The most widely used research telescope on earth now comes with the most advanced optical system. Meade's LX200-ACF brings Advanced Coma-Free (ACF) optics within reach of aspiring astronomers everywhere. Nearly every observatory reflector in the world uses an aplanatic (coma-free) optical system like the Ritchey-Chrétien (RC), including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Now you can own similar optics to what the professionals use. The LX200-ACF includes all the field-proven features of the LX200 including GPS, Primary Mirror Lock, Oversized Primary Mirror, SmartDrive;, Smart Mount, AutoStar® II and more. The new LX200-ACF. It's the biggest news in astronomy since, well, the LX200.
The "advanced" in Advanced Coma-Free.
A traditional Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) is a type of reflector that delivers a coma-free, flat field of view via hyperbolic primary and secondary mirrors. RC telescopes (from a variety of manufacturers) are found in most of the world's top observatories and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Because the mirrors in these telescopes have always been very expensive to make, few amateur astronomers could enjoy them. Fortunately, Meade engineers developed a radical new Advanced Coma Free design by combining a hyperbolic secondary mirror with a corrector-lens-and-spherical-primary-mirror combination that performs as one hyperbolic element. This ACF design produces a coma-free, flat field of view that rivals traditional RC telescopes at a fraction of the cost. The design even eliminates diffraction spikes and improves astigmatism, both of which are inherent in the traditional RC design. When reviewing Meade's LX400-ACF Advanced Coma Free, Sky and Telescope magazine said, " It does indeed perform like a [Ritchey-Chrétien]. The difference between the off-axis images (compared to a Schmidt-Cassegrain) was dramatic to say the least."
f/10 Advanced Coma-Free Optics: Building from a classic RC design, Meade has created a new design with the same coma-free pinpoint star images and flatter field that discerning astrophotographers and most professional observatories have come to expect from classic Ritchey-Chrétien optics. Meade's Advanced Coma-Free system also reduces the astigmatism and eliminates diffractions spikes found in classical RCs. The LX200-ACF is the perfect platform for the demanding researcher and imaging enthusiast with telescopes available in apertures of 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, 14 inches and 16 inches.
Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTCT) increases total light tran+smission and image brightness by nearly 20% over Meade's standard coatings. Objects such as stars, galaxies and nebulae will appear significantly brighter.
Primary Mirror Lock locks the mirror in place during long-exposure astrophotography.
Oversize Primary Mirror diameters are greater than their listed aperture (e.g., the diameter of the 8" LX200-ACF is actually 8.25"). This additional 1/4" yields a wide, fully illuminated field-of-view.
Smart Mount constantly refines pointing accuracy each time an object is centered and updated. Compatible with both equatorial and altazimuth mounts.
Coma Killer - What is coma? It's not some sort of astronomical state of unconsciousness. It's an optical aberration. Precisely defined, coma is a distortion in which the image of a star cannot be focused to a point, but takes on the shape of a comet.
Smart DriveT provides permanent periodic error correction (PPEC) on both axes by learning and averaging error over the course of one or more training periods, thereby minimizing guiding corrections during long-exposure photographs. PPEC is available on both axes and functions in both polar and altazimuth modes.
Sony®GPS Receiver Sensor automatically inputs precise time, date, and geographical location to help quickly and precisely align the telescope.
AutoAlignT - Telescopes with Meade's new AutoAlign come pre-aligned.They are smart scopes that know the night sky right out of the box. AutoAlign picks two fail-proof alignment stars for you and places them right in your view-finder. Just center to fine tune your alignment and the wonders of the universe are at your fingertips.
AutoStar® II controller features "Hot Keys" for quick access to a 145,000 celestial object database. AutoStar II can be updated with the latest software upgrades, guided tours and timely objects like comets free at meade.com.