Home Comparisons Celestron Nexstar 6Se Vs Celestron Nexstar 8Se- Which Sct Option Has Better Features?

Celestron Nexstar 6Se Vs Celestron Nexstar 8Se- Which Sct Option Has Better Features?

by Rizka Amir
Celestron Nexstar 6Se Vs Celestron Nexstar 8Se

A good telescope is a great gift option for anyone; however, finding it is often the biggest issue. CELESTRON is a great place for you to start your search, but what model, which line and which particular features will suit your needs? Take a look at CELESTRON NEXSTAR 6SE VS CELESTRON NEXSTAR 8SE.

One of the most difficult elements of parenting is gift giving, especially when your kids as for a computerized telescope of which you know nothing about. As a mother of twins, a boy and a girl, I have had my share of crazy gift requests. However, one of the most difficult times was when the twins asked for a telescope to continue their interest in astronomy. The purchase was hard at first but once I understood various aspects of the telescope, it became easier, on top of being quite interesting. The NEXSTAR 6SE and NEXSTAR 8SE both by Celestron were two of my favorite options. If you know telescopes, then you know Celestron and the NexStar SE line of affordable computerized telescopes.

If this is your first time telescope searching, don’t worry, this article breaks down all the telescope basics for beginners to follow along without boring experts or anyone with this information already.


Aperture 6 inches, 1500mm Focal length, f/10 focal ratio.
Aperture 8 inches, 2032mm Focal length, f-10 focal ratio.
Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope style
Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope style
Automated Altitude-Azimuth with Single Fork Arm mount
Altitude Azimuth mount with single fork arm mount



Going by the table above, it is easy to conclude that the NexStar 6SE is pretty similar to the optics on the 8SE, right? That isn’t entirely wrong. In fact they share many similarities in terms of their optics such as the same focal ratio, which is the quantitative measure for the lens speed or the speed on that telescopes optics if you like. Usually, this number is gotten when you divide the focal length by the aperture. However, the Optics on the 8SE is far more superior compared to those on the 6SE.

For this reason, the 8SE is better than the 6SE especially for deep sky viewing. This is because the 6SE is limited by a narrower field of view and high focal ratio, which isn’t good for focusing on faint objects. In fact, with this size aperture, you can see things down to magnitude 14.


Still on the topic of optics, the NexStar 6SE is designed along the same lines as the 8SE, however, the 8SE has superior magnification as well. The 6SE relies on a standard 6OX magnification on eyepiece 1 with the lowest useful magnification at 21X, and the highest useful magnification at 354X. Comparatively, the 8SE stands at a basic 81X magnification with, 29X and 480X: the lowest and highest useful magnification powers.


When it comes to telescopes, the larger the aperture, the larger the instrument gets. If you aren’t familiar with the term, aperture simply means the. More advanced telescopes for deep sky viewing are larger and obviously heavier. Simpler telescopes on the other hand are smaller and thus lighter to suit their size.

The Celestron NexStar 6SE for example is a reasonable 30lbs, which isn’t much considering the features this device carries, making it quite easy for beginners to operate. Likewise, the Celestron NexStar comes in at 33lbs, slightly heavier than the 6SE, but still as portable and as easy to move around for however much time. This difference in weight however is noticeable.

Overall size and tube length

If you know your telescope parts, then you know that the telescope is a compilation of many components that often contribute to its size. Changes in these components mean changes in sizes. The NexStar 6SE for example is slightly smaller compared to the 8SE. It has a tube length of 16 inches, with a 7.1 diameter and is 8ls heavy. Alternatively, the optical tube on the 8SE is 17 inches long, 9.1 inches in diameter and weighs 12ls. These differences also contribute to the varying weights discussed in the point above.


If you know your telescope mounts, then you are aware of all the different types on the market available. Because each takes on a different design, telescope mounts can vary greatly. In our case, both telescopes have the fully automated Alt-Az mount, the most basic but still reliable type of telescope mount.

Operating principles

Telescopes usually are classified into 3 basic, standard categories, reflectors, refractors and catadioptric/compound telescopes. These divisions are formulated based on the difference in operating principles. Fortunately, both the 6SE and 8SE telescopes are designed as Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes.

This is a compound style telescope which both mirrors and lenses to manipulate the optics to form an image. Light will enter through the aspheric Schmidt correcting lens after which it hits the primary mirror and becomes reflected upwards where it is intercepted by a secondary mirror. Finally, the light is reflected out through an opening at the back of the device and the image formed on the eye piece. However, just like the Newtonian design, the Cassegrain design is also quite popular for use on beginner level telescopes. This catadioptric design utilizes mirrors to produce the image, as does the Newtonian reflector.


If you plan on doing more than just visual astronomy, then you must select a telescope option to accommodate your needs. Both the 6SE and the 8SE as marketed as instruments capable of astrophotography and other deep space activities. They have the right size aperture ideal for deep space viewing which often requires a wide field. However, if you intend to use the 8SE for example for photography, you will have to supplement the mounting.


