Celestron NexStar 8SE Review

Celestron NexStar 8SE Review – Picked by Professional Users

Hello, friends! Welcome to the Celestron NexStar 8SE Review. This review will be the most comprehensive you find on the Internet for this model. From this introduction, you will get to see the good and constructive criticism of this telescope.

Some of the things we will investigate together is the expense you will pay, as well as accessories that you will get with this model. There is a ton of things you will love about this telescope more than anything else. As one of the best beginner telescopes on the market, the Celestron NexStar is a quality purchase that you will not be disappointed with.

In this review, we will hit the telescope itself, the range of Celestron telescopes, a buyer’s guide, what you will see with this telescope, FAQs, and a final wrap-up. Are you ready to get started? We hope so because there is a lot of things to cover. So, without further ado, let us dive into this amazing telescope.


Product Review of Celestron NexStar 8SE

Celestron - NexStar 8SE Telescope - Computerized Telescope for Beginners and Advanced Users - Fully-Automated GoTo Mount - SkyAlign Technology - 40,000+ Celestial Objects - 8-Inch Primary Mirror


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If you are looking for one of the best-computerized telescopes on the market, then you should check out the Celestron NexStar 8SE. As one of the best products for beginners, there are a lot of advanced features to look into as well. With the help of an automated mount, you will be able to search around space for the object you are looking for.

You will also like SkyAligh technology that has over 40,000 celestial objects that you can pinpoint in the sky. The 8-inch mirror is a great thing to search through, as well, for your telescope. Specifically, when you look to buy this telescope, you can buy it in three different configurations: the telescope only, the telescope with a case, or the telescope with a NexYZ adapter piece.

There are truly so many things to talk through when it comes to this computerized telescope. First, you have to start with the tube design that is an awesome orange color. This up-to-date technology is one of a kind that has some of the latest features on the market. No matter what type of stargazer you are, this is the ideal device for you.

With an aperture of 8-inches, you will love the fact that comes to you from Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. They are world-renowned for these telescope accessories, and it is a perfect fit in this Celestron. The great light-gathering technology will help you see more of the Solar System we live in, as well as other systems across the galaxy. Along with its compact design, this telescope is a no brainer.

As stated earlier, with the 40,000 object database, this telescope will help you navigate the skies like you never thought possible. However, if you had the skies down, you can do the navigating all on your own. When your telescope arrives for you, for the very first time, know that the product is simple to put together and take apart, depending on your needs. For example, as it pertains to this lovely Celestron 8SE, the single fork design holds up well with the steel tripod. When you are done, you can separate the pieces to help your travel around with ease.

The SkyAligh technology is not something to scoff at either. Within a matter of minutes, you will be able to position your telescope on an appropriate axis to get the best views in the galaxy. What is more, is the fact that you will receive some legit starry software. This is one of the top consumer-based technology in the world. With the help of this tech, you will get to interact with a variety of simulations as you look to the stars.

The last thing to know about this telescope is the fact that you will receive a quality warranty and the best customer service around. Since Celestron is the best telescoping brand in the world, you can expect greatness from this sensation product. With the telescoping brand based in the great state of California since the year 1960, know that you have a team of United States of America technicians.

The 2-year warranty is no joke either. With the help of unlimited technical support, you will be helped wherever you roam with your telescope. This will give you stellar peace of mind when you are using this telescope often. It is a package that Celestron brings to the table that is one of the best created. You will not have to look for extra accessory pieces with this model. Everything you need is all in one place: Celestron.




