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Telescopes - compare dobsonian telescope, radio, refracting, space, reflecting types. Find brands Meade, Orion, Celestron, Galileo, Tasco, Bushnell, Jason, Teton, Vivitar, Tectron, Zhumell, Vixen.

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Note: Find old, vintage and new brands such as Meade, Orion, Celestron, Obsession, Galileo, iOptron, Tasco, Bushnell, Mead, Jason, Teton, Vivitar, Tectron, Zhumell, Vixen and more on our telescopes shop page. Some brands are not always available.

Telescopes Gift Guide

by Nannette Richford
August 2008

Whether you are looking to provide a quality telescope for an aspiring astronomer or simply looking for the right kids telescope for your grandchild for his birthday or Christmas, buying the right telescope can make the difference between a birthday fiasco and a holiday gift that will never be forgotten. Let our buying guide help you in your search for the perfect gift that is sure please kids and adults alike.

Refracting telescopes are ideal for viewing the moon and planets. These scopes are easy to maintain and require little care. They range in price from $100 to $300. Don't be fooled by sales pitches than claim to offer great magnification. The size of the aperture is more important because the amount of light let into the telescope actually determines how much you can see, not the magnification. Look for lens of 60mm to 80mm for this scope. A refractor telescope is a great choice as a beginner telescope and is well suited for children or teens.

Reflecting telescopes are well suited for deep space viewing. This telescope will allow the user to view galaxies and nebulae that may not be visible with a reflecting telescope, but are heavier and more difficult to move and are more expensive. Expect to pay in the mid $300 range for this scope. Look for a 6 to 8 inch aperture. This is great gift for budding astronomers.

Catadioptric telescopes combine the best of both types of telescope and are ideal for viewing all night sky objects. They also come with peripherals to easily adapt them to astrophotography and to computerize them similar to a digital camera. This telescope is great for those who wish to refine and expand their photography skills. Expect to pay over $1000 for this scope.

Dobsonian telescopes or dobson telescopes are large portable telescopes with large optical tubes that typically have a large aperture of 8 inches or more. Dobsonian scopes are suitable for amateur astronomers. They can be transported in a motor vehicle and set up on site for viewing deep space objects. Expect to pay $300 to $1800 for a Dobsonian telescope depending on the size.

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