has mirrors with a protective coating, as it will last longer.
Below, you’ll find deals on a couple of our favorite models, depending on availability in your local area: the Meade StarNavigator NG 114 and the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ (opens in new tab). Both models are great for beginners and – crucially – very reasonably priced.
Today’s best Newtonian telescope deals
Dobsonian telescope deals
(Image credit: Orion )
Dobsonian telescopes are another kind of reflector telescope. They’re a lot easier to maintain and operate than their Newtonian counterparts, but they’re still great for spotting a wide range of astronomical objects.
In the deals box below, you’ll find the latest prices for the Orion SkyScanner 100 Reflector, the Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P and the Sky-Watcher Flextube 300 SynScan Dobsonian. The former two models are reasonably priced and ideal for beginners, while the latter model is a slightly pricier option, with a huge aperture that allows you to see deeper into space.
Refractor telescope deals
(Image credit: Orion)
Refractor telescopes are intuitive to use and easy to set up, so they are popular with novice astronomers. They are also relatively cheap to manufacture, which means that you can get a refractor telescope with a decent size aperture for a very good price. The only drawback here is that the telescopes can suffer from chromatic aberration, where colors and images can seem a bit fuzzy.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite refractors: the Orion Observer II 70 Refractor, the Meade Instruments Infinity 102 AZ, the Celestron Inspire 100AZ and the Celestron Omni XLT 120 (opens in new tab). The first three are brilliant for beginners who want to get clear views of planets, while the Celestron Omni XLT 120 is perfect for intermediate astronomers who value high-quality optics and want to spend a little more.
Today’s best refractor telescope deals
Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope deals
(Image credit: Sky-Watcher)
Put simply, Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes correct problems you might find in a reflector telescope, such as the ‘coma’ effect, where images appear blurred. They have sealed optics, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance, and they also tend to come with a go-to system, making it easy to navigate the stars. Some of the best beginner telescopes (opens in new tab) can be found in this category, although they can also be a little bit pricey.
Just below, you’ll find deals on some of our favorite models when they’re available. These are the Meade ETX90 Observer, the Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO and the Celestron Astro Fi 102. The Celestron Astro Fi 102 is actually fairly well-priced — and a great option for beginners — while the other two are a little more expensive, but still easy to set up and intuitive to use.
Today’s best Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope deals
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope deals
(Image credit: Celestron)
The Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes we’ve included below are high-end models, with high-quality optics to match. They all boast decent apertures and can be used to get excellent views of planets and moons. Be warned, they’re not always great for astrophotography because of their curved focal plane, but for stargazing purposes they’re excellent.
When they’re available, you’ll find deals below for the Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25 (which boasts one of the best optical systems we’ve ever tried), the Celestron NexStar 6SE, the Celestron NexStar 8SE, and the Celestron Advanced VX 9.25 EdgeHD, which is a rare example of a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that can be used by astrophotographers.
Today’s best Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope deals
Kids’ telescope deals
(Image credit: Celestron)
When you’re choosing the best telescope for your kids, you want something robust, compact and — ideally — less than $100. Here, we’ve rounded up refractor and reflector telescopes that fit the bill. These instruments will give youngsters clear views of the moon, along with some of our closest planets and stars.
These telescopes offer the perfect introduction to astronomy, but for youngsters who prefer looking through two eyes, you might want to pick up some of the best binoculars for kids instead.
Below, you’ll see deals on our top picks for youngsters: the Celestron FirstScope 76 Tabletop, the Meade Instruments StarPro 102, the Orion SpaceProbe II 76, the Celestron Astro Fi 90, the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector and the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ.
Today’s best deals on kids telescopes