The name Meade means a great deal in the world of telescopes. To beginners, they are a knowledgeable repository for all you could need to get started. For practiced astronomers, they’re a reliable source of great tools and accessories.
But who is Meade? And what do they bring us when it comes to telescopes?
Let’s take a look.
Meade was founded in 1971, which makes them a latecomer to the optical party, yet they still need to succeed. To date, they are one of the biggest manufacturers of telescopes and binoculars, known for their quality and reliability. In their (relatively) short stint, they have managed to make a strong presence amongst the greats with twice as much experience.
Their range of telescopes easily rivals any other big names in the industry. From their lightweight, portable scopes to their larger, table-mounted Dobsonians, Meade’s range will bring the stars to you.
Meade provides a variety of great telescopes of both refractor and reflector types. Refractor telescopes are typically longer along the tube and use refractor lenses at either end. These two lenses are moved together or apart to adjust the level of magnification, giving you a better view of things far away. Reflector telescopes, in comparison, use a series of mirrors to direct light towards the view piece and create a sharp and bright image.
Of the two types, refractor telescopes are the easiest for beginners, as they require far less precise input than reflector telescopes. They are also far less prone to lens alignment issues and are more reliable in the long term. For an astronomer with more practice, reflector telescopes give you greater control over your tools. They are also much better for clear and bright images.
Meade also offers a third type of telescope, but these are more complex than the other two. These are known as Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes, and they feature what’s known as an aspheric lens. While a little more complex, they are still great for beginners looking to experience the skies in all their glory.
An example of the third type is Meade ETX-125AT (f/15). This telescope is a decent buy for anyone looking to find thousands of objects quickly. You get a Maksutov-Cassegrain optical system and ultra-high transmission coating in this Meade telescope. It’s made with lightweight and durable steel and features a full-length Meade tripod.
Considerations Before Investing in Meade
Wanting to get into astronomy is one thing, but doing it is another. It takes a little soul-searching and research, but once you know what you want, you are ready to go for it. If you’re feeling ready to invest in the quality Meade offers but need help knowing where to begin, here are some things to consider.
How far do you want to see with your telescope? The focal length of a telescope will give you a solid idea of how far it can comfortably focus before you can see no more. This figure is determined by measuring the distance between the primary objective and the focal plane. This means the distance between the front lens (or aperture) and the viewing port at the rear. This is your “f” number, and the higher it is, the greater the magnification power the telescope is capable of.
The aperture is the width of the lens at the far end of the telescope. It is the lens through which the light enters to allow you to see the stars above. The bigger it is, the better the potential quality of the image you will see. This is because more light can pass through the aperture and refocus at the focal point if the aperture is bigger. You’ll want a large aperture if you’re looking for high-quality images of things like the moon’s surface or distant nebulae.
If you like to go out and find the perfect viewing spot, you’ll want a telescope light enough to carry. Many portable telescopes are easy to assemble, but if you can transport a bigger one, you can increase your requirements. For those staying at home, a larger telescope that must only be set up once is better, as you can get much more powerful scopes like this.
Chief among all factors for any hobby, you should only buy within your budget. Fortunately, there are so many levels of telescope out there that it is easy to get a great beginner for much cheaper than you’d expect. It always pays to start cheaply for a beginner and splash out more as you get into it. You want to avoid dropping $1,000 on a high-end telescope only to use it once or twice.
With several Meade telescopes available in the market, you might find it hard to determine which one is the best option for you. But rest assured, there’s a Meade telescope out there that will meet your needs.
An affordable option for beginners and intermediates is Infinity 70mm Aperture. This telescope has a 700mm focal length and 70mm (2.8 inches) aperture. You get a slow motion control rod with an altazimuth mount, meaning it’s easy to track objects night or day. Plus, the telescope’s high and low magnification eyepieces (9mm and 26 mm, respectively) offer a variety for seeing any scenario. Want to point the scope at objects you want to observe more deeply? You can do that with the red dot viewfinder on this telescope.
If you have a large backyard with a good open space, the Polaris 127mm Aperture might be a good pick. The Polaris telescope features a German Equatorial Mount (all metal) with slow motion controls. The optical design is an achromatic refractor, which makes the telescope suitable for a wide range of viewing. The device is also fitted with a 2x Barlow lens, which increases the magnifying power of its eyepieces. Got accessories? The telescope’s accessory tray store will keep them organized and safe while you observe.
Is it safe to use a Meade telescope during the day?
Absolutely. You should never aim the telescope toward the sun, but it is safe to use it during the daytime. Just be careful to keep your line of sight away from it, and you can easily use it to see daytime celestial bodies. Scientists even use daytime viewing to catch sight of Mars, which can rarely be caught at night.
Which part of a telescope is the most important?
Arguably this is the aperture. Without an aperture, a telescope couldn’t admit light and, therefore, would not show anything.
How close can a telescope bring you to a celestial object?
The actual magnification power of a telescope depends entirely on which telescope you buy. However, with a telescope with a magnification of 25 times your normal sight, you can see the rings of Saturn.
If you’ve ever considered getting into star gazing, you can do much worse than Meade. Their fantastic products can see you through all stages of your hobby, from beginner to expert. Please look at their catalog and see what best fits your interests