By Andrew Liszewski
While the new ETX-LS telescope from Meade looks suited for a rooftop observatory and experienced astronomers probing the depths of the cosmos, it’s actually very easy to use, even for amateurs trying to find the Big Dipper. It features a new technology that the company calls ‘LightSwitch’ which is a self-alignment system that works at the touch of a button. At startup, the telescope’s integrated sensor module and ECLIPS CCD (Electronically Controlled Locate Identify Position System) basically looks at the sky and uses the available celestial objects to not only determine where you’re located, but how to find other constellations you might be interested in. All with no input from the user at all.
It also features the Meade Autostar III controller which allows you to select from a database of over 100,000 celestial objects at the push of a button. (Complete with a night-vision friendly orange backlight.) You just find the constellation/star/planet you want to see, hit the ‘GoTo’ button and the telescope will automatically orient itself so the object appears in the center of the eyepiece. The best part is that you can get a 6-inch model for just $1,299. Obviously larger telescopes like the one they had on display at the CES Unveiled event won’t be as affordable, but if you’re starting out, it’s definitely a cheaper way to ease into it.
[ Meade ETX-LS ]