NexStar 8 SE 8” Go-to SCT

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NexStar computer with SkyAlign
    The NexStar computer hand control has a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars, deep space objects, and solar system objects it can locate for you. The computer’s memory contains the following objects:

  • the entire RNGC (Revised New General Catalog) of 7840 nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters

  • the IC (Index Catalog) of 5386 nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters

  • the Messier Catalog of the 110 best known deep sky objects

  • the Caldwell Catalog of 109 fascinating objects that Messier missed

  • 20 famous asterisms

  • the Abell Catalog of 2712 galaxy clusters

  • 25 selected CCD imaging objects

  • 29,500 selected SAO stars, including variable stars and multiple star systems.

    Also included are the eight major planets out to Pluto, as well as the Moon, for a total database more than 45,000 stars and objects. It’s enough fascinating objects to keep you busy observing for the rest of your life.

    You can also store and edit the right ascension and declination of up to 400 objects of your own choosing, such as the comet and asteroid coordinates published monthly in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines. The computer control can quickly find any of those objects at your command, and track them with high accuracy for visual observing or casual astrophotography.

    A review in Sky & Telescope magazine commented, “To quantify the Go To pointing accuracy, I spent several nights slewing to 50 objects selected from the NexStar’s database. About one-third of them ended up dead center in the field, another third landed within ½° of the center, and the remaining third were within 1° of the center.”

    All of the database and scope operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, red-illuminated liquid crystal display on the hand control. This display leads you through the steps necessary to line up the scope on the sky, locate objects, control scope functions like the brightness of the hand control display, and much more. It shows you basic information about the object being viewed (such as the object’s name, catalog designation, type, magnitude, and so forth). In addition to this basic information, there is enhanced information on over 200 of the most note-worthy objects. When it’s not displaying menus or object information, the display also shows you the constantly updated right ascension and declination coordinates at which the scope is aimed.

    The Sky & Telescope review said, “After using several NexStar-equipped telescopes in recent years, I can attest to the quality of the software and hardware for Celestron’s Go To system. The package is reliable and offers quick access to an excellent array of databases. I especially like Celestron’s Tour mode, which steps a user through an eclectic choice of deep-sky objects, quirky asterisms, and fine double stars, the latter being a class of objects great for urban observing that many Go To systems ignore. Using NexStar scopes, I’ve been introduced to many fine double stars.”

    There are 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons that glow a soft red in the dark to make it easy for you to control the computer without affecting your dark-adapted vision. An RS-232 communication port on the hand control allows you to operate the telescope remotely via a personal computer, using the supplied RS-232 cable and CD-ROM that contains Celestron’s NexRemote control software program.

    NexRemote provides an on-screen image of the computer hand control with full control of all the hand control functions from your computer keyboard. In addition to emulating the NexStar hand control, NexRemote adds powerful new features that let you keep your eyes on the stars instead of the hand control. It provides talking computer speech support using your computer’s built-in speaker; lets you control the objects you want to see and the order in which you see them; lets you create and save custom sky tours; lets you take wireless control of the telescope with optional gamepad support; lets you connect your personal GPS device to the NexRemote; downloads NexRemote updates online to use the latest features; lets you download software upgrades to your NexStar computer at no charge from Celestron’s website via the Internet; lets you use third-party planetarium programs to control the scope; and more.

    The Sky & Telescope review said, “The author tried Windows and Mac programs, including Desktop Universe, ECU, MegaStar, SkyMap Pro, Starry Night, and TheSky, and all controlled the mount without any problems.” The telescope comes with a CD-ROM of TheSky Level 1 planetarium and star charting software. This Windows-based program will let explore the Universe on your PC and print out custom star charts of the sky to help you find faint objects that are not in the scope computer’s database.

    A high precision pointing subroutine (“precise go-to”) in the computer lets you point accurately at objects that you want to photograph that are too dim to be seen though the scope. Built-in programmable permanent periodic error correction allows sharper astrophotographic images, with fewer guiding corrections needed during long exposure photos through scopes with enough aperture to make such imaging practicable. Built-in adjustable backlash compensation permits precise corrections during astrophotography and when observing visually at high powers.

