Which Is the Best Celestron Telescope This Year? We Have 10 Picks for You!

September 24th, 2019

by Barbara Hogg

It’s an exciting time for space exploration, so why not jump in on the action and get yourself kitted out with the best of gear? In case you were looking for the best Celestron telescope on the market, we have ten picks for you!

We have all heard the fun fact that we have explored more of outer space than we have our own planet, but that is not a bad thing. Because now you can too!

It can be a lot of hard work to choose the right telescope that is going to fit your needs and your budget. Luckily, we have done all the work for you. We have combed through all the best Celestron telescope reviews to narrow down our top ten choices. These all offer amazing views of our universe with crystal clear images.

If you are new to astronomy, I suggest that you check out our Optical Concepts Explained: How do Telescopes Work? and 9 Best Telescopes for Beginners. These pages will show you all the important things to consider when buying and using a telescope.

Even if you have limited knowledge of the subject, you won’t have anything to worry about with Celestron. As you will see, all the telescopes on our list come with lots of fun educational packages to make you a pro in no time! If you are looking for a more professional experience, there are plenty of telescopes that will still impress you and make your explorations much easier and enjoyable.

Product NameTypeApertureMountPrice
Celestron NexStar 8 SESchmidt-Cassegrain8 inchesMotorized AZCheck Latest Price
Celestron NexStar 6 SESchmidt-Cassegrain6 inchesMotorized AZCheck Latest Price
Celestron NexStar 127 SLTMaksutov-Cassegrain5 inchesMotorized AZCheck Latest Price
Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQRNewtonian reflector4.48 inchesManual EquatorialCheck Latest Price
Celestron ExploraScope 22103Newtonian reflector4.5 inchesManual AZCheck Latest Price

1 Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

For all you serious stargazers out there who have dreams of traveling the galaxy, you are going to need the tech to back you up.

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE should be top of your list. It’s jam-packed with features and added extras that are worth every cent. It boasts a huge 8-inch aperture guaranteed to give you clear images of deep space. It’s simple to set up and use and will not disappoint.

BEST FOR Deep Space Viewing
TypeCatadioptric Schmidt-Cassegrain
Item Weight55.4 pounds
Item Size42 x 25 x 13 inches
What You SeeCassini’s Division in Saturn’s rings, cloud bands on Jupiter, the Great Red Spot, stars of the Hercules Globular Cluster, and the spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy.
MagnificationUp to 400x
Aperture8 inches / 203.2mm
MountMotorized AZ
Special Features5 eyepiece sizes, 2x Barlow lens, Moon filter, 6 Wratten filters, computer-assisted alignment, StarPointer finderscope, LCD display, customizable sky tour, steel tripod
Warranty2 years

Why choose the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope?

This is probably the best Celestron telescope in the family. It comes with plenty of added extras and its specs are hard to beat. The kit is filled with a multitude of eyepieces and filters to help you explore deep space. It even comes with a computerized system that will find stars and constellations for you. If you find that’s still not enough, it has more to offer:

  • Access to the educational database containing over 40,000 stars and constellations
  • f10 focal ratio, focal length 2032mm
  • Motorized ToGo mount with auto-explore feature
  • LCD information display
  • Assisted alignment with the help of SkyAlign technology
  • StarFinder finderscope will give a larger field of view while searching for distant objects.
Pros
Multitude of lenses giving up to 400x magnification
Large 8-inch aperture gives crystal clear images
Easy to set up with no tools
You can upgrade it with accessories
Cons
Requires external power source

Verdict

The first installment on our best Celestron telescope on the market is worth every cent. It is easy to see why this is at the top of our list of the best Celestron Telescope reviews. With up to 400x crystal clear images and a computerized system with auto-find features, you’ll be surfing the Milky Way in no time.

2 Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Second in the NexStar range and our best Celestron telescope reviews list is the 6 SE. You may recognize this model from our 9 Best Telescopes for Beginners to Learn and Stargaze Like Pros top. This particular telescope is a little easier on the wallet than the S8. With 60x magnification and a 6-inch aperture, it provides stunning views of our galaxy and beyond.

