Here we have a Black Friday telescope deal on a good quality, affordable refractor from a trusted brand, with a large aperture for letting in lots of light. Right now, the Celestron Inspire 100AZ Refractor Telescope is $359.95 at Adorama (opens in new tab), saving $109 (or 23%). It’s currently only available on back order, but if you order now, you can lock in the saving.
Its purpose is to help you get better views of the moon and planets while also allowing you to experiment with basic astrophotography. You can even attempt some smartphone astrophotography thanks to the innovative smartphone mount which you’ll find hidden away in the scope’s dust cap.
The telescope comes with a simple alt-azimuth mount which you can move side to side and up and down (rather than having to get to grips with an equatorial mount).
While it isn’t a particularly heavy scope — it totals just 20lbs — it does have quite a large footprint, so you probably wouldn’t want to leave it out taking up space in your home, but luckily, it is very easy to assemble and similarly deconstruct to store it away in between sky watching sessions. It’s no hassle to pack it down, pop it in your trunk and head for darker or clearer skies.
Though a beginner scope, you will need some knowledge of the night sky to pick out your desired subjects. You, of course, have apps to help you find your way. Check out our guide to the best stargazing apps to find the one that suits you.
The inspire 100AZ comes with an erect image diagonal, so when used with the eyepiece, the image will be the correct, right way up, meaning you can use this for terrestrial observations as well as for nighttime use.
The package also includes the tripod with a folding accessory tray, a red LED light (to help you set up and swap your eyepieces easily while preserving night vision), a StarPointer Pro red-dot finder, and both a 10mm and 20mm eyepiece.
As we found in our Celestron Inspire 100AZ review, in the right conditions — as well as impressive views of the moon and Saturn — you will be able to see Andromeda (M31) and some brighter star clusters, but if you want to see beyond that and into true deep sky, you’ll need something more powerful, something perhaps from our best telescopes for deep space guide. There’s currently a 15% discount on the Celestron NexStar 8SE, which sits at the top of that list. While it is a sizeable chunk of money and, therefore a much more significant investment, it will last for many years and is less limiting than the Inspire 100AZ.
Be sure to check out Space.com’s Black Friday deals page, which we continuously update with worthwhile deals when we see them.