The 12" LX600 ACF Telescope with StarLock and X-Wedge from Meade is a technologically advanced Cassegrain telescope with a computerized fork mount and equatorial wedge. This innovative ACF optical design combined with Meade's Ultra High Transmission Coating ensures that images are bright, with high contrast and faithful color reproduction. The included Giant Field Tripod has 3 inch diameter steel legs with a cast aluminum adjustable head, providing the LX600 with a professional-grade foundation for celestial observations.
Meade engineers developed a new coma free design by combining a hyperbolic secondary mirror with a primary mirror and corrector lens that perform as a single hyperbolic element. This advanced coma free (ACF) design produces a flatter field of view that rivals traditional Ritchey-Chretien (RC) telescopes at a fraction of the cost. The ACF design even eliminates diffraction spikes and improves astigmatism, both of which are inherent in the traditional RC design.
At the core of the LX600 Series' tracking and alignment system is Meade's StarLock technology. StarLock uses both a wide field and a narrow field digital camera to identify guide stars as faint as 11th magnitude, then communicates information to the right ascension and declination motors to track celestial objects for precise one arcsecond guiding. Unlike standard autoguiders, StarLock directly transmits specific real-time commands to each of the servo motors, resulting in enhanced accuracy and faster guide corrections to within one arcsecond.
The LX600 is packaged with a heavy-duty double-tine fork that is engineered to accommodate the optical tube assembly, StarLock assembly, and DSLRs used for astrophotography. 5.75" worm gears in both RA and DEC axes provide smooth movement with minimal periodic error. This fork enables 180 degree range of motion, allowing the optical tube to slew from horizon to horizon without the meridian flip common with German equatorial mounts.
Meade's new X-Wedge equatorial wedge delivers smooth and accurate altitude and azimuth adjustments of the fork-mounted optical tube. The X-Wedge is mounted between the optical tube and the tripod to match the observer's latitude, achieving precise polar alignment of your telescope. Machined from a solid block of lightweight ultra-rigid aircraft aluminum, this wedge outperformed competing equatorial wedges, proving to be 30 percent more stable. The enhanced stability provided by the X-Wedge is essential for achieving tack-sharp images of deep sky objects such as galaxies and nebulae.
AutoStar II GoTo software makes setting up and observing celestial bodies with the LX600 both user-friendly and relatively easy. Over 144,000 objects are pre-loaded on the AutoStar handbox, all stargazers need to do is enter the moon, artificial satellite, planet, star cluster, or galaxy of their interest on the AutoStar handbox and the mount will automatically move the telescope into alignment.
The LX600 with StarLock and X-Wedge combines world-class optics with a robust yet portable mount and tripod. Paired with the AutoStar II GoTo software, this kit includes all the hardware and software that professional astronomers and astrophotographers need for years of superb observation.
- 12" Advanced Coma Free Optics
- The fast f/8 Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optical system produces a wider, flatter field with no coma for pinpoint stars out to the edge of larger imaging sensors and extreme wide angle eyepieces. Flatter image fields and optimized color fidelity reward discerning astronomers and astrophotographers alike. Meade's patented ACF system also reduces the astigmatism and eliminates diffraction spikes found in most Ritchey-Chretien optical designs. Regardless of the celestial object viewed through the eyepiece, stargazers and astrophotographers will enjoy color faithful spectral reproduction with minimal color fringing and geometric optical distortion.
- Optical Tube Construction
- A lightweight durable aluminum chassis reduces payload on the mount and offers excellent thermal stabilization characteristics.
- Ultra High Transmission Coating
- Ultra-High Transmission Coated borofloat glass delivers bright contrast-rich images, even through short focal length eyepieces that deliver extreme magnification.
- StarLock uses its two cameras to refine pointing to an accuracy of one arcminute, which ensures the selected object will end up on your imaging sensor, a must of those faint objects you cannot visually confirm. StarLock technology automatically centers alignment stars using a wide field and narrow field digital camera, taking the guesswork out of alignment. Once aligned, StarLock automatically guides the mount in real time, achieving a tracking accuracy of up to one arcsecond.
- Meade's new X-Wedge equatorial wedge delivers smooth and accurate altitude and azimuth adjustments of the fork-mounted optical tube. Machined from a solid block of lightweight ultra-rigid aircraft aluminum, this wedge is 30 percent more stable than competing equatorial wedges and an essential accessory for long exposure astrophotography. The wedge allows the astrophotographer to align the telescope's axis of rotation with the Earth's axis. This alignment eliminates long arcs, trails, and streaks due to field rotation. For exposures lasting five minutes or longer, equatorial mounting is required for tack-sharp images.
- Fork Mount
- The mount includes both mechanical locks and slow motion manual controls in both axes. The motion on each axis is driven by durable 5.75" worm gears that deliver precise movements with minimal periodic error, critical for long-exposure astrophotography. Additionally, this mount has a 180 degree range of motion that can move the optical tube from horizon to horizon without the meridian flip common in German equatorial mounts.
- AutoStar II GoTo System
- The 144,000 object database puts moons, planets, star clusters, and galaxies at your fingertips. Simply push of the GoTo button and AutoStar II will align the optical tube with the celestial object of your interest.
- Giant Field Tripod
- Three inch diameter chromed steel legs and cast aluminum tripod head make the LX600 Giant Field Tripod both stable and relatively lightweight. This research-grade telescope foundation has a head, adjustable from 34 to 54 inches, and leg levelers at the bottom of each leg for making quick and easy height adjustments.
- Internal Focusing
- The completely redesigned Crayford-style internal focusing mirror system achieves zero image shift, eliminating the need for a mirror lock and integrates a dual speed, 7:1 reduction control for quick and easy adjustments.
- Optional Field Flattener
- For astrophotographers requiring shorter exposure times and stargazers demanding a wider field of view, a specially designed focal reducer/field flattener accessory (sold separately) will turn the LX600's f/8 focal ratio into a super-fast f/5.