Share Pin When you have a decent amount of money to spend of a telescope,the problem of which one to pick can become even greater.You can feel a real pressure to make sure that you get the best scope for your money and don't come away feeling like you made a mistake.In this review, then, we're going to make sure to show you the best telescopes under $1000 and breakdown exactly why they should be on your shortlist.As we go through the list of contenders, we'll share with you the model we think is the best telescope for $1000.Each of the scopes in our list is ready to be bought today on Amazon.com, and you can click on any picture or link of the relevant telescope to go there and see today's price. Quick NavigationOur Top 5 Telescopes for Under $1000How to Choose a Telescope for Under $1000Magnification on Telescopes Below $1000Best Optics in a $1000 TelescopeFive of the Best Telescopes for less than $1000 • Celestron Advanced VX 6" Newtonian Reflector • Celestron NexStar 6SE Schmidt-Cassegrain• Orion 9534 ED80T Apochromatic Refractor• Meade LightBridge 12" Dobsonian Reflector• Celestron Omni 150 Refractor + EQ MountThe Best Telescope Under $1000?Without further ado, we'd like to share with you our winners table for the best telescopes under $1000. Scroll further down for detailed reviews of each scope, or use the quick navigation box above to go straight to the scope of your choice.Our Top 5 Telescopes for Under $1000Best TelescopesUnder $1000PictureIdeal For... Price Our RatingBest Newtonian under $1000Celestron Advanced VX 6" Newtonian Celestron Advanced VX 6" (Click for Amazon Price)Getting started with astrophotography, or just a decent set-up of mount and telescope getting started without the hassle of buying separates $$$ Best Catadioptricunder $1000Celestron NexStar 6 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron 6SE (Click for Amazon Price)Newbies and experienced astronomers alike who want a reliable, high-powered point-and-shoot telescope. $ Best Refractorunder $1000 (OTA only)Orion 9534 ED80T CF Refractor Orion 9534 (Click for Amazon price)The serious sky watcher who already has equipment but needs a high-quality refractor for amazing detail and astrophotography $$$ Best Dobsonianunder $1000Meade 12" LightBridge Dobsonian Meade 12"LightBridge (Click for Amazon price)The backyard astronomer who wants to gather as much light as possible and is happy to 'point and shoot' their own telescope $$$ Best Refractor with Mountunder $1000Celestron Omni XLT 150 Refractor with CG-4 EQ Mount Celestron Omni 150 Refractor(Click for Amazon price)Getting started with astronomy. You get a reliable, good value refractor telescope and steady mount... but without maxing your budget$$ Our BEST TELESCOPES OF 2017 have been chosen - Click HERE to see all 16How to Choose a Telescope for Under $1000Knowing where to start buying a telescope for under a thousand dollars can be daunting.To make it so much simpler for you, we've looked only at the best telescope for your budget in one of five different telescope types:Newtonian ReflectorCatadioptric (Schmidt-Cassegrain)Refractor OTA (optical tube assembly, i.e. telescope only, no mount)Dobsonian ReflectorMounted RefractorIf you want to know more about the different types of scopes and their relative strengths and weaknesses, click here.Magnification on Telescopes Below $1000Make no mistake, if you spend around $1000 on one of these telescopes, you are going to get some pretty decent optics. However, there are laws of physics which apply no matter how much money you spend. So, when looking at the more detailed reviews below, keep in mind these thoughts around optimal magnification.A telescope's magnification is calculated by dividing its focal length by that of the eyepiece you're using.For example, take telescope with a focal length of 600mm. Insert a 25mm eyepiece and you'll have a magnification of 24x (i.e. 600 / 25).If you now put a 6mm eyepiece in the same telescope, you'll have a magnification of 100x (i.e. 600/6).In theory this could go on for ever (e.g. 600x magnification if we use a 1 mm eyepiece) but there is an upper limit to a telescope's magnification. That limit is set by how much light it collects (it's aperture) and by the disruption to air quality of our swirling atmosphere.When looking at a manufacturer's claims on magnification, keep the following points in mind:The air quality (seeing) has a bigger impact as magnification gets higher. The moon can look almost like it's underwater if viewed at very high magnification, and that's because of air turbulence. Only rarely will you be able to make use of more than 200x magnification at the eyepiece, no matter how powerful your