October 8, 2014
The XT8 isn't just a good choice. I'd argue it's the best choice.
I use an XT8 as my primary scope and it's easy to use, easy to transport, and is equally useful to novices and experienced observers alike. Modest investment that can be used for a lifetime, and one of the best all-around values the telescope market has ever seen.
Most amateur astronomers agree that it's one of the best beginner's telescopes ever made because it is simple enough to get a beginner started, and capable enough to be useful to an advanced observer.
October 8, 2014
Nancy, the Orion XT8 is an awesome telescope especially for someone new to astronomy. I have the XT10 (10") version and even though I have other more expensive telescopes and mounts, it's what I use most of the time. The tube and the base it sits on are really light. As a 50 year old man, I can carry the base for my XT10 in one hand while carrying the tube over my shoulder. At home, I have mine sitting in my garage on a sheet of plywood that sits on a dolly and I can roll it out without any set up time. For most of the places where I set up my telescope for observing, it isn't usually any distance away from the car at all. In short, I couldn't recommend a better buy that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment to the owner! Along with the telescope, I'd recommend also buying a paper Sky Atlas such as the "Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas". Stargazing is sort of like going on a driving adventure...you might know where you are going and some key points along the way but a good road map will also tell you about the attractions that you might have otherwise missed along the way!
"This looks like an awesome organization - I'm hoping you can help me! I am purchasing a telescope for my son who lives in Westminster for Christmas. I need some suggestions as to what would be a quality purchase. I am looking at the Orion Skyquest XT8. He is new to star gazing and although probably knows more than I do he is a beginner. My questions revolve around potability. Is this scope - if a good one - too heavy to take to the sites that are recommended on this site and others? Is it difficult to set up? I assume you drive to most of these places and then walk to where you set up - how far of a walk would it be to most?"
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