Deep Sky Photography With Celestron 6 Se?

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Why choose a Cassegrain telescope?

Off the bat, the SCT (Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope) is lightweight, portable, and extremely easy to setup.

The convenience of having such a setup makes for an enjoyable evening of sky searching whether information technology’due south in your backyard or on a dark, solitary hilltop.

The Celestron NexStar 6SE is one such telescope. Information technology’southward part of the NexStar SE series that offers great blindside for the buck.

Think GoTo, portability, and of course, good optics.

So, what makes the 6SE the most popular model in the series?

Here’s what!

Zooming in…

Best Feature:
SCT optical pattern

Worst Feature:
Quality control bug

Platonic For:
Celestial Observation, Lunar & Planetary Ascertainment, DSO Viewing, Limited Astrophotography, Beginners, Intermediates

  • Optical Blueprint:
  • Aperture:
    150 mm (6”)
  • Focal Length:
    1500 mm (59”)
  • Focal Ratio:
  • Eyepieces Included:
    25 mm

Our Verdict:
With a practiced vi” aperture and loftier power benefits, the NexStar 6SE is a sky-searching pro. Lunar and planetary observation is a breeze, and DSO viewing is well within your grasp. Locating an object is easier than ever with the NexStar hand control and motorized tracking, and getting to a location couldn’t be any more than convenient with its total light weight of thirty lbs. It’s a go-to telescope for whatever amateur looking for a taste of GoTo capability.

Who is the Celestron NexStar 6SE All-time Suited to?

You either like ‘em or you don’t. SCTs are non everybody’s favorite, merely this optical pattern in a telescope has been around for virtually half a century, so it serves its purpose. For amateurs looking for a long focal length in a brusque tube, the NexStar SE series of scopes can offering merely that.

The 6SE is congenital and priced around the entry-level range for a beginner to moderately experienced observer. Due to its optical and mount system, it’s very practical to handle. Information technology’s besides noticeably calorie-free in terms of its aperture to weight ratio, so information technology’s naturally portable and easier to transport. Information technology is one of our favorite portable telescopes for travel.

Those who are looking for a portable, compact, GoTo telescope for under $thou need expect no farther.

How Does the Celestron NexStar 6SE Perform?

The NexStar is a high-ability lunar and planetary champion telescope. It might not boast the widest FOV (Field of View) or the largest aperture for seeing the faintest DSOs, just it can do its off-white share that may be more than you would wait. The 1500 mm focal length and irksome f/10 specs of the 6” SCT is bang-up for seeing details of local bodies – even under light polluted weather condition.

The telescope system breaks downward into convenient-to-carry pieces with no one piece weighing over 15 lbs. Obviously, this provides a very like shooting fish in a barrel-to-send system that would brand for a quick setup and pack-up for observing on the go.

With computerized technology, the telescope is compatible with Celestron’s high-tech accessories to auto-align, rail objects, and endeavor your paw at astro imaging.

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Features & Benefits

SCT Optical Blueprint

The long focal length with the brusk tube is its master do good. The general dominion is, the longer the focal length, the heavier the OTA. With an SCT, this isn’t necessarily true. Due to its folded light path, the focal length can exist much longer than its bodily tube length would suggest. This allows for a shorter and more meaty OTA that doesn’t require a large and expensive mount and it eliminates balancing issues.

Visibility is excellent. As a high-power telescope, y’all tin can tack on the shortest focal length eyepieces and Barlow lenses to go better views of planetary and lunar surfaces. You may want to come down a tad in power to get a ameliorate view of DSOs (Deep Heaven Object) that includes the entire Messier catalog and a good portion of the NGC itemize.


The NexStar 6SE OTA weighs only 8 lbs. The tripod weighs nine lbs, and the mountain caput weighs 11 lbs. With a few extras mounted on superlative like the eyepiece, finder telescopic, and star diagonal, the total weight comes to approximately 30 lbs. That is pretty impressive for a complete system that is fix and roaring to be setup anywhere, anytime.

The OTA also attaches to the mount with a dovetailed quick release subclass. Of course, you tin employ this organisation to rest the OTA during use, merely it allows for quick removal and safety storage. The hand control tin can also exist used while attached to the fork arm or removed to employ remotely. Each accessory comes with their own boxes that should be kept to safely shop them for transport. But, you lot may want to consider purchasing a case that will fit your OTA and accessories for secure and safe transportation.

