I have a Celestron "Celestar 8" telescope for sale to a friend/colleague for $300 (if you've stumbled on this page and don't know me, the price will be higher and won't include shipping). I'm selling it because after 20 years, I've finally admitted to myself that I'm not a night owl.

This is an 8-inch Schmidt-Casselgrain. See http://www.company7.com/celestron/products/sch4.html for more specs. The manual for a somewhat newer model is at http://geeky-boy.com/celestar_8.pdf (and I have a paper copy of the original manual). Here's some more info on maintenance: http://www.celestron.com/media/795984/1297801919_telescopemainte.pdf

Ebay had almost my exact unit that sold for $730.

In addition, I have a bunch of nice accessories that I'll throw in.


Why to buy this scope


Is it good for kids?

I personally believe that kids with hobbies are happier kids, and grow up to be happier adults. If you give your children no other gifts, give them the gift of a hobby.

And I think that astronomy makes a GREAT hobby. I suspect that a kid under 10 might have some trouble with this scope, but a teenager would have no trouble.

BUT!!! You need to be prepared to spend a bit of *your* time helping your child, at least for the first few weeks. Here's why. Ttrust me on this one; I speak from experience.

Here's some information about helping a child get started with Astronomy. I suspect that a lot of that info would be useful even for adults just getting started.

Why NOT to buy this scope

In my opinion, none of those are particularly bad. By far the BIGGEST reason not to buy this scope is:

So, what CAN you see?

If I've lowered your expectations, don't worry, there's plenty to look at.

1. Moon. Absolutely spectacular. No, you won't be able to make out the Lunar Landers from the Apollo missions, but you'll think you can. Seriously, I can spend an hour exploring the lunar surface without getting bored.

2. Planets:

3. Stars. White dots. Boring. Unless we're talking about "special" stars. I once spent most of a night looking at "carbon" stars that range from yellowish to ruddy red. It was cool to see color in a sky that is usually black or white. Also, binary stars can be a hobby to "split" them. Most true binary stars are too close together for a scope like this to resolve into two, but there are plenty that are right at the border. This is not an area that particularly interested me. And some very dedicated amateurs use CCD cameras to take accurate brightness measurements of variable stars and submit the data to real astronomers for actual science.

3. Star clusters. I love these. They are the main things for me.. Easy to find, easy to see through light pollution.

4. Nebulas. Some are small and compact ones are easier than diffuse ones. It's all about light pollution -- if you have dark skies, you'll see much more. The Orion Nebula is fantastic, the Ring nebula is cool, My skies have always been too light polluted for me to spend a lot of time on nebulas.

5. Galaxies. Same problem as nebula, but more so. But in spite of the difficulty, they're worth the effort. They're freaking galaxies, for goodness sake! Worth a trip to darker skies.

6. Daytime use. Probably not the best for wildlife since it's not very portable, but if sure produces amazing views.

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