If you’re feeling lost looking through all the telescopes at Best Buy, then this article is for you. We’ve combed through all of them to find the best deals and discounts available, only picking out models that we think are worth the money. (At the moment, there's only one that we rank highly enough to include below.)
In terms of trends this year, we’ve noticed that plenty of the best telescopes for kids are being reduced and there are some hefty discounts appearing on the best telescopes for beginners too. However, the really top spec models that headline our round-up of the best telescopes are mostly retailing for full price. We are keeping an eye on this and will update this page if any more noteworthy telescope deals come to light.
Completely new to telescopes? Scroll down to find some beginner’s buying advice, which outlines the different types available. We’d recommend going with a lower-priced option to begin with — you’ll find plenty of these below, but we also have a handy article on the best budget telescopes for under $500.
Today's best telescope deals at Best Buy
- Not ready for a telescope? Read our best binoculars guide
- More top deals: Telescopes on Amazon
- See the latest discounts: Telescope at Walmart
Celestron StarSense Explorer 130 |
Was: $567 | Now: $399
This Newtonian reflector telescope has $168 knocked off its previous price. It’s currently listed for $567 on Amazon, but Best Buy is offering it for just $399. With a generous 130mm aperture and straightforward alt-azimuth mount, it makes navigating the night sky a breeze. It even works with the handy StarSense app, so you can use your phone to identify stars.
There are three basic types of telescopes: refractors, reflectors and catadioptrics. Refractors are great for highly magnified views of planets and moons, while reflectors offer better views of deep sky objects, star clusters and galaxies. Catadioptric telescopes correct some of the visual problems found in these older styles – such as chromatic aberration – but they tend to be a little more expensive.
Reflectors are usually either Newtonian or Dobsonian in design. Newtonian telescopes are good for a wide range of viewing targets and often useful for astrophotography – however, they require a lot of maintenance and can be complicated to set up, whereas Dobsonians are more straightforward.
This type of telescope is ideal for beginners, offering a straight-forward assembly and lower price point. They do, however, tend to suffer from chromatic aberration, where bright objects appear to have a kind of halo. This doesn't ruin the viewing experience, so don't let this put you off too much.
Catadioptric telescopes fall into two broad categories: Maksutov-Cassegrain and Schmidt-Cassegrain. Schmidt-Cassegrains traditionally have bigger apertures, while Maksutov-Cassegrains usually have small apertures. As such, the Schmidt-Cassegrain is usually better for astrophotography and for broader views, while the Maksutov-Cassegrain is great for sharp views of planets and moons. Both types often come with a computerized GoTo system, which can work out which way the telescope is pointing and automatically adjust it to align with chosen targets.
Choosing a telescope
With all these variations, it can be tricky to figure out which telescope is best for you. We recommend taking two main things into consideration: personal budget and what you’d prefer to view in the night sky.
Lower budget models will usually be reflector or refractor telescopes, while catadioptrics are more expensive. If you’d prefer high magnification views of planets and moons, go for either a refractor or a Maksutov-Cassegrain design. For views of deep sky objects, star clusters and galaxies, opt for a reflector or a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. And if you need more detailed guidance, have a look through our piece on the best telescopes, which goes into more detail on all of the above.