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Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

Item # HN-CELE258

Dimensions & Specifications

Aperture
203mm
Brand
Celestron
Component
.68 Arc Seconds Resolution, 14 Limiting Magnitude, .57 Arc Seconds Resolving Power
Eyepiece 1
25mm (81.28x)
Features
Alt-Az Mount, GoTo
Finderscope
StarPointer
Focal Length
2032mm
Focal Ratio
f/10
GPS
No
GoTo
Yes
Good for Astrophotography
Yes
Highest Useful Magnification
480x
Lens Coating
StarBright XLT
Mount Design
Single Fork Arm-Altazimuth
Object Database
40000 objects
Optical Design
Schmidt-Cassegrain
Recommended Usage
Viewing the Planets, Viewing Galaxies/Star Clusters, Viewing Nebulae, Astrophotography, Viewing the Moon
Star Diagonal
1.25 Inch
Telescopes Series
Celestron NexStar SE Telescopes
Warranty
2-Year Limited
Weight Complete
33 lbs.

Product Guarantee

Manufacturer Warranty

Return & Exchange Policy

  • Upgrade & Save!  Buy the NexStar 8 SE Bundle
  • View over 38,000 deep-sky objects automatically
  • Enjoy sky tours tailored to the date and your location
  • 8 inches of light-gathering aperture to view faintest objects
  • Compact and easily transportable Schmidt-Cassegrain design
Full Description
Images
Specifications
About This Brand
Guarantee & Returns
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope
 
4.5

(based on 102 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (62)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (77)
  • Accurate (73)
  • Quality lenses (67)
  • Compact (35)
  • Easy to use (32)

Cons

  • Heavy (8)
  • Difficult to focus (6)
  • Unstable (6)
  • Difficult to use (5)

Best Uses

  • Astronomy (93)
  • Low visibility (6)
  • Bird watching (5)
  • Bright conditions (5)
  • Travel (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual/ recreational (81), Avid adventurer (13)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (35), Yes (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Sweet Scope,but read for lessons learned

This is my first serious scope. I have had the 8SE for about three weeks now and it's time to give you my two-cents. It's been a learning curve, but if you take...Read complete review

This is my first serious scope. I have had the 8SE for about three weeks now and it's time to give you my two-cents. It's been a learning curve, but if you take my advice, you will benefit from my trial-by-errors.

(1) The arrival: The scope arrived in one box. The box was fully intact and appeared to withstand transport very well.

(2) Initial inspection and set-up: The set-up of the 8SE is very easy. There are three main components: The tripod, the optical tube assembly (OTA) and the arm that connects the OTA to the tripod. Upon inspection everything appeared scratch and blemish free. The glass in the OTA looked free from debris and in perfect condition. Overall the construction is solid.

(3) First views: With the default eyepiece that came with the scope I zoomed over to Saturn and I about wet myself! What a view! It got even better when I barlowed (add a 2x barlow lens that doubles magnification) the 23mm default eyepiece. I also purchased the Celestron accessory eye piece kit (this is where I got my Barlow lense). I enjoyed a pretty good view of Mars as well, but it only looked like a small brown ball; it must be really far away right now. I must say the scope came perfectly collimated (means the primary mirror and the secondary mirror are perfectly aligned).

(4) Alignment: After viewing Saturn and Mars I decided to formally align the 8se for its "go to" capabilities. I used the sky align procedure where I was led to believe that I could choose any three stars and that would suffice. Well, after choosing three random bright stars, the 8se told me that it was a success! So I told it to slew back to Saturn. Well it was in the neighborhood but not in the field of view (FOV). I tried again and again but couldn't get it to actually go to something and have it placed in the FOV.

Over the next few weeks I continued to struggle with getting "perfect" alignment. I turned to the net and found a great support group. The group is found on that search engine that starts with the letter "y" and ends with two "o". I finally got it right! Last night I was slewing all over the sky using the 8se's tour feature and I was viewing Messier objects and nebula all night long. So after two weeks, here's what you need to know to get perfect alignment!

A. Despite what Celstron says, how level your scope is, is the least important factor in the process. Sure your scope needs to be somewhat level, and as long as it's balanced anywhere near the middle (use the button size leveler provided with the scope) you're good to go.

B. If you happen to see your city listed in the databank and it's within 50 miles of your location, you're good to go and choose that for your site-location. If not, you can get your EXACT GPS coordinates from that huge search engine that starts with the letter "G" and has two "o" in it. I was able to use their maps and actually get exact cords for my physical address here in Vermont.

C. Time: It's critical that you enter the exact time within 10 secs. or so. You can also get the EXACT time from the internet, don't rely on your watch as seconds matter.

D. Choice in stars: You should always use Sky Align (a three star alignment process) if you want the BEST results. Here's what I found works perfect every time: Always, start with Polaris (the North Star) for your first bright object. The scope will tell you to choose and center your 1st object. So slew over to Polaris and hit ENTER, then it will tell you to use the direction buttons for final alignment. So here's where you need to listen to me. After hearing different methods from different users, here's the majority view of how to get it perfect and I can verify it does just that. NOTE: This may only work if you are in the Northern hemisphere.

