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Celestron Advanced VX 8 Inch SCT Telescope - Planetary Imaging Package

Item# CELE661
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  • Start imaging now!  Packaged with Skyris Planetary Imaging Camera
  • Includes X-Cel 3x Barlow Lens
  • 8" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
  • Features All-Star Polar Alignment for fast polar alignment
  • Flash upgradeable NexStar Hand Controller
  • High performance features in a travel friendly size
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Description

Whether you're an advanced user or a beginner, you'll love creating beautiful astroimages with the Skyris astronomical CCD camera. Capture the Sun, Moon, and planets like never before and create crisp, high-resolution images. Skyris cameras are the first to offer ultra-fast USB 3.0 connections combined with the most popular Sony CCD chips used for planetary imaging. Skyris also features a Celestron-designed camera body which helps dissipate heat to minimize the effect of thermal noise on the CCD.

 

Celestron Partners with The Imaging Source

 

For years, The Imaging Source has provided amateur astronomers with high-quality CCD cameras that elevate amateur planetary imaging from a casual hobby into an art form. The Imaging Source's astronomical cameras are known for high quality, value, and performance. Now, Celestron is proud to partner with The Imaging Source on the Skyris line.

 

Skyris 445C using the Sony ICX445AQA CCD Sensor

 

The Skyris 445C features a high-resolution CCD sensor with a larger detection area, small pixels, and a larger pixel array. This sensor is capable of all kinds of solar system imaging, from Jupiter to a close-up swatch of the Moon's craters. The small pixels provide more detail per pixel, even when used with smaller telescopes.

 

One-Shot Color

 

The Skyris 445C is a one-shot color camera. That means you can capture full-color images instantly. There's no need to spend time imaging the same target multiple times to capture different colors. You also won't need to invest in filters and a filter wheel, making the 445C an economical choice.

 

Included Celestron iCap Software

 

All Skyris cameras include Celestron iCap capture software and stacking software, for Windows systems only. iCap software allows you to easily control the camera, snap your images or movie file, and export them. Next, you'll bring your images or movies into the stacking software, where you can automatically filter the best images and stack them to create your masterpiece.

 

Included accessories: 1.25" nosepiece, iCap software CD, 10' USB 3.0 cable, instruction manual.

 

 

  • A/D Conversion 12 bit
  • Back Focus Distance 19mm with nosepiece
  • Exposure Range 0.005 to 10 seconds
  • Imaging Sensor Sony ICX445AQA Color CCD
  • Mounting 1.25" barrel and C-thread
  • Operating Environment 40° C to -40°C
  • Shutter Global
  • Software Compatibility iCap, IC Capture, DirectShow
  • Sub-Framing Selectable
  • Weight (lbs) 3.6 oz lbs (1.63 kg)
  • Power Requirements Powered by USB
  • Camera Resolution 1280 x 960
  • Sensor Size 6.26mm x 5.01mm
  • Pixel Size 3.75 micron square
  • Frames per Second Up to 30
  • USB Cable High-speed 3.0, 10' cable length

 

Designed for beginning and advanced imagers alike, the Skyris cameras are available in six different models. Skyris will make you experience the sky from a completely new perspective as you create stunning planetary images in crisp, high resolution. Superior internal components - including Sony imaging sensors and high speed USB 3.0 connections - create rapid exposures that capture stable air and dynamic 12-bit image output that outrage the 8-bit of standard planetary CCDs. The external camera housing has been redesigned by Celestron for improved heat dissipation, thereby minimizing the temperature effect on CCD noise. The included Celestron iCap software and stacking software aid with capturing, filtering, aligning, stacking, and exporting your best images. Skyris comes packedwith the following useful accessories: A metal 1.25" nosepiece and 10' USB 3.0 cable.

