Celestron NexStar 5 SE

A portable telescope

Jul 25, 2007
Outside Magazine
NexStar 5 SE

Headed to dark-sky country? Pack this 18-pound computerized telescope; it takes up less trunk space than a case of beer. Employing Schmidt-Cassegrain optics, the 5 SE is a pro-quality instrument designed for amateur budgets. The scope is preprogrammed with coordinates for nearly 40,000 celestial bodies, and the handheld control displays names and short descriptions of target= objects. Simply point the machine at any three bright stars to calibrate it, then punch in, say, "Jupiter." The 5 SE scans the sky and—bang—you've got the Galilean moons in your sights. Shorten setup time with the optional CN-16 GPS accessory ($299), which does the lat/long calculations for you. Either way, it beats sitting in your camp chair pointing at the Big Dipper and... whatever you call that one over there. $799; celestron.com

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