It costs nothing to enjoy the sights of the night sky. But if you want to peer into the depths of space and enjoy those sights in a little more detail, you’re going to need a telescope, which can be big investment.
For budding astronomers who’d like to give stargazing a whirl but have been put off by the expense of buying telescope, Black Friday presents an opportunity to take the plunge as the prices suddenly drop. Here are some of the best deals to be had beginner telescopes this Black Friday…
Slokey Astronomical Telescope SkyWays 40070
If you’re looking for a telescope for a youngster who’s keen to take their first steps in astronomy, you might want to check out the SkyWays 40070 from Slokey.
Designed with children in mind, the SkyWays 40070 is lightweight, compact, portable (it comes with its own travel case) and simple to assemble. And when it has been put together, you can mount it on the adjustable tripod (included), which allows you to stand the scope at anywhere from 49-132cm tall, putting it at the ideal height for kids of any age to look into.
There’s more to it than size and simplicity, though. It also comes with quality optics and all the capability a budding astronomer could ask for. The SkyWays 40070 can magnify objects by up to 120 times to provide observers with clear views of the Moon, the planets of the Solar System and its surrounding stars. Included with the telescope, tripod and travel case are a 3x Barlow lens, 25mm and 10mm eyepieces and a smartphone adaptor (for taking photos or filming videos).
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Celestron 31051 AstroMaster 130EQ
The Celestron 31051 AstroMaster 130EQ takes the faff out of stargazing. Instead of you having to constantly adjust the telescope’s angle to counter the Earth’s rotation, the AstroMaster 130EQ’s motor drive gradually moves it to compensate automatically. It smoothly retrims your scope to keep your views trained on the object you want to observe for as long as it remains above the horizon.
Not only that but the AstroMaster 130EQ comes with a free pass to download Celestron’s Starry Night Basic software. Available for both Mac and PC, it provides you with a database containing thousands of observing targets, star maps to help you locate them and a calendar to help you schedule your observing sessions to give you the best chance of viewing them.
Celestron 21049 Powerseeker 127EQ
You don’t need tools to assemble Celestron’s 21049 Powerseeker and the job shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. So you can be set up and observing in next to no time, making this scope ideal for impromptu observing sessions on clear nights that creep up unexpectedly.
It’s also small (the optical tube is a smidge over 50cm long) and lightweight (9.7kg) so can be easily taken along for any camping trips to dark-sky sites.
The scope’s manual mount features slow-motion controls to help you keep objects in the viewfinder and a set of eyepieces (20 and 40mm) and a Barlow lens that triples the magnification power of both of them. You also get free pass todownload Celestron’s Starry Night Basic software with its database of thousands of observing targets.
Slokey Astronomical Telescope SkyWays 50080
The Slokey SkyWays 50080 is a bigger and better version of the SkyWays 40070 (see above). It’s aimed at beginner astronomers but is geared more towards adults than youngsters.
Its optics are a step up from the 40070, coming with a 3x Barlow lens and three eyepieces (25, 10 and 6mm) to offer magnification of up to 250 times to give you slightly deeper views into the night sky. You’ll be able to enjoy sharp and detailed views of Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons, and glimpse some of the galaxies that lie beyond the Milky Way.
A burlier, more sturdy tripod helps keep this bigger scope stable for better views and the included red dot finder helps you train the scope on the sights you’re looking for.
Celestron Cometron Firstscope Telescope
For total newcomers to astronomy, Celestron’s Cometron Firstscope is a cost-effective (reduced from £80 to £50) and convenient option. It’s ready to go straight out of the box and its simple design is easy to use by anyone unfamiliar with telescopes. Better still, there’s no need to fiddle about with tripods, as it’s small and light enough to sit on a table-top (or windowsill if you don’t fancy braving the chilly temperatures outside).
Perfectly suited to catching sharp view of comets and star clusters, the Cometron Firstscope is also powerful enough to provide you with clear detail of the mountains and craters on the Moon.
Celestron Inspire 80 Refractor Telescope
If you want to peer a little further into space, Celestron’s Inspire 80 might be worth a look – especially as you can save £70 by buying it at Curry’s.
It’s powerful enough to bring bright deep-sky objects like the Orion nebula and Andromeda galaxy into view, as well as provide sharp, detailed images of astronomical bodies that are a little closer to home, such as the Moon and the planets that neighbour Earth.
It’s smartphone adaptor also mean you can use it to shoot stills and videos of the breath-taking views you catch with this scope.
Celestron 114AZ Newtonian Telescope
You can save almost £40 on this Celestron Newtonian telescope by buying it from Argos this Black Friday.
It’s another scope that promises to get beginners up and running in next to no time thanks to its no-tools-required assembly. Its pointing controls are simple and beginner friendly too – a slow-motion rod lets you point the telescope manually but with enough precision to bring your target easily into view and track it as it moves across the sky.
It comes with 20mm and 4mm eyepieces and a 3x Barlow lens to let you see even more of the objects around us by tripling the eyepieces’ power.
Celestron Travel Scope 70 DX Portable Telescope
Have telescope, will travel… at least, you can with this one. It weighs just 1.5kg and comes with diminutive dimensions of 16 x 33 x 43cm (height x width x depth) so can easily accompany you on any trips where you might find yourself with an opportunity to set your sights on the skies.
It offers great views of the Moon and planets of the Solar System and comes with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone adapter so you can shoot stills and video remotely (preventing you from shaking the scope when you press the button to start recording).