SolarMax II 60 DS 2.4" F/6.6 solar telescope with 10mm blocking filter

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This Coronado SolarMax II 60 DS Hydrogen-Alpha solar telescope by Meade is “double-stacked,” with two filter etalons for increased contrast of solar disk features. One etalon is internal and uses Coronado’s unique RichView tuning system. The removable second etalon threads onto the front of the scope and is separately tunable using the well-known Coronado T-Max tuning system.

Double-stacking the etalons improves the scope’s already outstanding resolution and contrast by cutting the single etalon model’s narrow <0.7 Ångstrom passband to a very narrow <0.5 Ångstrom. Narrowing the passband improves the contrast and visibility of subtle disk features, although it slightly reduces the brightness of prominences. For maximum prominence brightness, the front etalon of the SolarMax II 60 DS can be removed to let the scope function as a single etalon solar scope providing a <0.7 Ångstrom passband. The 10mm clear aperture blocking filter is designed for binoviewing and imaging with medium (APS-C) chip size DSLR and CCD cameras in both single and double etalon configurations.

The scope itself is a brass and black 60mm aperture 400mm focal length f/6.6 refractor that is custom-built to optimize the performance of Coronado’s unique RichView tuning solar filter.

The Coronado SolarMax II 60 DS is designed to do much more for you than merely show you sunspots, as an ordinary white light solar filter can. The SolarMax II 60 DS will reveal the ever-changing tapestry of prominences leaping off the edges of the solar disk, the explosive upheavals of flares on the face of the Sun, and the subtle mottling of granulation across the face of this nearest of stars. And it will let you image all of it in exquisite detail.

The three-piece solar filter consists of a sub-aperture etalon in the body of the scope with a lever-type RichView tuning assembly, a second etalon at the front of the scope with a rotary dial T-Max tuner, and a 10mm clear aperture blocking filter in the scope’s 1.25” star diagonal. The dual-etalon “double-stacked” solar filter has a <0.5 Ångstrom passband, centered on the 6562.8 Ångstrom H-Alpha line. The very narrow passband width gives you higher contrast on disk details than a single etalon system, with only a slight reduction in prominence brightness. The filters are thermally stable, so there is no drifting off the H-Alpha line as the filters heat up during extended use.

The 10mm clear aperture of the blocking filter built into the star diagonal is designed to provide full disk views of the Sun for visual use and imaging. It is better suited for binoviewing than the economical basic 5mm blocking filter versions of this scope (single-etalon #SMT60-5 and dual-etalon #SMT60DS-5) that are designed primarily for single eyepiece viewing. There are also 15mm blocking filter versions (single-etalon #SMT60-15 and dual-etalon #SMT60DS-15) that are well-suited for binoviewer use and for imagers who need a wider illuminated field for use with larger chip DSLR and CCD cameras.

The new and revolutionary lever-type RichView tuning assembly of the Meade Coronado SolarMax II DS internal etalon represents a breakthrough in solar observing. This patented system allows very subtle and precise direct tuning of the primary filter etalon by a lever in the side of the scope body to shift the filter’s passband off the H-Alpha line. The removable external solar filter etalon has a separate rotary dial T-Max passband tuner installed that lets you mechanically tilt the external filter’s passband off the H-Alpha line fine-tune the scope’s overall performance.

The joint action of the individually tuned etalons lets you observe Doppler-shifted solar activity with exceptional finesse and subtlety. This lets you determine whether Doppler-shifted features, such as flares, are moving towards you or away from you as they leap off the surface of the Sun. No other commercially available H-Alpha telescope can provide the tuning range and accuracy of the SolarMax II DS. Now you can tune for the highest contrast views of active regions, flares, filaments, and other surface detail at a finger’s touch, then quickly and easily re-tune for prominences on the solar limb.

The SolarMax II 60 DS has a manual 1.25” drawtube that extends for a coarse initial focus. A helical focusing ring around the drawtube then provides the appropriate final fine focusing. This method provides enough back focus to allow both visual observing and imaging with medium chip size DSLR and CCD cameras.

A Coronado Cemax 25mm 1.25” eyepiece is standard equipment, providing a magnification of 16x and a 3.25° field. You can use most 1.25” eyepieces with the Coronado SolarMax II 60 DS, as well. Any good quality 50° field Plössls will work well, as their contrast is generally good and their fields are wide and flat. For optimum solar detail, however, consider adding a 12mm (33x) or 18mm (22x) Coronado Cemax eyepiece to your system. Like the supplied 25mm, these Coronado eyepieces use an anti-reflection multicoatings formula that has been optimized for the highest possible contrast during solar viewing of subtle prominence and surface detail. For still higher power views, consider adding the Coronado Cemax 2x Barlow to your system. Like the Cemax eyepieces, its performance and coatings are optimized for solar observing.

