Most people think having the luxury of gazing at the stars close up or being able to see the planets would be way beyond their budget. But it doesn’t have to be, you can still get some terrific telescopes for under $200 whilst not having to sacrifice quality.
We’ve selected the five best telescopes under 200 for you to choose from along with a buyer’s guide for everything you’ll need to know before choosing one and answers to frequently asked questions that buyers ask when purchasing a telescope.
If you’re already established in the art of stargazing and astronomy then these options may be too straightforward and unchallenging for you, but maybe some of our other articles can help guide you to your new telescope.
If you’ve got a child who dreams of going to space and wants nothing more than to tell you all about their favorite planets then this guide will be ideal for you, they’ll make a very special present without having to break the bank.
Or even if you’ve always wanted to get your own home telescope, then any of our top five options would be suitable for someone getting into the hobby.
If you’re too eager to discover the unknown and gaze at the galaxies then we’ve narrowed down the list to bring you the top telescope under $200 right here: it is... The GSkyler 70mm Telescope.
Read further on to get an all-round view of our top five options.
Here’s some reasons why we love it so much
- Easy to assemble
- High quality imagery
- Great for beginners
- Safe for your vision
- Powerful optics
OUR TOP PICK
The GSkyler 70mm prides itself on being easy to assemble and beginner and user friendly so this telescope is great for any budding astronomers or anyone who’s cemented their hobby to explore the stars and the moon as you wish.
The GSkyler has some high-quality optics, with a 400mm (f/5.7) focal length and 70mm aperture. It features a fully coated optics lens with high transmission coatings to create incredible imagery and to protect your eyes.
The high-grade optical capabilities are that of some professional telescopes but definitely on a more affordable scale.
In terms of magnification, the GSkyler 70mm comes with two replaceable eyepieces and one 3x Barlow lens. The Barlow lens will treble the magnification:
Come with two replaceable eyepieces and one 3x Barlow lens.3x Barlow lens trebles the magnifying power. Along with a mounting bracket with a 5x24 finderscope with crosshair lens inside makes it so simple to locate objects in the sky.
A great benefit of this telescope is that it comes with a smartphone adapter and one wireless camera remote to explore the sights on your screen and also to capture incredible celestial imagery.
It also comes with a tripod and a spanking new bag, which will be able to fit your telescope and tripod on to make for easy travel and storage wherever you may desire to go.
The adjustable tripod is perfect for all heights, allowing for many different viewing positions on all terrains.
There is a lifetime maintenance guarantee with the GSkyler, so if any issues or faults arise or even if you have questions about the product or service, the customer service team is a great resource for you.
- User friendly
- Compact and portable
- High-quality images
- Great for beginners
- Easy to use
- Safe for your vision
- Powerful optics
- Telescope has sensitive adjustments
The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is a perfect entry-level reflector telescope by being easy to use yet still highly powerful, combining quality, value, features, and power at an affordable price point.
Celestron telescopes are used on a professional level in scientific research and also used in the International Space Station, so you know you’re getting great quality images with your telescope.
This Celestron telescope features a manual equatorial mount, which will help guide you through the sky with ease.
The slow-motion altitude rod allows smooth and accurate pointing and you can also adjust your position by moving the rod and then simply securing it by tightening it.
A super handy feature of this telescope is that it's compact and portable, so works well whether you want to use your telescope in the comfort of your backyard or take it on camping road trips to observe the night sky in the middle of nowhere.
It’s also very lightweight so won’t be too much of a hassle to carry along with any other luggage you have with you.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ also boasts a multitude of extra accessories.
It comes with two eyepieces, one 20mm and one 4mm, and also comes with a 3x Barlow lens to intensify the power of each of your eyepieces and ensure you have a bright image of your celestial object.
You’ll also get a bonus Starry Night Astronomy Software Package to fill you in on all past, future, and present celestial knowledge, and make you the envy of all your friends. The software is compatible with PC, Mac, and laptops.
The powerful magnification will permit you to see clear views of the Moon, Saturn’s rings, and also Jupiter’s Galilean moons.
You’ll also gain unlimited access to the technical support team at Celestron, who will help you with any queries whether that be broken or missing parts, or even what time of night they recommend you looking at certain celestial objects.
Whilst the Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ prides itself on being user friendly, it may be slightly confusing to work at the start if you are a true beginner, however, everything included in the guidebook, and with the help of the online tech team, you’ll have it up and running in no time.
- Tripod included
- 2-year warranty
- Good views
- 3X Barlow lenses includes
- 2 Eyepieces included
- Little confusing for beginners
Another Celestron telescope comes in third place, just exemplifying how inferior the brand is as an all-rounder.
The Celestron 70mm Travel Scope is a great refractor telescope for anyone thinking of taking up astronomy as a new hobby, regardless of being an adult or a child.
The Celestron 70mm Travel Scope features superior fully-coated optics, including a strong 70mm aperture objective lens to deliver augmented and more vivid views compared to other Celestron models
The beginners telescope comes with two top quality eyepieces for up-close viewing (20mm and 10mm) that will provide you with a range of powers to see the moon and stars at night and also any terrestrial objects during the daytime.
This telescope has a lightweight frame (3.3lbs) is super compact and very portable, hence the name travel scope.
You’ll be able to take it everywhere and anywhere in the custom backpack that comes included as well.
You’ll waste no time trying to set up this mini but mighty telescope, so you’ll have optimum celestial and terrestrial gazing time. There are also no tools required to assemble this telescope.
As well as this telescope coming with a free backpack, you’ll also get an adjustable and smooth functioning altazimuth mount and also Celestron’s very own top-rated Starry Night Astronomy software to guide you to be the ultimate at-home astronomer.
