Telescopes open the universe to you, but what else do you need after you’ve chosen your scope and mount? Investing in the best telescope accessories takes your observations to the next practical astronomy level.
Optimize your observing and astrophotography experience with these additional tools. We’ll try to keep you from buying more than you need with this telescope accessory guide. From eyepieces to dew shields, we’ve got you covered.
So whether you’re checking this list out for yourself or need a gift for a stargazing friend, you will find the right astronomy accessories.
Table of Contents
Top Choices for Telescope Accessories
Some folks consider the telescope accessories in this section necessities. We’ll leave that determination up to you!
Planets look very small on nights when the Moon shines at its brightest, so a Barlow lens is a great telescope accessory to help. It enlarges your view with an extra magnifying lens in front of your eyepiece.
A well-made Barlow lens doubles your collection of eyepieces. But, of course, verify you’re purchasing the correct size for your telescope.
Choices like this Celestron Omni 2X Barlow Lens fit into 1.25” focuses and diagonals. It also accepts 1.25” eyepieces, making it a versatile and inexpensive option.
A good pair of binoculars enhances your telescope viewing by giving you a wide field of view. Look for 7×35, 7×50, or 10×50 binoculars for astronomy.
You might think bigger is better, but 10×50 is the most potent beginners need. Larger binoculars have narrower fields of vision. Plus, they’re heavier, so they’re harder to hold steady.
Roof-prism and porro-prism binoculars both make excellent astronomy choices. Roof prisms are often lighter and more portable, making them perfect if you also plan to use them for bird-watching. Porro-prisms are a little heavier but have wider views and excellent magnification.
Dew Prevention Shield
Preventing dew keeps you out there star gazing, but once the dampness sets in, you’re pretty much finished for the night. Luckily you have some great choices to shield your telescope from dew.
First, you can make your own dew shield with just three items.
- Coffee container to fit your telescope
- 6mm self-adhesive neoprene
- 3mm self-adhesive neoprene.
BBC’s Sky Magazine details the steps for this simple dew prevention solution.
Buying additional eyepieces is part of telescope ownership. Standard 1.25” fitting diameters are universally compatible with telescopes with 1.25” focusers.
This highly-rated and affordable SVBONY telescope lens set has 4mm, 10mm, and 23mm eyepieces. This focus range suits broad-field Moon viewing, nebulae, and star clusters. As a result, you’ll get more detail across a wide field of view.
Of course, eyepiece price range from affordable to not so much. It all depends on your personal needs and budget.
A good set of color filters make it easier to see detail in the Moon and planets. Buy filters individually or as a set for a better price. Beginners can’t go too far wrong with an entry-level set, but once you’re ready for higher-quality filters, Orion makes excellent ones. They come in a sturdy carrying case with a quick-glance guide showing each filter’s benefit.
Check out our full article on telescope filters for more information.
Finderscopes point your telescope in the right direction to find celestial objects. The Telrad finder sight (or a similar option) makes an excellent addition to your telescope accessories bundle. And in some cases, it may replace inferior finderscopes.
A multi-degree bullseye helps you target and lock on to your chosen planet or star. So it makes it easy to aim and align your telescope. Protip: Remember to turn off the Fingerscopes (battery-operated) LED when you’re done for the night.
Phone Astronomy Apps
There are so many astronomy apps that enhance your telescope viewing and astroimaging. Check out our complete list for all the details. But in the meantime, look for highly-rated apps with large celestial databases.
Some favorites are
- ISS Live Now
- Stellarium Mobile
Connecting your smartphone to your telescope’s eyepiece allows you to delve into astroimaging. Plus, there’s no more bending over to peer through the eyepiece!
This universal smartphone adaptor from GoSky fits almost all phones. It adapts to your telescope, binocular, spotting scope, microscope, or monocular. Livestream your Milky Way viewing party!
Nice to Have Telescope Accessories
Angled Finderscope Eyepiece
Switching out your finderscope eyepiece for an angled version saves your back, making it a very nice to have telescope accessory. Omegon makes a right-angle polar scope adaptor eyepiece that fits many telescopes.
You’ll appreciate no longer needing to kneel on the ground to peer through your finder.
You might as well spring for a pair of Bino Bandits if you’re picking up a new pair of binoculars. Or get a pair for your old binoculars. Either way, this gadget makes viewing stars at night or wildlife during the day much better.
This shield flex fits around your binocular eyepieces to block glare, ambient light, and wind. So there’s no more squinting to look through. They also reduce eye strain by blocking your surroundings so you see only your targeted view.
The slits in these Bahtinov focusing masks show exaggerated star spikes if you’re out of focus. These inexpensive telescope accessories help you rein in pinpoint focus without spending much of your viewing or imaging time. We keep ours handy inside the telescope carrying case.
A high-power laser pointer makes it easy to point out celestial objects to your star-gazing partners. They’re bright enough to work in light-polluted areas and with a brightly shining Moon.
This USB-chargeable laser pointer option means you save money by not buying batteries. Plus, this one even comes with fun filters. So your light shines in a single beam, or choose from multiple star-shaped designs.
Yes, you can drag out a lawn chair for your night sky observations. But a dedicated astronomy chair that adjusts to your telescope’s eyepiece makes the night that much sweeter.
This Starbound Astronomy Viewing Chair has a padded seat with adjustable height. In addition, it won’t tip over easily if you lean to the left or right when observing galaxies. And to top it off, it folds flat for easy storage.
Keep your night vision by using a red light flashlight. Whatever task you need lighting for, this astronomy flashlight keeps your eyes adjusted to the dark. So you’ll get better viewing without having to wait.
We appreciate the square shape that keeps this red flashlight from rolling away on the ground.
And the last item on our list of the best telescope accessories is a cover for large, mounted scopes. A cover gives you the flexibility to keep your telescope assembled and ready for viewing. And you’ll appreciate protecting your investment from dust buildup.
Having a telescope cover in the field is also nice while waiting for your scope to acclimate or between observations. In addition, Orion uses materials that prevent dew buildup, so you won’t have to worry about dropping temperatures.
Best Telescope Accessories Wrap Up
When choosing what else you need to accompany your telescope, it’s important to consider what your end goal is as well as what you’d like your experience to be like. If you are looking for recommended telescopes check out our favorites here! Happy stargazing!