Celestron NexStar 8SE GoTo Detailed Review

There’s a lot to ponder when you look up at the night sky, mostly because the mysticism and wonder that surround the stars and heavenly bodies make our minds tick more than they usually would. What exactly are they? What are they for? And what do they look like up close? While we might not have the exact answers for those first two questions, the third one might be easier to give light to.

If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about stars and celestial bodies, then perhaps a stargazing hobby would be a good fit for you. While it can be fun to just sit out in your yard and look up towards the brilliant lights of the night, there are better ways to enjoy their dazzling beauty. Purchasing a telescope might seem uncommon to most people, but there are commercially available telescopes that offer ease of use and affordability for even the newbies. If you’re thinking about purchasing a high-quality telescope for your stargazing needs, then consider the Celestron NexStar 8SE GoTo Telescope.


At A Glance

The NexStar 8SE is a compact telescope that offers users a powerful stargazing experience. The NexStar 8SE is one of the more unique SE telescopes the company has released, thanks to its Schmidt-Cassegrain design. This allows the unit to provide high-definition images and crisp clarity in one, compact design. The optical tube is mounted on to the base via a single fork arm which enables even novices to construct and deconstruct the entire thing with ease.

Many users have regarded the NexStar 8SE as one of the most easily portable telescope units on the market making it ideal for bringing out on camping or picnic trips to enjoy the night sky from different perspectives. All together, the 8SE is a professional looking instrument that novices and advanced users would both love to add to their inventory.

The tripod and mount that come with the unit are fashioned from sturdy stainless steel. The tracking monitor it comes equipped with makes it easy for users to follow objects in the sky. If you’re interested in astrophotography, then this is a feature you might want to look into.

Of course, what would a Celestron telescope be if it weren’t orange? The NexStar 8SE pays homage to the classic Celestron trademark, making use of a bright orange body. Orange is probably one of the most well-known colors in the world of astronomy, and having the NexStar 8SE around makes it feel like you’re bringing back old family traditions.

Handling and Assembly

The NexStar 8SE is one of the easiest telescopes to assemble. First, the single fork mounting base makes connecting the optical tube so much easier than most other models. The entire thing weighs about 35lbs, which makes it relatively easy to move around especially when you’re looking for that perfect location. Because it’s so compact and lightweight, novices will have a wonderful time assembling and disassembling the entire rig anywhere they choose. It also comes equipped with SkyAlign technology a feature that makes locating stars and other bodies a cinch even for the most inexperienced of users.

Tech Specs

The Celestron NexStar 8SE comes equipped with an 8″ primary mirror which allows the unit to capture substantial light to provide crisp, high-quality images. It also has a 63.5mm diameter secondary mirror that makes the scope ideal for looking at deep-sky objects as very little light is lost. Of course, Celestron did not fail to coat the primary mirror with their trademark Starbright XTL coatings. Because of this ingenious addition, light becomes more evenly distributed making the output a whole lot crisper than many other telescopes available in the market.


The scope has a focal length of 2032mm, longer than that of its predecessor, the NexStar 6SE. This allows users to view objects that are much more distant. This is made even easier with the StarPointer Red Dot finderscope which is mounted on to the telescope. This feature makes it a cinch to locate heavenly bodies.

A 25mm eyepiece comes with the rig, which when combined with the focal length, allows users to magnify objects up to 81 times. The scope also features an erecting eyepiece for those times when your image isn’t upright. This allows the unit to be used even as a spotting scope for those interested in performing terrestrial observations.


Because some novices might have a hard time locating stars and objects with their eyes alone, the NexStar 8SE has come equipped with GoTo functionality which is a very useful and highly celebrated feature. This allows users to let the contraption find objects for you. Yes, that’s right, the NexStar 8SE GoTo system can locate objects for you with its detailed database of over 200 celestial bodies. It’s fairly easy to operate as well, using nothing more than a remote control and an LED display.


The Pros

The NexStar 8SE offers great convenience with its size and power. Because the unit is so easy to construct and deconstruct, it’s ideal for bringing along to those family get togethers or those lone getaways. It makes locating stars and heavenly bodies a cinch thanks to all the great features it provides such as the GoTo system, the StarPointer, and the SkyAlign technology. Even novices would feel like pros standing behind one of these powerful babies.

Aside from all that, when it comes to delivering high-quality images, the scope delivers. Thanks to the great big mirrors, you can expect to produce high-definition images with crisp clarity. Users have employed the aid of this scope for viewing some of the greatest wonders on other planets, like dust storms on Mars, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, and even Saturn’s icy rings. There’s really a lot of fun to be had when you purchase this powerful puppy.

The Cons

While it is an ideal telescope and definitely a smart choice, there are some downsides to the product. Some users have complained of noise when the product is in use, some have spoken of unnecessary vibrations, and others have complained of design inconveniences. But these are all things users have been able to forgo considering the high portability, image clarity, and great accuracy. What more could you ask for, really?

The Verdict

The Celestron NexStar 8SE is a high-powered telescope that comes in such a compact body. The scope offers high quality images and the ability to view deep-sky objects with its countless features and technologies. Those interested in astrophotography might be interested in this tool as it offers numerous features that make the task so much easier, and much more rewarding. All in all, it’s one smart piece of equipment that makes stargazing a cinch.

If you’re a novice stargazer or an experienced astronomer, the NexStar 8SE would definitely make the perfect addition to your collection. Although it does come at a steeper price than the Orion SkyQuest XT8, it does however offer some great big feature leaps that a lot of other products fail to provide.

The verdict? We think the NexStar 8SEwould make a great addition to anyone’s inventory, whether you’re a novice or an experienced user. The product offers state-of-the-art features, ease of use, and tons of power than make stargazing more than just a hobby, but a way of life.

Celestron NexStar 8SE GoTo Telescope Review by AmazingTelescopes team.

Check out The Celestron Accessory kit on Amazon.com


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