The Best Telescope for Solar Eclipse

As a seasoned expert in solar phenomena and an avid skywatcher, I understand the allure of witnessing a solar eclipse. It’s a celestial event that not only fascinates us but also offers valuable insights into our sun’s mysteries.

You, as an enthusiast eager to observe this spectacular event, deserve the best equipment. So, let’s dive into the world of telescopes tailored for solar eclipse viewing.

To answer your question directly: the best telescope for observing a solar eclipse needs to have specific features. It must offer excellent optical quality, a reliable solar filter, and a stable mount for precise tracking. With these criteria in mind, I have selected three telescopes that stand out in the market.

1. Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope

  • Why It’s Great for Solar Eclipses: This telescope boasts a 130mm aperture, providing clear and detailed views. Its computerized altazimuth mount allows for easy tracking of the eclipse. Most importantly, it’s compatible with high-quality solar filters, ensuring safe observation.
  • Where to Buy: You can purchase this gem from Amazon or directly from the Celestron website.

2. Meade Instruments LX85 Achromatic Refractor

  • Why It’s Ideal: The LX85, with its 120mm aperture, offers bright and sharp images. Its sturdy German equatorial mount provides excellent stability, essential during an eclipse. Meade’s solar filters, sold separately, fit perfectly with this model.
  • Where to Buy: Available on both B&H Photo Video and Meade’s official website.

3. Orion AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

  • Why I Recommend It: This is an excellent choice for beginners. The 90mm refractor gives a wider field of view. It’s lightweight, easy to set up, and when equipped with Orion’s solar filters, it becomes a safe and effective tool for eclipse viewing.
  • Where to Buy: Orion’s official site and Amazon are your best bets.

Telescope Model

Key Feature

Where to Buy

Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized 130mm aperture, computerized mount Amazon, Celestron website
Meade Instruments LX85 Achromatic Refractor 120mm aperture, German equatorial mount B&H Photo Video, Meade website
Orion AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor 90mm aperture, beginner-friendly Orion website, Amazon


Remember, the telescope is only part of the equation. Investing in a high-quality solar filter is non-negotiable for your safety and the integrity of your viewing experience.

Never look at the sun, eclipsed or otherwise, without proper protection. Your awe-inspiring view of the solar eclipse awaits, and with the right equipment, it will be an unforgettable experience. Stay curious and clear-skied!

