Exploring the skies: what can you see with a 70mm telescope?

Telescopes have played a crucial role in this exploration, allowing us to peer deeper into space and unravel its mysteries. One such telescope is the 70mm model, known as a good first telescope for its portability and versatility.

In this article, we will embark on a celestial journey, discover the remarkable sights with a telescope, and answer the question: “What can you see with a 70mm telescope?”. From dazzling planets to distant galaxies, let’s delve into the captivating world of stargazing.

what can you see with a 70mm telescope
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Unveiling the celestial splendors

Here is the list of what can you see with a 70mm telescope: all the planets, brightest stars, Saturn’s rings, the Moon, and many messier objects.

The Moon

It can be seen with the naked eye: our closest celestial neighbor the Moon, Earth’s faithful companion, presents a breathtaking spectacle through a 70mm telescope — it’s the best object to look for.

The Moon has craters, mountains, and valleys become more pronounced, revealing a rugged landscape that has captivated humanity for centuries.

As you gaze upon the Moon’s surface, you can’t help but marvel at the delicate interplay of light and shadow, painting a stunning portrait of our sky blue dot closest companion.

The planets

These planets of our solar system are hiding in the deep sky. With a 70mm telescope, several planets of our solar system become visible treasures.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can all be observed, each offering unique features to admire. Venus displays its phases similar to the Moon, while Mars may reveal its polar ice caps and dusty surface.

Jupiter and its moons

A Galilean delight Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is a captivating sight through a 70mm telescope.

Additionally, the four largest moons of Jupiter, known as the Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto), can be spotted orbiting the gas giant.

Saturn and its rings

Saturn’s mesmerizing rings make it a celestial wonder that never fails to enchant. A 70mm telescope will help you see these rings, made up of countless ice particles.

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The Red Planet’s Mysteries Mars has long captivated the human imagination. Through a 70mm telescope, you may observe the distinct reddish hue of its surface, which is caused by iron oxide, or rust.

The asteroid belt

Although individual asteroids are challenging to observe with a 70mm refractor telescope due to their small size, occasionally, larger asteroids may pass close enough to be visible, providing a thrilling opportunity to witness these ancient relics.


Cosmic Clouds of Gas and Dust Nebulae, vast clouds of gas and dust, often represent the birthplaces of stars.

While some nebulae may be challenging to observe with a 70mm telescope, certain objects like the Orion’s Nebula (M42) offer stunning views.

There’s even a telescope, called Orion Observer, which would be an ideal option for your first telescope.

Star clusters

Gathering of stellar siblings, star clusters are collections of stars that share a common origin and reside relatively close to one another.

Open clusters, such as the Pleiades (M45), can be observed with a 70mm telescope. These clusters showcase the beauty of celestial families, where stars come together, creating a spectacular visual feast through a telescope.


Galaxies, enormous structures composed of billions of stars, stretch across the cosmos. While capturing the full glory of galaxies typically requires larger telescopes, certain objects like the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) can be glimpsed with a 70mm telescope.

Double stars

Double stars, or binary stars, are two stars orbiting around a common center of mass.

Through a 70mm telescope, you can observe some striking binary star systems, such as Albireo in the constellation Cygnus. The contrasting colors of the stars create a stunning visual spectacle through a telescope.

Lunar features

While we mentioned the Moon earlier, its vast array of features deserves a closer look.

A 70mm telescope allows for detailed observations of lunar craters, mountain ranges, and other formations.

Solar observation

With the proper solar filter, a 70mm refractor telescope can be used for solar observation. However, it’s important to follow appropriate safety guidelines to protect your eyes during solar observation through a telescope.

Transient events

While not visible all the time, comets and supernovae occasionally grace the night sky. Though rare, these events present opportunities for extraordinary observations with a telescope.

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Focal length and telescope’s aperture: understanding the specifications of a telescope

The 70mm in a 70mm telescope refers to the diameter of the telescope’s objective lens (frontal lens) or aperture.

A larger aperture allows for more light to enter the telescope, resulting in brighter and clearer images. However, the focal length also plays a role in determining the telescope’s capabilities.

