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 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 which is a generous discount on an already inexpensive refractor model.
Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ telescope:
was $129.95, now $98 at Walmart
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.
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Jase Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. They won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. After completing their Masters Jase has spent a good chunk of two decades studying and working in photography and optics shooting and writing all over the world for big-name brands and media outlets. Now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at Space.com their speciality is in low light optics and camera systems.