The Best Telescope under 500 – The Orion 09007 SpaceProbe Equatorial Reflector Telescope

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope (Black)
  • This 5.1 inch aperture reflector telescope gathers an ample amount of light for great views of the planets and Moon, as well as brighter galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters
  • Short 24 inch long optical tube design for easy portability and fast f/5 focal ratio for pleasing wide-field performance makes the SpaceProbe 130ST EQ a very versatile telescope the whole family can enjoy
  • Sturdy EQ-2 equatorial telescope mount and adjustable tripod allows manual slow-motion tracking of celestial objects as they appear to migrate across the night sky , Counterweight bar length - 8 inches
  • Complete assembled telescope weighs just 27 lbs. for convenient transport. Best for imaging- Lunar & planetary
  • Includes two 1.25 inch Sirius Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), 6x30 finder scope, 1.25inch rack and pinion focuser, tripod accessory tray, collimation cap, Starry Night astronomy software, and more!

Last update on 2020-12-01 PST - Details

Orion was founded in 1975 and is referred to as Orion Telescopes and Binoculars. It designs and manufactures premium products of high value and offer customer care services like no other. The company manufactures telescopes for entry level, intermediate, experienced (advanced) and expert use. 

It also makes various binoculars such as compact binoculars, hunting and sports binoculars, astronomical binoculars, waterproof binoculars, birding binoculars, etc. The brand also makes various astrophotography accessories to support enhanced stargazing experiences at affordable costs.

The Orion SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope is built with the intermediate user or serious entry level users in mind. It features a 130 mm parabolic primary mirror to deliver deep-sky views of terrestrial objects. The equatorial-2 mount and tripod it comes with is stable for steady use. 

The reflector telescope’s mount features dual setting circles and slow-motion buttons for easy control of the instrument. With basic polar-alignment, you can easily auto track objects in space as they move in the skies for detailed observations. What’s more, the aluminum tripod is durable and easily adjustable yet lightweight to bring with you on the go. 

The aperture collects enough light to enable you to view the Moon, planets, nebulas, bright galaxies and clusters of stars. The adjustable tripod and equatorial mount supports manual tracking of terrestrial objects moving across the skies. 

The accessory tray is handy when you need to organize and store your accessories. It keeps flashlights, eyepieces and other accessories within reach for easy access when need arises. Weighing only 27 pounds upon assembly, the telescope is compact and lightweight for easy transportation and thus portability

Whether you intend to use the telescope in your garden, backyard or when you go camping, it’s easy to move around as you look for the right spot for stargazing. The farther you use it from light pollution sources and streetlights, the better the images you can view with the instrument. 

Opt for this telescope if you’re a beginner looking for your first telescope of high quality. It’s also ideal for an intermediate user looking for something more cost-effective and portable to add to an existing collection of telescopes. It complements a large Dobsonian well.

What We Like

We like that the telescope is ideal for intermediate users and still useful for entry-level astronomers. What this means is that a beginner user who’s serious about their interest in space exploration can use the telescope for a long time. 

They won’t waste money because they’re sure about the space exploration path, meaning there’ll be no change of mind several weeks or months down the line. It makes the telescope a good investment that can save you costs in the long run. It can serve your entire family with different stargazing needs.

What We Don’t Like

However, if someone just trying out space exploration buys this telescope, they may stop using it within a short while once the interest to view celestial objects die. Therefore, the telescope isn’t for persons not sure about their interest in stargazing long-term.

Features of the Orion SpaceProbe Equatorial Reflector Telescope

  • 5.1 inch aperture
  • 24 inch optical tube length 
  • F5 focal ratio
  • Equatorial mount
  • 8 inches counterweight bar length
  • 27 lbs. weight
  • 1.25 inch Plossl eyepieces measuring 10 mm and 25 mm in diameter
  • A 6x30 finder scope
  • A tripod accessory tray
  • 1.25 inch pinion and rack focuser
  • Free astronomy software
  • Collimation or mirror alignment cap

Pros

  • Allows viewing of deep-sky objects such as galaxies, clusters of stars, nebulas, etc.
  • Wide field views and short tube lengths for increased portability 
  • Fast and versatile, making it ideal for the entire family
  • Lightweight build for easy transportation 
  • Easily adjustable tripod and mount for added convenience and flexibility 
  • Sturdy equatorial mount for increased stability 

Cons

  • The telescope may be costly for most beginner users

Buying Advice

When shopping for the best telescopes under 500 for beginner level or intermediate use, consider various factors to guide your purchase. First determine the right type of telescope you want. Choose from compound telescopes, reflecting telescopes and refractor telescopes based on your needs and budget.

Whether you’re a hobbyist or professional astronomer, assess your needs for telescopes to help you choose the right type. Develop a budget based on your needs to guide your purchase. It ensures you only buy what you need. If you’re a beginner user, there’s no need to buy a high-end telescope with features you may never use even if you can afford it.

Make sure the right telescope has features you need and will use. However, note that expensive isn’t necessarily the best telescope. Look out at the various features of the instrument to get value for your money. Make sure the aperture is large enough to allow sufficient light into the telescope tube for crisp images of high contrast.

Other important points for consideration include the focal length and ratio, the number and type of eyepieces, accessories and the type of mount supported. Check out user reviews of the specific brand and product you’ve chosen to ascertain that you’re buying a good telescope. 

Also look out for warranty for protection from manufacturing faults. A sturdy build, premium materials and reputable brand are key to buying a telescope that’s built to last many years of regular use.

Conclusion

The best telescopes for beginners are made with basic features to meet their simple needs and ensure they’re pocket friendly. The Orion SpaceProbe Equatorial Reflector Telescope is built for the serious beginner with great interest in exploring objects in the sky. 

It’s of premium quality to support changing needs as you hone your space exploration skills, leading to advancing needs that the instrument will still be able to meet.

Order the best telescope under 500 on Amazon today and take your celestial object viewing skills to the next level as you stargaze from your backyard each night.