$$423.56Binoculars & Scopes \ Telescopes \ Reflectors216006
216006
Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Telescope (Blue)
Developed for beginner and amateur astronomers, the Meade Polaris Series delivers an experience that will have you looking to the skies for many nights to come. Combining an equatorial mount and quality optics with superb value, the Meade Polaris refracting and reflecting telescopes are your gateway to the cosmos. The Polaris 130 reflecting ...
Meade4.59259227Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Telesc
Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Telesc
Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Tele-2
Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Tele-3
Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Tele-4
Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector TelescInstruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Tele-2Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Tele-3Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Tele-4

Meade

Instruments 216006 Polaris 130 EQ Reflector Telescope (Blue)

BCD690
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Specifications
General
Brand
Meade
MSRP
BCD690
Description

Developed for beginner and amateur astronomers, the Meade Polaris Series delivers an experience that will have you looking to the skies for many nights to come. Combining an equatorial mount and quality optics with superb value, the Meade Polaris refracting and reflecting telescopes are your gateway to the cosmos.

The Polaris 130 reflecting telescope is the best telescope for beginners and amateurs who want to discover more. With a 130mm (5.1) aperture size, the Polaris 130 will deliver bright, clear images for the aspiring astronomer to enjoy. Whether you're viewing the Moon, planets, or deep-sky objects such as nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters, the view through the Polaris 130 will keep you looking up for a long time.

Pros:
A larger aperture to get a better view of deep-sky objects
Once polar aligned, the equatorial mount allows you to locate and track celestial objects because it rotates with the Earth, instead of the up-down left-right directions of an altazimuth mount

Cons:
Reflecting telescopes won't produce right-side up images, so terrestrial viewing is limited

Q:How is this telescope different than other Polaris models (114, 90, 80, etc)?
A:Aperture size and telescope type. The bigger the aperture, the more light-gathering power the telescope will have, resulting in brighter, detailed images. The Polaris 114, 127, and 130 are reflecting telescopes, meaning they use mirrors to produce an image. The Polaris 70, 80, and 90 are refracting telescopes, which use lenses to produce an image. The Polaris 130 has a 130mm aperture, the largest aperture of all the Polaris telescopes.

Q:What is the difference between the Polaris 127 and the Polaris 130?
A:The Polaris 130 has a 650mm focal length, ideal for large galaxies and nebulae. The 127 has a 1000mm focal length, great for smaller objects like planets.

  • Aperture: 130mm(5.1 inch ). Focal Length: 650mm. Focal Ratio: f/5.0. Rack-and-Pinion Focuser, Setting Circles, Latitude Control w/ Scale
  • Large, stable German Equatorial mount with slow motion controls makes tracking celestial objects smooth and simple
  • Low (26mm), medium (9mm), and high (6.3mm) magnification eyepieces give you variety for any viewing situation and 2 x barlow lens doubles the magnifying power of each eyepiece
  • Red dot viewfinder helps you point your scope at objects you want to observe and accessory tray stores accessories while observing
  • Includes Astronomical Software and Instructional DVD
Customer Reviews
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Top Reviews
Great budget telescope to start
by Valued Customer on August 02, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

Very good priced instrument to begin with astronomy. Not bad to set up after you do it once. Adjustments easy to use. A little bit cheaply built, but it's also very inexpensive when it comes down to it. I've tracked a few satellites including the ISS. Looked at some of the planets, galaxies, nebula and star clusters. Great for a beginner to learn how the earth rotates and how to align with north to track objects easily. Finding objects can be difficult especially on the east coast when it's not very clear. It's still better in my opinion to do it this way then to just type into the computer and watch the telescope move to an object. Not rewarding and no learning on that. Here's some photos taken through my iPhone

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Great beginner/amateur level telescope
by Valued Customer on July 25, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

