Which type of telescope is the best? There is no simple answer to that question until you define your expectations of the telescope. Some telescope types allow for both terrestrial and lunar / planetary observing. Others are mainly intended for observing distant galaxies and other deep space objects, and may be completely unsuitable for terrestrial use. The images and brief descriptions below will start you on your way to understanding these different design types and their applications.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Don't worry, this happens to a lot of people. If this is your first time shopping for a telescope, please take a few minutes to read our article Advice for First Time Telescope Buyers before proceeding any further. We think that you will be glad that you did.

  • Dobsonian Telescopes

    Dobsonian Telescopes


    Dobsonian telescopes offer the most aperture for your dollar, and aperture is the most important factor when viewing deep space objects.

  • Refractors



    Refractor telescopes have the advantage of an unobstructed light path, which produces higher visual contrast than other optical designs.

  • Schmidt-Cassegrains



    Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are very popular because they offer a combination of large aperture and relatively small and lightweight package.

  • Maksutov-Cassegrain



    Maksutov-Cassegrains telescopes are a compact design that offer superior contrast and are excellent telescopes for planetary and double star observing.

  • Newtonian Reflectors

    Newtonian Reflectors


    Newtonian reflector telescopes are the most cost effective type of telescope for astronomical observations, offering the lowest cost per unit of aperture.

  • Solar Telescopes

    Solar Telescopes


    Solar Telescopes allow you to safely observe solar prominences, sunspots, and other intriguing features of the solar disk.

  • Astrographs



    An Astrograph is a telescopes designed designed for the sole purpose of astrophotography; they are not visual instruments.

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