The Meade 8" LX90 ACF telescope is an extremely versatile, high-resolution GoTo telescope, in a very compact form given the large aperture. With pushbutton controls, automatic locating and tracking of celestial objects, and a wealth of object data at your fingertips in the AudioStar controller, the LX90 will provide hours of enjoyment under the night sky.
The included 8" Equatorial Wedge and LX90 Wedge Adapter Plate are designed to convert your alt-azimuth telescope into a system ready for long exposure astrophotography. Featuring heavy duty cast aluminum construction with latitude and longitude fine adjustments, and a compass to use the magnetic pole as a starting reference. The equatorial wedge is mounted between the telescope and tripod to accomplish the tilt of an equatorial type mount that matches the observer's latitude and permits precise polar alignment of your telescope. The wedge allows the astrophotographer to align the telescope's axis of rotation with the Earth's axis of rotation. This alignment eliminates stars in your long exposure photograph from appearing as a long arc, trail or streak due to an effect known as field rotation. For short planetary and lunar photography, a wedge is not necessary and the telescope can be set up in altitude-azimuth (alt-az) configuration as normally used for visual observation.
The included Meade Equatorial Wedge for 8" ACF Telescopes
Equatorially mounted telescopes with fork mounts like this LX90 bundle have several distinct advantages over German EQ telescopes. For one, the fork mounted configuration doesn't require any pier flip when tracking across the meridian. It can track continuously across the meridian without interruption. All German equatorial telescopes must stop tracking near the meridian to flip to the other side of the mount, re-acquire the target, and stabilize guiding, before imaging of the object can continue. It is a big inconvenience that is avoided with fork mounted telescopes. Another advantage of the LX90's fork-mounted EQ configuration is that it does not require counterweights — so, less heavy stuff to haul around. And lastly, fork mounted telescopes typically have smaller footprints compared to their standard EQ counterparts, making them ideal telescopes for small observatories. They're super versatile as they can be configured between the simple to use alt-azimuth mode or equatorial mode by merely adding or removing the wedge.
Superb Optical Quality
The patented Advanced Coma Free (ACF) optics of the Meade 8" LX90 produce impressively flat fields of view with no coma, even out to the edges of larger format cameras or extreme wide angle eyepieces. This makes the ACF system ideal for visual observers and astro-imagers alike. The Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) are included as with all Meade ACF optics, yielding maximum image brightness and contrast at the eyepiece or camera sensor. The ACF system also reduces astigmatism and eliminates diffraction spikes.
Designed and Manufactured in North America.
The ACF primary, secondary and corrector plate glass blanks are manufactured in the USA exclusively for Meade. Meade ACF telescopes, including the mounts, are manufactured and assembled in North America.
The optical path and components of the ACF telescope design
Interested in astrophotography? Meade ACF telescopes, with their long native focal lengths, are great instruments for photographing planets and the Moon in high-resolution detail with a DSLR or astro camera. And the addition of the optional Meade ACF 0.68x Focal Reducer optimizes any ACF for deep space imaging. This thread-on accessory converts an f/10 ACF into a faster f/6.8 system and transforms an f/8 ACF into a speedy f/5.5 imaging beast! The reducer shortens the long exposure times needed to record faint deep-sky objects by half and expands the field of view by nearly 50%, allowing capture of larger objects in a single frame. Your Meade ACF will become a powerful astrograph capable of capturing jaw-dropping astrophotographs with your DSLR or astronomical CCD or CMOS camera!
And though it may be obvious, it's still worth noting: Every Meade ACF telescope features dual-experience functionality, meaning that you can attach a camera and capture stunning astrophotographs, or you can pop in an eyepiece to visually study a celestial object — like Galileo, Herschel, Messier, and other astronomers both professional and amateur have done for centuries. The rewards of astrophotographic endeavors with an ACF lie in the dramatic colors and structure of objects revealed with impressive resolution by the tremendous light gathering capability and sharpness of the ACF optics. The visual experience is equally breathtaking: the real-time sight of an astronomical object through the eyepiece engenders a powerful, almost spiritual connection with the heavens. The view is ethereal and immersive, 3D-like, and made all the richer by the knowledge that you're looking back in time — millions of years in the case of some distant galaxies, to when they emitted the photons that are now just reaching your retinas. With a Meade ACF as your gateway to the night sky, you can experience the sheer amazement of exploring its diverse treasures in both ways — astrophotographically with your camera, or visually with your eyes wide open.
