Following comets can be a lot of fun, but only if you have the right equipment. Having the wrong equipment when a comet passes will make you miss out on the most invigorating moment of your life.
It can be frustrating to drop a lot of money on a scope and not have it do the most basic functionality.
This is why this list is so important and will guide you in choosing a telescope that is perfect for viewing comets.
- 1. Orion 8296 10-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope
- 2. Orion 10149 StarBlast 62mm Compact Travel Refractor Telescope
- 3. Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope
- 4. Bushnell NorthStar 900x114mm Motorized “Go To” Reflector Telescope
- 5. Orion SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
- 6. Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
- 7. Orion Limited Edition SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Bundle
- 8. Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
- 9. Celestron COSMOS 90GT WiFi Telescope
1. Orion 8296 10-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope
As one of the highest priced telescopes on the list, the Orion 8296 10-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope is also the most professional looking product you’ll lay eyes on.
Buyers of this magnificent product will get an eyeful of deep space, further than any other scope on the list. It is a 10 inch astrograph that offers the most detailed images available for a scope of its size.
The deep space viewing doesn’t cheapen out when it comes to angles, and users will get as wide a view as possible thanks to the f/3.9 focal ratio. As is, the telescope is futureproof and will last all the way up to the expert level without missing a beat.
With the aluminum coatings on both the primary and secondary mirror you’ll be granted improved reflectivity, easily beating out telescopes in the same price range when it comes to detail.
To put a number on the reflectivity, you’re looking at a powerful 94%, enough to completely demolish the competition. An 11:1 ratio with the 2 inch dual speed low profile Crayford focuser gives you focus faster and clearer so you’re not wasting time scanning the galaxy.
And with an extended tube length of 7.5 inches, it has enough natural and optimized light gathering features to give you the best results day or night. It doesn’t get much better than this, which is why it isn’t surprising that this is the best offer on the list.
2. Orion 10149 StarBlast 62mm Compact Travel Refractor Telescope
Orion strikes again with this high priced telescope that goes down as the prettiest looking black product on the list. Its sleek and well-designed enough that experts may want to take a look at it if they are in the market for a replacement.
On the powerside of things users can expect the 62mm refractor to be just enough for what they need to view the stars. But the essence of this product is not in its power but its portability, in which case it beats out all the other products on this list.
It works great as a backup or as a main telescope for when you’re away from the house and don’t want to pack up your bigger telescope. Since it only has a 62mm refractor, it makes up for it by providing crisp details using the 4 element lens system.
Pictures will be sharp and bright, and some may even come out clearer than if you was using your more powerful scope at home. The same technology works even in daytime, and does not falter or need expensive add-ons to make it more powerful.
Included in the package is a smooth Crawford focuser with a hard case and 20mm and 4mm Plossl eyepiece. Considering the portability of the product and the fact that it comes with a carrying case, this is one of the better deals on the list and in the top 5.
3. Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope
Not to be left behind is the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope, another high priced telescope with some good technical features. It is available in 102 SLT Refractor, 127 SLT Maksutov, 130 SLT Newtonian and 90 SLT Maksutov.
With all of these styles users can get exactly what they want, which makes this the most versatile buy on the list. So if you like this particular telescope but don’t like the styling there are plenty more to choose from within the same NexStar model.
Using the hand control you can view over 40,000 preset objects in its database. And combining that with the SkyAlign software means you can align to any 3 bright celestial objects, giving you an entire galaxy to play with.
There is a lot of content with just the built in options, so imagine how long it would take if you had to do it manually. With the motorized Altazimuth mount it takes a lot of the stress out of aligning and properly setting the scope when you find something you like within view.
Focal ratio is f5 while the length is 650mm, giving you an incredibly deep view with all of the close up detail that users have come to expect from Celestron products. Worth its weight in gold and more, this is one telescope that you don’t want to sleep on.
4. Bushnell NorthStar 900x114mm Motorized “Go To” Reflector Telescope
Bushnell takes a stab at the telescope market with the high priced Bushnell NorthStar 900x114mm Motorized “Go To” Reflector Telescope, one of the better ones on the list so far. Promising HD clarity and detail, the optics on this scope are truly out of this world.
The materials used in this build are similar to what Bushnell uses in its cameras and it explains why the images come out so crisp compared to the other telescopes on the list.
Not happy with just providing a great image the company offered up a unique design that ranks pretty high on the looking good list, and is unique enough that it stands out from the rest of the telescopes on the market.
This 645 millimeter x 4.5 inch telescope uses a Barlow lens for its great magnification feature, and so the user isn’t stressed out with finding spots in the sky they can lean on the GoTo technology using the remote control.
This built in computer system has a database of over 20,000 celestial objects, leaving you with hundreds of hours of places to look at in the sky. Magnification levels are superb and are offered at levels of 45x, 135x, 225x and 675x.
An included red dot LED finderscope would be the icing on the cake if they hadn’t included the much loved Real Voice Output feature with the computerized portion of the telescope.
Granted it isn’t Siri or Cortana, it is still the most killer feature on this very surprising product from Bushnell. Included is an accessory tray, 4 and 20 millimeter eyepieces and a quick release tripod.
Up to the quality levels of the cameras they provide, Bushnell now offers a top 5 telescope in the market.
5. Orion SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian Reflector Telescope
The high priced SkyQuest XT8 Plus is a deluxe version of the hot product known as the original XT8. There are a lot of extras included in this one that improve on the quality of the original product that was already great.
Using a metallic blue finish on the optical tube will leave many think you paid double the price. And with the redesign of the base it is a lot more flexible and easier to handle altitude adjustments.
