Can You Use A Telescope In The City: Is It A Waste Of Time?

Have you ever tried using a telescope in the city? If yes, did you get good results or was it a waste of time?

Telescopes are great tools for observing celestial objects such as stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, comets, and asteroids.

They are also useful for viewing the moon, sun, and pretty much any cosmic object.

Can You Use A Telescope In The City Is It A Waste Of Time

Telescopes come in various sizes and shapes, ranging from simple handheld devices to large observatories.

A telescope is a device that uses lenses to magnify distant objects.

This magnification allows us to see things that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.

There are two main types of commercially available telescopes: refractors and reflectors.

Refractors focus light through a lens onto another lens, whereas reflectors focus light directly onto a mirror.

How To Choose A Telescope For Astronomy

How do I choose a telescope for astronomy? Here are some tips on choosing a telescope for astronomy:

  • Make sure your telescope has an eyepiece with at least 20mm focal length.
  • Look for a telescope with a built-in tripod.
  • Check if your telescope comes with a finder scope.
  • Consider buying a tripod for your telescope.
  • Try out different eyepieces before purchasing one.
  • Do not buy a new telescope without reading its manual first.
  • When searching for a telescope, make sure you look into the price range of $500-$1000.
  • Ask yourself whether you need a telescope for astronomy or simply as a hobby.
  • Find a place where you will be able to use your telescope often.
  • Keep an open mind when looking for a telescope.
  • Don’t be afraid to try out several models until you find one that suits you best.

Where To Position Your Telescope

A telescope should be placed facing south if possible, because this reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the pavement and roof.

Also, make sure that the telescope is pointed away from the sun during sunset or sunrise.

Telescopes should be aimed towards dark places, preferably away from bright lights.

Observing Moons And Planets From A City


The moon has lots of craters from asteroids hitting it. There are also some valleys that are very pretty.

The terminator changes every few days, weeks, and sometimes months, offering up a slightly different image every time you peep through your eyepiece.

A variable polarizing moon filter is a great solution if you’re trying to glass the moon from a city.

You can use it to get a clear view of the Moon without having to worry about glare.



The planet Venus is easy to spot because it is bright and close to the sun.

It is also visible during daytime, so it’s one of the easiest cosmic objects to see whether you’re in a city or not, as long as it’s a clear night, that is.

The cloud cover makes it difficult to see details on the surface.

But, even though there are many interesting features on the surface of this planet, the cloud cover itself can be a real marvel.

Venus has a thick atmosphere, which is composed mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2).

This gas is responsible for the yellow color of the clouds that surround the planet.

The temperature on Venus can reach up to 870 degrees Fahrenheit! That’s hot enough to melt lead.

Venus has volcanoes that spew sulfuric acid. These eruptions create beautiful plumes of smoke that rise high into the sky.

Venus is covered by a dense layer of clouds. The clouds change shape constantly.

Sometimes they form rings around the planet. Venus is the only planet in our Solar System that rotates clockwise.


The color of Mars is very unique, making the surface a delight to examine — it has an awesome red tint.

The fireball may appear distorted if the air is not clear.

You can see distinct markings on the surface of Mars as well as dust storms if you look at Mars at the right time and in the right conditions, even if you are not using a high-power scope.

We recommend that you find out when Mars will be in opposition to Earth next (roughly every 25 months) if you plan on observing it.

It is at this time that Mars is closest to us on Earth (looks bigger and is easier to see from your city dwelling).


Jupiter is one of the most beautiful planets in our solar system. You can see some of its moons orbiting around it.

Jupiter has an amazing red spot on its surface. Four of Jupiter’s moons can also be observed, Callisto, Europe, Lo, and Ganymede.

They all orbit Jupiter at different times and thus have different positions.

When you observe Jupiter, you will see them all together or sometimes only one or two, as the others are hidden behind it.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our entire solar system, and it’s relatively close to the sun too, so city slickers may even be able to see it with the naked eye if they know where to look!



Saturn is a planet located about 1,500 million miles from earth. It was discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610.

It is the second largest planet in our solar system after Jupiter. Saturn is the fifth planet from the sun and the first planet beyond Uranus.

It takes approximately 30 years to orbit the Sun once. Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture.

Saturn is often referred to as the ringed planet because of its beautiful rings.

These rings also make it a favorite target of astronomers the world over

Saturn has many moons, including Titan, Rhea, Dione, Tethys, Enceladus, Mimas, Hyperion, Phoebe, and Janus.

Saturn is known for having an intense magnetic field. This makes it difficult for satellites to orbit around the planet.

Of all Saturn’s moons, Titan is the largest.

Even so, you’ll need a telescope to see it, as well as the rings, from your spot in the city; however, you may be able to see Saturn with the naked eye.

Mercury, Uranus, And Neptune

From your city location, they are a bit more difficult and farther away, but they are still there to see.

These planets will not be able to be seen in detail, so finding them is more important than seeing their details.


From the city, Pluto is impossible to see, so it’s best not to try! But that doesn’t mean you have to kiss this dwarf planet goodbye.

Head out to the country on a camping trip and take our telescope with you to catch this small celestial in the night sky.

The Stars

Stargazing is definitely possible in the city, so long as you have a half-decent telescope, but it can be trickier because of the light pollution.


Using a telescope in the city is never a waste of time, but you have to plan everything to perfection.

First, check forecasts for a dry, cloudless evening.

Second, find a spot really high up where you can set up your telescope — The roof of a tall building will be perfect.

Third, do most of your viewing throughout the winter months, as the humidity in summer causes a lot of haze, which, combined with the light pollution, is going to make peeping planets pretty tricky.

Gordon Watts