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Meade LX200 Instruction Manual
7" Maksutov-Cassegrain, and 8", 10", and 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes
IMPORTANT NOTICE! Never use a telescope or spotting scope to look at the Sun! Observing the Sun, even for the shortest fraction of a second, will cause irreversible damage to your eye as well as physical damage to the telescope or spotting scope itself.
[ toc ] 1. The LX200 64,35 9-Object Library

The LX200 64,359-Object Library is a collection of the most studied and fantastic objects in the sky.
This library consists of the following object databases:
  • 15,928 SAO (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) Catalog of Stars: All stars brighter than 7th magnitude.
  • 12,921 UGC (Uppsala General Catalog) Galaxies: Complete catalog.
  • 7,840 NGC (New General Catalog) objects*: Complete catalog.
  • 5,386 IC (Index Catalog) objects*: Complete catalog.
  • 21,815 GCVS (General Catalog of Variable Stars) Objects: Complete catalog.
  • 351 alignment stars for the LX200 telescope.
  • 110 Messier objects.
  • 8 Major Planets.
[ toc ] 2. The CNGC Catalog

You will notice that the Messier (M) objects, and the NGC objects have been incorporated into the Meade Instruments CNGC listing. CNGC stands for "Computerized New General Catalog of Non-Stellar Astronomical Objects". The CNGC is an enhancement from the RNGC (Revised New General Catalog) in many ways. Angular sizes are given in arc-seconds on the CNGC listing, and in a convenient scaled format on the LX200 Keypad Display.

The complete CNGC contains 7840 objects most of which appear in the RNGC (Revised New General Catalog) with the same number. More than 400 objects were added to the RNGC to create the CNGC. Most of these "should have been" in the RNGC in the sense that they are bright and large enough to have been included.

The CNGC is enhanced from the RNGC in many ways. Angular sizes are given in arc-seconds on the CNGC listing, and in a convenient scaled format on the LX200 display. Magnitudes are given to .1 magnitude where possible.

The coordinates in the CNGC listing are listed for the year 2000. The LX200 calculates object positions upon power up to the current date (as shown on the time/date display). This makes the LX200 pointing more accurate. Therefore, the CNGC listing and the LX200 display will not exactly agree on object positions.

Objects have been assigned a "Visual Quality Rating", henceforth called VQ. A large number of VQs have been obtained by observing the objects. To make the VQs as useful as possible, all observations have been made with the same telescope and eyepiece under substantially identical observing conditions. Only for very small objects was a higher power eyepiece used. Your "Visual Quality Rating" of a particular object will vary, largely due to sky conditions.

If the object has been rated by observation, an upper-case character (ABCDEFG) is used for the VQ on the CNGC listing. If the object has not been observed, the VQ has been estimated by a computer program from the object type, size, and brightness and the VQ is specified in lower-case characters (abcdefg). The VQs for visually-rated objects are a considerably more consistent guide to observability and appearance than either the computed VQs or an examination of the type, magnitude, and size data.

* NGC 2000 and IC databases are copyrighted by Sky Publishing Corporation and used with their permission.

The following guide to VQs was used in the visual observing process.

Table 9a: VQ Guide

SUPER Very bright with very interesting shape or structure.
EXECEL Bright object with moderately interesting shape or structure
Very bright object with moderately interesting shape or structure
V GOOD Easy to see without averted vision with some interesting shape or structure.
Very bright object with little or no interesting shape.
GOOD Easy to see without averted vision with some interesting shape or structure.
Bright object, but little or no interesting shape or structure.
FAIR Easy to see without averted vision, but little or no interesting shape or structure.
POOR Easy to see with averted vision. Often borderline visible without averted vision.
V POOR A struggle to see with careful use of averted vison.
(none) Not yet rated AND missing information for computer estimate.
Could not see despite careful use of averted vision.

All, or very nearly all, of the objects in the CNGC are visible with the standard instrumentation and observing conditions used to obtain the visual quality ratings. It is a good indication of what can be expected with similar equipment by experienced deep-sky observers in excellent sky conditions. Naturally smaller telescopes and/or less optimal observing conditions will lower the apparent quality of all objects.

The following is a description of the format of the optional CNGC listing for each object:

Table 10: CNGC Listings

1 CNGC# CNGC 00001 through CNGC 7840
2 RA Right Ascension
3 DEC Declination
4 SIZE Size of object (arc-seconds)
5 MAG Magnitude (-5.5 through 19.9)
6 TYPE Type of object
7 * * means object is not in the RNGC
8 ALT CAT Alternate catalog name and number.
9 VQ Visual Quality Rating (abcdefg) or (ABCDEFG)
10 TAGS Object Type # (o-F) : S = Sky-Cat : T = Tirion
11 COMMENTS Name, comments, other information

The following types are distinguished in the CNGC.

