Best Telescope Under 500 Dollars : Comparison and Reviews

While you have completed your first stage as an astronomer, you surely want to discover the more exciting phenomenon of the night sky, right? I know you desire so.

And then you have come to an exact place, be sure.

The best telescope under 500 can be a great choice in case of upgrading the current telescope model. However, not only for an increasing purpose but this price categories telescope are also exciting when as a beginner, you want a splendid feature.

Anyhow, whether you want to upgrade your current telescope or looking for your very first one no matter at all. Rather be glad that we have made a list of excellent telescopes that will be suited every category sky viewer.

Besides, we have included both expensive and inexpensive telescope so that you can find out distinctive between price tag.

So, without delaying more, let’s start exploring.

Our Pick Top: 5 Best Telescope under 500 Dollars 

Actually, we have researched for an appropriate telescope in the market and got to know there are varieties of price options available. Then we have stopped and decided to divide our search from lower to higher-level price badge.

With said, this list of the best telescope under 500 dollars is one of them. Consequently, if you want fewer than $500, then you can check out our other lineup of under $200 telescope.

By the way for this moment, let’s check the present focus.

Quick Comparison Table

Product Name Size Weight Aperture Focal Length
Celestron NexStar 4 SE
  • 32.4x27.2x13.4 Inches
  • 30 Pounds
  • 102mm
  • 1325mm
Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Classic
  • 50.2x17.5x15.5 Inches
  • 29.3 Pounds
  • 203mm
  • 1200mm
Celestron NexStar 130SLT
  • 28x12x8 Inches
  • 2 Pounds
  • 130mm
  • 650mm
Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic
  • 41x23x19 Inches
  • 22 Pounds
  • 114-150mm
  • 900mm
Celestron 22065 Astro Master 102AZ
  • 36x30x50 Inches
  • 20 Pounds
  • 102mm
  • 660mm

Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope

Celestron is a name among few brands that instantly come into mind when thinking about purchasing telescope. Therefore the Celestron Nexstar 4SE maksutov-cassegrain is such a telescope that can certainly grab a position of the best telescope under $500.

Now, before perusal full description, put your eye on the highlight feature.

<strong>Key feature at a glance</strong>

  • Thoroughly computerized with almost 40,000 database
  • Advance sky align technology
  • Appears in iconic “orange tube” layout
  • Allows the Wi-Fi connection

The design is the main part that makes the telescope too good for an amateur to advance level sky viewer. The 40,000 database facilities along with the automatic design allow a user to operate it without much-advanced knowledge about the telescope.

Besides, the sky aligns feature and red dot finder property makes the device always ready to find out any object on the sky within a minute.

Apart from the design, the 102mm apertures (4 inches) that have 1325mm focal length are capable enough of proving shiny and super quality images.

Likewise, the telescope offers you to magnify your object to almost 53x. So you can easily see the close view of the planet, moon, galaxies, nebula, Jupiter, Saturn, and your other desired phenomenon.

The most noticeable feature that makes the telescope distinctive is its camera control function. This allows an astronomer to click the picture and observe it later as per their wish.

Moreover, the sky portal Wi-Fi module further adds another great feature for its user.


  • Included additional 25mm Plossl eyepiece
  • Compact design with Portability
  • Not requires additional setup tool
  • Easy to operate
  • A unique fork arm design


  • Battery life is shorter (needs extra power supply)
  • Makes slightly noise
  • Includes fewer accessories comparatively other

Bottom Line

The only issue we found in the telescope is its battery life. Despite the fact, it offers a great combination of mirror and lens which makes it a quite advanced level device. On the other hand, it comes with much fair value considering the feature it offers. On the whole, it is perfect for an intermediate level but can be suited well with professional one.

Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

You might already be acquainted with the brand namely ORION as they have enough popularity as a telescope manufacturer. However, the model we have picked to present here has gained a lot of positive feedback and has praise and doughty to take the 2nd place on our list.

<strong>Key feature at a glance</strong>

  • Highest to lowest magnification efficiency
  • An ultra-stable Dobsonian mount telescope
  • Included starry night software
  • Comes with a large diameter reflector optic mirror

When you look at the first sight of the telescope, it will immediately win your heart. This shiny black color furnish telescope comes with an excellent Dobsonian pattern, it means you can place it whether on desk or windows. Although it is designed for intermediate to advance level people, but a beginner can also have it if they are strongly determined.

To view planets or other objects on the night sky, it has made a great competition with the Celestron Nexstar 4 SE. Because the particular telescope has 8 inches (203mm) aperture along with 1200mm focal length. That means it offers enough light so that you can view the dazzling and sparkling view of your desired object.

In fact, This one will allow you to magnify your heavenly body between lowest 29x to highest 300x. And this magnifying feature will let you see a very close view of any objetcs. In addition, the company includes 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece that again makes it super powerful.


