Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope

The Schmidt Cassegrain telescope is a catadioptric scope that combines a cassegrain reflector's optical path with a Schmidt corrector plate to make a compact astronomical instrument that uses simple spherical surfaces.

Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes are now amongst the most popular type of scopes in the world. They employ a combination of a correcting lens and a primary mirror, and feature powerful optics with medium to long focal lengths in a short, highly portable tube.

Their compact design makes them extremely portable for a given aperture, which additionally adds to their marketability. A high f-ratio means they are good for narrow field, deep sky and planetary viewing.

Manufacturers have come up with their own variations. Celestron and Meade for example combine a fast primary mirror and a small, strongly curved secondary. This gives a very short tube length, at the expense of field curvature.

Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope
One example shown here is a top end model by Celestron. The CPC 1100 GPS Schmidt Cassegrain telescope has the most light gathering power in the range and has a limiting magnitude of nearly 15.

Turn this scope to planets and you will see amazing detail on the surface of Jupiter, Cassini's Division in the rings of Saturn, and resolve details on the surface of Mars. Even the distant Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are within your reach.

Although large in aperture, it has conveniently located carrying handles and an instrument weight of 65 lbs, portable enough to setup in your backyard or take with you to your favorite dark sky location.

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