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Celestron StarSense Explorer 8" Smartphone App-Enabled Dobsonian Telescope

Let your smartphone take you on a guided tour of the night sky or city with the award-winning StarSense sky recognition technology. The Celestron StarSense Explorer 8" Smartphone App-Enabled Dobsonian Telescope requires no previous experience as the app's user-friendly interface and detailed tutorials provide a serious beginner with everything you can think of. 

The large 203mm aperture will keep your astronomical adventures going without outgrowing the telescope. It features a large parabolic primary mirror with XLT coatings that lets you view in extraordinary detail. The Dobsonian-style base is designed with diameter bearings and variable altitude tensioning that lets you easily follow your desired target with on-screen arrow indicators in a smooth up-and-down motion.

Going far or off the grid - the app is self-contained, so there is no need for a cellphone signal. It analyses star patterns and makes calculations in real-time to show you what you might be missing with the naked eye. You will be able to view Jupiter, Saturn, open star clusters like the Pleiades, double stars like Alberio, the Orion Nebula and more.

  • Use Smartphone for Tour of Night Sky
  • StarSense Sky Recognition Technology
  • Dobsonian-Style Base
  • 8" Newtonian Reflector Optical Tube
  • High-Quality 2" Crayford Focuser
  • Ergonomic Carry Handles
  • StarSense Explorer App for Android/iOS

See more and experience more - from planets, brighter nebulae, galaxies and star clusters.

Celestron has reinvented the Dobsonian telescope with StarSense Explorer—the first Dobsonian that uses your smartphone to analyse the night sky and calculate its position in real-time. This large-aperture Celestron StarSense Explorer is ideal for serious beginners, thanks to the app's user-friendly interface and detailed tutorials. It's like having your own personal tour guide of the night sky. The large aperture will ensure that you won’t outgrow the telescope as you continue on in your astronomical adventures.

Dock, Launch, Explore

Leave complicated star charts, imprecise planetarium apps, and computerised mounts behind. With StarSense Explorer, locating objects has never been easier, faster, or more accurate. Within minutes of setting up the telescope, you'll be navigating the sky with confidence. Simply place your phone in the unique StarSense dock and launch the StarSense Explorer app.

After aligning your phone to the telescope's optics (a quick and easy procedure), StarSense Explorer generates a list of celestial objects currently visible. Make your selection and arrows appear on-screen, guiding you as you move the telescope. When the object is ready to view in the eyepiece, the bullseye turns green. As you observe, listen to hundreds of audio descriptions and view detailed information about thousands of objects within the app’s robust database.

High-Quality Altazimuth Base

An ultra-stable Dobsonian base provides a sturdy foundation for StarSense Explorer. It features large diameter altitude bearings with variable tensioning, Teflon azimuth bearings, and braces on the side panels for extra stability (unlike most 8” Dobsonian bases). The altitude bearings provide a smooth up-and-down motion while the integrated altitude "brake" system allows you to adjust the tension along the altitude axis for smoothest motion even with slight imbalances. The panning knob on the telescope tube provides an ergonomic grip so you can precisely point the telescope without introducing heat from your hands into the optical system. As celestial objects appear to drift across the night sky, you'll be able to easily follow them with minor adjustments to the telescope’s position.

Dazzling Views with High-Quality Optics

With a large 8" Newtonian reflector optical tube, this telescope has enough light-gathering ability to bring out impressive detail in celestial objects while remaining remarkably portable. You can expect sharp, bright views of Jupiter's four Galilean moons, its cloud bands and Great Red Spot, the rings of Saturn, the gaseous glow of the Orion Nebula, dust lanes in the Lagoon Nebula, and our neighbour galaxy, Andromeda. Compared to the StarSense Explorer DX 130 AZ, the 8" Dobsonian has 240+% more light gathering area, providing better views of faint objects.

All mirror surfaces are coated with our XLT optical coatings to visibly increase contrast and light throughput for brighter views. With XLT, you'll be able to discern subtle details while viewing the Moon and planets, as well as faint galaxies and nebulae. The mirrors are made of low-expansion optical glass, which helps ensure the best images under changing environmental conditions.

This telescope also comes with a high-quality 2” Crayford focuser. The Crayford design provides precise and smooth movements without focus shifting. It also includes a 2” to 1.25” adapter and a 2” extension tube, so you can use virtually any 1.25” or 2” telescope eyepiece with your StarSense Explorer Dobsonian. The focuser also features a thumbscrew so you can lock in the sharpest focus.

Perfect for the City or Dark Sky Sites

Even if you live in a light-polluted city location, the Celestron StarSense Explorer 8” Dobsonian is advanced enough to easily pick out Jupiter, Saturn, open star clusters like the Pleiades, double stars like Alberio, the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, and more of the best and brightest celestial objects.

But if you can take the telescope to an even slightly darker location, more objects will become visible. With this 8" Dobsonian and relatively dark skies, hundreds of fascinating objects are well within your reach.

Transporting your StarSense Explorer Dobsonian is easy thanks to the ergonomic carry handles located at the balance point of the tube and base. Dust covers are also included for the front of the tube and the focuser.

Smartphone Compatibility

Celestron StarSense Explorer works with most modern smartphones, including iPhone 6 and up, and most devices running Android 7.1.2 or later manufactured since 2016.

Patented StarSense Sky Recognition Technology

StarSense Explorer uses patented technology and your smartphone to determine exactly where the telescope is pointed in the night sky. A Lost in Space Algorithm (LISA), like the ones satellites use in orbit to correctly orient themselves, helps the app match star patterns it detects overhead to its internal database.

While other astronomy apps may claim that they can help you find objects, they rely exclusively on the phone's gyros and accelerometers, which aren't as accurate as LISA technology. No other app can accurately tell you when your target is visible in the eyepiece.

Enhance Your Setup

Keep your phone charged all night while exploring with your StarSense Explorer by adding the PowerTank Glow 5000 to your must-have accessories (sold separately). This 2-in-1 accessory was made with the StarSense Explorer Dobs in mind, it has a red flashlight PLUS a USB power bank for charging mobile devices in the field. Connect the PowerTank Glow 5000 to the two posts at the front of the StarSense Explorer dock with the included bands so it is held in a convenient location for charging your smartphone while in use.


Optical Design
Dobsonian Reflector
203mm (8")
Focal Length
Focal Ratio
Included Eyepiece Focal Length
Included Eyepiece Magnification
StarPointer™ red-dot finderscope
Star Diagonal
Mount Type
Altazimuth Dobsonian base
Power Source
R 24,995 Off-site Warehouse
Payment plans available
Delivery Truck Free Standard shipping included. Faster options available

What's in the box

  • Celestron StarSense Explorer 8" Smartphone App-Enabled Dobsonian Telescope
    • 25mm Eyepiece
    • 2" Crayford Focuser
    • StarPointer Red-Dot Finderscope
    • StarSense Explorer Dock
    • Eyepiece Rack
    • Collimation Cap
    • Celestron Starry Night Basic Edition Software
  • Celestron StarSense Explorer 8" Dobsonian Base
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty

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