Key Features and Upgrades in the LX90 Series
The Meade LX90 series differs from the LX85 offerings in several key ways. First and foremost is the style of mounting. The LX90 optical tube sits on top of a dual fork Alt-Az mount, instead of the equatorial (EQ) mounted LX85 series. This style mounting provides an extremely simplified setup, as no polar alignment is necessary! Simply attach the optical tube/fork motor section to the tripod, turn it on, and proceed with the quick and easy star alignment routine build into the AudioStar hand controller. A built in 16-channel GPS receiver also provides location and accurate time, making the alignment procedure fast and extremely accurate.
The motor system has also been upgraded with even faster slewing speed — up to 6.5° per second vs. the 4° per second slewing of the LX85. On a cold night, every second counts when slewing from one side of the sky to the other to acquire your next target, and the time saving will really start adding up! The mount can also be internally powered by (8x) C-cell (user supplied) batteries which will typically operate the telescope for a generous 60 hours. Of course, like other Meade LX telescopes you can also externally power the mount by other optional methods, such as a 12v battery or the Meade Universal AC adapter. But having the ability to power it with internal C-cell batteries is a convenient upgrade from the LX85, as you are not tethered to a power cord, or required to bring a heavy external battery along with you to a remote site.
Mechanical Advantages of the LX90 ACF Series
Mechanically, the LX90 series incorporates some notable design and feature upgrades that set it apart. Robust Alt-Az fork arms provide a very stable platform for the optical tube to ride in, minimizing vibrations in the eyepiece and flexure throughout the night. While this makes the setup easier than the LX85 (remember there is no need for polar alignment), it also translates into an ever more stable platform — the name of the game when you're considering very high power planetary viewing. In fact, because of the added stability of the fork arm/motor base, the LX90 is capable of handling more weight than the LX85 EQ system, resulting in additional optical tube sizes being offered in the LX90 series: 8" all the way up to the 12" ACF model.
Here is the weight breakdown of the LX90 8" telescope's main components:
- Optical tube and fork base assembly: 28 lb.
- Equatorial wedge: 11 lb.
- Standard Field Tripod: 19 lb.
- Assembled telescope weight: 58 lb.
Of course, ergonomically designed handles on the fork arms make installation quite easy. They're very handy for astronomers who must set up and break down their rig for each observing or imaging session, and ensure a stable and secure grip when holding the telescope during the assembly/disassembly process.
Advanced Electronics and AudioStar GoTo Pointing Technology
The LX90 electronics include the advanced AudioStar computer system with a 30,000+ object-library, multiple guided tours, High Precision Pointing capability, and SmartDrive with Permanent Periodic Error Correction. Precise and quick star alignment is done near effortlessly with the incorporated 16-channel GPS receiver. The drive base control panel has multiple ports including 2x Aux ports, the AudioStar handbox port, and a 12v power input port.
The Meade AudioStar features audio files and an internal speaker.
This computerized celestial object locating system plugs into the telescope's handbox port allowing a quick telescope alignment. Once aligned with the sky, the AudioStar is ready to take you to any object in the over 30,000 object database. In addition to GoTo and tracking capability, the AudioStar permits a wide array of fascinating and educational functions such as multiple Guided Tours, digital positional readouts, the ability to link with a PC using optionally available software and cord, and much more.
Quality Borne of North American Manufacturing
Designed and manufactured in North America to exacting quality standards, the Meade LX90 series of fork mounted Alt/Az Advanced Coma-Free GoTo telescopes are perfect for the discerning visual astronomer or dedicated astro-imager. The Meade 8" LX90 ACF features an 8" aperture, 2032mm focal length, and f/10 focal ratio with Dual-Fork Mounting. The Ultra High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) and a resolving power of 0.56 arc-seconds provide an improvement in brightness and resolution on everything from star clusters, fine detail in nebulae, to greater surface features on planets. Includes a Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece (78x), viewfinder (8x50 optical with crosshair), 1.25" diagonal mirror, and Standard Field Tripod.
With high-quality features and performance, the Meade 8" f/10 LX90 ACF GoTo telescope is a staple for your astronomy ventures. Make it your time to own "The Legend".
Limited Warranty against defects in materials or workmanship for two years from date of purchase. This warranty is provided by Meade for the benefit of the original retail purchaser only. For complete warranty details contact Meade at 800-626-3233.
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