My Celestron Super C8 Plus came equipped with several accessories out of the box (it was actually shipped in three boxes). These included an 8 x 50 polar axis finder scope with illuminated reticule, a star-diagonal prism, a 26-mm Plossl eyepiece and a 7-mm Orthoscopic eyepiece. This initial collection of equipment was adequate to allow me to begin exploring the heavens with my new telescope. As the next few months went my, I began to discover the need to expand my equipment inventory. With a focal length of 2,000 mm, the 26-mm eyepiece yielded 77x while the 7-mm produced 286x. The low-power eyepiece gave good wide field views across an area of about 45 arc minutes. The higher power eyepiece was so powerful that even with the Celestron's superior optics, getting a sharp steady view was a very rare event. I needed eyepieces that would allow me to use more intermediate magnifications for nights when the seeing was not as good as I would otherwise desire. After that came the desire to record on film, the sights that my eyes beheld. That led to my expanding into camera mounts and eventually into amateur CCD imaging. Lets now take a look at things that you will be eventually adding to your inventory.

(1) Eyepieces

(2) Barlow lenses and focal reducers

(3) Solar filter

(4) 35-mm SLR camera

(5) CCD camera

(6) Camera and CCD mounts and accessories

(7) Color filters

(8) Spectroscope

(9) Carrying case

(10) Laptop computer

(11) Portable DC power supply

(12) Paper or software star charts

This is a list of equipment needed to bring your telescope up to a solid level of versatility both for planetary observing and deep sky work as well as visual astronomy and photography. Let's take a look now at what each different type of accessory does for us.

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Telescopes Mastery

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