Which type of telescope is the best? There is no simple answer to that question until you define your expectations of the telescope. Some telescope types allow for both terrestrial and lunar / planetary observing. Others are mainly intended for observing distant galaxies and other deep space objects, and may be completely unsuitable for terrestrial use. The images and brief descriptions below will start you on your way to understanding these different design types and their applications. If this is your first telescope and you find yourself a bit overwhelmed, you may want to start with our article on buying a telescope. This article contains both our own advice on how to select a telescopeas well as links to other valuable resources.

Dobsonian Telescopes
Dobsonian telescopes combine Newtonian reflector optics with a simple, cost effective and easy to use altazimuth mount.
Refractor Telescopes
Refractors are the design that most people associate with a telescope, but they are also the most expensive in terms of dollars per unit aperture.
Schmidt Cassegrain Telescopes
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are very popular because they offer a combination of large aperture and relatively small and lightweight package.
Maksutov Cassegrain Telescopes
Maksutov-Cassegrains telescopes are a compact design that offer superior contrast and are excellent telescopes for planetary and double star observing.
Newtonian Reflector Telescopes
Newtonian reflector telescopes are the most cost effective type of telescope for astronomical observations, offering the lowest cost per unit of aperture.
Solar Telescopes
Solar Telescopes in Hydrogen-Alpha wavelength allow you to safely observe solar prominences, sunspots, and other intriguing features of the solar disk.
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