Collimation

A Schmidt Cassegrain can only produce beautiful images if it is properly collimated. If the primary and secondary mirrors are not properly aligned with respect to each other, expect Jupiter to look more like a custard pie than a planet. Because the SCT uses a convex-shaped secondary mirror that magnifies images five times, it is particularly sensitive to miscollimation—errors are magnified. The good news is that the Meade and Celestron SCTs are the easiest of all telescopes to collimate, and once adjusted they may remain in good collimation for years. Do check the collimation occasionally, but you might find you do not have to change anything—despite some bumpy trips over back roads—for at least several years.

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