  • Offers maximum accessories
  • Included an EZ Finder II reflex sight
  • High-performance reflector optical mirror
  • Easy to set up
  • Comparatively easy to use


  • Not computerized automation
  • No handle facilities
  • Creates problem in daylight viewing

Bottom Line

There are lots of good thing in this telescope like it adds many extra accessories than other telescopes in the same price range. But though they claim it will for advance level astronomer but in reality, it suits well with beginner to an intermediate astronomer. Besides, it offers starry software that is really helpful.

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope

We’ve back with another Celestron telescope which is even known as Celestron Nexstar 130SLT computerized telescope. We’ve included this one on our list as we became mesmerized to see the amazing features of the model.

Since we’ve already told you about the brand reputation, so now we will directly go for elaboration.

<strong>Key feature at a glance</strong>

  • Computerized technology with 4000 database
  • Highest to lowest magnification capability
  • Certified reflector telescope
  • Hand control construction

Similar to the previous model as we’ve mentioned above, this telescope is also built-in with computerized Altazimuth mount. Besides, it comes with a 4000 database facility that helps a beginner to advance level sky viewers to select their topic effortlessly.

Moreover, it is coated with a light black color that gives it a professional look.

In terms of the capacity of the telescope, it bears much-advanced features compares with the price it offers. The telescope aperture is 130mm (5.2 inches) that further gets strength with the focal length retention 650mm.

Likewise, This one offers 26x to 72x magnification that ensures not only clear viewing quality, it even adds brightness. Plus, immolation different bundle offers to choose from according to your budget.

In addition, the company includes two eyepiece of 9mm and 25mm which will help you to customize your viewing experience.

One more thing, among the 4000 databases, the company entered almost 600 galaxies, 300 clusters, and more than a dozen binary starts to solve your managing problem.


  • Hand controlling point, provide maximum comfort
  • Sky align high-tech
  • Comes with accessory tray
  • Tripod steel body formation
  • Fork arm design with red dot finder
  • Ready to be used out from the box


  • Requires practice for being habituated
  • Every shut down removes all memory and date
  • Not for advance astronomer

Bottom Line

We actually toke this one as the telescope offers two different bundle offer. Besides, computerized technology provides easy manage facility for entry level to intermediate sky viewer. In addition, there are few different aperture options to choose from according to your level. Overall, it is worth considering.

Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

The next device we have taken from ORION namely Orion 10014 skyquest is one of the most inexpensive telescopes on our list. Although less in price, the feature of the telescope makes it one of the best telescopes under $500.

Let’s see the full description.

<strong>Key feature at a glance</strong>

  • Compact and lightweight construction
  • Notable Dobsonian reflector telescope
  • Provides night stray software
  • Super magnification property

Like the Orion SkyQuest XT8, the selected model is also a Dobsonian telescope that can be fitted well with your desk, window, or any flat surface. But unlike the previous one, it is less in price and particularly design for an entry-level astronomer.

In the case of display, the both Orion telescope on our list are shiny black in color and there is no big variation in their appearance.

On the point of reflector mirror, it comes with 114-150mm (4.5 inches) aperture setting with the 900mm focal length capacity. The frameworks the telescope provides, we guess is more than enough for seeing the moon, planets, nebulas, galaxies, and so on.

On the other hand, it allows the user to magnify the object between the lowest 17x to highest 228x which is big in such a price range. Besides, it is included with two different eyepieces (10mm and 25mm focal length Sirius Plossl) and collimation cap that again make it deserving.


  • Lightweight
  • Can be carry while traveling
  • Adds extra accessories that are essential
  • Provides a good optical mirror
  • Great stability


  • Not for professional use
  • If you want to carry outside, then have to buy a separate travel bag

Bottom Line

Actually, both of the Orion telescopes we have listed here provide the almost same feature with little variation. While one has big aperture and magnification capacity, another is less in that. If budget is your concern and you are beginner, then surely the model will meet your expectation level.

Celestron 22065 Astro Master 102AZ Refractor Telescope, Blue

We’ve again come with the premium brand Celestron as they have stocked many outstanding telescopes.

With said, the Celestron 22065 is another great creation of the brand in which they’ve added a much budget-friendly price. Without wasting time keep your eye on depiction.

<strong>Key feature at a glance</strong>

  • Panhandle pattern, a manual altazimuth telescope
  • No setup tool requires
  • Different refractor option to choose from
  • Includes accessory tray for accessory assisting

The main point that makes this telescope different from the previous two on our list is its design and functionality.

It is designed with panhandle form with the manual techniques that can be set up easily without any additional tool. Therefore, the quick setup automation makes the telescope perfect for beginner to professional.

Apart from the design, the Celestron master series telescope comes with refractor lens along with 102mm (4.0 inches) aperture and 660 mm focal length quantity.

