Meade LX90-ACF 10" Advanced Coma-Free Go-to altazimuth


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If you have the dark skies to take full advantage of the immense light gathering capacity of this Meade 10" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC multicoated optics, this scope can make you a happy astronomer for the rest of your life. The price of this big (but still one-person portable) and very full-featured telescope won't empty your bank account, either . . .
Our Product #: 10910ACF
Meade Product #: 1010-90-03
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Product Description

The Meade 10" LX90-ACF catadioptric telescope has Advanced Coma-Free optics to bring the astronomical image quality of a professional observatory to your back yard, at a down-to-earth price. It has a coma-free field similar to that of the Ritchey-Chrétien reflector optics used in most professional observatory telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope, but at a fraction the cost of a true Ritchey-Chrétien of similar aperture.

You don't have to know Polaris from the Pleiades, or Albireo from Zubeneschamali to align this big 10" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC multicoated optics on the skies for an evening of observing. Its standard equipment includes a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) receiver and AutoAlign software in its AudioStar™ computer that makes the scope amazingly simple to set up and operate.

Once set up, the Astronomer Inside™ its AudioStar™ computer hand control will talk to you, giving you four hours of audio descriptions of the celestial objects you are looking at and putting the knowledge and experience of a professional astronomer in the palm of your hand.

If you have the dark skies to take full advantage of its considerable light gathering (57% more than an 8" telescope), this scope can keep you happily observing and photographing for the rest of your life. Its UHTC multicoated optics are also 15% brighter than a 10" scope with conventional optical coatings, making deep space observing a joy. And it's portable enough to make taking it to a dark sky site a reasonable proposition, even for one person.

This Telescope's Optical System . . .

Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric designed to emulate the optical performance of a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope: 10" aperture (2500mm focal length f/10). Fully-multicoated UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) group optics with oversized primary mirror for the highest possible off-axis image brightness. Aluminum tube construction with glare-stop baffling. Guaranteed diffraction-limited performance. For more details, click on the "LX90-ACF UHTC optics" icon in the support tab above.

Finderscope: 8 x 50mm straight-through achromatic design, with a 5° field of view and 12mm eye relief. It focuses by loosening the trim ring behind the objective lens cell, screwing the lens cell in or out to focus, and tightening the trim ring to lock in the correct focus.

Star diagonal: 1.25" 90° multicoated prism type.

Eyepiece: 1.25" 26mm Series 5000 Plössl (96x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.62°, 25% wider than the full Moon, for expansive lunar and deep space views that fill the eyepiece.

This Telescope's Mount . . .

Fork mount/drive system: Die-cast aluminum drive base. Light-weight, but rigid, die-cast aluminum dual fork arms damp vibrations quickly. There is a carrying handle on each fork arm. The mount includes servo-controlled 12V DC slewing and tracking motors in both altitude and azimuth. The motors are powered by eight user-supplied C-cell batteries that fit into the drive base. The usable life of the batteries is up to 60 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.

An optional #RCXAC adapter is available to power the scope from 110-120 volt 60 Hz AC household current in your back yard to conserve battery life. An optional #607 DC cord with a cigarette lighter plug is available to power the scope from your car's cigarette lighter plug or a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field. For more details, click on the "LX90 GPS mount" icon in the support tab above.

Adjustable height tripod: The tripod is the same as the one used on Meade's higher priced 8" and 10" LX200 scopes. Its 2" diameter steel legs adjust the tripod height from 30" to 44". 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.

AudioStar™ computer: The AudioStar™ computer can show you the planets and thousands of deep space objects the very first night you use your scope - even if you've never used a telescope before! And a speaker built into the computer hand control lets the unique Astronomer Inside™ software provide you with more than four hours of fascinating audio descriptions of the objects you are observing. Astronomer Inside™ puts the experience and astronomical knowledge of a professional astronomer in the palm of your hand.

At the push of a button, the LX90-ACF will move at a fast 6.5° per second to any of the 30,223 objects in its database. You can choose from Messier, Caldwell, IC, and NGC deep space objects, binary and multiple star systems, the Moon, planets, asteroids, and comets. You can also automatically move to any object that's not in the database simply by entering its right ascension and declination coordinates.

The AudioStar™ includes a dual-axis drive corrector with PEC (Periodic Error Correction). This allows long-exposure guided DSLR or CCD astrophotography in a polar mode, using an optional LX90 wedge #2590.) If you plan on doing a lot of deep space astrophotography, the 15% higher light transmission of this scope's multicoated UHTC optics will allow shorter photographic exposure times, making deep space imaging easier.

The AudioStar™ computer includes hundreds of special event menus, guided tours, a glossary, utility functions, and telescope status options. It also allows fast alignment of the telescope in either an equatorial or altazimuth mode, using any of three alignment methods, including Meade's proprietary Easy Align method. For more details, click on the "LX90 GPS computer" icon in the support tab above.

AutoStar Software Suite: This software package is included as standard equipment with the LX90-ACF. It integrates the telescope with your PC or laptop computer for an enhanced range of performance features. It includes a planetarium program with a database of 19,000,000 stars and deep space objects to display on your computer screen. Connect the scope to your computer using the supplied cable, click on any object in the sky map on your computer screen, and your LX90-ACF automatically slew to that object.

You can use it to control your telescope remotely via the Internet. "Talking Telescope" software (included) converts AutoStar text displays to synthesized speech through your computer speaker. And you can use all of the program's planetarium features for planning future observing sessions when nights are cloudy by automatically generating AutoStar Tours of favorite objects with a simple point and click. For more details, click on the "AutoStar software" icon in the support tab above.

