Orion SkyQuest XT8

by telescope review guide

The Orion SkyQuest XT8 is a marvel of simplicity. It makes for a great first ‘scope for beginners, it was in fact MY first ‘scope, as well as an advanced ‘scope for more experienced star gazers. What makes this such a wonderful telescope?

The Mirror

The  Orion SkyQuest XT8 has a huge 8″ mirror. This gives it 73% more light gathering ability than a 6″ mirror. More light means the more objects you can view, you can view more distant objects, and you can see finer detail in near space objects. You haven’t lived until you’ve actually seen the rings of Saturn on the Great Red Spot of Jupiter first hand!

The Base

The  Orion SkyQuest XT8 comes with a Dobsonian base with Orion’s CorrecTension spring system. What this means is you don’t waste any time setting up and aligning your telescope. You set the base on the ground and set the optical tube assembly on the base, hook up the CorrecTension spring system and you’re ready to begin viewing! Just point the telescope in the direction you wish to view and start viewing. When you wish to look somewhere else, the telescope is easily re-aimed by pushing or pulling the tube to point at the new object. The CorrecTension spring system provides just enough tension to keep your telescope oriented where you want it yet doesn’t require a lot of force to move the telescope in a new direction.


The  Orion SkyQuest XT8 is fairly light weight, weighing in at 42 pounds for the tube and the base combined. This is important because if a telescope is too heavy then you aren’t going to use it very much.


The  Orion SkyQuest XT8comes in two models – the classic, which is the one I have, and the IntelliScope. The Intelliscope comes with a computerized object locator with over 14,000 sky objects to help you find and identify objects.

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