Entry-level Telescopes ...

Here we review some of our experiences and offer some recommendations regarding the equipment you may like to invest in as you get more serious about the hobby of astronomy.

Entry-Level Telescopes

            Having access to a telescope can be an important asset.  One can follow the activity of objects in the sky from a back yard at night and you can start to appreciate and be inspired by what is beyond our own planet. Just as you can examine the small life forms in a drop of pond water with a microscope you can also examine the universe beyond our world with a telescope.   A pair of binoculars can show a great deal and are often recommended as the first instrument for examining the sky.  A simple telescope can reveal the moons of Jupiter, Saturn’s rings, greater detail on the moon and other objects in our solar system, our galaxy and beyond.

                One note of caution that has to be emphasized, do not look at the sun with a binocular or telescope as it will cause instant and irreparable damage to your eye.  A magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight onto a dry leaf and burn it.  Any optics will burn your eye if exposed to direct sunlight.

                It is easy to spend a lot of money on astronomy equipment.  We have looked at several telescopes that are relatively inexpensive with the hope that even a simple low cost instrument will spark an interest and a desire to learn more. A camera tripod with an adjustable head or mount on top are required with some of the telescopes we evaluated.                  

Some "Entry-Level" Telescopes


This is an excellent telescope for the money.  Very difficult to obtain and may no longer be available after 2009.  Well designed with very good optics but needs a better eyepiece and some sort of tripod stand and adjustable mount (tripod head) for pointing to different parts of the sky.  It will accept 1.25” eyepieces which are readily available but are an additional expense. 

The Galileoscope has to be assembled before use and on line instructions should be used.

Looking at something high in the sky with this telescope is uncomfortable.


Spica Telescope

 This is a very nice telescope for the money.  It is readily available and has been manufactured  by a Japanese company for many years. Spica has very good optics but relatively small lens and does not accept standard eyepieces.   This telescope requires a tripod with some sort of adjustable head for stability and pointing.

                Spica requires assembly and instructions should be carefully followed.  This telescope’s body is made out of paper and needs to be glued together.  Paper is a concern because items used outside at night get exposed to moisture.

                Looking at something high in the sky with this telescope is uncomfortable.

Spica Telescope


   We looked at this telescope since it was positively reviewed in Sky and Telescope magazine.  It has many nice aspects to it but the optics on the one purchased were poor and so it was returned to the retailer.  In this price range for this type of telescope quality control is likely a problem so you may or may not receive a useable instrument.

Celestron FirstScope