Fantastic beginner/amateur level telescope. The tripod is a bit shaky but can easily be replaced if it becomes a problem. So far, after about a month and a half of use, I'm still making it work.Up to this point, I've spotted all planets up to and including Saturn. The rings on Saturn are very well defined and sometimes even some of its moons are visible. Jupiter shows 2 well defined brown bands as well as at least 4 moons. Definitely very exciting to look at. Mars and Venus don't show up terribly well but frankly aren't very interesting planets in my opinion anyway. The moon makes another great target, especially when it isn't full because the craters stand out a bit more. I have yet to see Mercury because it leaves the horizon before sundown where I am. The planets beyond Saturn I'm still working on.I've also spotted several Messier objects. Last night I got M6, M7, and M39. The telescope, if properly calibrated for chromatic aberration (don't let the big words scare you, it's not that bad at all), is capable of producing views of nebulae and nearby galaxies. Star clusters are very fun to spot and make great pictures if you own a dslr camera and the appropriate adapter (which costs about $15).I live in the suburbs of Phoenix to give you an idea of the light pollution where I am. I would not recommend this (or any) telescope if you live in the heart of any major population center. However if you live in a rural part of the country, I envy you. The views you will get with this telescope are better than I can even imagine.This is a great investment for anyone starting out. I wouldn't go any higher in price until you know you enjoy it. One thing to note is that if you plan to make this a family activity, you may want to choose another scope that mirrors the image in the eyepiece to a laptop/monitor so that others can see more easily. At high magnification, the planets and close stars move rather quickly and leave the field of view within a minute or so. This makes it difficult for a larger number of people to get a chance to see what's going on without constant disruption to readjust. If this is for yourself and potentially one other person, absolutely go ahead and buy it.A suggestion to make your stargazing more fun, download a night sky app and write down in a notebook some objects you want to see with your telescope. Check them off as you spot them. It makes the hobby much more purposeful and fulfilling. Again, the Messier objects make great targets since there's 110 of them and most should be visible through this scope.The pictures shown were taken by holding my cheap LG phone up to the eyepiece of the telescope. With more expensive camera equipment and adapters, you can imagine how much better quality can be achieved. Also note that the quality actually LOOKING through the telescope is much better than what can be captured in these pictures.Truly a phenomenal purchase, well worth my time and money.

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While I like the quality of the telescope
by Valued Customer on May 12, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

While I like the quality of the telescope, I was disappointed in the DVD. I was hoping for a video that would help with beginners. It is only the manual that comes with it.

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hubbys bday present
by Valued Customer on May 05, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

he's in love!

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Cracked Spotting Scope Lens.
by Valued Customer on February 25, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

I love the telescope but the red dot spotting scope lens arrived cracked. It sill works but it s broken.

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A Good scope, but you'll want to replace the supplied eyepieces
by Valued Customer on January 22, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

I have had this scope for a couple of weeks now and I am quite pleased with it. After collimating, views are crisp. I like the finish, the red dot finder works great, the overall quality of the scope is good. The biggest issue I have had was a wobble in the focuser. While extending the focuser it will slightly, but noticeably, shift right and then back left, and while fully extended it can be made to move back and forth. This definitely made collimating the scope more difficult before I caught on to the problem. I replaced the eyepieces that came with the scope and now use Celestron Omni. They are a welcome improvement.

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Five Stars
by Valued Customer on January 04, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

Great price on a great product.

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On the whole I have been impressed and I am very happy with my purchase
by Valued Customer on December 29, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

