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on 18 September 2017
This is a serious telescope, far better than expected, but quite large.
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on 9 January 2016
Excellent telescope! with a celestron 18mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow lens I was able to clearly see Jupiter and 4 moons and I live in London with 100% light pollution.
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on 9 January 2014
This is my first decent scope & im just learning how to use its many functions. So far I can say im very happy with the product although it did take its time to get to my house & the delivery date was changed from the 2nd jan to the 9th overnight so I ended up driving 20miles up the road to the parcelforce depot to collect myself as I was impatient to recieve it :) The scope & instructions are easy to use & setup. Right now im using the solar system allign method to get me used to navigating my way around ( very easy). So far I am very pleased but I wish they offered you more than just the standard 25mm plossl for the money your parting with. I am waiting to recieve my barlow & 7-24mm zoom in the post. Also the DC jack port to hook up the power tank isnt a good fit as it does have a little play from side to side which can cut out power to the scope is there is no batteries installed. All in all very happy though.
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on 28 April 2017
Easy to put together, easy to use, I'm a beginner so this does everything I want at the moment
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on 10 January 2014
I bought this telescope because it had good reviews and it did not disappoint, its very big and quite heavy, uses a lot of batteries, I purchased a celestron tank to enable me to use the scope anywhere without worrying about batteries running out. I am still learning how to use it but so far I am impressed with the detail of the near planets. I would recommend this telescope
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on 24 August 2016
It's a very neat telescope, it works out of the box and the guiding system is very easy to use. I wanted a telescope which can be setup easily in less than ten minutes as chances are that, when kids are involved, (which was part of the reason why I bought the telescope), they will lose interest. So it's perfect in that sense. The reasons why I'm not giving five stars is because the remote falls quite easily out of its spot on the side of the mount, which is quite annoying, and also because the star pointer with its plastic mount is quite flimsy. Other than that, it's great and I would recommend this to anyone, beginners or more experienced amateurs wanting a small portable telescope.
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on 11 June 2017
Awesome scope , spent a while researching before I purchased , it was for my daughter
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on 4 November 2015
Wow!
The sky in UK these days is often too overcast, but nevertheless I managed to use it a couple of times.
Unfortunately once you start, an hour later you still enjoying the views before realising it. With this, time just fly!
I didn't manage to look at planets yet as these were mostly below the horizon... But If looked at stars and the details were so impressive as I could even look at stars which I couldn't see with the naked eye!
All these just from my back garden, and I was undisturbed by any of the lights pollution around here!
I just wish I bought this much earlier!!
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on 30 May 2015
My wife has just started her astronomy adventure and we took quite a while choosing which telescope to buy. This one came out very high in many reviews and on many websites, and although I was a little reluctant to start off with a £600+ telescope, I wanted to make sure we could have a good experience so opted for this one.
Firstly there's no doubt this is a quality telescope. The tripod itself would set you back a couple of hundred Im sure if you just wanted a good one for professional level photography or a replacement. Perhaps a pro photographer would disagree but without doubt it's a strong and sturdy set up. The tripod also comes with an equatorial alignment wedge. Now at this stage I don't know very much about what that is, but on reading many other reviews related to the other Nexstar SE series telescopes, it's clear that the others don't appear to have that option oddly. (Im sure someone will correct me if Im wrong). But at least it is there as and when you need it.
The telescope itself is fairly impressive, particularly if you are not accustomed to telescopes as a rule. It comes with the basics you need to get going (also bought a lens & filter kit to compliment further). There are a number of tutorial videos for this telescope available online to assist you in setting it up and to be honest we found it quite a doddle to get the whole thing erected.
Using the GoTo computer attachment for the alignment process was another experience however. I quickly realised that the software needed to be updated as the alignment process did ask me for global co-ordinates. I know these are easily obtained from most smartphones, but I had noticed on a couple of aforementioned tutorial videos that this wasn't requested by the handset, instead simply asking you to select your country and city.
So the first issue in updating the software was of course connecting it to your PC. Trouble is it comes with an RS-232 (serial adapter) and not a USB. Who uses those anymore? This prompted me to think: how long as this product been around? I haven't used a serial adapter since I last owned a dial-up modem over 10 years ago. So I purchased a separate adapter and after a bit of fiddling about with serial port issues, finally managed to update the software.
It took us a couple of frustrating evenings getting the telescope aligned properly, but this was of course due to our inexperience and the required learning curve, but was eventually rewarded with amazing views of the Moon, Jupiter & Saturn on the same evening. (if you do buy this I advise you to get a 2x Barlow lens as well. It really makes a huge difference when coupled with the 25mm Plossl lens that comes with the telescope as standard. More experienced stargazers will no doubt offer better advice but I at least discovered that was the case very quickly).

Once you get the hang of the alignment process you're off. The GoTo computer and auto alignment motor does all the hard work from there.
Overall I think this is a great telescope, and especially for beginners. The price might make some people think twice for a first scope, however there are a number of other viable options if you take your time and some advice from experienced stargazers.

So far I'm very happy. I would have given this the full five stars had it come with a USB connection option.
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on 4 October 2011
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.

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!

Admittedly, I don't have a lot of experience with either astronomy or telescopes. My previous scope was my dad's old 4 inch from 1970. I'm sure there are many great scopes out there. But if my objective is to give me a thrill of delight, then the 8SE succeeds with flying colours!
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