scope.Aperture size has an impact on how much magnification is theoretically possible with your telescope. A useful rule of thumb is that a scope's maximum magnification is 2x the diameter of its aperture in mm.A 100mm refractor, for example, is going to have a theoretical maximum magnification of 200x.The final thing to take account of is the quality of optics. We normally assume a usable maximum magnification of around 70% the theoretical maximum.Using the example from point 2 above, 70% of our 200x magnification is actually 140x usable magnification, and that's what we've used below.However, it may be fair that the quality of some of these scopes, especially the OTA refractor, means that the usable magnification might be as good as (or even better than) the theoretical maximum.Trying to pick your first telescope but feeling overwhelmed..?CLICK HERE for our free beginner's guide to choosing the right first telescope for your needs.Best Optics in a $1000 TelescopeIn common with all scopes, better optics make for a better experience. Saturn will be more stunning with better optics (credit below)Generally speaking, the best refractors for under $1000 will give a better view per mm of aperture than a reflector.... but you'll get more mm of aperture in a reflector.Just compare the 80mm refractor with the 275mm Dobsonian below. The Dob gives you so much more light gathering power as to be in a different league But...The Orion Refractor has such stunning optical quality that astrophotography and general clarity of image through it will give the substantially larger Dob a run for its money... especially considering that 200x magnification is about as good as we can hope for within Earth's atmosphere.If you never plan on photographing the night sky, then the Dob will show you fainter, deep-space objects than anything else on this list.Five of the Best Telescopes for less than $1000We've reviewed five different categories of Telescope and found the best one at or below the $1000 price point*.They are:Best Newtonian Telescope Under $1000: Celestron Advanced VX 6" NewtonianBest Catadioptric Telescope Under $1000: Celestron NexStar 6SE Schmidt-CassegrainBest Refractor Under $1000 (OTA only): Orion 9534 ED80T CF RefractorBest Dobsonian Reflector Under $1000: Meade 12" LightBridgeBest Mounted Refractor Under $1000: Celestron Omni XLT 150 Refractor with CG-4 EQ Mount*For the current price on Amazon, click on the telescope's picture below. • Celestron Advanced VX 6" Newtonian Reflector Celestron Advanced VX 6" (Click for Best Amazon Price)Telescope Type: Newtonian ReflectorMount: Go-to MotorisedCurrent Price: Click here for current Amazon priceFocal Length: 750mmAperture: 150mmFocal Ratio: f5Maximum Theoretical Magnification: 300x (3mm eyepiece)Likely Useful Maximum Magnification: 210x (4mm eyepiece) ProsGreat setup for astrophotographyGood value for the tripodSolid telescope performance ConsMuch of the price is in the mount (which is great) and not scopeOnly one 20mm eyepiece suppliedOur Rating: Ideal For: Getting started with astrophotography, or just a decent set-up of mount and telescope for someone just getting started but doesn't want the hassle of buying separates. CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT AMAZON PRICING • Celestron NexStar 6SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron 6SE (Click for Best Amazon Price)Telescope Type: Catadioptric (Schmidt-Cassegrain)Mount: Motorised 'go-to'Current Price: Click here for current Amazon priceFocal Length: 1500Aperture: 150mmFocal Ratio: f10Maximum Theoretical Magnification: 300x (5mm eyepiece)Likely Useful Maximum Magnification: 210x (7mm eyepiece) ProsEasy to get startedDecent opticsGood to transportHuge star/ object database ConsNeeds a power tank to run wellOnly a 25mm eyepiece included (60x magnification)Our Rating: Ideal For: Newbies and experienced astronomers alike who want a reliable, high-powered point-and-shoot telescope. CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT AMAZON PRICING • Orion 9534 ED80T Apochromatic Refractor Orion 9534 (Click for Amazon price)Telescope Type: RefractorMount: OTA (optical tube assembly) only, no mountCurrent Price: Click here for current Amazon priceFocal Length: 480mmAperture: 80mmFocal Ratio: f6Maximum Theoretical Magnification: 160x (4mm eyepiece)Likely Useful Maximum Magnification: 160x (4mm eyepiece) ProsVery high quality lensesPin-sharp focus and 'real' colorWide field of viewLess than 6lbs weight ConsThis is scope only, needs mountWide FOV can mean objects appear smallOur Rating: Ideal For: The serious sky watcher who already has equipment but needs a high-quality refractor for amazing detail and