SkyView Pro 8 EQ
8" (20cm) Equatorial Newtonian
While others compete on price alone, Orion competes on performance and price!
The Orion SkyQuest XT8 8" (20cm) f6 telescope has become the standard of excellence for production 8" Dobsonian telescope, it remains the most highly regarded model of its type at Company Seven. However, Orion simply couldnt leave well-enough alone. Orion took the Dob that earned best of the batch honors from Sky & Telescope magazine (1/2000) and produced a revised optical arrangement with a suitable German Equatorial Mount! It is this slightly faster f5 variant of the popular XT8 that is provided in the SkyView Pro 8 telescope.
Suggested for: amateur astronomer, beginning to intermediate. Can be a good alternate telescope for an advanced amateur who is looking for another more convenient, economical telescope.
Right: Orion SkyView Pro 8 EQ telescope with SkyView Pro German Equatorial Mount Head and Field Tripod set at minimum height (46,385 bytes).
Overview: this system is a marriage of a multipurpose Newtonian optical tube assembly (OTA) with a German Equatorial Mount producing a telescope that is rewarding to use, and remains easily transportable by most teens and adults. The SkyView Pro 8 EQ provides a very good balance of aperture, portability, convenience features, and price. For only about a 25 per cent higher cost than a good Dobsonian 8" (20cm) telescope the SkyView Pro 8 EQ adds a German Equatorial Mount with geared manual movement controls which provides:
As an introductory bonus this telescope is provided with a Single Axis Drive at no extra cost. With this tracking system and the furnished 2" Focuser, Piggyback Camera Mount and T-Adapter the owner is nearly fully equipped to pursue astrophotography with results that most amateurs would be proud to put on their wall.
- The capability to easily center and then smoothly track celestial objects as they drift across the sky. This becomes particularly desirable when operating at those higher magnifications necessary to observe some of the brighter deep sky objects, and the more subtle features on the planets.
- Capability to accept electronic single or dual axis tracking drive. This can make the observing session more pleasing for an individual or for any group of people: a family, or with young children, or when sharing with groups of persons who may lack experience using a telescope.
- The German Equatorial Mount facilitates teaching a number concepts in astronomy including the Coordinate System used for Celestial Navigation.
Background and Evolution: Over the recent years the Orion telescope company has developed innovative telescopes which have come dominate that area of the telescope market that has traditionally served the more demanding beginning to intermediate amateur astronomer. Particularly with the introduction and evolution of the SkyQuest XT6 6" (15cm), SkyQuest XT8 8" (20cm), and SkyQuest XT10 - 10" (25.4cm) Dobsonian reflecting telescopes, Orion became known to provide such good value and performance that most other manufacturers have had to simply give up trying to compete in this area of the market, even though some clones of the Orion product have been misrepresented as the equal of these Orion telescopes. It was because of the good performance of the Orion SkyQuest telescopes, and the customer satisfaction ethic of Orion that Company Seven made the decision that we needed to make the Orion product line available to our customers.
The popular Dobsonian telescopes are designed for those who seek the best possible view of the faint Deep Sky objects while on a constrained budget. But while the main attraction to many of the Dobsonian is its simplicity, there are occasions where one will demand more capabilities. The limits of most beginner to intermediate Dobsonian telescope mounts relate to their lack of automated tracking capanility, the object of ones interest will drift out of the field of view as the Earth rotates if the Dobson style telescope is not very carefully guided by hand.
