If you are considering the Celestron Nexstar 6SE then this review and guide will help you decide if this is the telescope is for you.
Since I bought this as my first computerized telescope, it has become standard and required equipment as far as I’m concerned.
I’ve just heard too many horror stories of astronomers being completely confused and unable to locate objects in the sky and even use their first telescope.
Thankfully the Celestron Nexstar 6SE takes away all of these complications. For me, it’s essential for beginners to astronomy.
In addition to ease of use aspect, this telescope is incredibly powerful in terms of spec, and comes with some brilliant accessories that enable you to see stunning images of the sky and over 40,000 celestial objects.
Celestron Nexstar 6SE Review
An award winning telescope from a formidable astronomy equipment brand, the Celestron NexStar 6SE is the third model of computerized telescope in the series (of four).
Each model offers different Apertures which range from 4-inches all the way to 8-inches.
The Celestron NexStar 6SE is the 6-inch model, which obtains up to 44% more light than previous (5 inch) model.
Having used this telescope for over a year, I have been able to capture some outstanding images of celestial objects – including some pretty impressive pictures of Saturn.
From personal experience, along with countless hours of research and discussion on astronomy forums and community pages, the Celestron NexStar 6SE telescope is one of the best entry-level telescopes for beginners but also an excellent choice for intermediate astronomers.
I will now take a closer look at the specifications, before turning to the pros and cons and then my personal experiences and sightings.
Celestron NexStar 6SE Specifications & Features
The Celestron NexStar 6SE utilizes the Schmidt–Cassegrain Telescope Optical Design.
This is essentially combining the very best components of Reflector and Refractor Telescopes.
Accordingly, this scope enables you to observe the night sky with intense clarity from the very get go.
One of the standout features of this telescope is its ease of use; you can assemble it in a matter of minutes after you unpack it from the box.
In addition, the telescope comes equipped with some fantastic accessories that make it a lot more effective and fun to work with.
Surprisingly, despite its high specification, 6-inch Aperture and power, this is a relatively compact telescope that minimizes use of space (no pun intended) unlike other Refractor and Newtonian telescopes typically do.
As it is compact it is far more easy to take it with you on the go, and I found that in terms of portability you can travel with it if you wanted.
The Celestron NexStar 6SE comes equipped with much sought-after StarBright XLT lens coatings and an internal computerized system.
The database has over 40,000 objects which makes identification of planets and stars simple.
Here are some other features that I have been thoroughly impressed with:
Variable and High Magnification
The Nexstar 6SE telescope is a 6-inch aperture which comes with a 25mm Plossl eyepiece.
This is excellent and provides you with a variable magnification range depending on your needs.
At the lower end you can expect a 60x magnification and at the higher end it scales to 450x +.
Remember, the higher the magnification, the lower the detail you will be able to observe.
So it is advised to stick with the 60x magnification level which lets you make the most of a 44-foot field of view.
I personally like to use this telescope to observe the night sky, but it also can be used and works very well in the day.
The SkyAlign technology is one of the most impressive elements and pros to this telescope.
It enables you to closely align the 6SE automatically and with minimal work.
All you need to do is point it in the direction of three bright stars and the computer technology will intervene and complete the rest of the alignment.
SkyAlign was developed to work in all conditions, so even if you live in a city with a lot of light pollution, this shouldn’t be a problem.
I actually live in an area that isn’t ideal with a lot of light pollution and I have found that SkyAlign works even with just two bright stars.
You’ll find that once the 6SE is able to align with the stars, from there it can easily track what planet, star, galaxy or nebula pretty easily. And it does this fast – there’s no waiting time.
A lot of my friends mention how this is a major downside to their other brands of omputerized telescopes – that they take ages to align.
This is not the case with the the Celestron NexStar in my experience, and as noted by many other reviews on Amazon.
SkyAlign works quickly and effectively – giving you more time to observe the sky and less time hanging around and waiting.
The traditional way of finding and identifying objects in the sky is with a printed hand-held star chart.
With the NexStar you just used the handy dial and type in the celestial body you want to observe (from 40,000 objects in the database!)
