Another Classic Back Under the Stars – Orange Tube Celestron C8

I was lucky to come across this wonderful old Celestron C8 listed at a very attractive price on Cloudy Nights and drove all the way to Indianapolis this morning to pick it up. Based on the serial number (818040) this particular scope was built very near the end of C8 production and was probably originally sold sometime in 1983, making it about a year older than my Meade LX3. This scope had clearly been in storage for some time and it was buried under a thick layer of dust, crud, and cigarette smoke, but after a couple of hours with a bucket of Spic & Span, a soft cloth, a small stiff brush, and cotton swabs a real gem emerged. The optics, mechanics, paint, and finish are in very good shape. It is clear that at some time the corrector had been removed, so I went ahead and took it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. I could only find a faint hint of the original alignment marks on the corrector and possibly a matching pair of scratch marks on the tube, so only time will tell whether I got the alignment right. I roughed in the collimation using a sun-glint off of an insulator on a distant power pole and spent a few minutes this evening enjoying a view of the Sun using a solar filter borrowed from my SC8. Later, as twilight deepened, I got a wonderful view of the crescent Venus and distant Jupiter. I then swung over to Vega to fine tune the alignment, and ended the evening splitting the double-double in Lyra. This picture shows the scope as it appears now temporarily mounted on my Meade LX3’s tripod and wedge. I have the original Celestron wedge and I’m considering building a tripod for it. It will also end up with a 2” visual back and a 50mm RACI finder.

Fun stuff.


Celestron C8 (7-6-2015)-2.jpg

Congrats on the new family

Congrats on the new family member. The stable must be getting pretty impressive.


Thanks Dave! Yeah, my garage

Thanks Dave! Yeah, my garage is starting to look like a telescope showroom, but I just love rebuilding and using these old scopes. I've been toying with idea of picking up a C8 when this one became available at a very attractive price. This poor thing was in really rough shape, but it cleaned up nicely. I've tracked down a replacement power cord and a really nice tripod. Once I get the wedge restored this is gonna make a fantastic visual scope. Once I have it up on its own mount I'd like to set it up next to my LX3.

Fun stuff.


If 50 years of amateur astronomy and space exploration has taught me anything it is that the Earth is a very special place. It would be nice to protect it like it’s the only Earth we’re ever going to have.

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