Orion SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope (8946)

The 10-inch SkyQuest Dobsonian telescope from Orion has one of the largest apertures in Orion’s line of XT telescopes. Boasting impressive light-gathering capabilities and impressive optics, this scope provides astronomers with clear images of all kinds of planets, stars, and nebulae. At the same time, the SkyQuest boasts a strikingly simple design that makes it easy to set up, simple to use, and fun for astronomers of many skill levels.

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While the most noticeable feature on the Orion SkyQuest may be its large aperture, this scope also possesses many other specs that support its many strong reviews from satisfied customers. Following are a few of the most important:
• Highest useful magnification: 300x
• Lowest useful magnification: 36x
• Limiting stellar magnitude: 14.7
• Focal length: 1200mm
• Focal ratio: f/4.7
• Optical diameter: 254mm
• Length of optical tube: 47.8in.
• Aperture: 10in.
• Optical design: Reflector
• Assembled weight: 53.4lb.
• Warranty: 1-year warranty


The skill level for the Orion SkyQuest is listed as intermediate. This means that both beginning stargazers and more experienced astronomers can enjoy the many advantages that this telescope has to offer.

One of the reasons that beginning astronomers will enjoy the SkyQuest is its striking simplicity of design and usage. Part of this simplicity is thanks to its Dobsonian design. This design emphasizes simple mechanics that make for a more affordable telescope. At the same time, the design allows the scope to retain the optical abilities of more complex viewing instruments so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds: Ease of use and enjoyable views.

Included in the SkyQuest’s design is a Dobsonian base that provides for point-and-view observing. This base allows the scope to be set up in less than 20 minutes, without compromising quality. Reviewers praise it for its steadiness as it holds the optical tube in place. Its simplicity is based primarily in its use of two springs that serve as the attachments for the optical tube. These springs make it very simple to attach and detach the tube.

Reviewers generally find the scope to be a bit heavy and large (taking up most of the space in a small car). However, they also report that despite the weight and size, the SkyQuest comes with carrying handles to make it easier to carry to viewing sites, and they still note that it is manageable when they need to move it from place to place.

In addition to its simplicity and ease of use, the SkyQuest offers astronomers of many different skill levels satisfying views of the nighttime sky. Potential visible objects include closer objects such as the moon and planets, as well as deep sky objects such as nebulae and star clusters. Reviewers report being able to see details such as the moon’s craters. In addition, they report that the views are high-quality, with a minimum of color distortion in the images.

One of the major reasons for these kinds of views is the SkyQuest’s large, 10-inch aperture. This aperture is big enough to allow in enough light to see deep sky objects while remaining small enough to keep the telescope portable. Other optical features build upon this impressive light gathering ability. For instance, it possesses a large limiting stellar magnitude of 14.7.

In addition, the SkyQuest comes with a number of accessories to further improve your viewing experience. For instance, the 25mm eyepiece is reported to provide a wide field of view, although the addition of other eyepieces to your collection may further improve your views through this telescope. In addition, the EZ Finder II, which is included with this telescope, make it truly point-and-view. In order to observe an object, you only need to align the red dot with whatever you wish to view. This unique feature makes it easy for stargazers of any skill level to begin using and enjoying their scope.

The SkyQuest is a simple, relatively portable, and high-performing telescope. Designed with simplicity in mind, it allows beginning and intermediate astronomers to enjoy the nighttime sky. Because of its low price tag, optical abilities, and easy-to-use features, it promises many hours of rewarding observation.