Moreover, it is coated with a glass optic, so you can expect excellent quality, clean, and professional image. Even more, the company has included starry software that will enable you to see almost 10000 celestial phenomena at a bang.

Furthermore, they provide two additional eyepieces of 10mm and 20mm and finder scope for extra convenience. However, this telescope along with its red dot finder feature also offers you daylight observing of landscape and wildlife.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Provides a professional quality image
  • Full-height adjustable steel tripod
  • Ideal for all level user
  • Panhandle add easily manageable quality


  • The mount does not provide excellent adjustment facility
  • Plastic material
  • Not perfect for professional

Bottom Line

The particular model is for those who are looking for both celestial and terrestrial telescope at a reasonable price. Even if is not good for professional, but very effective for beginner to intermediate level. Besides, it offer a super easy and quick setup and fluently operating system.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Telescope under $500 (Buying Guide)

You might get wonder by the title that why should you need to consider some factors before your purchase. You go and directly buy within your budget, just it?

Well, it not the exact way to buy a device like a telescope. Although we have listed the most deserving telescope, there is something you need to know before your purchase.

Likewise, we have another list of the telescope which is fewer than $200 you can also check there if want something inexpensive. Now take a look at some important factors that you have to check out before your purchase of any telescope.

Aperture size

The most considerable fact that you must have to consider is the telescope aperture size. This is a vital part of any telescopes that actually matters and particularly for this section telescope prices vary from one to another.

Aperture determines the image quality and also distinguishes how clear and how many things you can see with your device. Generally, the telescope is regarding high quality if the aperture size is big.

However, for beginner to the intermediate level astronomer, the 4 to 5 inches aperture is fairly enough.

Focal length

A second considerable thing is focal length size which is somehow related to aperture size. By the way, this part of the telescope exists behind the lens or mirror of your telescope.

However, it is less insignificant than aperture. It actually determinates how bigger object you can see with your telescope.  This means if your focal length offers large capacity, you will be able to see the biggest object.

Lens or mirror

Basically, most of the telescope offers two types of focus light that are known as a reflector (mirror) and refractor (lens). So when you’ve decided to buy a telescope, you should think about which type of focus light you want.

If you are an entry to intermediate -level sky viewer, then you can take any type of them as per your budget.

Magnifying capacity

The fourth thing you should consider about the telescope is magnifying quality. It is the feature that enables you to see the close and far view of your desired object on night or day sky.

But this is a kind of function of a telescope which you can also upgrade even after your purchase. The thing you need to know is that your selection allows this upgrade or not.

How to Choose A Proper Place to Set Up Your Telescope?

Selection of place is very urgent when it comes to before setting your telescope for observation, consider the amount of light pollution in your surroundings. Try to avoid places with too much light pollution like a crowded city as such as much as possible. The dark sky is crucial for viewing galaxies and other deep sky objects.

Avoid decks and driveways as vibration on these surfaces can distort the focus of the image.

Tips To Properly Care For Your New Telescope

Maintaining the telescope in a good condition is crucial if you want to make the best of the money you invested. It is not very hard to take proper care of your telescope.

  • Store the telescope in a dry, dust-free, and spacious space. Make sure it is easy to take out the telescope from the storage. Make sure the temperature of the storage is not more than the outside temperature.
  • Look for the moisture content of your storage area. 
  • Cleaning the telescope is also important. You need to clean the scope body, lenses, and correctors on a regular basis. And don’t forget to clean the mirrors as well. Use soft sterile lens cotton for cleaning the sensitive accessories. Mounting and tripod also need proper maintenance from time to time.
  • Choose the right element to clean the accessories and mountings.
  • Lubricate the bearing point and other frequently moving parts one regular interval. 
  • Be especially cautious while transporting the telescope. 

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about telescope under $500

  1. Question: For which level astronomer the under $500 telescope will suit perfectly?

Answer:  Well, it actually depends on the user’s taste. Some people from the beginning want the best thing and some want expensive device after gaining much knowledge. However, the under $500 telescope will suit well for the beginner to the intermediate level user.

  1. Question: Which aperture can be considered as the best size in case of under 500 telescopes?

Answer:  you might already know that aperture size varies from the telescope to telescope according to the device price. In case of under 500 telescopes, you can select between 4 to 5 inches size aperture.

  1. Question: Which can be regarded as a good magnifying capacity?

Answer:  Like other functions of the telescope, magnifying capacity also varies from one telescope to another. But the lowest 29x to higest35x can be regarded as a good magnifying capacity according to price range.

Final Words

Viewing planets, galaxies, moon, mars, or anything on the night sky is such an excellent feeling. This excitement can be raised in a positive way if you can get the best telescope under 500 dollars on your hand.

With said, we can ensure you that all the above-mentioned telescopes are a worthy candidate to consider for your first or next purchase. We hope you have met your taste here and already picked the right one for you.

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