0 None Unverified Southern Object
1 OPEN Open Cluster
2 GLOB Globular Cluster
3 DNEB Diffuse Nebula
4 PNEB Planetary Nebula (or SN Remnant)
5 GAL Galaxy
6 OPEN+ DNEB Open Cluster + Diffuse Nebula
7 None Non-Existent Object
8 STAR Star
9 MULTI+STAR Multiple Star
A MULTI+GAL Multiple Galaxy (Usually Interacting)
B DNEB Dark Nebula in front of Diffuse Nebula
C GAL+OPEN Open Cluster in External Galaxy
D GAL+GLOB Globular Cluster in External Galaxy
E GAL+DNEB Diffuse Nebula in External Galaxy
F GAL+OPEN+DNEB Open Cluster + Diffuse Nebula in Galaxy
S   Object is also listed in the Sky Catalogue 2000
T   Object is also listed in the Tition Sky Atlas 2000

Table 11: CNGC Types

[ toc ] 3. The Star Catalog

The STAR Catalog contains the 250 brightest stars (STAR 1 through STAR 250), 100 interesting double stars (STAR 251 through STAR 350), plus Sigma Octantis, the southern pole star (STAR 351).

[ toc ] 4. Select Star by Name

When selecting a star from the object library, any of the 33 stars listed in the LX200 Instruction Manual can now by accessed by its name.

1. Press the STAR key. The Keypad display will show "STAR object:" on the first line and a blinking cursor on the second line.
2. To enter a Star by number, simply type in the star number and press ENTER, as described in the LX200 Instruction Manual.
To enter a Star by name, press the ENTER key. The Keypad display will show a new menu.
3. Select the NAME menu option by pressing the ENTER key.
4. Scroll through the list of Star names (using the PREV and NEXT keys) until the desired Star name is selected.
5. Press ENTER to select this Star.

[ toc ] 5. The M Catalog

The M Catalog has been the benchmark deep-sky catalog for years. Recently expanded to 110 objects, the M (Messier) catalog contains most of the best deep-sky objects.

[ toc ] 6. The Planets

The LX200 calculates the orbital positions of the eight major planets for the current calendar date. To access a planet, use the STAR key and enter the appropriate number as indicated below:

STAR # 901 902 904 905 906 907 908 909

Table 12: Object Library Planet Legend

[ toc ] 7. Other Databases

The other object catalogs are accessed through the CNGC key on the Keypad.

1. Press the CNGC key. The Keypad display will show "NGC object:" on the first line and a blinking cursor on the second line.

2. To enter a NGC object, simply type in the NGC number and press ENTER, as described in the LX200 Instruction Manual.

To enter an object from a different database, press the ENTER key. The Keypad display will show a new menu of the available databases.

3. Select the database from the menu by moving the arrow to the selection desired and pressing the ENTER key. Press MODE to exit the database menu.

4. The Keypad display will ask for the object number. Enter the object number desired and press ENTER.
The LX200 will "remember" the database you last accessed. Each time you press the CNGC key, the same object database will be displayed on the first line of the Keypad display. To change databases, press ENTER to bring up the database menu.

The STAR databases are accessed by pressing the STAR key and following the above steps.

Variable stars from the GCVS are entered using a six digit number. The first two digits, refer to the constellation where the variable star is located and is listed in the table below.

The next four digits are assigned sequentially within each constellation according to the standard sequence of variable-star designations (R, S, ...).

Therefore, the first variable star in the constellation of Virgo would be entered as: 860001.

Code Const Code Const Code Const Code Const
1 AND 23 CIR 45 LAC 67 PSA
2 ANT 24 COL 46 LEO 68 PUP
3 APS 25 COM 47 LMI 69 PYX
4 AQR 26 CRA 48 LEP 70 RET
5 AOL 27 CRB 49 LIB 71 SGE
6 ARA 28 CRV 50 LUP 72 SGR
7 ARI 29 CRT 51 LYN 73 SCO
8 AUR 30 CRU 52 LYR 74 SCL
9 BOO 31 CYG 53 MEN 75 SCT
10 CAE 32 DEL 54 mic 76 SER
11 CAM 33 DOR 55 MON 77 SEX
12 ONC 34 DRA 56 mus 78 TAU
13 CVN 35 EQU 57 NOR 79 TEL
14 CMA 36 ERI 58 OCT 80 TRI
15 CMI 37 FOR 59 OPH 81 TRA
16 CAP 38 GEM 60 ORI 82 TUC
17 CAR 39 GRU 61 PAV 83 LIMA
18 CAS 40 HER 62 PEG 84 UMI
19 CEN 41 HOR 63 PER 85 VEL
20 CEP 42 HYA 64 PHE 86 VIR
21 CET 43 HYI 65 PIC 87 VOL
22 CHA 44 IND 66 PSC 88 VUL

Table 13: Constellation Codes

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