    The operation of the NexStar with SkyAlign is simplicity itself. You don’t have to level the scope or point it north with SkyAlign, or even know Polaris from the Pleiades. After turning on the scope, enter the date and time and your location. The scope’s computer will remember up to ten different observing sites for you to choose from, and will automatically default to your last observing site (very helpful if you invariably observe from one location, such as your back yard). Then, simply point the scope at any three bright stars, or at two bright stars and a planet or the Moon (you don’t even have to know which stars and planet you’re looking at, and you don’t have to know and locate specific stars as you do with other alignment programs). Using the scope’s hand control, center the stars in the finderscope crosshairs.

    The NexStar SkyAlign computer system automatically determines which objects were chosen and generates an internal map of the sky that it uses to guide its automatic moves to any star or object you select for the rest of the night. It does it by calculating the angles and distances between the objects you’ve chosen and compares them to the known separations between objects. Using this method, the telescope determines what objects were chosen. The display tells you which three objects you aligned to for confirmation.

    Only two of the alignment objects will actually be used for calculating the model of the sky that the computer uses for locating objects. The third object simply provides a positive identification of the other two. Therefore, at least two of the three alignment objects should be spaced at least 60 degrees apart in the sky if possible, and the third object should not fall in a straight line between the first two alignment stars.

    Since the brightest stars appear first as the sky darkens at dusk, the SkyAlign system is exceptionally easy to set up and use as night comes on. You don’t have to guess which stars are brightest, as only the brightest will be visible in the early evening. The same holds true for observers from a light-polluted suburban site, where only the brightest stars are visible to the unaided eye.

    Several additional alignment methods are built into the NexStar computer – auto two-star alignment, manual two-star alignment, solar system alignment for daytime observing, and a one-star manual alignment – allowing you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. If you’re more familiar with the sky, you can use the new Auto Two-Star Align method. Enter the date, time, and the latitude and longitude of your observing location into the hand control. If you don’t know your latitude and longitude or can’t determine them from the grid lines on your state’s road map, you can use the coordinates of the nearest city from the list of hundreds in the instruction manual. The scope will keep up to ten observing locations stored in its memory (backyard, vacation home, favorite dark sky site, etc.), so you only have to enter the latitude and longitude once.

    Next, align the scope manually on a single bright star from a list of 40 in its memory. The NexStar will then automatically choose and slew to a second alignment star. Check to be sure the second star is centered in the telescope eyepiece and that’s it. You’ve aligned the scope on the sky, ready for a night’s go-to observing.

    In addition to moving the scope to any of the 45,000 objects in its memory and tracking the object while you observe, the computer is loaded with useful features. It has user-defined slew limits, which prevent the scope from moving to objects below any horizon that you define. That makes it ideal for observing locations that have the normal horizon view blocked by houses or trees. The computer has a hibernate mode that lets you power down the scope without losing your astronomical alignment. This feature allows you to find planets in the daytime after aligning the scope the night before. The computer has a wedge align program that helps aligns the scope on the celestial pole when you’re using a tripod and wedge for long exposure astrophotography.

    Once the scope has aligned itself with the sky, it takes only a few keystrokes on the computer hand control to have the scope move automatically to your night’s first observing target and start tracking it so you can observe at your leisure. You can find hundreds of fascinating deep space objects your first night out, even if you have never used a telescope before. No matter what level of experience you start from, your NexStar SkyAlign scope will unfold all the wonders of the Universe for you, your family, and your friends.

    If you’re using an optional equatorial wedge to polar align the scope for long exposure astrophotography, two polar alignment programs in the scope’s computer (one for the Northern hemisphere and one for the Southern hemisphere) make quick work of accurate alignment on the appropriate celestial pole. SkyAlign does not work in the equatorial mode.

    You can click on the link below to download a brief RealPlayer movie showing how quick and easy it is to line up your scope on the sky with SkyAlign. There is also a link to download RealPlayer for free if your PC does not already have the program.

8" Starbright XLT optics
Starbright XLT multicoated optics: This advanced optical coatings package includes high reflectivity mirrors of multilayer vacuum-deposited aluminum. The mirror coatings are enhanced with titanium dioxide for maximum reflectivity and overcoated with a protective layer of silicon monoxide (quartz) for long life.

A unique combination of magnesium fluoride and hafnium dioxide antireflection coatings is vacuum-deposited on both sides of the Schmidt corrector lens for maximum light throughput and contrast. The corrector lens itself is made of high transmission water white float glass instead of the conventional soda lime glass (which has 3.5% lower transmission) used in other telescopes.

