Top 5 Professional Telescopes for the Ultimate Astronomical Experience

Telescopes come in all different shapes and sizes, and depending on your experience level you may be better suited for one type or the other. When looking at the many different brands and types of scopes on the market, finding the perfect one is much harder than you think. If you’re an experienced level astronomer or one looking to take your game to the next level than it’s time for an upgrade.

There are many different rated professional telescopes including reflector, refractor and hybrid models to choose from. If you’re more of an avid user, we’ve decided to make your buying decision much easier as the following review focuses on the Top 5 Professional Telescopes that are sure to make any astronomical experience the perfect one.

Where to Buy
Meade Instruments 1205-05-03 LightBridge 12-Inch Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
BARSKA Anchormaster 28x60m Brass Refractor Telescope w/ Mahogany Floor Tripod
Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm Telescope
SkyWatcher S11620 White Traditional Dobsonian 10-Inch
Celestron CPC 925 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2350mm Telescope

1. Meade Instruments 1205-05-03 LightBridge 12-Inch Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope

Type: Reflector

Focal Length: 1524mm

Rating: 9.8/10


  • Easy to mount

  • Lightweight

  • Perfect for all skill levels

  • Wide eyepiece giving great visibility

  • Portable design


  • Lacks an additional eye piece

  • No shroud

Meade Instruments is one of the most recognized names in the astronomy and over the years they have continued to impress with their lineup of versatile and high-quality telescopes. The LightBridbge 12-inch Truss Tube is a Dobsonian and scores an impressive 9.8 out of 10 which has helped make it a top-seller on Amazon. Consumers who have used this Dobsonian have raved over its performance which offers crystal clear visuals anywhere it’s deployed.

For a Dobsonian, the Meade Instruments 1205-05-03 LightBridge offers a very durable design, but is highly portable. For a telescope of this size it’s difficult to find the best of all worlds which all starts with the ease of setup and takedown while scoping out your favorite dark sky location.

Some of the highlight features include a new anti-reflection coating on the castings and trusses which brings out the best in the open tube design. Outfitted with a 12-inch aperture, f/5  focal ration, azimuth axis , roller bearing on the laminated base, and  focal length of 1524-millimeters, you’re getting that any model packs-in.

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2. BARSKA Anchormaster 28x60m Brass Refractor Telescope w/ Mahogany Floor Tripod

Type: Refractor
Focal Length: 700mm
Rating: 9.7/10


  • Powerful

  • Aesthetic and high-quality visuals

  • Smooth, natural movements

  • Durable

  • Highly precise


  • Heavy

  • Higher in price

If you’re looking for a professional grade telescope that’s offers a modern, sophisticated look, but is highlighted by what it does more than how it looks, than the 2nd telescope in this review is for you. BARASKA introduces this high-quality brass 28x60m Anchormaster reflector telescope which creates amazing visuals anywhere it’s setup. This Anchormaster was built to last and offers a sophisticated look that will have everyone taking notice.

This BARSKA Anchormaster features a very stable mahogany floor tripod and allows the scope to move all directions with ease. Users have come to appreciate the clarity of images thanks to the achromatic lenses which are fully coated 45° erecting diagonal for accurate which makes it perfect for land viewing. Weighing in at just over 20-pounds, it’s extremely lightweight which makes it portable and with 28x magnification and a focal length of 700mm you’ll have everything you need for amazing terrestrial imagery.

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3. Celestron CPC 1100 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2800mm Telescope

Type: Catadioptric
Focal Length: 280mm
Rating: 9.6/10


  • Handles deep space star gazing with ease

  • Foldable tripod included

  • Heavy-duty fully computerized altazimuth mount

  • Sharp detailed images with great clarity

  • Large database


  • Not portable, heavier than most

Celestron intgroduced the CPC 1100 which is a technological advanced Cassegrain telescope which offers an amazing 2800mm focal length. This StarBright XLT is an ergonomically correct model which can easily be moved from location to location with ease. This Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope model is highlighted by an 11-inch diffraction for ultra-bright, clear viewing.

The Celestron CPC 1100 features a GPS receiver built-in connected to the SkyAlign system which automatically downloads information such as the time, date, and location. Users won’t find a model that’s simpler to use than this which only takes pointing towards three bright objects and the StarBright XLT does all the rest.

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4. SkyWatcher S11620 White Traditional Dobsonian 10-Inch

Type: Reflector
Focal Length: 1200mm
Rating: 9.4/10


  • Aggressively priced

  • User friendly, versatile features

  • Simple to operate, even for beginners

  • Additional accessories included

  • Efficient and highly durable


  • Not recommended for professionals

  • Bulky

Claiming the 4th spot in this review is the SkyWatcher S11620 which is a 10-inch traditional Dobsonian telescope. Scoring a 9.4 out of 10 is a testament to its quality when considering how many we’ve reviewed and comes in highly recommended for more experienced users. For those looking for a smaller and cheaper model, there are three to choose from including 10, 8, and 6-inch models.

The SkyWatcher S11620 Dobsonian has a (f/4.7) focal length of 1200mm. The unique Crayford-style focuser is a 2-inch single speed model and comes complete with a 1.25inch adaptor. The stability is one of the best aspects thanks to the rocker-mount which features a tension clutch and Teflon bearings. Weighing in around 75-pounds it’s not exactly the lightest model out there, but it’s definitely one of the most durable.

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5. Celestron CPC 925 StarBright XLT GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain 2350mm Telescope

Type: Catadioptric
Focal Length: 2350mm
Rating: 9.3/10


  • Portable  and easy to take on the go

  • Intuitive auto alignment

  • Simple, tool-less setup

  • High power images with great clarity

  • Easy and feature rich enough for beginners and intermediates


  • Heavy

  • Too basic for professionals

Celestron did it right when they introduced the CPC 925 which is a Schmidt-Cassegrain model and has GPS technology built right-in. This StarBright XLT is easily one of the year’s best which gives you a max focal length of 2350mm which makes it perfect for deep space viewing. Simple to use, ease of setup, ergonomics, enhanced computerized technology are only some of the many things users have raved about.

This Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope from Celestron is highlighted by a 9.25-inch diffraction giving you crystal clear images in any dark night condition. Outfitted with a strong, durable altazimuth mount which has a dual form arm which is fully computerized. For simplicity and even better positioning, simply interact with the included remote control which also includes GPS alignment and state of the art NexStar computer control technology.

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