Celestron 6" NexStar Evolution Computerized Telescope

Celestron 6" NexStar Evolution Computerized Telescope
Item # CE-12090
  • Control your Celestron 6" NexStar Evolution Computerized Telescope wirelessly from your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet with the free Celestron mobile app with planetarium interface and SkyAlign technology
  • Compact, portable 6-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube with StarBright XLT optical coatings and Fastar compatibility
  • Computerized GoTo mount with high-performance worm gears and motors for improved tracking accuracy, along with reduced gear backlash
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with enough power for 10 hours of continuous observing
  • Improved industrial design with manual clutches and integrated carry handles, plus the added convenience of two accessory trays and a USB charge port for your smart device


Celestron 6" NexStar Evolution Computerized Telescope


Celestron’s signature telescopes reach a new level with NexStar Evolution 6, the first Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with integrated WiFi. Leave your hand control behind and slew to all the best celestial objects with a tap of your smartphone or tablet. Connect your device to NexStar Evolution’s built-in wireless network, and explore the universe with the Celestron mobile app for iOS and Android.

Use the planetarium interface to view the night sky in real time or display a list of celestial objects currently visible based on your time and location. The proprietary SkyAlign alignment procedure is built right into the Celestron mobile app, so you’re ready to observe within minutes.

When using the optional Nexstar+ Hand Controller, the alignment procedures available are the same as with the Nexstar SE and CPC/CPC-DLX series telescopes. These include the one-star, two-star, and Sky-Align methods. The Nexstar Evolution Series is compatible with the Celestron SkySync GPS system, so there is no need to manually enter latitude, longitude, and time, when using this accessory.


Celestron engineers designed NexStar Evolution based on years of customer feedback. It offers many thoughtful design features that combine to provide you the best possible experience out under the stars. 

Forget about batteries or an external power supply. For the first time ever on a consumer telescope, NexStar Evolution includes its own built-in lithium-ion battery. You’ll be able to enjoy stargazing marathons up to 10 hours on a single charge. You can even use NexStar Evolution’s USB charge port to top off the other devices in your life that need to stay powered on during an observing session.

Setting up your NexStar Evolution is quick and painless with large, ergonomic handles. The steel tripod features leg etchings to help you achieve a level, uniform height for your telescope. Manual clutches in both altitude and azimuth offer greater flexibility to manually point the telescope when powered off. Store up to 7 eyepieces in 2 accessory trays, one with an adjustable red LED illuminator.


If you’re interested in astroimaging, the 6-inch NexStar Evolution is an excellent, affordable way to get started. It’s the only fork-mounted telescope in its price range that offers worm gears, along with improved motors. NexStar Evolution’s tracking accuracy is so impressive, you can capture images of deep-sky objects like the Orion Nebula by simply attaching your DSLR camera. As you progress in the hobby of astroimaging, you can add our Pro HD Wedge to achieve longer exposures for more detailed astrophotos.

Of course, the Schmidt-Cassegrain optical system offers bright, sharp views with StarBright XLT optical coatings—a great choice for visual observers and budding astroimagers alike.

NexStar Evolution includes a StarPointer finderscope, two 1.25” Plossl eyepieces, a 1.25” star diagonal, AC adapter, and optional hand control.

Additional Information

Additional Information

SKU CE-12090
UPC Code 050234120906
Manufacturer Celestron
Telescope Series Celestron NexStar Evolution
Optical Design Schmidt-Cassegrain
Mount Type Alt-Azimuth - GoTo
Warranty 2 Year Warranty
Telescope Aperture 6"
Telescope Focal Ratio 1500mm
Telescope Focal Length f/10
Limiting Stellar Magnitude 13.4
Highest Useful Magnification 354X
Optical Coatings Celestron XLT
Tube Color or Finish Celestron Grey
Length of Optical Tube 16"
Focuser Style Internal Moving Primary
Manual or Electronic Focusing? Manual
Focusing Speeds One-Speed
Dew Shield Included? No, Sold Separately
Diagonal Included? Yes - 1.25" Star Diagonal
Finder Included Red Dot Finder
Eyepiece(s) Included 13mm, 40mm
Hand Controller Included? Yes
Power Adapter Included AC Wall Adapter
CD ROMs Included None
Alignment Procedure 3-Star Alignment, SkyAlign, Solar System Align
Tracking Modes Lunar, Sidereal, Solar
Objects in Database 120,000
OTA Mount Type Single Arm
Tripod Type Included Adjustable with Steel Legs
Total Telescope Weight 35.4 lb.

Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

Works as advertised, right out of the box!
The Celestron Nexstar Evolution 6" is my first telescope. I bought it about a week ago, and have only had one chance to use it, due to weather. It is very quick and easy to set up. I followed the super simple instructions on how to align the scope, and it worked perfectly! I was able to point at an object and select "go to", and the scope found and centered it perfectly! I was amazed at the detail I saw in Jupiter and it's moons. I could easily see the bands and the red spot. I am eager to get out to some really dark areas away from town to take a look at some deep sky objects. I can't get over how easy this scope is to use!!
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by Steve W / (Posted on 12/20/2014)
Evolution 6 is a winner!
I give the Celestron NexStar Evolution 6 a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 and highly recommend it to both beginners as well as experienced telescope users. I have been using telescopes since my first one at age 7 over 55 years ago. The NexStar Evolution 6 is truly a 21st-century instrument that largely lives up to the claims made for it.

