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Home » Camera & Photo » Binoculars Telescopes & Optics » Telescopes » Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

The Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope offers a multitude of features, including the 2032mm focal length and SkyAlign. Viewing the stars will never be the same, as you expand your horizons with the stimulating and technological advances included in the Celestron Telescope. Inside the Celestron NexStar, you find an autoguider port to enable long exposure photos, as well as the exceptional Go To button to quickly locate and position the star of your choice. The Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope lets you peer deep into the universe with the largest model in this deluxe series of computer-controlled telescopes.Features:8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with 203.2mm aperture78% more light gathering power than 6" models2032mm focal lengthFocal ratio: 10Portable – weighs 33 lb including the tripodCombines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with the latest state-of-the-art featuresStarBright XLT high transmission coatings come standardCelestron's unique patented single fork arm with integral hand control design provides a rigid and smooth operating structure for the optical tubeStar diagonal provides more comfortable viewing position when observing objects that are high in the skyProven NexStar computer control technologySkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment processIncludes:Quick release fork arm mount, optical tube and accessory tray for no-tool setupStarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objectsSturdy computerized altazimuth mountInternal battery compartment to prevent cord wrap during useUltra sturdy steel tripod with accessory tray40,000 object database with 200 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objectsFlash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the InternetAutoguider port for long exposure astrophotographyDC Servo motors with encoders on both axesCustom databaAmazon.com Review Celestron's Nexstar 8 SE telescope combines excellent optics and computerized "GoTo" tracking in a package that's light, portable and affordable. The legendary performance of Celestron's orange tube C8 telescope has been updated with high performance Starbright XLT coatings, and the single arm Nexstar mount now includes Celestron's easy to use "SkyAlign" technology.

Jupiter as seen through the Celestron NexStar 8SE special-edition computerized telescope
Jupiter as seen through the Celestron NexStar 8SE special-edition computerized telescope.

The Nexstar 8 SE upholds Celestron's reputation for quality optics. When I use an 11mm Plossl eyepiece (almost 200x magnification) for example, I can easily see the Cassini Division in Saturn's rings. When I look at Jupiter, the pale orange color of Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot is visible, and I've even been able to identify the polar caps and spot dust storms on the planet Mars. A 20mm Plossl eyepiece (about 100x magnification) is a good choice for viewing galaxies and star clusters. When I look at globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules the high contrast XLT optics show me a glowing snowflake made of hundreds of tiny pin-point stars! And a low power 32mm Plossl eyepiece is a good choice for views of larger deep space highlights like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula.

Click for larger image.
The moon seen through the Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope.
(See larger image.)

Celestron's patented "SkyAlign" system makes the Nexstar 8 SE very easy to use. I just pick the nearest town from the built-in list, enter the date and time, and point the telescope at three bright stars. I don't need a star chart because "SkyAlign" identifies the stars for me. When I just want a quick look at the moon or a planet, I like to use the "Solar System Align" option. After entering the date and time, I just point the telescope at the moon and press the "Align" key. That's all it takes, the computer takes over and the telescope begins tracking quietly and accurately. At star parties I often have my Nexstar up and running while older computerized telescopes are still waiting for their alignment stars to appear in the twilight.

The Nexstar 8 SE comes with a simple red-dot finder scope and a basic 25mm eyepiece. You'll want to add a few good eyepieces to take full advantage of the Nexstar 8 SE's excellent optics. At the very least get Celestron's bargain priced Accessory Kit which includes high and low power plossl eyepieces, or treat yourself to some top rated Tele Vue eyepieces. At twenty-four pounds total weight, the Nexstar 8 SE is unusually light and portable for an eight-inch telescope. The drawback of course is that some people will find it too light. Like other Schmidt Cassegrain (SCT) telescopes there are plenty of optional accessories to upgrade this telescope with, such as heavy duty tripods and an optical finder scope. If you want to try astro-photography, however, check out Celestron's CPC 800 Telescope which features a heavy duty mount and tripod and an 8x50 optical finder scope right out of the box. --Jeff Phillips

Pros:

  • Excellent optics
  • Easy computerized GoTo tracking
  • Light, portable and affordable
Cons:
  • Plastic accessories
  • Short battery life
  • Too light for astro-photography