Equatorial Mounts: As the Earth rotates in space the celestial objects overhead appear to move in an arc across the sky. In the Northern Hemispere objects rise in the Eastern horizon, gradually moving in an arc up and right across the sky towards the South, and then continue moving to the right and down towards the Western horizon. This motion can be observed with the naked eye if one carefully observes the limb of the Moon as it rises or sets behind trees or some other fixed object in the distance, the motion though slow is perceptible. A telescope provides magnifications far beyond that of the human eye, as the magnification of a telescope in increased (25X to 50X, 50x to 100X, etc.) then this motion of an object drifting accross the sky will appear accelerated. With a very well designed Alt-Azimuth mount such as that provided on the Orion SkyQuest Dobsonian telescopes it is possible for an observer to track objects by manually guiding the telescope at magnifications of 200X or more, and some people are comfortable at magnifications in excess or 300X. But the limitiations of manually driven alt azimuth mounts are quickly reached:
1. an observer can not move the alt alzimuth mounted telescope precisely enough to accomplish astrophotography other than possibly a quick "snap shot" of the Moon or Sun.
2. if one wants to share one telescope with a number of people and particularly inexperienced observers then it will be more convenient to have a telescope that can automatically stay on the object in the eyepiece.
3. few alt azimuth mounts can be moved by hand with enough precision to permit the telescope to approach its high power capability. A telescope that may show sharp clear images at 400x may be limited to 200x by the mount.
The solution to the limits imposed by the manually guided Alt-Azimuth mount is the Equatorial Mount. There are a number of designs of Equatorial mount but those which the amateur is most likely to encounter are the Fork or the German Equatorial arrangement. The German Equatorial Mount is the design preferred for the physically longer telescopes including the Newtonian Reflector and Refracting telescopes. Incidentally, in Germany the German Equatorial mount is called a "deutsche Montierung" (thanks Georg).
SkyView Pro 8 Telescope results from the mating of an 8" f5 telescope optical tube similar to that provided with the well regarded SkyQuest XT8, with a new German Equatorial mount developed for Orion by their manufacturer in China. This telescope provides great resolving performance and light-gathering power, the convenience of automated tracking, a durable steady mount and tripod. Furthermore, the accessories included are common sense items to insure a good first night out, some of these are items that could normally be optional for other amateur telescopes. For an astronomer seeking serious adventure with a path to astrophotography, and manageable convenience, then the SkyView Pro provides it.
This SkyView Pro: means 8 inches of light gathering power with a 39 inch (1,000 mm) focal length. This is attractive among those who desire an easily manageable telescope with the fields of view to observe many of the most popular deep sky objects including Galaxies, Star Clusters, Nebulae, Planetary Nebulae, and Comets. This telescope's mirrors are so well made, and the mechanical engineering overall is so competent that even at a relatively demanding f5 the SkyView Pro: 8 affords the good contrast and clarity desired for lunar and planetary observing. It can actually reveal changes on the planets through out the observing season! For many people this telescope will be the best balance of aperture and portability since the larger alternatives (including the Atlas 10 EQ) can be quite a handful to manage, while smaller telescopes may only scratch the surface of the night sky.
Left: Orion 2" Focuser with 2" to 1.25" reducer shown on XT-10 optical tube - similar to the SkyView Pro 8 (23,649 bytes).
Click on image to see enlarged view (84,638 bytes).
Adjustable 2" Focuser The SkyView Pro 8 OTA is equipped with a 2" diameter focuser. This aluminum focuser accepts low magnification wide field of view 2" eyepieces and with the provided 2 to 1.25" diameter reducer it also accepts 1.25" diameter eyepieces. The Focuser Base Plate incorporates adjustable set screws to facilitate collimation (aligning the optical path) of the telescope. If this telescope were equipped only with a 1.25" focuser, then the maximum Field of View would be only 1.5 degrees at 25X - but with 8.2mm Exit Pupil; a more practical 1.25" eyepiece would be the 32mm providing 1.5 degrees at 31X with a more practical 6.5mm Exit Pupil. But when equipped with an optional high quality low magnification eyepiece, one could reach 18X observing areas as large as 2.8 degrees across! Keep in mind that at such a low magnification the Exit Pupil (the diameter of the cone of light coming out of the eyepiece) is 11.1mm, this may not be as good a choice for some uses as a 2" eyepiece that provides 29X showing 2.2 degrees with a 7.06mm Exit Pupil. Please feel free to refer to the additional information provided by Company Seven with each telescope, or contact or visit Company Seven by phone or E-mail for suggestions that would be best suited to your goals.
