Celestron NexStar 8SE vs Evolution 8

Not everybody needs a telescope but for those who want to appreciate the beauty of our universe, this tool is a must have in your collection even though we won’t be using them every day. For enthusiasts out there, Celestron NexStar 8SE Vs Evolution 8 are two ideal telescopes to consider including to be carried around but, they are also quite different. Before deciding to go with either of these models, see below about what you can get from both of them.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What to Pay Attention to in a Telescope
  • What are Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8
  • What Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 Look Like
  • What are the Specs of Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8
  • How are the Battery of Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8
  • What else Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 can offer
  • Celestron NexStar 8SE Vs Evolution 8

Astronomical Telescope

Telescopes are a popular present for Christmas whether you are a parent or an older family member who wants to try giving a surprise to the younger ones but, it doesn’t mean the adults can’t play around and enjoy this magnifying tool. It is true that we don’t use them every day or even for people who fairly enjoy and appreciate the beauty of space may not find the tool to be useful but, for us who want to see the further away space objects and galaxies with our own eyes, having one will be so much fun.

But, it can be a bit confusing when it comes to the shopping time because there are quite a lot of them and it is always a challenge for first time buyers to decide. If this is your first telescope as well, here are some factors to consider when getting a new gear.

  • Telescope Types

We are sure most people are familiar with the type of telescopes; Refractors, Reflectors, and Compound or also called Catadioptric. Refractors type has a lens at the front of the tube and probably one of the most popular as it is low in maintenance but can get quite big as the aperture goes higher. Reflectors on the other hand gather light using a mirror at the rear of the main tube. It is cheaper but comes with a cost of constant adjustment of optical alignment.

The last type is a hybrid between the two so it is using both lens and mirror to offer compact tubes and is relatively more manageable in weight. The popular models you will see in this category are Maksutov-Cassegrains and Schmidt-Cassegrains like Celestron NexStar 8SE Vs 6SE.

 Celestron NexStar 8SE Evolution 8
Product Dimensions42.01 x 23.66 x 12.99 inches
45 x 29 x 15.5 inches
Shipping Weight48.8 pounds
13.01 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price
  • Telescope Aperture

After the type of telescope itself, what you may want to consider is the aperture and as you may already know, this is the diameter of the lens or mirror in a telescope. The main purpose of this part is to gather light thus the bigger the brighter the image and better for fainter objects including galaxies and craters on the moon. In addition, there is focal length or the distance between the primary lens/mirror and the point where the object is brought into focus.

The reason why this is important is because it decides the magnifying ability of the telescope. If it is not stated on the unit, we can know the magnification by dividing the focal length of the telescope to the eyepiece e.g. 900 refractor with 25mm eyepiece which results in 36x.

  • Telescope Mount

A telescope is not something we can hold for hours without any issue especially those on the larger aperture side. In general there are two methods to mount the tool; alt-az and equatorial mount. The first allows your telescope to move up and down or left and right while the latter needs to be aligned with Polaris as it tracks celestial objects using one axis which is easily motorized.

About Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8

Now when you have already decided how the telescope needs to be or which preference fits in the application, it is time to see what the market has to offer. The amount of telescope options may not be as diverse and as many as for example Smart TVs but, it is always better to consider and shop based on what you need from the unit. Deciding a budget first can save the time looking from the abundance of choices pretty significantly too.

If you are here then chances are this telescope is meant for hobbyists and while there are quite the brands to choose from, one name we always recommend for both price and quality is Celestron. Most enthusiasts must be familiar with this name as they are among the most popular choices for casual users and often listed among the best options in this category. They also carry many options to give you varying models based on what you want from the unit.

For those who are aiming to see galaxies and deep space or want those with a fairly larger aperture, two ideal models to consider are Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8. The NexStar line is not the cheapest family of amazing telescopes you can find in the market because the 6-inch is already offered at around $700 but performance wise, many are very satisfied with how these models capable of delivering a clear view of those space objects depending on the tool’s native capabilities combined with the accessories.

Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 are related to each other but not necessarily direct siblings because it is easier to say the Evolution Series is an upgrade for the SE line which is actually already amazing on the price point. However, with these upgrades also comes a greater price which is quite far apart yet, we do think if you are ready to spend the budget, Evolution 8 is a very attractive choice for convenience.

Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 Design

In a glance, these telescopes are quite similar to each other but you can instantly tell them apart as Evolution has this silver tube instead of the orange tube used in all NexStar SE models. The tube itself is identical and has the same specification with StarBright  XLT optical coating, a weight of 12.5 lbs. for the tube only, and measured at 9.3-inch in diameter by 17-inch in length. The tube itself seems to be made from aluminum and is very sturdy. 

When purchasing either of Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8, you will receive the same parts; tube, mounting, and the tripod so you can instantly use it but, note that you will also need a battery to make the 8SE work. What’s prominently different on both telescopes is the mounting itself because as you can see, the control panel now is moved and attached to the tripod instead of on the arm. However, functionally wise, they are still performing in the same manner.

Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 Specs

Moving further, let’s see what Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 can offer to you and starting with the aperture, as you can already guess, they are identical at 8-inch with the focal ratio of f/10. You can use these telescopes from the lowest magnification at 29x to the highest of 480x. What’s different is on the eyepiece itself because the SE line comes with only one eyepiece which is the 25mm type while the Evolution line has two of them; one 40mm type and another one 13mm type.

Of course you can add another eyepiece depending on the budget and what you want to observe but the standard 25mm or above is usually only for the lowest magnification or for sweeping large angular views of the milky way in dark sky. The additional 13mm eyepiece in Evolution 8 will be more useful if your aim is medium to high magnification when observing galaxies, globular clusters, or planetary nebulae and wider double stars.

Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 Battery

The next part we want to talk about and also what sets Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 apart the most here is the battery or power itself. The SE lines are using AA batteries to power the telescope and depending on how much slewing we do, it usually lasts for 1 to 3 hours. What makes Evolution much more convenient is because it already comes with the battery pack mounted on the unit so we can just charge it and ready to go anytime, moreover, you can charge your phone with it as well.

Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 Feature

The last part we want to mention is the additional feature on what makes the Evolution more expensive than the SE line. This is due to the additional built-in Wi-Fi on the unit which can be used to control the mounting in which the former is usually controlled using the supplied handbox or controller. This means our smart device is more useful to control the telescope especially with the help of the SkyPortal app that you can find on both main operating systems for smartphones.

Celestron NexStar 8SE vs Evolution 8

Celestron NexStar 8SE and Evolution 8 are more into the expensive enthusiast telescope range but they also stand by the performance. Both are equally reliable when used with the same eyepiece and while the SE doesn’t have external battery or Wi-Fi, in fact you can purchase them separately and incorporated into the telescope to make it function as convenient as the Evolution but, it can be a little bit more cluttering.

- NEXSTAR COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPE: The NexStar 8SE Computerized Telescope features Celestron’s iconic orange tube design with updated technology and the latest features for amazing stargazing for beginners and experienced observers.
- 8-INCH APERTURE: The eight-inch primary mirror in this Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for adults and kids to be used together packs enough light-gathering ability to observe the best that our Solar System has to offer
- FULLY-AUTOMATED GOTO MOUNT: Featuring a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects, the GoTo mount built into our telescopes for astronomy beginners automatically locates and tracks objects for you.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE AND BREAK DOWN: The single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all assemble and break down from separate components for easy transportation. SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready in minutes.
- COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPE WITH WIFI FUNCTIONALITY: Explore the Universe and control your telescope with the free Celestron SkyPortal app for iOS and Android! Select any object from the app’s database and the telescope locates and tracks it automatically.
- CELESTRON’S LEGENDARY 8” SCHMIDT-CASSEGRAIN OPTICAL TUBE: See the difference! Compact, portable 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube with StarBright XLT optical coatings provides stunning views.
- SUPERIOR TRACKING ACCURACY: This computerized GoTo mount with high-performance brass worm gears and motors tracks objects smoothly as they appear to drift across the night sky. Ideal for star parties and astroimaging.
- BUILT-IN 10-HOUR LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERY: Forget about buying an external power supply. Celestron’s LiFePO4 battery is built right in for the safest, most reliable power anywhere.


You can pick any of them as performance wise they are the same with the same capabilities yet different conveniences. Personally, if the budget is limited, we do recommend getting the NexStar 8SE as it is $500 cheaper and if needed, you can buy additional accessories depending on which to use.


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