NexStar 6SE Computerized Telescope

As part of the NexStar SE line, this model was bound to be popular. However the NexStar 6SE that comes with the famous Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope, 6-inch has made a name for itself in the telescope-lovers world. This Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope has an aperture of 150mm with a 1,500mm focal length. Focal ratio for any beginner buyers is the ratio between the length and aperture. Often, the smaller the number you get from this calculation.

Within the SE series, Celestron introduced the poplar 6SE which has a FR of f/10 which is what you can this 6 inch aperture device. With its excellent light gathering capabilities, you can rely on this telescope for impressive moon and planet viewing. Additionally, objects like the Orion nebula bad other deep sky objects remain visible while retaining its compact form.

The self align features that help with alignment coupled with all the tracking and locating elements make this device quite easy to use. In fact, thanks to the information sources coupled with the various databases you will have access to upon purchase, anyone can successfully operate this telescope.

If you are interested in documenting your viewing, you can pair this telescope with a camera, they recommend one of their own, and venture into some astrophotography. Alternatively, you could experiment with different forms of astro-imaging thanks to all the capabilities on this telescope.

What we like

  • With the 6inch primary mirror, you can observe many important solar system constituents
  • Part of the iconic orange tube series, for which Celestron is known
  • Compatible with accessories many advanced users will appreciate
  • Several great features for advanced users including SkySync GPS for high functionality alignment
  • Star Sense Auto-Align which is the telescopes automatic alignment function

What we don’t like

  • Price is a bit on the higher side

What you can see with the NexStar 6SE

With this telescope, you have the capacity to view the following:

  • Craters of the moon with diameters as small as 1600m
  • Saturn’s rings, cloud belts and even moon
  • Jupiter’s moons ad belts
  • The globular cluster core and other detailing in nebulas
  • Mars and her clouds or even dust storms
  • Asteroids and stars with a 13.4 magnitude


View price on Amazon


NexStar 8SE Computerized TelescopeThe classic orange tube series is famous for all the capable models. However, the 8SE is one of Celestron’s most popular telescopes. It might be difficult to objectively look at this telescope due to all the praise and its long standing history as a beloved instrument, but the 8SE is not perfect. Where are some of the features that make this telescope so great and some of them, not so much.

First off, is the capable optics on this instrument. Specifically, the 8SE is modeled with an 8 inch aperture, hence the 8 in the name, with a 2032mm focal length and f/10 focal ratio, you can rely on this device to effectively gather light to help you see even faint objects.

In addition to great optics, the 8SE is also equipped with a reliable mounting system. The GoTo automated mount on this baby, coupled with the single form mount ensures this device is easy to handle and operate. Celestron couples the basic Alt-Az basic mount design with the GoTo tracking which is motorized, the result of which is a sturdy reliable tracking on your telescope. Because the 8SE comes with access to a database with 40k celestial objects, there is no way you will get bored with this telescope. Because of its capabilities, the 8SE may be utilized by beginners, advanced beginners, or even intermediates and some advanced users. You can rely on this telescope even as you grow your astronomy expertise.

Aligning the 8SE is considerably easy and painless. The Sky Align feature will align automatically with either the Sky align, whereby you center 3 bright objects in your piece or use the Star Sense Auto Align features which doesn’t require you to do anything as the alignment is automatic. This highly functional telescope is great for beginners and pros alike.

What we like

  • Sturdy build with durable and high quality components
  • Grows with you
  • Compatible with a variety of accessories which is great for any adventurous telescope users
  • Allows for wide field imaging, which is not only ultra fast but also accommodates planetary imaging.

What we don’t like

  • Battery life isn’t all that great

What you can see with the NexStar 8SE

With this telescope, you have the capacity to view the following:

  • Cassini divisions which is on Saturn’s rings
  • Jupiter’s bands and clouds, along with the great red spot
  • Stars within the Hercules Globular cluster
  • Whirlpool galaxy spiraling arms
  • Lunar phases and geographic features


View price on Amazon


The best NexStar model is one that suits your needs and requirements. However, looking at the 6SE and 8SE models, we will have to go with the CELESTRON NEXSTAR 8SE as our winner. Even so, these instruments are equally capable SCT style telescopes whose differences lie in very minor details.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use the Celestron NexStar 6se for astrophotography?

Yes you can! The 6SE is a great choice for astro imaging, however, has some missing elements. Among these is an equatorial mount which is standard for astro imaging. Additional accessories like a field flattener may be necessary for true astrophotography to happen.

What can you see with Celestron NexStar 6se?

Apart from great planetary and lunar shots, or views, you may view various celestial objects. Among these are objects like Orion’s Nebula, not Orion’s belt. You can view these objects on this telescope while still maintaining a compact for.

What can you see with Celestron NexStar 8se?

Thanks to the superior optics on the NexStar SE, you will not only view lunar features in crisp detail, but you may view various planners and their specifics. For example, Jupiter, her moons and the transiting planets or even Saturn’s surface bands, and the Cassini divisions on her rings. You may also view a variety of other deep space objects.


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