Once you have placed Polaris into the FOV and you have hit ENTER, you will need to lock it in. Use the hand controller and move Polaris into the North-west Quadrant of the FOV. Then you ONLY (This is CRUCIAL) want to use the DOWN and RIGHT direction buttons to place it in the middle of the eyepiece. It helps if you de-focus the star too, this should make it look like a big glazed donut! If you overshoot or have to use any other button besides DOWN and RIGHT to place it in the middle of the FOV, start over! Move it back to the North-west quadrant and do it again. Once you have centered the big-glazed donut in the middle using only the DOWN and RIGHT buttons, hit the ALIGN button. So it's a two-step process, first you find the star, then hit enter, and then you move it to the North-west quadrant of the eyepiece and use the DOWN and RIGHT buttons each until It's in the middle of the FOV and hit ALIGN.
After Polaris, find a star somewhere in the South portion of the sky and repeat the process, next your third star should either be in the west or east part of the sky; think of making as large of a triangle as possible but avoid those stars either super-duper high in the sky, or low in the sky. If you use higher-magnification eyepieces during this process, you are sure to get better results as your room for error will be smaller.

NOTE: Both your "go-to" properties in the "scope-set-up" menu, MUST be set to "positive." Since this is the default setting, if you don't touch it, it will already be that way.

If you follow those steps above, your scope will love you and you will love your scope! I was able to finally start viewing nebula and Messier objects. Although, they have very little if any contrast, you will be able to recognize them by their shapes. I have a UHTC-LP eyepiece on the way, I hear that's supposed to help with contrast, we'll see. I live in Vermont, but kind of on the outskirts of Burlington, which is our largest city; hence some light pollution.

(5) Must have accessories. The reason I gave the scope 4 instead of 5 stars is because of what wasn't included. Running on batteries is just not going to cut it on this beast. You have to buy either the power tank or the power extension cord. Since I run my scope from my wooden deck off my balcony, I use the power supply cord. Also, I had major vibrations when I first got my scope and immediately ordered the suppression pads, they made a major difference and cut it down to half maybe more. I also have a 8-24 zoom lens that has been a constant on my scope. This basically allows you to find an object and frame it by zooming in without having to swap out eyepieces. I love this… and you may too! The other reason, I didn't give it five stars is because the provided Sky software doesn't work with Vista. Instead they (Celestron) referred me to a sight where they wanted $300+ dollars for a version of the software compatible with Vista… sigh…

(6) Conclusion: I love this scope! I wish the directions would have told me that the 8se computer can be a bit touchy when aligning. I think they would benefit in more satisfied customers if they shared in their directions what the consensus has figured out with regard to getting perfect reliable alignment everytime. Nevertheless, the optics are beautiful! The scope is incredibly well-made and affordable! I'm already beginning to save up for a 14 inch… aperture fever! Catch it!
Thanks for reading and clear skies!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Still Learning

This is my first scope. I wanted something of a higher quality right away instead of a cheaper scope that I could not see enough with. I have tried the alignment process but have...Read complete review

This is my first scope. I wanted something of a higher quality right away instead of a cheaper scope that I could not see enough with. I have tried the alignment process but have had problems, perhaps due to the scope not being perfectly level. Also tried fo algin on a nite with a bright moon and could not see a lot of other bright objects to align with. I will try again wjhen the moon goes down. The views of the moon were very nice,especially at the terminator line. I would recomend getting the AC adapter right away. I have read from other that this will chew up batteries and the are right. I have waited a long time for the chance to buy a good scope and I know that there is a learning curve. I have a friend in Arizona who has coached me through this. Thanks to [@] in Tucson.

Reviewed by 102 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-5

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5.0

Excited

By Earl

from CIRCLEVILLE,NY

About Me Casual/ Recreational

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Compact
  • Easy to Use
  • Quality Lenses
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Astronomy

Comments about Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope:

Easy to construct.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
5.0

excellent service and communication

By Garry

from OMAHA,NE

About Me Casual/ Recreational

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Astronomy

    Comments about Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope:

    Very easy to order, delivery time was amazing and everything packed well.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    waste of money

    By disappointed

    from okc

    About Me Casual/ Recreational

    Pros

    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Difficult to Use
    • Heavy
    • Unstable

    Best Uses

    • Hunting

    Comments about Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope:

    this thing will not align. says alignment accepted. turn it off, turn it back on and prompts you to begin alignment. AGAIN. shouldn't have to deal with this considering the cost of this poc

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    great scope

    By William

    from LOUISVILLE,KY

    About Me Avid Adventurer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to Use
    • Great Scope
    • Lightweight
    • Quality Lenses
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Astronomy

      Comments about Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope:

      The telescope was delivered in two days. Setup was easy. Views were fantastic. No problems everything was great. Service, product, everything was great.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Wow what a great scope

      By Victor

      from Florida

      About Me Casual/ Recreational

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Compact
      • Easy to Use
      • Quality Lenses
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Astronomy

      Comments about Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope:

      This telescope is amazing very well built if you thinking of buying it I really don't think you will regret it.
      My dauhter and myself spent 4 hours the other night under the sky with this scope and seeing Jupiter and Orion's nebula with her was worth the money I paid for this scope alone . You can't put a price on memory's . We were both in amazed and had a great time .
      Things you must have and know.
      Dew shield a must.
      Battery pack a must.
      It's heavy .
      And last it takes over a hour to cool down before the images become sharp.
      If you can get the astrozap dew shield with heater built in works great I set it outside one hour before viewing to cool the primary and at the same time I crank up the heat on the dew shield for the corrector lens that works great .