The factors of aperture and the 2" focuser are particularly important to people who seek better views of the extended, and faint deep sky objects (nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, comets, etc.).
The provided Dovetail Quick Release Hardware makes it a simple matter to attach or remove the SkyView Pro 8 optical tube assembly (OTA) or other telescopes in place of the 8 inch Newtonian. So one night you could be out observing a faint galaxy and the next image a planet with a high resolution four or five inch refractor or Maksutov.
A Reflecting Telescope: the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) is an arrangement of the classic Newtonian reflector design. An English mathematician originated this design although Sir Isaac Newton first made it and hence he gets the credit! This system employs two mirrors to gather light and form an image. The concave parabolic "Primary" mirror is the factor by which most telescopes are described; hence an 8" telescope has a primary mirror of 8 inch (200mm) in diameter. The Primary mirror of the telescope is precisely mounted in a ventilated Cell at the rear of the telescope.
The light entering the telescope is gathered at the Primary Mirror and then is reflected in a converging beam toward the elliptical Secondary Mirror positioned near the front of the telescope. This Secondary Mirror is supported in a tilted position so that to the light path the obstruction appears circular. The Secondary Mirror diverts the light from the Primary Mirror to the side and beyond the Focuser. The Secondary Mirror is attached to an adjustable Mirror Cell, and this assembly is held in place by a four vane Spider. The light from the Primary mirror is then reflected out to the side of the telescope achieving focus at a point beyond the focuser. An eyepiece for viewing, or camera for photography is placed at the focuser.
Left: Parabolic Primary Mirror of an Orion Dobson telescope in it's Cell (12,056 bytes).
Among the considerations of a reflecting telescope is that the mirrors be precisely positioned within the OTA in terms of centering, tilt, and spacing. The overall alignment ("collimation") of the one optical element to the other, and their placing the focal plane (the point where the image comes to focus) at the correct position beyond the focuser are critical. The optical axis of the telescope should be closely parallel to the mechanical axis of the tube assembly too.
Company Seven chose Orion's SkyView reflecting telescopes in part because of their consistently well engineered good quality mechanical components that facilitate collimating these telescopes precisely upon delivery, if needed.
Right: View of Primary Mirror, Secondary Mirror holder, Focuser with Eyepiece of an Orion 8"f4 reflecting telescope. (13,017 bytes).
A well made reflecting telescope offers the best view per the dollar of the faint, deep sky objects where light gathering power is essential. Light gathering power increases are more important and come quicker than one may think; consider that a 6"f8 reflecting telescope may show objects about 335X fainter than the unaided eye, while an 8"f6 may offer 600 to 650X the light gathering power over the unaided human eye - in astronomy size can matter!
The telescope optical tube assembly employs a rolled metal enameled tube which is finished internally in an anti reflection paint. This tube holds optical collimation well even with temperature or humidity changes. This thin wall tube permits the designer to select a smaller secondary mirror/obstruction too. And this keeps the tube relatively light weight and compact.
Made in China: The equatorial mounts and other components made in China for beginner to intermediate amateur telescopes have been evolving into more refined products over the more recent years. Formerly, Chinese made mounts were criticized as being shoddy cheap copies of other makers designs, and lacking refinement; years ago "made in Japan" was synonymous with that view up to about the 1960's. In time Japan got its act together and eventually displaced U.S. manufacturers from the economical amateur telescope market (other market areas too). The Japanese became known as masters of taking ideas from elsewhere, adding their own refinements, and then selling them at modest prices. However, as the Japanese lifestyle became better and more costly, so did the cost of their products. And so by the late 1980's, after the dollar devaluation under the Reagan administration some prominent US manufacturers began the move away from Japanese products to third world nations as sources of labor. Countries making these products came to include Taiwan, Korea, and China. For some years Company Seven refused to offer Chinese made amateur telescopes, mounts and accessories since these often lacked the performance, quality control or refinement of the Japanese products they often mimicked. We always knew that in time some Chinese manufacturers would eventually displace some Japanese sources, as Japan had displaced others and in mid 2001 with the introduction by Orion of the StarMax 127 telescope, Company Seven became convinced China had arrived in the serious beginner to intermediate telescope market.
