The Sky-Watcher 200N EQ5 PRO manual telescope is a beginning astronomer's dream. The 200mm (8") reflector is perhaps the best loved and most often used telescope in the history of modern amateur astronomy. In terms of reflector telescopes' an 8" aperture is regarded as the stepping off point for serious astronomical study of the heavens. This Newtonian reflector delivers excellent imaging quality suitable for viewing the solar-system and deep-space. One look at the robust optical tube assembly and rigidly constructed mounting system communicates Sky-Watcher delivers serious performance. Sky-Watcher's many unique design touches are quite impressive. You will be proud to own one of the most prestigious products from Sky-Watcher' a global leader in the engineering and manufacturing of astronomical equipment. With the SW 200N you gain entry into the ranks of serious amateur astronomers. This instrument delivers performance you'll love at a price you can afford!
Viewing with Sky-Watcher 200N EQ5 PRO Manual Reflector
With the acquisition of this superb telescope' an observer enters the realm of high resolution study of astronomical phenomenon. Scan the Moon's surface along the lunar terminator during the Moon's first quarter phase and be prepared for a spacewalk-like experience. Rich' razor-sharp surface detail is so abundant that the Moon alone offers the potential for many years of rewarding study. Planets will reveal a treasure-trove of interesting surface phenomenon. The resolution discerned in Saturn's rings and Jupiter's cloud belts is presented just like you would expect in a quality large aperture telescope. In the summertime sky' the gaseous' glowing Lagoon Nebula' fire red in astrophotographs' and the smaller Trifid Nebula' beautiful blue and light-red in astrophotographs' are examples of prominent emission nebula revealing bright cores' and delicate' wispy detail in their outer extensions. The faster focal ratio of the SW 200N is also perfectly adapted for viewing faint' distant galaxies like the Sombrero (M104)' the Pinwheel (M101)' and Spiral Galaxy (M81). Globular star clusters like Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) yield thousands upon thousands of discreet star points aggregating toward the central core.
Understanding Reflecting Optical Systems
Any instrument that uses a primary mirror to gather light is a form of reflector. Numerous reflector designs exist' but this discussion will be limited to the more popular classic Newtonian' and mirror-lens (catadioptric) designs. While resolving power is a function of aperture alone' there are differences' however subtle' attributable to these designs which merit at least a brief discussion. The classical Newtonian optical design utilizes a parabolic shaped primary mirror' and an ellipse shaped diagonal mirror suspended by a holder and and vane assembly in the front of the optical tube. The diagonal mirror projects the image through a perforation in the optical tube to the observing position at the focuser-assembly. The tube length of a classic reflector is longer than that of an SCT because the SCT folds the focal length back on itself. Unlike the upright terrestrial image orientation provided by refractors and mirror-lens reflectors' the classic Newtonian presents images upside-down. However' this is perfectly acceptable for astronomical use where directional orientation is relative. The powerful advantage of the Newtonian design is lower cost. Compared to a refractor or mirror-lens design of equal aperture' a Newtonian provides higher resolution per dollar invested.
Optical Subtleties and Aberrations
All well-made reflector designs do a great job of gathering light and providing resolving power. From an observer's perspective' Newtonians' especially those with fast focal ratios' exhibit subtle' comet-like star images from about 1/3 of the field outward from the center. This is normal. This condition is called "coma". This condition is minimized in mirror-lens designs and absent in refractors. The vanes suspending the diagonal in Newtonians can produce diffraction spikes on very bright stars. Many Newtonian observers revel in this attribute. In contrast' refractors and mirror-lens designs are devoid of this effect as no vanes or suspension rods are employed.
Much like the function of corrective eyewear' the Maksutov and Schmidt corrector lenses used in mirror-lens Cassegrain designs compensate for spherical aberration inherent in the primary mirror. They serve no light gathering or detail resolving function. These relatively thin correcting lenses rarely introduce false color' or "chromatic aberration". Therefore' unlike refractive instruments' it is generally accepted that Newtonian and mirror-lens reflecting telescopes produce no false color.
As you compare and contrast these various attributes' keep in mind' for most amateur astronomers' resolving power trumps subtle differences attributable to design variations discussed above. Portability and cost usually weight-in with aperture as the paramount considerations in choosing a primary telescope.
World-Class SW Newtonian Optical Quality:Sky-Watcher's primary and elliptical mirrors are fabricated of low thermal expansion glass to the highest standards of optical smoothness and correction' ensuring diffraction-limited premium optical performance that is second to none worldwide.
On each parabolic shaped primary mirror' and elliptical diagonal mirror aluminum is vacuum deposited to the front glass surface and then over-coated with hard quartz (SiO4). Additional layers of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) and (SiO4) are then applied.
Optical focus is achieved by means of a mechanically ultra-smooth' backlash-free' precision 2" Crayford-style rack and and pinion focuser-assembly. The optical tube material is rolled steel' powder coated reflective gloss black with gold fleck accent. The tube interior is flat blackened to help prevent internal light reflections from reducing contrast at the focal plane. The front and back cells are cast-aluminum painted black.
