LX600-ACF 10" f/8 go-to StarLock equatorial w/X-Wedge, ACF & UHTC optics

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This Meade 10” LX600 StarLock system Advanced Coma-Free telescope has:

• 10” f/8 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optics
• UHTC optical multicoatings for high light transmission
• unique StarLock system for full-time automatic arc second guiding accuracy
• internal Crayford-type dual speed focusing to reduce image shift during use
• dual fork arm go-to equatorial mount with GPS
• AutoStar II computer hand control with 145,000 object go-to library
• ultra-stable heavy duty X-Wedge for equatorial operation
• Giant Field Tripod with 3” diameter chromed steel legs for maximum stability

This Meade 10” f/8 LX600-ACF go-to catadioptric telescope is a simple to operate and virtually plug-and-play package that makes taking great long exposure DSLR and CCD astrophotos as easy as focusing your camera and opening the shutter. The collection of features and technology integrated into the LX600 is unavailable from any other manufacturer and cannot be duplicated by just attaching a set of add-ons to another scope.

The LX600 has 10” fast f/8 focal ratio Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics that are ideal for both viewing and imaging. It puts those optics on a heavy duty dual fork arm equatorial mount that has a unique StarLock object finding and star tracking system. StarLock automatically aligns itself on the sky, finds and centers any of the 145,000 objects in its memory you may choose, then tracks that object perfectly for as long as you want for viewing and imaging.

This Meade LX600 provides an exceptional visual and long exposure DSLR and CCD imaging experience, with pinpoint stars all the way across the field of view. The supplied Meade X-Wedge converts the scope’s altazimuth fork mount to a precision polar-aligned equatorial mount that eliminates the field rotation all altazimuth mounts display, for an exceptional long exposure imaging capability.

If you have the dark skies to take full advantage of its considerable light gathering capacity (57% more than an 8” scope), this is a telescope that can keep you happily observing and photographing for the rest of your life. But, if your neighbor’s lights make your back yard not quite the dark sky site you’d like, this 10” f/8 LX600-ACF is still portable enough to make taking it to a dark sky site very practical.

  • 10” f/8 Advanced Coma-Free catadioptric optics
  • UHTC optical multicoatings for high light transmission
  • Unique StarLock system for full-time automatic arc second guiding accuracy
  • Internal Crayford-type dual speed focusing to reduce image shift during use
  • Dual fork arm go-to equatorial mount with GPS
  • AutoStar II computer hand control with 145,000 object go-to library
  • Ultra-stable heavy duty X-Wedge for equatorial operation
  • Giant Field Tripod with 3” diameter chromed steel legs for maximum stability
This Meade 10” f/8 LX600-ACF go-to catadioptric telescope is a simple to operate and virtually plug-and-play package that makes taking great long exposure DSLR and CCD astrophotos as easy as focusing your camera and opening the shutter. The collection of features and technology integrated into the LX600 is unavailable from any other manufacturer and cannot be duplicated by just attaching a set of add-ons to another scope.

The LX600 has 10” fast f/8 focal ratio Advanced Coma-Free UHTC optics that are ideal for both viewing and imaging. It puts those optics on a heavy duty dual fork arm equatorial mount that has a unique StarLock object finding and star tracking system. StarLock automatically aligns itself on the sky, finds and centers any of the 145,000 objects in its memory you may choose, then tracks that object perfectly for as long as you want for viewing and imaging.

This Meade LX600 provides an exceptional visual and long exposure DSLR and CCD imaging experience, with pinpoint stars all the way across the field of view. The supplied Meade X-Wedge converts the scope’s altazimuth fork mount to a precision polar-aligned equatorial mount that eliminates the field rotation all altazimuth mounts display, for an exceptional long exposure imaging capability.

If you have the dark skies to take full advantage of its considerable light gathering capacity (57% more than an 8” scope), this is a telescope that can keep you happily observing and photographing for the rest of your life. But, if your neighbor’s lights make your back yard not quite the dark sky site you’d like, this 10” f/8 LX600-ACF is still portable enough to make taking it to a dark sky site very practical.

This Meade LX600 Telescope’s Optical System . . .

  • Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) catadioptric design: 10" aperture catadioptric (2032mm focal length f/8) optical tube. The ACF design emulates the coma-free optical performance of a professional observatory’s Ritchey-Chrétien telescope, but at a fraction the cost. The primary and secondary mirrors are low-expansion borosilicate glass. The aspheric high spectral transmission catadioptric corrector is made of costly Schott Borofloat glass from Germany. All are fully multicoated with Meade’s time- and observer-tested UHTC (Ultra High Transmission Coatings) for maximum light transmission. An optional Meade custom-designed large-format 2" three-element focal reducer/field flattener (#7595) is available to bring the imaging focal ratio down to a fast f/5.

  • Focuser: Internal Crayford-style zero image-shift primary mirror focusing with dual speed 7:1 ratio fine focus control. The new Crayford design minimizes image shift and mirror flop to eliminate the need for a separate mirror lock or locks.

  • Finderscope: 8 x 50mm crosshair straight-through achromatic design, with helical focusing.

