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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

The Most Powerful Telescope In 2023 That is Actually Affordable

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Finding a powerful telescope at an affordable price is a challenge. One of my friends raved about his AstroMaster 130EQ Telescope. I borrowed it, and was pleasantly surprised by its quality!



Why I Recommend the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ for Beginners:

  • Ease of Use: The Newtonian design of the telescope makes it simple to set up and operate, even for those with little to no prior experience. You can start exploring the night sky without feeling overwhelmed by complicated controls.

  • Comprehensive User Manual: The telescope comes with a detailed user manual that provides step-by-step instructions on setting up the telescope, aligning it with celestial objects, and navigating the night sky. The manual serves as a helpful guide, especially for beginners who are just starting their astronomical journey.

  • Fully-Coated Glass Optics: The telescope's fully-coated glass optics ensure exceptional image quality and clarity, allowing beginners to observe celestial objects with impressive detail. You'll be amazed at the level of detail you can see, even as a beginner.

  • Adjustable-Height Tripod: The included adjustable-height tripod provides stability and support for steady viewing sessions. It allows you to find a comfortable height that suits your needs, making it easier for beginners, including children, to observe celestial objects without straining their necks or backs.

  • Budget-Friendly: The AstroMaster 130EQ offers excellent value for money, making it an ideal choice for beginners who may be hesitant to invest a large sum in their first telescope. You can embark on your astronomical journey without breaking the bank.

  • Expandability: As your interest and skills grow, the AstroMaster 130EQ can be expanded with optional accessories such as additional eyepieces, filters, and a smartphone adapter for astrophotography. This means you can customize and enhance your observing experience as you progress in your astronomical exploration.

  • Family-Friendly: The user-friendly nature of the AstroMaster 130EQ makes it perfect for families with children who are curious about the night sky. It's a wonderful tool to introduce your kids to the wonders of astronomy and foster their interest in science.


A Picture of the moon through telescope

Powerful Optics for Stellar Views

I spent hours reading reviews and watching videos in search of a telescope with exceptional clarity. And then I discovered that one of the standout features of the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is its impressive fully-coated glass optics. This technology ensures exceptional clarity and brightness, allowing us to witness celestial objects in breathtaking detail. Whether you're observing the moon's craters, the rings of Saturn, or distant galaxies, this telescope delivers awe-inspiring views that rival those of much pricier models.


Ideal for Beginners:

Your Observing Experience Will Be Enhanced by It

To further enhance your observing experience, Celestron offers several optional accessories that are compatible with the AstroMaster 130EQ. You can choose to invest in additional eyepieces, filters, and a smartphone adapter for capturing stunning astrophotography. These accessories allow you to personalize your stargazing journey and delve deeper into the mysteries of the cosmos.


Affordability Without Compromising Quality

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ is its affordability. In an age where high-powered telescopes often come with exorbitant price tags, this telescope stands out as a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality. It offers incredible value for money, making it accessible to aspiring astronomers of all ages and backgrounds.


Stargazing Is Always Unforgettable Family Bonding

As a father, one of the joys of stargazing with my boys is the precious bonding time we share. Exploring the night sky together has sparked their curiosity, ignited their imagination, and fostered a love for science.


My Pro Tip for New Users of the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ

First! - Take Your Time and Enjoy the Journey:

  • Practice setting up the telescope during the daytime to become familiar with its components.

  • Learn the night sky and identify prominent stars, constellations, and planets.

  • Start with low-magnification eyepieces to locate objects easily before increasing the magnification.

  • Master the art of focusing by adjusting the focus knob slowly until objects appear sharp.

  • Give yourself time to adapt to the darkness and avoid bright lights to enhance your night vision.

  • Find dark sky locations away from city lights for optimal observing conditions.

  • Keep a journal or use an app to document your observations and track your progress.


Remember, stargazing is about enjoying the journey and being patient. Have fun exploring the universe with your Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ!



Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ

Supportive Review

“This is a great beginner telescope. I only used the kit included (except for a 3x Barlow lens which I bought separately for about £20), nothing else, and got views of Saturn similar to the image attached (which I pulled from the internet to give readers an idea of what you’ll see through the scope). You can faintly make out the cloud stripes of Jupiter (couldn’t see the big red spot unfortunately) and the Galilean moons were also visible. On my first try, having never used a telescope before, it took me about 30-40 minutes to find Saturn through the scope. The second night, I found Saturn and Jupiter in 5 minutes.nSetup was pretty simple for an adult and took about 20 minutes.” - Scott

Get it from Amazon now: $299.99 & FREE Returns

Helpful Review With Some Additional Tips:

Let me say right from the start that you must set up some parameters or boundaries to work within when shopping and comparing performance, features, etc. 1. Looks. I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything in this price range that looks more the part. I really like the orange anodized alum. bits & pieces. They really pop against the metallic blue optical tube. To me this thing looks like more scope than it really is. 2. Aperture. 130mm is about as big as you'll find at this price point. Aperture is everything. The more the merrier. Do not get caught up in the magnification hype that is very common in department store telescopes. As a matter of fact this scope does not have very high power as supplied. With it's relatively short focal length, you'll need a barlow lens to get some big mag. numbers. 3. Mount. Since I come from a cheap department store scope background, this is the best mount I've owned. Now that said, it is still very light, and there are plastic bits on the telescoping legs that will break if you get over assertive when tightening fittings. The legs are steel, but of the shower curtain rod weight, not electrical conduit weight. It's probably the best place for them to skimp, in my opinion. There are tricks to make a mount more stable, but most of us don't want to grind our own optics at home. If you keep your hands off the scope while observing, it's more than stable enough for some good viewing. It will take some time for it to settle down after focusing, but that's what we have to deal with at this price point. 4. Optics: they seem pretty good. I get sharp points when viewing stars. I've found nebulae for myself for the first time with this scope. It's small and light enough to grab and go, which is how I use it so far. The viewfinder is on the weak side. It's a red dot finder with no magnification. That's not the bad part. It's that they used plastic lenses that definitely eat some of the light passing through, and also seem to illuminate a slight bit when the red dot is on. Combined with the positions you may have to contort yourself in when viewing objects near azimuth, it's my least liked feature on this scope. 5. Overall you get good aperture and optics for the money, it's nice enough looking to leave set up in a corner. You get an equatorial mount that can be motor upgraded cheaply. I'm happy with my purchase, and I've since spent more money on eyepieces and accessories than I originally spent on the scope itself.” - E. Kittrell

Get it from Amazon now: $299.99 & FREE Returns

A True Quality Instrument!

If you're a passionate stargazer like me, or if you're looking to introduce your family to the wonders of astronomy, the Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Telescope is an absolute game-changer. Its powerful optics, beginner-friendly design, and affordability make it the perfect telescope for both seasoned astronomers and newcomers alike. Get ready to witness the wonders of the universe right from your own backyard. Happy stargazing, my fellow explorers!


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