Designed with the discerning amateur astrophotographer in mind, the Celestron CGEM II 700 180mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope
is a powerful astronomical tool that remains manageable and portable.
Combining a large-aperture catadioptric optical tube assembly (OTA) with
a strong and stable CGEM II mount produces an observational and imaging
rig that can reveal stunning details of the moon and planets with the
ability to resolve wispy nebula, fuzzy galaxies, and tight binary stars.
Maksutov design exchanges the conventional front corrector plate of a
Schmidt with a convex meniscus lens, resulting in a smaller secondary
mirror that limits obstruction and increases contrast, while eliminating
the need for periodic collimation. This modified optical path results
in a slower focal ratio and narrower field of view versus a similar
Schmidt, but the optical benefits, when coupled with the larger aperture
and StarBright XLT optical coatings, make it more than capable for
long-exposure photography techniques.
The CGEM II GoTo equatorial
mount is engineered to carry a 40-pound payload, and with the OTA
weighing under 20 pounds there is plenty of payload capacity for all
your observation or imaging gear. High-torque dual DC servo motors
enable it to smoothly and accurately slew and track all night long. To
provide a stable platform for the mount and OTA, a heavy-duty stainless
steel tripod is included that sports large 2" legs and an accessory tray
that doubles as a stabilizer.
The brain of the whole system is
the NexStar+ computer controller. Equipped with a database of 40,000
objects, including the planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and the
complete Messier catalog, it can also be programmed with up 100 custom
user-defined objects with filters added for custom object lists. Its
intuitive menu-driven user interface provides the power to observe the
heavens with nine slew speeds and three tracking rates, plus
anti-backlash compensation and Permanent Periodic Error Correction
(PPEC) for smoother movements in the motors and improved tracking over
time. Features such as guided tours, extended information on 200 popular
objects, and multiple alignment options make the NexStar+ controller
easy to use and invaluable to new users and experienced stargazers.
OTA's compact form factor belies its observation power and resolution
and is ideally suited as a grab-and-go option for quick observation
sessions or heading out to remote locations.