Its a simple and easy to use device and it is also backlit so you can use it outside and at night.
Plus, Celestron routinely upgrade their database and you can get these updates whenever there is a new release!
Celestron provide a comprehensive set of accessories to use with this scope. The following come included in the box:
- Optical Tube Assembly
- 25mm Plossl eyepiece (60-400x Magnification)
- StarPointer Finderscope
- Computerized Altazimuth Mount with Handset,
- NexRemote Control Software CD.
- Sturdy and resistant Steel Tripod.
- Tripod Accessory tray, to store Eyepieces and other equipment.
- The Sky – Software for Windows (help you identify celestial objects)
- RS-232 to Serial Port Cable for GPS 16 Accessory – to help you connect the telescope to your computer (download database updates etc)
Using a computerized telescope is brilliant for finding objects. However, there is a downside in which you should be aware (but thankfully it can be overcome).
With a computerized scope, each time you start a new observation, you need to enter your current local time, the date, and your location.
This is all required information before the scope can begin identifying and observing.
Although not overly complicated, this can become a small time constraint and nuisance overtime.
To completely eradicate this task, you can purchase a GPS 16 Accessory. This is a tiny component that eradicates the task entirely and allows you to get set up and started immediately on each use.
This is without doubt a brilliant piece of astronomy equipment.
The Celestron Nexstar 6SE is an easy to set up and powerful telescope with brilliant optics.
I’ve been thoroughly impressed with it since the first time I used it. For example, on the first night, the SkyAlign alignment worked as described and I was able to see Saturn with great clarity.
From there I ventured out to see the Swan Nebula, Albireo and the Hercules Cluster.
I was amazed by how bright and sharp this all appeared and this is all despite being in a City and a heavily polluted sky.
I also like to take this telescope with me on my travels.
I am a keen camper during the summer months and being able to take a telescope with me has enabled me to observe objects in new locations away from the pollution of the city.
When you compare this to say, the 12″ Meade lx200 classic, you soon realize how difficult some telescopes are for taking with you and moving around.
I therefore was keen to find a telescope that was equally portable as it was powerful with great Aperture. This is that very scope.
The single arm mount is very secure and solid and the tracking surprises me every time.
For example, I once centered an object, left and returned three hours later to find it centered in precisely the same place.
I am very pleased with this scope and it meets all of my needs. I look forward to years of high quality astronomy using it. I can only recommend it.
- 25mm Plossl Eyepiece included (with 60 x magnification). Fantastic Optical Quality.
- Steel Tripod Mount; solid stability. Great for outside use, resistant to high winds.
- Easy to set up, taking around 2-5 minutes once taken out the box.
- Specification like the Finderscope provide you with a range of advanced functionality that professional astronomers use, but at a fraction of the price that these professional scopes typically cost.
- GPS Accessory, that comes with extra cost, required if you do not want to enter your local time, date and location with each new use.
2 Year Warranty Guarantee
Celestron telescopes, including the 6SE, come with a 2 year warranty.
So if you notice that the scope, the computer, the database or the mount does not function as it should, you can send it back to get it repaired/brand new scope depending on the issue.
Word of warning: Never try to repair it by yourself. You will likely lose your warranty and will not be entitled to a repair/new scope. Also consider that if you do need to send it back, the warranty does not cover modifications or accidental damage.
Without doubt, this is one of the most reviewed and recommended telescopes for astronomers.
Its power, ease of use, portability, sleek design and the range of accessories make this a brilliant first telescope or upgrade to your current piece.
I highly recommend this telescope, have been thoroughly impressed with my observations since using it, and look forward to many years ahead with it by my side.
Pricing and Where to Buy
I bought my Celestron NexStar 6SE telescope on Amazon. Click here to check the current price of the product on its Amazon listing.
Other Celestron NexStar guides you may want to check out:
- Celestron Nexstar 5SE vs 6SE
- Celestron Nexstar 6SE vs 8SE
- Celestron Nexstar 4SE vs 5SE
- Celestron Nexstar 6SE Review
- Celestron NexStar 8SE Review
Hey, my name is Jeremy. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.