Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope Review [Should You Buy This Telescope?]

by Daniel Pitts

Gazing stars during the night is one expensive hobby. Fortunately, there are a handful of reasonably-priced telescopes such as the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope that can fit any beginner’s budget. Finding stars using the telescope is easy. With its patented SkyAlign technology, you don’t have to wait for long until you track the star that you are looking for.

The Celestron NextStar 8 is a very high specification, very powerful, fully computer controlled telescope. With its’ great features, and high quality, it is, unsurprisingly, a pretty expensive piece of equipment, but if you want fantastic results, with easy tracking of objects, then this telescope is the one to get.

Product Features

Excellent Views from Its Powerful Optics

The Celestron NexStar 8 SE does not skimp with the quality of its optic lenses. It uses an 8” Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope equipped with a large aperture to capture the stars, the planets, or the moon in full detail. More than that, the telescope comes with high transmission StarBright XLT coatings that give a sleek look to the machine.

Equipped with a Unique SkyAlign Technology

The NexStar 8 SE is a very user-friendly item to use. It is fit for beginners who have no technical knowledge as to finding the exact locations of the celestial bodies. With simple settings and a few seconds, the telescope will automatically scan the sky to search for the stars and align in place.

Object Database of At Least 40,000

Users can simply select their preferred object from the 40,000 database of the NexStar 8 SE . There are many different items to choose from such as Messier, Solar System, and NGC objects. After that, the telescope will automatically scan and align the object that has been chosen by the user.

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Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope

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  • 8” Schmidt-
  • Cassegrain Telescope with StarBright XLT High Transmission Standard Coatings
  • StarPointer FinderScope and SkyAlign
  • Optical Tube and Quick Release Fork Arm Mount
  • Estimated 40,000 Object Database Coupled with 200 User-Customizable Objects
  • Dimensions: 45 x 25 x 13 In.
  • Weight: 16 Lbs.
  • Battery: 2000mah AA, Power Cord Sold Separately
  • Warranty: 2 Years

  • Equipped with excellent optics and imaging capabilities.
  • Perfect Go-To and object tracking performance and SkyAlign technology.
  • Produces and captures great images of the stars, the planets, and other celestial bodies.
  • Portable and lightweight for something that carries a large aperture size.
  • Easy to set up and relocate; portable.
  • Does not come with its own power cord.
  • Very short battery life.
  • The single fork arm and mount is sensitive to vibration when used for long periods.
  • The look of the NexStar 8 telescope has some issues such as unstable plastic fittings and other areas contain scratches on the metal.
  • Check the focus knob and the mirror as it shakes a lot during use.
  • Poor customer service.


This is the largest of Celestrons’ Nexstar family. It has an 8” aperture, for 78% more light gathering than a 6” telescope, and the more light you can gather, the clearer, and brighter the images.

The focal length is an impressive 2,032mm, which gives you strong magnification in a compact tube length. This is due to the ‘Schmidt – Cassegrain’ design, where light entering the telescope is bounced twice around inside the tube before being reflected into the eyepiece.

In all, this gives you a maximum useable magnification of 480x, which is a fantastic result for such a compact design.

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All mirrors and lenses are ‘StarBright XLT’ coated for superb clarity and long life. But the highlight of this product, and the reason it is so popular, is the Nexstar computer technology that finds and then tracks objects for you, with very little operator input needed. With 40,000 objects in the database, you are never going to run out of objects to view, and that can be updated by connecting the tracking equipment to your PC, using the NexRemote software and RS232 cable supplied.

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Aligning the telescope is easy, with Celestrons’ patented SkyAlign technology, which can be set up by focusing on any 3 objects, using the attached StarPointer finderscope. You then use the LCD hand control to enter the details of what you wish to view, and the DC servo motors will move the optical tube to the correct position, tracking the object as it moves around the sky.

If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, as full instructions are included, with a handy ‘quick start’ guide if you want to get going in a matter of minutes.

The Celestron Nexstar 8 is held up by sturdy steel legs, locked in position by a handy accessory tray. With telescopes of this power and precision, it’s important to have a solid base to rest on, as any shaking will make it difficult to see very distant objects clearly, so strong legs are a welcome, and essential feature.

It all fits together easily, using patented quick-release fork arm mounts, so you don’t need any tools to attach the tube, mount, and tripod together.

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Overall, the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope is a great product. Many customers have been raving about its excellent optics performance and it shows on the images played out by the telescope. However, there were also reviews that tell about Celestron’s unreliable customer service.

It would be wise to search for details regarding this though so prospective buyers of the NexStar 8 would not have difficulties with their warranty.

Daniel Pitts

Hi, Daniel Here! When I'm not busy working at my own startup, you may find me roaming around the Univers and whats beyond our sky, telescope is a must.