Advantages of German Mounts If you seek to observe the planets or do other operations which require high magnifications, or if you wish to share the telescope with several others or children, or if you hope to become involved in astrophotography then we do suggest you place the telescope onto a German Equatorial mount that will provide a much easier capability to stay on a target in the sky.
The German mount arrangement has advantages over the fork mounted designs in that:
- the better German mounts are less sensitive to the balance needs of the fork mount
- when working towards the celestial pole while using accessories such as CCD cameras with flip mirrors, etc. fork mounts can bind the telescope and restrict movements
- German mounts allow one to quickly interchange telescopes. One night you might use a larger "light bucket" for small faint objects, then later slide off the light bucket and slip on another high resolution telescope for even better views of planets, or for astrophotographic coverage of wide fields of view.
The Motion The German Equatorial Mount is designed to facilitate gradually turning a telescope in the opposite direction from that which the Earth is rotating, at the same apparent speed as the Celestial objects are moving. The motion is so slow that few people can observe the motion, this rotation is only on the order of one revolution per 24 hours! To track precisely, the Right Ascension Axis of the German Mount is adjusted by the user so that the axis is parallel to the rotational axis of the Earth. An equatorial mount will provide acceptable results for visual uses if the mount is aligned to within about one ot two degrees of the Celestial Pole. But as you align the Mount more and more accurately then the need to periodically make minor adjustments to center a target in the eyepiece will become less frequent. A very accurately alignment of the mount to the Celestial Pole is most beneficial for those persons who intend to attempt astrophotography or CCD imaging.
Easy to Use: The Equatorial Mount is not the most intuitive arrangement to the novice. But once the telescope is slipped into place, with counterweights added and balancing done in both axes done, and the mount Pole Aligned, with a little practice the system is then easy to use. The German Mount has two perpendicular axes called the Right Ascension (RA, or Polar) and Declination (Dec) axes. When the RA axis is aligned parallel with the Earth's rotational axis, objects can be easily "tracked" as they drift across the sky (due to Earth's rotation) by turning just one axis (RA) instead of two, as is required with an alt azimuth mount. You point the telescope onto an object by simply nudging the tube up or down, and left or right by hand. Once centered onto an object, the provided electronic "Clock Drive" keeps the telescope moving with the object across the sky. And with the ability to track in Right Ascension comes the electronic capability to make fine adjustments in Declination too, since this is a "dual axis" drive system.
The telescope will swing from one side of the mount to another as once proceeds to explore the four quadrants of the hemisphere, this may at times put the eyepiece at an uncomfortable position. However, the paired clamp style Mounting Rings can be loosened so that one may rotate the optical tube to position the Focuser and Eyepiece at more convenient positions.
The motion on both axes is regulated by clutches which can be adjusted to "buttery smooth" letting you guide the telescope with just the lightest touch from one part of the sky to another.
Right: Click image if you wish to take a 360 degree tour of the SkyView Pro 8 Telescope with it's Equatorial Mount.
This is a Macromedia Flash presentation, so your Web Browser should be enabled to view it (163,690 bytes).
SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount: resembles the "Super Polaris" model, a very popular and successful equatorial mount which was made in Japan by Vixen and has been discontinued some years ago and replaced by an inferior product. The SkyView Pro equatorial mount would be a very good choice for many of the lighter weight 3 (80mm) to 4 inch (10cm) aperture refracting telescopes, and some Catadioptric telescopes. Its sound design considering the intended payload results in almost complete elimination of unwanted vibration and oscillation; the inevitable downfall of many poor telescope mounts. Whereas in many economical telescopes the image seems to bounce around forever after the scope has been touched, this is not the case with the SkyView Pro 8. This mount incorporates a number of features that make it attractive, these include:
1. Quick Release: a female dovetail style saddle is designed into the mount which makes it a simple matter to attach a telescope or lens, or to interchange one instrument for another. With this arrangement a telescope, even one with changing accessory payloads can be easily moved forward and back on the Saddle to attain proper balance in Declination axis of the mount,
2. Slow Motion Manual Controls: the mount incorporates fine geared worm gear sets with large hand knobs on each of both axes to facilitate centering the telescope onto a target, and to permit one to manually guide the mount to keep it on target.
4. The motors for the SkyView Pro (R.A. drive included free during introductory period) include clutches to permit the override of the motor while tracking) by the manual geared controls. This is a feature normally not provided on mounts of this price, while this may be an option even on more costly alternative mounts.
5. Elevation and Azimuth adjustment: to facilitate pole alignment of the mount, manual screw drives are provided. This makes it possible to move the mount head (without moving the tripod) to the left or right, up or down precisely. This makes getting that last, fine pole alignment adjustment easily. And once aligned, these controls have opposing screws that can be brought to bear in order to secure the mount even more rigidly.
6. Setting Circles: engraved with numbers corresponding to the two dimensional "Right Ascension" (R.A.) and "Declination" (Dec.) coordinate systems used by astronomers to navigate the night sky. These help you to learn about the Celestial Coordinate System, and help you to locate objects in the sky by their cataloged coordinates. Company Seven also does offer optional electronic Encoder and digital display devices as aids to celestial navigation which can be added to the SkyView Pro however, most of our customer do not buy these add-ons since they enjoy the thrill of discovery as they learn to "Star Hop" from one object in the night sky to another.
7. Provision to accept optional Pole Alignment finder telescope.
8. The SkyView Pro Field Tripod is surprising for its quality, durability, and rigidity. At first glance, it is a less costly clone of a tripod design that has been widely regarded as the best in the amateur telescope industry. Right down to the stainless steel tubing for the legs and the leg extensions.
When spread and locked the SkyView Pro Field Tripod stands 32 inches (81 cm) high. By pulling out the 9-5/8 inch (24.5 cm) extension section, the Tripod height can be increased up to 40 inches (102 cm). The Tripod when set to minimum height still puts the eyepiece of the SkyView Pro 8 inch telescope as typically balanced at a height of between 58 (147 cm) to 67 inches (170 cm) - this is about perfect for someone of between 5 foot 7 inch (170 cm) or taller height. But this eyepiece height can pose a problem for shorter observers; Company Seven has provided this feed back to the factory and we hope for some shorter alternative in the future.
In the meantime, the quick solutions for use with children or shorter persons include:
Incidentally, the tripod height range makes the SkyView Pro Mount very well suited for use with a variety of optional third party compact 4" (10cm) to 5" (13cm) refracting telescopes!
- add extra weight to the front of the telescope optical tube so that it can balance lower in the Saddle.
- bring a high observing chair or a step stool.
The SkyView Pro Field Tripod Leg Spreader Bar incorporating a convenient Eyepiece Holder. The Field Tripod Spreader Bar arrangement provides a stress that aids the rigidity of the Tripod, in this way it mimics the industry standard Meade Instruments Field Tripods. The Spreader easily rotates out of the way to permit the three legs to collapse in for storage. But Orion has taken this a step forward by providing holes in the Spreader so that it can hold up to five 1.25 inch and two 2 inch diameter eyepieces or other similar diameter accessories. Furthermore, this tray is held in place by two keyhole shaped screw holes so that customers may easily slide the tray up and out to remove the tray for transport or if desired.
