Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope Review

I live just outside of London, which is an orange zone. I can only barely make out the Milky Way on a good night and there is an almost palpable orange glow in the sky at all times. Then, the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope let check the specs and what this Telescope can handle.

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope

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Here’s the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope Review

I took the NexStar 8SE out a couple of nights ago. It went like this:

  • M57 – The Ring Nebula. Only just visible in my finder, but it instantly jumped at my face when I switched to the main scope. Even with direct vision I could clearly see the oval shape of the ring reaching out to the 13mag star next to it. No hint of color of course, but the structure was clear. A wonderful sight.
  • The Double-Double (Epsilon Lyrae). At first I only saw two stars at 24mm, but when I zoomed in to 8mm and carefully refocused, I was able to split each star into two with enough space between them to drive a truck through. Wow! That was a first for me.
  • Albeiro. The nearby double star was glorious as usual. I found that viewing it at low magnification and slightly out of focus brought out the profound, highly saturated color contrast between the amber and blue stars best.
  • M13 – The Great Cluster in Hercules. This one has long been a favourite and the 8SE instantly resolved it into an explosion of tiny pinpoint stars on top of milky cotton wool. What a stunning sight.
  • M27 the Dumbbell. I hadn’t ever tried this one yet, but had read about Messier and Herschel barely making out the hourglass shape back in 1764 with large scopes. In the 8SE it quite clearly took a bowtie look, with the southern wing almost extending out to the nearby 11mag star.
    Breathtaking.
  • M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, another first. The GOTO slewed across the Big Dipper, grunted to a stop, but nothing appeared in the eye piece! I slewed around the area a bit to try to find it, but nothing! Eventually I got out my iPhone Starmap Pro atlas and star hopped to it. I was convinced I had the exact spot in the sky, but still nothing. At mag 7.7, it should be an easy find. Frustrated and tired at 3am, I started packing up and immediately noticed that my objective lens had fogged up completely. No wonder!

I carried the scope back inside and went to bed with a large grin on my face.

So, why do I love the 8SE so much?

  1. It’s large enough so that all objects in “Turn Left at Orion” look much more glorious than described in the book
  2. The GOTO is very precise and reliable. Alignment is quick and painless.
  3. Light and small enough to carry in and out of the house without any assembly or disassembly.
  4. A damn handsome piece of equipment too!

We gave the Celestron NexStar 8 SE Computerised Telescope 5 star Tech Review

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