Best Telescope for Viewing Planets

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Best Telescope for Viewing Planets | Comparison of 10 Products

Human being has been exploring skies for thousands of years but still, there is a world beyond the stars.  Many researches have been done but still much more is there to explore. The subject Astronomy is almost as old as the human being is. The success in studying the stars starts with the invention of the first telescope. Inclusion of modern and more powerful telescopes continued and the human being explored the new worlds beyond the stars. Even the scientists have discovered the black hole and trying to search beyond this. No doubt, it became possible with the help of the best telescopes.

There is no institute in the world without a telescope where studies on stars and planets are conducted. Whether it is a basic school or high-level research institute, the telescope is the first important equipment for astronomical studies. Even the trend of buying telescopes for kids has also been increased because the people want their kids to start exploring skies from the beginning. In this post of best telescope for viewing planets, I have selected the top 10 optics for different categories of users. Usually, it becomes confusing for the new customers to decide which telescope will suit him/her. Along with personal use, I have also highlighted the scopes for institute level use. I hope, it will help you to buy a suitable device. I wait for your kind feedback and comments so that I would be able to improve my future selections.

What do you see in the best Telescope for Viewing Planets?

The purpose of buying telescope may vary with different customers. I have considered s few customers and their needs. It will help you to select a suitable telescope out of this selection.

  1. Portability: Portability is the very first factor for buying a telescope for planet viewing. Usually, the researchers are conducted in dark place to avoid the interference of city lights. When looking for portability, also calculate the weight of all the accessories along with telescope.
  2. Modifiable: usually, the customers ignore this factor while buying a telescope. However, the experienced customer always looks for upgrading options. Every invention gets older within few months or years. You need further high power lenses and other accessories. The best telescope allows you replacing the old components with latest versions.
  3. Budget: Budget is very important factor for every customer. Usually, the individual customer bears low budget as compared to institution and groups. I have working on products comparison since 2011. Since I know, there may be a little price different between two similar products. This is because of high competition in the markets. It is simple that a low price product never competes a high cost product regarding features, qualities, and performance. However, you see your budget. If your budget allows, select the best telescope that will comparatively cost high.
  4. Nature of use: You areas of interest do also matter for selecting the telescopes. If you are interested in viewing stars, moon, Jupiter, mars or other planets of our solar system, a low range can suffice your needs that will also cost low. However, if you are interested in viewing deep sky, stars, galaxies and nebulae, you will need the best telescope with large aperture and focal length.

QUICK COMPARISON OF TOP 10 BEST TELESCOPES FOR VIEWING PLANETS

This drop-down list of the best telescope for viewing planets is based on the focal length and aperture size. Moreover, I have placed the costly telescopes on the top of the list because I believe that costly product is always better than cheap. However, the cheap products of this comparison table are not low quality but they are low in capability. That is why; I recommend the initial telescopes for research institutions and the middle order products for small institutions like schools and colleges. At the end of this comparison table, I have added two telescopes under $1000 that are ideal for individual use.

S NOBest Telescope for Viewing PlanetsApertureFocal LengthFocal RatioRatingPrice
1Meade Instruments Advanced Coma-Free Telescope305mm3048mmf/104.3CHECK PRICE
2Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt Telescope280mm2800mmf/104.2CHECK PRICE
3Orion EON 85mm ED-X2 f/6.6 Triplet Apo Refractor Telescope85mm560mmf/6.60CHECK PRICE
4Meade LX85 Astrograph, Astronomical Telescope 152mm1504mmf/100CHECK PRICE
5Orion 10023 SkyQuest Telescope305mm1500mmf/4.94.7CHECK PRICE
6Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm Doublet APO Telescope120mm900mmf/7.54.6CHECK PRICE
7Orion 10031 EON 110mm ED Refractor Telescope110mm660mmf/6.05CHECK PRICE
8Celestron - NexStar 8SE Telescope 203mm2032mmf/104.3CHECK PRICE
9Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO Telescope100mm900mmf/94.6CHECK PRICE
10Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Equatorial Telescope120mm600mmf/54.7CHECK PRICE

Short Review of 10 Best Telescopes for Viewing Planets

1. Meade Instruments Advanced Coma-Free Telescope

Meade LX200 is the best telescope for viewing planets, nebulae, and galaxies. With large 12-inch aperture and 3048mm focal length, Meade Advanced optics is the choice of astronomers. Usually, the astronomers use the coma-free telescope like Meade LX200 for astronomy studies. The technology used in Meade optics is the same as Ritchey Chretien (RC) including NASA’s Hubble space telescopes. The customers who are searching for the optics for professional use or want to get a device just like professional users have the best options to choose Meade LX200. GPS, Primary mirror lock, and smart Drive features of LX200 are field-proven features that distinguish this product from other optics of this category.