I teach astronomy at a local 4-year university and have been responsible for making departmental purchase recommendations for amateur-sized telescopes for most of the past ten years. Our collection of portable “rooftop” telescopes include 4 Orion 8-inch Intelliscope reflectors, 2 Vixen ED80sf refractors on Porta Mounts, 2 Celestron 8-inch CPC SCTs, and a Celestron NexStar SE6 SCT.

Because we do several public observing nights during each academic semester, the decision was made about seven years ago to acquire telescopes that had motorized go-to systems. Two C-8 CPCs were purchased, and both worked right out of the box. The “problem” with these scopes is their sheer size and weight. The robust tripod and beefy fork mount makes the CPC a very stable observing platform, but these features make moving one even a short distance difficult. Moving the scope and mount together requires two people, care in handling, and the time to do so.

About 3-1/2 years ago, we acquired a NexStar 6SE, which quickly became my favorite telescope to use with students. It is lightweight enough that I can move it easily as a single unit out to the roof. Both the SE6 and the Evolution 6 use the single arm alt-az style of mounting the telescope. We have electrical outlets on our roof, so we use the AC/DC adaptor. Set-up is through the NexStar handset, which is very similar to the handset used on the CPC and other Celestron mounts. The go-to function on the SE6 is one of the most accurate I have used (which is important as our campus is heavily light polluted). This is a great scope, and it is the least expensive motorized go-to system at $800.

I was preparing to recommend that the department acquire another SE6 for our collection, when Celestron announced the Evolution 6 earlier this year. The specifications for the new mount (that is where the “evolution” has occurred) were such that I had the department order one.

As of this posting, I have used the NexStar Evolution 6 three times: an initial test at home over two nights and during our first public night on October 1, 2014.

The OTA is the same as the one for the older NexStar SE6 (except for tube color). The optical tube is excellent as anyone who has used a Celestron SCT can attest. The new features are in the mount and tripod. The tripod is a bit more robust with detents in the legs for easier leveling. The spreader is better: metal with holes for holding eyepieces. The mount itself is considerably heavier than the one for the SE6. It has two very nice handholds and additional space for eyepieces. The manual clutches (missing on the SE6) are large and easy to use. Yet, the mount and telescope together can be moved easily and more securely than the SE6 because of the new handholds.

The spreader is attached by sliding it over a steel rod that hangs down from the underside of the tripod. The end of the rod is threaded to accept a knurled knob with a threaded nut. For some reason, instead of making the rod the same diameter for its entire length, Celestron machined a smaller diameter section just above the threads at the end of the rod. The rod (with threads) comes back to its regular diameter a few inches above this “gap.” Unlike my CG-5 tripod’s rod that is of uniform diameter, making attachment of the spreader easy, the Evolution tripod’s rod left me unable to tighten the knob fully with the tripod standing upright. (It was spinning in the gap.) I finally got the spreader knob tight by holding the tripod across my knees, allowing me to exert more force on the spreader. In this way, I was able to push it up tight against the tripod legs, which enabled the knob to find the threads above the gap. I suggest that Celestron go back to a threaded rod of uniform diameter.

The "big" story for the Evolution’s mount is internal: worm gears (rather than the less accurate spur gears), lithium-ion battery, and Wi-Fi. From my test on two successive nights, I estimate 10 hours total battery life at normal usage before recharging, which is in line with what Celestron is claiming. Here is something that I have yet to try. Once the scope is aligned (at night), do not turn off the mount. Mark the spot where the alignment was done. Move the telescope indoors and plug in the mount (to keep the battery charged). Then next day take the scope back to its original position; with the telescope still “on,” the alignment should still be good. The go-to should then make it easy to spot objects like planets during the daytime.

The SkyPortal app (a “lite” version of SkySafari) loaded with no problem on my iPhone 5c and iPad. (I used both in the test, and both worked the same. I prefer the phone because it is easier to hold, and you can work it with one hand. I had the iPad mounted in a holder (from iStabilizer) that was attached to a camera tripod so I wouldn't have to hold it. It worked but was more awkward than the phone.) The Evolution's built-in Wi-Fi connected without incident once I loaded it onto the iPhone's list of Wi-Fi sites. The use of SkySafari as the basis of SkyPortal was a good choice as it is stable and reliable. Celestron’s use of SkySafari sets the benchmark for easy smartphone control of a telescope. (Versions of SkyPortal are available for both iOS and Android.)

