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The Celestron manual for this scope has nothing to say, but on the underside of the focuser assembly, between the 2 focus knobs, you may see 2 screws. They might be thumbscrews or some other screwhead type. One is the adjustment for the focuser internal clearance, or looseness, and the other is a focus travel lock. If present, try backing both off 1/2 turn from tightness, and then experiment to see which is which. The focus lock will have no effect until tight, when the focuser will cease moving, as is now. The other screw will gradually remove looseness and rattle from the focuser until it just moves smoothly, with no back and forth loose feeling at the knob. If neither of these screws is visible you will have to take it to a binocular and telescope shop, where they should not charge much.
I think the threaded shaft of the focuser has come right out of the hole in the focusing lever which attaches to the back of the mirror assembly. It should have a stop nut and jam nut at the end of the screw shaft which can be seen in this diagram http://ngc1514.com/Celestron/disassem.htm
The focus knob is not supposed to feel like that. On my Celestron it had almost become detached from the focus lever which attaches to the main mirror inside the tube. There is a threaded shaft and locknut which had become loose.
If you feel DIY enough, and you understand about corrector plate centering, follow this
Does the focuser move in and out when you turn the knob? If it does then go outside during the day timne and practice focusing on a distant object. Use the eyepiece with the biggest number written on it.
This will give you the lowest magnification-- which is easier to focus.
The C8 optical tube has a very large focal range. It should be capable of focusing on objects from 15' to infinity. To focus on object at infinity you have to move the primary mirror foward. You do this by rotating the focus knob CCW. Rotate the knob CCW until it comes toa stop them slowly bring the mirror back by rotating the knob CW while viewing the object. It will snap to focus so don't move too fast yor you'll miss it.