Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Editor rating

5/5 on February 7, 2017

User's rating

84 reviews


  • It offers quality light grasp.
  • Sturdy build.
  • High magnification value.
  • Easy montage.



  • It is not well-suited for high-definition photography.
  • Requires delicate maintenance.


This compact, lightweight, and portable ground-based reflector telescope features an aesthetic design; and its easy-to-use feature makes it ideal for amateur astronomy, and can be used by almost all family members.

This review of Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope should give your good idea about it, and if it is suitable for your purposes, especially if you are looking for the best telescope For beginners. It is designed for use by amateur astronomers. It is part of the SkyQuest series of high-quality telescopes manufactured by Orion. It is a Dobsonian-style telescope, and is considered a variant of the original Galileo telescope.

A summary is provided below along with its pros and cons, with a concise review of Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6. Hopefully you will find in helpful.


Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Telescope is well-designed for amateur astronomy, and it makes the exploration of the nigh sky a fun and engaging experience.

The pros, or key benefits offered by this telescope are:

  • It offers quality light grasp.
  • Sturdy build.
  • High magnification value.
  • Easy montage.
  • Stable viewing platform.
  • Simple calibration and tracking system.
  • Good price-quality ratio.

Its main demerits (cons) are:

  • It is not well-suited for high-definition photography.
  • Requires delicate maintenance.

This compact, lightweight, and portable ground-based reflector telescope features an aesthetic design; and its easy-to-use feature makes it ideal for amateur astronomy, and can be used by almost all family members.

Full technical specifications

Best for viewing: Brighter deep sky
 Best for imaging: Lunar & planetary
 User level: Beginner
 Optical design: Reflector
 Optical diameter: 150mm
 Focal length: 1200mm
 Focal ratio: f/8.0
 Optics type: Parabolic
 Glass material: Low thermal expansion borosilicate glass
 Eyepieces: Sirius Plossl 25.0mm (1.25")
 Magnification with included eyepieces: 48x
 Resolving power: 0.77arc*sec
 Lowest useful magnification: 21x
 Highest useful magnification: 300x
 Highest theoretical magnification: 300x
 Limiting stellar magnitude: 13.5
 Optical quality: Diffraction limited
 Finder scope: EZ Finder II
 Focuser: 1.25" Rack-and-pinion
 Secondary mirror obstruction: 34mm
 Secondary mirror obstruction by diameter: 23%
 Secondary mirror obstruction by area: 5%
 Mirror coatings/over-coatings: Aluminum & Silicon Dioxide
 Mount type: Dobsonian
 Astro-imaging capability: Simple moon shots
 Computerized compatibility: Not compatible
 Bearing material: PTFE and UHMW bearings
 Tube material: Steel
 Tripod material: Wood
 Length of optical tube: 45.5 in.
 Weight, optical tube: 13.5 lbs.
 Weight, mount/tripod: 20.9 lbs.
 Weight, fully assembled: 34.4 lbs.
 Other features: CorrecTension system
 Warranty: One year

Overall review of Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6

While doing careful review of Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6, we found the following. This classic Dobsonian telescope is designed for use by both amateur astronomers and professional stargazers alike, which is always nice as you are not forced to upgrade your scope too soon. This standard reflector telescope has a slightly larger aperture than average reflector telescopes. It is also set on a standard Dobsonian mount. It can also be placed on cars, and can therefore be included among the camping gears. It is black in color, and has a gloss black finish.

The key technical details of SkyQuest XT6 are:

It has a 150-mm aperture that allows the user to enjoy a wide field of view regardless of lighting conditions. Its focal length is 1200mm. The wide aperture and suitable focal length allows the viewer to see, or focus on any visible nebulae in outer space. It also has two Plossl eyepieces, each with a maximum magnification value of 48X, and when used together, they can provide a combined magnification value of 300X. Its focal ration is f/0.8.

The telescope can be calibrated easily using its finder scope, which allows the user to direct the telescope to any stationary object in the sky, and then use the small non-motorized calibration wheels to obtain a sharper focus. Its finder scope is EZ Finder II.

