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. Software package valued at over $100 included free with your NexStar SE Telescope!
General Features for the Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope
- 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
- SE combines the classic heritage of the original orange tube telescopes with the latest state-of-the-art features
- StarBright XLT high transmission coatings come standard
- Quick-release fork arm mount, optical tube, and accessory tray for no-tool setup
- Celestron's unique patented single fork arm with integral hand control design provides a rigid and smooth operating structure for the optical tube
- 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
Computerized Auto-Locating GoTo Technology
- Proven NexStar computer control technology
- 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-upgradable 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 goto features
- NexRemote telescope control software and RS-232 cable included for advanced control of your telescope via computer
Using the Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope
The NexStar 8SE is powered in the field by 8 AA batteries. How long the batteries last is highly variable. The more objects you have the telescopes slew to and the longer your observing sessions are will vary how long the batteries last.
Selecting Eyepieces for the Celestron 8SE Telescope
The NexStar 8SE Telescope includes a 25mm (81x the naked eye) eyepiece. This eyepiece is great to get you started with your new telescope, but to complete the viewing experience you will want to get more eyepieces. The NexStar 8SE Telescope comes standard ready for 1.25 Inch Format telescope eyepieces.
About Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes
Celestron’s excellent Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are compact and portable and represent the best all-purpose design for a wide variety of uses from terrestrial and deep sky viewing to astrophotography.
Catadioptrics use a combination of mirrors and lenses to "fold" (reflect) the light path and form an image. In a Schmidt-Cassegrain, the light enters through a thin aspheric Schmidt correcting lens. It then strikes the spherical primary mirror. It is reflected back up the tube and intercepted by a small secondary mirror which reflects the light out an opening in the rear of the instrument where the image is formed at the eyepiece.
Catadioptrics are the most popular and most modern type of telescope optical design and are marketed throughout the world in 3.5" and larger apertures. Catadioptric telescopes combine the practical advantages of lenses and mirrors while eliminating their disadvantages. They offer the clarity and contrast of refractors with the low aberration of reflectors. Catadioptrics have an average focal ratio of f/10, which is wide enough for all types of photography. They are also easier to maintain because all optical elements are solidly mounted and rigidly collimated. Catadioptric telescopes provide the best possible combination of light gathering power, long focal length, portability and affordability.
- Very versatile, best all-purpose telescope design
- Combines the optical advantages of both lenses and mirrors while eliminating their disadvantages
- Excellent optics and razor sharp images over a wide field
- Excellent for deep sky observing and astrophotography as well as terrestrial viewing
- Very good for lunar, planetary and binary star observing
- Focal ratio generally around f/10, it also has the best near focus capability of any type of telescope
- Closed tube design reduces image-degrading air currents
- Extremely compact and portable
- Easy to use, durable and virtually maintenance free
- Large apertures at reasonable cost and less expensive than equivalent aperture refractors
- More accessories available than with other types of telescopes
- More expensive than Newtonians of equal aperture
- Slight light loss due to secondary mirror obstruction compared to refractors The Maksutov-Cassegrain is similar to the Schmidt-Cassegrain with essentially the same advantages and disadvantages. It uses a thick meniscus correcting lens with a strong curvature and a secondary mirror that is usually an aluminized spot on the corrector. The Maksutov secondary
NexStar 8SE Telescope, Tripod, 25mm eyepiece, Finderscope, NexRemote software, \The-Sky\" software"
Dimensions & Specifications
Good for Astrophotography
Highest Useful Magnification
Single Fork Arm-Altazimuth
Objective Lens Size Code
Viewing Galaxies/Star Clusters
Viewing the Planets
Viewing the Moon
Celestron NexStar SE Telescopes
For the Expert
DocumentationDownload Celestron NexStar 8SE Instruction Manual
Download Celestron NexStar 8SE Quick Set-Up Guide
We stand behind all the products we sell, and your satisfaction is our top priority. If you're not satisfied with the quality of your purchase, simply send the item back to us in its original packaging within 30 days of its delivery.
Celestron has a limited lifetime binocular and spotting scope warranty and all other products have a 2 year manufacturer's warranty covers against defects is provided. If you have specific questions about this product's warranty please contact Celestron's Customer Service department at 310-328-9560.
Return & Exchange Policy
At our site, returns are easy! You may return new, unused, and resalable items for a refund or exchange. Simply ensure that the item is returned in its original product packaging within 30 days of delivery.
Q1: 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.
Q2: 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.
Q3: 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.
Q4: 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.
Q5: 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.
Q6: 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.
Q7: 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.
Q8: 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.
Q9: 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.
Q10: 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.
Q11: 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.
Q12: 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.
Q13: Is the Nexstar 8 suitable for astro-imaging?
A: Yes, you can do astrophotography with the Celestron NexStar 8 SE telescope.
Q14: 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.
Q15: 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."