8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Schmidt-Cassegrain

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This Celestron AVX8SC Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope has:

• 8” f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube
• Starbright XLT optical multicoatings
• heavy-duty Advanced VX Series computerized go-to equatorial mount and tripod 
• 6 x 30mm finderscope 
• 20mm Plössl eyepiece (102x)
• 2-year warranty

The Celestron AVX8SC Advanced VX Series telescope with Starbright XLT coatings is an 8" aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube on a newly-designed and refined AVX computerized go-to German equatorial mount. For the ultimate in optical performance from a standard 8” Schmidt-Cassegrain, it has new Starbright XLT multicoatings that are 16% brighter than original Starbright multicoatings across the entire photo/visual spectrum. 

For the purely visual observer, its 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 detail. The go-to mount makes finding over 40,000 of those stars and objects easy and automatic, so you can spend more time looking at them, not looking for them. Its high-precision AVX mount, with its many features that optimize it for astrophotography, makes serious deep space and solar system imaging a very real possibility for amateur and advanced astrophotographers alike.  

The optical tube is the latest version of the Celestron-pioneered optical system that took phenomenally expensive Schmidt-Cassegrain optics out of the hands of professional astronomers and made them available for the first time at a reasonable price to all amateur astronomers. In essence, the original Celestron 8” SCT made modern amateur astronomy possible. 

The Celestron AVX8SC with Starbright XLT multicoatings is priced to make big aperture go-to astronomy available to 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 optical quality and very reasonable price for a computerized go-to mount make it a telescope that virtually any beginning or advanced astronomer can afford and enjoy.

This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube: 8" aperture (2032mm focal length f/10). Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance. High light transmission Starbright XLT optical multicoatings. The 17” long aluminum optical tube weighs only 13 lbs., making it easy to transport and assemble the scope in the field.

Finderscope: 6 x 30mm straight-through achromatic design, with a wide 7 degree field of view. Focuses by loosening the trim ring behind the objective lens cell, screwing the lens cell in or out to focus, and tightening the trim ring to lock in the correct focus. 

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” 20mm Plössl (102x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.47 degrees, nearly the width of 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.
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.
480x
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.
68 lbs.
Heaviest Single Component:
The weight of the heaviest component in this package.
26 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.
Schmidt-Cassegrain
 
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
Warranty:
2 years
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General Accessories
Drive Motors and Drive Accessories (1)
Power Tank 17 Amp-hour 12V DC rechargeable battery
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$129.95 
Vibration Dampeners (1)
Vibration Suppression pads, set of 3
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$49.95 
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8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Schmidt-Cassegrain

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8" Advanced VX Series Go-To Equatorial Schmidt-Cassegrain
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Our Product #: AVX8SC
Manufacturer Product #: 12026
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For decades, the iconic 8" aperture Celestron C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain was (and very often still is) the dream telescope of most amateur astronomers. The new Celestron AVX8SC with Starbright XLT coatings puts Celestron's decades of telescope-making experience to work to produce the latest version of that dream telescope – an affordable big scope that will make visual observers and astrophotographers alike very happy.





. . . our 34th year