Celestron NexStar 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, Special Edition Package with Orange Tube & XLT Coatings

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List Price: $2,039.95

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About Celestron

Celestrons signature orange-tube telescope combines advanced features and excellent optics in one easy-to-use system, the NexStar 8SE. Its the perfect choice for your first serious telescope, offering impressive views at an economical price.
Our Founders Vision, Reimagined for the 21st CenturyIn the 1970s, the classic Celestron 8 brought the hobby of astronomy to the masses and established Celestron as the worlds premier telescope maker. Our founder, Tom Johnson, invented Celestrons proprietary method of producing Schmidt corrector plates for superior views and maximum portability. Johnson believed in creating high-quality optical instruments at an affordable price, and inspired a generation of amateur astronomers.
Four decades later, weve improved upon this design by adding cutting-edge features, while staying true to our founders intent.
Big Mirror, Small PriceWith a full 8"es of aperture, the 8SE reveals details in even the faintest celestial objects. With this much light-gathering ability, youll clearly observe Cassinis Division in Saturns 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 dont forget the Moonyoull see craters and geographic features like never before.
Revolutionary Single Fork Arm MountWe know the best telescope is the one you will use most often. Thats why Celestrons engineers created NexStar SEs unique, patented single fork arm mount. Its perfectly portable and makes setup quick and easy. Whats more, the NexStar SE breaks down into several lightweight and compact pieces, making it easy to transport, even in small vehicles. Youll have no problem getting the NexStar SE to your favorite observing site, or setting it up quickly in your backyard.
Of course, its whats 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 YouThe 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 youre interested in astroimaging, the NexStar SE is Fastar-compatible for ultra-fast, wide field imaging. For planetary imaging, theres 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.

For two years, Celestron will cover repairs or replacement of this product in cases of defective components or damage from normal wear and tear.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Quality lenses (9),Strong construction (9),Accurate (6),Compact (5),Easy to use (5)
Heavy (3),Unstable (3)
Best Uses:
Astronomy (13)
Reviewer Profile:
Casual/ recreational (9),Avid adventurer (3)

Celestron Features

  • The worlds 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.
  • SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready to observe in minutes. Even if youre 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.

Celestron Specifications

Optical Design
Aperture (mm)
203.2 mm (8 in)
Focal Length
2032 mm (80 in)
Focal Ratio
Focal Length of Eyepiece 1 (mm)
25 mm (0.98 in)
Magnification of Eyepiece 1
81 x
Star Diagonal
Mount Type
Single Fork Arm Altazimuth
Steel (sku 93593)
Power Requirements
8-AA batteries (not included)
Highest Useful Magnification
480 x
Lowest Useful Magnification
29 x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude
Resolution (Rayleigh)
0.69 arc seconds
Resolution (Dawes)
0.57 arc seconds
Light Gathering Power
843 x
Apparent Field of View
0.63 degree
Linear Field of View (@1000 yds)
33 ft (10 m)
Secondary Mirror Obstruction
2.5 in (64 mm)
Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Diameter
Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Area
Optical Coatings
Starbright XLT
Optical Tube Length
17 in (432 mm)
Total Telescope Kit Weight
24 lbs (11 kg)
Tripod Weight
9 lbs (4.08 kg)
Slew Speeds
Nine slew speeds
Tracking Rates
Sidereal, Solar and Lunar
Tracking Modes
Alt-Az, EQ North & EQ South
Alignment Procedures
SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, Solar System Align
Communication Ports
RS-232 communication port on hand control, Autoguider port, Aux port
Computer Hand Control
Double line, 16 character Liquid Crystal Display with 19 fiber optic backlit LED buttons
40,000 objects, 200 user defined programmable objects. Enhanced information on over 200 objects
2-year Telescope Warranty

Reviews about this item

Review Snapshot®


(based on 14 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Excellent all purpose telescope

[...] Comes with 6 element 25 mm 1.25" Plossl' eyepiece, 1.25" diagonal, 1.25' visual back, easy to use finderscope, aperture cover, tripod, and accessory/eyepiece tray. Manual and quick start guide are well written. Set-up in minutes. Can use 8 AA batteries or connect an external source via 12 Volt connector (12 Volt car accessory or AC adapters are available as accessories). Since the single fork-arm must power motor(s) and the controller, the AA batteries will not last long if you do a lot...

