Best Telescope to See the Moon [Buyers Guide]

Getting a good look at the moon requires equipment that’s built for the job. Although many different telescopes can provide a closer look, you want a telescope that’ll show you more than just a blurry up-close viewing.

This is where various features come into play, and plenty of telescopes on the market can give you a crystal clear view of the moon and its surface. You can take solace in that you’ll be able to find something within your price range, but that all comes down to the specifications of each telescope.

So, what’s the best telescope to see the moon? Well, there’s more than just one, and choosing the right one comes down to what you’re looking to get out of your viewing experience.

Best Telescopes To See The Moon

Overall, these are three of my top picks that you should definitely consider:

Editors Choice
Celestron - NexStar 5SE - Computerized Telescope
Also Great
Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
Budget Pick
Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope
Celestron - NexStar 5SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+Celestial Objects - 5-Inch Primary Mirror,Orange
Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope (Teal)
Editors Choice
Celestron - NexStar 5SE - Computerized Telescope
Celestron - NexStar 5SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+Celestial Objects - 5-Inch Primary Mirror,Orange
Also Great
Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
Budget Pick
Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope
Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope (Teal)

Celestron – NexStar 5SE – Computerized Telescope

Celestron - NexStar 5SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+Celestial Objects - 5-Inch Primary Mirror,Orange
  • NEXSTAR 5SE COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPE: Celestron’s iconic orange tube telescope combines 5 inch Schmidt-Cassegrian optics with updated technology and the latest features for an amazing stargazing experience for beginners and experienced observers alike.
  • 5-INCH APERTURE SCHMIDT-CASSEGRAIN TELESCOPE: 5-inch primary mirror packs enough light-gathering ability to deliver impressive views of the Moon and planets, along with deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula, while retaining a compact form factor.
  • FULLY-AUTOMATED GOTO MOUNT: With a database of 40,000 plus celestial objects, NexStar SE's GoTo mount locates and tracks objects for you. It's the perfect telescope for astronomy beginners. NexStar SE is also compatible with StarSense and SkyPortal WiFi.
  • EASY TO SET UP & USE: Assembling the telescope takes just a few minutes.Once you're set up, built-in SkyAlign technology helps you align the telescope fast. When you're done observing, the telescope breaks down into small components for easy storage.
  • UNBEATABLE WARRANTY & SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from Celestron, a leading telescope brand in California since 1960. Purchasing from an Authorized Dealer on Amazon gives you a 2-Year US Warranty and unlimited support from our team of US-based experts.

Features & Specifications

  • Magnification: 50x
  • Lens diameter: 125mm
  • Aperture: 5”
  • Weight: 17.60lbs


This is my recommendation and editors choice. Here’s why.

Its capabilities far outweigh the other telescopes on multiple fronts.

You can easily track tens of thousands of objects in the night sky, and this, of course, includes the moon.

The fully automated mount is a core feature of many Celestron telescopes, and this one not only helps you track objects but finds them as well.

Take full advantage of the SkyAlign technology, which is alignment technology, to ensure your telescope never misses a step in its tracking process.

You’ll also enjoy a larger primary mirror which is 5,” and this allows the telescope to gather more light while delivering crystal-clear images.

Likely to be one of the most exciting features of this telescope is the included database of over 40,000 objects in outer space. There’s no doubt that you’ll be able to get a good look at the moon, but this means you’ll be able to view much more than that.

As is needed with any telescope, this one doesn’t skip on a portable design and is more than suitable for easy transportation.


One big difference in this telescope compared to the others is the cost.

It definitely requires a chunk of change, sitting at around $800. That being said, with proper care, this telescope could easily last a lifetime and you may not necessarily need to upgrade.

Nevertheless, it’s still an excellent choice for beginner and experienced stargazers. 

You’ll also have to manage either an AC adapter or a battery power supply.

It should also be noted that these items are not included in this product. If you plan on traveling with this telescope, ensure you have the power supply you need to withstand hours of fun.

This telescope may come with many highly sought-after features, but one thing it isn’t meant for is astrophotography.

Don’t let this deter you from the fact that it is capable of very clear, stunning images, but its aperture size may not be suitable for astrophotography.

Overall, most people find the NexStar 5SE to be worth the cost, but it’s important to note the potential cons.

Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope

Zhumell Z114 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope
  • Industry standard 1.25” focuser, compatible with many different accessories
  • Changing magnifications is easier than ever with included 17mm and 10mm eyepieces
  • Easy to use red dot finder makes aiming the Z114 a breeze for any level of user

Features & Specifications

  • Magnification: 27x – 46x
  • Lens diameter: 114mm
  • Aperture: 4.5”
  • Weight: 11lbs


With this telescope, you get a wide field of view thanks to a 456mm focal length, alongside optics that allow you to view many beautiful celestial objects.

It’s important to note its 114mm parabolic mirror, as it helps to ensure clear and vivid images in the night sky.

You also won’t have any issue gathering ample light as it’s built with a mid-range aperture that pairs well with the rest of its optic features.

Users also benefit from additional accessories, such as a red dot finderscope and two eyepieces which are 10mm and 17mm, respectively.

