10 Best Telescopes Under $500 of 2020

A telescope is a fascinating instrument. Since the Renaissance period, astronomers and celestial enthusiasts alike have used telescopes to prowl the depths of space. As neat as they can be, they can also be quite costly.

You can find a telescope for less than $500 that functions well, especially compared to other telescopes on the market. If you’re looking a bargain-priced telescope, you’ve come to the right place! The best telescope under $500 might not be easy to find, but we’ve created a table with ten of them to help you start your hunt.

Take a look below at some telescopes that are valued less than $500 but still will help you see the galaxy in mouth-watering detail!

Top 10 Telescopes Under $500 Table

PictureNameType Price Rating (1-5)
Rating (1-5)
1. Orion 8974 SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian Reflector TelescopeReflector$$4.5
2. Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor TelescopeRefractor$4.4
3. Orion 10016 StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector TelescopeReflector$4.3
4. Celestron 22065 Astro Master 102AZ Refractor TelescopeRefractor $4.2
5. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector TelescopeReflector$4.2
6. Orion StarBlast 4.5 EQ Telescope & Beginner Barlow KitReflector$4.2
7. Celestron 114LCM Computerized TelescopeRefractor$4.1
8. Celestron NexStar 127SLT Mak Computerized Telescope Compound$$3.9
9. Orion 9851 SpaceProbe 130 EQ Reflector TelescopeReflector$3.9
10. Orion 27191 StarBlast 6i IntelliScope Reflector TelescopeReflector$$$3.4

How to Find a Decent Telescope for $500 or Less

Although we just gave you a breakdown of ten great instruments that cost less than $500, let’s take a look at some useful knowledge you’ll need to have when shopping for the best telescope under $500.

  • Know the Type of Telescope You Need. One of the first things you’ll need to sort out is what type of telescope you Here’s a look at the three main types:
    • Refractor Telescopes are the most commonly-used telescopes today. They’re designed with the lens at the front of the telescope body, easy to maintain, and easy to use. The most noticeable increase in price with these types of telescopes comes when the aperture size increases.
    • Reflector Telescopes, in contrast with reflector telescopes, gather light at the back of the body by means of mirror reflection. These types of telescopes are usually cheaper than most. They sometimes require a little more maintenance, especially if you move them around a lot.
    • The final form is the Compound Telescope. Sometimes known as catadioptric telescopes, these forms of telescopes use both lens and mirror to produce their enhancement. They’re more compact and much lighter than other forms of telescopes.
  • The Importance of Aperture. The Aperture of a telescope is its most important feature. The aperture largely determines the quality of your vision through the telescope and the price as well. The larger the aperture, the better you’ll be able to see objects at a distance. The minimum aperture we’d recommend would be 2.8 inches.

Smaller apertures can still see loads of objects at a distance but are prone to environmental factors such as light pollution and brightness.

  • The Mount. The importance of the mount shouldn’t be underestimated; it supports your telescope, so you should always try and purchase a telescope with a functional mount.

Top 3 Best Telescope Under $500 Reviews

1. Orion 8974 Reflector Telescope

The Orion 8974 is a great telescope for beginner and experienced star watchers alike. It’s equipped with an excellent aperture and plenty of convenient settings designed to give you the optimal viewing experience. Let’s take a closer (or further) look.

Taking a closer look at this excellent telescope, the design stands out. It’s a reflector telescope, meaning it’s nearly maintenance free. It’s adorned in an eye-catching metallic blue, vastly different than the color of many other telescopes.

It’s easy to set up and comes with many accessories. Some of these include a set of supplemental eyepieces, a lens cap, a solar filter, and many other exciting extras.

It has a 2-inch aperture, making it excellent for high-quality viewing of our galaxy. View the stars and join the ranks of the aliens with the Orion 8974!

2. Orion 9024 Refractor Telescope

The Orion 9024 is an excellent refractor telescope that comes with plenty of exciting features. Let’s see what this exciting telescope has to offer!

The aperture is good for this price range: 3.5 inches! You will have the ability to view what others cannot, seeing distant objects and images with stunning clarity.

The Orion 9024 comes with an excellent tripod mount; this means you can view it from your room, or you can take it out to a field to view the stars! It brings convenience and stability to the world of telescopes.

It’s not very mobile since it is a refractor telescope; this means more maintenance with more movement. It’s a telescope that’s worth the buy, however, due to its low price, excellent aperture, and included tripod mount.

3. Orion 10016 Reflector Telescope

With a 6-inch aperture, it’s hard to imagine that such viewing detail could have anything wrong with it. Truthfully, there’s not much wrong with the Orion 10016 Reflector Telescope.

It’s a steal, as far as its price is concerned. The level of aperture you’re getting can be likened to that of a more expensive telescope.

The portability of the Orion 10016 shouldn’t be overlooked. It won’t need to be readjusted with motion; this means you can take it on the go with you without having to worry about a time-consuming setup.

It also comes with plenty of extras. Included are eyepieces, aiming facilitators, and supplemental software. There isn’t much that’s wrong with the Orion 10016. See for yourself!

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