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Best Telescope for Viewing Planets and Galaxies

If you have ever looked at the sky and wondered what is out there, you are not alone. Thousands of astronomy enthusiasts grab their telescope every day to aim at the open sky. Some are lucky enough to have the best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies.

Over a hundred billion stars and still counting!

The Milky Way galaxy has over a hundred billion stars. Some you can see with the naked eye! However, the tiny detail can be uncovered with the help of the best telescope. 

Telescopes are great for viewing the massive stars, but they are also useful for viewing planets. 

You can get a clear view of virtually all the planets in the solar system with a high-quality lens. The universe is a big place, and you will never run out of things to see.

Astronomy Can Be Tricky!

The only problem is astronomy is quite complex. If you don’t know how to find the best telescope for your needs, you may end up with a lackluster experience. Here are some of the best telescopes for viewing planets and galaxies.

Review of the Best Telescopes for Viewing Planets and Galaxies

Orion 10018 SkyQuest XT8i IntelliScope Dobsonian Telescope

User Rating: 3.7

Apart from the advanced optic system, there is also the advantage of the Starry Night software that allows you to know what you are viewing. Without a doubt, the selling point of the XT8i comes from the inclusion of the intelliscope object locator. Choose one of the thousands of objects viewable from the database, move the scope until all numbers reach zero and the object will be in view.

Orion XT8i

Orion XT8i

Easy carrying and transportation

A really great feature is that it will automatically track, so you need not to worry about objects drifting. If you are having trouble finding a power source, you can move the telescope manually. Portability can be key to astronomy and while the XT8i can be a bit bulky when fully assembled it breaks down into two parts allowing for easy carrying and transportation to the observation sight.

This refractor telescope can be motorized with the help of a 12V power cord (you can see more about refractor telescopes here). It comes on a specially designed mounting base that has a computerized control system and a sturdy mounting base that helps to keep the telescope steady. You will find that it  also helps to avoid vibration when trying to focus right on the target. There is a smooth tracking action on the mounting base that automatically keeps the device on the target, so you don’t get those annoying bumps every time you have to move the knobs. You can quickly push the button on the convenient controller, and you don’t have to drive and tap this device to get it aligned properly.

A lifetime of enjoyment!

Overall, we were very impressed with the optical performance, computer object locator, and ease-of-use provided by the Orion XT8i. Dobsonian is famous for giving the best bang for your buck in astronomy, and while some competitors may have the edge over Orion in terms of included accessories, the XT8i will provide you with a lifetime of observing and enjoyment. It has a durable construction, and it is straightforward to set up since there is no assembly required. This telescope comes assembled already so you can use it almost immediately.


Large aperture for clear and easy viewing of the planets and galaxies
Ideal for looking at faint objects
Durable construction
Easy to use and put together
Vibration free mounting base

It is a bit bulky
The optics tube is open and may be vulnerable to dust
Needs regular maintenance

Celestron CPC 1100 Starbright XLT GPS Telescope

User Rating: 4.0

This telescope will give you stunning views, advanced performance, and solid construction you can count on for years to come. The Celestron CPC 1100 is a favorite among experienced amateur astronomers. The CPC combines the Celestron’s signature Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube in 11 inches with a sturdy dual fork arm mount for precise locating and tracking of celestial objects.

Schmidt-Cassegrain optics will allow you to enjoy sharp and bright views of distant galaxies, planets, and star clusters. It has a focal length of 2800mm capable of gathering up to 44% more light than smaller objects, so objects rarely appear blurry or dim. With its powerful light gathering power, you will be amazed at what you can view with this telescope.

Celestron CPC 1100 GPS

Celestron CPC 1100 GPS (XLT)

Internal GPS System

The telescope comes complete with a 9 by 50 finderscope eyepiece and a heavy-duty adjustable steel tripod. Celestron’s revolutionary skyline technology plus an internal GPS have you ready to observe in minutes. The computerized hand controller contains a database of over 40,000 celestial objects and even generates a list of all the best objects currently visible, so you will always know what you are looking at.

At the end of your night, the CPC ergonomic design makes it easy to break down, transport, and store. One advantage of this telescope is its lightweight construction and compact size. It weighs only 30 pounds, and the quick release mount makes taking it off and reattaching it easy, so you don’t need additional tools to set it up. This makes this device one of the best telescopes for viewing planets and galaxies.

You can use both batteries or electricity!