Quality Accessories: Include are a Super Plossl 20mm and 7.5mm 1.25" eyepieces' and Red-Dot Viewfinder with bracket. Telescope Tube Attachment Hardware:The optical tube comes with attachment hardware that allows it to be securely fastened to the SW EQ5P mount. These quick-release tube rings are cast-aluminum' painted white.
The SW EQ5 PRO Manual Mount is Standard-Equipment:To facilitate precise equatorial alignment of the SW EQ5 PRO mount' a polar alignment scope is installed as standard equipment in the R.A. axis. A transparent etched glass screen illustrates the region about the north celestial pole. The screen shows the position of Constellation Cassiopeia' Ursa Major (Big Dipper)' and the defining position of Polaris' the North Star. It also shows Constellation Octans whose star Sigma Octantis visually defines the south celestial pole. The Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO equatorial mount is a premium-grade observing platform utilizing quality mechanical and electronic component materials throughout:
The elegantly appointed equatorial body is cast from virgin aluminum and powder coated in classic scientific instrument white. The professional fit and finish of the SW EQ5 PRO mount is abundantly obvious from the very first minute the mount is uncrated. The large polar and declination castings provide large' stable thrust bearing surfaces with tight tolerances. Setting-circles are provided in both RA and Dec. axes. All gears are internalized within the equatorial body. The counterweight shaft is made from solid stainless steel. The provided 7.5 lb. and 4 lb. counterweights are cast iron' powder coated white. SW EQ5PRO Series telescope models come with optical tube mounting rings and/ or dovetail attachment brackets of cast aluminum.
Gears' Bearings' Slow-Motion Control
Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO manual telescopes utilize spring-steel slow-motion cables with deluxe knobs. Bronze-metal worm-gear control systems enable precise' incremental manual mechanical movement with minimal gear backlash in RA and DEC. Gear size in R.A. and DEC. is a robust 72mm (2.83") with 144 teeth. Sealed ball-bearings are used on load-bearing surfaces in RA and DEC. The mount tracks celestial objects manually in R.A. axis when equatorially aligned.
Mechanical Surface Controls
Thumb locks are provided in RA and Dec. to allow swift manual orientation of the optical tube assembly. Micrometric elevation and azimuth controls are provided to help achieve precise polar alignment. For manually operated SW telescope models' deluxe spring-steel cable control knobs are provided in R.A. and Dec. to enable precise manual tracking of sky objects.
Rock-Solid Tripod' and Payload
Every SW EQ5 PRO mount includes a metal tripod commensurate in rigidity and load bearing capacity to the EQ5 PRO mount itself. Tripod legs are made of industrial strength tubular steel of 1.75" diameter' except for the SW EQ5 PRO 254mm Newtonian' and 11" SCT which are supplied with 2" diameter legs. The tripod head is rigid cast aluminum. A spreader-bar with tension lock is integral to the tripod to help insure optimum rigidity. The mount and tripod support a hefty payload of up to 25 lbAdvantages of the Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO
Equatorial Telescope Mounting System:
The equatorial mount is the most versatile telescope platform ever designed. Without question it is the most popular and most utilized mounting system favored by amateur astronomers today worldwide. There are several important reasons for its popularity:
In the process of becoming serious amateur astronomers' observers at some point often desire to vary their viewing routine. More often than not' this involves changing the optical configuration used for observing between reflective' refractive' or compound systems. It is a well established fact that no one optical design serves every situation perfectly. The SW EQ5 PRO mount' for instance' will hold a large SW 6" refractor offering pristine' textbook-like images of subtle planetary surface phenomena. It will also carry a SW 10" Newtonian reflector with huge light gathering capability for observing faint' gaseous filamentary structure in galaxies and nebulas. The versatile SW EQ5 PRO mount will also house a SW 11" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube assembly. In contrast' fork-mounts typically work with one telescope optical configuration only. There is no flexibility for changing optical tubes based on observing needs or preferences.
Equatorial mounts' like the Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO' also offer great convenience to observers seeking portable equipment that disassembles into manageable components that can be easily lifted and carried. This is especially helpful with larger aperture optical systems. In contrast' one piece optical tube/ mount configurations can be surprisingly heavy to lift and awkward to transport by one individual.Stability and Balance. The equatorial mount is renowned for stability' and ease-of-use in achieving mechanical balance of the optical tube and mount. The SW EQ5 PRO is mechanically rigid' and mechanical motions are smooth and inherently vibration-free. An industrial strength tubular steel tripod is standard equipment.
The SW EQ5 PRO Series offers manual or computerized operation. The revolutionary SW SynScan computer works seamlessly with the SW EQ5 PRO mount to facilitate effortless' automatic tracking and object location of over 30'000-objects. The SynScan computer system can be purchased optionally at a later date for this manual model.