Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 GoTo Telescope Review

The NexStar Evolution 8 telescope from Celestron is part of the company’s premiere line of telescopes. Designed for maximum usability, it sports a fluid and technologically advanced mobile device app that allows it to be controlled remotely. Designed for easy set up, it sports features such as handles and durable material that make it long-lasting and easy to handle. Designed for excellent optics, it offers observers an 8-inch aperture and other features that create clear and detailed views as they enjoy everything the nighttime sky has to offer.

• Item number: 12091
• Weight: 63.7 pounds
• Aperture: 203.2 mm (8 in.)
• Eyepiece magnification: 51x
• Mount: Single fork arm altazimuth
• Warranty: 2-year warranty on the telescope for damage and defects
• Focal length: 2032mm
• Eyepiece size: 40mm
• Focal ratio: 10
• Highest useful magnification: 480x
• Max slew speed: 4 degrees/second
• Materials: Stainless steel
• Alignment: SkyAlign, 3-Star Align, Solar System Align
• Objects in database: More than 4,000


The NexStar Evolution 8 is designed to create an ideal stargazing experience for even experienced observers. At the same time, it is simple enough for even amateur observers to use and set up. For instance, this model sports a stainless steel tripod with an excellent spread. Its mount possesses deep handles that make it easy to pick up and carry, while its tripod legs include level marks that allow the observer to set up the telescope evenly on the first try. The addition of accessory trays add to the telescope’s convenience and ease of use. In total, the setup of the telescope takes 10 minutes or less, even when being conducted by an amateur stargazer. In addition to this ease of setup, the Evolution 8 boasts extra storage room for eyepieces, allowing the observer to store 7 eyepieces. The design and usability of the Evolution 8 is completed with a built-in lithium-ion battery. This rechargeable battery, which lasts up to 10 hours, eliminates the problem present in other Celestron models of short battery lives that require observers to use power packs for longer observation sessions. Now, observers can enjoy stargazing as long as they like without the expense and inconvenience of purchasing and transporting an alternate power source.


One of the most appealing features of the Evolution 8 is the presence of internal wi-fi capabilities and the ability to use Celestron’s mobile device app, called SkyPortal. These capabilities mean that observers who have downloaded the app can control their telescope through their mobile device, such as a tablet or a smartphone. The app works with either iOS or Android operating systems, making remote control of the telescope accessible to any observer, regardless of the type of mobile device they own. SkyPortal automatically displays the stars and planets that are in view at the time the telescope is being used, and also gives the observer educational information regarding the nighttime sky. Consumers report that SkyPortal is easy to use, even for those who have never controlled their telescope through a mobile device before. The Evolution 8 also still comes with a handheld controller, giving the observer options regarding how they use their telescope.


Celestron boasts that the Evolution 8 can also be used in astrophotography through the simple addition of a DSLR camera to the telescope. The scope is designed with exceptional tracking accuracy in order to facilitate astrophotography and provide clear images of the tracked objects. Consumers report that the telescope does allow for a limited amount of astrophotography, and does provide the kind of sharp images needed to capture the nighttime sky on camera. However, the telescope is best used in this manner for short periods of time, and works best only on the brightest objects in the nighttime sky.


The optics of the NexStar Evolution 8 are reported to be very good. The scope’s tracking and slew abilities allow it to capture nighttime objects with clarity and precision. For instance, when aimed at Saturn, the telescope reveals the planet’s rings, and when looking at stars, observers are able to differentiate and observer different colors. The scope’s 8-inch aperture allows it to gather the light it needs to produce clear views of the objects under observation. Consumers report that the Evolution 8 captures clearer, crisper images and greater detail than other, similar scopes. In fact, its optics is one of the most praised features of this well-reviewed telescope.

Because of its excellent optics, the Evolution 8 is ideal for experienced star gazers wishing to improve their stargazing experience. Because of its convenient design features and easy to use app, it is ideal for beginning observers who want a telescope they can enjoy from the moment they open it up.