8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Edge HD SCT

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This Celestron AVX8HD telescope has:

• 8” EdgeHD high definition aplanatic Schmidt-Cassegrain optics 
• 30 pound payload capacity CGEM German equatorial mount 
• NexStar go-to computer hand control with 40,000+ object database 
• StarBright XLT optical multicoatings for the highest possible light transmission
• 9 x 50mm finderscope 
• 40mm 1.25” Plössl eyepiece (51x) 
• NexRemote software to control the telescope via computer 
• 2-year warranty

   The Celestron AVX8HD telescope puts unique new 8” aplanatic (free from coma and corrected for spherical aberration) EdgeHD high definition Schmidt optics on a precision Celestron AVX go-to German equatorial mount. The advanced EdgeHD optical design has a dual-element field flattener lens made from premium Schott optical glass in its central baffle tube that reduces off-axis coma and produces aberration-free images across a wide 42mm image circle (as large as the diagonal of a 35mm negative or large format CCD chip and ideal for astrophotography). 

As Sky & Telescope said in their Hot Product for 2010 citation for the EdgeHD optics, “the EdgeHD series represents the first major redesign of the Schmidt-Cassegrain optical system that Celestron introduced in the 1960s. The addition of a two-element field flattener and coma corrector in the scope’s main baffle tube produces pinpoint star images across the whole field of today's large-format CCD cameras. And the new mirror-support system reduces the image shift that was often the bane of the earlier Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes." 
In addition to reduced off-axis coma, the EdgeHD optical system delivers an astrograph-quality focal plane that is more than three times flatter than a standard Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and dramatically flatter than other competing coma-free designs. Stars are smaller and more concentrated, creating brighter images and allowing you to see down to a fainter magnitude than other equally-sized telescopes. This guarantees you visibly sharp stars to the very edges of some of the largest CCD and DSLR chips available today. 

Add Celestron’s renowned Starbright XLT multicoatings on every optical surface, and the EdgeHD optic design gives you maximum light throughput across the widest possible visual and photographic spectrum. The CGEM 800HD’s light grasp of almost 850 times that of even the sharpest dark-adapted eye can reveal to you star clusters, nebulas, planets, and galaxies in amazing visual and photographic detail. The Fastar-compatible optical tube allows imaging down to an incredibly-fast f/2 focal ratio using optional accessories. 

The smooth and precise Celestron AVX go-to mount makes finding over 40,000 of those stars and objects easy and automatic. You spend more time looking at celestial objects, rather than looking for them. The AVX mount combines portability and premium-level performance with a payload capacity of 30 pounds. This makes for rock-steady imaging and visual observing with the light weight 8” Celestron EdgeHD optical system, whole keeping the system very portable. 

The sensible price of the AVX8HD with Starbright XLT coatings makes true astrographic-quality imaging and visual astronomy available at a reasonable price for almost everyone. Its light weight optical tube and easily assembled mount make it easy to set up and enjoy – either in your back yard or at a distant dark sky site. Its superb flat-field reduced-coma optics and very reasonable price for afull-featured computerized go-to mount make it a telescope that willmake advanced backyard astronomer very happy for years to come.

