The Meade ETX-90 AT Telescope is a practical, extremely compact instrument that makes for delightful evenings of stargazing with your time spent where it matters-at the eyepiece. Its 3.5" aperture of Maksutov-Cassegrain optics is bright enough for some fun use, but small enough not to merely amplify the light pollution unfortunately bestowed upon so many of us. The whole kit weighs just 21 lbs, with the heaviest part only 12 lbs-this is a scope package that you can take upon a hike if you like. Such a hit is Meade's ETX series of scopes that an entire online community of its dedicated users exists, giving tips and sharing images.
Alignment is a breeze with the ETX-90 AT, too; after you get the scope roughly level and point it north, center any 2 stars in the view and tell the scope when they're centered. It won't take more than 5 minutes after you've done it once. After aligning, use the AutoStar hand controller's to take you to any object in its 30,000-item database, or be the boss with the ETX-90 AT's electronic controller at any of 5 dual-axis movement speeds: 8x sidereal for image centering in the main telescope at high power, 32x for image centering at lower powers or for pushbutton object-tracking in the altazimuth mode, slow mode for image centering in the viewfinder or for terrestrial tracking of nature and sightseeing, or medium speed for fast slewing across the sky. Select any of the by depressing the "speed" button on the controller.
The ETX-90 is set up for imaging, with lots of its owners using it for exactly this; it can produce lovely, professional results when used in a truly dark location with a Meade Deep Sky Imager, but also easily allows dabbling with the #64 SLR camera adapter and your camera's T-mount put on the back. Perhaps best of all, an included cable can control your scope's AutoStar by a computer, allowing you to remotely operate the scope.
The ETX-90 AT has Meade's UHTC Ultra High Transmission Coatings, an evolution in multicoating which optimizes performance. Used on every optical surface, UHTC decreases light loss by 20% and yields dramatic improvement when observing or photographing deep space objects.
The ETX-90 AT is powered by 8 "AA" batteries, but you can easily adapt it to AC or DC power with some optional accessories.
- Excellent Maksutov-Cassegrain optics in a very small, travel-friendly package
- A practical terrestrial spotting scope with optional 45° erect image diagonal
- Built-in flip mirror mechanism; viewing can be done from either 90° or straight through
- Fast and easy alignment procedure; just roughly level scope, point roughly north, and center two bright stars in view
- Ready for immediate imaging; digiscope through eyepieces with a digiscoping adapter, or add the #64 T-Adapter (plus your camera's T-mount) to use SLRs via rear straight-through port
- Included basic CD-ROM includes sky maps which can be printed for study