Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 203mm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope with StarSense AutoAlign

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 203mm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope with StarSense AutoAlign

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 203mm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope with StarSense AutoAlign

B&H # CENE8ESTR MFR # 12096
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Product Highlights

  • 203mm Schmidt-Cassegrain OTA
  • 2032mm Focal Length, f/10 Focal Ratio
  • StarBright XLT Optical Coating System
  • Flat-Field, Coma-Free EdgeHD Optics
  • StarSense AutoAlign System
  • Wireless Control with iOS/Android App
  • Motorized and Computerized Fork Mount
  • Multiple Automatic Alignment Systems
  • Adjustable Stainless Steel Tripod
  • Rechargeable LiFePO4 Battery
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Aperture: 8", f/10

6", f/10

Not available with current selections

8", f/10 9.25", f/10

Not available with current selections

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Price:  $2,349.00

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Celestron 12096 overview

  • 1Description

This iteration of the NexStar Evolution 8 203mm f/10 Schmidt Cassegrain GoTo Telescope from Celestron is a powerful, versatile, and user-friendly compact catadioptric-style scope that can be used for observing everything from the Moon and planets to deep-sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. The EdgeHD optical system is designed to virtually eliminate spherical and chromatic aberrations so views through it are flat and distortion-free across the entire field of view, with accurate color rendition. Using Celestron's proprietary StarBright XLT multi-coating system, light transmission is increased throughout the entire optical path with anti-reflection multi-coated lenses, highly reflective multi-coated mirrors, and four-element rare-earth glass. While the focal ratio is a slow f/10, the scope's precision tracking system, complemented by the StarSense AutoAlign system and distortion-free optical qualities, allow it to be a competent astrophotography/astroimaging platform for the Moon, planets, prominent deep-sky objects, and wide-field photos.

The Evolution comes with Celestron's StarSense AutoAlign system. Using a digital camera, it takes photos of the star field where the scope is pointed, then interfaces with an internal database to align itself. It requires virtually no input from the user except to turn it on and to confirm its position when it is finished. The scope connects to Celestron's free SkyPortal app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets via an internal WiFi module. Once aligned, the app opens up the scope's true capabilities. It has a database of over 120,000 objects and offers guided tours, automatic tracking rates for near- and deep-sky objects, and multiple slew speeds. A secondary way to control the mount is using the wired NexStar hand controller. Outfitted with a smaller database, but with similar functionality, using the controller makes the entire system completely self-contained.

Designed for portability, the Evolution features a long-life lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery providing up to 10 hours of continual use on a single charge. The scope comes with an AC power supply with plugs for the US, EU, UK, and AU outlets so it can go with you when you chase eclipses or other celestial events across the world. The battery powers the servo motors, auxiliary accessory ports, a USB charging port, and the built-in WiFi. Manual clutches in both altitude and azimuth enable you to manually move and point the telescope when it's powered off.