The focal length is the distance between the objective lens or mirror and the point where the light converges to form an image. A 70mm telescope typically has a moderate focal length, striking a balance between magnification and field of view.

Light pollution and dark skies: maximizing observational conditions

Light pollution refers to the excessive artificial light present in urban areas, which obscures the visibility of celestial objects. To fully appreciate the capabilities of a 70mm telescope, it is advisable to seek out dark skies away from city lights.

Accessories for enhanced observations

While a 70mm telescope can provide enjoyable observations on its own, certain accessories can enhance the viewing experience. These accessories include small aperture lenses and high-magnification eyepieces.

Small aperture lenses, also known as Barlow lenses, can increase the effective focal length of the telescope, resulting in higher magnification. By using a Barlow lens with a 70mm telescope, observers can get closer views of celestial objects and study them in greater detail.

Exploring the Moon’s surface features

The Moon, Earth’s closest celestial neighbor, presents a wealth of surface features that can be observed through a 70mm telescope.

Through a 70mm telescope, these craters become more defined, revealing their intricate details and providing a glimpse into the Moon’s violent past.

In addition to craters, a 70mm telescope can also unveil lunar mountain ranges, valleys, and maria (large, dark areas on the Moon’s surface).

Maximum magnification and its limitations

Every telescope has its limits when it comes to magnification.

The maximum useful magnification of a telescope is determined by its aperture and atmospheric conditions. Exceeding the maximum magnification can result in image degradation and reduced clarity.

For a 70mm telescope, the maximum useful magnification is typically around 140x. Beyond this point, the image quality may begin to deteriorate due to the telescope’s smaller aperture.

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Here are answers to the frequent questions, followed by the question “What can you see with a 70mm telescope?

Is 70 mm good for a telescope?

A 70mm telescope can be considered good for various purposes, especially for beginners and casual stargazers.

A 70mm telescope can provide clear views of celestial objects such as the Moon, planets, star clusters, and even some brighter deep-sky objects.

Telescope offers a great starting point for exploring the night sky and can provide enjoyable observations.

Can a 70mm telescope see Jupiter?

Yes, a 70mm telescope can see Jupiter. Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the night sky, and its large size makes it easily visible even with smaller telescopes.

Through a 70mm telescope, you can observe the planet’s cloud bands, the Great Red Spot (a prominent storm), and even its four largest moons, known as the Galilean moons.

While the level of detail may not be as high as with a larger telescope, a 70mm telescope can still provide an enjoyable and rewarding view of Jupiter.

Can a 70mm telescope see galaxies?

While a 70mm telescope can provide stunning views of many celestial objects, seeing galaxies in detail may be challenging.

However, certain galaxies can be observed with a 70mm telescope under favorable conditions. Notably, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is a prominent target that can be seen as a faint smudge in the night sky.

While a telescope may not reveal the same level of detail as larger telescopes, a 70mm telescope can still offer a glimpse of these distant island universes.

Can you see nebulas with a 70mm telescope?

Yes, it is possible to see certain nebulas with a 70mm telescope.

While some nebulas may be challenging to observe with a 70mm telescope due to their faintness, certain objects like the Orion Nebula (M42) can be seen.

The Orion Nebula is a bright and well-known nebula visible to the naked eye and appears even more impressive through a telescope.

While a 70mm telescope may not reveal the same level of detail as larger instruments, it can still provide an enjoyable experience observing some of these cosmic clouds.


Embarking on a stargazing journey with a 70mm telescope opens up a world of celestial wonders.

While the best telescopes offer even more detailed views, your first scope model provides an accessible entry point for both beginners and seasoned sky enthusiasts.

So, gather your telescope, explore the night sky, and let the cosmic wonders ignite your imagination.

Ida Stewart

I have had the incredible opportunity to work as a tour guide at the planetarium for over 5 years. Ever since I was a child, astronomy has held a special place in my heart, and I have nurtured a deep passion for exploring the wonders of the universe. Among all the celestial bodies, Mars has always fascinated me the most, captivating my imagination with its mysterious allure.

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