BEST FOR Learning
TypeCompound Schmidt-Cassegrain
Item Weight21 pounds
Item Size32 x 26 x 12 inches
What You SeeSaturn’s rings with Cassini’s Division, cloud bands on Jupiter, Moon geographic features, Orion Nebula, the Hercules Globular Cluster, the Whirlpool Galaxy’s spiral arms, etc.
Magnification60 X
Aperture6 inches / 150 mm
MountMotorized AZ
Special FeaturesFully automated GoTo mount with database of 40,000+ celestial objects, a focal length of 1500 mm, 10 focal ratio, SkyAlign technology, unique single fork arm design, sturdy steel tripod, Celestron Starry Night Special Edition software (PC and Mac), etc. 
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope?

This telescope has almost the same features that make the 8 SE so amazing but with a considerable price drop. The main difference is the 6-inch aperture, which is still going to let you see deep space at top quality. The computerized system with auto-find and database access will guide you through the cosmos and educate you along the way. But let’s see other interesting features:

  • Access to the Celestron database with 40,000+ objects;
  • SkyAlign technology;
  • Motorized GoTo mount;
  • 6-inch aperture allows deep space exploration with clarity;
  • StarFinder Finderscope to help with deep space navigation.
Pros
Fully automated control
Easy set up with no tools
Excellent tech specs for the price
Compatible with many accessories
Cons
Batteries don't last long, and you will likely need external power

Verdict

With an affordable price range, this telescope is the more economical choice for beginners compared to the 8 SE without sacrificing too much quality. The Celestron database and auto-find features are the real sellers when it comes to these models. Whether you are an invested beginner or an amateur astronomer, you will find your explorations are much easier with this model. It’s a solid and trustworthy telescope that is built to last.

3 Celestron NexStar 5 SE Telescope

If you are a budding astrophotographer or would just like to snap some cool cosmos pics for your album, you’ll want to get the NexStar 5 SE with smartphone attachment. This iconic “orange tube” comes with the features of the more expensive models, this time with a 5-inch aperture and amazing compatibility with other smart gadgets.

BEST FOR Beginner Astrophotographers
TypeCompound Schmidt-Cassegrain
Item Weight28 pounds
Item Size32 x 26 x 13 inches
What You SeeMoon, planets, Orion Nebula, rings of Saturn, clouds of Jupiter, Whirlpool Galaxy, Hercules Globular Cluster 
Magnification50 X
Aperture5 inches / 125mm
MountMotorized AZ
Special featuresFully automated GoTo mount with star database containing more than 40,000 objects, 1250mm focal length, f10 focal ratio, smartphone attachment, camera control feature, LCD screen that displays information on over 200 objects.
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 5 SE Telescope?

This telescope is another great option for those wanting a high-quality product without paying the top prices. The 5-inch aperture provides breath-taking views of the galaxy and beyond. The smartphone attachment will allow you to capture and share your experience. A few other things to mention are:

  • The database of over 40,000 objects helps you navigate your way around;
  • The SkyAlign technology helps you with alignment;
  • The NexYZ adapter connects your smartphone to your telescope, spotting scope, binocular, monocular, and microscope so you can capture images and video through the eyepiece;
  • The telescope works with a wide range of mobile phone models, including all the latest devices from Samsung, Google, and Apple.
Pros
Smartphone attachment camera features
Includes the SkyAlign technology to help with alignment
Best Celestron telescope for beginner astrophotographers
Cons
Small buttons that you can press easily by mistake

Verdict

The NexStar 5 SE is the best Celestron telescope package for those looking to share their discoveries. It doesn’t even need to be you that discovers it because the auto-find feature does the work for you. But that will be our little secret. All in all, this is the best Celestron telescope for astrophotography beginners and it is worth the price.

4 Celestron NexStar 4 SE ​ Telescope

The NexStar 4 SE is another great telescope from Celestron. It has a 4-inch aperture and comes with a few noteworthy extras to help you navigate the night sky with ease.

BEST FOR Night and Day Viewing
TypeCompound Maksutov-Cassegrain
Item Weight21 pounds
Item Size32.4 x 27.2 x 13.4 inches
What You SeeRings of Saturn, Moon, clouds of Jupiter, Whirlpool Galaxy, Hercules Globular Cluster
Magnification53 X
Aperture4 inches / 102mm
MountMotorized AZ
Special FeaturesAutomated ToGo altazimuth mount, database of over 40,000 objects, SkyAlign technology, night vision flashlight, sky maps, moon filter, cleaning kit, 1325mm focal length, F13 focal ratio, camera control features.
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope?

