This iteration of the NexStar Evolution 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope from Celestron is a powerful, versatile, and user-friendly compact catadioptric-style scope that can be used for observing everything from the Moon and planets to deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. The EdgeHD optical system is designed to virtually eliminate spherical and chromatic aberrations so views through it are flat and distortion-free across the entire field of view with accurate color rendition. Using Celestron's proprietary StarBright XLT multi-coating system, light transmission is increased throughout the entire optical path with anti-reflection multi-coated lenses, highly reflective multi-coated mirrors, and 4-element rare-earth glass. While the focal ratio is a slow f/10, the scope's precision tracking system and distortion-free optical qualities allow it to be a competent astrophotography/astroimaging platform for the Moon, planets, prominent deep sky objects, and wide-field photos.
The Evolution comes with Celestron's StarSense Autoalign system that uses a digital camera to take photos of the sky that the scope is pointed. It then interfaces with an internal database to align itself. It requires virtually no input from the user except to turn it on and to confirm its position when it is finished. The scope connects to Celestron's free SkyPortal app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets via an internal Wi-Fi module. Once aligned, the app opens up the scope's true capabilities. It has a database of over 120,000 objects and offers guided tours, automatic tracking rates for near and deep-sky objects, and multiple slew speeds.
Designed for portability, the Evolution features a long life lithium-ion phosphate (LiFePO4) battery providing up to 10 hours of continual use on a single charge. The scope comes with an AC power supply with plugs for the US, EU, UK, and AU outlets so it can go with you when you chase eclipses or other celestial events across the world. The battery powers the servo motors, auxiliary accessory ports, a USB charging port, and the built-in Wi-Fi. Manual clutches in both altitude and azimuth enable users to manually move and point the telescope when it's powered off.