Aperture                                       : 8-inches (203.2 millimeters)

Dovetail                                        : CG-5 Dovetail Bar

Finderscope                                  : StarPointer Red Dot

Focal Length                                 : 80-inches (2032 millimeters)

Focal Length of Eyepiece 1          : 0.98-inches (25 millimeters)

Focal Ratio                                    : f10

Highest Useful Magnification     : 480x

Light Gathering Power                 : 843x

Limiting Stellar Magnitude          : 14

Lowest Useful MagnifcationL 29x

Magnification of Eyepiece 1        : 81x

Mount: Altazimuth with motorized tracking from Goto

Optical Coatings                           : Starbright XLT

Optical Tube Diameter                 : 9.1-inches (232 millimeters)

Optical Tube Weight                    : 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms)

Resolution (Dawes)                      : 0.57 arc seconds

Resolution (Rayleigh)                  : 0.69 arc seconds

Secondary Mirror Obstruction    : 2.5-inches (64 millimeters)

Secondary Mirror by Area           : 9.77%

Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Diameter: 31%

Star Diagonal                                : 1.25-inches

Telescope Type                             : Schmidt-Cassegrain



  • Very easy portability with this product
  • The picture quality is unparalleled
  • This telescope is made of classy material
  • The battery life lasts a lot longer than other leading brands when plugged into your vehicle
  • Incredible stability with this telescope
  • You will have great collimation for the best clarity


  • Needs a dew shield so it will not affect your view
  • Will need a screwdriver for adjustments to the telescope’s mirror


The Celestron NexStar Range of Telescopes


When it comes to the line of Celestron NexStar Telescopes, there 4 in total that you should know as much as possible about. The four telescopes include the NexStar 4SE, the NexStar 5SE, the NexStar 6SE, and the NexStar 8 SE. Now, we will hop into each one to give you more thoughts about these great models from Celestron.

  • NexStar 4SE

When it comes to Celestron, the NexStar 4SE is the most popular of their telescopes. One of the reasons is the price. It is the cheapest of these 4 models. In turn, more people can afford them. Like the NexStar 8SE, this telescope has a 2-year warranty that will rock your world.

With this telescope, in particular, you will easily be able to see the Orion Nebula and much more. The 4-inch aperture will take in a great amount of light, so you can see the stars like no others. There is no much more that you need from a telescope like this one.

  • NexStar 5SE

The NexStar 5SE goes a step-up to a 5-inch aperture. You can imagine this allows a lot more light in than the NexStar 4SE. This will give you much better visibility when looking up to the stars. The database is similar across the board for the NexStar telescopes with 40,000 objects to waste your time away on. SkyAlign comes with the product, too.

Remember that all Celestron telescopes have a tripod made from steel to keep your vision steady when looking up into the heavens. The plethora of Celestron technologies that help you see the stars to the best of your ability includes All-Star Polar Alignment, CPWI, WiFi, StarSense Technology, and so much more. It is a product like this that people are surprised they can get this telescope so inexpensively.

  • NexStar 6SE

The next on the list is the NexStar 6SE. With the aperture getting even bigger at 6-inches, you can see some amazing occurrences in the sky. It is truly unreal. All the same technology from the 4SE and 5SE comes standard with the 6SE. So, you will not skip a beat with this telescope.

  • NexStar 8SE

Now we come to the best NexStar: the 8SE. Some other things you might want to know about this model is the fact that you might have the heaviest of Celestron telescope. But, it is still a lot lighter than other comparable telescopes on the market. This telescope is truly mindblowing.


Buying Guide


When looking at the Celestron Nexstar 8Se Astrophotography telescope, there are few things that we need to delve into to give yourself a better perspective of its intricacies. Some of the areas we will hit include the optical tube, accessories, mount options, awards, warranty, and price. From this list of items, you will be well-established in your telescoping understanding.

  • 1. Optical Tube

When it comes to the optical tube for the NexStar 8SE, you must understand the capabilities of the 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, also known as the C8. Even though this technology is from the 1970s, it has been a fan favorite because of its orange color. Originally, the scopes were f/17 and f/12 options respectively, but now the 8SE uses only f/10. But, ultimately, this size of scope has not changed very much over four decades.

