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12-Inch Telescopes

With a stunning degree of resolution for their size, 12-inch telescopes are capable of magnifications up to 610 times higher than the human eye and can resolve double stars at 0.38 arcseconds. They can discern stars as dim as 16.2 magnitudes, a full magnitude deeper than 8-inch telescopes. Our 12-inch telescope collection includes a wide selection of different optical designs from brands like Meade, TPO, Askar, Orion, and more, as well as a range of budgets that make increased light-gathering power accessible to more customers.

All of the units featured in this section are 12-inch reflector telescope designs — you’d be hard-pressed to find a 12-inch refractor telescope whose price tag was anything less than, well, astronomical. Among our bestselling reflectors is the TPO 12” Truss Tube f/8 Ritchey Chretien, widely loved among stargazers for its flawless engineering and thermally stable carbon fiber truss tubes. Every inch of aperture is converted to visibility, while the fixed position quartz primary mirror eliminates image shift and the need for collimation.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly scope that’s versatile and highly capable across different applications, a 12-inch Newtonian telescope may be a good choice. For instance, the Sky-Watcher Quattro 300P is a solid option for both astroimaging and visual astronomy. This Newtonian offers precision focusing and low-tolerance mirror construction, which makes for sharp imaging of planets, stars, and deep-sky shots.

A 12-inch Dobsonian telescope is another budget-friendly, highly portable option. If you’d like to streamline your astronomy sessions, consider a computerized telescope setup for fast alignment and guided tours of the night sky. These systems also allow you to hook up your 12-inch to your smartphone or other software for added versatility.

As with any telescope, having dark skies is the most vital factor in how well your telescope performs. However, having a 12-inch telescope will allow you to see more in light-polluted areas than a smaller telescope. If you want to compensate for some unescapable light pollution, consider a light pollution filter. And as always, reach out to our Sales Team for any questions on our products, no matter how broad or technical.


Still have questions? We have answers.

What can you see with a 12-inch telescope?

With clear skies and good seeing, 12-inch telescopes will treat you to views of around 5000 star clusters, 22,000 galaxies, 2500 planetary nebulae, and 500 bright nebulae. You’ll be able to enjoy a great amount of detail in planets like Uranus, Jupiter, and the Moon.