Meade LX200-ACF 16" Advanced Coma-Free Go-to altazimuth, without tripod or pier

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If you have a tripod or pier that can hold 230 pounds, this Meade 16" LX200-ACF Advanced Coma-Free go-to telescope puts big optics on your pier at a surprisingly affordable price. This Meade's has a coma-free field rivals the Ritchey-Chrétien optics used in many of the world's largest research telescopes.
Our Product #: 16210RNU
Meade Product #: 1610-60-02N
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Product Description

The Meade 16" LX200-ACF (Advanced Coma-Free) optical tube and fork mount with full UHTC multicoatings is designed for the serious amateur astronomer or school/college observatory that already has a suitably robust tripod or pier (one capable of supporting over 230 pounds).

This Meade coma-free catadioptric rivals the flat field and image quality of the Ritchey-Chrétien design used in many of the world's largest research telescopes, including the twin 300" Keck scopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. It provides state-of-the-art optics in a large-aperture telescope and fork mount at a very attractive price.

If you have an existing pier in an observatory under dark skies that can take full advantage of its immense light gathering capacity (four times that of an 8" scope), 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. Integral cooling fan on rear cell. 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 0.33°, two-thirds the diameter of the full Moon, for detailed lunar, planetary, and deep space views.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Fork mount/drive system: One-piece drive base and dual fork arm assembly only - for mounting on your existing tripod or pier, either altazimuth or equatorial. The pier should have a top plate with three mounting holes 33/64" in diameter drilled 120° apart on a 13.5" circle. Acceptable piers are the Meade #8955 altazimuth pier, #8956 equatorial pier, or #8958 Super Giant field tripod.

The die-cast aluminum mount includes servo-controlled 18 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 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.

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 multicoated 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.

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 that is 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 DSLR images. However, field rotation will cause stars at the corners of an image to streak during exposures longer than five minutes if the scope is installed on the optional Super Giant field tripod or altazimuth pier.

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 an optional 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, or you have a permanent observatory with a suitable existing pier or tripod, 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, 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 230 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, 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)
  • Cover
  • AutoStar Software Suite Astronomer's Edition.