As of late, we have begun joining a local group in doing some outreach. Sharing nighttime views with the public affords us more opportunities to do visual astronomy — and to show off this telescope.
The package that arrived on our doorstep included an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope optical tube assembly (OTA), an alt-azimuth mount, a height-adjustable tripod with accessory tray, Celestron’s NexStar+ hand controller, a 1¼” star diagonal, a red-dot finder, an AC adapter with U.S., European Union, British, and Australian plugs, and two Plössl eyepieces (40mm and 13mm), all standard. The box additionally included a USB cable and a serial cable, which are not standard.
Assembly of the system was straight-forward and simple. As we followed the instructions in the included manual, we learned that a smart device (Apple iOS devices with iOS 7.0 and later or an Android device with Android 4.0) can control the mount. That intrigued us even more. With the battery fully charged and the free Celestron SkyPortal app downloaded and installed on our iPad, the only thing we had to wait for was clear skies.