What do you do with a best-selling, fan-favorite telescope that has developed a dedicated following among amateur astronomers the world over? Here at Orion, we gave our popular XT8 Classic Dobsonian a serious makeover! Using the XT8 Classic as a starting point, we added top-notch features and accessories to create the Orion SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian Reflector. This deluxe upgrade of our stalwart 8" reflector telescope boasts a redesigned Dobsonian base, adjustable altitude axis tension, a 2" dual-speed Crayford focuser, and a host of other upgraded features and included accessories to enhance your observing experience.
The sleek redesigned base of our SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian not only looks great, it also features weight-reducing cutouts which help make the XT8 PLUS more portable than its XT8 Classic counterpart. The base is quite visible, even in the dark of night, thanks to its white trim. Topping the base (literally) is the big, 8"-aperture, f/5.9 reflector telescope optical tube with a unique, eye-catching metallic blue color. The XT8 PLUS features adjustable tension knobs on the altitude axis, which replace the tensioning springs found on the XT8 Classic model. These adjustable knobs make the XT8 PLUS more versatile, since you can now adjust the tension of the altitude axis of motion to allow use of heavier 2" eyepieces, Barlow lenses, multiple finder scopes, and other hefty accessories. With the altitude tension properly adjusted, using heavier accessories will not cause the optical tube to drift downwards during use.
The SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian is built around an 8" (203mm) diameter parabolic primary mirror mounted in a sturdy, cast-aluminum support cell. The mirror collects 78% more light than a 6" mirror, so you get a significant increase in ability to observe dust lanes in nebulas, resolve the cores of prominent globular star clusters, and to reveal some of the more subtle structures in faint galaxies. The 1200mm focal length (f/5.9) XT8 mirror allows you to obtain clear and crisp views at moderate to high magnifications on clear nights with good seeing conditions. The Moon and planets of our solar system like Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars shine brightly in the Orion SkyQuest XT8 PLUS, allowing you to inspect them in high-resolution detail. Enhanced-reflectivity mirror coatings boost the XT8 PLUS Dobsonian's mirror up to 94% reflectivity so as much light as possible is transmitted to the eyepiece, resulting in exceptionally bright, clear views. The point-and-view simplicity of the Dobsonian design is not as complicated as a telescope attached to an equatorial (EQ) mount and tripod. With a little practice, your whole family can use the XT8 PLUS Dobsonian telescope to scan the heavens just like experienced astronomers.
The big, 2" dual-speed Crayford focuser installed on the XT8 PLUS is a significant upgrade compared to the single-speed focuser of the XT8 Classic. The focuser features a step-down 1.25" adapter so you can use both powerful 1.25" eyepieces and wide-field 2" oculars. Thanks to its Crayford design, focus adjustments are smooth, accurate, and virtually free of backlash and flexure, even with heavier 2" accessories installed. With an 11:1 fine-focus ratio, you'll be able to make extremely precise adjustments for sharp, crisply detailed views of whatever celestial quarry you turn your XT8 PLUS towards.
We've equipped the XT8 PLUS with a thorough set of top-notch accessories to enrich your stargazing experiences. This is one telescope you'll be able to use during daytime hours, thanks to the included Safety Film Solar Filter, which lets you safely observe sunspots as they march across the surface of our nearest star. A 2", 28mm DeepView eyepiece will help you obtain expansive 42x views, while the included 1.25" 10mm Sirius Plossl ocular will provide close-up, 120-power observations. For even more powerful views, use the included Shorty 2x Barlow lens to double the power of any 1.25" telescope eyepiece. You can keep one 2" eyepiece and up to three 1.25" eyepieces at-the-ready with the included eyepiece rack. Aim the XT8 PLUS easily and accurately with the included Orion EZ Finder II reflex sight. Also included are a quick collimation cap for mirror alignment, dust caps for the reflector telescope tube and focuser, and special edition of Starry Night astronomy software with a SkyTheater DVD - a $69.90 value!
Like all reflector telescopes, the XT8 PLUS will likely require minor periodic maintenance to make sure its optical mirrors are aligned, or "collimated". To make collimation adjustments nice and easy, we've outfitted the XT8 PLUS Dobsonian telescope's secondary mirror with knurled thumbscrews so you don't have to hassle with tools to align the reflecting optics.
For easy transport and storage, the Orion XT8 PLUS telescope can conveniently be broken-down into two separate pieces. By unthreading the two altitude tension knobs from the Dobsonian base, you can detach the 46.5" long reflector optical tube and transport each piece separately. With an assembled weight of 42 lbs., the XT8 PLUS is a lot of telescope offered at an amazingly affordable price.
Sky at Night magazine, January 2014
"The XT8 PLUS is a well thought-out package that offers a good option for a first scope. All the accessories essential to getting started are included, while the detailed instructions will make the learning curve much easier for a first-timer."
"The scope arrived in two boxes with all the tools you need to put it together provided. Doing this is a one-person job - within an hour we had the scope assembled, collimated, and ready to go. "
"The supplied Safety Film Solar filter ... delivered a detailed, high-contrast and neutral white image, revealing an incredible network of sunspots and even granulation, despite the poor seeing at the time we tested it."
Meets or exceeds all California State Environmental Quality & Safety Regulations (CARB 93120 Phase 2 Compliant).
Limited Warranty against defects in materials or workmanship for one year from date of purchase. This warranty is for the benefit of the original retail purchaser only. For complete warranty details contact us at 800-676-1343.
Please note this product was not designed or intended by the manufacturer for use by a child 12 years of age or younger.
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