The Dobsonian mount provides a stable platform for the telescope, and this also allows the user to quickly align the components in the telescope, and for this proper alignment to stay in place when the telescope is in use. Moreover, it has a CorrecTension system, which serves as a Friction Optimization system that ensures the optical tube is properly secured to its base, as well as maintaining the balance of the entire telescope.

The XT6 telescope weighs 34 pounds, and is 50 inches long, 22.5 inches high, and 18.5 inches wide. Its compact design allows the designer to incorporate multiple components into a relatively small space without unnecessarily increasing the weight or impeding the functions of the telescope.

Its degree of chromatic aberration is low because it uses a borosilicate-enriched low-thermal expansion glass. It uses a Newtonian reflector, and the style of its 1.25 inch Focuser is Rack-and-pinion. Its optical quality is diffraction limited.

An Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Telescope is shipped alongside its starry night software, hexagonal keys, base plates and dust cap.

Who is it suitable for?

This telescope is specially built for use by beginner, or amateur, astronomers. Intermediate astronomers can also use it due to its high-quality optics that provide optimal fields of view which facilitate some degrees of deep space exploration. Moreover, it is quite easy-to-use which makes it ideal for use by any family members, and this also means that parents can reward their children, who shown interest in astronomy, with a SkyQuest XT6 telescope.

How it works

The SkyQuest XT6 uses mirrors to focus light. The 6-inch aperture allows the telescope to allow considerable amounts of light to fall onto the primary parabolic mirror. This phenomenon is called light grasp. The 150mm parabolic mirror allows for significant light grasp, and also focuses, as well as bends, the light so that a sharp image can be formed. This enables this Dobsonian-style telescope to gather, and subsequently, focus 2.6 more light than the original Galileo telescope. Consequently, it can provide crisp views of the night sky; while its remarkable and high-quality optics, along with a properly calibrated finder scope, allow you to see deep into the sky.

Price versus Benefits

This products retails for less than USD300. Its unique features including the CorrecTension system and high-quality optics makes it one of the high-quality reflector telescope. For this reason, this telescope is also categorized as a semi-pro telescope, and for a price tag of USD300 or less, then the user is assured of obtaining a quality product whose features outmatch the price value. Moreover, the user is assured of remarkable sky-gazing experience while using this telescope, and when this is paired with the quality of images obtained, then the user benefits from practical learning experience. Consequently, this deepens the knowledge of astronomy that the user has acquired.

Sample video

Astrophotography using SkyQuest XT6 Telescope

Astrophotography using SkyQuest XT6 Telescope Astrophotography using SkyQuest XT6 Telescope

The above astrophotography photos clearly shows benefits of this telescope. It offer at reasonable price, very crisp view of moon and planets, and is therefor also suitable for aspiring astrophotographers.

What customers say?

A cursory glance of the product reviews given by customers in Amazon shows that the SkyQuest XT6 telescope is generally viewed as an affordable high-quality product that offers all the benefits that it claims to offer. Most customers are impressed because of the quality of its images which allows them to see craters and the general landscape of the moon, while others appreciate it because it provides them with a clear view of planets Jupiter and Saturn. Likewise, most customers are contented with its friction optimization, and balance system which allows them to focus their telescope to whichever deep object in the sky that they would like to study.


Orion provides a guarantee for all its SkyQuest series of reflector telescopes. The 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Telescope comes with a 12-months guarantee. This guarantee is valid if the telescope is purchased from authorized sellers, and you must therefore make sure that you purchase this product from the right seller such as Amazon.

Final words

The Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope is a high-quality and affordable product that produces superb images. This telescope combines simplicity, superb performance, and a stable viewing platform to offer an easy-to-use, yet powerful, reflector telescope that suits the needs of sky-gazers and astronomers. When its price-quality ratio is considered, then the SkyQuest XT6 telescope can be rated as one of the best semi-pro telescopes. You should consider purchasing this if you want to enjoy marvelous sky-gazing experience.

This was instant love right after setting it up, we’re giving rare five stars for this telescope!

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