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Celestron NexStar 6 SE 6" Go-to SCT

Regular Price: $1,099.00

Special Price $999.00

Availability: More on the way

For many people, the size of the NexStar 6 SE is a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – it's not too big, it's not too small, it's just right! You get 21st century computerized go-to technology, and features galore, in a size and price that anyone can appreciate . . .
Our Product #: NX6SE
Celestron Product #: 11068
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Product Description

This 6" Celestron NexStar 6 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain is a great alternative to costly competitive 5" and 6" Maksutovs. It has 44% more light gathering and 20% higher resolution than a more expensive 5" Mak (as well as a wider field and brighter images with any given eyepiece). And it's priced less than competitive 6" 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 6 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 over 45,000 objects for you at your command.

The Celestron NexStar 6 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: 6" aperture (1500mm focal length f/10) aluminum tube, 16" long, weighing 10 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.

A review of the 6" Celestron XLT optics in Sky & Telescope said of the XLT multicoating, "its effectiveness is readily apparent under certain lighting angles where the corrector virtually disappears, leaving the secondary seemingly suspended in midair." Of the optical quality, the review said "excellent optics . . . Saturn and its system of faint moons proved to be a good test of the C6's light grasp, resolution, and image contrast. With an 8mm eyepiece, the planet's crisp globe revealed delicate cloud banding rendered in faithful color, while the Cassini Division in the rings was obvious for its entire visible extent. Despite the moonlight and heavy local light pollution, 10th-magnitude Tethys, just 7 arcseconds from Saturn's northern limb, was easily seen with direct vision. Intra- and extra-focal image of stars revealed the C6 to smooth and very well corrected optics. For more information on the XLT multicoatings, click on the "6" Starbright XLT multicoatings" 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 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 Plössl (60x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.83° across, well over 50% 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. 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 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 6 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 6 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 computer with SkyAlign" icon in the support tab 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.

Tech Details

Aperture 6"
Focal Length 1500mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Heaviest Single Component 21 lbs.
Highest Useful Magnification 300x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 30 lbs.
Optical Coatings StarBright XLT
Resolution 0.76 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 25mm 1.25"
Telescope Type Schmidt-Cassegrain
View Finder StarPointer
Visual Limiting Magnitude 13.4
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
I have owned my Nexstar 6 SE for 5 years now, and have greatly enjoyed it. Its very easy to set up and use and I have had blast controlling it with my iPad using the Sky Safari App. The OTA optical quality is very impressive and I like the fact that the 6” aperture is much less sensitive to poor seeing than my larger aperture scopes. I love using it for double star work in the summer here in NC when the transparency is poor but the seeing is often very good. It easily performs at or near theoretical resolution when seeing is good.

Down sides. As many have noted, the Nexstar mount EATS through the AA batteries, and you may have to replace them after 2 or 3 sessions. I have addressed this issue by using an external 17 AH Li ion battery that hangs from the spreader bar, and this is a great solution. The only other criticism I have is that the mount has a bit more backlash than I would like, and there is a noticeable delay in motors engaging on both axes. This can be greatly reduced by using the appropriate backlash settings programmable in the hand controller, but it is still there, albeit not to an overly annoying level.

