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Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

242 customer reviews
| 45 answered questions

List Price: $1,199.00
Price: $999.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Standard Packaging
  • 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, StarBright XLT high transmission coatings come standard
  • StarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objects
  • Quick-release fork arm mount, optical tube and accessory tray for no-tool setup
  • SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process
  • Nearly 40,000-object database with 200 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects
  • 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, StarBright XLT high transmission coatings come standard
  • StarPointer finderscope to help with alignment and accurately locating objects
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16 new from $999.00 2 used from $1,100.00
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope
  • +
  • Celestron 18778 AC Adapter (Black)
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  • Celestron Accessory Kit
Total price: $1,147.53
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Special Offers and Product Promotions

Style: 8-inch | Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope" and save 8% off the $1,199.00 list price. Buy with confidence as the condition of this item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the "Amazon A-to-z Guarantee". See all Used offers.

Technical Details

Product Description

Style: 8-inch | Product Packaging: Standard Packaging

Product Description

StarBright XLT high transmission coatings SkyAlign allows alignment on any three bright celestial objects, making for a rapid, efficient alignment process. It then functions as a 'go-to' system accepting commands through the handset and pointing the optical assembly toward any one of nearly 40,000 objects stored in its database. Using the (optional) CN-16 GPS accessory connection and an external GPS (not included), alignment is entirely automatic. NexRemote telescope control software and RS-232 cable included for advanced control of the telescope with a PC StarPointer finderscope helps with alignment and locating objects Flash-upgradeable hand control software and motor control units by way of downloadable updates Robust, computerized altazimuth mount Star Diagonal internal flip mirror for straight or 90-degree viewing angle. May also be used to rapidly switch from the eyepiece to a camera without disturbing telescope alignment Exceptionally sturdy steel tripod for long service and rapier-sharp astrophotography Review Celestron's Nexstar 8 SE telescope combines excellent optics and computerized "GoTo" tracking in a package that's light, portable and affordable. The legendary performance of Celestron's orange tube C8 telescope has been updated with high performance Starbright XLT coatings, and the single arm Nexstar mount now includes Celestron's easy to use "SkyAlign" technology.

Jupiter as seen through the Celestron NexStar 8SE special-edition computerized telescope
Jupiter as seen through the Celestron NexStar 8SE special-edition computerized telescope.

The Nexstar 8 SE upholds Celestron's reputation for quality optics. When I use an 11mm Plossl eyepiece (almost 200x magnification) for example, I can easily see the Cassini Division in Saturn's rings. When I look at Jupiter, the pale orange color of Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot is visible, and I've even been able to identify the polar caps and spot dust storms on the planet Mars. A 20mm Plossl eyepiece (about 100x magnification) is a good choice for viewing galaxies and star clusters. When I look at globular cluster M13 in the constellation Hercules the high contrast XLT optics show me a glowing snowflake made of hundreds of tiny pin-point stars! And a low power 32mm Plossl eyepiece is a good choice for views of larger deep space highlights like the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula.

Click for larger image.
The moon seen through the Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope.
(See larger image.)

Celestron's patented "SkyAlign" system makes the Nexstar 8 SE very easy to use. I just pick the nearest town from the built-in list, enter the date and time, and point the telescope at three bright stars. I don't need a star chart because "SkyAlign" identifies the stars for me. When I just want a quick look at the moon or a planet, I like to use the "Solar System Align" option. After entering the date and time, I just point the telescope at the moon and press the "Align" key. That's all it takes, the computer takes over and the telescope begins tracking quietly and accurately. At star parties I often have my Nexstar up and running while older computerized telescopes are still waiting for their alignment stars to appear in the twilight.

The Nexstar 8 SE comes with a simple red-dot finder scope and a basic 25mm eyepiece. You'll want to add a few good eyepieces to take full advantage of the Nexstar 8 SE's excellent optics. At the very least get Celestron's bargain priced Accessory Kit which includes high and low power plossl eyepieces, or treat yourself to some top rated Tele Vue eyepieces. At twenty-four pounds total weight, the Nexstar 8 SE is unusually light and portable for an eight-inch telescope. The drawback of course is that some people will find it too light. Like other Schmidt Cassegrain (SCT) telescopes there are plenty of optional accessories to upgrade this telescope with, such as heavy duty tripods and an optical finder scope. If you want to try astro-photography, however, check out Celestron's CPC 800 Telescope which features a heavy duty mount and tripod and an 8x50 optical finder scope right out of the box. --Jeff Phillips


  • Excellent optics
  • Easy computerized GoTo tracking
  • Light, portable and affordable
  • Plastic accessories
  • Short battery life
  • Too light for astro-photography