View full Review

[...] Comes with 6 element 25 mm 1.25" Plossl' eyepiece, 1.25" diagonal, 1.25' visual back, easy to use finderscope, aperture cover, tripod, and accessory/eyepiece tray. Manual and quick start guide are well written. Set-up in minutes. Can use 8 AA batteries or connect an external source via 12 Volt connector (12 Volt car accessory or AC adapters are available as accessories). Since the single fork-arm must power motor(s) and the controller, the AA batteries will not last long if you do a lot of slewing. I have milked 4 hours out of them before. Optics are good quality with no imperfections or dust. Out of the box collimation was excellent. It even comes with a small bubble level to level the tripod. It is lightweight, portable and pretty stable on its tripod. Settles in 2-3 seconds after a normal bump. Definitely a grab and go telescope. If you store it with the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA) attached to the single fork-arm, then all you have to do is grab the OTA/fork-arm assembly and the tripod, step outside, connect the tripod to the OTA/fork-arm assembly via the 3 screws attached to the tripod, power up and viola you are ready to view planets, stars, nebula, and galaxies (if you have decent seeing conditions). The OTA is not only detachable (simple clamping with a knob handled screw), but can be adjusted forward and backward of the fork-arm to maintain balance if you have heavy eyepiece assemblies or a camera. This allows you to create clearance between the OTA back and the single fork-arm assembly base. The boxes it came in can be used for storage and transport. Everything worked well. The NexStar controller gives you several alignment options as well as multiple ways of selecting objects. It contains a user defined portion in its database and provides info on objects you have selected. It has 9 slewing speeds and 6 tracking modes (Alt-Azimuth, North and South EQ, Sideral, Solar and Lunar). Its default mount and tracking is Alt-Azimuth, but you can purchase a wedge accessory for the 2 equatorial tracking modes and use it for astrophotography. The NexStar controller has several quick alignment modes. The one I use is the 3 Star Align method. Just input your latitude and longitude (or alternatively, select the closest city to you from their database), put in the date and time, then select 3 bright sky objects, by centering them one at a time in the eyepiece and entering them into the controller, then let the controller calculate and align the scope to your sky and you are ready. Once you know how to do this, then it only takes a few minutes. I highly recommend it for entry-level or intermediate users. I even found Celestron Customer Service to helpful the one time I called to ask a question. [...]


Most Liked Negative Review


Junk telescope

Junk. Telescope would not mate with tripod. I had to fabricate new mounting hardware. Hand controller cannot be re-mounted in its recess. Telescope will not respond to manual commands while auto-tracking. Celestron tech support takes weeks to respond, all they could offer was "Gee, it should work." My next telescope will not be a Celestron.

Reviewed by 14 customers


Really Nice!


from Miami, FL  -  Avid Adventurer

Nice Telescope. I didn't know if buy this telescope or not. I take the risk and now, I'm Very happy. It's a great telescope. Easy to use and very beautiful. I'm really happy with my purchase.


Great Telescope for the price!!


from Martinez, CA  -  Casual/ Recreational

I was the owner of the Original C-8 purchased in 1976 and had to sell it in 2003. It's haunted it ever since. I finally have another Celestron, although it's made overseas now...but under strict supervision from Celestron here in the states. I like the advancements they've made to the instrument. I'm not a professional astronomer but I've liked observing since I was a young kid. I do plan on getting the German mount for it soon and have 2 options on setup. One for observing and the other for astrophotography.


More use will tell, but so far, I like.


from Riverside, CA  -  Casual/ Recreational

The finder scope was hard to align in azimuth.


worth it.


from brooklyn ny  -  Casual/ Recreational

Only used it twice but so far so good.


