Dobsonian telescopes have acquired much popularity in the recent days. Newcomers and amateur stargazers prefer Dobsonian telescopes more than ‘Go-To’ or other types of computerized telescopes because of their simplicity and easy to use feature.
If you are looking for Dobsonian telescopes in the market, whether online or offline, the one name you must’ve heard is the Orion. Orion has been producing high-quality telescopes since 1975. They first started their Journey in California. Till now, many of Orion’s telescopes has won the ‘Best Telescope Award’ in many categories.
One of Orion’s most popular model is the Orion Skyquest XT8. In this Orion Skyquest XT8 Review, I am going to share all the features this telescope has to offer to its owners. Also, I’ll talk about the specifications, pros, and cons of this telescope. Lastly, I’ll reveal my opinion if you should really invest your money on this telescope or not.
So, let’s get started with our review!
Orion Skyquest XT8: A General Overview
According to the manufacturers of Orion, Skyquest XT8 is one of Orion’s most demanded reflector telescopes. This model has gained so much popularity among astronomers because of its superior stability, simplistic design and accurate optics.
With the XT8, you can have a clear image of the night sky. The sophisticated optic mechanism will let you see most of the planets in the solar system including Jupiter, Saturn and the Mars. Here, by seeing, I don’t mean only to ‘see’ the planets. You can ‘Inspect’ the planets in details! Yes, that’s how much powerful the telescope is!
We know that the larger aperture a telescope has, the clearer image it can provide. It is because, with a larger aperture, the telescope can gather more light. As a result, it can even detect the faint deep sky objects in the night sky.
The Orion Skyquest XT8 has an 8 inch aperture which lets you see even the distant galaxies, nebulas as well as star clusters. There’s hardly any telescope in this price range that offers so many features and allows you to see such a variety of celestial objects.
This Dobsonian telescope is designed keeping simplicity in mind. The ‘Point-and-View’ mechanism of Dobsonian telescope is much simpler compared to the Equatorial mount mechanism.
With little practice and help, not only you, your whole family can enjoy the stars and planets of the night sky with this telescope.
So, if you are looking for a telescope that has everything you need to start your stargazing journey, Skyquest XT8 will be an excellent option.
Larger Aperture: Orion Skyquest XT8 comes with an 8 inch aperture size. This larger aperture lets you see the planets and moons in details. Also, the aperture size is large enough to collect lights from the distant faint stars, galaxies, and nebulas.
Durable Construction: With proper care and maintenance, this telescope can last you a lifetime. It doesn’t require much maintenance or cleaning. All you need to do is just take proper care of it following the procedures mentioned in the instruction manual.
Stable Operation: The telescope is designed with supreme stability. Thanks to the carefully designed base of the telescope, the reflector tube always remains accurately balanced. Stability is very important for ‘Point-and-View’ mechanism. It also makes sure the telescope is easy to use and beginner-friendly.
Includes: With the Orion Skyquest XT8, you’ll get everything you need for a successful stargazing experience. The telescope comes with Sirius Plossl Eyepiece (25mm), 2 inch Crayford focuser, a reflex sight from EZ Finder II, Starry Night Software, cap for collimation and many other accessories.
Affordability: Even though Orion Skyquest XT8 comes with everything you’ll need for stargazing, the price is unbelievably cheap. I have never seen a telescope that offers these much features at such a low price. So, if you are low in budget, this telescope will be perfect for you. Moreover, the affordability makes this telescope ideal for beginners and newcomers.
Warranty: With Orion Skyquest XT8, you’ll get a limited 1 year warranty for any flaws regarding the workmanship or the material. So, you can easily give it a shot without any worry.
- Dimension of Package:2 x 17 x 15.5 inches
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Primary Mirror Diameter: 8 inches
- Focal length: 1200mm
- Focal ratio: f/5.9
- Tube: made of steel. Length 46 inches
- Spring System: CorrecTension Spring
- The 8 inch aperture size lets you see even the distant faint objects in the night sky
- Durable construction ensures the telescope will last you for a long time
- Supreme stability makes it easier to view Moon and Planets
- Point-and-View mechanism is easier to control and use
- F/5.9 focal ration is sufficient to detect distant objects like Saturn’s rings and Moon’s craters
- Comes with everything you’ll need. No need to buy any separate accessories
- Affordable and suitable for beginners
- Awesome light-gathering ability ensures a clear and crisp image
- The focusing motion is smooth
- Easier Finderscope adjustments
- You can collimate the telescope by hand. Also, the collimation cap is included.
- The telescope can be a bit heavy for some people
- Not so much portable
Where Can You Find The Orion Skyquest XT8?
Orion Skyquest XT8 is sold in most of the retail and wholesale telescope shops in the United States. However, I’ll highly encourage you to get this from the Amazon. With Amazon, you’ll get free shipping too. Also, I have found that the product is sold pretty cheaply there.
If you want to check out the latest price at Amazon, click here.
What Can You See With Orion Skyquest XT8?
With the Skyquest XT8, you can see a lot of celestial objects if you know where to look and how to look. Here are the things a trained eye can see with Orion Skyquest XT8:
- If the light pollution is minimal, you can see the full Messier catalog
- With the XT8, you can even see the details of the Mars surface when it is close to the Earth.
- Jupiter’s moons, as well as the cloud belts of Jupiter, will get clearer and crisper
- You can see several moons of the Saturn. Also, the Encke and Cassini division also gets visible.
- If the night is favorable and the sky is clear, you can see the Triton, most prominent moon of Neptune.
Maintenance Tips For Orion Skyquest XT8
By properly maintaining your Orion Skyquest XT8, you can increase its durability many times more. You won’t have to do much, just follow the below tips and you’ll be fine:
- At first, you’ll need to store the telescope in a proper place where kids can’t access it. Also, refrain yourself from handling the telescope too much.
- Always keep the lens cap ON whenever you are not using the telescope. It will prevent any scratches which will, in turn, help its longevity.
- Never use regular cleaners or detergents to clean your telescope. For regular cleaning, using a microfiber cloth will be enough. However, if the stain seems to be persistent, take the help of a professional.
So, this is my detailed Orion Skyquest XT8 review. I hope after going through this review, you have a clear idea of the features this telescope has to offer as well as the specifications. Though this telescope is not free from errors, it can be an excellent investment for beginners as well as intermediate level stargazers.
If you are looking for a telescope to start your stargazing experience or take your stargazing experience to the next level, then I’ll definitely recommend to give Orion Skyquest XT8 a try. If you want to check out the latest price on Amazon, click here.
Trust me, you won’t regret getting this Dobsonian telescope.