Astronomy is a great hobby. One can start just by going outside and looking up at the night sky. Once comfortable with what is up there, a telescope is useful to see out a little further, details a little clearer, and objects a little bigger.
Last month we found a great deal on a 10" Meade LX200 GPS telescope up in New Hampshire. We took half a day off, drove for 2 hours, and brought back an almost brand new telescope along with a large collection of accessories.
The 8x50 finder is standard, along with the zero image-shift microfocuser, and 145,000-object library. The Meade LX200 GPS scope is that of a Schmidt-Cassegrain design. The near focus is about 50 feet. The focal length is 2500mm with a focal ratio of f/10. The maximum practical visual power is about 650X. Ours came with the optional UHTC coating. We will have more on the UHTC technology in a future article. The GPS alignment system is comprised of a 16-channel GPS receiver with magnetic declination compensation and true-level North sensors.
The Autostar II control system consists of a handheld controller, an upgradeable database, and an integrated control panel. Software upgrades may be downloaded from Meade and transferred to the scope's flash memory via the RS-232 port.
We expect that the software in our scope is probably a few upgrades behind. We will take a look on the Meade site to see what is the latest version of the firmware and upgrade accordingly. The next segment of this series will focus on the accessories which came with this Meade scope. Look for it in March.
We will set up the LX200GPS scope for a FirstUse when the weather gets a bit warmer. Both the the Meade 2045/CG-5 and the LX200GPS will be contributing to our astrophotography efforts in the Spring. [Permalink]- Meade LX200GPS