Celestron CGX 700 7" Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope

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$3,299.00

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700 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope with f/15 focal ratio provides high contrast views of the planets and lunar landscapes, perfect for serious planetary imagers and visual observers.


Celestron’s premium StarBright XLT coatings ensure maximum light transmission.


The CGX, with its 55 lb. load capacity, is Celestron’s most innovative, state-of-the art, computerized equatorial mount to date, and provides a very sturdy and rigid platform.
The drive system utilizes low cog DC Servo motors with integrated optical encoders, belt and pulley motor connection, spring-loaded steel worm gears supported by precision sealed bearings, and brass worm wheels for smooth, accurate slewing and tracking performance with little backlash.

Our Product #: CGX700
Celestron Product #: 12049
Recommended Accessories
 

Product Description

The 700 Maksutov-Cassegrain CGX telescope (CGX 700 Mak) is a specialized instrument designed for detailed, high contrast views of smaller celestial objects like the planets. With the Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tube and sturdy equatorial mount and tripod, this kit will provide unparalleled views of the planets and up-close views of the lunar surface, including craters and maria, Maks are also well suited to hunting smaller, fainter, deep sky objects such as globular clusters and planetary nebulae. Astronomers located in urban astronomers will appreciate the Mak’s ability to bring out more contrast in celestial objects. Transporting the entire system to a dark site is not a problem either. The optical tube, mount head, tripod, counterweight bar, and counterweight all disassemble, with no tools required, into separate manageable pieces.

Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical Design

The Mak is a catadioptric telescope, which means the optical design includes both a lens and a mirror. The light coming through a Mak passes through the corrector lens to the primary mirror and back to a spherical secondary mirror before it hits your eyepiece. Images are bright, sharp, and virtually free of chromatic aberration.

The Maksutov-Cassegrain’s optical design offers several unique benefits. Instead of a secondary mirror, the Mak features a “secondary spot” of reflective coating applied directly to the inside of the corrector plate. Because of this, the telescope does not require frequent collimation like a Schmidt-Cassegrain. Also, the secondary spot is significantly smaller than a traditional Schmidt-Cassegrain secondary mirror, giving the Mak its signature high-contrast views.

One important thing to note about Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes is that the larger, heavier Maksutov corrector plate takes longer to cool down and adjust to ambient air temperature compared to a Schmidt-Cassegrain of the same aperture.

CGX Mount & Tripod

The new Celestron CGX go-to equatorial mount looks like a cross between Celestron's CGEM II and the CGE Pro mount, combining the best features from both. The ergonomically-designed CGX has a fresh, attractive, bold appearance and easier set-up than earlier EQ mounts. Mechanical and electronic changes increase the peyload capacity to a solid 55 pounds. The new design provides a lower profile EQ head with a better balance point. Celestron has also added a integrated handles to assist with setup and transportation.

The CGX mount head contains dual-axis slewing/tracking motors on each axis for go-to computer control. This is where the real upgrades start.The mount uses spring-loaded worm gears with belt drives. The belt drives offer smooth, quiet operation, with precision slewing and tracking. The motor armatures are skewed to minimize cogging for precise jitter-free low speed tracking. The motor drives and their wiring are all internal, keeping them snag-free and free from dust and debris.

Redesigned electronics deliver constant regulated power to the motors, making them capable of driving the telescope even when the mount is not perfectly balanced. This allows the CGX to have the payload capacity of much larger mounts without sacrificing smooth tracking motion and pointing accuracy across the entire sky. For cutting edge mount control, the CGX supports Celestron's optional SkyPortal WiFi that lets you control the CGX from your smart devices. For automatic sky alignment, you can add Celestron's optional StarSense AutoAlign.

The mount requires a minimum 3.5 amp 12 VDC power supply to operate. The maximum 3.5 amp power draw happens only briefly when accelerating to the high speed slewing mode from a standing start, or decelerating from the high speed mode when approaching a computer-chosen object. Normal power draw with a well-balanced payload is generally less than half the maximum draw.