Product Details

Style: 8-inch | Package Type: Standard Packaging
User Manual [3.56mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 42 x 23.7 x 13 inches ; 16 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 48.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000GUFOC8
  • Item model number: 11069
  • Batteries 8 AA batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at November 1, 2003

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 195 people found the following review helpful By G. Smith on September 10, 2007
Style Name: 6-inchPackage Type: Standard Packaging Verified Purchase
We used our scope for the first time recently. I had read the manual and a lot of online materials before we received our scope so I was somewhat familiar with how to use it. I input our location using our place's longiture and latitude and used the unit's "two star" alignment setting since I could only make out two bright stars in our light-polluted location (Tokyo, Japan). After this, I input "Jupiter" into the hand controller and the scope slewed to the planet and placed it right in the center of the eyepiece's field of view. My family and I spent the next hour letting the scope swing around to various stars and binary systems that I couldn't see with my unaided eyes but showed up beautifully in the eyepiece. I recommend taking a look at Albireo in the list of "named stars" on the hand controller very highly.

I knew that a telescope, much like a camera, is a device that needs accessories. Therefore, before I bought the scope I purchased (used) a 9mm ocular, a barlow lens, a better star diagonal and a battery pack to power this thing. The car battery adapter I purchased with the scope. A lot of people don't use a case so I can understand why Celestron didn't include one with this to keep the price down. One of those plastic storage boxes should work well if you use the foam that comes with the scope to keep it in place.

The optics of the telescope and the special coatings on the optics are a great improvement over what I experienced 20 years ago with my first 5" SCT scope. The images are sharp and this scope is suitable for both planetary viewing and deep space objects. However, the deep space objects will require you to find a dark site to be really visable. Our first night of viewing included a look at M13, a globular cluster.
Read more ›
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333 of 346 people found the following review helpful By R. Bunch on January 23, 2007
Style Name: 8-inchPackage Type: Standard Packaging
The five stars represent my opinion about the scope. I'm a novice at astronomy, so I can't really make any comparisons. I can tell you, however, that this scope does everything I've ever read about it. I pulled it out of the box and put it together and it went to work just the way the book said. I've done some solar viewing and a little digital astrophotography. My major purpose for this scope is in the area of deep-sky astrophotography without spending multiple thousands of bucks. It may be a little overkill for a novice like myself, but I wanted a scope that I wouldn't outgrow, and one that is easy to accessorize. The only thing I can nit-pick on this scope is the motor drives on the mount. They work fine, but they make a little too much noise, and the sound indicates to me that the gear train is not high quality components. It does seem to run very smooth, though! And accurate, every time! If YOU take the time to accurately set it up and aim it, then IT will put what ever you ask for right in the middle of your field of view. The battery holder is a little tight on the 2000mah NiMH AA batteries that I bought for it, but since I plan to use the AC adapter I bought for it, that's not really a big problem. I wish Celestron had designed the bubble-level INTO the base of the mount rather than just leave it loose for the user to install with the double stick tape on it's bottom. I bought a larger level from an RV store and epoxied it to the top of the battery cover. It seems to be very accurate and my alignment seems to work every time. I recommend a good variety of eyepiece filters, a solar filter for the main aperture, a 45deg. upright diagonal, and several eyepieces to cover the range from about 4mm to 32mm.Read more ›
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126 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Ken N. Wickham on January 20, 2008
Style Name: 4-inchPackage Type: Standard Packaging Verified Purchase
Found this easy to use. I chose this one to buy as my first telescope after reading several reviews concerning a few different telescopes and comparing prices vs features.

The NexStar 4 SE telescope set up rather quickly. Sky align worked well, though sometimes the scope seemed to become less accurate as the hours went buy, and I tried to re-align to different stars but eventually I encountered the same alignment results.

The motor does sometimes jump and looses track of objects. Approaching the objects from a certain side seemed to help, as mentioned in the instruction book.

I did have to buy the additional eyepiece/filter kit. Clarity was rather good up to 6mm eyepiece, though the 4mm was pretty blurred, even for moon views.

Although the AC adaptor is a necessity for continuous power, I found out I already had one that fit my telescope from a car seat back massage/heater cushion which also had a car cig adaptor (which I bought for $19.99).

The computer info included in the hand controller is great though some of the 40,000 objects might not be viewable. I had problems finding some nebula and galaxies, maybe that are too faint.

I have seen Andromeda Galaxy, Orion Nebula, great Moon views, a very blurred mars view (cannot see any features), and extremely blurred Uranus (basically just blue color blurred).

I would have given it a 5 out-of 5 had the motor tracking been smoother, alignment stayed accurate. Besides that it met my expectations.
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Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope
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Price: $999.00
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