Astronomers Without Borders OneSky Reflector Telescope

For beginner astronomers who don’t want to have to fiddle with manual mirror alignments and such, Celestron’s Firstscope and Powerseeker 60AZ are great telescopes to start with. For those who would prefer to learn the ins and outs of stargazing in a more hands-on way, the extraordinary AWB Onesky Reflector is as good as you can get at its $200 price point.

This telescope is actually the result of a partnership between Celestron and Astronomers Without Borders, a US-based nonprofit that funds educational programs and astronomy equipment/training for developing countries around the world. They know the importance of quality stargazing tools that are lightweight, portable, and easy to put together.

As such, they’ve come up with a telescope that weighs in at only 14 lb total, with an optical truss tube that collapses from 24″ (its fully extended viewing length) down to 14.5″ for easy transport and storage. Wirecutter chose this telescope as their budget telescope pick, and had only positive things to say about its optical quality and included accessories:

When you’re looking for a telescope on a budget, it is important to consider potential flaws such as poor optics, shaky mounts, substandard eyepieces, and faulty finder scopes. We vetted the OneSky for all of these common issues, and it passed our examination with flying colors.

The tabletop Dobsonian mount, a simplified alt-azimuth mount, is steady and smooth, and it works well when the OneSky telescope is sitting on a table or some other solid platform. This swiveling mount has an integrated handle for easy carrying, and in our experience it proved reasonably stable and smooth when we searched for objects in the night sky.

Watch the unboxing and assembly of the OneSky Reflector in this video:

If you’re okay with the thought of manually aligning (AKA “collimating”) the OneSky’s mirrors, you’re sure to have an awesome time viewing celestial objects afterward.

Get the OneSky Reflector telescope for $200 at Astronomers Without Borders.