Meade lawsuit settled

The lawsuit against Meade has been settled. Meade’s “Advanced Ritchey-Chrétien” telescopes — the LX200R and RCX400 series — aren’t actually Ritchey-Chrétiens. A Ritchey-Chrétien telescope is a form of Cassegrain reflector that uses hyperbolic mirrors to eliminate coma; these telescopes are modified Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptrics that achieve the same effect. Ritchey-Chrétiens are also insanely expensive, so a couple of companies who manufacture them sued Meade for deceptive trade practices — Meade’s scopes are considerably cheaper than the real thing. As part of the settlement, Meade can’t use the RC initials in its products, but can continue to claim “Ritchey-Chrétien-like” benefits, since the scopes in question do eliminate coma, and are by all accounts impressive enough, reliability issues notwithstanding.

Update, Jan. 24: More from Sky and Telescope’s news blog, including new names for the contested telescopes, which will now have an “ACF” (“advanced coma free”) suffix.