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Tak FSQ106 Vs LX200 GPS 10" Or 12"

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Posted by Karl Mueller on August 27, 2002 21:43:35 UTC

I am confused. The Tak FSQ106 is a great set of optics, but at 4" the physics says ~1.2 arc second is its resolution limit. For the 12" it should be ~0.4 arc seconds. Granted, you need great seeing to really get below 1 arc second, but why is the Tak "sharper" when looking at Jupiter? Is it really contrast that makes the Tak image look better? Do the new UHT coatings on the Meade scopes improve the contrast for the SCT's? (I would assume better contrast comes along with the better transmission.)
I want to do CCD imaging of deep space objects so the 10" or 12" aperture seems necessary. Also the larger image scale seems to match better with 6.8 micron pixels. The Tak is supposed to have 1 micron (FWHM?) stars at the center of the field. This doesn't seem to match up well with CCD's - you can't really use its full resolution. The Tak is corrected for an 88 mm dia. image which is fantastic but I can't afford a CCD that is 50 mm on a side. It seems one is paying for a lot of performance that can't be utilized with current CCD's. What am I missing?
On the Meade scopes what kind of problems do people have with guiding CCD exposures? From what I read (The New CCD Astronomy) the fork mounts aren't really up to the task. On the other hand I have seen some good pictures made with SCT's. What is the "deal" with Meade fork mounts and guiding long focal length (2000 mm to 3000 mm) exposures with CCD cameras? The bearing and gear sizes seem to be the same for the 8", 10" and 12" scopes - that seems strange.
It is clear I have a lot to learn before I make the plunge into CCD imaging of DSO's.

Karl Mueller

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