Optical Performance
  • 203mm (8") aperture
  • f/10 focal ratio
  • 2032mm focal length
  • Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptric optical path
  • Crown optical glass primary mirror
  • Proprietary EdgeHD optics correct spherical and chromatic aberrations to produce distortion-free images across the entire field of view with true color representation
  • StarBright XLT optical coatings: Multi-layer aluminum/SiO2 (quartz)/TiO2 (titanium dioxide) mirror coatings with flat reflectivity across the light spectrum for both astrophotography/astroimaging and visual observation
  • Multi-layer MgF2 (magnesium fluoride) and HfO2 (hafnium dioxide) anti-reflective lens coatings
  • High-transmission water white glass corrector lens with 97.4% light transmission
  • Internal focusing mechanism
  • Resolution: 0.59 arcsec (Rayleigh); 0.57 arcsec (Dawes)
  • Fastar capability: Secondary mirror can be removed and a DSLR or imaging rig mounted in its place for fast wide-field astrophotography
StarSense AutoAlign System
  • Integrated digital camera takes photos of night sky and cross-references an internal database to determine location
  • Alignment takes minutes, with minimal effort or experience
  • No need to point it North or to perfectly level the scope
  • StarSense hand controller included for those who prefer not to interface with smartphone or tablet
Sky Portal App
  • Connect your smart device to the telescope via direct WiFi connection, no router required
  • Align and control the telescope from your device
  • App uses the device's camera and compass to determine location and what is available to see
  • Enjoy the same features as NexStar controller, but without wires
  • Expanded database to over 120,000 objects
  • Detailed information on over 200 popular objects including audio commentary, statistics, history, mythology, video, and pictures
  • Simulate the night sky up to 100 years in the past or future to plan an upcoming observing session
  • Compass Mode: Hold device up to the night sky and identify objects such as stars, planets, and galaxies; zoom in to view fainter objects not visible to the naked eye
  • Night Vision Mode: Preserves night-adjusted vision
  • Listen to more than four hours of audio narration to learn the history, mythology, and science of astronomy and the night sky
  • Works as a stand-alone planetarium app
  • Free for Android 4.0 and later or iOS 7.0 and later mobile devices
  • Database includes:
  • Solar system: Sun, Moon, planets
  • Star clusters
  • Nebulae
  • Galaxies
  • Asteroids and comets
  • Satellites and the International Space Station
NexStar Controller
  • 2-line, 16-character LCD display
  • 19 fiber optic backlit red LED buttons
  • Database of over 40,000 celestial objects plus 100 user defined
  • Automatically slew to planets, stars, constellations, and a variety of catalogs
  • Camera control: For piggyback wide field or conventional astrophotography through the OTA, the controller can automatically trigger the shutter release to capture the image
  • Anti-backlash compensation programs-out play between gears for more precise tracking
  • Tour Mode: Shows a selection of the most popular objects for the time and date you are observing
  • Constellation Tour: Allows the user to take a tour of all the best objects within a particular constellation
  • Alignment procedures: SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star, 1-Star, 2-Star, and Solar System
  • SkyAlign alignment: Takes minutes, with minimal effort or experience–point the telescope at three bright objects in the sky, and the telescope does the rest
  • Nine slew speeds: 4°/sec, 2°/sec, 1°/sec, 0.5°/sec, 2x, 4x, 8x,16x, and 32x
  • Sidereal, Solar, and Lunar tracking rates for observing the fast-moving Moon, to slower-moving deep space subjects
  • RS-232 communication port allows for computer control
  • Flash updateable via the Celestron website
  • Database Details:
  • Solar system objects including the Sun, Moon, and planets
  • Named objects
  • Stars: Asterims, variable stars, double stars, named stars
  • Caldwell catalog
  • Messier catalog
  • NGC catalog
  • SAO catalog
  • Constellations
Mount and Tripod
  • Mount:
  • Motorized single-arm alt-azimuth fork mount
  • Altitude and azimuth clutches to manually point the telescope when it is powered off
  • Brass worm gears with steel ball bearings provide smooth movement with reduced vibration
  • 146mm diameter/180-tooth stainless steel worm wheels
  • Ports: One port for NexStar+ controller; one 5 VDC USB charging port for smartphones and small electronics; three auxiliary ports for optional accessories such as StarSense AutoAlign system
  • Runs on one internal rechargeable 9.6V, 4.5Ah lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery
  • Includes power supply with US, EU, UK, and AU plugs
  • Tripod:
  • Stainless steel two-section legs
  • Adjustable height accommodates a variety of users and viewing positions
  • Spikes at the end of the legs provide a sure footing on soft or uneven ground
  • Tray keeps accessories and equipment safe and organized
  • No tools required to set up mount and tripod
Included Accessories
  • Eyepieces:
  • 1.25"-diameter barrel accept most filters
  • Anti-reflection multi-coated glass
  • Fold-down rubber eyecups for use with or without eyeglasses
  • 40mm eyepiece produces 51x magnification
  • 12.5mm eyepiece produces 162x magnification
  • Diagonal:
  • 1.25" snout and eyepiece holder
  • 90° angle places head in comfortable position when optical tube assembly is pointed at or near the zenith
  • Star mirror diagonal corrects view horizontally, but not vertically
  • Finderscope:
  • Projects a single red dot in line of sight
  • Unmagnified view ensures a wide field of view to make finding objects faster and star-hopping navigation easier
UPC: 050234120968
In the Box
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 203mm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope with StarSense AutoAlign
  • StarSense AutoAlign Telescope Alignment System tcvsqwuwbyvtuudrfxuvytutfasqusszxd
  • StarPointer Pro Finderscope
  • 12.5mm Eyepiece
  • 40mm Eyepiece
  • 90° Star Diagonal
  • Tripod with Accessory Tray
  • AC Adapter with US, EU, UK, and AU Plugs
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Celestron 12096 specs

    Optical Design Schmidt-Cassegrain
    Aperture 203.2 mm
    Focal Length 2032mm
    Focal Ratio f/10
    Eyepiece Barrel Diameter 1.25"
    Diagonal 90° star
    1.25" snout and eyepiece holder
    Finderscope StarPointer Pro red dot
    Tripod Adjustable-height stainless steel
    Mount Motorized single-arm alt-az fork mount
    Brass worm gears with ball bearings
    Stainless steel worm wheels with 180 teeth
    Battery / Runtime Internal 9.6 V, 4.5 Ah LiFePO4 rechargeable battery
    Up to 10 h max runtime on a full charge
    Power Requirements 12 VDC, 2.0 A
    Delivered via AC power supply
    Auxilliary I/O Connector 4 x auxiliary ports compatible with NexStar+ Hand Control, StarSense AutoAlign and other accessories
    1 x USB charging port; 5 V, 2.0 A max output
    Optical Tube Length 16.0" (40.6 cm)
    Weight 40.6 lb / 18.4 kg, total
    Packaging Infotcvsqwuwbyvtuudrfxuvytutfasqusszxd
    Package Weight 68.5 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 46.0 x 28.0 x 15.0"

