For the best night-sky viewing, size matters — aperture size, that is. A telescope’s aperture is the best measure of its observing power. While it’s possible to get clear views of deep sky objects with apertures of 8 inches or less, today’s array of 14-inch telescopes have the light gathering power and resolution for sharp views of distant celestial objects, as well as those in our own solar system.
14 -inch telescopes have triple the light-gathering power of an 8-inch telescope of similar quality, and 14-inch scopes of all types offer an exceptional resolution, capable of resolving even distant double star images and faint galaxies. That also provides exceptionally detailed views of closer objects such as the moon and planets, even the more distant ones.
14-inch telescopes come in all types, either as fully accessorized kits or as optical tube assemblies (OTA) for building a custom setup with your choice of tripod, mount, and other gear for special needs such as astrophotography. Because of its size and precision optics, a 14-inch telescope for sale from most leading retailers can range in price from around $3,000 to more than $10,000 for a full-featured 14-inch refractor telescope kit.
Although 14-inch telescopes deliver excellent resolution and brightness, their size and weight can make them difficult to maneuver and transport. Telescopes of this size benefit from go-to mounts and computerized tracking apps to keep distant objects in focus. A 14-inch Dobsonian telescope’s motorized alt-azimuth mount makes it easy to track objects, and some Dobsonians of this size are collapsible for portability. The mirrors on a 14-inch reflector telescope can take longer to adjust to ambient temperatures due to their size — a consideration for observing under certain weather conditions.
Whether you’re interested in the moons of Jupiter or a distant galaxy, a 14-inch telescope can bring near and distant night sky objects into clear view and sharp focus.