Just using the altitude tension knob a couple of times will do the trick, and it is as precise as you are going to get for the money. That pesky secondary mirror that can be a hassle to adjust on reflector scopes is a lot easier on this model since it is thumbscrew adjustable.
No tools are necessary for the process, so anytime you need to make minor adjustments it isn’t that big of a hassle. With the power of the 2 inch dual speed Crayford focuser you’ll find planets quicker and in a more precise manner.
Accessories bundled with the unit are a 2 inch 28mm Deepview eyepiece, EZ Finder II reflex sight, collimation cap, a Saftey Film Solar Filter and a Shorty 2x Barlow. The eyepiece rack that they threw in will also come in handy when you’re traveling and taking the product with you.
One of the highest recommended telescopes on the list, the upgraded SkyQuest XT8 Plus is a great buy.
6. Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
Coming in at the medium price point is the Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope, a fabulous inclusion to the list due to its reputation for having all of the essentials correct. Night sky objects are easier to track with the EQ-1 equatorial telescope mount.
Whether moving fast or slow, the effortless motion you’ll get with the telescope when tracking objects in the sky is buttery smooth and highly efficient. Once you master the slow motion controls there is nothing in the sky that you won’t be able to accurately follow.
Blazingly fast f/4 optics arrange the image so that you get the widest and longest shots, all in one go. This is a plus when stargazing and looking for celestial objects in the sky.
The more you see, the less hunting around you have to do to find specific objects. The Expanse telescope eyepieces are key in getting a clear detailed look at the Andromeda galaxy and beyond.
Learning to use it properly will grant great benefits at specific times in the night where certain moons are rotating. With so many great features it works well for beginners and intermediate users, and with a few updates can possibly work for experts too.
This is one scope that can do it all if you take care of it, and is worth more than its medium price tag. Make sure to pick it up while it is still available and you won’t be disappointed with the purchase.
7. Orion Limited Edition SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Bundle
Second to last on the list is the Orion Limited Edition SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Bundle, a limited edition ruby-red product with an 8 inch aperture. Included in the bundle is a 35mm DeepView 2 inch telescope eyepiece with a 1.25 inch Shorty Barlow lens.
This has the most comprehensive set that you’ll get out of any product on this list when it comes to view configurations. It keeps it easy so that it isn’t too complex for the beginner, but if need be intermediate users and experts can crank up the power.
You’ll have access to any comet within range of this telescope, and with it taking advantage of advanced light gathering techniques customers will get a fuller picture of the galaxy during the process.
Nebulas will no longer look like faint sparks, but will have a lot more life to them if you view through this telescope. And because of the size this scope can be used away from the home with ease, and not just in your office from the window.
Other accessories with the purchase are the EZ Finder II sight, a collimation map, the infamous Starry Night software and a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece.
Everything you need is included with the bundle, and it can be used for years without worry of rapid degradation. Even if this wasn’t a limited edition, it would be worth buying just for the features alone.
8. Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
Last on the list is this medium priced reflector telescope from Orion, in a very eye catching metallic green color. Using various controls including slow motion, you’ll be able to fully manipulate the EQ-1 mount to track moving objects in the night sky like comets and stars.
The controls are easy to master and the setup is sturdy enough to where slight movements won’t make you lose sight of the comet. F/4 optics take advantage of both short and deep viewing so that you get a better view of the big picture rather than having to concentrate on just one little spot.
Once you find an object you want to center on you’ll be a few seconds away from bringing it in closer and into a better detailed view.
The Expanse telescope eyepieces give you a 66 degree apparent field of view, enhancing the overall experience greatly. This feature will be most apparent when you view the galaxy, an image that will leave you breathless the first time around.
Beginners and intermediate users can enjoy this telescope, with beginner astronomers able to grasp the advanced feature in a matter of minutes. This is going to be one of the easier telescopes to use if you want to view the better part of space without spending a lot of money.
And with its easy to manipulate movement features, there is little chance that you will miss anything important, no matter what time of the day or night. The last and one of the best, users will love this telescope as their main go to product.
9. Celestron COSMOS 90GT WiFi Telescope
Innovation is key with this high priced scope, as the Celestron COSMOS 90GT Wi-Fi Telescope becomes the first telescope to introduce Wi-Fi features. If you have an IPhone, IPad or android device you can operate your telescope with the free COSMOS Celestron Navigator app.
This intuitive app lets you completely control the telescope so you don’t have to bother with precise movements on small or larger objects. Besides easing the hassle of accuracy, it speeds up the finding of new and known phenomena when you’re stargazing.
This is also a collector’s item and features a COSMOS eye nebula badging with a 3D Spaceship on the fork arm.
The design of the spaceship is of the Spaceship of the Imagination, an infamous image in the community. Using the powerful 90mm refractor, the fully coated glass optics give you complete rule over the sky so that you can view stationary objects just as good as moving ones.
Enjoy wide angled viewing and deep space views all with a single telescope. If you tend to lose a lot of things while stargazing then the accessory tray will come in handy, and can even hold a tablet or a smartphone.
The app combined with the StarPointer finderscope will help you track down just about anything you want in the sky. Probably the most advanced telescope on the list, buyers shouldn’t overlook its great features.
Remember that comet chasing is an actual hobby! Don’t be afraid to join up with the many groups that comet chase so that you don’t miss out on any of the bigger ones.
Several groups gather across the world and make it a stargazing party whenever a big one is about to pass. They keep an updated list online and on several boards so that you never have to guess when the next comet sighting will happen.
Joining a group is fun and easy, and highly recommended if you want to make the most out of your hobby.
It’s now easier than ever to catch a comet in the sky, but that doesn’t mean you can forget the most important part of the process; a good telescope.
Having a good telescope will go a long way in ensuring that you aren’t wasting your time when the next big one rolls around.