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
The largest of the NexStar SE family with 78% more light gathering, the NexStar 8 SE 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 NexStar 8 SE features Schmidt-Cassegrain 8-inch aperture optics with our premium StarBright XLT coatings and a powerful 2032mm focal length and f/10 focal ratio. The NexStar 8 SE has all the same features as Celestron's most advanced computerized GoTo telescopes, including our revolutionary SkyAlign alignment technology, a sky tour feature, a database of over 40,000 celestial objects and easy to use hand control. Sturdy computerized altazimuth mount Ultra sturdy steel tripod with accessory tray Star diagonal provides more comfortable viewing position when observing objects that are high in the sky 40,000 object database with 200 user-definable objects and expanded information on over 200 objects SkyAlign allows you to align on any three bright celestial objects, making for a fast and easy alignment process Flash upgradeable hand control software and motor control units for downloading product updates over the Internet Custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number, the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars, variable star, solar systems, objects and asterisms DC Servo motors with encoders on both axes Autoguider port for long exposure astrophotography Double line, 16-character Liquid Crystal Display Hand Control with backlit LED buttons for easy operation of go to features