Celestron Advanced VX 800 8" RASA GoTo Astrograph

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$2,299.00

Availability: More on the way

Possibly the best portable imaging platform available today.  Look no farther if imaging is in your heart.

Our Product #: AVX8R
Celestron Product #: 12032
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Product Description

This Celestron 8" f/2 Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) optical tube has:

Very fast 8" f/2 Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt optics 
StarBright XLT optical multicoatings for the highest possible light transmission
MagLev DC cooling fan and cooling vents 
Built-in corrector lens
Mirror locks
42mm T-thread and C Thread camera adapters
CGE (Losmandy-style "D-plate") dovetails 
2-year warranty

"I don't get it. What do you look through?"

This might be the most common question people ask when you unpack your new Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA). It's not only missing something that comes with virtually every telescope ever produced . . . an eyepiece . . . it doesn't even have a place to put an eyepiece. That's because the 400mm focal length f/2 Celestron 8" RASA is strictly a deep space imaging scope and cannot be used visually.

But what an imaging scope! It has a 22mm image circle that can handle CMOS cameras, smaller CCD cameras, and mirrorless cameras.  The telescope does not work with standard DSLR cameras. It provides a proven Schmidt corrector optical system with a built-in corrector lens that keeps the images free of coma, field curvature, and false color. The optical quality and spot size across the entire image circle are unprecedented for an astrograph in this price range - or even that of a much more expensive instrument.

Its fast, wide field, f/2 optics give you two huge advantages over traditional f/10 catadioptric imaging scopes (even those using an optional f/6.3 or f/7 focal reducer). Those advantages? Better apparent tracking due to the image scale, plus shorter exposure times due to the speed of the optics. That means you can create better-looking deep space images in a fraction of the time it used to take, even without using an autoguider.

The Celestron RASA concept was to modernize the Celestron Schmidt camera, an instrument that had a loyal following, as its very fast focal ratio allowed amateur astrophotographers to produce wide field deep space images in the 1970s. Schmidt cameras could produce great images, but they wre and imaging scope only a really hard-core astrophotographer could love.

Those Schmidt cameras used a single frame of 35mm film, cut from a roll of film. You flexed the chip of film in total darkness (being careful not to touch the emulsion side) to fit snugly into a curved holder that matched the camera's curved focal plane, then loaded it into the camera by feel inside a black cloth bag to avoid image-spoiling stray light. You manually guided your scope during the entire exposure, keeping your eye glued to the crosshairs of an illuminated reticle eyepiece so your stars wouldn't turn into elongated squiggles. Finally, after a sometimes multiple hour single exposure, you tediously processed the small chip of film in your own darkroom before you could even begin to see if you had captured a usable image.

No more. Telescope mount drive accuracy has improved tremendously, electronic eyeballs have taken over guiding, and fast digital photography has taken the place of slow 35mm film.

Today's CCD camera can have sensors as large, if not larger, than film. To compensate for the new large sensors Celestron had to push the boundaries of the Schmidt camera design and make an entirely new type of instrument. The Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph has provided that advance in the performance of deep space imaging scopes. With it, today's amateur astrophotographers can produce results rivaling that of the best professional observatory photos of only a few short years ago.

As with most advances in optics, the Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph was designed not by committee, but by two dedicated optical experts who believed things could be done better - Dave Rowe and Mark Ackermann.

Dave Rowe - amateur astronomer, telescope maker, and optical designer - studied astronomy and astrophysics at Caltech, has published more than 50 papers, and holds 15 patents. Rowe has designed and fabricated many telescopes for Celestron and PlaneWave Instruments, including PlaneWave's corrected Dall-Kirkham and CDK700 telescope. He also worked closely with Celestron engineers in the development of the unique StarSense technology.

Mark Ackermann - amateur astronomer and experienced optical designer - earned a BS in mathematics and physics from the United States Air Force Academy, an MS in solid state physics, and a PhD in nonlinear optics from the University of New Mexico. He has published dozens of papers on optical telescope design and holds six US patents related to optical systems.