This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • EdgeHD Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube: 8” aperture (2032mm focal length f/10). Built-in dual-element field flattener lens in the central baffle tube. Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance, free from coma and corrected for spherical aberrations (aplanatic design). The optical design is a Sky & Telescope Hot Product for 2010. The 17” long aluminum optical tube weighs only 14 pounds and has a large handle on the rear cell, making it easy to transport and assemble the scope in the field. For more details, click on the “EdgeHD optics” icon above.
  • Starbright XLT fully-multicoated optics: This high transmission/high reflectivity optical multicoatings package is applied to all optical surfaces. Starbright XLT coatings give you visibly higher light transmission for visually brighter deep space images and shorter exposure times during imaging. They also increase the contrast on subtle lunar, planetary, and nebula details when compared with a scope with ordinary coatings or multicoatings. For more details, click on the “Starbright XLT” icon above.
  • Tube vents: Two cooling vents located on the rear cell allow warm air to be released from behind the primary mirror when the scope is taken out for a night’s observing or imaging. This shortens the amount of time needed for the optics to cool down to ambient air temperature for peak optical performance. Each vent has an integrated 60 micron micro-mesh filter guaranteed to let warm air out without letting dust in.
  • Fastar compatible: For the ultimate in wide-field catadioptric imaging, the EdgeHD optical tube is Fastar compatible to allow CCD imaging at a blazingly-fast f/2 focal ratio. An optional Fastar lens assembly lens replaces the telescope’s removable secondary mirror (an exchange that takes only a few minutes). Your CCD camera is attached to the Fastar lens. This puts your camera at the f/2 position in the center of the Schmidt corrector lens at the front of the scope, rather than in its normal f/10 position at the Cassegrain focus at the rear of the scope. 
    Using the Fastar system and a sub-$1500 Orion Star Shoot Deep Space Imager Pro CCD camera, the 8" CGEM 800HD will record a wide 194 x 129 arc minute field – a long axis over six times the diameter of the full Moon, an immense field for a scope of this size. To assure repeatability when you switch between Fastar and conventional imaging, the scope’s optical tube is opto-mechanically aligned on a laser bench during manufacture so that all components are axially symmetric in any configuration.
  • Focusing: Focusing is accomplished by turning a knob at the rear of the scope body that moves the primary mirror fore and aft along a central baffle tube to adjust the focus. The Celestron focusing mechanism is supported by two pre-loaded ball bearings, minimizing the “mirror flop” typical of bushing focus mechanisms that causes image shift during critical focusing.
  • Mirror locks: Flexible tension clutches hold the mirror in place after correct focus is achieved for imaging and reduce image shift when rotating the tube around the mount (while moving past the zenith during astrophotography, for example). Unlike other designs that have only one locking knob located off to one side of the mirror, the Celestron system uses three locks equally spaced around the mirror to distribute the mirror locking force symmetrically. The focuser itself acts as one of the locks, while two flexible rods spaced 120° away in either direction act as the second and third locks. Controlled by variable tension knobs on the rear cell, these rods act in conjunction with the focuser to hold the mirror in place without putting any asymmetrical force or pressure on the mirror. This keeps the image centered in the eyepiece (or chip) no matter what the orientation of the optical tube.
  • Finderscope: 9 x 50mm straight-through achromatic design, with a wide 5.8° field of view, mounted in a spring-loaded easy-adjust quick release bracket.
  • Visual back: Removable 1.25” visual back holds visual accessories such as star diagonal, tele-extender, etc.
  • Star diagonal: 1.25” prism type.
  • Eyepiece: 1.25” 40mm Plössl (51x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.84 degrees, almost 70% larger than the full Moon.

This Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Heavy duty Advanced VX Series computerized go-to German equatorial mount:  This scope’s new Advanced VX mount was specifically designed to provide optimum imaging performance for telescopes 30 lbs and under. It has the imaging-friendly features of Celestron’s larger telescope mounts, such as permanent periodic error correction (PPEC) and the ability to image across the meridian without doing a meridian flip, so you can seamlessly image the best part of the night sky.

    Experienced imagers will love taking this portable mount to a dark sky site (the head weighs only 26 lbs, the tripod only 18 lbs, plus one 11 lb counterweight), as it provides all the performance of their larger observatory mounts in a portable package. If you’re new to imaging, the Advanced VX mount will help you get started with the hobby and keep up with your needs for years to come.

    The mount includes dual-axis slewing/tracking low-cog DC servo motors with positioning encoders on each axis for go-to computer control. The new motors provide improved tracking performance and more power to handle an unbalanced load than previous Advanced Series drives. Built-in adjustable backlash compensation and permanent user-programmed periodic error correction (PPEC) permits precise corrections during astrophotography and when observing visually at high powers. The maximum slewing speed is a fast 4° per second.