The Starbright XLT multicoatings give you higher light transmission for brighter deep space images and shorter exposure times during CCD and 35mm photography. Across the total visual/photographic spectrum from 400nm to 750nm, independent laboratory tests show the new Starbright XLT coatings are 16% brighter overall than even the original industry-standard Starbright multicoatings. They also visibly increase the contrast on subtle lunar, planetary, and nebula details when compared with a scope with standard multicoatings.

In 1984, an 8” Celestron telescope was painted orange and black and cost $1438.45 – and didn’t have a go-to computer or Starbright XLT optical coatings. But it had Celestron’s superb optics. Many people still fondly recall their original orange tube Celestron C8 as being the best telescope they ever had.

Well, Celestron’s optical quality is still there. And Celestron’s NexStar 8 SE has brought back the orange and black C8 for those who love the look of the original, but with a slew of modern updates. Its optics are enhanced by the most advanced optical coatings available from Celestron – new Starbright XLT multicoatings. Across the full photo/visual spectrum from 400nm to 750nm, independent laboratory tests show the new Starbright XLT coatings are 16% brighter than even Celestron’s legendary original Starbright multicoatings – long the industry standard.

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE comes with a red dot finder, tripod, 25mm Plössl eyepiece, flashlight battery-operated dual-axis motor drives, and a go-to computerized hand control that will find over 40,000 stars and deep space objects for you automatically.

New SkyAlign technology makes it easy to line up this Celestron telescope on the sky so it can find celestial objects for you. You don’t have to level the scope or point it north, or know which stars are which. Simply point the scope at any three bright stars, or at two bright stars and a planet or the Moon (you don’t even have to know which stars and planet you’re looking at). The telescope will then know how the sky is laid out that night and will be ready to find and track over 45,000 objects for you at your command.

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE has all the features and optical performance you need to keep you happily observing for years to come – and a classic color scheme that will draw admiring glances wherever you take your scope. It may well be all the telescope you’ll ever need!


This Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube: 8” aperture (2032mm focal length f/10) aluminum tube, 17” long, weighing 13 lbs. One-knob quick-release attachment to fork arm for fast assembly in the field. Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance. Celestron orange finish.

  • Starbright XLT fully-multicoated: This state-of-the-art coatings package includes high reflectivity multilayer aluminum mirrors enhanced with titanium dioxide for high reflectivity, plus a unique combination of magnesium fluoride and hafnium dioxide antireflection coatings on both sides of the Schmidt corrector lens. Starbright XLT multicoatings give you higher light transmission for brighter deep space images and shorter exposure times during photography. They also visibly increase the contrast on subtle lunar, planetary, and nebula details when compared with a scope with standard coatings or multicoatings. For more information on the XLT multicoatings, click on the “optics” icon above.

  • Finder: Star Pointer non-magnifying variable brightness red dot-type. The Star Pointer is the quickest and easiest way to point your telescope exactly to the desired object in the sky. It’s like having a laser pointer that appears to shine directly onto the night sky. No need to worry about the inverted images that you see through traditional finders. Just align the red dot seen through the Star Pointer with the desired star in the sky. It’s that easy.

  • Focuser: Pre-loaded ball-bearings support the focuser mechanism, rather than the bushings used on some competitive scopes. This minimizes image shift during focusing so no external rear cell electric focuser is needed.

  • Visual back: Removable 1.25” visual back holds visual and photographic accessories such as a star diagonal, tele-extender, off-axis guider, etc.

  • Star diagonal: 1.25” multicoated prism type.

  • Eyepiece: 1.25” 25mm E-Lux Plössl (81x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.61° across, 20% wider than the diameter of the full Moon.

This Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Fork mount/drive system: The heavy-duty single fork arm is made of die-cast aluminum, so it is rigid and damps vibrations quickly. The optical tube is offset slightly so that its center of mass is over the axis of rotation of the mount, keeping the optical tube properly balanced in all planes. Built-in friction clutches in altitude and azimuth keep the optical tube fixed in place when eyepieces or accessory loads are changed. No mechanical locking levers or knobs are required.
    The 11 lb. mount includes slewing/tracking motors in both altitude and azimuth. There are nine user-selectable slewing/centering/guiding speeds – 6°/second; 3°/second; 1.5°/second; and 128, 64, 16, 8, 2, and 1x sidereal. There are also three selectable drive rates – sidereal, solar, and lunar. The drives normally operate in the altazimuth mode (right/left up/down) to locate and track objects for visual use and casual solar system photography. If long exposure deep space photography is planned, the scope can be converted to equatorial operation by adding an optional wedge. A compartment in the drive base accepts eight user-supplied AA batteries for powering the scope in the field. The Celestron Power Tank (#4512V) is a highly recommended optional 7 amp-hour capacity multi-purpose rechargeable 12V DC battery that can provide several nights worth of observing from a single charge. To conserve battery life, an optional AC adapter (#2338) is available to operate the scope from household current during backyard use.