The seller offers the product along with all the tools and accessories you want to have in a telescope to view planets. The strong double fork mount included in the package provides full support keeping the optics stable even during high winds. The stable mount is responsible for a stable and clear view ideal for observatory missions. The scope also provides quick and precise star alignment with the North Technology system featured with a 16-channel GPD receiver. Meade LX200 is the best telescope for viewing planets from all aspects. Amazon customers have rated this optic with 4.3 stars, large aperture/ focal length, advanced features, and customer rating support this scope. That is why, if you want to buy the best telescope for professional use, Meade LX200-ACF may be your first choice.

Important features

  • Heavy duty double fork mount
  • Primary mirror locking mechanism
  • Precise and quick star alignment
  • North technology alignment system
  • Aplanatic (coma-free) optical system 
  • GPS receiver

2. Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt

Celestron CPC 1100 stands second in this dropdown list of astrophotography telescopes. The fully computerized built-in GPS scope with an 11-inch aperture is the innovative telescope for professional and advanced users. Built-in GPS automatically selects the latitudes and longitudes without any cell assistance. The 9×50 finder-scope enables the user to find and stabilize the objects quickly. Dual fork Altazimuth mount keeps the optics stable during observatory missions. The product has been made with easy portability in mind. The ergonomic design allows quick assembling and dissembling while moving for different locations. The fully compatible tripod allows quick and easy mounting even during the dark. 

SkyAlign feature makes very simple aligning with the telescope. You just need to center any of the three bright objects in the eyepiece and to hit align. After that, CPC can pinpoint thousands of objects you want to align with. Celestron CPC 1100 telescope has been finished with StarBright coating that enhances the light transmission resulting in brighter and sharper image quality. The seller offers this astrophotography telescope along with genuine tripod especially manufactured for Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright telescope. All the relevant accessories along with tray are also part of the package. Ergonomic design and lightweight are good features regarding portability. The product maintains a good rating at Amazon. More than 80 customers have rated this Celestron astrophotography telescope with 4.1 stars. This product is also best for professionals who need the best telescope for astronomy studies.

Important features

  • Fully Computerized dual Fork arm altazimuth mount 
  • Ergonomic design
  • Information hands free view
  • NexRemote telescope control software
  • Hand-figured optical systems.

3. Orion EON 85mm ED-X2 f/6.6 Triplet Apo Refractor Telescope

Orion EON 85mm ED-X2 optics stands above the average telescopes of this range. Making position in the middle order telescopes of this list, Orion EON 85mm ED-X2 is the best optics under the $2000 category. Orion EON 85mm includes two elements of extra-low dispersion glass that enhance the visual performance of the scope. A low focal ratio with high focal length projects a wide field of view. This feature is good for observatory and astronomy studies. The rotatable 2-inch hybrid drive focuser and dual-speed controller allows precise movement and prevents slippage. Moreover, two ED glasses produce a true color field with high contrast and clarity. Moreover, the fully multicoated ED glasses produce a clear and correct view of chromatic and spherical aberrations. 

 

With f/6.6 focal ratio, Orion EON 85mm is the best telescope for viewing planets and stars because of a wide visual field. The wide visual field is also good for photographic use. The best multiple internal baffles of Orion EON 85mm scope prevents reflection of the light off-axis and generates excellent contrast. The under $2000 planetary viewing telescope is a good beginner as well as professional users. The price also supports Orion EON 85mm optics both the high as well as middle-level observatory wings. The product is available at Amazon since 2003 but I could not find any review and rating yet. Either the seller could not reach any customer or customers did not consider it necessary to leave their feedback against the product. Anyhow, Orion maintains a good reputation in manufacturing different types of optics and Orion 85mm ED-X2 f/6.6 stands on the top of the EON telescope series.