Wisely, Celestron decided to include the traditional handset with the Evolution series. The handset works the same as the one on the SE6. If you want to set the date and time for the solar system, you have to use the handset. Also, the handset can tell you the battery status. At home, I used the SkyAlign feature (which I had never used before) via the SkyPortal app. (I was always old-school, doing the traditional three star alignment where you need to know the names of the stars used in the alignment process.) SkyAlign, available on the handset, is the only option using SkyPortal. SkyAlign was so easy to use that I will now use it exclusively.

I want to interject a comment about Celestron’s documentation. Instructions for setting up the scope are passable, but written support for the handset are poor. I had to spend time searching for the place in the handset’s nested menus where one can check on the status of the built-in battery. Celestron needs to supply a diagram showing the various menu choices available on the handset. For safety reasons, solar tracking is turned off. One has to go into the handset (via the planets menu) to turn on tracking for the Sun. (This was also true for the SE6.)

SkyAlign via SkyPortal worked perfectly on both nights. With SkyAlign you do not need to know the names of the alignment stars. One just picks three bright stars, and the computer does the rest. On the first night of testing in my backyard, the sky was very hazy. Literally, I could only see 4 stars: Arcturus, Vega, Deneb, and Altair. I chose Arcturus, Vega, and Deneb, and Sky Align correctly identified each one. Over the two nights I tested the scope at home, the go-to worked great. I could not see the stars in Hercules, but the go-to put M13 right in the eyepiece. The second night’s results mirrored the first.

The really neat aspect of the Evolution’s mount and SkyPortal control is one’s ability to go to an object without first thinking to look for it in a database. As I was scrolling the Sky Portal “sky,” I noticed the Garnet Star (Herschel's Garnet Star, a carbon star). Now, normally, I would first have to think of that star, check to see if it were visible, and then go into the handset's database of named stars to find it. With SkyPortal, I saw it onscreen (though it wasn't visible naked eye), tapped on it, and a few seconds later it was in the field of view. That was very cool indeed.

Now, there is one thing I did discover. The “buttons” that appear on the SkyPortal app screen to control altitude and azimuth sometimes produced a lag in response when tapped. This was minor when I tested the scope at home. (You control the speed of slewing via a slider onscreen in SkyPortal.) However, during our first public night on the roof of our science building, the response from using the on-screen control buttons was not good. There was a lag in response followed by an overshoot, so I had a lot of trouble getting an object (a star) into the field of view during the alignment process. I finally gave up and used the handset. Because I really did not have this problem at home (where the only other signal is my Wi-Fi), I am thinking that on the roof during the public night there was the strong university Wi-Fi signal, numerous other cell phones, and metal slats that sit on top of that sit on top of the wall that surrounds our rooftop. Perhaps all of these things created interference that affected the Evolution’s on-board Wi-Fi and its ability to communicate with the mount via my iPhone. I will have to do more testing on the roof to see if this problem persists.

I give the NexStar Evolution 6 a grade of 4.5/5.0 because of three things: tripod spreader rod gap, inadequate documentation, and sluggish (at times) alt-az control using SkyPortal. All three of these issues are relatively minor, and all three can be fixed. While changing the design of the rod may take a few manufacturing cycles, the other two can be fixed quickly. Added documentation can be placed online, and Celestron can issue an update to SkyPortal that addresses the sometimes sluggish onscreen “button” response.

Given that this is new technology, Celestron should be congratulated not only for implementing features that are useful and very cool but for doing so in a refined manner and at a price point that is not exorbitant.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by AstroProf / (Posted on 10/14/2014)
Included Items

Included Items

  • StarPointer Finderscope
  • 40mm 1.25” Plossl Eyepiece
  • 13mm 1.25" Plossl Eyepiece
  • 1.25” Star Diagonal
  • AC Adapter
Questions & Answers

Product Questions

Is it possible (or practical) to use a Baader 2" Clicklock diagonal with this scope?
Would you know what the weight of the individual components are for this telescope: tripod, mount and OTA? Especially the weight of the mount, since I am wondering if it is exactly the same mount as for the Evo 8 and Evo 9.25?
Could I please get the dimensional specs for the tripod and mount head as follows:
1) Minimum "stowed" length WITH legs collapsed and retracted all the way in and mount head still attached but no OTA attached.
2) Diameter of mount base
3) Also need minimum stowed length of ONLY the tripod with no mount head attached.

(Needed to determine size of tripod bag I will be ordering from you). Thanks.
Is it possible to purchase the 6" Evolution with the larger 9.25 tripod as a substitute for the standard tripod?
Mounts for 6 & 8 are the same?, what is the mount load capacity of the 6 inch. model
Could I ask what the height is of the tripod: both at its minimum hight, and at its maximum height?
Specs say no hand controller (one is shown in one of the pics). Where is the 120,000 object database stored? Is the database part of the phone app? What hand controller will work with this scope? Will an Advanced Series (CG-5 mount) controller work?
1) What kind of alignment procedure(s) does this series of scopes use? 2) Can the auxillary Celestron Skysync GPS unit be used with the Evolution scopes, or must one's location be entered manually only?
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