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If you're thinking about becoming an amateur astronomer, be wary about buying a discount telescope. Rather than buying a discount telescope, purchase the best piece of equipment you can find for your money. You can find decent beginner telescopes for a price tag ranging from $100 to $300. According to online reports, the following manufacturers produce quality beginner telescopes: National Geographic, Celestron, Meade, and Bushnell.
Select the more affordable National Geographic 70mm Land & Space telescope, a refractor telescope complete with a 6mm, 15mm, 18mm, and 25mm eyepiece, and rotating eyepiece turret, which retails for $170. Or try the Meade ETX-70AT telescope, which retails for $240 and can take you on an automated tour of the planets and stars with the push of a button.