Added On: Sunday 20 February, 2011
Celestron CPC 800 XLT Computerized Telescope with Tube and Tripod Celestron's CPC 800 XLT telescope combines excellent Schmidt-Cassegrain optics with a state of the art computerized mount featuring GPS technology and user friendly design. This telescope is a solid all around performer likely to please both the experienced observer and the new astronomer.
After using older computerized telescopes, Celestron's new SkyAlign system seems almost like magic. I don't need to remember obscure star names or use a star chart, I just point the telescope at three bright stars or planets and the CPC 800 tells me the star names! SkyAlign is one of several alignment options, and some options can even be used during daylight.
The drive base and heavy duty CPC tripod are unusually solid, it's the same base and drive system used on the larger CPC 1100 telescope. When I rap on the telescope fork the vibration is gone in less than a second. In practice this means easier focusing even at high magnification. The solid base and precise tracking is a real advantage while viewing the planets and while photographing them. I've been able to image the planets at focal lengths of f/30 and f/40 which would be quite difficult without perfect tracking.
|Mars as seen through the Celestron CPC 800 XLT computerized telescope. |
The excellent optics of the CPC 800 XLT telescope show me excellent views of the planets. When I look at Jupiter with a 12.5mm plossl eyepiece (about 160x magnification) I see multiple cloud bands and I can see the pale color of Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot. One night when the air was unusually still and clear I used a 7.5mm Ultrascopic eyepiece with a 2x Barlow for a magnification of 533X. Jupiter's moons were plainly resolved as tiny disks that night. When I look at Saturn at 200X I can usually see the Cassini division in the rings and make out four or five moons. When Mars comes closest to Earth every two years I've even been able to spot dust storms blowing across the Martian dessert.
The CPC 800 XLT also delivers beautiful views of deep space objects. The CPC 800 is large enough that galaxies begin to reveal their structure and globular star clusters are well resolved. At a recent Astronomy viewing night at a local school, some of the students liked globular cluster M13 the best. They said it looked like a snowflake made of tiny stars! The well known Orion Nebula is a winter highlight. Most telescopes will show four stars in the Trapezium, the bright multiple star inside the Orion Nebula, but with the CPC 800 I can often pick out faint stars "E" and "F" as well.
The accessories with this CPC 800 XLT package include an 8x50 finder scope, a 40mm plossl eyepiece (50X magnification), the NexStar computer hand control, and a 12 volt car battery adapter. You'll also need a 12 volt power supply. An AC adapter is available, but I like using a 12 volt battery pack because I don't need to be near an extension cord to use the telescope.
A few good eyepieces help me take full advantage of the CPC 800's excellent optics. Plossl eyepieces like the ones in Celestron’s Accessory Kit would be an economical way to get started, and of course premium eyepieces like the TeleVue 10mm Radian offer delightful views of the planets. If I were choosing just two eyepieces to add to the CPC 800, I'd pick a 10mm X-Cel eyepiece (200X for planet viewing) and a 21mm X-Cel eyepiece (100X for globular clusters and galaxies) to go with the standard equipment 40mm (50X) eyepiece.
The CPC 800 XLT is an excellent all around telescope. The C8 optics are large enough to give me delightful views of deep space objects, and the optics are powerful enough to show me amazing views of the planets. Even with all this power the whole system is portable enough that I can easily transport my telescope to the local high school and share the view on Astronomy night. --Jeff Phillips
- excellent optics
- solid drive base
- easy computerized finding and tracking
Suggested Options: Celestron Accessory Kit Celestron Power Tank battery Celestron NexImage web-cam The CPC 800 GPS XLT is the most portable of Celestron's top-of-the-line fork-mounted astronomical telescopes and includes Celestron's premium StarBright XLT coatings. This telescope is at home as a superb visual instrument or as a serious astro photographer's tool. Although large in aperture, this telescope is portable enough to setup in your backyard or take with you to your favorite dark sky location. The CPC Series' internal GPS receiver automatically downloads the date and time from orbiting satellites and pinpoints its exact location on Earth. Celestron's NexStar software technology will model the night sky to determine the position of every star, planet and celestial object above the horizon. The CPC database contains over 40,000 celestial objects including Messier objects, the Caldwell Catalog, as well as NGC Galaxies, nebulae and planets. An ergonomic design comfortably lifts and moves the telescope from location to location Star diagonal provides more comfortable viewing position when observing objects that are high in the sky Convenient remote hand control holder allows you to view information hands-free while using the scope SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet Auxiliary port for additional accessories such as Autoguider, GPS accessory Aperture - 203.2mm (8) Focal Length - 2032mm (80) Focal Ratio - 10 50 Finderscope with quick release bracket Magnification - 29x and 480x Computer Hand Control - Flash upgradeable, double line, 16 character Liquid Crystal Display, and 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons Tracking Rates - Sidereal, Solar and Lunar Tracking Modes - Altazimuth, EQ North & EQ South Alignment Procedures - SkyAlign, Auto Two-Star Alignment, Two-star Align, SolarSystem Align,
- 12 volt power supply not included