  • Star diagonal: 1.25" multicoated prism diagonal.

  • Eyepiece: 1.25" 26mm Meade Series 4000 Super Plössl (78x). The eyepiece field of view is 0.67°, a third wider than the full Moon, for truly expansive lunar and deep space views.

This Meade LX600 Telescope’s Mount . . .

  • Meade StarLock full-time automatic guiding dual fork arm mount: Die-cast aluminum drive base. Dual die-cast aluminum fork arms support the optical tube. The supplied X-Wedge converts the standard LX600 altazimuth fork mount to a full equatorial mount.
    The X-Wedge is CNC-machined from ultra-rigid aircraft-grade aluminum and has smooth, accurate altitude and azimuth adjustments. It is thirty percent more stable than competing equatorial wedges, and is essential for long exposure astroimaging. Unlike German equatorial mounts, the LX600 equatorial fork mount provides the freedom to track from horizon to horizon during viewing and astrophotography without being forced to stop imaging and perform a meridian flip (tumble the tube) in order to continue tracking past the meridian.
    The mount includes servo-controlled slewing and tracking motors in both altitude and azimuth. The 8° per second go-to slewing is the fastest available. The 12VDC 5A motors are powered by an optional supplied AC power adapter that plugs into any 110-120 volt 60 Hz household current outlet. The AC adapter draws 70 watts and has a regulated 13.8V DC output with a constant 5 amp capacity and a 7 amp surge capacity. An optional adapter (with a 25’ cord) is available to power the scope from your car’s cigarette lighter plug or a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field.
    The LX600 mount uses high-quality heavy duty 5.75" worm-gear drives in both axes to provide the precise tracking and low periodic error critical for long exposure astrophotography.

  • StarLock/GPS/AutoStar II computer system: A GPS (global positioning satellite) receiver is built into the LX600 mount. The GPS receiver, in conjunction with Meade’s AutoStar II computer control, Meade’s exclusive LightSwitch technology, and Meade’s unique dual sensor StarLock automatic guiding system, automatically aligns the scope on the sky so that the AutoStar II computer can locate for you any of the 145,000 stars and objects in its memory.

        Using a two camera system rigidly mounted on top of the optical tube, the StarLock system automatically finds and slews the LX600 to your chosen target with high +/- one arc minute precision, immediately captures a field star for guiding, and then guides full time while you view or image. The revolutionary new technology of the Meade StarLock system makes target acquisition in your eyepiece and on your imaging sensor (and accurate guiding during viewing and imaging) completely automatic.

        The built-in StarLock cameras include a super wide angle 25mm f/1.04 refractor with a 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor that has a 14.72 x 11.78 degree field for star field acquisition, and a narrow angle 80mm f/5 refractor with a 1/2 inch format CMOS sensor with a 57.2 x 45.8 arc minute field (with a resolution of 2.68 arc seconds/pixel) for precise centering. The guiding accuracy is a very high precision +/- 1 arc second RMS (with good seeing). It has a 1 to 4 second correction update rate depending on the guide star magnitude. The faintest usable guide star can be as dim as 11th magnitude.

        StarLock communicates directly with the motor controllers in real time with a maximum precision of 0.01 arc seconds. There’s no need for a separate add-on guide scope and computer and the StarLock system requires no calibration, no user focusing, and no manual guide star selection.

        StarLock even automatically programs periodic error correction into the drive and then corrects any other misalignment, atmospheric refraction, or other mechanical errors down to virtually zero in real time. No expensive high precision shaft encoders, software pointing models, PEC training, extra-large gears, or add-on guiding systems can provide this level of performance – and StarLock does it all without the need of an external computer. StarLock also provides computer-assisted polar alignment of the equatorially-mounted LX600 using the drift method for extreme precision.

        Once the Meade StarLock system has locked the scope on the night sky, the AutoStar II computer quickly and automatically moves the scope to any desired object with just a few strokes on the 20 backlit LED buttons on its hand control, guided by the readouts on its double line, 16 character liquid crystal display. The scope will move to your chosen object at a maximum slewing speed of 8° per second and with a cantering accuracy typically in the +/- one arc minute range. Once on the selected object, it will flawlessly track the object while you observe or image at your leisure.

        Available centering and guiding rates include 0.01x to 1x sidereal, variable in 0.01x increments; 2x, 8x, 16x, 64x, and 128x sidereal; and 1° to 2° per second, variable in 0.1° increments. Tracking rates include sidereal, lunar, or a rate custom-selected from 2000 incremental rates. In addition, the Meade AutoStar II computer provides numerous additional visual, tracking, and photographic tools and functions to make your observing easier and more enjoyable.

  • Tripod: The Meade 50 lb. giant field tripod adjusts from a height of 34" to 54" and damps vibrations quickly. It has 3" diameter stainless steel legs, with a center leg brace for rigidity. A single threaded rod with a large hand-tighten knob simultaneously holds the scope drive base firmly on the tripod and locks the tripod legs rigidly in the most stable position. Six 1.25" diameter holes in the leg brace can hold eyepieces while observing.