 

 

 

 

Using Celestron Skyris as an Autoguider


Equipped with Sony EXview HAD CCD sensors, Skyris cameras make excellent autoguiders. The monochrome cameras are especially suited for autoguiding. If used with a Celestron mount, simply plug the hand controller into the supplied serial cable and use a USB to RS-232 adapter (not included). The camera works with popular software like MaxIm DL or freeware like PHD Guiding. Other mounts work with a GPUSB available from Shoestring Astronomy to use with the same software programs, instantly turning your Skyris camera into a high-end autoguider that plugs into the ST-4 autoguider port on your mount.

 

 

The iconic 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain has been known for decades as Celestron’s most beloved telescope. Now beginner to intermediate astroimagers can have their own “C-8” at an extremely affordable price. This classic design has been upgraded with our StarBright XLT coatings for maximum light transmission. Combined with our fully featured Advanced VX mount, you have a setup that is ready for both imaging and visual observing.

 

About the Mount

The new Advanced VX mount was specifically designed to provide optimum imaging performance for smaller telescopes. Now your smaller telescope can take advantage of All-Star Polar Alignment and autoguider support. You’ll be able to track through long exposures using permanently programmable periodic error correction. Image across the meridian without doing a meridian flip, so you can seamlessly image the best part of night sky. Advanced VX features significantly larger base castings than our previous design, improving stability under heavier loads. Improved motors offer more torque and can handle slight load imbalances with ease.

 

  • 8” (203mm) f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain includes StarBright XLT coatings for better light transmission
  • 84% more light gathering than a 6” telescope.
  • 6x30 optical finderscope for locating alignment stars
  • Integer gear ratios and permanently programmable Periodic Error Correction eliminates recurring track errors from the worm gear.
  • Autoguider port for long exposure imaging
  • New motors offer improved tracking performance & provide more power to overcome load imbalances
  • Updated industrial design offers more rigidity, less flexure and improved aesthetics
  • New design allows viewing or imaging across the meridian without interference from the motors housings
  • Improved latitude range. Can be used between 7 – 77 degrees latitude.
  • NexStar+ hand control offers multiple language programming (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish)

 

About Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes

 

Celestron’s excellent Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are compact and portable and represent the best all-purpose design for a wide variety of uses from terrestrial and deep sky viewing to astrophotography.


Catadioptrics use a combination of mirrors and lenses to "fold" (reflect) the light path and form an image. In a Schmidt-Cassegrain, the light enters through a thin aspheric Schmidt correcting lens. It then strikes the spherical primary mirror. It is reflected back up the tube and intercepted by a small secondary mirror which reflects the light out an opening in the rear of the instrument where the image is formed at the eyepiece.


Catadioptrics are the most popular and most modern type of telescope optical design and are marketed throughout the world in 3.5" and larger apertures. Catadioptric telescopes combine the practical advantages of lenses and mirrors while eliminating their disadvantages. They offer the clarity and contrast of refractors with the low aberration of reflectors. Catadioptrics have an average focal ratio of f/10, which is wide enough for all types of photography. They are also easier to maintain because all optical elements are solidly mounted and rigidly collimated. Catadioptric telescopes provide the best possible combination of light gathering power, long focal length, portability and affordability.

 

Schmidt-Cassegrain Advantages

 

  • Very versatile, best all-purpose telescope design
  • Combines the optical advantages of both lenses and mirrors while eliminating their disadvantages
  • Excellent optics and razor sharp images over a wide field
  • Excellent for deep sky observing and astrophotography as well as terrestrial viewing
  • Very good for lunar, planetary and binary star observing
  • Focal ratio generally around f/10, it also has the best near focus capability of any type of telescope
  • Closed tube design reduces image-degrading air currents
  • Extremely compact and portable
  • Easy to use, durable and virtually maintenance free
  • Large apertures at reasonable cost and less expensive than equivalent aperture refractors
  • More accessories available than with other types of telescopes

 

Schmidt-Cassegrain Disadvantages

 

  • More expensive than Newtonians of equal aperture
  • Slight light loss due to secondary mirror obstruction compared to refractors The Maksutov-Cassegrain is similar to the Schmidt-Cassegrain with essentially the same advantages and disadvantages. It uses a thick meniscus correcting lens with a strong curvature and a secondary mirror that is usually an aluminized spot on the corrector.