The mount comes with a car battery cord to operate from the cigarette lighter plug of your car or from a rechargeable 12V battery pack. The 17 amp hour capacity Celestron Power Tank #4517V is recommended and will operate the mount all night long without danger of running out of power. An optional Celestron #2338PRO 5 amp AC adapter will let you power the CGX all night long from household AC.

To make a casual polar alignment for visual use quick and easy, there's a latitude scale with large ergonomically-friendly altitude and azimuth adjustment knobs. No polar alignment finderscope is available to aid in the precise polar alignment required for long exposure astrophotography, nor is any needed.

A unique Celestron All-Star Polar Alignment program built into the NexStar hand control helps you do a very precise computerized polar alignment in mere minutes, using any bright star, even when Polaris is hidden by trees or buildings. It works in both northern and southern hemispheres. This technology basically gets rid of the need for a polar alignment scope.

The supplied 17 pound counterweight is locked in place with a single hand-tighten knob, making it easy to rebalance a scope if you add heavy photographic accessories. If needed, optional counterweights are available to balance very heavy loads.

For observing or imaging objects near the meridian (the imaginary line passing directly overhead from North to South), the CGX is designed to track 20° past the meridian for uninterrupted imaging through the most ideal part of the sky.

There are nine motor drive speeds: 0.5x and 1x sidereal for guiding; 4x, 8x, 16x, and 64x for centering; and 1°, 2°, and a fast 5° per second for slewing. Preset tracking rates include sidereal, solar, and lunar. Equatorial tracking modes are available for both northern and southern hemispheres.

New for the CGX mount is a telescope control software that has been developed in conjunction with Planewave Instruments. Planewave Instruments produces some of the most sophisticated imaging systems on the planet. The features of the included software are extremely robust. They include multi-point go-to modeling, focusing, and plate solving. ou will no longer need a third party advanced PC control software as this has it all.

The supplied NexStar computer hand control has a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars and objects. These include the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars; the planets, the Moon, and others. The custom database lists of all the most famous deep-sky objects by name and catalog number; the most beautiful double, triple and quadruple stars; selected variable stars; non-planetary solar system objects; and asterisms.

You can also store and edit the right ascension and declination of 100 additional user-defined objects of your own choosing, such as the comet and asteroid coordinates published monthly in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines. The computer control can find any of those objects with only a few keystrokes, and track them with high accuracy for visual or photographic applications. There is enhanced information on over 200 of the most note-worthy objects.

The NexStar hand control provides a constant digital r. a. and dec readout of the scope's position on the sky. This provides much greater accuracy than conventional manual setting circles for star-hopping or locating objects by their celestial coordinates alone, should you want to observe the old-fashioned way without using the computer to find objects for you.

The software built into the NexStar hand control includes mount calibration, database filter limits, hibernate, five alignment procedures, user-defined slew limits, a new "All-Star" polar alignment routine that uses any bright star for a quick and accurate polar alignment, and more. Built-in adjustable backlash compensation permits precise corrections during astrophotography and when observing visually at high powers. A high precision pointing subroutine in the computer lets you point accurately at objects that you want to photograph that are too dim to be seen though the scope.

The software includes permanent programmable periodic error correction (PEC) to correct for the minor periodic tracking errors inherent to all worm drives that might otherwise mar your long exposure photographs. The CGX mount retains the PEC recordings when it is powered down. The hand control and motor control software is flash-upgradeable to allow you to download the latest product updates over the Internet to keep your CGX mount always at the cutting edge of technology.

An autoguider port is located on the electronic pier for long exposure astrophotography. The autoguider port can use a six-pin RJ-12 modular jack ST-4 compatible CCD autoguider to automatically control the drive motors during long exposure astrophotography.

Five different alignment methods are built into the Celestron mount's NexStar computer: 2-star align, quick align, 1-star align, last alignment, and solar system align. This allows you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. Alignment is easily accomplished in only a few short minutes. You can be observing in less than 15 minutes after you first take your CGX-mounted scope outdoors.

In addition, the NexStar computer hand control is GPS-compatible (using an optional inexpensive SkySync GPS module) for full GPS (Global Positioning System) accuracy. Adding GPS to the computer is something no competitively-priced mount can do. Once the scope is approximately polar aligned, the 16-channel SkySync GPS system uses signals from government satellites to calculate the scope's location on earth with an accuracy measured in meters. The system also calculates the current time based on the split second accuracy of the GPS time signals.