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Displaying reviews 1-5

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      Customer Q & A

      15 Questions About This Product
      Q: "Is this a Schmidt or a Maksutov?  What does the 8 SE mean?"
      A: The Celeston NexStar 8SE telescope is a Schmidt-Cassegrain. SE stands for "Special Edition."
      Q: "Can you clearly see galaxies and the planets in them?"
      A: Yes, you can see galaxies and planets clearly in the Celestron NexStar 8 SE. Your view will not be like the pictures from the Hubble Telescope, however. The Hubble is a much larger telescope and is located in space, where there is no atmosphere to distort or obscure your views.
      Q: "Is the Nexstar 8 suitable for astro-imaging?"
      A: Yes, you can do astrophotography with the Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope.
      Q: "What do I need to get to use 2" eyepieces with this scope?"
      A: You'll need a 2-inch diagonal to use 2-inch eyepieces in the Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope.
      Q: "Using this telescope can you easily take clear pictures and upload to a computer for archiving?"
      A: Yes, the Celestron NexStar 8 SE will work seamlessly with most digital cameras and CCD imagers to capture images of the sky and transmit them to your computer.
      Q: "The tripod seems to be much sturdier than the one I currently own. However, I cannot imagine a single arm on the alt/az mount providing stable, shake free images. How does the single arm work to keep the telescope stable?"
      A: The Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope does surprisingly well with a single fork arm. Images are rock-steady.
      Q: "Is this scope for a beginner who is not all that mechanically inclined?"
      A: Yes, the NexStar 8 SE will work for a newbie who isn't all that mechanically inclined. Its SkyAlign and GoTo systems make easy work out of setup and object location. The NexStar 8 SE's 8-inch aperture will gather much more light than the 4-inch aperture of the ETX-105, allowing you to see farther and dimmer objects. It also will give you brighter, more detailed views of closer objects. No matter how big a telescope you have, an individual star is going to be a small pinpoint of light. However, Nebulae, Galaxies and the planets, as well as the moon, will show up in some detail. The Ring Nebula will be about dime-size. Saturn will be about the size of a dollar coin. Jupiter will be a little larger, and the Moon will more than fill your eyepiece. All this, of course, depends on how much magnification you're using, which in turn depends on how dark the sky is and how steady the atmosphere is on any given night.
      Q: "If I travel, can I use this scope in the Middle East and Southeast Asia?"
      A: There's no reason we're aware of that you could not use the Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope in the Middle East or Southeast Asia.
      Q: "Does the 8 SE weigh 33 lbs including the tripod? Or does the tripod weigh much more?"
      A: Total weight of the Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope is 33 pounds. That includes the weight of the tripod.
      Q: "Could you please tell me the dimensions of the package(s) which contain the Celestron NexStar 8 SE when it is sold?"
      A: The Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope ships in one box that measures about 42 x 24 x 13 inches.
      Q: "I have a Nexstar 130 SLT, but I cannot see much detail on the planets so i planned to upgrade and I was planning on buying Celestron C10-NGT because it seemed really adequate to planetary viewing. Any recommendations?
      A: The Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope will do a nice job for you with planetary or deep space viewing. It will not quite give the crystal-clear, crisp views of a refractor when used for viewing the planets, but it does offer MUCH more light-gathering ability than any affordable refractor, allowing you to do a better job of viewing deep space objects.
      Q: "What is the range of this Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope? I mean can I see the planets like Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto from here clearly? Can I see its surface from here?"
      A: The maximum magnification on this telescope is 480x.  The range of what you can see is based solely upon the eyepiece you have in the telescope when viewing.  The smaller the millimeter of the eyepiece, the more magnification the telescope will have. At its highest magnification, you would be able to locate all of the planets, as well as objects that are further away such as star clouds and clusters.
      Q: "Is the software for the 8 SE compatible with the Vista operating system. And does it have a usb connection?"
      A: Unfortunately this telescope does not work with Vista.  There should be an option on your computer that will allow you to "Run Using XP".  In this mode the software will be able to operate.  As long as you are running XP mode, you can drive the telescope with your computer and utilize all of the software.
      Q: "Do the NexStar telescopes (or any of this type) come with diagonals, or are they a separate item? The pictures all show one, but the descriptions don't mention one?"
      A: The NexStar telescopes come standard with a built on diagonal.
      Q: "Can the Celestron GoTo scopes be connected directly to a computer? If so, are they compatible with Apple computers?"
      A: Unfortunately the software that comes with all Celestron GoTo telescopes is not compatible with Apple computers. They require a Windows driven PC for direct connection.
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