Meade LX200-ACF 16" Advanced Coma-Free Go-to altazimuth, with tripod

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The Meade 16" LX200-ACF Advanced Coma-Free go-to telescope with UHTC multicoatings has research-grade optics on a go-to mount that's transportable (if not exactly portable), at a price within reach and reason. This Meade's coma-free field rivals that of the Ritchey-Chrétien optics used in many of the world's largest research telescopes.
Our Product #: 16210RU
Meade Product #: 1610-60-02
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Product Description

The Meade 16" LX200-ACF (Advanced Coma-Free) catadioptric telescope with UHTC multicoatings provides the serious amateur astronomer and school or college observatory with a complete and fully-functional large-aperture telescope at a sensible price. This Meade's coma-free optical performance rivals that of professional Ritchey-Chrétien telescopes.

This scope includes everything you need to observe - an optical tube with flat-field/coma-free optics and the highest possible light transmission state-of-the-art optical coatings, a go-to motorized fork mount, tripod, star diagonal, and even an eyepiece.

If you have an observatory under dark skies that can take full advantage of its immense light gathering capacity (four times that of an 8" scope), or are willing to regularly transport this very heavy (318 lb.) scope to the dark sky site it needs for best performance, this is a scope that can keep you happily observing and photographing the heavens for the rest of your life.

This Telescope's Optical System . . .

Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric designed to emulate the optical performance of a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope: 16" aperture catadioptric (4064mm focal length f/10). Fully multicoated UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) optics with oversized primary mirror for brighter field edge illumination. Aluminum tube construction with glare-stop baffling and mirror lock. Guaranteed diffraction-limited performance. For more details, click on the "LX200-ACF UHTC optics" icon in the support tab above.

Finderscope: 8 x 50mm straight-through achromatic design, with a 5° field of view and 14mm eye relief.

Star diagonal: 2" Series 5000 99% reflectivity dielectric-coated mirror, with 1.25" eyepiece adapter and electric microfocuser.

Eyepiece: 1.25" 26mm Series 4000 Plössl (156x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.32°, 64% the diameter of the full Moon, for detailed lunar, planetary, and deep space views.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Fork mount/drive system: Die-cast aluminum drive base with removable fork arm assembly to reduce assembly weight. The mount includes servo-controlled 12 volt DC high torque slewing and tracking motors in both altitude and azimuth. The motors drive 11" worm gears in both axes. A supplied adapter (with a 25' cord) powers the 12 VDC scope from 110-120 volt 60 Hz AC household current in your back yard or observatory. For more details, click on the "16" LX200 mount" icon in the support tab above.

GPS/AutoStar II computer: A 16-channel GPS (global positioning satellite) receiver is built into the top of the telescope's left fork arm. The GPS receiver, in conjunction with a built-in electronic compass and AutoStar computer control, automatically aligns the scope on the sky so that the AutoStar computer can locate for you the 147,541 stars and objects in its memory.

The AutoStar computer quickly and automatically moves the scope to any desired object (with an accuracy typically in the two arc minute range) and flawlessly tracks the object while you observe at your leisure. In addition, the AutoStar computer provides numerous visual, tracking, and photographic tools and functions to make your observing easier and more enjoyable.

Unique "Smart Mount" technology can constantly improve the already high pointing accuracy of the telescope with every object that you center precisely and synchronize on during a night's observing. For more details on these features, click on the "LX200 computer" icon in the support tab above.

Super Giant field tripod: Due to the size and 230 pound weight of the 16" scope, a Super Giant Field Tripod is standard equipment. The 88 pound tripod has a rigid cast aluminum head and 4" diameter chromed steel legs. The top of the tripod is 32" above the ground. There are 4" long chromed steel inner legs that permit leveling the tripod. Two large hand-tighten knobs per leg lock the inner legs firmly at the desired length.

Vibration-damping rubber tips on each leg help damp vibrations when the tripod is used on a hard surface, such as a driveway or concrete observing pad. The rubber tips can be removed when the tripod is used on dirt or grass, allowing the tripod legs to sink firmly into the ground to help damp tripod vibrations.

A single threaded rod with a large hand-tighten knob simultaneously holds the scope firmly on the tripod and locks the legs rigidly in the most stable position.

AutoStar Suite Astronomer Software: This standard equipment CD-ROM software package is designed to integrate the telescope with your Windows-based PC or laptop computer for an enhanced range of performance features. The AutoStar Suite Software includes a planetarium program with a database of 19,000,000 stars and deep space objects for display on your computer screen. It includes all the standard planetarium program features for stand-alone use when nights are cloudy. In addition, it contains programs for controlling the telescope from your laptop or PC. For more details on the many capabilities and features of the AutoStar Suite Software, click on the "AutoStar software" icon in the support tab above.

What can you see through a 16" LX200-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics?

With a flat coma-free field, state-of-the-art UHTC multicoated optics, and a resolving power of 0.29 arc seconds, this 16" Meade is an advanced instrument capable of serious research and astrophotography for advanced amateur and university alike.

With four times the light gathering capacity of an 8" scope (over two and a half times that of a 10" scope), this scope's fully-coated 16" optics give the Universe a detail and extent at dark sky sites that no smaller scope can approach - no matter how good that smaller scope might be. Visual observing is an extraordinarily rewarding experience. And the higher light transmission of the multicoated UHTC optics shows itself photographically in shorter exposure times.