  • Computer control: The supplied NexStar computer hand control has a 45,000+ object database of stars and objects that it can locate and track for you. The database includes the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars (including the best variable stars and multiple star systems); the planets; the Moon; and more. You can also store and edit the right ascension and declination coordinates of 400 objects of your own choosing, such as favorite deep space objects or the comet and asteroid coordinates published monthly in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines.
    You have several ways to have the NexStar computer find celestial objects for you. The most popular and easiest to use is Celestron’s exclusive SkyAlign no-guesswork technology. After turning on the scope, simply enter the date and time and your location, then point the scope at any three bright stars, or at two bright stars and a planet or the Moon (you don’t even have to know which stars and planet you’re looking at, and you don’t have to know and locate specific stars as you do with other alignment programs). The NexStar computer will use the stars you’ve pointed at to model the sky overhead. Once it knows what the sky looks like, it’s ready to find and track over 45,000 objects for you at your command.
    The computer hand control includes a built-in RS-232 communication port allowing you to use a CCD autoguider for deep space photography. It also lets you use popular astronomy software to control the NexStar from a lap top or personal computer for remote control point-and-click slewing. The hand control software can now be flash-upgraded from the Celestron website. You can always have the most up-to-date control program, database, and software features simply by downloading the new programs as they are posted. The scope can be operated with its ergonomically designed hand control conveniently docked in its fork arm storage compartment. You can also remove the control and its coiled connecting cord from the fork arm for hand-held use. There’s no need to worry about wrapping the cord around the mount as you walk around the scope to observe different parts of the sky. The hand control plugs into the fork arm rather than the base, so it always moves with the scope.
    All of the database and scope operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, liquid crystal display on the hand control. There are 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons to make it easy for you to control the computer without affecting your dark-adapted vision. If you are new to astronomy, you may wish to start by using the computer’s built-in Sky Tour feature. This program commands the NexStar 8 to find the most interesting objects in the sky and automatically slews to them one at a time for you to observe at your leisure. No matter what level of experience you start from, however, the NexStar 8 will unfold all the wonders of the Universe for you, your family, and your friends. For much more information on the NexStar computer and the unique SkyAlign software, click on the “NexStar computer” icon above.

  • Adjustable height altazimuth tripod: The tripod has 2” diameter steel legs, with a center leg brace for added rigidity, and damps vibrations quickly. The center leg brace is drilled to form a convenient accessory tray that holds 1.25” and 2” eyepieces to keep them up out of the dew-soaked grass. A locating pin on the top of the tripod automatically centers the scope on the 9 lb. tripod for easy assembly in the dark.

  • Two-year warranty: All Celestron go-to telescopes have a two-year warranty, double that of competitive go-to scopes.

Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
406x
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

14.0
Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

2032mm
Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

f/10
Resolution:
This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

0.57 arc seconds
Aperture:
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
8"
Weight:
The weight of this product.
33 lbs.
Heaviest Single Component:
The weight of the heaviest component in this package.
24 lbs.
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
Schmidt-Cassegrain
 