ALL I have been dreaming of.


from Long Island NY  -  Casual/ Recreational

I take the scope out any night that its cloudless I love the optics they are Crystal clear. The scope dose exactly what its made for and then some. Its easy to assemble and operate. You do need to buy the power pack as it eats batteries. Overall it is worth every penny I paid for it.


Very good product


from Sydney, Australia  -  Casual/ Recreational

So far no negative issues, easy to set up, alignment is easy.Pricing is excellent - RRP in Australia is [$] - I bought from NY store while in USA & including my shipping cost home was still cheaper than the best discounted price in Sydney.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great scope. Software need to be simpler


from Lexington, SC  -  Casual/ Recreational

Setting up the computer is difficult if trees limit what you can focus on, plus it takes too long. It would be nice if it has a quick-track option whereby you could center an object, push a button, and 5 minutes later center it again and push a button, and the scope would know which direction to track. Then you could push another button to start the tracking. It wouldn't be precise, but a quick option if that is desired.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


ad blurbs are on the mark


from Chetek, WI  -  Casual/ Recreational

Back in the hobby after 30 years, Ive found this to be a great scope to re-learn the hobby and all the advances the computer age has wrought. One year after purchase the SE8*s shortcomings are not a deal killer. I was a total Luddite before I bought mine and had no trouble with the learning curve,and even learned to use a computer{!} so I could take planetary photos with a webcam....way cool..Downside...I don*t think it will last a long time mechanicaly and shakier than I*d like.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Good Scope for the Price Point


from Texas  -  Avid Adventurer

I've used the telescope for approximately 2 months now and it appears to be working as advertised. The tracking and goto features work well and will easily place the selected object within the field of view using the supplied 25mm eyepiece. At higher power (10-15mm) the goto is more hit and miss. The only major complaint that I have is with the large amount of mirror shift while focusing. It can be very annoying at high power. Otherwise, the optics and computer control appear to be good.

(1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Surprising quality for the money


from Reno, NV  -  Casual/ Recreational

I bought this scope with out actually ever seeing it. Something which I rarely do. I read as many reviews as I could. I found one bad one. That person seems to have gotten a lemon. I am an Electrical Engineer and work with things manufactured. As much as you may not want that to happen sometimes things go out that are not as you would have them... So the customer returns it... Hopefully you don't loose them. =o/ I have used the scope for two nights so far. The overall quality is great for the price. The scope has a solid feel and is a nice clean design. Optics are good. It's not a Takahashi. Nor does it cost 5 or 10k.. "There are good optics and cheap optics but there are no good cheap optics". Celestron maybe got close... I bought the AC power supply. The plug on it does not really mate up with the socket on the scope. It seems to be the plug on the power supply. Jiggle it the power goes out. REALLY annoying. I smashed the plug a bit and the problem is gone for now. At some point I will have to replace the plug. Additional note: Do not let your roommate set up the scope... Yeah, he is an Engineer too. It would not align. Turns out he had the wrong time and date when I checked it this morning. He messed up the military time. Oh well... I fixed it today. I am going to try it again tonight. Not sure how easy the align will be. I will try to write more later.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Michael R  Is there a manual for the Nextstar 8 and it's hand controller?
WILLIAM K  Yes manuals are included. They are brief but usable. I had sophisticated questions not answered in the small manuals but there are many users on line with the same questions and some answers.
Shopper  I have a CGEM mount for my refractor, due to heavy weight, I want to have Next Star 8 SE for its portability. how to use optical tube from this scope on CGEM mount, just in case if I want to?
CLIFF P  Sorry I do not know.
JERRELL D  I have trouble aligning the finder scope. I seems that AZ-ALT adjustments reach limits before I get the dot on target. Is it broker or am I forgetting something?
CLIFF P  Jerrell, The way to align the finder is to first place a known object, Ie. the moon, a planet or star, in the main field of view on the scope, this will need to be done manually by turning the scope by hand and sighting down the tube of the scope. Once the object is in the field of view, then align the finder by placeing the red dot on the object as viewed through the finder. It may be eaiser to do during the day on a fixed non moving object such as a tree or light pole at a distance, this will give you a rough alignment that can be refined at night. Remember not to look directly at the sun through the scope.
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