ALSO SEE: Best Batteries for Travel Trailer with Solar


  1. What makes a telescope suitable for solar eclipse viewing?
    • It should have high optical quality, a stable mount, and be compatible with reliable solar filters.
  2. Can I use the Celestron NexStar 130SLT for other astronomical observations?
    • Yes, it’s versatile for both solar eclipse viewing and general astronomical observations.
  3. Is a computerized mount necessary for observing a solar eclipse?
    • While not necessary, it greatly helps in tracking the eclipse smoothly and accurately.
  4. Why is a solar filter important for eclipse viewing?
    • A solar filter protects your eyes from harmful solar radiation and allows safe observation of the sun.
  5. Where can I buy a quality solar filter for these telescopes?
    • Solar filters can be purchased from the same retailers as the telescopes, like Amazon or the manufacturers’ websites.
  6. Can beginners easily use the Celestron NexStar 130SLT?
    • Yes, its computerized system makes it relatively easy for beginners to use.
  7. What is the price range of the Meade Instruments LX85 Refractor?
    • The price varies, but it’s generally in the mid to high range for amateur telescopes.
  8. Is the Orion AstroView 90mm good for city dwellers with light pollution?
    • Yes, its features make it suitable for use even in areas with some light pollution.
  9. Can I attach a camera to these telescopes for eclipse photography?
    • Yes, with the appropriate adapters, you can attach a camera for astrophotography.
  10. Are these telescopes portable?
    • The Orion AstroView 90mm is particularly portable, while the others are less so but still movable.
  11. Do these telescopes come with warranties?
    • Yes, they typically come with manufacturer warranties. Check the specifics upon purchase.
  12. How do I set up the Celestron NexStar 130SLT for eclipse viewing?
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring the solar filter is securely attached before use.
  13. What maintenance do these telescopes require?
    • Regular cleaning of lenses and mirrors, careful handling, and proper storage.
  14. Can children use these telescopes for eclipse viewing?
    • Yes, under adult supervision, especially to ensure proper use of solar filters.
  15. What should I do if my telescope’s solar filter gets damaged?
    • Replace it immediately. Never use a telescope with a damaged solar filter.
  16. Are these telescopes suitable for viewing other celestial events?
    • Absolutely, they’re great for observing stars, planets, and other astronomical events.
  17. How does the computerized mount of the NexStar 130SLT help during an eclipse?
    • It automatically tracks the sun’s movement, keeping the eclipse in view without manual adjustment.
  18. Is it difficult to align the Meade LX85 for eclipse observation?
    • It requires some initial setup, but following the manual’s instructions makes it manageable.
  19. Can the Orion AstroView 90mm be upgraded with better eyepieces?
    • Yes, it’s compatible with a range of eyepieces to enhance your viewing experience.
  20. How long does it take to assemble these telescopes?
    • Assembly time varies, but they generally take around 30-60 minutes to set up.
  21. Do I need additional accessories for eclipse viewing?
    • Apart from a solar filter, no additional accessories are essential, though eyepieces and cameras can enhance the experience.
  22. What’s the best way to learn how to use these telescopes?
    • Reading the manual, watching tutorial videos, and practicing will help you learn effectively.
  23. How do I calibrate the telescope for accurate eclipse viewing?
    • Follow the calibration process outlined in the telescope’s manual.
  24. What is the weight of the Celestron NexStar 130SLT?
    • It weighs about 18 pounds, making it moderately portable.
  25. Can I connect the Meade LX85 to a computer?
    • Yes, it can be connected for more advanced tracking and control options.
  26. What kind of mount does the Orion AstroView 90mm have?
    • It comes with an equatorial mount for stable and precise tracking.
  27. Is there a community or forum for users of these telescopes?
    • Yes, online astronomy forums and communities are great places to share experiences and get advice.
  28. How effective are these telescopes in low-light conditions?
    • They perform well in low-light conditions, suitable for night sky observations.
  29. What is the maximum magnification for the NexStar 130SLT?
    • It offers a maximum magnification of around 307x.
  30. Do these telescopes require electrical power?
    • The Celestron NexStar 130SLT requires power for its computerized mount, while the others can operate manually.
  31. What is the focal length of the Meade LX85?
    • It has a focal length of 700mm, providing a wide field of view.
  32. Can I observe planets with the Orion AstroView 90mm?
    • Yes, it’s also suitable for planetary observation.
  33. What precautions should I take when observing a solar eclipse?
    • Always use a certified solar filter and never look directly at the sun without it.
  34. How do I store these telescopes safely?
    • Store them in a dry, dust-free environment and preferably in their original packaging or a telescope bag.
  35. Can these telescopes withstand outdoor weather conditions?
    • They can handle mild outdoor conditions, but it’s best to protect them from extreme weather.
  36. What’s the best way to clean the lens of my telescope?
    • Use a soft, lint-free cloth and specialized lens cleaning solutions.
  37. Can I use the NexStar 130SLT for deep sky observations?
    • Yes, its aperture and features make it suitable for deep sky observation.
  38. How does the equatorial mount on the Orion AstroView 90mm benefit eclipse viewing?
    • It allows for smooth tracking of the sun’s path across the sky, essential during an eclipse.
  39. Is technical support available for these telescopes?
    • Yes, technical support is offered by the manufacturers.
  40. How often should I check the solar filter for damage?
    • Inspect the filter before every use and replace it at any sign of wear or damage.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *