Meade Steps into the Sunshine

H-alpha Sun
This composite of two exposures with a Canon digital camera shows the Sun in the red light of the hydrogen atom. It was shot through a Tele Vue-85 refractor equipped with a Coronado SolarMax 40 H-alpha filter.
S&T photo by Rick Fienberg.
Late last week California-based telescope giant Meade Instruments announced its pending purchase of Coronado Technology Group in Arizona, the world's leading manufacturer of specialized hydrogen-alpha filters and telescopes for viewing the Sun. When the deal is completed later this year, backyard astronomers will be able to enjoy round-the-clock observing with Meade equipment for the first time in the company's three-decade history. Prior to this, Meade did not sanction solar observing with any of its wide-range of telescopes and accessories.

Coronado's name has become increasing familiar to Sky & Telescope readers since the company began marketing its hydrogen-alpha filters to amateur astronomers in the late 1990s. According to Gerry Hogan, who co-founded the company with her husband, optical expert David Lunt, Coronado "began to make solar [observing] ordinary." And no single product emphasizes that point better than the new PST (Personal Solar Telescope), an instrument that offers outstanding hydrogen-alpha views of the Sun for less than $500 — roughly a third the amount required to purchase a similar level of performance before the PST's introduction.

When asked what Meade's acquisition of Coronado means for consumers, Meade's president and CEO, Steven Murdock, told S&T that there will be "no significant changes. I don't think anyone will notice a difference except for perhaps a reduction in delivery times [for Coronado products]." Murdock also noted that the deal would infuse Coronado with money needed to grow the business. This sentiment was echoed by Hogan, who told S&T, "Now we can spread the gospel" and involve even more amateur astronomers in the exciting world of hydrogen-alpha solar observing.

All comments must follow the Sky & Telescope Terms of Use and will be moderated prior to posting. Please be civil in your comments. Sky & Telescope reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s username, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

COMMENT