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Telescope deals: Top picks from Celestron, Sky-Watcher and others

Telescope Deals: Image shows man with telescope against twilight background.
(Image credit: Getty)

We're just round the corner from Christmas and plenty of telescope deals have landed in time for the occasion. If you’re looking for a user-friendly model to gift to a budding astronomer, you’re in luck, as plenty of the best telescopes for beginners and best telescopes for kids have been discounted in the sales.

Below, you’ll find a mix of refractor, reflector and catadioptric telescopes that are currently reduced. Some of these telescopes are really cheap right now, so they’re ideal as a kind of stocking filler. Unfortunately, not a lot of high-spec telescopes are discounted at the moment, but we’re keeping an eye on sales and will update this page continually.

Need a bit more guidance? Have a look through our ultimate round-up of the best telescopes, which contains helpful advice on the different types of optics used in telescopes and what to look for when you’re buying. Or, for more cheap options, scroll through our list of the best budget telescopes for under $500.  

Related: Celestron telescope deals | Sky-Watcher telescope deals | Meade telescope deals | Orion telescope deals

Today's best US telescope deals

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 102AZ: $599.99

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 102AZ: $599.99 $399.95 at Adorama
There’s just over 30% off this refractor scope, which is another model from Celestron that works in tandem with the helpful StarSense app. Prices on this model have actually been as high as $599.95 in recent months thanks to stock issues, so this represents a really good price for a telescope that boasts a wide field of view and bright images. 

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130A: $599.95

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130A: $599.95 $399.95 at Adorama
There’s $200 off this excellent reflector model from Celestron, which we were really impressed with when we tried it out in October. It offers clear, crisp views and is excellent for spotting galaxies, nebulas, planets and star clusters. This is another model that has seen huge price hikes recently, retailing for above $700, so this is a decent price for a popular unit. 

Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ refractor: $179.95

Celestron AstroMaster 70EQ refractor: $179.95 $149 at B&H
There’s just over $30 off this Celestron refractor telescope; while it’s currently on back order on the brand’s own website, it’s in stock at B&H. Another beginner-friendly option, it comes with two eyepieces and a red dot finder.

Celestron Signature Series Moon by Robert Reeves FirstScope 76: $59.95

Celestron Signature Series Moon by Robert Reeves FirstScope 76: $59.95 $43.99.
Featuring an exquisite design by lunar imager Robert Reeves, you can save big on this FirstScope 76 this Cyber Monday. Supplied with eyepieces, its portable design makes it ideal for kids, while the 76 mm aperture is great for touring the moon, planets and bright deep-sky objects.   


Sky-Watcher 8" Flextube 200P: $629.95 $575 at Adorama

The Sky-Watcher 8-inch Flextube 200P is an excellent instrument for capturing distant galaxies, nebulas and "nearby" solar system targets. Supplied with a finderscope, eyepieces and adapter. Save 9% at Adorama today.

Celestron Inspire 70AZ

Celestron Inspire 70AZ: $267.95 $189.95 at Adorama

Skywatchers can save $78 on this great beginners telescope. Supplied with a full range of accessories, including a smartphone adapter for basic astrophotography, accessory tray and eyepieces. 

Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ: $54.95

Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ: $54.95 $44.95 at B&H Photo

Featuring a simple-to-use alt-azimuth mount for quick set up, the PowerSeeker 50AZ boasts slow motion controls for accurate pointing. Save over $10 at Amazon and you'll also receive multiple accessories including 3 eyepieces (20 mm, 12 mm, 4 mm and 1.5x image-erecting eyepiece), star diagonal, finderscope and 3x Barlow lens.

Celestron 114AZ-SR | $179.99

Celestron 114AZ-SR | $179.99  $103.99 at Kohl's

A great beginner telescope, with an easy-to-use alt-azimuth mount and a compact light design, the Celestron 114AZ Smartphone Ready reflector is perfect for anyone new to skywatching. Supplied with eyepieces and everything you need for a successful night under the stars.

Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ: $129.95

Celestron AstroMaster LT 70AZ: $129.95 $78 at Walmart
There's a significant saving of $51.95 available on this refractor telescope, which is perfect for beginners keen to observe the moon and planets. It features an alt-azimuth mount, which makes it easier to use over equatorial models, and comes with two eyepieces.

Today's best UK deals

Sky-Watcher Heritage-130P FlexTube (UK): £205

Sky-Watcher Heritage-130P FlexTube (UK): £205 £175 at Wex Photo Video
Save £30 on this simple, beginner-friendly scope from Sky-Watcher. It offers up to 406x magnification and has a decent 130mm aperture. What’s more, it has a foldable design that means you can pack it away for family camping trips and more. 

Sky-Watcher Explorer-130 EQ2 (UK): £225

Sky-Watcher Explorer-130 EQ2 (UK): £225 £189 at Wex Photo Video
Save £36 on Sky-watcher’s excellent Explorer telescope, which features an equatorial mount and 130mm aperture. The reflector telescope is perfect for new astronomers who are interested in spotting deep-sky targets, along with the moon and planets. 

Sky-Watcher Skyliner-200P (UK): £419

Sky-Watcher Skyliner-200P (UK): £419 £369 at Wex Photo Video
You can save £50 on this grab-and-go style scope, which requires minimum set-up from users. It has an aperture of slightly over 200mm, so this represents fantastic value in terms of how much light you can gather with this little telescope.  

Cyber Monday telescope deals: Finding the right one for you

When you're buying a telescope, the first thing you need to consider is how you're going to use it. If you're planning on checking out large targets like the Milky Way and the Orion Nebula, you'll want to pick up something with a short focal length of around 20 inches (500 mm). 

If you're trying to get closer views of the planets and stars, you should opt for a longer focal length, ideally around 80inches (2000mm.) This focal length is, roughly speaking, decided by the length of the telescope, so a shorter telescope will give you a wider field of view while a longer one will give you a smaller one. On top of this, you'll also have to decide what type of telescope you want: a refractor, reflector, or a catadioptric model. 

Refractor telescopes are great for beginners, as they're easy to assemble and to 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

Meade StarNavigator NG 114

(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. Both models are great for beginners and – crucially – very reasonably priced.

Dobsonian telescope deals

Orion SkyScanner 100

(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

Orion Observer II 70 telescope

(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. 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.

Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope deals

Sky-Watcher SkyMax 150 telescope

(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 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. 

Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope deals

Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25

(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 star gazing 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.

Kids' telescope deals

Celestron FirstScope 76 Telescope

(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.

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Ruth Gaukrodger

Ruth has worked across both print and online media for five years, contributing to national newspaper titles and popular tech sites. She has held a number of journalist roles alongside more senior editorial positions, and is currently acting as a commissioning editor for