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We’ve done a review of the Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope. Orion telescopes are some of the most versatile since they range in ease-of-use from beginner to more advanced and have prices to reflect that range.
This telescope is a beginner one that can be used to practically climb among the stars. When compared to the 8-inch SkyQuest, this one weighs more, which gives it a sturdier feel. It will pull in approximately 56% more light into the scope, and that light is what allows you to see with more detail.
Pros of the Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
- Solid, sturdy base
- 10-inch aperture
- Easy to configure
- Clear viewing
- Reasonably priced
Cons of the SkyQuest XT10
- May ship in more than one box
- Focal length 1200 mm
- Optical diameter 254 mm
- Focal ratio f/4.7
- Magnification 48x
- Max useful magnification 300x
What’s Included in the Box
- Telescope tube
- Dobsonian base
- 2” Crayford focuser
- 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece
- EZ Finder II sight
- Collimation cap
- Dust cap
This telescope stands tall, so everyone in the family can use it easily. You might need to sit, but your children can stand on a small stool to see through the viewfinder. In either scenario, you don’t have to worry about the telescope being moved out of alignment. The base is incredibly sturdy, and you could even leave it out overnight as long as it’s covered properly. The wind will never topple this telescope.
While it’s sturdy, it’s not as portable as some other models with their slim tripod legs. You can still transport the Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope in the back of your car, but you might need to store the base and the tube in two locations like the trunk and the backseat. The tube should be handled carefully since you don’t want to crack the mirrors or lenses.
With the movement in this base, you’ll be able to swivel the telescope along a horizontal or vertical axis depending on the celestial body to be viewed. The CorrecTension springs on the base will also keep the tube balanced properly. It provides a smooth slide, but won’t shift when you want to stay on a certain object.
The size of the telescope doesn’t matter as much as the aperture does. If you picture the Hubble telescope, it’s massive, but it’s the aperture that allows astronomers to see far into space. The Orion SkyQuest XT10 has a very wide aperture of 10 inches, and along with the 25 mm Plossl eyepiece will bring in a huge amount of light. Magnification is great, but without lots of light that magnification means almost nothing.
Starry Night Special Edition Software
When you’re looking at the night sky, easily identifiable objects like the Moon don’t need an explanation, or does it? There are plenty of craters, valleys, and seas on the Moon that have names and details that you and your little astronomer buddy will want to know. Even when it’s cloudy outside, you can be gazing at the stars, checking out pictures of the planets, and planning your next outing in the backyard.
Collimate the Telescope
The idea of collimating a telescope can be incredibly confusing and slightly scary for beginners. All it means is that you’ll need to ensure that your mirrors are looking in the right direction. The instructions are detailed and include illustrations to ensure that you’re doing it correctly. The mirrors have thumbscrews for easy adjustments, and there’s a collimation cap included with this telescope.
EZ Finder Calibration
The SkyQuest XT10 is one of the easiest of Orion’s line of telescopes for beginners. It does require some setup before you can start gazing for beautiful nebulae or galaxies in the night sky. The Finder that comes with the scope needs to be calibrated with the instructions provided. The EZ Finder has to be pointing to the right place with the telescope basically looking in the same direction. Otherwise, you end up trying to find the Moon and missing it entirely in the telescope lens.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does this weigh?
The telescope and base have a weight of over 50 pounds. This isn’t a telescope you’ll be able to grip-and-go. You can move it, but you’ll need to plan ahead with the weight in mind.
Can this be mounted on a tripod instead?
This tube is quite heavy as mentioned above. The tripod legs won’t be able to hold the weight or balance the heavy tube properly.
Does the telescope require constant maintenance?
You might need to collimate the telescope occasionally, but you can easily use the included cap.
The Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope is a great backyard telescope for beginners who want to share the night sky with their children. It’s easy to set up and maintain. A telescope will help you create memories with your kids that will last the rest of their lives. The SkyQuest XT10 is a terrific telescope to start with, too.