What’s the Best Telescope for A Youngster?

by trg

Recently an old friend asked me what telescope he could get for his young child on a $100 budget. I haven’t really delved into budget telescope for youngsters here except to point out to stay away from most department store telescopes if at all possible! I decided, especially with Christmas just around the corner, that now would be a good time to address budget ‘scopes for kids. After all, childhood is the perfect time to develop an interest in the heavens! I found four telescopes that should satisfy most youngster’s curiosity plus keep dad’s wallet happy by staying under $100. I put them here in no particular order.

FunScope 76mm Tabletop Reflector

Orion GoScope 80mm Tabletop Refractor

Orion SkyScanner 100mm Tabletop Reflector

Orion Observer 60mm Altazimuth Refractor

These four telescopes range in price from $60-$100 at telescope.com. Click the Orion Telescope Store banner to the right to check them out. Keep your child’s interests and capabilities in mind when deciding which ‘scope to purchase. For example, the Orion Observer may be too difficult for a young child to operate by him or herself. If your child has interests in nature viewing then the GoScope or the Observer may be good choices as they should provide better non-astronomical viewing than the SkyScanner or the FunScope. Will any of these ‘scopes be good for deep sky viewing? No, absolutely not. They are too small to have the light gathering capability needed for deep sky viewing but any of these telescopes should provide many hours of fun exploring the craters and mountains of the moon as well as interesting views of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn!

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