The XT8 does come with a 25mm 1.25″ Plossl eyepiece which performs well as a medium-power eyepiece in the XT8. Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday This basically means that you can gaze anywhere close or even directly at the sun without burning the mirrors up. Apart from being balanced and stable, it’s also incredibly easy to operate. It does operate relatively smoothly when the azimuth bearing is properly tensioned. Orion is a huge brand that manufactures premium-quality telescopes, binoculars, various optic gear pieces, and a huge array of accessories to complement their performance. The eyepiece holder features thumbscrews which do a good job of holding eyepieces in place. Moving eastward to Jupiter revealed a delightful view of a few of Jupiter’s atmospheric bands, as well as the Galilean moons. Looking more and more like it may be worth it to put the money into the 114mm Meade Polaris I have, and get this for the flashy manual observing (maybe look into getting the intelliscope version). Chad Weber – [email protected], Support Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain. It rocks a 2-inch single-speed Crayford style focuser, a Red-Dot finder for convenience, and Aluminum and Silicon Dioxide optical coatings that deliver nearly unparalleled quality of its optical elements. For many astronomers who are just getting started, dobsonian reflector telescopes are … With phenomenal optics and portability, as well as with large aperture and a balanced mount, most veterans would give it a shot. As far as other 8″ commercial telescopes on the market are concerned, the optics that Orion chose for this one are well worth the money. My local astronomy club has one of these telescopes, and we use it quite a bit for outreach activities. You might surprise yourself! Join our 836 patrons! The included 25mm eyepiece works well as a mid-range eyepiece, but some users may want to invest in additional eyepieces, or at the very least a 2X barlow lens. Join us at patreon.com/universetoday. Even though Orion’s SkyQuest XT8 isn’t a schoolbook example of a ‘budget’ telescope, it certainly is fairly cheap. First, while there is a handle on the front of the base for carrying it separately from the tube, there are no handles on the sides of the base for carrying the entire unit very easily when the tube is in the base. ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/universe-today-guide-to-space-audio/id794058155?mt=2 With a helper, the XT8 could probably be assembled in ten minutes. Star-hopping to M31 was fairly trivial, via Alpheratz (In Pegasus). Now, what’s really interesting about this telescope is the fact that it comes equipped with a solar-safe filter. I'm Derek, I've been interested in astronomy since.. well, forever! Orion Skyquest XT8 is our second most recommended telescope for someone with a budget between $300 and $400, second only to Skywatcher 8″ Dobsonian. Welcome to my Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Review! Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope, (MSRP $349.99) Orion Telescopes. Despite being close to the horizon, the view of lunar craters in the eyepiece were crisp and clear. Moving eastward to M42, the views were breathtaking for such a relatively small telescope. “odysseymagazine.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0-KklSGlCiJDwOPdR2EUcg/, Astronomy Cast: Significant detail (albeit without much color) of the gas and dust was visible, along with a bright trapezium. What’s so interesting about this type of aperture is that it complements all the other optical elements perfectly, making this telescope a very versatile one. Lastly, a couple more accessories wouldn’t hurt – most similarly priced Dobsonian telescopes pack at least 5-6 gratis goodies. At around 40lbs total weight, some users of the scope may prefer to carry the optical tube and base assemblies separately. Upon closer inspection, you’d realize that it actually weighs only 41 pounds, which isn’t terrible for a telescope of its size. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Generally speaking, this telescope needs a bit more eyepieces if you want to fully utilize its functionality. If you’ve found yourself on this review, there’s a good chance that it’s a system that you’ve been hearing really good things about, receiving a bunch of positive feedback when it comes to the systems quality however, you also don’t want to jump head first into buying it without learning a few things about it right? An eyepiece rack on the base would be nice, but this is not a common accessory on ‘scopes of this price range anyhow. For many astronomers who are just getting started, dobsonian reflector telescopes are a popular choice. The shipping box for the mount base was well thought out, minimizing potential damage to the base components. Here are the main specs of the XT8 telescope: Optical Coating type: Aluminum and Silicon dioxide. Orion’s XT8 rocks an 8-inch aperture that’s equally suited for moon watching, planet observation, and diving into (some realms) of the deep space. In this review we’ll look at the build quality of the XT8, along with how it performs at planetary and “dark sky” objects. And More…, Episode 698: Open Space 95: Would SpaceX Have Survived without NASA? Most people who’ve used the Sky Quest XT6 loved it; it was a classic telescope outfitted with a myriad of top-quality features, but it seemed to be lacking just a little bit of ‘anything’ before we could label it as ‘perfect’. The XT8 features Orion’s EZ Finder II sight. The robustness of the XT8 is a feature unto itself; namely, this telescope is made from the sturdiest materials that are supposed to last decades, or maybe even centuries if used and maintained correctly. And More…, Episode 694: Interview: Fred Watson, Australia's Astronomer at Large, Episode 693: Open Space 92: Why I Hate Embargoed News Stories, and More…, Episode 692: Open Space 91: Any Updates on Venus? Karla Thompson – @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw In Summary, the Orion XT8 is a great mid-range telescope which balances price and performance quite well. The XT8 offers a good balance between portability, price and performance. I would agree with Mr. Sanders that it’s a great ‘scope for someone just getting into astronomy, or for someone who needs a middle-range all-around ‘scope that’s pretty portable. The mount base does include a carrying handle. I have a manual Dobsonian telescope (a Coulter Odyssey – an older ‘scope, but it’s got great optics), and I am an avid believer in learning the sky. More stories at: https://www.universetoday.com/ And More…, Episode 695: Q&A 130: Does the Dark Forest Explain the Fermi Paradox? And More…, Episode 697: Interview: Theoretical Physicist Dr. Peter Woit, Episode 696: Open Space 94: Is It Realistic to Declare a "Free Mars"? The XT8 features an 8″ (203mm) primary mirror. Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Telescope Review The star constellation Orion, named so because of the hunter of Greek mythology, is one of the most recognizable collections of stars in the night sky. Wallace Arthur is an evolutionary biologist and emeritus professor of Zoology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. In terms of aesthetics, Orion’s SkyQuest XT8 looks exactly like its predecessor; it features a Dobsonian Reflector design and a large 8-inch aperture (improved by 2 inches in comparison to XT6), superb 48x magnification, and it retained all the great features XT6 packs, such as 300x top theoretical magnification, long tubing, and sturdy construction. And More…, Episode 691: Interview: Seth Shostak from the SETI Institute, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. After aligning the finder, using the XT8 is simply a matter of moving the optical tube to whatever objects are desired. Once the telescope is pointed at an object, making focus and/or eyepiece adjustments are fairly trivial. At the time of testing, the Moon was in a waning crescent phase and the XT8 brought out some great views of lunar craters near the terminator. It offers the much needed stability to the scope and significantly reduces the need to recalibrate, re-adjust, or realign it. I'm an engineer by trade, but I've been playing around with telescopes for many years. Orion ships the XT8 in two boxes. This telescope rocks a huge aperture, phenomenal magnification, advanced optical mechanics, and top-quality solar-filter. Once assembled and put in place at an observing location, operation of the XT8 is fairly straight forward. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. There are a few smaller and less expensive models available in Orion’s classic dobsonian series, and there are a few larger, more expensive models as well. 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