Why you need a travel telescope?
A travel telescope is a compact and lightweight design telescope that is perfect for taking on the go. Whether you’re heading out on a camping trip, a road trip, or a trip abroad, a travel telescope is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the night sky wherever you are.
One of the key benefits of a travel telescope is its portability. Unlike larger telescopes, a travel telescope is small enough to fit easily in a backpack or suitcase, making it easy to take with you on your travels. This means you can enjoy stargazing on your own terms, without the need to lug around a heavy and bulky telescope.
Another advantage of a travel telescope is its versatility. Most travel telescopes are designed to be used for both terrestrial and astronomical viewing. This means you can use your telescope to see distant objects on the ground, such as wildlife or landscapes, as well as objects in the night sky, such as stars and planets.
In addition, many travel telescopes are easy to set up and use, making them a great option for beginners and experienced stargazers alike. With a travel telescope, you can enjoy the wonders of the night sky no matter where your travels take you.
5 Points to consider before purchasing a portable telescope for travel:
Size and weight: When traveling, it’s important to choose a compact telescope that is lightweight, so it’s easy to transport and doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage.
Optical quality: The quality of the telescope’s optics, such as the lens or mirror, will affect the clarity and detail of the images you see. Be sure to look for a telescope with high-quality optics to get the best viewing experience.
Mount type: The mount is the support structure that holds the telescope in place. Different types of mounts are better suited to different situations, so consider the type of travel you’ll be doing and choose a mount that is appropriate for your needs.
Compatibility with accessories: If you want to use additional accessories, such as filters or a camera, with your telescope, be sure to check that they are compatible with the model you are considering.
Price: Telescopes price starts from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, so I recommend setting a budget and looking for a telescope that fits within it. Consider the features and performance you need, and look for a telescope that offers the best value for your money.
My list of the top 5 travel telescopes
Celestron Travelscope 70 Telescope Kit
The best travel telescope for beginner – $75
The Celestron Travelscope is a compact and portable telescope that is perfect for travel. It has a 70mm aperture and 10mm and 20mm eyepieces. So it provides decent views of the moon and planets, as well as brighter clusters and nebulae. The telescope and lightweight aluminum tripod pack up into a backpack, making it easy to transport and set up in dark skies. It’s an affordable option for novice astronomers, and the additional eyepiece and 2x Barlow lens kit is only a few pounds more.
Type: 70mm refractor telescope
Mount: Alt-az mount on a photographic tripod
Eyepieces supplied: 10mm (40x), 20mm (20x)
Extras: Finder, Sky X – First Light Edition software, custom backpack f
Pros vs. Cons
Compact and portable
Good for viewing the moon and planets
Low light-gathering power
Orion StarBlast II 4.5: The best budget telescope – $200
The Orion StarBlast II 4.5 is a budget telescope that provides good views of the moon, planets and most Messier objects. It has a 4.5in f/4 reflector telescope on a functional tabletop mount. The included 25mm and 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepieces provide 18x and 45x views, and can be upgraded with a 2x Barlow lens for even better views. The equatorial mount may take some getting used to, but it is a great starter scope for beginners.
Pros vs. Cons
Provides good views of the moon, planets and most Messier objects
Comes with 25mm and 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepieces and can be upgraded with a 2x Barlow lens Equatorial mount is functional for beginners
Equatorial mount may take some getting used to
Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ – $215
The best telescope with companion app
The Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ is a telescope that comes with a companion app and a smartphone adapter. The app uses a mirror, your smartphone’s compass, GPS and motion sensors to help you navigate the night sky. The app provides arrows and crosshairs to guide you to your desired objects. The telescope has a 114mm Newtonian tube, which has good light-gathering power and a longer focal length. The included eyepieces and 2x Barlow lens provide good views of the moon and planets. It is also powerful enough to see distant galaxies and nebulae. This telescope is a good entry-level option for beginners and does not require a computerized GoTo mount.
Pros vs. Cons
Companion app that makes navigation easy
114mm Newtonian tube provides good light-gathering power and a longer focal length
Includes eyepieces and 2x Barlow lens for good views of the moon and planets
Powerful enough to see distant galaxies and nebulae
Good entry-level option for beginners
May need to replace the included eyepieces for better views
May not work well on super-bright moon nights or cloudy nights
Orion SkyQuest XT8 – $449
The best value telescope vertically
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 is a great telescope that provides great value for its price. It has a 8in or 200mm mirror at the bottom of a 1.25m tube and a simple alt-az mount that makes it easy to set up and use. The included 25mm eyepiece provides 48x magnification and allows for impressive views of galaxies, nebulae and other deep space objects. It is a big, heavy telescope that weighs 20kg.