Engineered as a complete astroimaging system, every component of the Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph is optimized for peak performance with CMOS, smaller CCD camers, and mirrorless cameras. Every component of the system has been designed to work together seamlessly, right down to the thickness of the glass used in the scope's fully-multicoated optical window.

Some of the advanced features of the Celestron 8" RASA includes mirror locks hold your precise focus. A quiet high-output 12V internal MagLev fan on the rear cell reduces cooldown time and provides optimal airflow through the dust filtered 24.7" long optical tube. Naturally, industry leading StarBright XLT optical multicoatings are standard equipment for the highest possible light throughput. A Losmandy-style "D-plate" dovetail is standard. The back focus with the included camera adapters is 25mm.

The Celestron #93614 RASA LPR (Imaging Filter is highly recommended with the RASA. The scope's incredibly fast f/2 focal ratio gathers so much light so quickly that even modest amounts of sky glow at a dark sky site can brighten the sky background and reduce the contrast in your images. In light-polluted city and suburban locations, the RASA Light Pollution Reduction (LPR) Imaging Filter is a must.

CameraCompatible with RASA 8?Adapter required
Astronomical CMOS/CCD camera with C-mount Yes C-mount adapter (included)
Astronomical CMOS/CCD camera with M42-thread mount Yes M42 adapter (included) with M42 extension tubes (not included)
Astronomical CMOS/CCD camera with other mount Yes Custom camera adapter
Canon mirrorless with APS-C sensor Yes

Canon mirrorless adapter

(sold separately)

Sony mirrorless with APS-C sensor Yes

Sony mirrorless adapter

(sold separately)

Canon mirrorless with full frame (42mm) sensor Yes, but not optimized across the full sensor

Canon mirrorless adapter

(sold separately)

Sony mirrorless with full frame (42mm) sensor Yes, but not optimized across the full sensor

Sony mirrorless adapter

(sold separately)

DSLR No --

This kit combines the 8” Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) with the strong-yet-portable Advanced VX German equatorial mount. Simply add a mirrorless camera and this package offers everything you need to take spectacular images of wide-field deep sky objects.

Capture spectacular wide-field deep sky images in seconds with Celestron’s new portable astrograph, the 8” Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA). This incredibly fast f/2.0 system is the perfect companion to today’s color astronomical CMOS cameras, smaller CCD cameras, and mirrorless cameras. Thanks to its fast focal ratio and patented optical design, you can produce sharp, detailed images and, in many cases, skip the autoguider completely. Weighing in at just 17 pounds, it’s easy to transport your 8” RASA to the most remote dark sky locations.

RASA Performance Made for Everyone

The 8” RASA is an imaging telescope that delivers a flat field without optical aberrations for razor sharp stars across a wide field of view. It can capture stunning deep-sky astronomical images without the challenges typically presented by longer focal length instruments at a fraction of the cost of those systems.

The latest addition to the RASA family, this 8” version is a much more portable and affordable version of the heralded RASA 11, which was introduced to much acclaim in 2014. With the 8” RASA joining the lineup, a wider range of astroimagers can enjoy the benefits of the RASA design. It has many of the same thoughtfully designed features as its “big brother” RASA 11, including the integrated air-cooling system, internal filter mount, and sturdy CGE dovetail mounting bar.

Purely designed for imaging, the 8” RASA cannot be used visually. The prime focus focal plane is located at the front of the optical system, so it cannot accommodate a traditional eyepiece.

Shorter Exposure Times and Virtual “Real-Time” Observing

Since it is an F/2.0 optical system, imagers can use shorter exposure times to capture detail in faint objects. When combined with sensitive cameras and the proper “live stacking” software, the 8” RASA can provide an almost real-time observing experience. View images on a computer instantly that are brighter and more detailed than can be seen in much bigger telescopes with the naked eye.

