November 28, 2021

Telescopes at Walmart: Black Friday discounts and stock

There is an abundance of telescopes at Walmart on sale at Black Friday prices, especially with one of the most trusted brand names in the business: Celestron.

The telescope prices are part of a surge of Black Friday space deals that are associated with astronomy. The pandemic made amateur observing an appealing choice given that you hold such activities outdoors and at a distance anyway. The timing is thus perfect to get into learning about the night sky.

Astronomy is a much easier field to learn thanks to advancements in technology. Many telescopes come bundled with astronomy software, along with printable charts, for you to use. This allows even beginners to get to know the planets, the moon and the main galaxies and nebulas in the night sky.

More and more telescopes are also equipped with go-to features that allow a computer to help you with the targeting. While it’s always helpful to have some human knowledge to make sure the telescope is going to the right area, go-to telescopes are a rapidly growing market because they open up the night sky even further to beginners who might seek more challenging objects.

Astronomy is a lifelong hobby and it’s fun to take your time to get to know your new device. Set up your telescope carefully in full daylight and try practicing on objects such as power lines or trees. This will allow you to play with the focus before going outside.

Once you’re ready to start night observing, give your eyes and your telescope at least 20 minutes (your telescope might need longer in cold weather) to adjust to the climate. When you consult a star chart, which beginners often use to learn their way around the night sky, use a red filter on your phone or your flashlight. This will preserve your “night vision” to get the most out of your telescope.

Better and bater beginner’s telescopes are entering the market every year Celestron and other brands (like Meade or Orion) cater to this market. We just would caution you to avoid telescopes that don’t have a well-known brand name attached to them. 

Telescopes with poor aperture, shaky mounts or misaligned mirrors will only lead to frustration, and doing the proper research to find quality brands (like Celestron here) will be well worth your time. To steer you in the right direction, consult our guides on best telescopes, best beginner telescopes and best telescopes for kids to get some recommendations that best suit you.

We have a wealth of Walmart’s Celestron deals below, which you should act on quickly to avoid supply issues. You might also want to consider other Black Friday telescope deals, which you can find with best telescope deals and budget telescopes under $500. Happy skywatching!

Telescopes at Walmart: Best deals

Buying advice

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 102AZ tube

(Image credit: Celestron)

Think carefully about what type of telescope you’d like to buy. There are three main types: refractors, reflectors and catadioptric telescopes.

Refractors are really popular with beginner astronomers, as they are easy to maintain and they’re often mounted to a straightforward alt-azimuth mount. These mounts are cheap to manufacture, so the price of refractors tends to be quite low because of this. They are particularly good at giving highly magnified, high-contrast images, which is why they’re best for focusing on specific targets like the moon and planets.

Reflector telescopes tend to have larger apertures and are better for low-magnification targets like nebulas and galaxies. You get two types of reflector telescope: Dobsonians and Newtonians, although there’s some crossover between these. In brief, though, Dobsonians are easier to maintain and often found attached to the alt-azimuth mount. Newtonians are more commonly affixed to equatorial mounts, which allow you to follow the rotation of the night sky more accurately, but they require more upkeep. 

Finally, catadioptric telescopes fix issues found in both of the above types of scope – such as chromatic aberration and the coma effect – and they are typically equipped with a GoTo system. These systems are essentially mini computers that align your telescope to particular night sky objects. You get two types of catadioptrics, the Schmidt-Cassegrain and the Maksutov-Cassegrain. As a general rule, the Maksutov-Cassegrain is better for viewing planets, while the Schmidt-Cassegrain models are a little more versatile and feature bigger apertures, so they’re preferred by astrophotographers. 

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