This review, “A 12-inch powerhouse,” appeared in the February 2006 issue of Astronomy magazine
When a major manufacturer introduces a new telescope line with advanced optics, we notice. In 2005, Meade Instruments announced the RCX400 Advanced Ritchey-Chrétien automated telescope. How well does it perform? As I put it through its paces, I found its optical and mechanical quality to be top-notch, and I discovered new features not previously available on Meade’s LX series scopes.
What’s in a name?
The new scope contains a spherical primary mirror. Meade claims this mirror, in combination with the telescope’s front corrector lens, “looks like” a hyperbolic primary (such as those used in Ritchey-Chrétien [RC] telescopes) to the secondary mirror. The RCX400’s design, therefore, is optimized for photography and promises the coma-free performance of an RC telescope at a much lower cost.
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