Best 6-Inch Telescope

If you’re new to the world of astronomy, one of the first things that even a novice will know to buy is going to be a telescope. Without these wonderful magnification devices, then you won’t be able to make out the minute details of the stars, the planets and various constellations.

However, if you are a beginner, you might be slightly trepidatious when purchasing an expensive, high-tech piece of equipment such as a telescope. You’ll need to determine the type of telescoping you’ll be doing, as well as the things you’ll want to see.

When it comes to a telescope or any piece of equipment that involves this much precision, you’ll want an in-depth awareness of the pros and cons of each model.

One of the main things you’ll be wanting to look for is the aperture size, which is where your telescope has all its light-gathering power. The aperture is where the light is focused into the eyepiece, which is where you can view your images with crystal clarity.

The eyepiece is sold separately and allows you to see the minute details of celestial objects.

If you want to see more distant objects, then you’ll need to have a bigger aperture, your primary consideration when purchasing a new telescope. There are a few different apertures on the market that we’ll discuss later, adapted for beginner, intermediate and advanced telescope enthusiasts.

6-inch telescopes are at the cheaper end of the telescope spectrum and in this article, we’ll be discussing various telescopes within that range.

But where can you find the best 6-inch telescopes? What features does a telescope need to have to give you that crystal clarity in your eyepiece and a wide enough aperture for the amount of light you want to collect? How much can you expect to pay for a decent 6-inch telescope?

Well, for amateur and advanced night sky spys, you won’t have to worry yourself with these questions any longer, as we’ve written a list of some of the best 6-inch telescopes currently available on the market.

We also have a buyer’s guide that will certainly help you in your search for your next sky viewing scope, as well as some frequently asked questions.

List Of Best 6-Inch Telescopes

OUR TOP PICK

Our first telescope has been variously described by users and experts as the best budget home telescope on the market, with a compact size that makes it ideal if you’re planning on taking it out on the road.

With a 4-inch aperture, you can be sure to get plenty of light capture, with a decent magnification in the eyepiece - introducing the Meade Instruments Portable Refracting Astronomy Telescope For Beginners.

When it comes to home astronomy, you won’t need a massive magnification level, as most astronomy occurs at the lower end of the magnification spectrum.

The aperture on this telescope is as good as some of the more expensive models, making it an ideal unit for those novices who are picking out their first telescope.

If you have low magnification, you’ll get a wider field of view, meaning you can see a lot more of the sky.

This will be great for getting used to the constellations in the sky, although you will probably have to focus on its brighter aspects, as your lens will not have the capacity to view the dimmer constellations.

Pros:

  • The lens is very large considering the price, if you want to get a better viewing experience for the money you’re paying, we recommend this model.
  • The portability - you can easily transport this telescope from your home to your campsite quite easily. Getting into the great outdoors is a great way to reduce light pollution.
  • You’ll be able to see a lot more of the sky with this aperture, allowing you to get a much broader view of the various constellations.
  • This comes with a very decent tripod that you can quickly set up and will support the entire weight of your telescope, although it might not be suitable for adverse weather conditions.

Cons:

  • You can only view the brightest star systems with this telescope, owing to the lower magnification. This certainly won’t appeal to the more advanced star-spotters who want to find new areas of space.

EDITORS CHOICE

Our next telescope is another very popular one for beginners, with a very affordable price and a 5-inch aperture that you can use to witness many objects, bright and dim, under the night sky.

If it’s just the moon or the rings of Saturn that you want to see, then we would certainly recommend this telescope - introducing the Celestron PowerSeeker 12TEQ Telescope.

This is a great telescope to have for family use, with a wide aperture that will collect a lot more light than our previous scope.

It has a 1000mm focal length and a mid-focal speed ratio of 7.9 inches, giving you a higher level of resolution and magnification. This is a great telescope to use with a photographic lens.

This is the best telescope for viewing planets and constellations, as it has a greater aperture that will pick up the light being reflected through it.

You might want to save some money to purchase a better eyepiece, as this will overall improve your ability to capture high definition images.

Pros:

  • This is a very decent entry-level scope, offering a top-level of magnification and aperture that will make viewing the basic solar systems and planets a lot easier.
  • This is a good domestic scope for use by the whole family. The interface and eyepiece are very easy to use.
  • Whether it’s the surface of the moon or the intricate rings of Saturn, you’ll be able to view most of the key sites that this galaxy has to offer.
  • This unit is slightly longer than the last one, although it is still very portable, allowing you to pack it away and take it on your next camping trip.

Cons:

  • The mount is particularly sensitive to vibrations, which might mean that you can’t use this model in any high wind conditions.

BEST VALUE

This next telescope is technically considered a travel telescope, even though it is a catadioptric, or a ‘compound scope’, which actually costs a lot more money per aperture.

This model conceals an impressive 1250mm focal length within its compact body, making it a very high-end camping telescope - introducing the Orion 10034 GoScope II 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope.

The major boon of this telescope is that it is probably the only compound model within a budget range.

A compound lens uses a combination of refraction and reflection to achieve a high definition image in its eyepiece.

These are incredibly high-powered modern telescopes and often cost a lot more than your simpler refractors or reflectors.

The interface on this telescope is very easy to use, with a simple touchpad, you can be sure that you’ll be able to see most items in the solar system with crystal clarity.

However, the one sore point of this telescope is the weaker aperture, which will absorb far less light, rendering the powerful magnification in the focal lens slightly redundant.

