Introducing the Celestron NexStar SE, our bestselling computerized telescope, perfect for telescope newbies and seasoned amateur astronomers alike. The Celestron NexStar 8SE combines a large 8” aperture with smart design and grab-and-go convenience, making it an ideal choice for your first serious telescope.
The largest of the NexStar SE family, with 78% more light gathering than a 6” model, the NexStar 8SE will enable you to see deep into the universe. Go beyond the basics and view Cassini’s Division in Saturn’s rings, separation between double stars, hundreds of pinpoint stars in the Hercules Globular Cluster, and more. Celestron’s XLT optical coatings aid in light transmission so you get brighter views.
Despite its 8” primary mirror, the NexStar 8SE is anything but bulky. The Schmidt-Cassegrain optical design condenses the light path so the optical tube is just 17" long. With a lightweight single fork arm computerized mount and collapsible tripod, you can easily transport your 8SE in any small car and carry it to your favorite observing site.
The Celestron NexStar SE is a pleasure to use under the night sky. To get started, the hand control guides you through the simple SkyAlign procedure. Center any three objects in the eyepiece and your telescope can calculate its exact location and generate a list of objects currently visible. Choose from a database of 40,000 objects or let your telescope take you on a Sky Tour of tonight’s best objects.
Reminiscent of Celestron’s classic orange tube telescopes from the 1970s, but with all the latest technological advances, the NexStar SE is designed to grow with you. It’s compatible with all of Celestron’s latest telescope accessories: StarSense AutoAlign, which aligns your telescope automatically in less than three minutes, the SkyQ Link 2 WiFi Module for navigating the sky with your smartphone or tablet, and more. You can also attach an astronomical camera or your DSLR to get started with astrophotography.
Discover for yourself why the NexStar 8SE is a TelescopesPlus.com customer favorite.
Celestron NexStar SE Fast Facts
- Computerized altazimuth mount locates and tracks more than 40,000 celestial objects automatically.
- No tools are required for setup.
- All air-to-glass surfaces are coated with StarBright XLT optical coatings to increase transmission.
- It’s easy to keep your telescope’s database up-to-date; download the latest software for your NexStar+ hand control anytime at the Celestron website.
- NexStar SE runs on batteries, AC power (with optional adapter), or an optional rechargeable Celestron PowerTank.
- Control your telescope via your PC with the included NexRemote software.
- Included planetarium software features printable sky maps and enhanced images.
How Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes Work
Since their design was perfected by Celestron founder Tom Johnson in the 1960s, the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope has been a superior all-around performer for both terrestrial and astronomical viewing as well as astroimaging. Celestron’s versatile, cost-effective design has reigned as a top choice for most amateur astronomers.
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes and other “catadioptrics” use mirrors and specialized lenses to shorten the light path, giving them a much more compact design than other telescopes of a similar focal length.
First, the light passes through the Schmidt corrector lens on the outermost edge of the telescope. Although it appears flat to the naked eye, the Schmidt corrector is actually aspherical; its glass is figured for hours to achieve the desired shape. After passing through the corrector, the light strikes the primary mirror and reflects up to the secondary mirror. From there, it bounces back down and travels through to an eyepiece or imaging sensor at the back of the telescope.
- Best all-purpose telescope design; works for terrestrial observing, astronomical observing, planetary imaging, and deep sky imaging.
- Bright, razor sharp views.
- Extremely compact and portable.
- Easy to use, durable and virtually maintenance-free.
- Much less expensive than refractors of equal aperture.
- Compatible with a wide variety of telescope accessories.
- More expensive than Newtonians of equal aperture.
- Slight light loss due to secondary mirror obstruction compared to refractors.
NexStar 8SE telescope, full-height tripod, 25mm eyepiece, StarPointer red dot finderscope, NexRemote software, The Sky planetarium 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 warrants all of its products to be free from defects in materials or worksmanship. Celestron offers a limited lifetime warranty for binoculars and spotting scopes. All other products have a 2-year manufacturer's warranty, which covers repairs or replacement in cases of defective components. 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."