There are a few factors that will affect the price of a telescope, including the size of its aperture, the type of mount it comes with, and whether you want to buy a manual or computerized mount. These are important decisions to make before you start shopping for a telescope, as they will have a big impact on the quality of your experience.
Aperturesize (diameter of the primary lens or mirror): Larger apertures gather more light, so they can show more objects and detail. You’ll need a minimum of 4 inches of aperture to see brighter things, such as star clusters and galaxies from a dark location, but if you’re a serious stargazer, a 6 or 8-inch scope will give you an even greater view of the night sky than a smaller one can.
Refractors: They are a popular choice for beginners because they offer high magnifications and are easy to use. They also produce a high-contrast image, so they’re ideal for looking at planetary targets such as the moon and planets.
Reflectors: They are lighter in weight and tend to be better in low-light conditions, but they do need some maintenance from time to time. They are more expensive than refractor models, so you should carefully consider your budget.
A good tabletop Dobsonian can cost around $250, but you’ll pay more if you want a more powerful model or one that comes with a mount. The most popular ones are from top names like Celestron, Orion and Meade, but you can find cheaper options if you shop around online.