Based on Astronomy magazine’s telescope "report cards", scopes of this size and type generally perform as follows . . .
Terrestrial Observation:
Observing terrestrial objects (nature studies, birding, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial observing. Scopes with apertures under 5" to 6" are generally most useful for terrestrial observing due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes. 
No
Lunar Observation:
Visual observation of the Moon is possible with any telescope. Larger aperture scopes will provide more detail than smaller scopes, thereby getting a higher score in this category, but may require an eyepiece filter to cut down the greater glare from the Moon's sunlit surface so small details can be seen more easily. Lunar observing is more rewarding when the Moon is waxing or waning as the changing sun angle casts constantly varying shadows to reveal craters and surface features by the hundreds.  
Great
Planetary Observation:
Good
Binary and Star Cluster Observation:
Very Good
Galaxy and Nebula Observation:
Good
Photography:
Yes
Terrestrial Photography:
Photographing terrestrial objects (wildlife, scenery, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial photography. Scopes with focal ratios of f/10 and faster and apertures under 5" to 6" are generally the most useful for terrestrial photography due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes.
No
Lunar Photography:
Photography of the Moon is possible with virtually any telescope, using a 35mm camera, DSLR, or CCD-based webcam (planetary imager). While an equatorial mount with a motor drive is not strictly essential, as the exposure times will be very short, such a mount would be helpful to improve image sharpness, particularly with webcam-type cameras that take a series of exposures over time and stack them together. Reflectors may require a Barlow lens to let the camera reach focus. 
Yes
Planetary Photography:
Yes
Star Cluster / Nebula / Galaxy Photography:
Yes
Warranty:
2 years
Reviews from Cloudy Nights (www.cloudynights.com)
These reviews have been written by astronomers just like you and posted on the Cloudy Nights astronomy forums . . .
Celestron NexStar 8 SE

User Ratings/Reviews from our Customers (www.astronomics.com)
Overall Product Rating: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics(4.63)   # of Ratings: 8   (Only registered customers can rate)

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1. Bill on 5/29/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I was looking for an upgrade from my starter scope. After doing on-line research and talking to people in the local Astronomy Club I called Astronomics. They listened to my questions, asked questions and recommended the Celestron SE8. It was an ideal solution: easy setup, portable (have a sports car), great optics, excellant tracking and extensive go-to data base. Some accessories you might consider are an AC adapter, Celestron power supply and Astrozap dew/light shield. A bag for baseball bats makes a great tripod case. Value for dollar makes this an outstanding choice.
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2. James on 5/19/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I would have given it five stars but the tripod is kind of flimsy for this size scope. I live in a major metropolitan city but when I go to a dark site this rig travels well. If you fine tune your alignment you can capture short exposures with a camera or video. It is the perfect size for light grasp and ease of portability. Set-up is easy and you can align without any knowledge of the night sky (just don't use planets for alignment). Definitely would recommend this scope.
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3. Elbert on 5/1/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have owned a Nexstar 8se for three years. I was looking for a lightweight 8" sct with a quick setup time. This telescope fulfills this purpose well. The Nexstar has relatively good optics. I use it with a variety of 1.25" eyepieces and find it a great scope. The setup using the handheld control guide takes a bit of getting used to; but once you get it down, it is quite straightforward. I purchased a gps unit to speed up the alignment process. The focusing knob on this scope is small, making fine adjustments difficult. I stuck a rubber Lego wheel over the focusing knob and it made a huge difference. The Nexstar tripod and drive seem quite solid, but caution must be used when first learning to set up the system to make sure the telescope tube is securely attached to the arm. On a solid surface such as concrete, one has to avoid too much contact with the scope to avoid vibration. On grass or soft ground, this is less noticeable. Don't try to use batteries to power the drive. They just don't last long enough. Rather get a 12v dc power supply. Also, invest in an astronomical observing chair to add enjoyment to your stargazing. Overall, this is a great scope, especially for beginners or those who want a portable, lightweight SCT system with an 8" aperture.
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4. Greg on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I bought an 8SE in March of 2013. First of all I have to say the service and delivery of my total package was incredibly good. Secondly, while it took me a couple of days to figure out the computer, you have to enter an accurate location ( I used a GPS), but after that no problem, worked 100%. The optics I find incredible. Took a 30 second exposure of the Orion Nebula and got a beautiful shot the very first time.

There may be better telescopes out there, but for the money I had I would highly recommend buying this telescope, and also buying it from Astronomics.

No complaint s what-so-ever!
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5. Kevin on 3/13/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have been using this telescope for a year now and I am very pleased with it. I needed a telescope that had a good amount of aperture but I also needed portability. This fits the bill nicely. I am essentially a beginner and it does not take me long to set up and align (around 10 minutes, not including cool-down time). The weight of the assembled mount and OTA is very manageable and not too cumbersome to handle. This is all very important because I live in a light-polluted city and I do not have a dark site readily available. This telescope easily fits into my 2-door Honda Civic, just to give you an idea of how portable it is. I also love the fact that the OTA is detachable in case I ever want to get a different mount and tripod for it.

