Amazon.com 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.|
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.
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
8 inches of light-gathering aperture doesn't get more portable than this! An 8 inch telescope is the right amount of aperture for viewing just about anything in the night sky. The Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope sets up and breaks down quickly (check out the video) and is great for taking to dark sky locations. The largest of the NexStar SE family with 78% more light gathering than a 6-inch model, the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope will enable you to see deep into the universe. The distinctive patented fork arm with ergonomically designed integrated hand control cradle gives solid support to Celestron’s classic 8-inch optics. The Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope features Schmidt-Cassegrain 8-inch aperture optics with Celestron's premium StarBright XLT coatings and a powerful 2,032mm focal length and f/10 focal ratio. The Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope has all the same features as Celestron’s most advanced computerized GoTo telescopes, including the revolutionary SkyAlign™ alignment technology, a sky tour feature, a database of over 40,000 celestial objects and easy to use hand control. The universe may be full of mysteries, but using the NexStar 8 SE isn’t one of them. Whether you are a seasoned astronomer looking for a portable scope with advanced features, or just starting your astronomy adventure and looking for an easy way to enjoy the night sky, a Celestron NexStar SE telescope will help you take a closer look. Every Celestron NexStar SE telescope includes a version of The Sky software Level 1 Planetarium Software for exploring the Universe on your PC and printing out custom star charts of the sky. In addition, you receive the Celestron NexRemote software that allows you to operate your telescope via your PC.