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Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope
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- The world’s most beloved telescope! The classic, 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain revolutionized amateur astronomy in the 1970s. Now, the iconic “orange tube” design is updated with all the latest features to provide the best stargazing experience for beginners and experienced observers alike
- Large, 8-inch aperture with excellent light-gathering ability provides spectacular views of the Moon and planets, along with deep sky objects like the Whirlpool Galaxy and Hercules Globular Cluster
- Fully automated, GoTo mount with database of 40,000+ celestial objects automatically locates and tracks objects for you. Alignment Procedures : SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, Solar System Align
- SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready to observe in minutes. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the night sky, you can easily align your telescope on any three bright objects
- Unique single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all break down into separate components for easy transport and quick assembly.Apparent Field of View:0.63°.Dovetail:Vixen / CG-5 Dovetail bar
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From the manufacturer
Your Journey Through The Cosmos Begins Here
Celestron’s signature 'orange tube' telescope, designed to deliver one of the best stargazing experience for users of all levels
Fast Setup with SkyAlign
Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign procedure has you ready to observe in minutes. Center any three bright objects in the eyepiece and NexStar SE aligns to the night sky, ready to locate thousands of stars, galaxies, and more.
Big Mirror, Small Price With a full 8 inches of aperture, the 8SE reveals details in even the faintest celestial objects. With this much light-gathering ability, you’ll clearly observe Cassini’s Division in Saturn’s rings, the cloud bands on Jupiter, and the Great Red Spot. Beyond the solar system, your 8SE will show you hundreds of pinpoint stars in the Hercules Globular Cluster, the spiral arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy, and more. And don’t forget the Moon—you’ll see craters and geographic features like never before. Revolutionary Single Fork Arm Mount We know the best telescope is the one you will use most often. That’s why Celestron’s engineers created NexStar SE’s unique, patented single fork arm mount. It’s perfectly portable and makes setup quick and easy. What’s more, the NexStar SE breaks down into several lightweight and compact pieces, making it easy to transport, even in small vehicles. You’ll have no problem getting the NexStar SE to your favorite observing site, or setting it up quickly in your backyard. Of course, it’s what’s inside the mount that really counts. Sturdy construction from high-quality components give NexStar SE the pointing and tracking accuracy needed to observe and follow your favorite targets with pushbutton ease. Use the included NexStar+ hand control to locate over 40,000 celestial objects, or take a Sky Tour and let your telescope show you the best objects currently visible. Aligning your telescope is simple and painless, too, thanks to SkyAlign. This process makes alignment as easy as 1-2-3: just center three bright objects in your eyepiece and press ALIGN. For even easier alignment, attach our StarSense AutoAlign and your NexStar SE aligns itself! Advanced Features Let the NexStar SE Grow with You The NexStar SE is compatible with all the high-tech accessories advanced users love. Control your telescope using your iPhone or iPad with our SkyQ Link, or add GPS functionality with SkySync. If you’re interested in astroimaging, the NexStar SE is Fastar-compatible for ultra-fast, wide field imaging. For planetary imaging, there’s no better choice than a NexStar 8SE paired with one of our Skyris cameras. From your first observing session and for years to come, the NexStar SE is your trusted companion.
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.
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
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Out of the box, however, so you are not disappointed, there is a bare minimum of two accessories that you MUST have:
1) Either an AC adapter to power the scope or a Celestron "PowerTank" or a car or motorcycle battery with a car adapter cord to plug in to your telescope. I have the Celestron Power Tank 17. The power tank uses cigarette lighter style power cords which you can also plug into your car's dashboard if observing remotely next to your vehicle and you buy the car adapter. Although the scope can run on AA batteries, it will eat them up in less than an hour, rendering the scope slow and eventually unusable.
2) Buy a dew shield (Celestron #940009 for 8" scopes) , which is only $23.00 or so...that will keep the night dew from forming on the front of the telescope's "corrector" (the front of the telescope) as the temperature drops at night.
The above is the bare minimum I would order if buying this telescope. Anything less will adversely impact the enjoyment of it.
Expectation management: With the above, yes, in the summer in the Northern hemisphere, you can see the rings of Saturn and you can clearly make out Jupiter. It will blow your mind if you've never seen those planets with your own eyes. However, don't expect to see great detail and have the image fill up the view as some of the pictures in these reviews indicate. The human eye cannot see the color and detail that a long exposure (30 seconds or so) can reveal when you hook a camera up to this telescope. You will immediately want some eyepieces that allow you to zoom in further, so let me help you with that process.