Important features

  • Exceptional visual and astrophotographic performance
  • Wide-field imaging and observation
  • Imaging gear without slippage
  • Exquisite true-color views 
  • Superior correction of chromatic and spherical aberrations
  • Optimize imaging or observing convenience

4. Meade LX85 Astronomical Telescope with AudioStar

Meade LX85 Astronomical Telescope is one of the best middle-range optics with an f/6 focal ratio. The average focal ratio is good for astrograph and imaging. Most of the Meade telescopes have been designed with an observation of stars and galaxies in mind. Although, LX85 is a low-performance telescope as compared to Meade LX200 still it suffice the needs of observatory missions. Equatorial mount with 2.5-inch dual rack and pinion focuser provides a comfortable and stable position. Meade LX85 is recommended to be mounted on GOTO strong tripod capable of holding up to 33lbs. The strong and stable GOTO mount ensures a smooth and stable position that results in the enhancement of tracking the performance of the scope. 

The unique and innovative AudioStar Handbox allows easy and quick access to over 30,000 objects. With the help of the Audiostar hand controller, you can view the objects by pressing a simple button. Audiostar remote access enables telescope operation from a distant location. Like other products of Meade, LX85 Astronomical Telescope also comes along with accessories and carrying case. The hard aluminum case allows safe storage along with easy portability. The product is available at Amazon since July 2019 by this seller but I could not see any review against this particular product. However, Meade is a trusted and well-reputed company in the telescope industry. If features and specifications suffice your needs than Meade LX85 is the best telescope to view planets for you.

Important features

  • Ultra fine focus control
  • Fully multi-coated optical coatings
  • Smooth tracking performance
  • Easy access
  • Educational functions such as multiple guided tours
  • Extremely low dispersion

5.        Orion 10023 SkyQuest Truss Dobsonian Telescope

Orion 10023 SkyQuest is a large-sized parabolic telescope that absorbs plenty of light and projects a clear and precise view. This power-saving computerized telescope locates about 14000 celestial objects. 12-inch size large aperture provides extreme comfort and stable viewing position. Although the scope is large, still it is easy to transport. The best computerized telescope produces good results for viewing planets and moon. Due to the large aperture, you can also use Orion 10023 SkyQuest optics for viewing deep space, sparkling star clusters, and faint galaxies. Orion 10023 SkyQuest optics is also helpful for the professional sky observers who want to study cloudy nebulas and space objects. Orion has designed this computerized telescope with easy portability in mind. The Truss-tube design of this computerized telescope enables you to disassemble the scope quickly. Azimuth bearing and 8” altitude bearings provide smooth movement of the scope. Smooth and easy movement is ideal for tracking the celestial objects manually.

 

Dual speed Crayford focuser, 9×50 finder scope, and deep view 2” eyepieces along with 1.25” eyepieces are also available with the package. Moreover, you also get a cooling accelerator fan, eyepiece rack, and collimation cap in the same package. Moreover, the night software and many other relevant accessories are also part of the deal. Currently, seven customers have reviewed and rated Orion 10023 SkyQuest with 4.7 stars. The professional users find mid-range optics or beginners searching for the best telescope can achieve the desired objectives by Orion 10023 SkyQuest. 

Important features

  • Easy transport to any observing site
  • Manual tracking of celestial objects
  • A big but easily transportable
  • Dobsonian reflector with power-saving 
  • Dual-speed
  • Computerized IntelliScope object locating technology

6. Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm Doublet APO

Sky-Watcher is one of the best companies that manufacture out class optics. Mostly, the company focuses on optics and accessories used for viewing planets and stars. That is why; every new product comes with upgraded features that help the astronomers to go ahead and explore the secret of space. Sky-Watcher Doublet APO refractor telescope is also a mid-range product that works perfectly for exploring the planetary surface. High resolution with 3D like HD view gives a clear picture of the planet surface that is needed for deep planetary studies. Tight globular star clusters like M13 makes Sky-Watcher ProED the next generation scope for deep space studies. Velvet black background effect differentiates galaxies, nebulas, and open clusters due to brilliant contrast.

Light baffled optical system installed in Sky-Watcher ProED prevents entry of unfocused light in the view field. Flat blackened drawtube provides maximum contrast up to the focal plane. HD view and brilliant contrast up to the focal plane make this telescope ideal for planetary surface studies and deep space observations. The consumer price and features both support this Sky-Watcher telescope. The professional, as well as a beginner, can get equal benefits of this scope. Additionally, the Amazon customer rating also supports Sky-Watcher ProED.