After playing around with inexpensive, smaller telescopes for a year (two years ago) this is the one I settled on as my upgrade scope. On the whole I have been impressed and I am very happy with my purchase, but I was surprised by a few things. Now that I've used the Polaris 130 for a year I finally decided I was ready to share my impressions.First a quick summary since some people don't like to read all of my ramblings.Pros:-Good balance between portability and capability (my most important criteria)-Doesn't come with useless accessories-Solid tripod and mount-I like the versatile tripod tray-Quick to set up and tear down-Convenient carrying case is available (but not included)-Impressive low and medium power views, especially with eyepiece upgradesCons:-Not capable of quite as high a magnification as I expected-Doesn't include collimation tools (this is common)-Eyepieces and Barlow are okay, but the scope really benefits from upgrades (easily remedied)-I don't like red dot finders (again, easily remedied)-Mine required some adjustments to secondary mirror position (easy to fix)-Slow motion control for RA axis gets in the way sometimes (not a big deal)I'll start with some backstory: Two years ago my wife got me a couple telescopes for Christmas (a Rokinon 76mm reflector and a Coleman 50mm refractor). The reflector was good, the refractor not so much. However, it sparked my interest in astronomy and I fell I love with the hobby. I also quickly outgrew the 76mm scope and wanted something with more horsepower. I didn't want my wife to feel like I was rejecting her thoughtful gift by immediately replacing it with something else, so I decided to live with the scope I had for a year before upgrading. I think that ended up being a good decision. I learned how to push the limits of what small scopes are capable of, and by using my small scope on as many targets as possible I learned what kind of things I enjoyed observing. Mostly I liked nebulae and star clusters and I didn't particularly care for splitting double stars, which helped direct my shopping for the next telescope: a fairly fast telescope with more aperture that was still portable since I have to carry my telescope down a fight of stairs outside in the dark, then down the block and across the street to a vacant lot in order to use it without being blocked by trees.I liked the Rokinon scope a lot, so I first looked at other Rokinon offerings. There was a long tube 130 that was appealing, but when looking at reviews everyone seemed to recommend Orion scopes, so I then looked there. Orion sold two 130s: the long tube ""EQ"" and the shorter ""ST"". Again, reviewers seemed to steer people toward the ST for its parabolic mirror. The shorter focal length sounded like it would be ideal for my needs.Then I noticed Celestron and Meade also made short tube 130s with parabolic mirrors. Which to get? What was the difference? Not a lot other than price it turns out, at least not that I can tell. The Orion scope came with more expensive accessories, but I didn't want all that junk. I already had decent eyepieces and star charts and a flashlight, etc. and while the Orion's mirror came center-marked that wasn't hard to do myself on the Rokinon. The Orion came with a collimation cap but I already had a Cheshire and had gotten good at collimating my mirrors. The Meade was the cheapest of the three, seemed to come with the best tripod legs and didn't come with anything I didn't want. I was sold.I think the first thing I looked at was the Orion nebula, and I was not disappointed. There was a noticeable difference between the 130mm and the 76mm I'd been used to. Nice.I then noticed some other things: the phrase ""gnat's rear end"" comes to mind when it comes to focusing and high power views(anything over 100 x ) seemed to be not as sharp as I expected. Getting a good focus required a lot of effort since the ""sweet spot"" was very small and easy to miss at higher powers. A two-speed focuser would have been wonderful, and I'm still looking for a way to upgrade the focuser that won't break the bank.Somewhere along the way I'd picked up a broken cheap junk Bushnell 114mm f/7.8 reflector from a thrift store to fix up and use as a loaner, so I set them up side-by-side to compare using Series 4000 Super Ploessls and a #140 apochromatic 2x Barlow and #128 3x Barlow (not at the same time) in the Meade and generic Chinese Ploessls and 2x Barlow in the Bushnell. To my surprise, while the Meade had the edge in low and medium power views, the 130 fell off bigtime at higher power. At 180 x the Bushnell was considerably sharper on the moon than the Meade was at 160 x . I then discovered that the phrase ""gnat's rear end"" also applied to the Meade's collimation tolerances. Tweaking collimation improved things a bit but for whatever reason (slower optics? smaller secondary obstruction?) the beat up Bushnell I bought for $25 remained the better high power scope. The Meade is better in every other way, though. The general rule says scopes should be capable of 2x their objective diameter in magnification, or 260 x in this case, but this doesn't seem to be so for the Polaris 130. That's okay, high power viewing of the moon and planets was not why I bought the scope.Okay, down to business. The scope comes in several pieces but isn't hard to assemble. Some reviewers complain about the assembly but it's really not that complicated even without directions if you look at the picture on the box and take your time. The manual does a good job of explaining how everything works and how to use the scope. Equatorial mounts take some getting used to if you haven't used on before but once you get the hang of it you won't want to use anything else. Adjust the tripod for your latitude (easy to do with the adjustment screw), point it vaguely North, and voila, you're good to go for visual observing.I had some pleasant surprises when I opened the box. Some of the things that look plastic in the online pictures are actually metal, specifically the ""spider"" (secondary mirror holder on the open end of the tube) and the tube rings.My biggest challenge was balancing aperture and portability. Since I have to go down a flight of stairs with my telescope and carry all my gear (book, eyepieces, camp chair) in one trip to my observing site 75 yards away size and weight mattered a lot to me. Many, many seasoned astronomers recommend nothing smaller than an 8"" Dob for beginners, then go on to say that you should really consider a 10"" or 12"" Dob instead. Yeah? I'd love to see them manhandle something the size and weight of a hot water heater down a flight of stairs in the