Celstron C8+

The Celestron C8 was the first (functional) telescope of the Feynman Observatory. It was a very nice starter telescope providing all the basic functions needed for both visual observation and imaging. The picture you see here was taken during one of its many CCD imaging session. The silver tube is a home made dew shield. This shield was made from an insulation material consisting of what looks like plastic "bubble wrap" covered on both sides with aluminum foil. The insulation sheet is held together with glued on velcro. The inside is painted flat black to minimize reflections. You can click on the image thumbnail to get the full sized image. If you do, you will notice the weights added to front and back of the OTA. These Celestron "stack able" weights allow for a precise balancing of the OTA. Sadly, Celestron no longer sells these weight. Instead they sell a slider weight that attaches to the bottom of the tube. This slider does not provide for adequate dynamic balancing.

Celestron has replaced the C8 line with cost reduced variation called the Celestar 8. The primary method of cost reduction was to combine the wedge and tripod into a single (flimsy) unit they call a "wedgepod." While the wedgepod may be cheaper, it is also nearly impossible to polar align. It is my opinion that Celestron has taken a very functional entry level telescope and ruined it for the sake of a few dollars in
retail price.

While I got a great deal of use a pleasure out of this C8+, I grew to really dislike the fork mount. The very nature of its design makes it vibration prone. I had the C8 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) mounted for several months on the GM8 mount shown below. When I returned the OTA to the fork mount, I was appalled at the vibration level. It takes a great deal of effort to get the axis orthogonal. There are parts of the sky that where one can not do imaging because the camera hits the mount. If you are serious about doing astroimaging, I suggest starting off with good German Equatorial mount like the GM8

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