After the SkySync quickly completes these calculations, and enters the information into the computer control for you automatically, the computer then orients the scope with the sky, slews to a pair of guide stars, asks you to confirm that the stars are in the center of the field (and center them if they're not precisely aligned), and then starts finding and tracking over 40,000 objects for you at your command. With the Celestron CGX go-to mount and the SkySync, orienting your scope in time and space on earth and aligning it on the sky becomes almost as easy a task as simply turning the mount on.

The new, 2" diameter adjustable height tripod has graduated markings on the legs to help with quick leveling.The center leg brace is drilled to form a convenient accessory tray that holds 1.25" and 2" eyepieces to keep them up out of the dew-soaked grass.

Optical tubes are installed on the CGX mount using a Dual-Slot on the mount head that accepts either a Celestron CGE-style or Losmandy D-plate dovetail slide bar or the narrower Vixen-Style dovetail. This allows the optical tube to be quickly and precisely balanced fore and aft on the mount, eliminating the need for an extra counterweight to balance a camera or other accessories. Setup and takedown times are exceptionally fast, as a single large hand-tighten knob holds the optical tube in place. A second lock knob prevents the tube from sliding off the mount should the hand-tighten knob loosen.

The complete CGX mount weighs 81 pounds (36.7 kg). The tripod weighs 20 pounds (9.1 kg). The equatorial head weighs 44 pounds (19.9 kg). The single supplied counterweight weighs 17 pounds (7.7 kg).

Accessories Included

The CGX 700 Mak comes complete with a 2” Visual Back, a 2” Star Diagonal with 1.25” adapter, a 28 mm wide-field 2” eyepiece, and a large 8x50 straight-through finderscope. The optical tube accommodates the larger 2” accessories, such as 2” Barlow lenses, the 2” eyepiece and filter kit, and larger wide-field eyepieces.

StarBright XLT Technology

StarBright XLT is Celestron’s revolutionary optical coating system that outperforms any other coating in the commercial telescope market. There are three major components that make up our StarBright XLT high-transmission optical system design:

Unique enhanced multi-layer mirror coatings made from precise layers of aluminum, SiO2 (quartz), TiO2 (titanium dioxide), and SiO2 (silicon dioxide). Reflectivity is fairly flat across the spectrum, optimizing it for both imaging and visual observing.
Multi-layer anti-reflective coatings made from precise layers of MgF2 (magnesium fluoride) and HfO2 (hafnium dioxide). Hafnium—a rare element that costs nearly $2,000 per kilogram—gives us a wider band pass than the titanium used in competing coatings.
High-transmission water white glass is used instead of soda lime glass for the corrector lens. Water white glass transmits about 90.5% without anti-reflective coatings; that’s 3.5% better transmission than uncoated soda lime glass. When water white glass is used in conjunction with StarBright XLT’s anti-reflective coatings, the average transmission reaches 97.4%, an 8% improvement.

Taken together, these three components make StarBright XLT one of the finest optical coatings available. 

Celestron’s Starry Night Special Edition Software

Starry Night is a planetarium software package which provides easy-to-understand explanations and impressive visuals of all kinds of night sky phenomena. Use Starry Night to learn more about extra solar planets imagery, 3D Stars rendering, observation planning, telescope control, multiple-panel printing, and much more. Starry Night is available on macOS and Microsoft Windows. 

Tech Details

Aperture 180mm
Focal Length 2700mm
Focal Ratio f/15
Heaviest Single Component 44 pounds
Highest Useful Magnification 420x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 104.2 pounds
Optical Coatings Starbright XLT
Resolution .52 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 28mm 2"
Telescope Type Maksutov-Cassegrain
View Finder 8x50
Visual Limiting Magnitude 13.9
Warranty 2 years

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Supplied Accessories

Accessories included: 2” Visual Back, 2” Star Diagonal with 1.25” adapter, 28 mm eyepiece (2”), 8x50 finderscope