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The NexStar User's Guide
First Edition

A new edition of this book is available: The NexStar User's Guide II for the LCM, SLT, SE, CPC, SkyProdigy and Astro Fi! - click HERE for details. 

This first edition discussed here covers the original NexStar 5/8, the NexStar 5i/8i/8i Special Edition, the NexStar GT series and the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS.

Overview of the Book

The NexStar User's Guide is the first book dedicated to Celestron's very popular line of NexStar GoTo telescopes. This book caters to the needs of both the beginning and more advanced amateur astronomer. The NexStar line is presented in detail allowing owners to enjoy trouble-free use of their telescope and providing the information a prospective buyer needs to make a smart purchasing decision.

Additional Info

Where to Purchase the Book
Contents and Excerpts
Downloads and Online Resources
Updates and Corrections
The Second Edition of The NexStar User's Guide

This section of the web site was created both for promoting and supplementing the book.  Be sure to visit the Updates and Corrections link above for the latest information on NexStar telescopes.  Provide your comments and suggestions.  No quotes are posted without permission from the sender.

The NexStar User's Guide does NOT address the German EQ mounts like the CGE, CGE Pro, CGEM, AVX and Advanced Series with GoTo.

Reader Quotes

"The great strength of your book, besides its content, is that it speaks clearly, and in a "friendly" manner, that doesn't assume much in the way of prior astronomical/telescopic knowledge, yet it doesn't "talk down" to the reader.  I know that I will return to it as a reference a lot in the future." - Gary Gotch

"Very pleased with it - good mix of material to support the beginner to NexStar scopes (GOTO class of scopes) and some advanced insight to using the scope that I had not discovered until I read the book (that is always good sign the book is a keeper)." - James

"I would like to let you know that I am finding your book, 'The NexStar User's Guide' useful to the point of being indispensable. It is not simply a good guide to the NexStar Computerized Goto Mounts, but also provides a thorough grounding for learning Observational Astronomy." - Peter J. A. Bilitch

"My copy of The NexStar User's Guide arrived yesterday and I must congratulate you on a most worthy endeavor. The book is excellent and addresses relevant issues of critical importance to NexStar owners. [I am using, currently, a NexStar 5]. Thanks so much for putting together this outstanding reference source." - Dr. James E. Gilbert

Reader comments on

Highlights of the Book

  • The author is an active participant in online discussions, creator of the most popular NexStar-related web site on the Internet ( and tests NexStar telescopes for Celestron.
  • Basic astronomy concepts are presented for the beginner in a brief, clear format.
  • Information is provided on each model of NexStar telescope and advice is given to aid in selecting the model best suited to the individual.
  • The alignment process, critical to achieve accurate GoTo performance, is detailed in its own chapter.  The new alignment methods introduced with the newer CPC, LCM, SE and SLT scopes are detailed in the Updates and Corrections section linked above or more conveniently in my Hand Control Version 4 User's Guide (free download).
  • Basic operation is covered in detail to provide a complete reference and to supplement scarce and sometimes confusing information in the owner's manual.
  • A chapter is provided to encourage the reader to expand viewing targets beyond just 'hunt and peck' on the hand control.
  • Additional chapters provide details on accessories, maintenance, collimation and other practical information.
  • A chapter is devoted to the use of personal computers (PCs) and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to supplement the features of the NexStar line.
  • Provides documentation for most RS-232 commands, including some not documented by Celestron.
  • Provides information for mounting other optical tubes to the NexStar GoTo mount.
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Pages: 315
  • Figures: 115, including more than 20 full-color astrophotographs
  • ISBN: 1852337141
  • Cover price: $29.95 (USD)

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Michael Swanson
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