For as long as I can remember, the eight inch Schmidt-Cassegrain has been the stalwart of amateur astronomy. A good all-rounder, decent aperture, and not needing a behemoth mount like the similar and larger Newtonians. Those mounts are beasts. Seriously. So that is the most sensible choice within budget. Yes, it is more expensive than a similarly sized Newtonian (by, err, about a grand!) but I think it the better choice.
So down I tottled to Tring Astro for a nice chat and parting of cash. Fine fellows down there, I do recommend them.
And that is what I returned with. The Celestron VX8. A lovely thing. Of course, the standard lense that comes with it is fine, but I needed another one. And, as you all know I do love my photography, I needed a T-adapter and T-ring. Which I didn’t buy there and then, but a few days later, again from Tring Astro, this time via mail-order. Or online, whatever The Kids call it these days. And it arrived in a day. Go them! Seriously, go see them if you want kit.
With the T-adaptor and ring, I can start on my astrophotography journey, too.(I might also write up about how I made these images using open source satellite data, given I have lectured about it, and having such a post in this weblog would make sense.)
When I first got set up, it happened to be clear, so I did some tests of the optics, using Jupiter mostly. Gosh and crikey. It never fails to amaze me when I gaze into the heavens. And it was good. The following night was a bit more frustrating, as I tried to set up the GOTO mount functions, and it drove me mad. That will be the next post.