  • AutoStar Suite Software: This standard equipment 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.

With its combination of the finest Advanced Coma-Free optics, go-to GPS altazimuth mount, and revolutionary new StarLock full-time automated integrated guider system, this 10" equatorial mount LX600 from Meade Instruments is the complete, virtually plug-and-play, portable visual and long exposure astro-imaging package you’ve been looking for.

Highest Useful Magnification:
This is the highest visual power a telescope can achieve before the image becomes too dim for useful observing (generally at about 50x to 60x per inch of telescope aperture). However, this power is very often unreachable due to turbulence in our atmosphere that makes the image too blurry and unstable to see any detail.

On nights of less-than-perfect seeing, medium to low power planetary, binary star, and globular cluster observing (at 25x to 30x per inch of aperture or less) is usually more enjoyable than fruitlessly attempting to push a telescope's magnification to its theoretical limits. Very high powers are generally best reserved for planetary observations and binary star splitting.

Small aperture telescopes can usually use more power per inch of aperture on any given night than larger telescopes, as they look through a smaller column of air and see less of the turbulence in our atmosphere. While some observers use up to 100x per inch of refractor aperture on Mars and Jupiter, the actual number of minutes they spend observing at such powers is small in relation to the number of hours they spend waiting for the atmosphere to stabilize enough for them to use such very high powers.
508x
Visual Limiting Magnitude:
This is the magnitude (or brightness) of the faintest star that can be seen with a telescope. The larger the number, the fainter the star that can be seen. An approximate formula for determining the visual limiting magnitude of a telescope is 7.5 + 5 log aperture (in cm).

This is the formula that we use with all of the telescopes we carry, so that our published specs will be consistent from aperture to aperture, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some telescope makers may use other unspecified methods to determine the limiting magnitude, so their published figures may differ from ours.

Keep in mind that this formula does not take into account light loss within the scope, seeing conditions, the observer’s age (visual performance decreases as we get older), the telescope’s age (the reflectivity of telescope mirrors decreases as they get older), etc. The limiting magnitudes specified by manufacturers for their telescopes assume very dark skies, trained observers, and excellent atmospheric transparency – and are therefore rarely obtainable under average observing conditions. The photographic limiting magnitude is always greater than the visual (typically by two magnitudes).

13.4
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.

2032mm
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.

f/8
Resolution:
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.

0.46 arc seconds
Aperture:
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.
10"
Telescope Type:
The optical design of a telescope.  Telescope type is classified by three primary optical designs (refractor, reflector, or catadioptric), by sub-designs of these types, or by the task they perform.
Advanced Coma-Free
 
Based on Astronomy magazine’s telescope "report cards", scopes of this size and type generally perform as follows . . .
Terrestrial Observation:
Observing terrestrial objects (nature studies, birding, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial observing. Scopes with apertures under 5" to 6" are generally most useful for terrestrial observing due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes. 
No
Lunar Observation:
Visual observation of the Moon is possible with any telescope. Larger aperture scopes will provide more detail than smaller scopes, thereby getting a higher score in this category, but may require an eyepiece filter to cut down the greater glare from the Moon's sunlit surface so small details can be seen more easily. Lunar observing is more rewarding when the Moon is waxing or waning as the changing sun angle casts constantly varying shadows to reveal craters and surface features by the hundreds.  
Very Good
Planetary Observation:
Very Good
Binary and Star Cluster Observation:
Very Good
Galaxy and Nebula Observation:
Very Good
Photography:
Yes
Terrestrial Photography:
Photographing terrestrial objects (wildlife, scenery, etc.) is usually possible only with refractor and catadioptric telescopes, and convenient only when the scope is on an altazimuth mount or photo tripod. Most reflectors cannot be used for terrestrial photography. Scopes with focal ratios of f/10 and faster and apertures under 5" to 6" are generally the most useful for terrestrial photography due to atmospheric conditions (heat waves and mirage, dust, haze, etc.) that degrade the image quality in larger scopes.
No
Lunar Photography:
Photography of the Moon is possible with virtually any telescope, using a 35mm camera, DSLR, or CCD-based webcam (planetary imager). While an equatorial mount with a motor drive is not strictly essential, as the exposure times will be very short, such a mount would be helpful to improve image sharpness, particularly with webcam-type cameras that take a series of exposures over time and stack them together. Reflectors may require a Barlow lens to let the camera reach focus. 
Yes
Planetary Photography:
Yes
Star Cluster / Nebula / Galaxy Photography:
Yes
Warranty:
1 year
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Meade - LX600-ACF 10" f/8 Advanced Coma-Free go-to StarLock equatorial

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Meade - LX600-ACF 10" f/8 Advanced Coma-Free go-to StarLock equatorial
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The 10” Meade LX600-ACF combines the finest Advanced Coma-Free optics, a dual fork equatorial go-to mount with wedge, and a revolutionary new dual sensor StarLock full-time automated guider system to produce an absolutely superb 10” scope for long exposure astro-imaging and visual observing alike . . .





. . . our 34th year