paulastro Posted November 1, 2022 Share Posted November 1, 2022 In some ways, this is more of a 'things you should know about the Celestron StarSense Explorer 8 Dobsonian' rather than a proper review. I've recommended three excellent reviews which I suggest you read if you are new to this telescope. I've had this telescope since early July and it has been a real game changer for me. I've been an active visual observer for over fifty years, and lost count of the number of scopes I've owned and used. In all this time, this scope is the only one I would call a real game changer for visual observers. There's nothing revolutionary about the telescope itself, its an excellent example of the current range of good quality 8inch Dobsonians available that are made by several manufacturers including Synta and GSO etc As such it give you great views of both deepsky, planets and Moon when the seeing is up to it. What is revolutionary is the StarSense Explorer App which, in combination with any compatable smartphone, will guide you to push the scope quickly and accurately to tens of thousands of celestial objects. Of course there are numerous goto mounts which can find objects for you, but Starsense has some advantages which make it such a good option. 1 It only adds around £250 to the cost of any other 8 or 10 inch dob without StarSense. A good goto will cost considerably more. 2 Unlike digital setting circle options, the night sky is shown on the display of your phone (which sits in a cradle attached to the telescope) as you push it to follow a series of arrows to your target. You can stop to 'explore' any objects you are passing if you wish. For each object in the data base their are excellent descriptions and data a button press away.. 3 The only power source necessary is your phones battery. I've had several hours use on cold and damp nights and still had plenty of power left. 4 There is nothing mechanical to go wrong, no wires to plug in, no computer glitches. 5 it's quicker to find things than any goto system I've ever used, and it's completely silent. 6 I've found it performs in conditions in which you'd struggle to find objects by star hopping. Also, for this reason you can use it in conditions you otherwise may not bother to go out. 7 It enables you to use the majority of your time outside observing rather than finding objects, which is hugely important if you live in the UK. 8 It doesn't use your phones data as no Internet connection is necessary once the app is downloaded. 9 Apart from aligning the phone with the sky, and the phone's view with that of the scope when you first use it, it's then.quick and easy to set up. A Set the scope up outside on the mount. B Take the tube cap off and point the scope up at a clear patch of sky.. C Switch the app on, it will take a few seconds to a minute to take a pic of the sky. It then indicates it has found its position and tells you that it's ready to go. D Select an object to view, and press the 'find' button. It really is that easy. Total setup time perhaps 5/10 minutes, no star alignments to do, in fact you don't need to bother putting on a finder.. This is great if, like me, you are unable to bend and twist to use a finder - I have serious hip and spine problems and it is the main reason I first considered buying this telescope. 10 It's extremely easy to use, and it's great fun. If I can use it anyone can - just ask my daughters! Any child who uses it will have no problem once they now how to use the scope itself, it's very intuitive and the app guides you at every step. For more detail I highly recommend the excellent reviews by Ade Ashford (in October's Astronomy Now) and those by Alan Dyer and Dennis di Cicco which can be found on line. If you're a potential buyer, and don't believe it's as good as I've indicated, try and arrange a session with someone who has one. At Kelling in late September I had a few, rather sceptical, visual observers stop by to see how it worked. All were impressed, some actually said they were astonished how well it works. I still am! 18 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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