GoTo Mount

The peachy thing almost the NexStar SE series is that they all come with computerized mounts. You don’t have to buy a separate OTA and GoTo mountain, you lot have the entire parcel for one, flat price. They come with a Celestron patented Alt-azimuth single fork arm mount head. The blueprint is a good ane, just it does come with limitations.

The mount has 2” stainless steel tripod legs, 9 slew speeds, and a payload capacity of 12 lbs. The payload capacity is of concern to those who want to experiment beyond the amateur level for astrophotography. Information technology will non hold the weight for heavy loads and track accurately under the strain.

YouTube video

NexStar Manus Control

The NexStar 6SE comes with the NexStar manus control. The hand command is what provides computerized technology that provides access to locate over 40,000 objects, tour the sky, and be alerted to what objects are visible at that moment in time.

The paw control provides up to 5 alignment options: SkyAlign, Car Two Star, Two Star, One-Star, and Solar Organisation alignments points.

It also has multiple features that includes anti-backslash, GPS on/off (if using a compatible GPS system), GoTo Approach, Autoguide Rates, Wedge Marshal, and more than. Some of these features tin compensate for using heavy loads for astrophotography and other applicable equipment, but you must consider the tracking accuracy of the mount under the weight conditions.

Express Astrophotography

As mentioned, the outset disadvantage for serious astrophotography is the mount. Even though it has GoTo capability, the payload chapters is lightweight – a mere 12 lbs. It’southward expert for transportation and portability, but information technology’s a no-get for heavy loads and serious astrophotography. You lot may also have to consider a focal reducer, a wedge, and other equipment that can go expensive very speedily. So, what can you lot exercise every bit is?

Whatsoever lightweight camera device like a smartphone or CCD webcam mode camera should be able to exercise the trick without calculation excessive strain to the mounting arrangement. Short exposures under 10 seconds tin be achieved.


Quality Control Issues

In that location is nothing to be overly concerned most when it comes to quality control. Most of the time, everything is only as expected, and y’all can get observing right abroad. All the same, if there is an upshot, it seems to be with the mountain. The fact is, entry-level to mid-range mounts just don’t accept the same type of quality every bit college-end mounts, and unfortunately, it can be decumbent to breaking down.

What do I mean by that? The build quality is just “okay,” but it may hateful a replacement in the future. The power jack is prone to coming loose. To avoid an unintentional shutdown and having to realign the scope all over once more, install batteries as a backup method to prevent this issue.

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Is the Celestron NexStar Motorized?

The NexStar 6SE comes with a dual axis motor drive to provide motorized tracking of celestial objects. With the NexStar hand control, you can select specific objects to slew to and it will track them. The tracking accuracy is good, and information technology will put the object within your field of view. Whether you tin run across them remains unknown depending on location and atmospheric weather and the like.

The paw control allows for two tracking modes: Alt-az and EQ Northward & EQ Southward.

Can you See Planets with the NexStar 6SE Telescope?

Yes! With the SCT OTA, you can view with high magnification to see planets and their faint features. For example, Jupiter is a bright planet, but its features are very faint and difficult to see with decent resolution. Since the scope only comes with ane 25 mm eyepiece, you may desire to seriously consider buying additional eyepieces and perhaps a Barlow lens to come across surface details on the planets or its rings and satellites.

Tin the Celestron Single Arm Fork be Used Manually?

The Nexstar telescope is computerized and while the NexStar paw control tin can be used “manually” to slew to specific objects that yous set the coordinates for, information technology cannot exist used manually by hand to slew the scope in place.

What is the Ability Supply for the Celestron NexStar SE Series?

You have quite a few options here. You can ability your telescope with 8x AA batteries, a car battery adapter, or a 12V AC adapter. Unfortunately, no ability source is included as an accessory with the NexStar SE telescope. You must purchase your own power supply.

What Accessories are Included with the NexStar 6SE?

The OTA, mount head, NexStar mitt control, and tripod are included in the reusable aircraft box. Additionally, a 1.25” star diagonal, ane.25” 25 mm eyepiece, Star Pointer finder telescopic, and an RS232 cable come standard. You will also receive Heaven Level 1 Astronomy Software and NexRemote telescope control software.


The NexStar 6SE provides a great residuum between light-grasp, magnification, weight, and cost. The entire setup is exactly what an amateur and growing observer needs to develop some skills while enjoying the compact and portable setup for on-the-go observations.

Withal, if you desire to get into serious long-exposure astrophotography one day, you’ll demand to upgrade in the future. For now, the NexStar will at least go you started and will probable be a go-to telescope for all future road trips and remote location observations.


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