This telescope gives stunning visuals throughout the day and night. It comes with a flip mirror to make the image stay the right way up so you can use it for birdwatching as well as stargazing.

It has the same computerized system as the other NexStar models, with the GoTo mount and SkyAlign tech. It also comes with loads of added extras:

  • Night vision flashlight to help you find your perfect viewing spot;
  • Book of sky maps for manual referencing;
  • Access to Celestron database with 40,000+ objects;
  • Camera control features for stunning astrophotography.
Pros
Flip mirror for daytime use
Night vision flashlight
Good price for the tech specs
Easily upgraded with add-ons
Cons
Narrow field of view

Verdict

The NexStar 4 SE is the best Celestron telescope for terrestrial and astrological viewings. Whether you are trying to see a yellow tailed warbler or the clouds of Jupiter, this is the best you can get.

5 Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Telescope

The NexStar 127SLT is a great option for amateur astronomers. It has a 5-inch aperture providing amazing detail of the galaxy. It also comes with a downloadable education package that will make you a pro in no time!

BEST FOR Amateur Astronomers
TypeCompound Maksutov-Cassegrain
Item Weight20 pounds
Item Size40 x 19 x 11 inches
What You SeeMoon, Planets, Rings of Saturn, Moons of Jupiter
Magnification60 X and 167 X
Aperture5 inches / 127 mm
MountMotorized AZ
Special FeaturesComputerized mount with access to 10,000 objects, book of sky maps, StarPointer finderscope, SkyAlign technology, 90° viewing angle, 2 eyepieces, focal length 1500 mm, f12 focal ratio 
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron NexStar 127 SLT?

This is a great option for both beginners and professionals alike. It comes with top of the range features, like the SkyAlign and the red dot StarPointer finderscope with 2 eyepieces (25mm and 9mm).

If that isn’t enough, it also has 2 magnification strengths, so that you can focus on the fine details while exploring. It comes with a book of sky maps and a downloadable database of over 10,000 objects for it to explore for you.

  • Operates with 8 AA batteries (included) or AC adapter;
  • LCD display;
  • Upgradable with add-ons;
  • Includes an adjustable, full-height steel tripod with accessory tray to keep you organized in the field.
Pros
Simple setup
Wide field of view, great aperture
You can also use it as a land-based spotting telescope
Good price
Cons
Some complained about the product packaging

Verdict

With the NexStar 127 SLT, you can explore the far corners of our solar system. It has everything you need to jump in and take a new hobby. The computerized system and assisted alignment will help you find and learn about over 10,000 objects. You won’t be stuck in the amateur phase for long with the NexStar 127 SLT, that’s for sure!

6 Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ Telescope

This telescope is perfect for hobbyists who want to invest in a high-quality telescope without breaking the bank. The AstroMaster has all the features you need to explore the skies, no matter how much experience you have. One of the best telescopes for beginners, the AstroMaster is an excellent choice for kids, teens, and adults alike.

BEST FOR The Entire Family
TypeNewtonian Reflector
Item Weight17 pounds
Item Size35 x 19 x 12 inches
What You SeeRings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moons, planets, Moon, terrestrial landscapes
Magnification33 X & 65 X
Aperture4.48 inches / 114mm
MountManual Equatorial
Special FeaturesMounted StarFinder finderscope, steel tripod, Equatorial mount, access to the StarryNight software, access to database containing 10,000 objects, image corrector in the 20mm eyepiece, focal length of 1,000mm and f/8.7 focal ratio.
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the AstroMaster 130 EQ Telescope?

The AstroMaster 130 EQ includes access to “The Sky” database with over 10,000 objects for you to discover. It also has free software for your PC so you can brush up on everything you need to know to navigate the night sky on your own.