    The scope is supplied with a car battery cord to operate from the cigarette lighter plug of your car or from a rechargeable 12V battery pack. The mount requires a 12VDC 3.5A power source, so the Celestron 17 amp hour capacity Power Tank #4517V is recommended for extended use in the field. The Power Tank can be recharged hundreds of times and will operate the scope all night long without danger of running out of power. Celestron AC adapter #2338PRO is also available to operate the scope from household AC in your back yard.

    The sliding 11 pound counterweight is locked in place with a single hand-tighten thumbscrew each, making it easy to rebalance the scope if you add heavy photographic accessories. The mount is easily capable of handling the scope and any reasonable combination of photographic accessories you might want to use. Covers keep the motor drives free from dust and debris. A set of optional vibration suppression pads #4525 under the tripod feet will improve the telescope damping time for steadier high power observing.

    To make a casual polar alignment for visual use quick and easy, there’s a latitude scale and fine adjustment controls in both altitude and azimuth. The scope can be used over a wide 7° to 77° latitude range in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The scope includes Celestron’s unique All-Star computerized polar alignment that lets you do an accurate polar alignment even when Polaris is hidden by trees or buildings.
     
    Adjustable height tripod: The tripod has 2” diameter steel legs with a center leg brace for rigidity, with excellent damping characteristics. The center leg brace is drilled to form a convenient accessory tray that holds 1.25" and 2" eyepiece to keep them up out of the dew-soaked grass. The tripod can be adjusted to put the mount height anywhere from 44" to 64".

    Dovetail slide bar: An adjustable Vixen-style dovetail slide bar allows the optical tube to be quickly and precisely balanced fore and aft on the mount, eliminating the need for an extra counterweight to balance a camera or other accessories. Setup and takedown times are exceptionally fast, as a single large hand-tighten knob holds the optical tube in place. A second lock knob prevents the tube from sliding off the mount should the hand-tighten knob loosen. The Vixen-style dovetail on the mount allows you to use other optical tubes on the Advanced VX mount, adding to the scope's versatility.second lock knob prevents the tube from sliding off the mount should the hand-tighten knob loosen.

    NexStar+ computer hand control: The supplied NexStar+ computerized hand control has a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars and deep space/solar system objects it can find for you. These include the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars, such as variables and multiple star systems; the planets, the Moon, and more. There is enhanced information on over 200 of the most note-worthy objects.   

    You can also store and edit the right ascension and declination of additional user-defined objects of your own choosing, such as the comet and asteroid coordinates published monthly in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines. The computer control can find any of those objects with at your command, and accurately track them for visual or photographic application. 

    All of the database and telescope operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, liquid crystal display on the hand control, which has user-selectable multiple language display (English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish). There are 19 fiber optic back-lit LED buttons to make it easy for you to control the computer without affecting your dark adapted vision. An RS-232 communication port on the hand control allows you to operate the telescope via a personal computer. The computer hand control software can be upgraded over the Internet from Celestron's website, assuring that you always have the most current software version at your command.

    Several different alignment methods are built into the NexStar+ computer, allowing you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. Both two-star and more-accurate three-star computer guided alignment methods are easily accomplished in only a few short minutes. You can be observing in less than 15 minutes after you first take your scope outdoors, including telescope assembly time.

    In addition, the NexStar+ computer hand control is GPS-compatible (using an optional inexpensive SkySync GPS module) for full GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite accuracy. Adding GPS to the computer is something no competitive scope can do. With the Advanced Series go-to mount and the SkySync, orienting the scope in time and space on earth and aligning the scope on the sky becomes almost as easy as simply turning the scope on.  

    Two-year warranty: All Celestron go-to telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive go-to scopes.