The simple tripod/altazimuth mount configuration of the 10" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics makes setup fast and easy. The GPS receiver, AudioStar™ computer, and its simplified Easy Align menus will start you observing in only a matter of minutes. The wide array of objects in the LX90-ACF database, and the 5 arc minute pointing accuracy of the AudioStar™ computer, will accurately speed you from object to object with no frustrating hunting or star hopping. With the LX90-ACF, you'll spend more of your time looking at objects and less time looking for them. With the 15% additional light transmission of its UHTC optics you'll spend less time photographing them, as well.

If you're one of those busy people whose schedule doesn't leave you much time to enjoy astronomy, an easy-to-use fully-computerized LX90-ACF with its unique Astronomer Inside™ software and talking AudioStar™ computer hand control will make the most of your limited observing opportunities.

What can you see through an 10" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free optics?

With 57% more light gathering capability than an 8" telescope, this scope's 10" catadioptric optics give the Universe a visual and photographic sharpness and grandeur at dark sky sites that no smaller telescope can approach - no matter how good that smaller scope might be.

The Orion Nebula shows an extension and subtlety of feature never visible through a smaller scope, particularly when you use a narrow band light pollution filter to increase the contrast of the fainter segments. Orion's Trapezium stars A and C reveal their faint 11th magnitude visual binary companions. Nebular wisps and fragments such as the Veil show markedly greater extent than with any smaller scope.

Faint galaxies and planetary nebulas, barely visible blurs in smaller scopes, start to reveal their structure in detail. Densely packed globular clusters are often resolved to the core. Thanks to the sharp coma-free field edge performance, all the stars in expansive open clusters stay sharply in focus across the full field, even in a very wide field eyepiece.

Small storm cells in Jupiter's belts, plus tantalizing hints of surface details on its moons, can be seen under good seeing conditions, as can occasional dust storms on Mars. Cold and distant Pluto, a faint magnitude 13.9 speck, can be glimpsed making its lonely way across the skies.

With a photographic limiting magnitude of 17, all of these sights can be photographed in detail (with surprisingly short exposure times) by adding a few inexpensive accessories.

The altazimuth drive of the LX90-ACF is more than accurate enough for piggyback, lunar, and planetary 35mm photos and much CCD imaging. However, field rotation causes stars at the corners of an image to streak during exposures longer than five minutes if an equatorial wedge isn't used to align the scope on the celestial pole. So, if you plan on doing long exposure deep space photography, you'll need to add an optional #2590 wedge.

This big 10" scope will perform adequately on faint deep space objects such as galaxies and nebulas under mildly light-polluted suburban skies, if provided with the proper light pollution filter. However, it is at a remote site with truly dark and steady skies that you'll best be able to take full advantage of its large aperture, and superb flat field optical performance.

This is not a scope that's happy staying in a light-polluted city or suburban observing environment. But, if you have regular access to dark skies, and the size and weight of the scope (a 50 lb. optical tube to lift up onto the tripod) doesn't daunt you, the 10" LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics may be the perfect scope for you, particularly if you're a deep space enthusiast.

Just how much can you find to see and photograph with a 10" Meade LX90-ACF with Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics? Enough wonders to last a lifetime!

Tech Details

Aperture 10"
Focal Length 2500mm
Focal Ratio f/10
Heaviest Single Component 50 lbs.
Highest Useful Magnification 500x
Motorized Controls Computerized GoTo
Weight 70 lbs.
Optical Coatings UHTC
Resolution 0.46 arc seconds
Supplied Eyepiece SP26
Telescope Type Advanced Coma-Free
View Finder 8x50
Visual Limiting Magnitude 14.5
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
I have some mixed feeling about this scope but it's no fault of the scope itself. I purchased this scope with imaging in mind, without ever imaging before. It took a lot of trail and error to get things figured out. However, because of how difficult it can be to image at such long focal length, I learned a lot! I have got some stunning images through this scope but I certainly would not mark it as a beginners imaging scope. However, if you are as persistent as I am you can have a really great time with the scope. The coma free version does a great job and overall I am still very happy that I purchased this scope. It will be one that I will never sell. It's a beast of a scope :) I purchased this from the Astronomics store several years ago and working with the staff was a really great experience, great people! (Posted on 10/17/2019)
Review by:
This was my first telescope. It was wonderful. Great images. And it became too much scope to learn with.
Because I live in the hilly Blue Ridge Mountains just rolling it out from the garage to my viewing areas was never an option. So it became lift, carry to location, lift to put it together. I'm getting older and the lifting was becoming a problem so I was not spending as much time learning the night sky and this scope as I should have. If you're going to have to carry this scope to where you're going to use it, be sure that you'll be able to. Both from a vehicle point of view and the assembly/disassembly. My next scope will be smaller. If you've got the location, go for it! (Posted on 10/4/2019)
Review by:
This scope fits all my observing needs. This is about as large a telescope you can have and yet still be reasonably portable to go to either a dark sky site or star party. (Posted on 9/13/2019)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 10" f/10 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optical tube assembly with UHTC optics (multicoated aluminum mirrors and a multicoated Schmidt corrector)
  • Double-tine fork mount with dual-axis 4.9" worm gears and control panel
  • Built-in Sony GPS receiver
  • Electric slow-motion controls on both axes
  • AudioStar hand controller with Astronomer Inside and digital readout display, 9-speed drive controls on both axes, and go-to controller
  • 30,223-object onboard celestial software library
  • Internal battery port accepts 8 (user-supplied) C-cells (optional 25 ft. cords permit powering from either 12vDC auto cigarette lighter plug or from 110-120VAC home outlet)
  • 8 x 50mm straight-through viewfinder
  • 1.25" diagonal prism
  • Series 4000 Super Plössl 26mm eyepiece (96x)
  • AutoStar Astronomer's Edition Software Suite
  • Standard field tripod
  • Operating instructions.