Achieving a middle ground between portability and price, the Sky-Watcher 12” FlexTube Dobsonian is a good choice for those interested in a large and capable telescope without a premium price tag.

There are five planets visible to the naked eye, but one of those, Saturn, is too close to the Sun to be visible this month. Of the others, three are currently visible in the evening sky. 

The Sky-Watcher Virtuoso GTi 130P is a fantastic beginner or “Grab n’ go” telescope, though we do recommend the larger 150P which only costs a bit more too. Those looking for a simpler or cheaper setup should consider the Heritage 130P or 150P which are identical to their Virtuoso GTi counterparts apart from the lack of GoTo.

Whether you use a DSLR or a cooled dedicated astronomy camera, the Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED is a high-quality, compact, and capable telescope ideal for deep-sky astrophotography and a superb instrument for visual use as well.

The Explore Scientific ED80 Essentials Triplet is a poor choice for most astrophotography work compared to competing telescopes, and the scope’s triplet optical design has little correlation with high quality.

The Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED (formerly the ProED 80) is an excellent visual and astrophotography telescope, though not the fastest f/ratio or widest field option out there.

Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is one of the most well-known constellations in the sky, and with good reason.

The William Optics ZenithStar 73 III is an ideal telescope for wide-field deep-sky astrophotographers, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced imager.

The William Optics ZenithStar 81 is a great telescope for beginner astrophotographers and provides excellent value for the money, though it’s a little more demanding than smaller aperture instruments and slower in focal ratio.

In spite of their complicated appearance, equatorial mounts really aren’t all that complicated nor are they much more difficult to use than an alt-azimuth mount.