The best telescopes for viewing the 2022 Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the best astronomical events that stargazers have the pleasure of viewing yearly during the summer. Although the 2022 Perseid meteor shower peaked a few weeks ago, it’s not too late to check out the spectacle as it usually lasts until the end of August.

Before you drag your lawn chairs out to your backyard or balcony, you’ll need a telescope to view the meteor shower properly. There are many excellent models to choose from, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced star watcher.

What is the Perseid meteor shower

Where does it come from, and why is it called Perseid?

The Perseid meteor shower is caused by the Earth slamming into residual debris from a comet long ago. Its name is derived from a consensus of astronomers who believe the origin of the meteor shower is in the Perseus constellation.

When can I watch it?

You can watch the Perseid meteor shower in pre-dawn hours for approximately a month and a half, beginning mid-July and ending in late August. The peak fell on the night of Aug. 12 this year, but due to a full moon, clarity wasn’t the best. However, it’s not too late to check it out if you haven’t yet, as it’s still visible on most nights, depending on weather conditions and your location.

Telescope considerations and features

What are the different kinds of telescopes?

  • Refractor telescopes are the most popular for beginners and casual stargazing. They’re affordable, portable and easy to set up.
  • Reflector telescopes are bulkier than refractor telescopes but usually have a larger aperture and offer the best clarity.
  • Cassegrain telescopes work similarly to refractor telescopes but are a bit heavier and offer a more magnified view.

Aperture

Aperture refers to the diameter of the optical lens that collects light. The more light your telescope can gather, the better the image brightness and clarity. A telescope with a 70-millimeter aperture is sufficient for casual viewing, but more experienced astronomers or stargazers might prefer one over 100 millimeters.

Focal length

Focus length refers to the distance from the primary lens to the spot where light rays converge in focus. A telescope’s focal length plays a crucial role in its magnifying power. A short focal length is suitable for viewing star fields and meteor showers, while a long one is ideal for homing in on objects such as the moon or planets to examine them in greater detail.

Best telescopes for this year’s Perseid meteor shower

Affordable telescopes under $150 for beginners and kids

Best ToyerBee Astronomical Refractor Telescope

ToyerBee Astronomical Refractor Telescope

This telescope has a large 70-millimeter aperture, and you can adjust the magnification power between 15 and 150 times. It comes with removable eyepieces, a Barlow lens and a wireless camera remote for taking snapshots of the night sky. Sold by Amazon

Best Kiosesi Telescope Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Kiosesi Telescope Astronomical Refractor Telescope

If you want an affordable telescope that offers a long focal length and a large aperture, this one won’t disappoint. It has two eyepieces that can be magnified up to 200 times, an adjustable 360-degree tripod and a smartphone adapter. Sold by Amazon

Best Celestron Refractor Travel Telescope

Celestron Refractor Travel Telescope

This telescope is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a simple telescope to watch the Perseid meteor shower this year. It has fully-coated glass optics, a 70-millimeter objective lens and a custom backpack for convenient storage and traveling. Sold by Amazon

Best Gskyer Astronomical Refracting Telescope for Kids and Beginners

Gskyer Astronomical Refracting Telescope for Kids and Beginners

This telescope delivers quality optics thanks to a 400-millimeter focal length and a 70-millimeter aperture. It comes with an adjustable tripod, two eyepieces, a magnifying Barlow lens, a finder scope with a mounting bracket, a smartphone adapter and a camera remote. Sold by Amazon

Best Emarth Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Emarth Astronomical Refractor Telescope

This portable telescope is affordable and an excellent gift idea for young stargazing enthusiasts. It has a high-transmission coated lens for enhanced image and eye protection and comes with essential accessories, including a Barlow lens, an adjustable tripod and a finder scope. Sold by Amazon

Best Merkmak 90X Refractor Telescope

Merkmak 90X Refractor Telescope

Your little one can tune into the Perseid meteor shower with you this year with their personal telescope. This telescope is for kids but offers enough magnification power to see the moon’s surface clearly, and it has a multi-layered coated lens for improved light transmittance. Sold by Amazon

Larger telescopes for more experienced viewers

Best Hexeum Astronomical Portable Refracting Telescope

Hexeum Astronomical Portable Refracting Telescope

This telescope delivers an exceptional viewing experience. It offers a 600-millimeter focal length, 80-millimeter aperture and two eyepieces with 24 times and 60 times magnification. Sold by Amazon

Best Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope

Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope

This powerful telescope is compact, portable and excellent for beginners. It has a German Equatorial mount with a slow-motion altitude rod you can adjust for smooth scanning, and it comes with two eyepieces and a Barlow lens for increased magnification power. Sold by Amazon

Best Gskyer 80-Millimeter Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Gskyer 80-Millimeter Astronomical Refractor Telescope

This telescope has a 400-millimeter focal length, an 80-millimeter aperture and a coated optical glass for eye protection and optimal image brightness. It comes with three replaceable magnification eyepieces, a mounting bracket and a full-size adjustable tripod. Sold by Amazon

High-end telescopes for advanced astronomers and viewers

Best Solomark 130EQ Newtonian Reflector Telescope

Solomark 130EQ Newtonian Reflector Telescope

If you want to upgrade to a high-end telescope, this model has a sizeable 130-millimeter aperture and delivers a high-resolution image. The surface has a carbon fiber cover, and it comes with a fully-coated glass lens and a German Equatorial mount for precise tracking. Sold by Amazon

Best Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope

Celestron NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope

This high-quality computerized telescope has a tube design, 200-millimeter aperture and boasts an impressive light-gathering ability for superior image clarity. It has a fully-automated mount with a database of over 40,000 celestial objects and a single fork arm design for easy storage. Sold by Amazon

Best Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Reflector Telescope

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ Newtonian Reflector Telescope

You can’t go wrong with this powerful reflector telescope for viewing this year’s Perseid meteor shower. It has a 130-millimeter glass optic objective lens and a lightweight frame, and it comes with a travel tripod and a red dot finder scope. Sold by Amazon

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