Best Telescope Under 500 $ (updated April 2023)

1. Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope (Teal)

Introducing the Orion Grab-and-Go Telescope, a compact yet powerful telescope designed for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts. With its substantial 4.5″ aperture and fast f/4 focal ratio, this telescope provides bright and detailed views of solar system targets like the Moon and planets, as well as wide-field celestial objects like nebulas and star clusters.

The telescope’s low-profile swivel base is shipped pre-assembled, providing smooth altazimuth motion for easy manual targeting and tracking of celestial objects. The 18-inch optical tube and manual focus system ensure sharp and clear images, while the reflex finderscope and EZ Finder II aiming device make it easy to locate and track celestial objects.

The Orion Grab-and-Go Telescope comes with a range of accessories, including 20mm (22.5x power) and 10mm (45x power) 4-element eyepieces, an eyepiece rack, a glare-reducing Moon filter, and Orion’s MoonMap 260. The telescope also includes one lithium ion battery, which is required and included for operation.

Despite its impressive performance, the Orion Grab-and-Go Telescope is remarkably lightweight and compact, weighing just 10.9 pounds fully assembled and standing 21 inches tall when aimed at the zenith. With its combination of portability, ease of use, and impressive optics, this telescope is the perfect choice for anyone looking to explore the wonders of the night sky.

2. Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Introducing the Orion Dobsonian Reflector Telescope, the perfect choice for beginner and intermediate stargazers seeking a high-quality, yet affordable telescope. With a large 6″ aperture and f/8 focal ratio, this telescope provides clear, detailed views of the Moon, planets, and deep-sky objects like nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters.

The Dobsonian mount is stable and easy to use, making navigation a breeze for the entire family. There’s no need to polar align, and the telescope’s smooth motions allow for easy tracking of celestial objects, even at high powers.

The Orion Dobsonian Reflector Telescope comes with a range of accessories, including Plossl eyepieces, a reflex finder scope, and lens coatings made of aluminum and silicon dioxide for enhanced image quality. With a manual focus system and a focal length of 1200mm, this telescope is perfect for anyone looking to explore the night sky in detail.

Weighing in at 34.4 pounds, this telescope is both sturdy and easy to move around. Its large aperture and high-quality optics make it an excellent choice for both beginner and intermediate stargazers who are looking to explore the wonders of the universe.

3. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope (Black)

The Orion SpaceProbe 130ST EQ Reflector Telescope is the perfect tool for any aspiring astronomer. With a 5.1″ aperture and fast f/5 focal ratio, this telescope delivers bright, clear views of the planets, the Moon, and deep-sky objects like galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters.

The SpaceProbe 130ST EQ is designed with a compact optical tube for easy portability, making it a great option for stargazing on the go. The sturdy equatorial mount and adjustable tripod provide smooth, manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects as they migrate across the night sky.

The telescope comes with two Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm) for optimal magnification, as well as a smartphone camera adapter for capturing stunning images. It also includes helpful accessories such as the DeepMap 600 and MoonMap 260, as well as a collimation cap for easy alignment.

With a total weight of just 24.2 pounds, the fully assembled Orion SpaceProbe 130ST EQ Reflector Telescope is easy to transport, making it a great choice for backyard observing or taking on trips to dark sky locations. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced astronomer, this versatile telescope is sure to provide hours of awe-inspiring views.

4. Zhumell Z130 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope

The Zhumell Z130 Telescope is a perfect blend of affordability and convenience for both beginners and seasoned stargazers. Its 130mm objective lens gathers ample light to produce crisp and clear views of celestial objects, including planets, nebulas, and star clusters. The industry-standard 1.25″ focuser is compatible with a variety of accessories, while the included 25mm and 10mm eyepieces allow for easy and versatile magnification adjustments. The easy-to-use red dot finder ensures quick and easy aiming, making the Z130 a great choice for any level of user. Weighing just 18.6 pounds, this compact and lightweight telescope is easily transportable and perfect for taking on-the-go. Plus, it comes with a lithium-ion battery for added convenience.

5. Meade Instruments – Polaris 90mm Aperture, Portable Backyard Refracting Astronomy Telescope for Beginners –Stable German Equatorial (GEM) Manual Mount – Accessories Included – Outdoors Family Fun

The MEADE Polaris telescope is a fantastic instrument for both beginner and intermediate astronomers. With a 70mm objective lens diameter and a focal length of 900mm, it has a focal ratio of f/6.7, and is fully coated for clear, crisp images. The telescope’s stable German Equatorial mount features slow motion controls that allow for smooth and simple tracking of celestial objects.

This telescope comes equipped with low, medium, and high magnification eyepieces (26mm, 9mm, and 6.3mm respectively) to provide a variety of viewing options, as well as a 2x Barlow lens to double the magnifying power of each eyepiece. The included red dot viewfinder helps users point the scope at objects they want to observe, and the accessory tray provides convenient storage for accessories while observing.

In addition to the telescope itself, this package includes Astronomical Software and an Instructional DVD to help users get the most out of their observing experience. With a weight of just 20 pounds, this telescope is easy to transport and set up, and its sleek design and German Equatorial mount make it a stylish and versatile addition to any stargazing setup.

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