Because shorter exposure times are possible, your equatorial mount won’t need to accurately track over extended periods. The 8” RASA’s relatively short 400mm focal length also lessens equatorial tracking demands. In many cases, autoguiding will not be required. Weighing only 17 lb, this optical tube pairs perfectly with a wide variety of mounts.

Ultra-Stable Focus System

With the launch of the 8” RASA, Celestron is unveiling a new focuser design that mitigates lateral movement of the primary mirror when focusing, slewing, or tracking with the astrograph. Focusing is easier, more accurate, and more stable than ever. The key to the Ultra-Stable Focus System is two sets of precision bearings that are precisely aligned and tested during assembly to ensure optimal results.

Advanced VX & Tripod

The Advanced VX mount is designed to provide superior performance for smaller telescopes while taking advantage of Celestron’s most advanced technologies: All-Star Polar Alignment, Celestron PWI telescope control software, SkyAlign, and permanently programmable periodic error correction (PPEC).

If you’re an experienced imager, you’ll love taking this portable mount to a dark sky site and enjoying all the conveniences of a larger observatory mount. Or, if you’re new to imaging, Advanced VX will help you get started with the hobby and keep up with your needs for years to come.

Computerized German equatorial mount

The Advanced VX is the smallest of Celestron’s German equatorial mounts. The computerized GoTo capability automatically tracks objects as they move across the night sky. The Advanced VX mount includes ports for a hand control, an autoguider, and 2 AUX ports for optional accessories. The NexStar+ hand control gives you instant access to all the functions your mount has to offer. With automatic slewing and menu descriptions, astronomers of all skill levels can master this mount in just a few observing sessions. The Advanced VX also has an impressive tripod for its class with 2”-diameter steel tripod legs, providing an extra-wide stance for improved stability.

Payload capacity
The payload capacity for the Advanced VX is 30 lb. It offers a sturdy platform for the 8” Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph optical tube, even when paired with optional accessories like StarSense AutoAlign, Focus Motor, a finderscope, and a camera. Celestron's payload capacity does not include the weight of the counterweights.

Dual saddle plate
As of early 2019, Advanced VX mounts now include a new dual saddle plate that accommodates both CG-5 and CGE-style dovetails. Switching between the two saddle plates is as simple as moving the hand knobs into a separate set of holes. Now you can use your Advanced VX mount not only with the 8” RASA, but virtually any optical tube within Advanced VX’s weight limit.

Software

Celestron PWI Telescope Control Software
Your Ultimate Astronomy Software Suite

All current Celestron computerized telescopes include Celestron PWI (CPWI), the most advanced astronomy software suite provided with any consumer-grade telescope. Celestron’s experts co-developed CPWI with the engineers at PlaneWave Instruments. The result is an all-in-one solution offering you many of the same features used on PlaneWave’s observatory-class telescopes.

Graphical planetarium interface with PointXP advanced mount modelling allows you to add 100+ points to your alignment model for the most accurate pointing and tracking possible
Ideal for remote observatory setups: save and re-load your alignment and park your scope
Provides a complete ASCOM telescope interface to allow control of the telescope from third party software applications
For more information on CPWI and to see the user interface, click here.

Starry Night Software
Also included with your purchase is a free download of Celestron’s Starry Night Special Edition Software. This advanced software by Simulation Curriculum offers detailed information about celestial objects and helps you plan your next observing or imaging session. The Special Edition software also includes telescope control via your PC.

Accessories Included

The Advanced VX RASA 8 comes complete with a M42 camera adapter, C-thread camera adapter, and fan battery pack.

Tech Details

Aperture 8" (203mm)
Focal Length 400mm
Focal Ratio f/2.0
Heaviest Single Component 18 pounds
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 64 pounds
Optical Coatings StarBright XLT
Warranty 2 years

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Supplied Accessories

The Advanced VX RASA 8 comes complete with a M42 camera adapter, C-thread camera adapter, and fan battery pack.