Save $100.00

Celestron NexStar 5 SE 5" Go-to SCT

Regular Price: $939.00

Special Price $839.00

Availability: In stock

Many people consider the original 5" Celestron SCT to be the finest affordable personal scope ever made. The NexStar 5 SE combines legendary 5" Celestron optics with 21st century computerized go-to technology at a most affordable price.

Our Product #: NX5SE
Celestron Product #: 11036
Recommended Accessories

Product Description

In 1982, we sold the original Celestron C5 and tripod for $954.90 - without a go-to computer, without multicoated optics, and without a drive that can run off flashlight batteries all night long. Adjusting for inflation, that equals $2499.34 in 2017 dollars! How times have changed. This 5" Celestron NexStar 5 SE has all those features - and more – for less than 1982's C5 cost!

The NexStar 5 SE is a great alternative to costly competitive 5" Maksutovs. While it has the same light-gathering capacity as a 5" Mak, its faster focal ratio means a wider field and brighter images with any given eyepiece than a Mak. And it's priced far less than competitive 5" Maks that don't have the clear optical advantage of Celestron's state-of-the-art 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 5 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 45,000 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 nearly 40,000 objects for you at your command.

The Celestron NexStar 5 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: 5" aperture (1250mm focal length f/10) aluminum tube, 11" long, weighing less than 7 lbs. One-knob quick-release attachment to fork arm for fast assembly in the field. Guaranteed diffraction-limited optical performance. Celestron orange finish. Rear cell uses the standard SCT thread, so all SCT photo and visual accessories can be used without having to add a special adapter, as is the case with many Maksutovs.

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 "5" Starbright XLT optics" icon in the support tab above.

Red dot 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 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 Plössl (50x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.91° across, nearly twice 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 tripod includes a built-in wedge that quickly converts the scope to equatorial operation.

A compartment in the drive base accepts eight user-supplied AA batteries for powering the scope in the field. The Celestron Power Tank Lithium (#PTL12V) 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 2.5 Amp AC adapter (#2338N) is available to operate the scope from household current during backyard use.

Computer control: The supplied NexStar computer hand control has a nearly 40,000 object database of stars and objects that it can locate and track for you. The database includes the complete RNGC, Messier, and Caldwell 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 200 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 nearly 40,000 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.

The computer includes a camera control software program and a camera shutter cable. These let you remotely take a series of timed exposures using your digital SLR camera (connected to the scope by an appropriate camera adapter). This can be very useful during lunar or solar eclipses and during occultation events, since you won't have to miss any of the sights while worrying about the operation of your camera.

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 5 SE 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 5 SE 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 4/5 computer with SkyAlign " icon in the support tab above.

Adjustable height altazimuth/equatorial tripod: The 10 lb. adjustable height altazimuth tripod has tubular chromed steel legs for stability, and a combined die-cast spreader bar/accessory tray that is cut out to hold two 2" eyepieces and four 1.25" eyepieces. The spreader bar is spring loaded, so that it can't accidentally detach from the tripod.

Spring loaded attachment bolts, that also can't be lost in the dark, hold the telescope to the no-tool adjustable wedge tilt plate that allows equatorial tracking for astrophotography. The tilt plate has a built-in latitude scale and can be operated from 0° to 90°, allowing both polar and altazimuth operation without having to buy a separate wedge.

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

Tech Details

Aperture 5"
Focal Length 1250mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Heaviest Single Component 18 lbs.
Highest Useful Magnification 250x
Motorized Controls Comuterized GoTo
Weight 28 lbs.
Optical Coatings StarBright XLT
Resolution 0.91 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 25mm 1.25"
Telescope Type Schmidt-Cassegrain
View Finder StarPointer
Visual Limiting Magnitude 13.0
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
This has been a great scope for me as a beginner. I am still learning the abilities of this little gem. (Posted on 10/17/2019)
Review by:
My NexStar5 SE has traveled to Washington, North Carolina and various sites in Florida. The OTA fits under the airline seat and the tripod/mount fits into a suitase leaving plenty of room for clothes. Because of the weather here in SW Florida I have added a heated dew shield (Astrozap). A Celestron 8-24mm zoom eyepiece and a Televue 1-1/4" diagonal make for a compact and capable setup. I also added a set of Bob's Knobs and a Sky Portal WiFi module. With the large aperture many DSO's and double stars are well within reach, especially with good seeing conditions. My other scope is a vintage 'TMB 100/800 CNC Classic' refractor which no longer travels much but holds down the fort here in SW Florida.
*The NexStar5 SE is an investment well spent*
(Posted on 9/24/2019)
Review by:
This Celestron mount is just fantastic. I bought the sky-fi wifi adapter and can align and goto using my ipad/ iphone. The OTA at this size and price point is a good little performer. I think at 5" and above these small SCTs are really great.

Be aware that the view is pretty zoomed in compared to a small refractor. I would suggest this for planets and smaller sized DSOs. If you are wanting to see larger nebulae or other faint objects, you might like the views in a 80mm or 102mm refractor instead. Or you can get a focal reducer for this one and it opens up the view some.

Also, this could be a very smart choice if you have a good OTA on hand. The shoe will fit any vixen style dovetail. As long as your OTA isn't huge, this makes a smart way to add goto functionality to your OTA. Also, this style Nexstar unit is pretty capable and sturdy for middle-weight scopes. The gearing and motors are very stable. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
Review by:
This is a great grab and go scope, and is easy enough for a beginner. Mine needed no collimation, but the red dot finder was a PAIN to align- I had to screw it on cock-eyed to get it to align.
Other than that minor annoyance, optics are good, views are good, goto is right on the money. (Posted on 12/28/2018)
Review by:
this was my first telescope and it has worked flawlessly from day one providing breathtaking views of the moon and planets and jaw dropping views of distant galaxies and nebula. (Posted on 11/4/2018)
Review by:
This has been so far a great beginner telescope for my family. If it wasn't fit the go to controls, we would be lost. I'd definitely recommend it to any beginner that is curious about astronomy. The fact that I am able to use add ons to integrate my iPad for controlling was also a big plus as well. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
Very good scope for the beginner or as a travel scope for the more advanced amateur. Optics are good and the go-to sky align works well. Construction is robust for an inexpensive scope. The red dot non magnifying finder needs to be upgraded to a better quality as it is difficult to align properly and does not work as well for us with older eyes. Maybe a small magnifying finder would be better. Recommended. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
How do you rate this product? *

Supplied Accessories

  • Starbright XLT multicoated 5" 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 (50x)
  • 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 a nearly 40,000 star and object database
  • Adjustable height tripod with combined accessory tray/spreader bar
  • NexRemote and TheSky Level 1 software on CD-ROM
  • Camera shutter cable and camera control software program
  • Dust covers.