1. Altair Lightwave 80 ED
Salute the late Patrick Moore by acquiring this monster ’scope, which can help you spot stars as far away as the Orion Nebula, then complaining if any women attempt to use it.
Price: £549 | altairastro.com
This is from "101 gadgets you can't live without" in issue 220 of T3 Magazine. To see the full list get a digital or print copy here.
2. Celestron AstroMaster 76EQ
This classic mounted telescope is perfect starting point for anyone who fancies themselves as a bit of a stargazer. It’s rugged and easy to set up, and the 76mm aperture and 700mm focal length allow easy viewing of most satellites and planets within our solar system. ‘TheSkyX’ astronomy software is also included, which contains sky maps and images for 10,000 astronomical objects.
Price: £70 | Link: celestron.com | Best for: Kids with big dreams
3. Explore Scientific 80mm Air-Spaced Triplet
Explore Scientific uses special glass in its lenses that it claims to give an incredible sharpness to imagery, as well as minimising chromatic aberrations (the colour dispersion you get around especially bright objects). Despite the high quality of its parts, the ES Triplet is far from delicate. In fact, it’s made to be extremely rugged, so that astrophotographers can set up anywhere and take great pictures.
Price: £799 | Link: explorescientific.com | Best for: Astrophotographers
4. Sky-Watcher Equinox 120
The Equinox 120 is ideal for observing deep space objects, thanks to an extremely generous 120m aperture, 900mm focal length, and Sky-Watcher’s best in class ‘Metallic High-Transmission Lens Coating’. The anti-reflective coating allows 99.5% of light to pass through the lens, giving you a bright, high-contrast picture of the the night sky and everything beyond.
Price: £1,360 | Link: skywatcher.com | Best for: Deep space watchers
5. StarWave 102 ED Refractor
StarWave has a reputation for producing high quality, hand-built optical equipment. The StarWave 80ED is no different, and uses the same lenses as the Explore Scientific telescope to produce clear, crisp, colour-accurate images. The 102mm aperture allows solar system objects to be viewed in great detail, as well as brighter deep sky objects such as the Orion Nebula.
Price: £599 | Link: starwave-telescopes.co.uk | Best for: Amateur astronomers
6. Meade MAX2-ACF 20
The MAX2-ACF is the mother of all telescopes. It combines a massive 4 metre focal length with a 20 inch aperture and Ultra-High Transmission anti-reflective lens coating to give unrivaled access to the universe. You can connect anything from DSLRs to astrographs for photography, and the German Equatorial Robot Mount automatically tracks objects in the sky. Oh, and it’s about 10-feet tall, so err... have fun un-boxing that.
Price: $36,000 | Link: meade.com | Best for: Anyone with $36,000 to spend on a telescope