Overall, a great scope set-up at an attractive price point. (Posted on 10/26/2019)
Review by:
I had a big, bare bones Dobsonian when I bought the Celestron. My satisfaction with the scope caused me to sell the Dobsonian. Why? I am an occasional, and far from expert observer so the Celestron got me looking at the stars I wanted to see with a minimum of fuss. While the Dobsonian was an amazing "light bucket" the best telescope is the one you actually use. The Celestron actually got used (and enjoyed.) (Posted on 10/23/2019)
Review by:
A terrific focal length and sharp optics gives this telescope the punch to noodle out details on solar system objects and brighter DSOs. Overall, this is an amazing package and a tremendous value for the price. Simple set up and alignment. Upgrade the red dot finder with a 10x50 finder scope and add the 0.63 reducer and you have a reasonable starter package for wide field photography. The strength of this scope is that it is a good all around performer making it an excellent choice for the entry level sky watcher. Suggest investing in a external battery pack for best results. I added the wifi adapter to control the scope with my cell phone or tablet. Works great!!! (Posted on 10/19/2019)
Review by:
This was my first telescope. If you want to view planets and bright nebula or just spy on your neighbors 1.5 miles away, this is a great scope. The magnification is great. Despite what people may tell you, with a lot of work and money this scope can also work pretty well for astrophotography. I have enjoyed it when it worked well and cursed it when it didn't. It's hard to do much better for the money though. (Posted on 10/4/2019)
Review by:
I was completely new to modern telescopes when I bought the 6SE . And two years later, I am still completely happy with my choice. It does what I wanted it to do. Downloaded the software up-date from Celestron and it made setup and viewing much easier. (Posted on 9/26/2019)
Review by:
This has proven to be a great scope to take camping, the perfect combination of simplicity, size and weight to enjoy while traveling. (Posted on 9/9/2019)
Review by:
The 6" NexStar 6SE is a perfect all-around telescope. The size, portability, ease of use and outstanding quality make this setup a real winner. It is easy to carry outside and setup in just a few minutes. All types of observing are possible, with planetary, lunar and brighter DSO's giving the best views. The mount and NexStar controller are easy to use and seem just right for the size of the scope. The tripod is a little on the light side and you get some extra virbration until things settle down, but you have to choose between that and having a beefier tripod. I replaced the RDF with an 8x50 finder scope as the RDF just did not suit my needs.

Overall, this is an amazing package and a tremendous value for the price. You get a lot for your money, outstanding Celestron quality and guaranteed years of performance and observing enjoyment. (Posted on 8/26/2019)
Review by:
I agonized for some time over all the possible options for my first "grown-up" telescope before settling on the Nexstar 6SE. I am really happy I did! The size and weight of the telescope are just perfect for just spur-of-the-moment grabbing the telescope and going outside. Given that I live in a rather light-polluted area, the Go-To mount has opened up a lot of objects that would have been extremely difficult to find otherwise. I've been very happy with the views of plants and some of the brighter Messier objects I've gotten over the years with this telescope. I recently purchased a planetary camera, and that purchase has opened a whole new set of opportunities to use this wonderful telescope. (Posted on 8/22/2019)
Review by:
This goto is useful in hunting for faint objects in the light polluted skies of Queens, NYC since only a few bright stars are visible for alignment purposes.

I purchased a few 3rd party plossl eyepieces and I'm satisfied with the views of the planets and deep sky objects. I can't imagine how it'll improve with more expensive nitrogen-purged eyepieces.
A few things to be aware of is that the 6SE only utilizes 1.25" diagonals & eyepieces. 2" accessories are not compatible.

For astrophotography, the limiting factor may be the alt-az mount unless one adds an equatorial wedge (or completely upgrade to a CGEM) to counteract field rotation.

I live in a 2nd floor walkup apartment and the entire package is about the limit of what I would take out and walk 1.5 blocks to a nearby park.

For the money, the Nexstar 6SE is a good investment in a light polluted city. (Posted on 7/24/2019)
Review by:
My first serious scope, the 6" SE opened the skies to me. Large enough to spot all the Messier objects, small enough to move around my tree infested yard. Go To intuitive (mostly) and lots of online references to help. A great first scope! (Posted on 7/24/2019)
Review by:
Good scope for planetary viewing and imaging, I have had the opportunity to view Saturn and Jupiter through this and was impressed. The computerized mount seems to track and find objects with pretty good accuracy. (Posted on 1/12/2019)
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 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. I've added a mid-sized spotting scope to a used SE6 mount and couldn't be happier.