It can just as easily be used during the day for birdwatching or sports events, and with the 65x magnification you won’t miss a thing. If you are still unsure, here are a few more reasons this is an excellent choice:

  • The equatorial mount helps you track objects through the night sky;
  • Mounted StarFinder finderscope to help you align the telescope;
  • Image corrector flips the image the right way up for terrestrial exploration;
  • 48-inch aperture gives clear images of the night sky.
Pros
You can use it for both terrestrial and celestial exploration
Easy installation
Equatorial mount tracking location of objects
A good long-term investment for beginners
Two magnification strengths
Cons
Tripod can be shaky/fragile, but you can easily replace them

Verdict

This is a more affordable Celestron telescope that still has the features of the more expensive models. If you are looking to start out and still want all the gadgets of the pros, the AstroMaster 130 EQ is worth checking out. It is one of those beginner telescopes that help kids, teens, and adults to start enjoying stargazing and even astrophotography.

7 Celestron AstroMaster 90 AZ​ Telescope

Another telescope in the AstroMaster range is the 90 AZ. It has a 3.5-inch aperture and 100 X magnification. It will give you clear views of Orion’s Nebula or the moons of Jupiter without breaking your bank.

BEST FOR Value for money
TypeRefractor
Item Weight12.4 pounds
Item Size16.54 x 6.3 x 3.9 inches 
What You SeeRings of Saturn, Jupiter’s moons, planets, Orion’s Nebula
Magnification50 X & 100 X
Aperture3.54 inch / 90 mm
MountManual AZ
Special FeaturesMounted finderscope, access to Starry Night software, adjustable steel tripod, erect image prism, two eye pieces, focal length 1000mm, f/11 focal ratio.
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron AstroMaster 90 AZ Telescope?

This is another excellent telescope for those beginning their explorations of the night sky. Easy to set up and use, it even comes with illustrated assembly instructions and access to the Starry Night software with printable sky maps.

It is another dual-purpose telescope that can be used both during the day and at night. It comes with 20mm and 10mm eyepieces that offer 50 X and 100 X magnifications providing stunning detail from a distance. A few other things to mention:

  • It comes with smartphone adapter that connects your smartphone to a telescope, binocular, spotting scope, or microscope, so you can capture images and video through the eyepiece;
  • Works with most smartphone devices;
  • Comes with an adjustable steel tripod;
  • 20mm and 10mm eyepieces;
  • Mounted finderscope for large view field while searching;
  • Illustrated setup guide;
  • Image flip for day use.
Pros
Excellent telescope as a gift for teens and adults
Excellent price for the hi-tech specs
Easy to install and use
Day and night uses
Cons
Mount does not track stars

Verdict

The AstroMaster 90 AZ is another budget-friendly option that is perfect for beginners and amateurs. It’s a versatile model that can be used anywhere anytime with easy no-tool setup. It also makes an excellent science gift for kids and teens, not to mention is a great investment if you need a beginner’s telescope.

8 Celestron ExploraScope Telescope

Another fine addition to our list of best Celestron telescopes is the ExploraScope. This little beauty features more basic options than our previous entries, but you should not worry about its quality. All the major features are still there to provide stunning views of the night sky as well as beautiful landscapes.

BEST FOR Price/Performance Ratio
TypeNewtonian Reflector
Item Weight6.7 pounds
Item Size36 x 52 x 32 inches
What You SeeMoon, rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, planets
Magnification50 X & 250 X
Aperture4.5 inches / 114 mm
MountManual AZ
Special FeaturesSlow motion rod, StarPointer finderscope, 2 eyepieces, Barlow lens, aluminium tripod, SkyPortal app, Starry Night software, Focal length 1000mm, f/9 focal ratio
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron ExploraScope Telescope?

The two eyepieces offer 50 X and 250 X magnification and you can triple them to 150 X and 750 X with the use of the Barlow lens. The StarPointer finderscope and slow-motion rod provide higher accuracy and control. As with most of the Celestron telescopes, it has access to educational software to further your knowledge and enjoyment.

  • Adjustable aluminum tripod;
  • Access to SkyPortal app which offers educational material;
  • Access to Starry Night software with 10,000 stars and constellations.
Pros
Fully coated glass optics and a lightweight frame
Access to SkyPortal app which offers educational materials
Erect image diagonal for correct image orientation
Excellent users' reviews
Cons
Some accessories can be difficult to attach

Verdict

The ExploraScope has more magnification and deeper space exploration capabilities than most items in its price range. The 4.5-inch aperture gives clear images of distant star systems, and the StarPointer finderscope will help you navigate your way through the stars as a master of the skies.