    Celestron 12096 reviews

    NexStar Evolution 8 203mm f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain GoTo Telescope with StarSense AutoAlign is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 4.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightful Optics & a Joy to Use This review is for the Evolution package with the 8 Edge HD and StarSense. For Visual Use: The optics are wonderful. Anyone with focusing accommodation difficulties (which includes many people in their 40's and most people in their 50's ) will find the flat focused field produced by these optics delightful. It will keep you away from the focus knob and let you enjoy the view over the entire field - not just the center. For me, it has made astronomy fun again. Photographic Use: OK for planets or small bright objects that can be imaged using short exposure times. Not suitable for general astrophotography.
    Date published: 2017-03-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbeleivably Easy to set up and use I am new to star gazing and wanted a scope that was super easy to align. Celestron has done an amazing job with the StarSense feature. Even in my very light polluted area, this scope takes about 5 minutes to align itself and is ready to use. My only complaint is that the wifi connection is lost more frequently than I'd like, but it is easy to re-connect. The conditions have not allowed for galaxy viewing but have been able to clearly view Saturn and Jupiter with stunning clarity.
    Date published: 2017-07-14
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good product but one issue. The telescope was packed in a very large box which contained separate boxes inside for the tube, the mount and the tripod, plus additional smaller boxes for peripherals including the eyepieces, the StarSense camera, etc. I set up the telescope following the instructions, which were pretty straight forward. However, some of the instructions for the peripherals were not totally clear and sometimes conflicted with the telescope instructions. Nevertheless, I managed to assemble and set up the equipment in about a half hour. The assembled telescope is too heavy to move, but moving the tripod, the mount and the tube separately and reassembling it in the field is only a bout a 15 minute affair. The quality and construction of all parts seem very high and the optics are excellent. However, I had one problem that put a damper on the whole experience. I could not connect the telescope to my iPad or iPhone. I contacted Celestron, but nothing they recommended worked. They suggested either sending the mount (which contains the wireless network connection) or returning the entire telescope to B&H. Since I had discarded the large box mentioned above, and one could not exchange just the mount, I had no alternative but to sent the mount to Celestron for repair. They cannot just replace the mount, as they do not sell it separately. This was very disheartening. When I receive the mount back and access the telescope's wireless network, I will write another review.
    Date published: 2016-09-09
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Excellent idea, quality mount and scope. Frustrating WiFi! I have been eye balling this particular set for quite some time. I wanted to upgrade from our AstroMaster class scope (manual EQ stand and cheapo optics) to something I could quickly align and then easily find and track objects in our backyard. My motivation was to please our excited with star gazing 4.5yo daughter (kids are super impatient ;). I was blown away by the engineering quality of the tripod, mount and then quality of the images I was able to see with the 8 scope (and later even photograph in prime focus!). But before I was able to get anything I went thru a miserable and frustrating path... The selling point for me was also the WiFi and ability to align and observe objects from the iOS app. In the end I simply don't use WiFi at all and just use the app for finding what's interesting tonight.. I switched to Hand Controller (HC) which has its own quirks and problems but flawlessly aligns the scope and tracks objects at least. HC has ugly old-stool interface and it is hard to find objects that share multiple names (common or catalogue identifiers). HC has also a bug that if you accept system warning once to go beyond slew limit to observe something in the zenith (there a few mms of clearance for the diagonal and eyepiece) the next object you pick may turn your scope upside down and even damage it if you don't power it off in time :) (I upgraded HC to latest firmware version from 5/2017). With HC you also cannot control the LED light intensity on the mount or check remaining battery charge. You can do this only with the app over WiFi (as of today). The Wifi. Total unreliable bummer. It drops a lot the moment the mount begins to move. If I leave my iPhone on the azimuth clutch (phone moves with the mount) then frequency of drops goes significantly down but is not ideal. If the connectivity drops during alignment procedure you may end up with a scope slewing w/o any control :) To avoid damage - power mount off ASAP. If WiFi dropped after reaching alignment points you have like 50/50 chance to regain control of the scope and the iOS app to sync up with the mount. If you are not lucky, the mount can get into a state that only power recycle of the mount can save you. I still need to try the WiFi option when out of urban area polluted with WiFi signals...
    Date published: 2017-10-04
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