You don’t have to worry about finding a power source on your stargazing trips as it can run on batteries or electricity. Both experienced, and beginner astronomers will love the advanced computerized features that come with the Celestron CPC Telescope. The innovative SkyAlign technology makes alignment easy even for beginners trying to view the night sky. It has a GPS accessory you can easily plug into the auxiliary port for fast and straightforward alignments.

If you are interested in Astro imaging, the CPC is a great way to get started. All you have to do is attach an X image or skyress solar system imager to capture the moon and planets or add the optional HD pro wedge and your DSLR to capture deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. It comes with an RS-232 cable and NexRemote telescope control software that allows for advanced control of the telescope using your laptop.

Next level stargazing!

Celestron telescopes are known for their high-performance capabilities and durability, and the Celestron CPC 1100 Starbright XLT GPS telescope is not an exception. Although it is relatively lightweight, they still design it to provide its users with years of enjoyment. Take your stargazing experience to the next level with the Celestron CPC 1100 telescope.


Ideal for deep space gazing
Fully computerized dual fork arm mount
Heavy-duty, fully foldable tripod
Ergonomic design
Lightweight and compact

Some customers noted it consumes a lot of battery power, so we recommend you buy an adapter
It can be expensive for some people

Sky-Watcher ProED 120mm Doublet APO Refractor Telescope

User Rating: 4.4

One of the best telescopes for viewing planets and galaxies is the Sky-Watcher ProED. It comes complete with two eyepieces of focal length 5mm and 20mm respectively and a red dot finder for quickly finding objects. The two eyepieces provide the necessary magnification and long eye relief, especially for eyeglass wearers. It is a very interesting model because it has an SPL 53 lens, so it has a superb correction of the chromatic aberration. It achieves this through its high-quality lenses and air to glass optical surface that have received metallic high transmission coatings (MHC) and extra low dispersion treatments (ED).

Sky-watcher ProED

Sky-watcher ProED

Excellent precisioning capabilities

The focal length is 900mm, and it comes with support rings, a vixen title dovetail bar, and a 1.25-inch camera adapter. On the rear, there is the Crayford focuser with a micrometrical knob that allows the connection of about 2 inches and 31.8-millimeter diameter accessories. This allows for increased precision when adjusting the image.

It’s really the simplicity of being able to use this telescope that makes it unique. You can loosen off the friction, and you can move it up and down to quickly find the object you want to look for. It’s a great light gathering telescope for astronomy; the 120 millimeters allows you to see the rings around Saturn, Jupiter, moon, and the cloud bands on Jupiter aside from serving as a terrestrial spotting scope or as a telephoto lens.

The large 8 x 50 erect image finderscope ensures the speedy location of celestial targets. The optical systems can reject unfocused stray light to allow you to have maximum contrast on the focal plane. This refractor type telescope allows its users to enjoy realistic and phenomena deep space views with high contrast.

Great in both day and night

Unlike 2-element achromatic lens configurations that use standard and flint glasses, this device gives nearly zero residual false colors. The ED doublet lens helps you to get the best color correction. What we find is many people love this for daytime use at the lake as it is good for seeing wildlife and waterfowl on a boat. The simplicity of use and the great views make it an excellent telescope both for daytime use and for viewing planets and galaxies.

The Crayford focuser enables fine focusing with preciseness and speed without the backlash. This focuser provides a fine and ultra fine adjustability. It has a foam-lined carry case that ensures a hassle-free transport and storage of the optical tube assembly. The mounting cradle ring enables the adjustment of the orientation and position of the telescope to give you optimal viewing comfort and balance. Although the Sky- Watcher ProED does not come with a tripod or mount, the Vixen dovetail plate enables support of an alt-azimuth or equatorial mount that comes with a Vixen saddle.

If you want to do astrophotography with this telescope, you have to pay attention to other parameters. One of the most important ones is the mechanical accessories that allow you to avoid any flexures. The Sky-Watcher ProED telescope is not perfect by itself, but we can, of course, improve it by buying some accessories that can help to enhance the focusing capabilities of the scope.


Features a lightweight and compact design
Ideal for viewing at faint objects
Produces a high-quality image
Compatible with any mount type
Requires almost no maintenance
Minimal chromatic aberrations

You have to buy the tripod and mount separately
The stock focuser can be tricky to use for some people

When shopping for the best telescope for viewing the planets and galaxies, it is essential to go for those equipped with the right resolution and magnification as they are major determining factors that can define the type of experience you will have. We know these particular telescopes are quite expensive so if you have a limited budget but still want a great experience with the night sky then please see our post titled the best telescopes under 200.





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