9 Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope

The PowerSeeker 70EQ is one of the best Celestron telescopes for younger stargazers. The software will educate young astronomers along the way and make it easy to find distant galaxies. Another major feature is its assisted tracking and slow-motion controls that help with precision.

BEST FOR Educational Value
TypeRefractor
Item Weight13.9 pounds
Item Size39 x 13 x 10 inches
What You SeeMoon, rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter, Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, planets
Magnification35 X & 175 X
Aperture2.76 inches / 70mm
MountManual EQ
Special FeaturesTwo eyepieces (20mm & 4mm), 3x Barlow lens, Starry Night software, database of objects, equatorial mount, erect image optics, steel tripod, focal length 700mm, f/10 focal ratio
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope?

This is a great introductory telescope for teenagers and young astronomers. It’s super easy to set up with no tools needed to get going. It comes with two eyepieces offering 35x and 175x magnification that can be tripled (up to 525x) with the use of the Barlow lens. You won’t be disappointed with how much you get for the money.

  • Image corrector for daytime use;
  • Printable sky maps;
  • Starry Night software;
  • Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use;
  • Fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity.
Pros
Great price
Quick and easy no tool setup
Great educational value
Enthusiast customers' reviews
Cons
May be hard to focus for the inexperienced ones

Verdict

If you are planning a camping trip for the whole family or a school science outdoor project, this is a must-have. A fun and engaging way to introduce any kid or teenager to the wonders of the night sky, the PowerSeeker also makes an excellent science gift for young astronomers and adult hobbyists. From school science fair projects to back yard family entertainment, this is probably the best Celestron telescope for education.

10 Celestron Travel Scope 80 Portable Telescope

This is by far the cheapest best Celestron telescope option on our list. But, rest assured, no matter its price, it doesn’t mean you will not enjoy its tech specs and features. Even with the low-price tag, Celestron has still a lot of fun accessories to help you dive into your hobby.

 

BEST FOR Budget
TypeRefractor
Item Weight4.5 pounds
Item Size22 x 12.5 x 5.6 inches
What You SeePlanets, Moon, Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy
Magnification20 X & 40 X
Aperture3.1 inches / 80mm
MountManual AZ
Special FeaturesBackpack, smartphone adapter, 2 eyepieces (20mm & 10mm), erect image star diagonal, finderscope, pan handle, 400mm focal length, f/5 focal ratio
Warranty2 years

Why Choose the Celestron Travel Scope 80 Portable Telescope?

The Travel Scope 80 is ideal for those wanting a budget-friendly telescope to start out. It comes with some extras to give you the full experience at a fraction of the price. The kit includes:

  • Waterproof backpack to carry it anywhere;
  • Smartphone adapter so you can capture and share your experience;
  • Finderscope to help with navigating;
  • Two eyepieces providing 20 X and 40 X magnification.
Pros
Budget friendly
Two magnification strengths
Erect image star diagonal
Plenty of accessories
Cons
Some complained about the quality of the mount

Verdict

With such a low price tag, you would assume that you would only get the basics. Celestron still provides added extras to help you get a real feel for astronomy without investing lots of money. Keep in mind that while this product is an excellent choice for beginners, you will want to take things up a notch and move on to more powerful Celestron telescopes on this list.

Buying the Best Celestron Telescope: Final Words

Celestron has been producing top-quality telescopes since the ’60s. They have revolutionized the way we use telescopes, as they were the ones who released the first GPS star identifier and battery-powered computerized telescope.

The company has gone from strength to strength thanks to their advanced systems, which have even been used by astronauts on the International Space Station.

All the Celestron telescopes can be upgraded with lots of different accessories. Most notable upgrade options are:

  • StarSense AutoAlign, which, as its name suggests, will align the telescope for you to get the best views;
  • SkySync gives your telescope GPS capabilities, helping it to find objects easier with more precision;
  • SkyPortal WIFI module allows handsfree use of the telescope using your smartphone or tablet.

If you want to learn more about telescopes and optical concepts in general, here is our guide on how telescopes work.

In case you used or are using one of the Celestron telescopes on this list, drop us a line sharing your thoughts on their performance and your experience with them!

Want more science now?

Check out our news page where we post interesting studies and discussions (sometimes mocking them mercilessly) for more.

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