Left: the SkyView Pro 8 Field Tripod Leg Spreader Bar (161,618 bytes).
To keep dew or other contaminants from marring eyepieces stored on this tray Company Seven recommends you keep eyepiece caps in place when these accessories are stored in the accessory holes. And for use in areas of high humidity consider the use of optional dew prevention devices including our highly successful Kendrick heater systems.
Noteworthy features of the SkyView Pro 8 include:
A set of accessories of good quality are provided to get you up and running the first night out!
- Orion 25mm Plossl Eyepiece (40X providing 1.1 Degree Field of View)
- Orion 10mm Plossl Eyepiece (100X providing 0.49 Degree Field of View)
- Orion 6x30mm Finderscope with Quick Release Mounting Bracket
- Collimation cap to aid collimation of the telescope mirrors
- Plastic snap-on OTA Cover
Optical Tube Assembly Innovative Design!
- Lightweight rolled metal tube construction with cast Aluminum end rings
- Exterior is finished in durable Gunmetal Gray gloss Enamel, interior in antireflection Black
- Low-mass molded molded expertly finished Primary Mirror made of "Ultraplex", a type of plate glass marketed for optical use
- Primary and secondary mirrors are aluminized and over coated with a transparent Silicon Monoxide protective coating assuring good longevity
- Adjustable Mirror Cell to support the Primary Mirror. It provide maximum ventilation for faster cool-down time, and added easy spring-loaded collimation thumbscrews
- Four Vane Secondary Mirror Spider
- Optics hand finished and tested on a 125 line Ronchi
- Silky smooth cast and machined aluminum Focuser, with collimation adjustments
- 2" to 1.25" accessory adapter
- Slip Fit 2 inch to 1.25" Reducer
- "T-Adapter" for photography (optional 35mm SLR camera or C-Mount adapter Ring required)
- Piggyback Photography Mount
- NO TOOLS NEEDED FOR SETUP!
SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount Highlights
- Completely adequate, solid performance
- Adjustable yet smooth friction/drag on both axes
- 3.4 inch (86 mm) Diameter Setting Circles in R.A. and Declination help one find their way around the night sky,
and learn how use the celestial coordinate navigation system developed for astronomy
- Pole Alignment Telescope included with durable protective cover
- Fine geared controls in elevation and azimuth to facilitate a more accurate Pole Alignment
- Adjustable Height tripod with 2 inch diameter stainless steel tube legs, provides Mount Saddle Height range adjustment from about 42 to 61 inches
- Tripod constructed of durable aluminum castings with 2 inch diameter steel tube legs
- Tripod Leg length locking Hand Knobs are positioned inside of leg spread to reduce possibility of breakage, or of tripping the user
- Quick Release Dovetail Saddle Plate accepts telescopes with Dovetail Bar
- Spreader Bar incorporates Eyepiece Holder for 1.25" and for 2" eyepieces or accessories
- Clamp Style Mounting Rings with easy to operate Hand Knobs
- Piggyback Astrophotography Bracket conveniently provided on top of Mounting Ring
- Thread on Counterweight Shaft with Safety Stop.
- Two 7.5 lb Counterweights included, enough counter force to balance telescope even with most common optional accessories. Other weights available.
- Eyepiece height ranges from 58 to 67 inches (147cm to 170cm) with legs extended
- Dovetail Plate provided is 8-1/2 inch (21.6 cm) long
SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount Optional Drive Systems
- Dual Axis Stepper Motors with Drive Corrector - permits completely automated tracking of celestial objects
- Push Button Hand Held Drive Controller with slewing speeds of 2x, 8x, and 16x Sidereal Rate
- Drive can track in either North or Southern Hemispheres
- Declination and Right Ascension control button reversing switches to maintain a comfortable orientation
when making drive corrections while pointing to all quadrants of the night sky
- Battery Pack Provided, accepts eight "D" cell alkaline batteries, or 12 volt D.C. rechargeable pack for operation in the field from provided battery pack
Receive a FREE Starry Night Special Edition software suite. Both the highly acclaimed planetarium software by Imaginova "Starry Night Special Edition" with a bonus "SkyTheatre" DVD are included FREE with purchase of any Orion-brand astronomical telescope from Company Seven.