With how the scope is concerned, it is very efficient in the optical realm. But, you may run into some problems where you may have to point the scope towards an object and adjust the focus. This could be a tedious procedure since you may have to loosen some screws with the secondary mirror. However, be warned that this could cause some miscollimated issues. The lens cap may need reworking as well.

Still, you may quickly get over that fact because the lens cap is a great twist and lock in place option. Since the 1980s, Celestron has used this technology to make things easy in the telescoping world. The dovetail bar is another great addition to this telescope. It is mainly there for decoration, but it helps with balance as well.

The optical tube can certainly help with the focus, too, as it butts up against the stock mount. With the help of the revolving dovetail bar, you will be able to move simply around space. Lastly, as you do focus on the mirror for the 8SE, you may have some wobbly images. This is because of the mirror on the telescoping rod being compromised. Luckily, this is nothing overly severe, and your telescope will be just fine. Since the tube is made with the help of threads from Schmidt-Cassegrain, you will be able to add helpful accessories like the focal reducer, the star diagonal, and a T-adaptor to resolve any issues you are having.

  • 2. Accessories

There is a boatload of accessories that you can purchase for the 8SE. But, it is important to know what you have first and foremost. The NexStar 8SE comes with a solo eyepiece. This piece is called the “E-Lux” and it is a 25 millimeter (mm) variety. You also will receive a star diagonal of 1.25-inches and a visual backing. Lastly, you get a prism of 1.25-inches as well.

The 25 mm Plossl does not need a lot of power to be effective, so you may want to invest in a 2-inch wide-angle eyepiece and diagonal eyepiece. This will help with better magnifications for seeing the stars in all their splendor. But, if you are worried about alignment issues with the telescope, know that the 8SE has you covered with the finderscope.

The finderscope for the NexStar 8SE uses a finder with the help of a red dot. With the aid of the GoTo system, you can make alignment changes with ease. When everything is good to go, you will not need to worry about using the finder for a while because your telescope will be in tip-top shape.

  • 3. Mount Options

If you have some familiarity with the 6SE, then you may know that along with the 8SE, the mounts are pretty much the same. With the optical tube design, these mounts are not ideal for the type of telescope, but they do manage. You may have some blurry problems during the higher magnifications. But, you may be able to get some different accessories, or a different mount for that matter, to help things along the right way. Then, you will not knock things out of alignment either.

Still, the 8SE uses AA batteries for power. However, do not use this as your primary power source. The DC 12-volt adaptor should be your bread and butter, and the AA’s should be placed in your telescope just in case. With the help of electricity, you will be able to use the vast catalog over 40,000 images to help navigate across the stars. An 8-inch aperture certainly does the trick here.

Lastly, with the mount, it is important to realize that the Vixen saddle can be used in place of optical tubes. But, do note that your images will surely not be as clear. And you will certainly want your images to be as clear as possible in the night’s sky.

  • 4. Awards

How good is the NexStar 8SE? Well, let its awards do the talking? This Celestron telescope was awarded the Best Planetary Telescope for the money you pay. Additionally, it was also given the titles as the Best GoTo Telescope on the market. With some many computerized telescopes out there in the 21st Century, there is quite the accolade.

  • 5. Warranty

As discussed, all Celestron products come with a 2-year warranty when you buy them brand, spanking new. With this in mind, you will not have to worry about the durability of this telescope because Celestron has your back. Few telescope companies can say the same thing here.

  • 6. Price

When looking to get this Celestron telescope brand new, know you will be paying over $1,000. There are some places where you can get a used one for under that price. However, you will risk not having the warranty during that process.

Still, if you are wanting to buy the 8SE, it can be a good beginner’s telescope for children and adults. It just has a lot of features that allow more intermediate and advance telescoping individuals to use it, too. But, you certainly will get what you pay for with this masterpiece of a telescope.


What You Can See With The NexStar 8SE


A Celestron NexStar 8SE Review would not be complete without an idea of what you will be able to see in the sky. Of course, the possibilities are endless, but let us narrow down a few must-sees, shall we? Starting with Venus and Mercury’s phases, this is a beautiful sight.