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. This style Nexstar unit is pretty capable and sturdy for middle-weight scopes. The gearing and motors are very stable. The OTA hits a right balance between optical quality and price. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
Review by:
This is my first telescope of this quality. So far I am amazed with the scope and it's capabilities. Am looking forward to spending many nights outside in the future. Have no regrets with my purchase. (Posted on 12/12/2018)
Review by:
I previously reviewed and forgot to give it a star rating. This scope rocks for many features. Its' weight, its sharpness and its' flexibility. The only con I have is its' collimation which can become tedious. When its' right on you get perfect views of the moon or stars. The GOTO mount works well with the handset. Putting the time and date each time can be tiresome. I use the wifi module to use it with my Ipad so setting those parameters become automatic. Like this scope with its' few drawbacks. (Posted on 11/14/2018)
Review by:
I have use this scope with the fork mount for many shots of the moon and planets. It offers sharp views of all with its stellar XL Brite coatings. Be wary though as the collimation may go out if the tube is bumped. Its' difficult to get it back as turning screws can become tedious. Once set you get sharp views if all objects. I like this scope but it gets hard to handle if not set right. The size is ideal. I would not want to use a bigger or heavier scope. I use an external battery which powers the mount for the whole night usually. Great scope to have. (Posted on 11/14/2018)
Review by:
The three star alignment only takes a couple of minutes and after that the goto's are always in view of my 9-25mm eyepieces and it tracks well for visual use. The only con is the AA battery pack. I personally don't use it and instead have a rechargeable 12 volt pack I use to run the scope. (Posted on 11/5/2018)
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:
I find the native C6 views to suffer pretty badly in the outer part of the field from coma & field curvature. My near-perfect 24mm ES68 suddenly acts like a bad erfle! However, after adding a focal reducer and dedicating premium 62° eyepieces to the scope I am now satisfied with the views, with one caveat - the annoying reflections from bright objects caused by some reflective surfaces inside the scope. The C6 offers good aperture in a small package but is optically compromised: narrow fields, annoying reflections on Moon & planets. (Posted on 10/26/2018)
Review by:
Time marches on and with that my larger 9.25 SCT and massive GEM mount became less used then ever as lifting even just the OTA onto the saddle was really a back breaker. At 72 downsizing became reality. I bought the Celestron SE6. Right out of the box and with 20 years in the hobby this scope was a breeze to setup. I never had a GOTO scope but I knew the sky, and where I lived, and except for a few military time errors (yep I was in the Army) I was soon doing GOTO's with ease. The 6 inch aperture was adequate enough for my backyard skies. I hung my DSLR off the back and was getting 25 sec tracking and then learned how to stack 50 of those 25 sec images, and this scope became a power house. And it was so light I could carry the entire assembly out to my backyard in one trip. I bought a dedicated planetary cam and was soon stacking movies of the solar system objects also. The optics are just perfect. The mechanics have never failed me. I took it in my car to the Totality in South Carolina 2107. I bought Bob's Knobs and made a Duncan Mask and did a collimation that has lasted over 2 years. I use this scope almost nightly. Sure, the lure of more aperture never goes away but the physical effort cannot be cast aside. The scope is rock solid on the single arm. I just use a Telrad, do a 2-star Auto align and the night begins. I highly recommend the 6SE (Posted on 10/24/2018)
Review by:
I initially purchased the 6SE to foster my young son's interest in the planets. It provided that first "wow" moment of seeing the rings of Saturn with your own eyes, has provided amazing views of two lunar eclipses and has gotten me hopelessly addicted to astrophotography. I've been pleasantly surprised with the images I've been able to produce despite the comparatively small aperture, and have even had one of those images used in an article for Sky & Telescope!

Image correction is not perfect to the edge (even with the 0.63 reducer, which is a highly recommended accessory) but more than acceptable and rewarding for starting out. The compact size and low weight have also meant I've been able to take my setup with me on two international trips to darker sites.

The AltAz mount makes things much easier for first timers and the GoTo works extremely well - a quick two-star alignment plus sync to a star near your desired target, and you're off!

I would recommend running from the AC power adapter whenever possible, rather than batteries (especially rechargeable batteries, which have a slightly lower output voltage). For portable power, one of the Power Tank accessories would be a better option.