This gives you a decent variety of magnification options.

Between 27x and 46x, there’s a lot you can see in outer space in amazing detail.

This accessory doesn’t come included, but you can easily attach a smartphone adapter to snap a few photos of the moon and other celestial objects.

For many people, it’s clear that its portable design and cost efficiency is a big plus as well.

Some may consider this telescope a starter option, but it’s more than suitable for newbies and experienced users.

The telescope comes with an Altazimuth mount and a 1.25″ focuser that’s compatible with a wide range of telescope accessories.


The telescope comes with two eyepieces, but some people find this to still be a bit limited for their needs.

With the focal length this telescope has to offer, some users have mentioned that it can be hard to view smaller objects in the sky.

This might not be a problem for some, but the telescope comes with a tabletop mount.

Although this may provide a certain level of convenience, this may limit its portability and overall range of motion.

It’s an entirely manual telescope, and the lack of automation features can make it challenging to zero in on an object.

In general, the primary user of this telescope would be beginners.

Even though it’s more than suitable for many experienced users as well, those looking for a long list of multi-faceted features may want to look elsewhere.

Regardless of the pros and cons, this telescope is a stellar choice for those looking for a highly affordable and portable solution to their stargazing needs.

Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope

Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope (Teal)
  • Compact grab-and-go telescope designed for entry-level and intermediate astronomy enthusiasts
  • Substantial 4.5" aperture and fast f/4 focal ratio provides bright, detailed views of solar system targets like the Moon and planets, as well as wide-field celestial objects like nebulas and star clusters
  • Low-profile swivel base ships pre-assembled, provides smooth altazimuth motion for easy manual targeting and tracking of celestial objects
  • Includes 20mm (22.5x power) and 10mm (for 45x power) 4-element eyepieces, EZ Finder II aiming device, eyepiece rack, glare-reducing Moon filter, and Orion's MoonMap 260
  • Weighs just 10.9 lbs fully assembled, and stands 21" tall when aimed at the zenith

Features & Specifications

  • Magnification: 22.5x – 45x
  • Lens diameter: 114mm
  • Aperture: 4.5”
  • Weight: 10.9lbs


Right off the bat, one of the biggest selling points of this telescope is the price.

This is even more appetizing, considering the features and capabilities that come with it. The telescope is only $229.99 and comes with a quality that looks and feels much more expensive.

Not only is it an excellent solution for beginners, but it comes with a quality that you can rely on for years. On top of that, you can enjoy the telescope’s general ease of use.

Assembly is a breeze, and the tripod is more than durable enough for outdoor environments.

You’ll also appreciate its portability and relatively lightweight, making it a great option to have with you on the go.

Most buyers seem pretty happy with the telescope’s optics and the clear quality they deliver. It’s built with a parabolic reflector, which is known for its blend of contrast and satisfactory image quality.

There’s also a level of versatility that comes with this telescope, as you can observe planets, deep-sky celestial objects, and of course, the moon in all its glory.

You can even see galaxies and nebulas in much more detail if you’re in a location that doesn’t have much light pollution.


A few features may be seen as a downside, depending on what you’re looking for.

You won’t find any automation with this telescope.

Targeting and tracking are entirely manual, which can be tedious for harder-to-see objects. Many people feel the aperture is somewhat limited at 4.5″.

This is because it won’t deliver the best quality view among other telescopes, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t necessarily worth the investment.

It comes with a tabletop mount, which may seem convenient, but this positioning can limit the telescope’s range of motion.

However, this does make for an easy and simple setup. Regarding the accessories, you get the essentials with this telescope, but don’t expect many additional accessories. For instance, a camera adapter or Barlow lens won’t be found with this telescope.

What Makes A Telescope Good For Seeing The Moon

There’s no doubt you should consider a range of features when it comes to viewing the moon, but there are a handful that are paramount to achieving this. Your best bet is to look at aperture and magnification.


No matter which telescope you’re thinking about buying, you always want to look at the aperture it offers.

This determines how much light is gathered, which can significantly affect your image’s brightness and overall clarity.

If you want a clear picture of the moon, you want to go with a larger aperture, as this will ensure a more detailed viewing experience.


This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t consider the full potential of a telescope’s magnification.

There is a thing as too much magnification, so you want a telescope that gives you a variety or hits a sweet spot for viewing the moon.

A good number to work off of regarding the moon is a telescope that offers up to 50x magnification.

Things To Consider When Buying A Telescope For Viewing The Moon

Based on your personal viewing needs, there are some core aspects of telescopes you want to consider. Cost is a big factor, but other aspects, such as stability, automation, and optical quality, also matter. It’s vital to discern what matters most to you for what you’re trying to accomplish.


Just because a telescope is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s always the best telescope for the job.

You’d be surprised that getting a clear image of the moon is a bit easier than you might think. It just takes the right set of features, and you don’t have to break the wallet to get it done.

Mount Stability

The stability of your telescope is a big player in the quality of your image.

If you aren’t able to get the stability you need, you’ll never get a clear image of the moon.

This can be accomplished with a reliable, sturdy mount.

Automation features can also help here, as they can locate and target the moon, so you never lose a fixed position.