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Thread: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

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    Default Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g



    Hello, this is my first telescope purchase so I'm hoping to get some advice. Interested in viewing the moon, the sun, planets, and maybe nebulae from my roof deck or nearby park with friends and family. My budget is around $1k. I've done research and am basically between these two, which I'm sure most of you know about because they seem very popular:

    Celestron NexStar 8SE

    Orion SkyQuest XT8g (the one with motorized go-to and tracking)

    Must-haves:
    1) Large aperture. I live in the city of Chicago so there's lots of light pollution. Side note: are there any filters anyone would recommend for this?
    2) Quick and easy to setup and collimate. We have friends and family over a lot so I'd like to be able to just grab it and set it up real quick if someone pops over.
    3) Ability to fit in my trunk for occasional travel. The XT8g is as long as I can go for a dob because my trunk is about 45" wide. We go up to rural Wisconsin and Michigan occasionally where there will be much darker skies.

    Nice to haves:
    1) Go-to and tracking, as I'm definitely interested in planets and will likely have several people around me who would like to see over the course of a few minutes.

    Anyone have thoughts between these two or other recommendations based on my situation? I'm leaning toward the Orion because a) I'm nervous about the tripod on the Celestron being wobbly or bothersome and b) seems like the Orion may be easier to setup and take down, being only two pieces. On the other hand, the Celestron would probably be easier to transport in the car since the tube is 18" vs. 44.5".

    Anything else I should be considering? Thanks for your help.

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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Hello and welcome to the forums
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Welcome to the forum!

    Both scopes are nice and will serve you well.

    I would lean toward the 8SE. Because of the difference in focal length 1200mm vs. 2000mm, the Dob would have a wider field of view. But with a focal reducer the 2000mm of the 8SE becomes 1260mm which is essentially the same. But the longer focal length of the SCT and the absence of diffraction spikes gives a much better planetary view than the Dob can provide, unless used with a Barlow.

    The Dob base is very stable, but you will have no problems with the 8SE either. It is easy to set up and does travel and stow away easier. But I also would have to have the focal reducer for the wider field of view and help with the DSOs.

    Regardless of the scope I chose, there are two must haves that I would not do without. A comfortable variable height observing chair (absolute MUST HAVE!!) and a decent pair of binoculars. I suggest giving this thread a look. https://theskysearchers.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=331
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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Two good choices.

    I would want to verify that the XT8 tube would actually fit in the car trunk. I would also think that the more pertinent size for the SE would be the size of the tripod rather than that of the OTA.

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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Another vote for 8SE. Works great on all types of targets from planets to DSOs to doubles. Compact and lightweight, easy to move, set up and store.

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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Welcome.

    I also vote for the 8SE but with one caveat, if your deck transmits vibrations from walking or any other source, it will be much more apparent in the 8SE (because of its longer focal length) than the Dob. I used to use my C11 on my backyard deck and had to deal with these vibrations (and they weren't always good!).

    Just something else to chew on.

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Quote Originally Posted by jaetea View Post
    Welcome.

    I also vote for the 8SE but with one caveat, if your deck transmits vibrations from walking or any other source, it will be much more apparent in the 8SE (because of its longer focal length) than the Dob. I used to use my C11 on my backyard deck and had to deal with these vibrations (and they weren't always good!).

    Just something else to chew on.

    Cheers,
    JT
    When I observe from the deck anti-vibration pads help to dampen vibration. I also try to avoid jumping around the scope.

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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Back then I used a hard wooden chair is my observing chair and some nights, I swear, the vibrations were in perfect sync with my heartbeat and I was using vibration damping pads.

    Weirdly,
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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    Quote Originally Posted by jaetea View Post
    Welcome.

    I also vote for the 8SE but with one caveat, if your deck transmits vibrations from walking or any other source, it will be much more apparent in the 8SE (because of its longer focal length) than the Dob. I used to use my C11 on my backyard deck and had to deal with these vibrations (and they weren't always good!).

    Just something else to chew on.

    Cheers,
    JT
    Our building is a condo building and there are several A/C units on the roof around 50 feet away from our roof deck--nothing I can feel or hear, but I know they're there. Do you think vibration is going to be a big issue?

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    Default Re: Celestron NexStar 8SE vs. Orion SkyQuest XT8g

    If the platform is solid construction (concrete) it will not be a large problem, wooden decks can transmit a lot of vibration from mechanicals or people simply walking past/ around.
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