Pros:

  • This is one of the cheaper compound telescopes on the market, utilizing a combination of refractor and reflector lenses to achieve a high definition image.
  • This is also a travel telescope, so if you want to achieve high-powered images away from the city and its attendant light pollution, then this is a great unit to pack up and take on a camping trip.
  • This has a tabletop stand, which will make it easy to set up and dismantle while you’re out on the road.
  • This would be a great telescope for teaching children about the star system or just for everyday use in your household. The eyepiece and the interface are very easy to use.

Cons:

  • The aperture on this telescope is very small, so no matter how powerful your magnification is, you still will only be able to witness a very small patch of sky.

RUNNER UP

This next telescope is made by Celestron, who is one of the biggest manufacturers of telescopes, with thousands of positive reviews on Amazon that will attest to the quality and durability of their products.

This telescope has an extremely impressive lens that will allow you to see Jupiter or the rings of Saturn with decent clarity - introducing the Celestron 80LCM Computerized Refractor Telescope.

The objective lens tube has around 1000mm of focal length, which equates to a focal ratio of around 9-inches.

This might not make it the most portable unit, but you can be sure that it will capture quite a lot of the night sky. The light transmission through the lens of this telescope is very impressive.

Another plus point of this telescope is the optical coatings, which allows for great light transmission, which is why it costs a little more than some of the other telescopes on this list.

However, considering the range of features available on this telescope, we would certainly recommend it as a great telescope for the beginner or intermediate sky watchers.

Pros:

  • The optics on this telescope are great for picking up planets, with an optical coating that will allow you to absorb more light and therefore a lot more surface detail.
  • This refractor is very durable and if you have a vehicle, we would recommend taking it out where there’s no light pollution to achieve some incredible images of Jupiter and Saturn.
  • This comes a very popular and reputable brand with hundreds of positive reviews, this is very important when buying a piece of high-tech equipment such as this.
  • This is the closest you might get to buy a cheap compound lens, as they are generally a lot more expensive than the average reflective telescope.

Cons:

  • Experts have stated that there is some chromatic aberration on this lens, although users have reported that it doesn’t affect the viewing experience too adversely.

RUNNER UP

Our final telescope is by no means the worst, with 4-inches of aperture on a single fork arm, it is the most compact of the compound telescopes, ideal for amateur astronomers just getting into sky watching.

This telescope has an extensive database, allowing you to trawl through all the standard planets and star systems with a smooth guiding motor - introducing the Celestron NexStar 90SLT Computerized Telescope.

The bulk of the price of this telescope will be spent on the database and the guiding motor, although the weaker aperture will make it difficult to see the dimmer constellations.

You have a digitized hand control that will allow you to point it at planets, moons and stars with greater accuracy.

The computerized elements of this telescope make it great for children, as they can program in their settings without actually handling the telescope itself.

The last thing you’ll want is a telescope like this being damaged by inexperienced hands.

This telescope is also the lighter end of the compound scope spectrum and should be easy to store in most places in your home.

Pros:

  • This scope is incredibly versatile, allowing you to quickly and easily find where most of the planets are in the solar system.
  • This is the perfect unit for a family setting, simply allow your children to punch in the coordinates of any planet they know and allowing the telescope to do most of the work for you. Set this up with a camera, print off your findings and let them take it into school!
  • This is one of the sturdiest telescopes on this list, with a decent mount that will be able to withstand most of the knocks and bangs that you might experience in a home setting.
  • This telescope has a very decent aperture and uses a compound lens system to maximize the amount of light that will get into your eyepiece.

Cons:

  • The 4-inch lens will limit the number of planets you can see in your viewfinder, which might make it less ideal for more advanced night sky watchers who want that increased field of vision.

Best 6-Inch Telescope Buying Guide

When it comes to buying your first telescope, you’ll need to be able to distinguish between the different types of lenses that they can contain.

Knowing the field of vision, the light collection and the quality of the eyepiece will be important for discerning the type of telescope lens that you’ll want.

There are 3 main types of telescope models: refractors, Newtonian Reflectors and compound telescopes. We’ll give you a brief breakdown of what each one does.

Refractors

These are the only types of telescope that do not contain a mirror, using a glass lens to focus the light that enters the tube.

Using mirrors means that you will get fewer optical distortions, as lenses can often bend or distort the image. High-end astrophotographers will certainly want to buy a refractor lens for that true color and high-resolution image quality.

However, refractor telescopes are generally a lot more expensive and probably out of the price range for most newbie sky spotters.

However, refractors do make great entry-level scopes, as the smaller ones are very cheap to manufacture and sell. As they get bigger, however, the quality of the glass used to make them improves and the price tag increases.

Newtonian Reflectors

Named after the famous scientist Isaac Newton who invented the initial design, this refractor works by collecting light into a mirror mounted at the end of a long tube. This light is then reflected into a secondary mirror which then focuses it into an eyepiece.

These are great versatile telescopes that can be used for a wide variety of sky-spotting styles - from astrophotography to general observation, with reliable image quality.

While they are not amazing at any one task, you can upgrade it easily by picking up a decent aperture and a good mount for a few hundred dollars.

Compound

These compound telescopes are very clever in that they combine lenses and mirrors to create a very long focal length in a very short tube.

The advantages are that you can get a lot more light-gathering and magnification power in a much smaller amount of tube space. Put simply, you can get a better telescope in a smaller package.

You can also motorize a smaller-bodied telescope a lot easier, meaning that most compound telescopes come with a much higher level of machine-controlled precision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is A 6-Inch Telescope Good?

6-inch telescopes generally combine the two elements of more expensive telescopes into a much shorter tube length.

With a smaller tube length comes a greater ability to motorize the movement of your telescope, which will allow you to capture those planets and stars with a greater degree of accuracy.

Gordon Watts

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