A hard carrying case is standard equipment to transport and store the 60mm Coronado SolarMax II DS. A 1/4"-20 thread tripod adapter socket is built into the scope’s clamshell mounting ring to allow using the 6 lb. SolarMax II DS telescope on a suitably-sturdy photo tripod, as well as on most astronomical mounts by adding an optional dovetail mounting plate. The supplied Coronado Sol Ranger Sun Finder makes it easy to center the Sun’s image in the eyepiece. The Sol Ranger connects to the supplied SolarMax II DS clamshell scope mounting ring as can be seen in the image above.

Focal Length:
This is the length of the effective optical path of a telescopeor eyepiece (the distance from the main mirror or lens where the lightis gathered to the point where the prime focus image is formed). Focallength is typically expressed in millimeters.

The longer the focallength, the higher the magnification and the narrower the field of viewwith any given eyepiece. The shorter the focal length, the lower themagnification and the wider the field of view with the same eyepiece.

Focal Ratio:
This is the ‘speed’ of a telescope’s optics, found by dividing the focal length by the aperture. The smaller the f/number, the lower the magnification, the wider the field, and the brighter the image with any given eyepiece or camera.

Fast f/4 to f/5 focal ratios are generally best for lower power wide field observing and deep space photography. Slow f/11 to f/15 focal ratios are usually better suited to higher power lunar, planetary, and binary star observing and high power photography. Medium f/6 to f/10 focal ratios work well with either.

An f/5 system can photograph a nebula or other faint extended deep space object in one-fourth the time of an f/10 system, but the image will be only one-half as large. Point sources, such as stars, are recorded based on the aperture, however, rather than the focal ratio – so that the larger the aperture, the fainter the star you can see or photograph, no matter what the focal ratio.

This is the ability of a telescope to separate closely-spaced binary stars into two distinct objects, measured in seconds of arc. One arc second equals 1/3600th of a degree and is about the width of a 25-cent coin at a distance of three miles! In essence, resolution is a measure of how much detail a telescope can reveal. The resolution values on our website are derived using the Dawes’ limit formula.

Dawes’ limit only applies to point sources of light (stars). Smaller separations can be resolved in extended objects, such as the planets. For example, Cassini’s Division in the rings of Saturn (0.5 arc seconds across), was discovered using a 2.5” telescope – which has a Dawes’ limit of 1.8 arc seconds!

The ability of a telescope to resolve to Dawes’ limit is usually much more affected by seeing conditions, by the difference in brightness between the binary star components, and by the observer’s visual acuity, than it is by the optical quality of the telescope.

1.93 arc seconds
This is the diameter of the light-gathering main mirror or objective lens of a telescope. In general, the larger the aperture, the better the resolution and the fainter the objects you can see.
The weight of this product.
8 lbs.
1 year
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General Accessories
Dovetail Plates (1)
4" Dovetail plate to mount Coronado solar scopes on Meade LXD-75 or Vixen-style mounts
by Coronado Instruments
Visual Accessories
Barlow Lenses (1)
1.25" 2X CEMAX Barlow enhanced for solar viewing
by Coronado Instruments
Eyepieces (2)
18mm CEMAX 1.25" enhanced for solar viewing
by Coronado Instruments
12mm CEMAX 1.25" enhanced for solar viewing
by Coronado Instruments
  • 60mm f/6.6 optical tube, <0.5 Ångstrom SolarMax II DS dual-etalon Hydrogen-alpha filter, both RichView and T-Max tilt-tuning units, combined 10mm aperture BF5 blocking filter and 1.25” star diagonal, 25mm Cemax 1.25” eyepiece (16x), lens cover, clamshell mounting ring, Sol Ranger finder, hard case.
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Coronado Instruments - SolarMax II 60 DS 2.4" F/6.6 solar telescope with 10mm blocking filter

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Coronado Instruments - SolarMax II 60 DS 2.4" F/6.6 solar telescope with 10mm blocking filterLarge image of Coronado SolarMax II 60 DS 60mm double stack.
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Our Product #: SMT60DS-10
Manufacturer Product #: SMT60DS-10
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The 60mm Coronado SolarMax II 60 DS dual-etalon solar telescope has a very narrow <0.5 Ångstrom passband H-Alpha solar filter with unique RichView tuning. Its 10mm blocking filter provides you with extra-high contrast views and binoviews of solar surface features, as well as good views of solar prominences and more . . .

. . . our 38th year