The moon is another area that will surely wow you. On the moon itself, you will be able to see crates, flatlands, valleys, faults, mountains, ridges, and so much more. If the feature on the moon is longer than a mile, you will see the image clearly with this telescope.

Moving to Mars, the ice cap, dust storm, and albedo shading will be no problem at all for you. Even Jupiter’s cloud belts, bands, and moons will be a sight to see, with the Great Red Spot in play as well. Think of Saturn’s rings, more cloud belts, and 6 moons for stellar viewing, too.

Last, Neptune and Triton can be on your list, with Uranus and some of its moons to finish up with. Even outside of our Solar System, you will be able to check-in with the Messier and Herschel catalogs with a lot to view and observe. It is star clusters and nebulas like these that will keep you coming back for more with this telescope.


FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions


Before we get to the final verdict, we need to gather the most essential questions that people ask about Celestron telescopes. This way, you will be well on your way to have the best experience possible. Your purchase will then be worth it in the short-term and long-term.

  • #1 – Can I use the Celestron NexStar 8SE for photography purposes?

This telescope can certainly handle land photography. Because this telescope has a telephoto lens, it is a very capable camera. But, you will need to buy a few accessories to help you with the process. These accessories may include an adaptor for the camera, an equatorial wedge, and a better mounting system. Then, you will be well on your way to photography.

  • #2 – Is there a need for a GPS unit with this telescope?

This question depends on your preferences. Without a GPS, you will be working on your own to find stars, nebulas, and galaxies. However, with a GPS, the computer on the telescope will get you to were you want to go, and place you in the area you live for the stars you will see. Still, this would not be a small purchase. A GPS to attach to telescope cost a few hundred dollars, so you will have to keep that in mind.

  • #3 – How does this telescope do with moving objects?

Luckily, this is not a trick question. Everything is moving at all times. However, some things move quicker than others. Planets, stationary stars, and moons are great to be had with this telescope. However, shooting stars, satellites, and helicopters will not be seen well with this piece of technology.

  • #4 – Does this telescope come with a cover?

Unfortunately, no cover comes with your purchase of this telescope. But, if you are feeling it, you can buy covers and/or cases for the lenses and the telescope itself. You certainly want to protect how much you are investing in this product. Covers can be simple as a tarp-like material to place over your telescope each time you use it.

However, if you are looking to haul your telescope around, you need to get a carrying case. Transporting your telescope in a case with minimizing scratches and breaks. There is no reason why you should not be able to have this telescope for decades to come.

  • #5 – Can I do some terrestrial observations with this telescope?

Viewing things on planet Earth would be cool to do as well, right? Well, when it comes to this telescope, this was not what it was made for. You can try to use the eyepiece along with the straight tube. Or you can even try the diagonal eyepieces. But, ultimately, the telescope will work best looking up into the sky. Nothing else will truly do other than that here.

The short answer is no. But, let us go into a little, further detail here. Since there is one eyepiece for the scope, they are separated by 6-8 inches. Because of the magnifications and the distances apart, the telescope will see one thing and binoculars another. They will not be able to tag-team to give you a better look at whatever object you are wanting to see.


Final Verdict

Now that we have come to the end of the Celestron NexStar 8SE Review, it is time for you to make up your mind. Do you want this awesome telescope or are you still searching for other things in a telescope? No matter your thought process, you will not have to stray far because of the mass amounts of telescopes that Celestron offers to its customers.

Because, at the end of the day, Celestron does it best. They work hard to give you the best telescope experience around. The memories that you will be able to share with your family and friends will be timeless, all because of this great telescope. So, consider the Celestron NexStar 8SE for all your telescoping needs. You will not be disappointed in the slightest. All you will be focused on will be looking up in awe at what space has to show you night after night.

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