Celestron NexStar 4SE

The Celestron NexStar 4SE is a fine beginner’s telescope. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a database of objects you can search to find celestial bodies. However, its short optical tube isn’t excellent for astrophotography, so don’t expect to capture amazing photos if that’s what you want.

NexStar 4SE Computerized Telescope Key Specifications

Optical DesignMaksutov-Cassegrain
Aperture102 mm (4.02″)
Focal Length1325 mm (52″)
Focal Ratiof/13
Limiting Magnitude12.5
Low Useful Magnification15x
High Theoretical Magnification241x
Assembled Weight21 lbs
Mount TypeFully-automated GoTo
Celestial Object Database40,000+ objects
Warranty2-Year US Warranty
Software IncludedStarry Night Special Edition

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Pros and Cons of the NexStar 4SE Computerized Telescope


  1. Advanced Optics and Features: The NexStar 4SE Computerized Telescope comes with 4-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain optics, which provide an impressive light-gathering ability for viewing the Moon, planets, and deep-sky objects. The telescope also features Celestron’s advanced StarBright XLT coatings for better light transmission and more explicit images.
  2. User-friendly and Easy to Set Up: The telescope is designed for easy assembly and disassembly, with a quick-release fork arm mount, optical tube, and accessory tray that require no tools. In addition, the built-in SkyAlign technology allows fast alignment with just three bright celestial objects.
  3. Fully-automated GoTo Mount: The NexStar 4SE features a GoTo mount with a database of over 40,000 celestial objects, making it easy for beginners to locate and track objects in the sky. In addition, the mount is compatible with advanced accessories such as StarSense AutoAlign and SkySync GPS.
  4. Portable and Compact: Weighing just 21 pounds, including the tripod, the NexStar 4SE is easily transportable and ideal for beginners and experienced astronomers.
  5. Excellent Warranty and Support: The telescope comes with a 2-year US warranty and unlimited support from Celestron’s team of US-based experts, providing peace of mind for buyers.
  6. Bonus Free Starry Night Software: The NexStar 4SE includes a free download of the highly-rated Starry Night Special Edition software, allowing users to simulate the night sky, learn about celestial objects, and plan observing sessions.


  1. Limited Astrophotography Capabilities: While the NexStar 4SE is equipped with a built-in wedge for short-exposure astrophotography, it may not be suitable for those looking to capture long-exposure images of deep-sky objects.
  2. Power Source: The internal battery compartment may require frequent changes, and an external power source may be needed for extended use.
  3. Focal Ratio: The telescope’s f/13 focal ratio might limit the brightness and field of view for certain deep-sky objects.


The NexStar 4SE Computerized Telescope offers a great combination of advanced optics, user-friendly features, and portability. It is ideal for beginners and experienced observers looking for a compact, easy-to-use telescope with a powerful GoTo mount. The main drawbacks are its limited astrophotography capabilities and the potential need for an external power source for extended use. Overall, the NexStar 4SE is a valuable investment for those interested in exploring the night sky.

Short optical tube

Short optical tubes are the most portable and convenient choice for beginners and long-time astronomers. Their compact design makes them easy to transport, store and set up. For example, a short tube telescope can be set up or transported in a car trunk or hatchback without taking out seats.

If you’re new to astronomy, you may want a portable, easy-to-use, inexpensive telescope. Short optical tubes are generally less expensive than longer ones because they don’t require heavy mountings or large lenses (and, therefore, less glass). They also tend to be lighter than long optical tubes with similar aperture diameters (diameter = opening size).

Database of objects

The NexStar 4SE has a database of over 40,000 objects. They are sorted by type (categories such as galaxies and nebulas), distance, brightness, size, and mass. While some may find this overwhelming at first glance, it’s easy to use once you figure out how the system works—and it’s pretty simple!

For example, if you’d like to look up an object near Earth in our solar system (like Mars), choose “Solar System” from the list on your hand controller. However, if there’s something specific you want to see (like Jupiter), then select “Solar System: Planets” or “Solar System: Moons” if you’re interested in seeing those instead.

For the viewer on a budget

The Celestron NexStar 4SE is a solid choice for the viewer on a budget, but it’s not the best option for deep-sky objects or astrophotography. However, this model is an excellent starting point if you want to get your feet wet with an amateur telescope without breaking the bank.

Celestron NexStar 4SE
Celestron NexStar 4SE

The Celestron NexStar 4SE costs less than $600 and includes several valuable features that make it easy to use. It also has excellent portability: It can be folded into its carrying case, so you can easily take it anywhere.

Not great for astrophotography

This telescope is not great for astrophotography or deep sky imaging.

For visual astronomy and solar system objects, the NexStar 4SE is a fine instrument. However, if you’re looking for a scope that will allow you to capture images of deep space objects such as nebulae or galaxies (aka “astrophotography“), this isn’t the scope for you. The 60mm aperture on this telescope limits what types of photos you can take; it’s not powerful enough to gather enough light from dimmer celestial targets like nebulae and galaxies.

That said, if your interests lean more toward terrestrial viewing—for instance, observing wildlife or landscapes—then this telescope could be right up your alley! Its small size makes it easy to transport around town and set up quickly wherever there’s room for stargazing between all those other activities.

Celestron’s NexStar 4SE is a great first telescope for beginners.

The Celestron NexStar 4SE is a great first telescope for beginners. It’s easy to set up and use, with a database of objects to look at, and comes with its handheld controller, so you don’t need to fumble around with your smartphone. However, it cannot attach an autoguider or reflex camera for astrophotography.

The NexStar 4SE is a short optical tube that features Celestron’s SkyAlign alignment technology (a database of over 40,000 objects) and their StarSense AutoAlign system, which uses GPS coordinates to align the telescope using just your phone or tablet automatically.

If you don’t have access to either of those things at night, then this telescope can still find and track celestial bodies by itself without any user input required other than picking which side they want most visible on screen (either left or right).

This model has been designed specifically for astrophotography enthusiasts but doesn’t include features like setting up an autoguider system or attaching cameras directly onto it – though adapters are available separately if needed!


Celestron’s NexStar 4SE is a great first telescope for beginners. It’s easy to set up, comes with an easy-to-use database of objects, and includes extra features like WiFi connectivity. In addition, the short optical tube won’t be too heavy or bulky for users who need to carry their telescopes around as they explore the constellations.

Unfortunately, this model will not be ideal for astrophotography users due to its lack of motorized tracking systems, which can introduce noise into images taken over long periods without movement from the mount itself – though if you’re interested in taking pictures instead, don’t worry! You’ll still get great shots using manual settings on any Celestron product line up until level 5, which means plenty more options are available, including those mentioned above.

John Frank

I'm John Frank, a photographer, writer, and astronomy enthusiast.
I remember when I was a kid, my dad used to take me out to the backyard to stargaze. He set up his telescope, and we would spend hours looking at the stars. I was always fascinated by how the telescope magnified the stars and made them look close. As an adult, I still enjoy seeing the stars through a telescope. There's something about the way they look that makes me feel so small and insignificant.

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