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The Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope Web Site

A telescope is a significant investment for most of us.  Before I purchased my first Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) - the Celestron Ultima 2000, or U2K - I did a lot of investigating on the Web, in books, and in other literature.  I created this site to share my experience in finding information and in using telescopes with this great design. Athough a few parts of this site are oriented towards the U2K, in general the information here is applicable to using any telescope, particularly catadioptric (either Celestron or Meade Schmidt - or Maksutof - Cassegrain) scopes including Celestron C-8s and larger, or Meade LX scopes. (For example, I�ve also acquired a Celestron Nexstar11GPS scope but the information on this site is still applicable for it.) 

Note: if you are one of the many frequent visitors to this site, you may need to use the Reload button on your browser on any given page -  the revisions to these pages may not appear unless you do this, to prevent your browser from loading the previously-cached page.

The topics covered in this site include:

  • Cassegrain telescope basics.
  • Observing with an SCT scope - planning an observing session (including a discussion of Celestron�s U2K data files).
  • Tips on additional accessories you should consider for SCT scopes.
  • Basic (very basic) astrophotography information.
  • Annotated glossaries of amateur observing, star database, and deep-sky-object database acronyms and terminology.
  • Some Web links I think you will enjoy.

Use the navigation buttons or the Site Map button on the left to jump to these topics. The whole area of mounting consumer digital cameras and webcams on scopes for astrophotography is evolving rapidly and I�ve added a page for using Webcams for planetary astrophotography.  On the Observing Lists page I�ve revised and posted my 1200-object observing list (with SAO numbers for modern Celestron and Meade GoTo SCTs as well as keypad numbers for a U2K scope), and Vic Menard�s list of 400 objects, my list of the 90 most interesting variable stars in the northern hemisphere (there aren�t many good variable star observing lists around), and a number of other observing lists.  In the Tips section, note the Items You Can Make discussion. I�ve expanded the discussion of the relatively expensive H-alpha filters on the Solar Observing page. Also, do you know the technology common to CCD cameras, satellites, and wood-burning stoves?  Click here if you don�t.

Because I enjoy maintaining this site, I update it regularly and you may want to check in often. See the Site Map button for an indication of pages recently added or changed.

One hint to help you find information on the Web is to use the Google search engine - commonly regarded as the best search engine.  Tip: use the �Advanced Search� and select the first option - �With all of the the words� - to search for a specific topic with more than one word.  Note also that if you get too many hits for a query in Google, you can �search within results� at the bottom of any search results page.

I did not use a background image in this site, as is commonly done for astro sites, because I figure you might want to print some of these pages, and a background makes reading the printed page difficult if not impossible.  Hint for printing: you may find it helpful to set your printer to Landscape mode in the printer�s Properties to print some of the pages on this site - some of the tables included here, won�t fit on an 8.5� page very well.

I hope you find this site helpful! If you have any questions or comments (or effusive praise <grin>) feel free to
e-mail me at:

Who Am I?

This Site is dedicated to my wife Linda, the brightest star in my universe.


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