Pros vs. Cons
Provides impressive views of celestial objects at an affordable price
Simple alt-az mount makes it easy to set up and use
Included 25mm eyepiece provides good magnification
Heavy and may be difficult to move around
Celestron NexStar NexStar 6SE – $925
The best astronomy telescope
The Celestron NexStar 6SE is a versatile telescope that is suitable for beginners and experienced skywatchers. It’s a more expensive telescope but a great sky watcher. It can be used as a main instrument or as an add-on to existing equipment. The NexStar 6SE is easy to accessorize with additional eyepieces, red dot finders, filters, and star diagonals to improve views of solar system and deep-sky targets. It is also possible to dabble in astrophotography with this telescope, but a T-ring or adapter may be required for imaging with a DSLR camera or smartphone adapter. The telescope includes comprehensive manuals and software to make using it easy for beginners. It’s a great computerized telescope.
Pros vs. Cons
Versatile and suitable for beginners and experienced skywatchers
Easy to accessorize with additional equipment
Possible to dabble in astrophotography
Includes comprehensive manuals and software
May require a T-ring or adapter for imaging with a CCD, CMOS or DSLR camera
The problem with all the light pollution
Light pollution can be a major hindrance for stargazers and amateur astronomers. It can wash out the night sky, making it difficult to see faint celestial objects. Fortunately, there are telescopes specifically designed to combat light pollution, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the sky-watching even in urban areas.
One of the key features of a light pollution telescope is its aperture. A larger aperture allows for more light to enter the telescope, which is essential for seeing faint objects in the night sky. Look for a telescope with at least a 5-inch aperture for adequate light gathering ability.
Another important factor to consider is the type of mount. A Dobsonian mount is a popular choice for light pollution telescopes. This type of mount is simple to use and allows for easy movement of the telescope, making it easy to track celestial objects as they move across the sky.
Optical coatings are also important for reducing light pollution. Look for telescopes with multi-coated lenses, which help to reduce glare and improve contrast. This can make a big difference in the clarity of your views.
Solution for light pollution, the best dark sky sites in the US
The United States is home to some of the world’s best dark sky sites. These are locations that are far away from city lights, offering stargazers and amateur astronomers the opportunity to see the night sky in all its glory. Some of the best dark sky sites in the US include:
Big Bend National Park in Texas: This national park is known for its expansive and remote landscapes, making it an ideal location for stargazing. It was designated as an International Dark Sky Park in 2012.
Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania: This park is home to the Cherry Springs Dark Sky site, a designated area where light pollution is strictly controlled. It is considered one of the best places in the eastern US for stargazing.
Death Valley National Park in California: This national park is located in a remote area of the Mojave Desert, making it an excellent location for stargazing. It was designated as an International Dark Sky Park in 2013.
Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah: This national monument is home to the first-ever International Dark Sky Park. It offers stunning views of the Milky Way and other celestial objects.
Moab Under Canvas in Utah: This luxury glamping resort offers the chance to stargaze in the heart of the stunning Moab desert. It is the only glamping site in the world that is certified as a Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association.
What are the best telescopes for travel?
When looking for the best telescopes for travel, it’s important to consider the size and weight of the telescope, as well as the optical quality and the type of mount. Compact and lightweight telescopes are ideal for travel, as they are easy to transport and don’t take up too much space in your luggage. Look for a telescope with high-quality optics, such as a lens or mirror, to get the best viewing experience. In terms of the mount, consider the type of travel you’ll be doing and choose a mount that is appropriate for your needs.
What size and weight should I look for the best travel telescopes?
When choosing a telescope for travel, it’s important to consider the size and weight of the telescope. For travel, it’s best to look for a compact and lightweight telescope that is easy to transport and doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage. This will make it much easier to take your telescope with you when you are traveling, and it will also make it more convenient to set up and use when you reach your destination.
What are the best mounts for a telescope that will be used for travel?
The type of mount you choose for your telescope can have a big impact on your viewing experience when traveling. Different types of mounts are better suited to different situations, so consider the type of portable telescopes you’ll be doing and choose a mount that is appropriate for your needs.
For example, if you’ll be traveling by car, a tripod mount may be a good option, as it will provide a stable platform for your telescope. If you’ll be traveling by boat or hiking, a portable mount may be a better choice, as it will be easier to transport and set up in a variety of locations.
Are there any accessories I should consider when choosing a telescope for travel?
In addition to the telescope itself, there are many accessories you may want to consider when choosing a telescope for travel. These can include items such as filters, eyepieces, and a camera, which can enhance your viewing experience and allow you to capture images of the objects you see.
When choosing accessories, be sure to check that they are compatible with the model of telescope you are considering, and consider the additional weight and space they will add to your luggage.
What is a good price range for portable telescopes that will be used for travel?
The price range for telescopes can vary greatly, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. When setting a budget for your telescope, consider the features and performance you need, and look for a telescope that offers the best value for your money. Keep in mind that higher-priced telescopes may offer better optics and more advanced features, but they may also be larger and heavier, which can be a disadvantage when traveling. Consider your budget and needs carefully to find the best telescope for your travels.
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Overall there are many telescopes but, the best portable telescopes for viewing deep sky objects on the go are those that are compact, lightweight, and have a long focal length and low focal ratio. Look for a refractor telescope with an equatorial mount, and you will be well-equipped to enjoy the beauty of the night sky on your travels.
with the best portable telescopes you can observe deep sky objects. the compact telescope has a smartphone adapter where you can open your starry night software, for smooth and accurate pointing.