The advantages of the scope's coma-free field, fully multicoated optics, and large diffraction-limited aperture are immediately apparent, particularly to the experienced observer with an eye trained to see extremely fine detail. Color becomes visible to the eye in many nebulas. Orion is a glowing blue-green mass of filaments, often tinged with red and yellow for the keen-eyed observer from a dark sky site. Globular clusters can be resolved to their cores, with each cluster becoming a vivid ball of tiny starpoints instead of a hazy blur. Knottings and structure in the arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy become clear.

Small details in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn and on the surface of Mars reveal themselves at high powers (given suitably good seeing and a filter to cut down the immense brightness of a scope with over 3300 times the light-gathering capacity your eye).
The more obscure Messier and NGC objects (such as planetary nebula NGC 3242 in Hydra, spiral galaxy M100 in Coma Berenices, and open cluster NGC 6231 in Scorpius) show detail invisible in smaller scopes.

Difficult low surface brightness objects like the Crab Nebula (M1) in Taurus, the face-on Spiral Galaxy (M33) in Triangulum, and the Owl Nebula (M97) in Ursa Major begin to show their essential structures under high-power visual observation. The stars in open clusters remain crisp and point-like to the edge of the field, thanks to the Advanced Coma-Free performance that is similar to that of professional Ritchey-Chrétien optics, but at only a fraction the price.

These same objects yield magnificently detailed long-exposure CCD and 35mm images with shorter exposure times than a scope with standard optical coatings. However, field rotation will cause stars at the corners of an image to streak during exposures longer than five minutes.

This scope needs truly dark and steady skies if you want to take full advantage of its large aperture and superb optical performance. It's not a scope that's happy in a light-polluted suburban observing environment. Because of its size and weight, it's also not a scope you can take out to a dark sky site on the spur of the moment, particularly if you're the Lone Observer. This scope needs either a permanent observatory building or a crew of at least two to travel.
The scope is very substantial in both size and weight. While it is transportable, it is not truly portable.

The optical tube weighs 125 pounds. The drive base/fork arm assembly weighs 105 pounds. At least two able-bodied people are needed to lift the scope's components safely onto its 88 lb. tripod. In addition, once on the tripod, a blind hole in the base of the scope has to be aligned with a blind hole and threaded rod in the top of the tripod to lock the scope in place. Another person to thread the rod into the scope base while the lifters position the scope to line up the holes would make the job easier and less adventurous in the dark.

But, if you have dark skies and help getting to them, and the thought of a permanent observatory doesn't faze you, this 16" LX200-ACF with fully multicoated UHTC optics may be the ultimate scope for you. It has enough aperture to keep you busy observing and imaging for the rest of your life, with state-of-the art Advanced Coma-Free optics that emulate the performance of professional Ritchey-Chrétien reflectors at a fraction the price. It has equally state-of-the-art UHTC multicoatings and enough useful features to handle almost any observing or astrophotography chore you set for it.

Tech Details

Aperture 16"
Focal Length 4064mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Heaviest Single Component 125 lbs.
Highest Useful Magnification 813x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 318 lbs.
Optical Coatings UHTC
Resolution 0.29 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece 21mm MWA 2"
Telescope Type Advanced Coma-Free
View Finder 8x50
Visual Limiting Magnitude 15.5
Warranty 1 year


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Supplied Accessories

  • 16" f/10 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optics with UHTC group multicoatings (multicoated enhanced aluminum coated Pyrex mirrors overcoated with quartz and multicoated water white glass corrector lens), integral glare stops in the baffle tube, primary mirror lock, integral cooling fan in rear cell, and 4-speed zero image shift microfocuser
  • Heavy duty fork mount with carrying/tube positioning handles, electric slow motion controls and locks on both axes
  • 16-channel GPS (global positioning system) automatic alignment system, with electronic true-level sensor and automatic magnetic declination correction
  • AutoStar II go-to computer control system with Smart Mount Technology, 3.5 Megabyte flash memory, multifunction keypad hand control with 2-line digital readout display, permanently programmable Smart Drive dual-axis periodic error correction, 195-speed drive controls on both axes (with slewing at up to 6 degrees per second), High-Precision Pointing, onboard celestial software library with 147,541 objects
  • Adjustable tilt hand control holder on drive base
  • 7-port multi-function control panel on drive base, including two RS-232 serial interface ports
  • Computer-controlled high-torque 18 volt DC right ascension and declination worm gear drives with 11" main drive gears
  • 25' power cord for operation from 110-120 volt 60 Hz household AC power (optional adapter is available for powering from an automobile cigarette lighter plug or rechargeable 12 volt battery)
  • Straight-through 8 x 50mm finder on removable dovetail
  • Zero image shift electric focuser with adapters that emulate a 2" SCT rear cell, 2" focuser drawtube, and 1.25" focuser drawtube only (no 1.25" visual back for eyepiece projection photography)
  • 2" mirror star diagonal with UHTC coatings and 1.25" eyepiece adapter
  • 1.25" 26mm Series 5000 Plössl eyepiece (156x)
  • Super Giant all-metal field tripod
  • Dust cover
  • AutoStar Software Suite Astronomer's Edition.