Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope Review
Celestron is a name that’s remained practically synonymous with telescopes ever since the company was founded in the ‘70s. Their goal has always been to provide high-quality telescopes to the masses at an affordable price. Through Celestron’s vision, thousands of new amateur astronomy enthusiasts became inspired to look towards space and plumb the mysteries of the universe.
The NexStar 8SE is an old design that’s been reinvented and adapted for the modern age. It’s been re-fitted with all the latest features and utilizes computerized technology to provide you with the most enjoyable telescope experience that you’ve ever had. You’ll have more fun than ever before as you journey through the stars guided by this trusty orange-tube companion.
This Celestron NexStar 8SE review aims to broaden your understanding of the inner workings of the instrument and reveal how it works to provide such great quality.
- Type: Schmidt-Cassegrain
- Aperture: 203.2mm (8”)
- Dimensions: 42 x 23.7 x 13 inches
- Weight: 33 lbs. (15kg)
- Eyepiece: 25mm (1.25”)
- Focal length: 2032mm
- Focal ratio: f/10
- Highest Useful Magnification: 480x
- Optical Coatings: Starbright XLT
- Single Fork Arm Altazimuth Fully Automated GoTo Mount
- 1.25” Star Diagonal
- Starpointer Finderscope
- Steel Tripod with 1.25” Legs
- Starry Night Special Edition Software
- Computerized Hand Control
The Celestron NexStar 8SE is a catadioptric telescope that can be enjoyed by both young and old. Celestron is renowned for creating products that aren’t too technical but have enough features to keep you captivated. A large 8-inch aperture scope provides enough lighting to have a spectacular view of the Moon and planets in our solar system as well as deep-space objects such as the Hercules Globular Cluster and the Whirlpool Galaxy. Catadioptric telescopes use a combination of lenses and mirrors
This particular model uses a GoTo mount which will allow you to automatically locate and track any of 40,000 celestial objects contained in its digital database. There’s no need to spend hours trying to find amazing sights in space since it uses SkyAlign technology to get you set up in a matter of minutes. SkyAlign works by selecting any three objects in the night sky which then allow the telescope to triangulate your location, no matter where you are in the world.
The included tripod is very strong and sturdy, made of stainless steel, and is easily disassembled into separate components for easy transportation when needed. The mount is a single fork arm mount, which is what makes this telescope so easy to control compared to one using an equatorial one.
The mount and other parts of the scope are made of high-quality materials that guarantee a long-lasting life for the instrument as long as you don’t go around abusing it purposefully.
Besides those, the NexStar 8SE has got a lot of other cool features to take advantage of. Wide imaging makes it possible to use a DSLR to snap wonderfully clear photos using a digital camera. The telescope can be controlled remotely using an iPhone or iPad thanks to Celestron’s advanced technology called SkySync. GPS functionality can also be added to SkySync.
Magnification levels of up to 150x and 200x can be achieved by using the included eyepieces, although it can reach even higher – up to 480x – by using a Barlow lens. This piece of equipment gathers approximately 77% more light compared to a 6” NexStar telescope. Since it uses mirrors, it’s possible for the mirrors to become misaligned after a fall which will mean that you’ll have to re-collimate them in order to restore a clear picture to the viewfinder.
One final point that needs to be mentioned is about the power supply. Since the GoTo controller and handset are digital, you’ll need to power them up with AA batteries. However, these won’t last very long especially if you use the scope for hours at a time during observation sessions.
The problem is that Celestron does not provide you with a power cable or AC adapter to use as an additional power source, so it’s recommended that you purchase either of these separately right away if you intend on using the telescope for long periods of time.
|Has plenty of advanced features||Needs an additional power source|
|Made of good-quality materials||The eyepiece may vibrate when attempting to focus|
|Can view deep-space and terrestrial||Mid-priced|
|Good for astrophotography|
|Not difficult to set up or install|
To conclude our review, let’s just say that the Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope is a wonderful and extremely intelligent piece of equipment that can bring all the joys of astronomy without having to deal with the little nuances. The GoTo and tracking motor alone will literally save you so much time from having to find specific objects manually and adjust the scope to a certain location and magnification setting. Based on the number of features that are jam-packed into this device, we certainly think that it’s worth the price tag that Celestron has slapped on.
GPS and WiFi technology in computer-controlled telescopes can be extremely handy for certain situations and makes this item even more of a steal. You can simply set it up in your backyard, walk away, and relax on the couch in the living room while having it scan the skies. Celestron also makes it a point to keep customers in the loop as far as updates to their technology, so you can expect that if any firmware changes are made to the digital controller, they will send you an email to let you know.