Telescopes of the Highlands Observatory
Meade 12" LX200
The primary telescope of the Highlands Observatory is a 12-inch Meade LX200, which we fondly refer to as "Big Blue". This telescope was generously donated to the Eastside Astronomical Society in late 2003 by Tomas Palmer of the Little Bear observatory in Redmond, WA.
Meade 8" LX90
The 8-inch Meade LX90 is the third scope that I have owned. After Big Blue moved in, the LX became known as "Little Blue" or "Baby Blue" for obvious reasons. My first telescope was a Tasco refractor with a wobbly mount that I got for Christmas when I was about 12 years old. I used that for many years, then lost interest in astronomy for about 15 years. I then got back into astronomy in late 2001 with a Meade ETX90, got a severe case of aperture fever, and bought the LX90 after 6 months with the little ETX 90. The LX90 is a nice portable scope that can be hauled around a lot easier than Big Blue. Maia's 4-inch Maksutov is also seen on the first photo at the Deception Pass Star Party with Little Blue.
There is only so much you can do with a big 12" SCT scope with focal reducers to increase your field of view. Apochromatic refractor scopes are normally very expensive due to the special glass they use in the objective lens. When Orion came out with the 80ED scope, I just had to get one of these. I waited for a 10% off sale, and saved $50 on the $500 scope. The little Orion is sometimes called "Little Piggy" since it rides piggyback on the Meade scopes. It's a wonderful little telescope for imaging wider fields, and it works great as a guide scope when autoguiding one of the Meade scopes.