The Starry Night software comes with information on thousands of celestial objects, gives you access to printable sky maps, and is a beneficial tool to help you plan your future observing sessions.
You’ll also get a two-year warranty with this model, serving you with unsurpassed confidence that you’ll gain great customer service if needed.
The tripod materials are not the highest quality and can be quite fragile, we recommend taking care when assembling and disassembling your telescope and also when transporting it around to avoid any issues.
- Comes with backpack
- Comes with accessories
- Comes with astronomy software
- Intricate images
- Good eyepieces
- Tripod is quite fragile
Yet another Celestron telescope, this time it's the PowerSeeker 80EQ. This model is perfect for beginners as it's easy-to-use yet does not skimp on power.
It’s designed for any first-time telescope users to enjoy a combination of quality and features without having to splurge huge amounts of money.
Despite being mostly used by beginners, this telescope will serve as an exceptional option for those who are mid-level astronomers.
It comes with a manual German equatorial mount to help navigate the day and night sky with your new refractor telescope.
The mount will allow you to slowly and carefully find objects with the altitude rod that can also be adjusted to your desired position depending on your height and stance regardless if you’re sitting down or standing.
The telescope and mount are compact and portable so great for any beginners who like to travel around and plan to navigate the skies on the go.
The Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ also comes with two eyepieces (20mm and 4mm) and a 3x Barlow lens to amplify the power of each eyepiece.
It also comes with an erect image diagonal and a finderscope to allow comfortable viewing whilst being able to accurately point the telescope at a target.
You’ll also get the renowned Celestron Starry Night Astronomy software to guide you through your viewings.
Like most Celestron telescopes, the PowerSeeker 80EQ comes with a two-year warranty so rest assured that you’ll receive great customer support should anything happen.
- Two eyepieces included
- Adjustable mount
- 3x Barlow lens included
- Software included
- Great for beginner to intermediate levels
- 2-year warranty
- When the tripod is extended it can be unstable
The Emarth telescope is designed for both children and beginners who still want premium quality optics and viewings of celestial and terrestrial objects without being overly complicated.
This telescope comes with a 70mm aperture and also a 360mm (f/5.1) focal length, with fully coated optical glass with high transmission coatings which create clear visual images with high levels of brightness whilst also still protecting your eyes.
For such a beginners level telescope, it still boats high levels of magnification with the interchangeable eyepieces and also accompanied by the 3x Barlow lens which increases viewing power.
You’ll also have an adjustable tripod included, to allow various viewing positions whether you prefer to sit down or stand up whilst navigating the skies.
This telescope is great for those always on the go and can become compact to carry around in your bonus Emarth rucksack due to being lightweight.
The Emarth 70mm telescope is also adaptable so can be used in many different situations day or night.
This telescope, having been designed for kids and beginners, is very simple to set up and requires no tools, but is partnered with a manual to help you assemble it.
It encourages independent thinking from kids to help build it and is a great birthday or Christmas gift that can be easily assembled straight after opening (we know what they’re like!).
Emarth also offers lifetime VIP customer service, so you can contact them at any time if you have any problems with your new telescope.
- Adaptable for use
- Two eyepieces included
- Crisp imagery
- Harder for kids to focus
- Instructions may be harder for kids
Best Telescope Under $200 Buying Guide
Aperture is the hole that lets light pass through so it meets the lens and enters your eye.
The clarity and brightness of the view will improvise as you increase the aperture size. However, the larger the aperture, the more expensive the telescope will be.
To have good magnification you will need a larger size aperture. To see Jupiter or Saturn, you will need a telescope that features around 50X magnification, to see Mars or Venus, you’ll need something higher.
Most telescopes that feature 150X magnification should be sufficient enough to see celestial bodies. You’ll want to think about the kinds of things you’d like to see before jumping to make a purchase.
Focal ratio is the ratio between the focal length of a telescope and its aperture. For most telescopes, it’s best to look for a higher f/ratio, in order to have an enhanced view.
If you would like to see galaxies such as the milky way then a short focus would be best. Whereas, if you’d want to see a longer focus would be ideal for seeing intricate details in the sky.
You’ll need a mount to keep your telescope in place. You can have two different types of mounts, the first is an equatorial mount (EQ OR GEM) or the second is an altazimuth mount.
An equatorial mount is a single axis mount so will allow movement in all four directions on an axis, allowing you to follow whatever you’re watching as the earth moves on its axis.
The altazimuth mount manually tracks objects of the Earth’s rotation on a two-axis basis, a horizontal axis, and a vertical axis.
The eyepiece uses the light that’s captured by your telescope and magnifies the image so your eye can see it. By changing the eyepiece, you can alter the magnifying power
Those starting out with telescopes should stick to more old fashioned/traditional eyepieces as they can get a little intricate. Most telescopes have a couple of eyepieces included, but we recommend to have a variety of them
Most traditional telescopes have manual control settings, whilst more modern telescopes have computers built into them. This will allow you to autofocus and move your gaze electronically.
However, technology like this or anything that’ll make using a telescope more time-efficient will cost you more money.
Types of telescope
Reflector telescope: This is where the telescope will have a mirror to bounce off and is then focussed in another area. A reflector telescope is better for looking at objects that are deep in the sky such as galaxies.
Refractor telescope: It uses lenses that focus the light as it travels through to the other end. A refractor telescope is best for looking at planets and the moon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a telescope see the flag on the moon?
You cannot see the flag on the moon with a telescope.
You would need an optical telescope that is 200m in diameter to see it.
Can you see Saturn’s rings with a telescope?
You should be able to see the rings of Saturn even with a small telescope at 25X magnification.
Who owns the moon?
No one can own the moon, this is signified by the Outer Space Treaty who declares regardless of who’s national flag is on the moon, no one can say they own it.