"Starry Night Special Edition" is a basic version of the more capable "Starry Night" version 5.0 astronomy software series; this software will help you learn the night sky, see what is up day or night, now or in past millennia, plan your observing sessions, and print out charts and information about the celestial wonders. The set also includes "SkyTheatre", a DVD by Imaginova so your television or PC becomes a spaceship on a voyage through our Solar System. The set is compatible with both Macintosh computers running OSX version 10.3 or later, and with Windows XP for PC. Your personal planetarium and guide to the night sky!
Left: CD-ROM "Starry Night Special Edition" with bonus "SkyTheatre" DVD suite (43,322 bytes).
Click on image to view enlargement (85,180 bytes).
For additional information about the Orion SkyView Pro 8 Equatorial Reflecting telescope feel free to download the Orion illustrated instruction manual from Company Seven's Library. Note: download size is 2,061,695 bytes (in Acrobat Reader ".pdf" format).
Or for information about the SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount alone download
the Orion illustrated instruction manual from Company Seven's Library. This download size is 606,874 bytes (in Acrobat Reader ".pdf" format).
To read about the optional True Track Single Axis drive for the SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount download
the Orion illustrated instruction manual from Company Seven's Library. This download size is 432,670 bytes (in Acrobat Reader ".pdf" format).
These are optional accessories that are not included with the telescopes that we highly recommend for your viewing pleasure and long term success:
The telescope is available assembled and precisely collimated by Company Seven's experienced staff. Delivery is available too, but whenever possible we suggest pickup in our showroom to reduce chances of damage or loss of alignment in transit. You are invited to attend our complimentary course of instruction. And of course the Orion One Year Limited Warranty is complimented by Company Seven's own guarantees and service facilities. With proper use and maintenance, there is very little that can go wrong with a telescope such as this - if there is a problem then it is likely we will have found it for you and so with the exception of mirror coatings, Company Seven backs our telescopes for life.
- Guide book: "Backyard Astronomers Guide" or "Nightwatch" by Terrence Dickinson, or "Starware" by Phil Harrington. For the novice from age 8 to 15 or so up to adult. Good introductions to astronomy, the use of telescopes, and their accessories. Easy introductions to finding ones way around the night sky.
- Telrad illuminated sight: to aid one in finding and centering objects in the main telescope, and learn the sky by "star hopping" from one object to another
David H. Levy Guide to the Stars Planisphere If you are not familiar with the night sky then Company Seven recommends you buy a good simple Planisphere which makes it very easy for one to find out what constellations and major deep sky objects are overhead at any given time of the day or night.
The night sky is mapped with the Constellations being those patterns recognizable to man since time immemorial. Constellations can be thought of as countries or states on a world map, where if you seek the Grand Canyon then you know to find Arizona. While in the night sky when one seeks the Great Nebula then one looks toward the Constellation Orion. The Planisphere is a two piece assembly consisting of one disc with a chart of the entire night sky, and an attached overlay disc with a transparent window and surrounding mask to simulate the horizons. The overlay is dialed to line up its local time indicator marks with the Month and Day printed around the edge of the chart disc, and so when properly set this will reveal what parts of the sky may be seen at any time of the year. The print is easy to read under day or red light.
- Red LED Flashlight such as the Rigel Skylite to help one set up and use a telescope, and to read charts or a planisphere without adversely impacting the observers night vision.