Important features

  • Light-Baffled Optical Systems
  • Ultra-fine focusing adjustments
  • High resolution
  • Ensure optimum contrast
  • Lesser optical capability
  • High-fidelity astronomical imaging
  • Fabricating techniques

7. Orion 10031 EON Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

Orion 10031 EON is also a mid-range telescope for planetary studies and deep-sky observations. Such telescopes are commonly used in most of the institutions for monitoring the movements of planets and moon. This beautifully crafted refractor scope has been manufactured with a 4.3” aperture and air-spaced doublet lens FPL-51 ED glass. With the f/6 focal ratio, the optics produces a fairly fast and correct visual field. The optimally positioned three knife-edge baffles prevent off-axis glares. This feature enhances the contrast effects of the viewing field. Dual speed hybrid-drive focuser prevents slippage and supports up to 17 lbs weight on the mount.

The features and consumer price both support Orion 10031 EON. This under $2000 telescope is a cheap product for the institution conducting astronomy studies. Moreover, the individual user can choose Orion 10031 EON optics because of affordable price. Here I cannot rely on the customer’s rating because only two customers have rated this scope at Amazon. However, the advantage of good specifications and vendor credibility goes to Orion 10031 EON.

Important features

  • Outstanding color correction
  • Glare to ensure excellent contrast
  • Hefty imaging gear trains 
  • Great wide-field astrophotography
  • Ensure excellent contrast

8. Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope

NexStar 8SE is the cheapest telescope under $2000. This computerized telescope is the best mid-range optics for planetary viewing and deep space studies. With advanced features and fabulous design, NexStar 8SE stands up in the list of best telescopes for viewing planets and stars. This multipurpose scope is equally beneficial for professionals and beginners. Even the kids can also use the optics with little or no assistance. NexStar 8SE is one of the most popular and demanding optics. If you know telescope then you may also know Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope. NexStar 8SE shows the hot selling trend at Amazon. More than 270 customers have rated this Celestron optics with 4.3 stars. With 270 reviews, NexStar 8SE stands first concerning sale and customer comments. The product is best recommended for individual users who want the best but affordable all-purpose telescope.

Important features

  • Celestron’s iconic orange tube design
  • Automatically locates and tracks objects
  • Easy to assemble and break down
  • Enough light-gathering ability to observe the best
  • Database of more than 40,000 celestial objects
  • Compatible with the high-tech accessories
  • Automatic alignment functionality

9. Sky-Watcher ProED 100mm Doublet APO

ProED 100mm is the second affordable optics of this top 10 product comparison. This Sky-Watcher telescope has been manufactured with planetary viewing needs in mind. The fabulous design and mounting features fully support the product and make it ideal for viewing planets and moon. With the f/9 focal ratio, the optics provide a clear and wide view field. The multicoated lens prevents the entrance of glare in the view field that results in good contrast and high resolution. Dual speed Crayford type focuser with 1.25” standard adapter allows smooth and fast movement of the scope.

 

The seller did not add enough information about the product but the vendor stands behind the product and ensures the serviceability and quality. David Shen, the founder of Sky-Watcher Company did never compromise on the quality of the product. The sales trend at Amazon is satisfactory. A total of 64 customers have reviewed and rated this telescope with overall 4.6 stars to date. ProED 100mm Doublet APO is a good option for the individual users who want the best telescope under $1000. Moreover, the small institutions that need the scope for beginner’s orientation can also opt for this product. 

Important features

  • Light-Baffled Optical Systems
  • Metallic High-Transmission Lens Coatings
  • Virtually Eliminates Residual Chromatic Aberration
  • Ultimate Imaging Instruments
  • Telescope Tube Attachment Hardware

10. Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Equatorial

Orion 9005 Equatorial is the cheapest optics of this telescope comparison. The scope is not only cheap but also includes fabulous features and qualities. Widefield refractor telescope supports viewing through deep sky objects. The user can observe the movements of stars and galaxies using Orion 9005 optics. Moreover, the detailed view of a planetary surface can be observed with this scope. Orion 9005 AstroView is compatible with standard height-adjustable tripods. The equatorial mount allows manual slow-motion helping in tracking celestial movements. The internal polar alignment features enable precise performance.

The seller offers this product along with tripod and accessories. Moreover, you also get two Sirius Ploss, 1.25” eyepieces and 6×30 finder scope. 2” rack focuser, 90-degree mirror star diagonal, and Starry Night astronomy software are also the part of seller’s package. You have a ready to use refractor scope under $1000. Amazon customer reviews and ratings also support this affordable telescope. The professional as a good beginner can use this telescope to view planets, moon, and movements of stars. 

Important features

  • Crisp resolution
  • Bearing material- Friction bearings
  • Manual slow-motion celestial tracking 
  • Internal polar alignment scope
  • Starry Night astronomy software
  • Automatic alignment functionality
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