astrophotography. CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT AMAZON PRICING • Meade LightBridge 12" Dobsonian Reflector Meade 12"LightBridge (Click for Amazon price)Telescope Type: Dobsonian ReflectorMount: DobsonianCurrent Price: Click here for current Amazon priceFocal Length: 1524mmAperture: 305mmFocal Ratio: f5Maximum Theoretical Magnification: 600x (3mm eyepiece)Likely Useful Maximum Magnification: 300x (5mm eyepiece) ProsHuge light collectorWill show extremely faint deep-sky objectsMore aperture per dollar than any other scope ConsAltAz base and no 'goto'Big and heavy beast (80lbs total) to move aroundOur Rating: Ideal For: The backyard astronomer who wants to gather as much light as possible and is happy to 'point and shoot' their own telescope. CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT AMAZON PRICING • Celestron Omni 150 Refractor + EQ Mount Celestron Omni 150 Refractor(Click for Amazon price)Telescope Type: RefractorMount: German EquatorialCurrent Price: Click here for current Amazon priceFocal Length: 750mmAperture: 150mmFocal Ratio: f5Maximum Theoretical Magnification: 300x (3mm eyepiece)Likely Useful Maximum Magnification: 210x (4mm eyepiece) ProsAffordable large refractor and good quality mountCrisp images with good contrastEasy set-up and represents great value for this price point ConsOne eyepiece only (25mm)Optics not as good as Orion: some minor chromatic aberrationOur Rating: Ideal For: When getting started with astronomy and you need a reliable, good value refractor telescope and steady mount... but without maxing your budget. CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT AMAZON PRICING The Best Telescope Under $1000?How did we decide which of our five best telescopes you can buy for a thousand dollars was the best?Well... it's not straightforward because they have different qualities that make them better or worse depending on what they're being used for.Since Love the Night Sky is for 'amteur and aspiring' backyard astronomers, we set the scoring based on what would be the best telescope somebody could get for their $1000 budget which would let them get started and deliver brilliant results.There are no bad scopes on this list, but in last place, with three stars, came the Celestron Advanced VX6". It's a great scope and it comes with a great stand, but... if you're looking for a portable and motorised goto telescope then the Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain NexStar 6SE offers substantially better value for money. Which is why we gave it 4.5 stars for second place.In well-deserved first place on our list is a scope whose price only just makes it into this review (i.e. don't expect any change for your $1000). It's the Meade 12" LightBridge Dobsonian.Although this is a big beast of a telescope, it wins for having not only the classic Dobsonian ease of use, but for the sheer audacity of providing a full 12" of light-gathering power for less than $1000. YEs, it is a big, beefy monster and no, you can't do astrophotography with it and, yet...You will see deeper and more faintly into space than you ever have before if you can erect this big old mirrored eye under a dark sky near you!The other riders missed out on first place but are still amazing telescopes. The Orion OTA Refractor is truly a magnificent telescope if you want to seriously invest in astrophotography. But, it's lack of a mount and features like go-to meant it could only score 3.5 stars in a review where being able to get started is an important measure.Finally, there's the Celestron Omni XLT mounted refractor. It is another good scope and there is no argument to e had with the quality of the mount included. The reason it's only scored four stars is simply that there are so much better telescopes available for your $1000.We hope you've found a winner for your budget amongst these five planet-watching scopes!Image CreditsProduct images sourced from Amazon.comJupiter picture Credit: By NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) - http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1410a/ or http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2014/24/image/b/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32799232Saturn Picture Credit: By NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute - http://www.ciclops.org/view/5155/Saturn-Four-Years-On https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/365640main_PIA11141_full.jpg http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11141, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7228953Links: Please note, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. You can find out more by clicking on 'affiliate links' in the footer.