I strongly recommend that you buy a 2" diagonal and eyepiece setup. Again, the scope, out of the box, only comes with a single 25MM 1.25" eyepiece, which has a narrow field of view and not enough magnification to really enjoy your first astonishing views that get you hooked on astronomy, like looking at Saturn and seeing the gaps in the rings.
Celestron sells a kit that has a diagonal, 2X Barlow Lens and three 2" eyepieces (Kit #94305 - $300.00). You can buy that for starters to get you going with 2" eyepieces at the lowest cost.
If you have the financial means to "do it all right the first time" without buying the same type of things twice, I would recommend that - instead of buying the 2" starter kit - you buy the Celestron 93527 2" diagonal, which has the Starbright XLT coatings and can be used with 2" eyepieces as well as the 1.25" eyepiece that comes with the telescope, the Celestron Luminos 2.5X Barlow lens (#93436) which will allow you to more than double your magnification with any eyepiece, and some better eyepieces.
Most people will tell you that you can get by with about three eyepieces initially. Here are some recommendations:
If money is no object, buy TeleVue. They are the high-end in the telescope world. Around $300-$800 each depending on what you choose. If you are going to spend that kind of money, join the CloudyNights forum and get some custom-tailored recommendations from other TeleVue users.
I'm going to stick to cheaper (but still good) products that are well respected and a good value.
First eyepiece: Meade Instruments Ultra Wide Angle 20mm 2-Inch Waterproof Eyepiece (7743), which you can get here on Amazon for around $120. With the aforementioned Barlow adapter, that will give you 20 MM and 8MM views.
Second eyepiece: Explore Scientific 82° 30MM eyepiece. In order to use it, you will have to add a longer dove-tail rail to your telescope to move the scope farther forward in the mount to balance it out.I use an ADM V Series Extra Long (VC-8XL). I had to cut the aft mount bracket to make it fit on this telescope. With the 2.5 Barlow, that gives you 30 and 15MM views.
You can buy Celestron Luminos eyepieces, but they sometimes suffer from Edge Of Field Brightness (EOFB) which some astronomers find distracting. If you go with Luminos, buy the 19MM and 23MM. I own those two, but they are not as good as the other two I recommended.
If you did not know it, in the telescope world, the smaller MM eyepeice means more zoom-in (greater magnification). You divide the focal length of the scope (2032MM for the Nexstar 8SE) by the eyepiece MM to get the zoom...Example: 2032/19 = 107x. You can use the diagonal and eyepieces I have recommended with larger Celestron telescopes should you upgrade in the future to an even larger telescope (I have a Celestron C11 on a CG5-ASGT mount as well).
This scope is perfect for a beginner, can be set-up in about 10 minutes, and aligns easily by pointing to three bright objects in the sky. It is the ultimate "grab-n-go" telescope. It is NOT ideal for astro-photography, as it is an Altitude/Azimuth (ALT/AZ) telescope and BOTH motors must run at the same time to track an object, which is not as precise as a German Equatorial Mount (GEM) where only one motor has to run to track an object. GEM's require polar alignment, which is a bit complex for the beginner.
If a bigger easy-to-use ALT/AZ scope is wanted, the next step up from the 8SE would be the CPC Deluxe 925HD (9.25") or CPC 1100 series (11")...or if you get into Astronomy and astro-photography, jump to a GEM telescope.
4 Stars since it does not include an AC adapter or DC cigarette lighter cord out-of-the-box. With those items, I'd give it 5!
Perfect value beginner telescope. Needs power adapter (AC, Cig lighter or powertank) and eyepiece upgrades to really be fun...
Battery Life: 4/10
Strength of tripod: 10/10
Light Gathering: 9/10
So this telescope is really cool and fun to use and I will buy an AC adapter later. This telescope is the best I have Ever Had and Is worth the $800.00
I live in a very heavy light polluted sky and no deep sky objects are visible to the naked eye. But when I look through the telescope I see the Orion Nebula(M42) very bright and clear. But when I type in Dumbbell Nebula(M27) I don't see a thing except several tens of stars. To see it you have to image it, I took 10 images 10 second exposure each (10x10s) and stacked them for a total of 100 second exposure . The Nebula was big, bright, and colorful(you can see the image in the product image gallery). So to see brighter/faint deep sky objects in a light polluted sky you have to image them with a camera. the faintest thing I have ever detected in any image is about magnitude 12(244 times fainter you can ever see with the naked eye).