Maksutov telescopes are very compact and therefore ideally suited for portable use or for when travelling. The enclosed optics and collimation stability with Maksutovs ensure their robustness.
Maksutov telescopes have a very long focal length despite their compact design. But the field of view is rather narrow when compared to achromatic refractor telescopes. However, this combination makes Maksutov telescopes ideal instruments for observing the Moon and planets. And when equipped with an Amici prism, they are also very well suited to nature-watching and nature photography.
Maksutov-Cassegrain vs. Schmidt-Cassegrain: The Mak is a catadioptric telescope, which means the optical design includes both a lens and a mirror. The light coming through a Mak passes through the corrector lens to the primary mirror and back to a spherical secondary mirror before it hits your eyepiece. Images are bright, sharp, and virtually free of chromatic aberration.
The Maksutov-Cassegrain’s optical design offers several unique benefits. Instead of a secondary mirror, the Mak features a “secondary spot” of reflective coating applied directly to the inside of the corrector plate. Because of this, the telescope does not require frequent collimation like a Schmidt-Cassegrain. Also, the secondary spot is significantly smaller than a traditional Schmidt-Cassegrain secondary mirror, giving the Mak its signature high-contrast views.
One important thing to note about Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes is that the larger, heavier Maksutov corrector plate takes longer to cool down and adjust to ambient air temperature compared to a Schmidt-Cassegrain of the same aperture.
With the Celestron SC optics, the secondary mirror can be removed and replaced with a so-called Hyperstar optic. This creates a kind of Schmidt camera with a very fast aperture ratio. Since the secondary mirror in the case of MC optics is not a component independent of the correction plate, this modification is not possible with the MC.
CGX Equatorial Mount and Tripod:
For eight years, Celestron’s workhorse CGEM mount lineup has been the German Equatorial backbone for telescopes ranging from 6 to 11 inches of aperture. Since that time, many more astro-imagers and planetarium controlled setups have emerged as backyard telescope technology has evolved. Celestron’s engineering team applied their years of experience designing German Equatorial mounts to the all-new CGX EQ, a culmination of all the advancements made to our technologies, value, and ease-of-use.
- Sturdier and more rigid with quicker dampening time
- Improved motors provide more torque, better slewing and tracking under heavy loads
- Heavy Duty belt-drive system minimizes backlash while providing smooth motor operation under heavy loads
- Spring-loaded brass worm wheel and stainless steel worm gear reduce friction and provide optimum gear mesh
- Internal cabling for worry-free remote operation. Power input and accessory ports remain stationary while the mount slews to avoid snags
- Internal hard stops for both axes prevents cable tension and tripod strike
- Home sensors allow the mount to always start in the index position regardless of orientation before a power reset
- Limit sensors automatically shut off slewing or tracking before reaching the hard stop fail safe
- Adjustable EQ head position to optimize center of gravity over the tripod and fully utilize the increased 3º-65º latitude range
- Dual-fit CG-5/Vixen and CGE/Losmandy dovetail saddle
New improved tripod:
- 2" steel legs with height index marks for quick leveling
- "Jack of all trays" can hold three 1.25" eyepieces, two 2" eyepieces, your smartphone, or other accessories
- Tripod legs can be collapsed with accessory tray installed for faster setup and transport
- All-new NexStar+ hand control with USB port
- Two AUX accessory ports to support wireless/WiFi alignment and operation with StarSense AutoAlign and SkyPortal WiFi Module accessories (sold separately)
- USB 2.0 port, used to connect directly to PC with included software
- Autoguider port
- PPEC ready
- Threaded 12VDC power input barrel connector
- Internal Real Time Clock (keeps time and site information saved)
The new CGX was designed to better support your telescope for both visual and astro-imaging pursuits. Key design goals included a lower profile EQ head, which provides a more compact and therefore more stable setup; a better drive system; remote operation-friendly with home and limit optical sensors; easier polar alignment adjustments; and better cable management. In addition to that, we’ve made mechanical and ergonomic improvements throughout to make the mount sturdier, easier to use, and transport. The CGX is our new Equatorial backbone to support a wide range of telescopes.
Control software from PlaneWave Instruments for Celestron's CGX and CGX-L mounts:
PWI Telescope Control opens up the full precision of these mounts. A USB connection from the mount to your PC means the Sky Viewer display makes it easy to find targets. Or you can search for your targets in the extensive object database. PWI also has a connection to the SIMBAD astronomical online database for even more astronomical objects.
PWI uses PointXP Mount Modelling - providing numerous reference stars for the highest accuracy possible. PointXP (also used in the StarSense AutoAlign module) offers more accuracy than a classic hand control box. By using numerous reference stars, PWI can accommodate multiple alignment errors, including device deflection - as a result, GoTo accuracy is increased.
Features of PWI software
- PointXP Mount Modelling, accepts as many reference stars as you want.
- developed by Celestron in partnership with PlaneWave Instruments
- future updates will include additional features and enhancements
- Sky Viewer Star chart for easy location of astronomical objects
- extensive object database, including online database
The software runs on Windows 7, 8 and 10. You can download it via the Downloads tab. You will also find an English-language manual in PDF format available there.