Best telescopes for seeing planets 2023: See Saturn and more

Regrettably, one area of observing I have not covered is astrophotography, as I have little knowledge in this area. Perhaps someone better suited than I can provide information in a subsequent article. THE INCONSTANT MOON provides a guided tour of the Moon at any point in its cycle. There’s also a “cyclopedia” of the Moon, an atlas of the Earth-facing side, an index of features, and more.
They are great little beginner scopes that are easy to use and can help you decide if you want to transition into something bigger. Remember, if Discover the best telescope for beginners right here! drive to a dark sky site, it’s not always guaranteed to find a picnic table or park bench to sit these scopes on. When using a telescope, no matter how big, stars will look like stars. Stars are just too far away for telescopes to resolve (see more clearly/get more detail). Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and the second largest, after Jupiter.
Take your telescope out in advance to acclimatize to ambient temperature. With over 100x magnification, you’ll begin to make out the dark features on the Martian surface. With 200x magnification or more, you’ll see more details, including the polar ice caps, Martian cloud, etc.
Make sure you bring your telescope outside about an hour or so before you plan to observe to cool it to ambient temperature. The telescope needs to reach thermal equilibrium with the outside air temperature to avoid distorted views. Telescopes with large mirrors and lenses may take longer to cool down for the best views. Many of us grew up learning that Pluto was the ninth and furthest planet from the Sun. This small object was immediately classified as a planet following its discovery in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, an American astronomer and telescope maker. Tombaugh was searching for the mysterious Planet X, as astronomers had noticed changes in Uranus’ and Neptune’s orbit that indicated another mystery object was ‘tugging’ on the planets.
1.25″ diagonals from GSO and William Optics are affordable. And if you want a premium unit, Baader makes an excellent prism-based 1.25″ diagonal that minimizes scatter and maximizes image contrast. Any good eyepiece will show you detail on Saturn, but some eyepieces are designed especially with lunar and planetary observing in mind. A planetary eyepiece does not need to give wide “space-walk” views because the images of planets are small and usually held near the center of the field of view.
Below is our pick of some of the best scopes that will have you enjoying views of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in no time. However, all of these features bump up the cost, so these are not low budget telescopes, but they are very good. And, if you have a bit more cash available and want even more spectacular views of the planets, take a look instead at the NexStar 8SE. Click this link for today’s price (which opens a new tab) or click here for our full review.
In more difficult conditions, you have to be content with observing the star Antares in the constellation Scorpius, which is also located nearby in a nebula. Summer is the best time to observe these objects in Ukraine, as they are visible low above the southern horizon. Refractors generally offer higher apertures for lower prices, making them an excellent choice for viewing planets or for astrophotography. Some refractors due suffer from chromatic aberration, which causes an object to exhibit a light-ring around it, but many are now apochromatic, which fixes this issue. The planets of the Solar System are some of the most exciting celestial objects to view through a telescope. On the downside, the battery life for this telescope is reportedly quite short, so you’ll need to purchase an external power supply.
It takes minutes for the human eye to fully adjust to very low light conditions. You can turn a regular flashlight into a red light by covering it with red cellophane, tape, fabric, paper, or similar materials. Over time, they will begin to build a clearer understanding of how stars form and burst out of these dusty clouds over millions of years.
Obviously you need to plan on a clear sky, or at least on the part of it you’re most interested being clear. You should have an interactive sky chart at your disposal, such as the online star atlas listed in the Resources. Trying to tease out subtle combinations of gases that might mean life on other planets is an extremely difficult thing to do—especially for a telescope that was not conceived with this task in mind.
If you own a Newtonian or Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, make sure your telescope’s optics are collimated. It can make a difference when it comes to discerning fine planetary detail. If the optics are slightly out of alignment, you may be cheating yourself out of seeing the clearest and sharpest details on Jupiter. Make it a habit to check collimation and adjust as needed once your telescope is cooled down. Most refractor telescopes generally do not need to be collimated.