Cahill Rooftop Observatory

Equipment Database - Celestron 8-inch

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Celestron 8-inch
Optical SystemSchmidt-Cassegrain
Mount TypeEquatorial, no drive
Aperture 8"
Focal Length2032 mm
Rear Cell2.0"
Max FOV1.4°
Finder 6×30 mm
Finder FOV7.3°

The 8-inch Celestron is our largest and most powerful portable telescope. At 20 pounds the case is a bit much for a single person, so get a friend to help you carry it to and from your car. The mount itself is simple and fairly easy to set up in the field, though, and the C-8's versatility makes it worth the weight.

The 8-inch has the aperture and magnification range to support a variety of targets. At low power it will nicely frame the Moon and all but the largest open star clusters. At high power it will present reasonable views of the naked-eye planets. It will show good views of the brighter globular clusters and nebulae as well.

The C-8's mount is easy to polar align by eye, allowing you to quickly recenter targets that have drifted out of the field. The mount also damps vibrations reasonably well. Like many SCT's, the C-8 suffers from low contrast, but the performance loss will only be noticeable for planetary targets.