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Bought a new 8" Scope, Can't Wait to Get Started!

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After thinking about it since around the time I joined this forum (6 months ago or so), this week I've placed an order for a new 8" Orion telescope!

This will be my first upgrade in something like 20 years of having a 60mm Celestron. Although I've used it enough to learn the basics of observing, like setting up, the constellations, tracking with an alt/azimuth mount, etc., honestly the most spectacular thing I've seen out of it was M22 after I bought Plössl lenses earlier this year. That was a holdover while I looked for a better telescope I'd be happy with. It doubled the number of stars I could count from about 15-20 to 30-40, but I still have trouble seeing or finding much of anything, and what I do find is dull (in luminosity).

So now I can't wait to see what improvement there will be in more than tripling the aperture! Since I live in a suburban area and despite trying really hard haven't found a huge number of celestial objects, I also bought the intelliscope version, which should be greatly helpful in getting started here. Much preferred to using a cell phone that blinds me even on the lowest brightness setting. I'll report back with some first impressions when it arrives!

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Congratulations on the new scope, you will have many years of enjoyment from it,

the aperture makes a difference to what you can observe, looking forward to your

first light report.

Good Luck and Clear Sky's. 

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Good move!  You'll be able to see (and resolve) many more stars with the 8 inch.  Do let us know your own impressions!


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Congratulations on the new scope, that's a great upgrade :)

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You're in for a treat, that's a significant upgrade.

Look forward to hearing your impressions of the new toy.

Good luck.

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You have made a fine choice which I am sure you will never regret.

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It's been a few months... a few busy months. And for various reason I hadn't been able to get this scope out much. Cloudy nights, freezing nights, nice nights but with the ground too wet, etc. Well I finally did get a chance to do some viewing recently and start to use the IntelliScope computer, and it's been nice! Here is the review I wrote for the telescope. Definitely happy with the purchase and looking forward to getting a lot of education and fun out of this!


The telescope is very nice, and I'd recommend this edition of the XT8i over some of the others as it is dark in color (some editions are brighter which could not be desirable when viewing), its navigation knob helps make fine adjustments without the use of the rotational altitude/azimuth/declination knobs I was used to on my previous refractor telescope, and the finder scope that comes with this one is an improved one you'd have to pay for separately without this model. Ultimately it's up to you which features are important, though.

My perspective: my old/first telescope was a decent Celestron 60mm refractor. It seems higher quality than most other similar scopes that I've seen for sale, but I've also had it for 20 years so that could explain why. I was looking to upgrade to a larger aperture and considered everything from 6" to 12" primary lenses. In the end it came down to this XT8i and a 10" Zhumell. The Zhumell was similar in price with the larger aperture, and also has an electric cooling fan. However, I could always add one for virtually $0, just using an old computer fan and some electronic skills. The 8" seemed to be the best for me, living on the edge of Oklahoma City so I'm still in city lights, but not in the brightest part. The use of the IntelliScope locator won me over since it can be difficult to do star hopping with my experience level and having a lot of stars washed out by the light pollution.

First light: The first night I was able to bring this out into my back yard, I took a look at the Orion Nebula, and was amazed at the blue glow and clear shape I was able to see. I haven't ever seen this in my other telescope so it's hard to compare, but let me tell you, it was not disappointing. Then, a few nights ago I looked at Jupiter for the first time (it's been out of view through part of the winter), and can now compare before/after. Before I could see the planet, and two fuzzy dark bands. Now I can see the round body very clearly, those same bands, and I was able to make out the Great Red Spot quite easily. There's detail to be seen which wasn't discernible before, and that made me very happy. Then I also learned the computerised object locator, which is pretty simple to use, but you may need the aid of a star chart until you learn the constellations and stars better. But trust me, that won't be a problem because being able to find things will help increase enthusiasm.

Last word -- whether you are a brand new beginning astronomer or you have a little bit of experience like me, I think this is a good purchase. High quality at an affordable price, not so big you can't move it around, and not so small that you'll be disappointed with the views. I cannot wait to take this telescope out to the country!


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