- AstroSystems Collimating tool set, these are provided with good with instructions. Or for those who want a very accurate, and easy to use collimator then we recommend you consider our holographic Glatter Laser Collimator devices; even though documentation is included these require some training to obtain best results, and our staff is more than capable to help you learn how to use these.
- Neutral Density and Color Filters to reduce the brightness of the Moon and Planets, and highlight subtle features.
- Sky Light Pollution Rejection Filter to reduce the greenish or golden background glow from city lights and darken the sky background - aid seeing faint Nebulae.
- Improved 2" to 1.25" accessory adapter with non-marring clamp to securely hold eyepiece, threaded to accept 48mm filters so that you will only need to buy one standard size filter for use with either 1.25" or 2" eyepieces.
- Orion fitted Carrying Bag for safer, and more convenient transport the telescope optical tube assembly. Keep in mind that these are very convenient and lightweight bags, but are not suitable for shipping a telescope.
- Eyepieces: Orion includes two eyepiece with this telescope, a 10mm and 25mm Plossl. Typically you will wish to initially set up the telescope with a total of at least two or three eyepieces to address:
- Low magnification: for views of the faint deep sky objects a 32mm to 35mm focal length eyepiece (ideally a well designed 2" wide angle ocular).
- Middle Magnification eyepiece - usually between 80 to 120X, for views of the full Moon, Star Clusters, etc.
- High magnification: 200X or more for views of the planets
On telescopes as fast as this f5 system is, the relatively simple eyepiece designs including the Plossl and Orthoscopic are acceptable by most amateurs. If you object to less than perfect images particularly at the edge of the field, and if you require long eye relief (distance from lens to the eye) to accommodate spectacles, then Company Seven recommends eyepieces of advanced designs such as those pioneered by Al Nagler, founder of the TeleVue company. TeleVue's advanced designs include the "Nagler", "Radian", or "Panoptic" series eyepieces. These oculars will provide the widest clear, and flat field images bringing out the most in your telescope (and many other) telescopes. Wider field of views are also desirable since as the Earth rotates and objects drift across the field of view, a wide angler ocular shows an object for some time longer before having to adjust the telescope to compensate for inaccuracies of Pole Alignment.
Please refer to the brochure and the test report/data from Company Seven enclosed with our telescopes for detailed characterizations of suggested eyepieces:
||Actual field of view
|35mm Panoptic (2")
|25 Plossl (included)
|10mm Plossl (included)
|5mm Nagler Type 6
- Barlow or TeleVue "Powermate" Lens: Company Seven suggests you consider any of a number of 1.25 inch diameter Barlow lenses that we offer to double your magnification. You may find it helpful to contact Company Seven for suggestions on how to to best meet your goals.
- Pole Finder Telescope: Astronomers often use a Pole Alignment telescope in a German Mount as an aid to quickly orient the German Equatorial Mount R.A. Axis onto the Celestial North or South Pole. The eyepiece of this small telescope incorporates a reticle pattern that aids Pole alignment of the Mount in both and the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The Orion SkyView Pro Mount accepts an optional Polar Alignment Finder telescope. This accessory threads into a fitting on the mount head R.A. Axis shaft. For transport the Pole Alignment Finder is protected by a slop on plastic cover as it protrudes visibly from the mount head and would otherwise be vulnerable to (at the least) misalignment from impact damage.
Right: Orion SkyView Pro optional Pole Alignment Finder Telescope. Click on image for enlarged view (19,867 bytes).
If setting up a telescope in a permanent location, then other techniques can be used to gradually "zero in" a mount onto the Pole to obtain even greater accuracy. However, the Pole Finder is an especially desirable aid to quick alignment for people who are transporting the mount from one location to another.
- Extra Counterweights available each of either 4.5 lbs (2 kg), or 7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg), or 11.9 lbs. (5.4 kg.).
- Extra Dovetail Plates are available to permit the quick installation of other telescopes too! Lengths are: 8-1/2 inch (21.6 cm), or 13-1/2 (34.3cm).