The Celestron CGEM II 800 with Starbright XLT coatings puts a time-tested industry-standard 8” aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube on newly-designed Celestron CGEM II heavy-duty high-precision computerized go-to German equatorial mount. For the ultimate in optical performance from an 8” scope, the CGEM II 800 optical tube has state-of-the-art 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 smooth and precise Celestron CGEM II 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, rather than looking for them. The sleek and modern-looking CGEM II mount combines the portability of the economical Celestron AVX German mount with the precision performance of a premium-level Celestron CGX mount. The ergonomically designed CGEM II mount is capable of carrying much-heavier Celestron SCT optical tubes (up to 11” in aperture) securely and vibration free. This makes it ideal for rock-steady imaging and visual observing with the lighter weight 8” Celestron optical system. It also makes the CGEM II mount extremely useful as the heart of an expanded observing system using a variety of Celestron and non-Celestron optical tubes.
The CGEM II 800 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 CGEM II 800 carries on that tradition by making amateur astronomy affordable and push-button easy.
The CGEM II 800 with Starbright XLT coatings 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 full-featured computerized go-to mount make it a telescope that virtually any beginning or advanced astronomer can afford and enjoy.The Celestron CGEM II 800 with Starbright XLT multicoatings puts a time-tested 8” aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube on a high-precision Celestron CGEM II heavy-duty computerized go-to German equatorial mount. The easy-to-use CGEM II 800 makes astronomy easier and more rewarding than ever before.
This Telescope’s Optical System . . .
• Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube: 8” aperture (2032mm focal length f/10). Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance. The 17” long aluminum optical tube weighs only 13 lbs., making it easy to transport and assemble the scope in the field.
• Starbright XLT fully multicoated optics: This coatings package includes high reflectivity multilayer aluminum mirror coatings enhanced with titanium dioxide for high reflectivity, plus a unique combination of magnesium fluoride and hafnium dioxide antireflection coatings on both sides of the Schmidt corrector lens. The corrector lens itself is made of high transmission water white float glass instead of conventional soda lime glass (which has 3.5% lower transmission) used in other telescopes.
Starbright XLT multicoatings visibly increase the contrast on subtle lunar, planetary, and nebula details when compared with a scope with standard multicoatings. They also give you higher light transmission for brighter deep space images and shorter exposure times during CCD and 35mm photography. Across the total visual/photographic spectrum from 400nm to 750nm, independent laboratory tests show the new Starbright XLT coatings are 16% brighter overall than even the original industry-standard Starbright multicoatings.
• 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.
• Finderscope: 6 x 30mm straight-through achromatic design, with a wide 7 degree field of view.
• 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” 25mm Plössl (81x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.62 degrees, over 20% larger than the full moon.
This Telescope’s Mount . . .
• Heavy duty CGEM II computerized German equatorial mount: The CGEM II mount includes dual-axis slewing/tracking motors on each axis for go-to computer control. There are nine motor drive speeds: 0.5x and 1x sidereal for guiding; 4x, 8x, 16x, and 64x for centering; and 0.5°, 2°, and a fast 4° per second for slewing. Preset tracking rates include sidereal, solar, and lunar for precise tracking of celestial objects inside the solar system as well as out in deep space.
• Powering the CGEM II 1100: The mount comes with a car battery cord to operate from the cigarette lighter plug of your car or from a rechargeable 12VDC battery pack. The 17 amp hour capacity Celestron Power Tank #4517V is recommended and will operate the scope all night long without danger of running out of power.
• Polar alignment: To make a casual polar alignment for visual use quick and easy, there’s a latitude scale with large ergonomically-friendly altitude and azimuth adjustment knobs. No polar alignment finderscope is available to aid in the precise polar alignment required for long exposure astrophotography, nor is any needed. A unique Celestron All-Star Polar Alignment program built into the NexStar hand control helps you do a very precise computerized polar alignment in mere minutes, using any bright star, even when Polaris is hidden by trees or buildings. The program works in both northern and southern hemispheres.
• Adjustable height tripod: The tripod has 2” diameter stainless steel legs with a metal center leg brace for rigidity, for excellent vibration damping characteristics. The tripod also includes graduated markings on the tripod legs that will assist in quickly leveling the instrument. 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.
• Mounting the scope: New for the CGEM II mount is a dual saddle plate. The saddle plate will now accept both the CGE/Losmandy wide dovetail plate as well as the AVX/Vixen style dovetail plate. The dovetail slot on the top of the mount holds the long dovetail slide bar mounted under the optical tube. This allows you to slide the optical tube fore and aft in the dovetail slot to quickly and precisely balance the optical tube in declination when you add or subtract accessories, 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 oversized dovetail mounting platform assures secure vibration-free tube attachment.
• Balancing the scope: The two sliding 17 pound counterweights are locked in place on the counterweight shaft with a single large hand-tighten knob each. This makes it easy to rebalance the scope in right ascension if you add heavy photographic accessories.
• NexStar computer hand control: The supplied NexStar computer hand control has a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars and objects that it can find and track for you. These include the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars; the planets, the Moon, and others. The custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number; the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; variable stars; non-planetary solar systems objects; and asterisms.
• The NexStar display: All of the database and scope operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, liquid crystal display on the hand control. There are 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons to make it easy for you to control the computer without affecting your dark-adapted vision. The NexStar hand control provides a constant and easily-visible illuminated right ascension and declination readout of the scopes position on the sky. This provides much greater accuracy than conventional (and hard to see at night) manual setting circles for star-hopping or locating objects by their celestial coordinates alone, should you want to observe the old-fashioned way without using the computer to find objects for you.
• Some NexStar features: New for the CGEM II mount, a USB 2.0 communication port on the hand control allows you to operate the telescope via a personal computer using a USB cable and NexRemote software CD-ROM. The hand control and motor control software is flash-upgradeable to allow you to download the latest product updates over the Internet to keep your CGEM II mount always at the cutting edge of technology. An autoguider port is located on the electronic pier for guided, but unattended, long exposure astrophotography.
• Aligning on the sky: Five different alignment methods are built into the NexStar computer – 2-star align, quick align, 1-star align, last alignment, and solar align – allowing you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. Alignment is easily accomplished in only a few short minutes. You can be observing in less than 15 minutes after you first take the scope outdoors. There’s even a new and unique “All-Star” software-assisted alignment of the mount’s polar axis using a single bright star that will have you ready for imaging before it’s even dark enough to see the North Star.
• Two-year warranty: All Celestron go-to telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive go-to scopes.