Last Updated on January 6, 2021
When it comes to astronomy, few companies have pushed the bounds of what is possible like Meade and Celestron. They’re two of the most prominent and well-respected telescope manufacturers in the world, and both of them make top-notch products that span from beginner-friendly models to the top-tier telescopes used by professional astronomers the world over.
So, how could you possibly choose between the two? Both offer telescopes with great features like GoTo, GPS, and high-quality optics. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong with either brand. But to help you decide where to spend your money, we’re going to take an in-depth look at each company and their offerings so you can make the most informed decision possible.
|Manufactured in||Taiwan and Irvine, CA||Taiwan|
|Price range||$45 – $19,000||$50 – $8,700|
|Warranty||1-year||2 years to limited lifetime|
Originally started as a mail-order company shipping out reflector telescopes, Meade grew into a prominent name in the industry. They’re known for making high-quality telescopes equipped with their Advanced Coma-Free optics.
Meade’s goal is to use advanced technology to make astronomy accessible, easy, and fun for everyone, regardless of experience level. Their wide range of consumer-level astronomy tools makes this clear, and they’ve made it affordable for anyone to get started observing the night skies.
But that doesn’t mean they only make beginner-friendly equipment. On the contrary, Meade makes some incredibly high-end telescopes that are meant for observatories and the discerning eyes of the world’s leading astronomy professionals. Over the years, they’ve built a trusted reputation by producing quality devices that continue to expand our reach into the stars.
Meade sells quality astronomy tools of all types, including telescopes, eyepieces, lenses, binoculars, spotting scopes, and more. Their telescopes range from the basic and beginner-friendly models that start below the $50 mark all the way up to $19,000 telescopes with Ultra-High Transmission Coatings and 16-inch focal lengths. No matter what stage you’re at in your astronomy journey, Meade has the tools to help you continue progressing.
With the longest selling mass-produced telescope under their belt, the C8, Celestron has become a well-known and respected name in astronomy. They make a wide array of telescopes from beginner models to get you started up to high-tech professional models that cost thousands of dollars.
Celestron is recognized as one of the most prestigious names in telescopes. They’ve been making and selling high-quality optics since the early 1960s, and that tradition continues today.
Starting at a mere $50, Celestron has models for every level of budding astronomer. They have many models designed to get you started in astronomy and allow your love for it to grow. But they also have some telescopes that near $10k in price, such as the CGX-L telescope at $8699.
No matter what type of telescope you end up choosing, Celestron stands behind them all with a two-year warranty. Even better, they provide a limited lifetime warranty on the basic optical system for the lifetime of the product under the original owner.
With one of the best warranties in the industry backing up their products and many diverse telescopes to choose from at all levels, it’s easy to see why so many people trust Celestron for their astronomy needs.
There’s no debate, Meade and Celestron both make excellent telescopes of all levels. From the beginner first starting to dabble in astronomy to the professional who’s made a career of it, either company has great telescopes with the features you need to continue advancing at your craft.
In the beginner range, both offer great models and you can’t go wrong with either company. When it comes to intermediate-level telescopes, Celestron’s 40,000+ celestial object database with GoTo technology and SkyAlign for easy alignment beat the smaller celestial library and more cumbersome setup process offered by Meade.
But at the high end of the spectrum, Meade tips the scales in their favor with the advanced AutoStar II computer system that has a celestial library of 145,000 objects. Still, you can’t go wrong with a telescope from either brand at any level. They both make great telescopes for all astronomers from enthusiasts to professionals.
Header image credit: AlejandroLinaresGarcia, Wikimedia
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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