The perfect astronomy gift: This beginner telescope is currently under $100

Celestron astromaster LT 70az with starry background and cyber monday deal logo
(Image credit: Celestron)

An ideal first telescope for beginners that want to get started in astronomy but are working to a budget. The Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ LT is now under $100 (opens in new tab) and includes a smartphone adapter and Bluetooth remote so new astronomers can get set up quickly. At this price, we think it's good for gifting in the coming holiday season for any space-fanatic in your life.

There are no tools required to get this entire telescope kit set up, as every module comes pre-assembled. This beginner telescope comes with an adjustable height tripod and two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) for viewing different-sized celestial objects. Helpfully, the AstroMaster LT 70AZ also ships with an erect image star diagonal so you don't have to bend down too far to view objects through the eyepiece. A finderscope aids approximate location of night sky objects and the panning handle on the tripod has an Alt-az clutched panning handle for smooth and precise repositioning.

You can save $32 on this budget telescope (opens in new tab) which is a generous discount on an already inexpensive refractor model.

Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ telescope: was $129.95 (opens in new tab)

Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ telescope: was $129.95, now $98 at Walmart (opens in new tab) 
Save $32
on this telescope for beginner astronomers. Small, lightweight and easy to set up with no tools required — the Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ has everything you need to get started, whether purchasing as a gift for yourself or someone else.

A decent entry-level 70mm aperture on this slim refractor telescope means the entire assembly is small and lightweight. With a focal ratio of f/10, the AstroMaster LT 70AZ has a focal length of 700mm.

Made of lightweight aluminum and with fully coated optics the AstroMaster LT 70AZ it's possible to take astrophotos of the cosmos with the smartphone adapter that attaches your smartphone to the telescope for imaging. You don't even need to touch the phone to take the shot, instead you're better off using the packaged Bluetooth remote control to release the shutter. This avoids vibrations when taking images, which when shooting astro, can sometimes last for several seconds or minutes.

Be sure to check out Space.com's Cyber Monday deals page, or our 10 best Cyber Monday telescopes deals we've seen so far. Want a more general round-up? See our guide to the  Best telescopes, or Best telescopes for beginners

Younger astronomers may benefit from one of the Best telescopes for kids and those budget-conscious should check out the best Budget telescopes under $500.

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Jason Parnell-Brookes
Channel Editor

Jason Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. He won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 beating over 90,000 other entrants and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a Masters graduate and has a wealth of academic and real-world experience in a variety of photographic disciplines from astrophotography and wildlife to fashion and portraiture. Now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at Space.com his speciality is in low light optics and camera systems.