Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Celestron C8 - memory lane

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Wyatt Dowling

Wyatt Dowling

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2019

Posted 24 August 2019 - 04:11 PM

I'm sure this is the wrong area to put this. I'm 39 years old and recently my dad shipped me a C8 from the early 1990s. I remember like it was yesterday him and me getting in his truck in the Boston area and driving to somewhere in Connecticut to pick up his (then) spanking new reflector. I specifically remember charging up with some Dunkin' Donuts coffee at the start of the trip. I was probably 14 years old. I remember the scope cost a lot. Not sure about adjusted dollars, but sure he paid in the range of $1000 back then for it, plus a non-motorized EQ mount. I have vague memories over the years of him using the C8 and showing us the view. Doubt he used it more than a dozen times before it went into the closet. The years went by and recently, in my later 30s, with my dad in retirement, my interest in astronomy and astrophotography blossomed. Guess the apples stay close to the tree. He sent me the C8 in the mail (I'm now in Houston; we're from Maine), and it was like (it seemed like) brand new. I took it to the local astro shop and they cleaned it up. There was mold on the mirror and other parts that might have etched; it did not, and the shop man said it was an above-average C8 and would provide joy for decades more. My plan is to piggy-back a Redcat 51 to the C8 on an EQ6-R Pro with a ZWO 1600mm pro and ZWO guide cam. I have virtually no practical experience with astrophotography but have been inspired by people on this website as well as folks like Chuck, Dylan, Trevor, on youtube. Not sure where this will lead or if my current infatuation will burn out, but I'm glad I have this piece of my personal history and fond memories to save, for the next 30 years. My whole family is joining me this Christmas in Terlingua, Texas, outside of Big Bend National Park, one of our best dark sky sites, to do some astro and cook nice meals, bbq, drive around, etc. Here's hoping for clear skies!

  • stevew, eros312, bbqediguana and 1 other like this

#2 clusterbuster


    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 928
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2016
  • Loc: Tampa Bay, Fl.

Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:20 PM

Congratulations Wyatt,

 I am a Meade man myself, I just love the blue and the style of the Meade SCTs, and I have found them to be Excellent optically, (COLLIMATION is the KEY). and I have also had some Very Excellent C8 Telescopes. Celestron has also cranked out some wonderful SCTs.So glad that you got the C8, Enjoy the great views !


  • bbqediguana likes this

#3 Wyatt Dowling

Wyatt Dowling

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2019

Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:32 PM

Thank u Viking 1. I'm at the start of my astro journey. I will post pictures of my results of my Terlingua, Texas trip as soon as I am able.

#4 bbqediguana



  • *****
  • Posts: 1,238
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 24 August 2019 - 05:45 PM

Hi Wyatt,


That is awesome - so nice for that C8 to wind up back in your hands. I was going through a bunch of papers a few months ago and I found my original receipt for my C8 that I bought on January 10th, 1996. I paid $1595.00 CAD taxes included back then. Mind you, mine had the fork mount with the motor drive, plus the infamous "wedgepod". That (among others) is a scope I wish I kept. 


Clear skies!


#5 ChrisGTS


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 145
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 25 August 2019 - 06:41 AM

Very cool to be reunited with your old C8!  I still have mine -- it was my first serious telescope, and was my only telescope for almost 20 years.  I have a circa 1996 Ultima 8 and the same super-heavy "wedgepod" that Rick mentioned.  After a lot of years, I finally wanted an easier setup experience with it, so I took it off the fork and now I run it on an iOptron AZ Pro mount. It's still a great telescope, 20 years later -- I was using it to spot Plato craterlets and lunar domes just the other day.

The C8 was the entry point to serious astronomy for so many people, so it's no wonder the telescope occupies such a special place in everyone's hearts.



#6 stargazer193857



  • *****
  • Posts: 9,222
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2013
  • Loc: Southern Idaho

Posted 25 August 2019 - 03:46 PM

I had some of my best views through a C8, but it was because of wonderful sky conditions. I'm so glad I braved the cold those nights. The GEM was also a pain to carry out and aim, but I'm so glad I did and have those memories. I saw the best view of the Orion nebula I've ever seen. None has come close in any scope since then.

Edited by stargazer193857, 25 August 2019 - 04:00 PM.

#7 George Methvin

George Methvin

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,938
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Central Texas

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:36 PM

Been to Terlingua many times in fact going back this fall I usually take a scope with me my C8 or my C6 we just love Big Bend. Many years ago we use to live in Paco's Tx just a short drive to Big Bend lots of great memories. I love my C8 and plan to always have one. Yours story is great and I hope you carry that over in your own family in making new memories.    

#8 CeeKay


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 248
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Vancouver, WA

Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:32 PM

Wyatt - awesome story!  I have had my C-8 since 1988 and have really started to do more viewing over the last year with it (I've even picked up two more scopes).  Take care of your C-8 and it will repay your with many, many years of viewing enjoyment.



Edited by CeeKay, 26 August 2019 - 05:32 PM.

#9 Rustler46



  • *****
  • Posts: 1,331
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Coos Bay, Oregon

Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:52 AM

Very touching story, Wyatt. So nice to have it kept in the family. My 1985 Super 8 Plus was my 4th telescope. First was a home-made 6-inch Newtonian, followed by a home-made 8-inch Newt and a 1973 Celestron-5. I wish I had kept the C-5, since it had a beautiful sand cast dual fork mount and gave beautiful, refractor-like images. While it was sold to finance the C-8, I kept the original tripod and EQ wedge. Now the C-8 fork mount sees little use, particularly since the motors died this year. But the C-8 sometimes rides on a G-11 go-to mount. After over 45 years of finding DSOs with atlas and finder 'scope, I enjoy the modern convenience. Yet if the electronics all go up in smoke, I still have several atlases and finder 'scopes. 


Now the stable of telescopes includes a C-11 and an AstroTech AT115EDT, which rides on top. The original 6-inch Newtonian was given to a friend. Also a 10-inch Dob (my 30-dollar telescope) and an  old spyglass (my 200 year old Dollond spyglass) gives me a current count of at least 6 telescopes.


Only the C-8, C-11, 115 APO and 10-inch Newt see much use. But each holds a special place in my mind as having helped me along my long adventure in astronomy.


Best regards,


#10 gnowellsct



  • *****
  • Posts: 16,381
  • Joined: 24 Jun 2009

Posted 10 September 2019 - 07:03 AM

I use a c8 + 92mm. The c8 is vintage 1990 or so (black ribbed) but has 2015 optics (excellent) due to some experiments on my part that are too long to recount. They ended poorly for the 1990 optics.

It's a marvelously capable aperture in a small package. You'll get a lot of great views.

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics