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Celestron Advanced VX 8" Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) Telescope

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£2,645.00
SKU 12032

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  • Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Optical Design – 8” f/2.2 flat field imaging system with rare-earth glass for outstanding images free of optical defects like field curvature, coma, astigmatism and chromatic aberration across an entire APS-C sensor.
  • Ultra-Stable Focus System – six precision sealed ball bearings virtually eliminate image shift.
  • Integrated air-cooling system –12V DC MagLev fan reduces cool-down time and provides optimal air flow while filtering out dust.
  • Internal filter mount – seamlessly accommodates a Light Pollution Imaging Filter into the optical path.
  • Performs over a wider spectral range than most telescopes, from 390-800 nm, so more of the light passing through the astrograph is in sharp focus.
  • Advanced VX, the most compact and portable of Celestron’s German equatorial mounts, offers a maximum instrument capacity of 30 lb with the same rigidity as our larger mounts and minimal flexure.
  • This mount offers every feature an astroimager wants: PEC, an autoguider port, the ability to image across the meridian, and more.
  • NEW dual saddle plate is compatible with narrow CG-5 dovetails and wider CGE dovetail. Also compatible with Vixen format dovetails longer than 100mm, but not compatible with Losmandy D format plates.
  • Accessories included: M42 camera adaptor, C-thread camera adaptor, and fan battery pack.
Description

Celestron now offer their 8" high speed, wide field 8” Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) on their portable strong-yet-portable Advanced VX (AVX) German equatorial mount. Simply add a mirrorless camera or popular CMOS or CCD imaging device, and you can take spectacular images of wide-field deep sky objects.

The Telescope

You can now capture spectacular wide-field deep sky images in seconds with Celestron’s new portable astrograph: the 8” Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA). The latest addition to the RASA family, this 8” version is a much more portable and affordable version of the much heralded RASA 11" model, which was introduced to the world to much acclaim in 2014. This was followed in 2017 with the gigantic RASA 14"/36cm. With the 8” RASA joining the lineup, a wider range of astroimagers can enjoy the benefits of the patented RASA design. It has many of the same thoughtfully designed features as the RASA 11, including the integrated air-cooling system, internal filter mount, and sturdy CGE dovetail mounting bar.

This incredibly fast f/2.0 system is the perfect companion to today’s colour astronomical CMOS cameras, smaller CCD cameras, and mirrorless cameras. Thanks to its fast focal ratio and patented optical design, you can produce sharp, detailed images and, in many cases, skip using an autoguider completely. Weighing in at just 7.7kg (17lbs), it’s easy to transport your 8” RASA to the most remote dark sky locations.

RASA Performance Made for Everyone: The 8” RASA is an imaging telescope that delivers a flat field without optical aberrations for razor sharp stars across a wide field of view. It can capture stunning deep-sky astronomical images without the challenges typically presented by longer focal length instruments at a fraction of the cost of those systems. Purely designed for imaging, the 8” RASA cannot be used visually. The prime focus focal plane is located at the front of the optical system, so it cannot accommodate a traditional eyepiece.

Shorter Exposure Times and Virtual “Real-Time” Observing: Since it is an F/2.0 optical system, imagers can use shorter exposure times to capture detail in faint objects. When combined with sensitive cameras and the proper “live stacking” software, the 8” RASA can provide an almost real-time observing experience. View images on a computer instantly that are brighter and more detailed than can be seen in much bigger telescopes with the naked eye. Since shorter exposure times are possible, your equatorial mount won’t need to accurately track over extended periods. The 8” RASA’s relatively short 400mm focal length also lessens equatorial tracking demands. In many cases, autoguiding will not be required. Weighing only 17 lb, this optical tube pairs perfectly with a wide variety of mounts.

Ultra-Stable Focus System: With the launch of the 8” RASA, Celestron is unveiling a new focuser design that mitigates lateral movement of the primary mirror when focusing, slewing, or tracking with the astrograph. Focusing is easier, more accurate, and more stable than ever. The key to the Ultra-Stable Focus System is two sets of precision bearings that are precisely aligned and tested during assembly to ensure optimal results.

Camera Compatibility

Unlike the larger RASAs that work with DSLR and large CCD cameras, the 8” model was designed with colour astronomical CMOS cameras, smaller CCD cameras, and mirrorless cameras in mind. The telescope does not work with standard DSLR cameras. It is optimised for sensors with up to a 22mm diagonal, but performs well with sensors up to 32mm diagonal. The APS-C sized sensors used in many mirrorless cameras are a good choice. 42mm full frame sensors will also work, but performance will be poor at the edges of the sensor and field illumination will be reduced. Additionally, we do not recommend pairing RASA 8 with any camera body more than 4” in diameter. See the chart below to determine if your camera is compatible with RASA 8.

Camera Compatible with RASA 8? Adaptor required
Astronomical CMOS/CCD camera with C-mount Yes C-mount adaptor (included)
Astronomical CMOS/CCD camera with M42-thread mount Yes M42 adaptor (included) with M42 extension tubes (not included)
Astronomical CMOS/CCD camera with other mount Yes Custom camera adaptor
Canon mirrorless with APS-C sensor Yes

Canon mirrorless adaptor

(sold separately)

Sony mirrorless with APS-C sensor Yes

Sony mirrorless adaptor

(sold separately)

Canon mirrorless with full frame (42mm) sensor Yes, but not optimised across the full sensor

Canon mirrorless adaptor

(sold separately)

Sony mirrorless with full frame (42mm) sensor Yes, but not optimised across the full sensor

Sony mirrorless adaptor

(sold separately)

DSLR No --
 
The Mount

Celestron’s Advanced VX (AVX) series mount is the smallest of its computerised GOTO equatorial mounts and is designed for use with up to medium sized telescopes with the mount able to carry just over 13kg of payload. The AVX has been designed and engineered from the ground up with astroimaging in mind and sets a new standard in mid-level telescope mounts. It provides many of the features that are found on Celestron’s more sophisticated German equatorial mounts, but at an extremely affordable price.

The Advanced VX mount includes ports for a hand control, an autoguider, and 2 AUX ports for optional accessories (e.g. StarSense). The NexStar hand control gives you instant access to all the functions the mount has to offer. With automatic slewing and menu descriptions, any level of astronomer can master this mount in just a few observing sessions. The Advanced VX also has an impressive tripod with 2” diameter steel legs providing an extra-wide stance for improved stability.

The AVX can now be used with Celestron’s PWI (CPWI) software, co-developed with the PlaneWave Instruments, which is an all-in-one solution offering you many of the same features used on PlaneWave’s observatory-class telescopes. The software features a graphical planetarium interface and includes PointXP advanced mount modelling which allows you to add 100 points to your alignment model for the mount for the most accurate pointing and tracking possible. this makes the AVX with the CPWI software and ideal solution for remote access observatory setups. The mount can also be controlled via the ASCOM telescope interface so it can be used with third party software applications.

Specifications
OPTICAL TUBE INFO:  
Optical Design Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph
Aperture 203mm (8")
Focal Length 400mm (15.74")
Focal Ratio f/2.0
Central obstruction diameter 93mm (3.66") (46% of aperture diameter)
Light Gathering Power (Compared to human eye) 843x
Resolution (Rayleigh) 0.68 arc seconds
Resolution (Dawes) 0.57 arc seconds
Image Circle 22mm (.86") Ø, 3.15°
Useable field 32mm (1.26") Ø, 4.6°, only minimal performance loss at edge of FOV
Wavelength range 390 - 800 nm
Spot size < 4.6 μm RMS across image circle
Optical Coatings StarBright XLT
Off-axis Illumination 93% at 11mm (.43") off-axis
Optical Window 46mm (1.81") Ø
Back focus with included camera adapter 25mm (.98")
Back focus from top of threaded collar 29mm (1.14")
Optical Tube Aluminum
Optical Tube Length 628mm (24.7")
Optical Tube Diameter 235mm (9.3")
Focuser Ultra-Stable Focusing System
Finderscope Not included
Optical Tube Weight 17 lbs (7.7 kg)
Other Features Air-cooling system, integrated filter mount
Included items M42 camera adapter, C-thread camera adapter, fan battery pack
Dovetail CGE Dovetail Bar
MOUNT INFO:  
Mount Type Computerized Equatorial
Instrument load capacity 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
Height adjustment range (includes mount and tripod) 1118mm - 1626mm (44" – 64")
Tripod Leg Diameter 50.8mm (2") Stainless Steel
Latitude adjustment range 7° - 77°
Mount Head Weight 17 lbs (7.71 kg)
Accessory Tray Yes
Tripod Weight 18 lbs (8.16 kg)
Weight of Counterweights 1 x 12 lbs
Slew Speeds 9 slew speeds - max speed 4°/second
Tracking Rates Sidereal, Solar and Lunar
Tracking Modes EQ North & EQ South
GPS N/A
Dovetail Compatibility Dual saddle plates (CG-5 and CGE saddle)
Number of Auxiliary ports 3 Aux ports (1 hand control and 2 AUX ports for optional accessories)
Autoguide port Yes
USB Port Yes, input on Hand Control
Power Requirements 12V DC 3.5A (tip positive)
Motor Drive DC servo motors
Alignment Procedures 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, Solar System Align, Last Alignment, Quick Align
Periodic Error Correction Yes
Computerized Hand Control NexStar+ hand control with LCD display, 19 fiber-optic backlit LED buttons
NexStar+ Database 40,000+ objects, 100 user defined programmable objects. Enhanced information on over 200 objects
Software Celestron's Starry Night Special Edition Software, SkyPortal App
Total Kit Weight 47 lbs (21.31 kg)
Included Items Advanced VX Equatorial Head| Tripod| Accessory Tray|1 x 12 lbs counterweight| NexStar+ Hand Control| DC Power Cable (plugs into cigarette lighter socket)
Downloads

8" Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph Manual

Whitepaper RASA

RASA 8 Questions and Answers

Camera Adaptor requirements

Reviews

BBC Sky at night July 2019 Review