Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is a Celestron CPC 800 XLT telescope. It doesn't seem to have charge-coupled device (CCD) attached. Can a CCD be attached separately to this 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope even if it didn't come along with the package?

For astro-phtography how cheaper and cost-effective would a DSLR camera be than CCD? I think it is better to suit yourself with a CCD than a DSLR camera for quality photography.

Do excuse this novice who is here to learn.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You will typically find that CCD cameras are sold separately to the telescopes. That way the telescope can be used visually or for astrophotography, by either fitting an eyepiece, or a camera. Most telescopes do ship with eyepieces, as they are much less expensive than a CCD and it is sort of expected, but most observers will typically replace this eyepiece with a better one anyway, so to all intents and purposes, when you buy a telescope you are just buying the Optical Tube Assembly and maybe a mount, and you add to that all the accessories you need to accomplish your objectives. Different CCDs will be used for different purposes, for instance planetary observations or deep space objects.

That telescope has a fork mount. Note that this constrains how much equipment you can put on the end of the telescope without getting in the way of the mount. It also is an Alt-Az mount, which means it is not polar aligned; stars will rotate in the field of view, requiring a field de-rotator in addition to a CCD.

It looks like a nice enough scope for visual observations, but if you are interested in astrophotography, you might want to hold off for a bit, maybe get a scope for visual use first, and maybe make use of well-set-up robotic astrographs that you can hire over the internet, like and - get some experience using premium gear that you don't have to worry about setting up or maintaining, and while you do that, work out what gear you will be happy about getting for yourself. The fact you are asking this question about CCDs suggests you aren't yet ready to spend money on astrophotography gear...

Getting set up well for visual stuff can set you back hundreds... Getting set up for astrophotography can set you back many thousands, so you want to be well equipped to make good purchasing decisions. And you can rent a lot of time on some pretty good telescopes for that same $...

share|improve this answer
it's already bought. but haven't got hold oof it yet.will do in a few weeks. so i was curious if a ccd can be attached.and as u pointed out abt astro-photography, we might just need a high quality camera like SLR, ryt? is there anything else? i shud probably edit the question as per ur answer ;) – MycrofD Jul 2 '14 at 8:56
You'll enjoy using it for visual observations I am sure. A CCD can be attached. It'd fit in place of the eyepiece. If you have a DSLR then give it a go (you'll need an adaptor); if you don't, then don't buy one for astrophotography. For the same money you could get a CCD that will be better for your purposes. But I'd hold off on any camera purchase for a bit yet. Learn a bit more first. – Jeremy Jul 2 '14 at 11:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.