  

Supplied Eyepiece:
The eyepiece that is supplied with this telescope.
Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
405x
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

14
Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

2032mm
Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

f/10
Resolution:
This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

0.57 arc seconds
Aperture:
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
8"
Weight:
The weight of this product.
14 lbs.
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
EdgeHD
 
Based on Astronomy magazine’s telescope "report cards", scopes of this size and type generally perform as follows . . .
Terrestrial Observation:
Observing terrestrial objects (nature studies, birding, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial observing. Scopes with apertures under 5" to 6" are generally most useful for terrestrial observing due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes. 
No
Lunar Observation:
Visual observation of the Moon is possible with any telescope. Larger aperture scopes will provide more detail than smaller scopes, thereby getting a higher score in this category, but may require an eyepiece filter to cut down the greater glare from the Moon's sunlit surface so small details can be seen more easily. Lunar observing is more rewarding when the Moon is waxing or waning as the changing sun angle casts constantly varying shadows to reveal craters and surface features by the hundreds.  
Great
Planetary Observation:
Good
Binary and Star Cluster Observation:
Very Good
Galaxy and Nebula Observation:
Good
Photography:
Yes
Terrestrial Photography:
Photographing terrestrial objects (wildlife, scenery, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial photography. Scopes with focal ratios of f/10 and faster and apertures under 5" to 6" are generally the most useful for terrestrial photography due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes.
No
Lunar Photography:
Photography of the Moon is possible with virtually any telescope, using a 35mm camera, DSLR, or CCD-based webcam (planetary imager). While an equatorial mount with a motor drive is not strictly essential, as the exposure times will be very short, such a mount would be helpful to improve image sharpness, particularly with webcam-type cameras that take a series of exposures over time and stack them together. Reflectors may require a Barlow lens to let the camera reach focus. 
Yes
Planetary Photography:
Yes
Star Cluster / Nebula / Galaxy Photography:
Yes
Optical Coatings:
Starbright XLT fully multicoated
View Finder:
9 x 50mm finderscope
Warranty:
2 years
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1. Avery on 5/7/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I recently retired from military service and I wanted to jump into astrophotography with both feet. This piece of kit is a perfect harmony of field expedient deployment and precision optics. I absolutely love it!
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2. Micheal on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
Everything I ever wanted in a light weight portable grab an go system. The 8" EdgeHD line of optics are superior to any other SCT I've ever looked through in that size range. Crisp and clear with pin-point stars all the way to the edge of the field of view. I use a 100degree 14mm high quality eyepiece for my back yard observing in less than good seeing conditions and the details are amazing! I could not be happier! The Advanced VX mount is the replacement to the very popular CG5-ASGT mounts from Celestron. These new mounts, AVx, are outstanding! After doing the initial 2 star alignment I then add 4 calibration stars. The pointing is spot on putting objects right in the middle of the eyepiece. No hunting for objects outside the field of view. Using the All Star Polar Alignment routine that is built into the hand controller I can get polar alignment VERY accurate! I did a 17 minute drift test recently and the star remained dead center in the cross hairs at 2000mm F/10! I can regularly get up to two minutes of unguided round stars with just a few throw aways. When I guide I can expose up to my sky conditions which are around six minutes most nights. This is without any throw-aways unless a shooting star, satellite or airplane crosses through the exposure. I could not be happier! I highly recommend this setup and I have my eye on the Starsense coming out mid-2013 as well.
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Starbright XLT fully multicoated 8” f/10 Fastar-compatible EdgeHD optics; 9 x 50mm finderscope; 1.25" star diagonal with 1.25” visual back; 1.25" 40mm Plössl eyepiece (51x); dust covers; CG-5 (Vixen-style) dovetail mounting rail.
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8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Edge HD SCT

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8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Edge HD SCT
 AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics (Average: 5.00 | Users: 2)  Only registered users can submit ratings - Register Here
Our Product #: AVX8HD
Manufacturer Product #: 12031
Price: $1,999.00  FREE ground shipping - Click for more info
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MSRP: $3199.95
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8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Edge HD SCT - Used
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This scope was taken in on trade around a month ago for one of the new Celestron 9.25" Evolutions.  It is in great shape, but does show some basic use.  Save almost 20% off of what a new one would sell for.

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The Celestron AVX8 HD telescope puts 8” aplanatic EdgeHDhigh definition Schmidt optics on a precision Celestron AVX go-to German equatorial mount to make true astrographic-quality imaging and visual astronomy available at a reasonable price for almost everyone . . .





. . . our 35th year