Celestron Nexstar 8SE Review

Ever since its invention, the telescope was a marvellous contraption – even the simplest designs were pretty complex in nature, and they offered the world what was deemed impossible at the time, which is a glimpse into the vast, wide unknown.

Even though it’s more than clear that massive leaps and advancements in technology in this particular sphere have made telescopes even more mind-boggling, Celestron’s Nexstar 8SE took it onto an entirely different level. This telescope features in my list of the ultimate best telescopes available right now.

It’s surprisingly portable and comes supplied with bleeding-edge technology and features, including brilliant optics, a highly convenient mount, and a very plain, straightforward Red Dot finder that makes it easy to use for veterans while also making it very accessible and rewarding for beginners too. Today we’re going to discuss at length every benefit it has to offer while mentioning the potential pitfalls you should know about.

Celestron Nexstar 8SE – At first glance

This telescope model is, by all means, futuristic and it would be pretty fair to say that it belongs in Sci-Fi movies more than it belongs in the world of today. Luckily, it’s here for all astronomy enthusiasts, beginners, and professionals to use and marvel at the secrets of the universe.

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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
  • NEXSTAR COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPE: The NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers.
  • 8-INCH APERTURE: The eight-inch primary mirror in this Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for adults and kids to be used together packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that our Solar System has to offer, while retaining a compact form factor.
  • FULLY-AUTOMATED GOTO MOUNT: Featuring a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects, the GoTo mount built into our telescopes for astronomy beginners automatically locates and tracks objects for you.
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE AND BREAK DOWN: The single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all assemble and break down from separate components for easy transportation. SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready in minutes.
  • BONUS FREE STARRY NIGHT SOFTWARE: The NexStar 8SE Telescope includes a FREE download of one of the top consumer rated astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation.

Its dimensions measure 42 inches by 23.7 inches by 13 inches, which means that it’s quite petite in comparison to average Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. Furthermore, it weighs approximately 40 pounds; although that’s not necessarily lightweight per se, it is very portable still.

The first thing that comes to mind when looking at its design is its short tubing. Don’t be into thinking it is meant for short-range space observation –it’s quite the opposite. It packs some of the most advanced optical features that excel in both long and short-range space viewing, but we’ll get to that in due to time.

Everything you need to know about Celestron’s Nexstar 8SE is that it’s a computerized digital telescope that packs a massive punch for the buck.

Manufacturer specs

If you’re a professional who wants to have a quick and clear overview of the most notable features and characteristics of Celestron’s Nexstar 8SE telescope, consult the details below:

Design type: Schmidt-Cassegrain

Aperture: 203.2 mm (8 inches)

Focal Length (FL): 2032 mm (80 inches)

Focal Ratio (FR): f10

Finderscope: Star Pointer™ Red-Dot

Max useful magnification: 480x

Min useful magnification: 29x

Optical coating type: Starbright XLT

Dovetail: CG 5 Dovetail Bar

Mount type: Alt-azimuth outfitted with Goto-motorised tracking

Actual Dimensions: 42 inches by 23.7 inches by 13 inches

Weight: 48.9 pounds

Main Features

The first and probably most important feature of Celestron’s Nexstar 8SE telescope is the 8-inch Aperture. Truth be told, it’s pretty common for a telescope with such a price tag to have a large scope, although it’s also true that an 8-inch aperture is a wonderful feature to have, not to mention that its focal length of 2032 millimeters is absolutely brilliant.

Optics-wise, this telescope boasts maximum magnification of 480x, which basically means that you will be able to spot pretty much anything up to Neptune, which basically covers our entire solar system.

Of course, this refers to ‘theoretical maximal magnification’, which also means that its performance is prone to minor chromatic aberrations when you rig the scope to its max capacity. Further at that note, Nexstar 8SE sports a top-shelf mirror with a superb focal ratio. It also rocks Celestron’s patented E Lux 25 millimeter Plossl eyepiece to complement the astonishing quality of the optics.

Optics Quality

Essentially, you’ll be able to spot (almost) every single celestial body in our solar system as Nexstar 8SE packs an exquisite 8-inch mirror that boasts up to 480x magnification. This includes phases of Mercury & Venus, every single detail of the Moon, Mars’s ice caps, dust storms, or albedo shading, Jupiter’s bands and its moons, rings of Saturn, and then finally, Neptune and Triton.

Of course, you’ll need to position your 8SE appropriately and pray for at least decent weather, but the former shouldn’t be a problem given the fact that this telescope boasts exceptional transportability.

Pros

In a nutshell, the best things about Celestron’s Nexstar 8SE are that it offers superb optics, it is lightweight and fairly light, and its Goto tracking is absolutely phenomenal. The sheer fact that you can take a peek outside the realms of our solar system with it speaks volumes about its optical quality, which is obviously its main forte.

The mount of Nexstar 8SE is one of the finest telescope mounts on the market of today. It’s a computerized modified alt-azimuth single-fork mount boasting 12 pounds of load capacity, an accessory tray, nine slew speeds, as well as Sidereal, Solar & Lunar tracking rates. The fact that it is lightweight and durable enough to withstand so much weight gives us a clear perception of just how great it is for on-field use.

The best thing about it, however, is that it comes with a pre-installed NexStar+ Database, which is comprised of over 40,000 celestial objects and 200 user-defined programmable objects.

What’s more, you’ll be set to use it straight out of the box as it also comes with integrated Celestron’s Starry-Night software and the Sky Portal app. Overall, this is definitely one of the best telescopes you can find in the price range.

Cons

 The main downsides of this telescope are its somewhat limited battery and flimsiness of some of its parts. Both of these ‘downfalls’ of sorts shouldn’t present much trouble as they are amendable. Maintain your telescope well and you can rest assured that the plastic parts survive for years and years. On another hand, batteries can always be changed or recharged, so this is definitely not a long-term issue or a fault in 8SE’s design.

Conclusion

Although it is just slightly pricier in comparison to an average telescope, Celestron’s Nexstar 8SE offers so much; in fact, most similarly priced models are of subpar quality in virtually every aspect of performance, starting with the quality of the optics, over the quality of the mount, down to its versatility. We highly recommend it to everyone and anyone looking to get the most value for their money.

About Derek

Hey! I'm Derek, I've been interested in astronomy since.. well, forever! I'm an engineer by trade, but I've been playing around with telescopes for many years. I hope to impart some of the knowledge I've learned over the years onto you!

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