 

 

Celestron All-Star Polar Alignment Technology


All-Star Polar Alignment Technology
German Equatorial Mounts (GEM) have long since been recognized as the mount of choice for astrophotography. Needing to track in only one axis for long exposures; adjustable counterweights and tube position for perfect balance, the GEM has few short comings when it comes to imaging. In order to do long-exposure astro-imaging, an equatorially aligned telescope is needed to allow your telescope to properly track the motion of the sky. However accurate tracking still depends on an accurate polar alignment. Even with a visible star very near the North Celestial Pole (NCP), the true celestial pole can be a very elusive place to find without assistance.

 

Now select Celestron mounts can utilize a new innovative Polar alignment procedure called All-Star™. All-Star allows users to choose any bright star, while the software calculates and assists with polar alignment.

 

Here's how it works.

Once your telescope is aligned with two bright star, All-Star allows you to choose any bright star listed in the NexStar hand control to assist in accurately aligning your telescope's mount with the North Celestial Pole. Using the telescope's Sync function, the mount is able to point and center a bright star with a high degree of accuracy. Once centered, the mount will point the telescope to the exact position that the star should be if the mount were precisely polar aligned. By simply adjusting the mounts altitude and azimuth controls to re-center the star in the center of the eyepiece, you are actually moving the mounts polar axis to the exact position of the North Celestial Pole.

 

FAQ

 

Can I use Polaris to polar align my telescope?
Since Polaris is very close to the NCP and not very bright, it is actually not a recommended star for the "All-Star" method. The advantages of being able to use stars other than Polaris are two fold:

Polaris is not always visible. So not only can you use a variety of other stars but they are also brighter and more prominent.
The star you choose will be farther away from the NCP thus allowing for greater accuracy when centering the star in your eyepiece.

 

Which stars are best to use for polar aligning?
For best results choose a bright alignment star that is near the Meridian, preferably close to the celestial equator. Try to avoid stars that are close to the west/east horizon or directly overhead because they can be more difficult to center using the mount's altitude and azimuth controls. Also stars too near the celestial pole are less accurate than those further away.

 

Will I lose my alignment after I polar align?
No, the mount will retain its alignment but some amount of accuracy may be compromised depending on how much the mount has been moved during polar alignment. Although the telscopes tracking may be very good, pointing accuracy may need to be improved, especially if you are trying to located small objects on a ccd chip.

 

What are the steps to polar align my telescope using "All-Star" polar alignment?

 

  • Align the telescope with the sky using the "Two-Star Alignment" method.
  • Select a suitable bright star from the Hand Control's database and slew the telescope to the star.
  • Press the Align button and select Polar Align => Align Mount from the list.
  • The telescope will then re-slew to the alignment star and ask you to center it in the eyepiece in order to "Sync" on the star.
  • The telescope will slew to the position that the star should be if it were accurately polar aligned.
  • Use the mounts altitude and azimuth adjustments to place the star in the center of the eyepiece and press the Align button.
  • Update the telescope's star alignment if necessary.

Dimensions & Specifications

Recommended Usage

Viewing the Planets

Warranty

2-Year

Features

GoTo

Brand

Celestron

Finderscope

6x30

GPS

No

GoTo

Yes

Telescopes Series

Celestron Advanced VX Telescopes

Optical Design

Schmidt-Cassegrain

Aperture

203mm

Focal Length

2032mm

Focal Ratio

f/10

Mount Design

Equatorial Mount

Eyepiece 1

20mm (102x)

Highest Useful Magnification

480x

User Level

For the Enthusiast

Object Database

4000

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