Another highly recommended accessory would be a dew shield - even if your climate is unlikely to cause dew formation, the dew shield will help keep the corrector clean (e.g. from pollutants settling out of the air). If you do live (or plan to visit) a dew-forming climate, the AstroZap Flexi-Heat dew shield is an excellent two-in-one option to consider. (Posted on 10/17/2018)
Review by:
This telescope provides good views of just about any celestial object you want to see. It's well made and very durable (I've used mine frequently for over 8 years). I can pick up and move the fully assembled outfit (scope, mount, tripod) and the individual pieces are easily separated without tools for transport to dark sky locations. The optical tube holds collimation very well and the focuser has a wide range that accommodates almost any eyepiece or camera.
A few accessories will improve your viewing experience with this telescope. A dew shield will help prevent condensation on the front corrector plate. A 12vdc power supply is almost mandatory to drive the mount electronics and motors. A 0.63 focal reducer will increase field of view to over 1.5 degrees. And an adjustable viewing chair will allow a comfortable position so you can see more and save your back and neck. (Posted on 10/13/2018)
Review by:
This was my first telescope and mount. It was easy to set up and use and made learning the night sky fun. I've had a number of scopes since but I still use this one, especially for traveling. It was a great investment. (Posted on 10/7/2018)
Review by:
Although I own larger telescopes, I use the Nexstar 6 more than all of them due to its outstanding portability and excellent optics. The single arm fork mount is made of aluminum and is very solid and steady. The 6" aperture is large enough to see Jupiter's cloud belts and red spot, markings on Mars (at opposition), the rings of Saturn and Cassini's division , and the phases of Mercury and Venus. It also shows brighter deep sky objects very well for its size. The computer is intuitive and easy to use, although it does not have an asteroid or comet database included. The user has to enter the R.A. and Declination of those objects manually after obtaining them from another source. The computer provides accurate, quiet slewing and has excellent pointing accuracy and tracking of celestial objects. (Posted on 10/7/2018)
Review by:
This telescope is easy to set up and use in the backyard of our suburban home. I have owned much larger scopes, but the best scope is the one you use regularly. I have enjoyed looking at the planets and the Orion nebula through this little scope. Of course I always want more aperature, but not really at the price of portability and ease of use. If its the only scope you own, you won’t be disappointed in the quality and ease of use. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
This was my first telescope when I started with this hobby. Setup was straightforward, the red-dot finder was an endless source of frustration till I wedged some paper and tightened it in the right position - after that its been amazing, (relatively) easy to transport and setup, and all round good viewing and also worked well for beginning astrophotography. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
The Nexstar 6SE was a Christmas / birthday / Father's Day present in 2007. (Got it from Astronomics, actually.) While it doesn't do any one thing superbly, it does a lot of things well. The price has come down $200 since I got mine, so it's a great value for its current price.

What I like: tripod and mount are lightweight but very sturdy and stable. This makes it easy to pick the scope up and carry it 100 yards or so from the house to a large field. Optics give sharp, bright images. There's no visible coma or other distortion. Go-to functions pretty well most of the time, making the scope great for public star parties.

What I don't like: The red-dot finder is not well placed. I eventually replaced it with a right-angle 9x50, and then added a Telrad. The bubble level really ought to be permanently mounted so it doesn't get lost (lost it last month).

Summary: a good all-around scope; easy to set up and very portable; lots of advice on Cloudy Nights; good value. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
This is a really good all-purpose scope for a good price. The size is just about right for grab-and-go, making it a nice choice for spur-of-the-moment viewing from the front (or back!) yard. While the 8" is certainly going to offer some better views of some objects, the 6" worked out better for me price-wise.

You'll want to put the AA batteries in the computer to help keep time, etc. but you'll also want to invest in an external battery pack. Using the goto features, this scope will chew through your AA batteries in an hour or two.

Alignment is as easy as the instructions say it is. The goto functions let you spend less time looking FOR objects and more time looking AT objects, which is nice. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
Review by:
This is a nice compact telescope with a decent focal length. The telescope is great for viewing galaxies, planets, and smaller nebulas. The field of view is not wide enough to view larger nebulas like the Rosette Nebula. I have also used this telescope to take pictures of various galaxies, planets, and nebulas with great results. (Posted on 8/4/2017)
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Supplied Accessories

  • Starbright XLT multicoated 6" 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 (60x)
  • 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.