The views through the 8 SE are fantastic. It can easily give very pleasing views of the moon, planets, nebulae, star clusters, and other DSO's. The mount is very solid, so the views are not shaky either (in my experience). I am sure it does not perform as well on the moon and planets as a good APO Refractor, nor would it give as good of views of DSO's that a larger Dobsonian would give. But the 8 SE performs very well on a wide variety of targets and its portability for the aperture is tough to beat.
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6. Anthony on 3/11/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
As a novice star gazer, I was torn as to what type/size of telescope to buy for my family's first REAL telescope.. After reading tons of reviews and doing some homework, I decided on the Nexstar 8SE. I have not been disappointed. Small enough to take anywhere, big enough to see what you want to see. I've found that I have only been limited by the atmospheric conditions. Easy to assemble, intuitive to operate. There are adjustments to be made to the "slack" or backlash in the motor drive gears, but the manual walks you through it. I found that reading through operations, then just setting it up and taking it for a few "test drives" was a lot of fun. I bought the Nexstar 8SE, and an Astro Tech paradigm 12mm wide field eyepiece to compliment the 24mm Celestron eyepiece that comes with the scope. I've found this combination to be a great starting point for a novice like myself. It seems plenty sturdy to me, as I was a bit worried about the single fork mount style. It's just been a joy to look through, and a lot of fun for us to use as a family. The guys at Astronomics were super helpful and informative. They took a beginner like me and armed me with the knowledge to make an informed decision. All in all, it is a home run and I couldn't be happier. A great purchase that didn't break the bank. I saw Saturn for the first time in my life the first weekend I owned this telescope, and I can promise you, that's a life changing event. Enough of all of this review reading,...GO BUY THIS SCOPE!
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7. Nate on 3/11/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
This was my first real scope. The optics on the 8" tube are great and I was constantly impressed by the planetary views it give me. My only picks are that the single arm style mount allows for vibration, however the optional anti-vibration pad/puck things help quite a bit. The upside is that with the tube mounted, the entire thing can be carried around with relative ease.
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8. Jim on 9/27/2012, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
Great optics in a sweet little package.....a wonderfully portable C8. A few compromises here and there to keep the price down, but they all have simple work-arounds. This is the scope that will get the most use due to its light weight and fast set-up and take-down times. Quality optics in a computerized (and easy to use) GOTO scope make the 8 SE a easy choice.
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General Accessories
Computers for Telescopes (1)
Celestron StarSense Telescope Auto Alignment System
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For Celestron 8" NexStar 8SE, flexible black plastic, with notch
by Astrozap
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Drive Motors and Drive Accessories (2)
Power Tank 7 Amp-hour 12V DC rechargeable battery
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2.5 Amp AC adapter for Celestron telescopes
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Vibration Dampeners (1)
Vibration Suppression pads, set of 3
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Visual Accessories
Miscellaneous (1)
Kit of 1.25" Plössl eyepieces and visual accessories
by Celestron
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$149.00 
Tele-Compressors (Photo/Visual) (1)
F/6.3 reducer/corrector for Schmidt-Cassegrains
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Photographic Accessories
CCD (1)
NexImage Solar System Imager
by Celestron
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  • Starbright XLT multicoated 8” f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain optics
  • Quick-release tube attachment
  • Single fork arm design
  • Classic orange and black color scheme
  • Multicoated 1.25” 25mm E-Lux Plössl Eyepiece (81x)
  • Star Pointer red dot non-magnifying finder
  • 1.25” star diagonal
  • 1.25” visual back
  • Dual axis DC drive (powered by 8 user-supplied AA Batteries)
  • Heavy duty base with rubber feet for tabletop operation
  • NexStar SkyAlign go-to computer hand control with 45,000+ star and object database
  • Adjustable height tripod with combined accessory tray/spreader bar
  • NexRemote and TheSky Level 1 software on CD-ROM
  • Dust covers.
Documents
Celestron - Nexstar 6SE and 8SE manual 3557 KB
Videos
NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope Tour
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Celestron - NexStar 8 SE 8” Go-to SCT

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Celestron - NexStar 8 SE 8” Go-to SCT
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The NexStar 8 SE gives you 21st century technology for less than the price of a 1984-model scope. It combines Celestron’s classic orange and black color scheme with the newest go-to SkyAlign computer and the most advanced optical coatings available – all at a very special money-saving price . . .





. . . our 34th year