dark. I'll wait at the bottom with my finger ready to press ""call"" to 911 for an ambulance. At 26 pounds, the Polaris 130 is the biggest thing I felt like I could carry one handed since my other hand needs to carry the camp chair and star chart book.One thing I really liked was that you can actually use everything in the box. Too many other telescopes come with 3x Barlows and SR 4mm eyepieces so they can claim ""675x power!"" on the box when the SR 4mm eyepiece alone has too much magnification to be useful with the scope. Not so here. The eyepieces are decent quality and work fine and the Barlow works pretty well, too. With that said, they could use some improvement, though. Better quality Ploessl eyepieces are sharper and give a bigger image with wider field of view. Makes the views much more pleasing. The medium and higher power views seem to benefit the most, although a nice wide angle makes the low power field more enjoyable, and low power is where this scope really shines. I use the more ""expendable"" Cassini 26mm Erfle most of the time (to keep my older Series 400 eyepieces in tiptop shape) as well as a 10mm Ploessl and the 2x Barlow the scope came with for medium (65x) and high (130 x ) powers. I also use a Celestron 7-21 zoom eyepiece to help find faint things since I can use it to quickly vary the background darkness. a UHC nebula filter works well with this telescope, too. I have found that several objects (like M1, the Crab Nebula) that were completely invisible in the 76mm scope may also be invisible at low power in the 130mm, but if I gradually increase the power the background darkens enough that I can finally see the object. There's a balance: too much magnification and the target object dims too much.I don't like the red dot finder because I live in a light polluted area and I like to star hop, so I need some sort of magnifying finder to help me see stars I can't see with the naked eye. It's also much easier to follow the directions in my beat up copy of Turn Left At Orion with a traditional finderscope. Fortunately, it was an easy fix since most 5x24 and some 6x30 finders will attach to the mounting bolts with minimum fuss. The Orion 6x30 finders are nice, but because of their dovetail connection you'll need to modify the Polaris 130 a bit to put a dovetail receiver on it. I bought an older Meade 6x30 finder to use that matched up to the existing mounting bolts without modification. They've gotten harder to come by, though.The tripod and mount are pretty robust. They hold the scope solidly, it's less likely to tip over than the more precarious Bushnell 114, and with the legs shortened almost all the way the eyepiece is at a perfect height to use while seated in my little folding camp chair and the shorter legs keep vibration to a minimum. It's a comfortable telescope to use, and the controls are easy to find by feel in the dark. The dovetail connection makes set up and tear down amazingly quick, and the optional carrying case fits well. I can take the scope from zipped up in the bag to set up ready to observe in less than 2 minutes. Grab and go anyone?In general I prefer the flat triangular trays with raised sides (like my Rokinon and the Infinity 60 and 70 scopes come with) over the more traditional thin tray with holes in it for eyepieces (Tasco and entry level Celestron scopes come with these) because they're more versatile at storing things. This one manages to be the best of both worlds. There are holes for three eyepieces and lots of flat space for everything else. I ended up liking it way more than I expected. It attaches securely and makes the tripod very rigid.My only complaint about the mount controls is that in certain orientations the scope tube pushes against the RA axis control cable. Not a big deal, I usually just remove the cable and use the big gear for the optional motor drive to control the RA axis. On my EQ1 refractor mounts you can move the RA adjustment cable from one side to the other but that's not the case here.I mentioned before that collimation required ""gnat's rear end"" precision but that shouldn't scare you off from the telescope. Any reflector scope is gong to need collimation now and then so you'll have to get used to the idea eventually. Fortunately, it's not hard to do with the right tools. I personally find a Cheshire to be more useful than a laser but either one works. The nice thing with the Polaris 130 is that the tube is short enough you can make adjustments while looking through the Cheshire which speeds the process up and makes learning to collimate the mirrors easier. The secondary mirror adjusting screws were extremely tight the first time I adjusted them (I was afraid the Allen wrench would strip out the heads) but after removing them and giving them a small dose of lubricant they work better. The primary mirror has a sort of soft rubber o-ring between it and the tube meaning you only have to use the three ""pulling"" screws to adjust the primary and once you get it in the right spot the three ""pushing"" screws can be tightened down to secure the mirror in position. As easy as it gets.The only problem I had with the scope was that the secondary mirror was not positioned correctly when I got it. Basically, the secondary mirror was too far away from the primary mirror and thus wasn't centered with the focuser. It wasn't very hard to fix: loosen the center bolt and then tighten the three adjustment bolts, then repeat as necessary until the mirror was further away from the spider. Having a Cheshire made it easy to center the secondary mirror. That might be trickier with a laser.I usually spend a lot of time modifying, improving, and tinkering with my telescopes but the only additional modification I've done to this one was to install some flock paper to the inside of the tube. This was something of a pain since there's not a lot of room to work with inside the tube but it does seem to have helped with contrast and helped battle stray light in my neighborhood.Really the only weakness is with high power views, so if your interest lies only with the moon and planets then a different scope might be a better choice. In my case, I just supplemented the Polaris 130 with another scope for lunar/planetary observing. I'd intended to get a Polaris 90 refractor for that purpose but ended up getting an unbelievable deal on an older ETX 90 RA that is now my moon and planets scope. The Polaris 130 is my ""everything else"" scope.One thing I wondered about for a long time but only recently found the answer to is whether the Polaris series telescopes would work on the Infinity 80, 90, and 102 tripods and vice versa. The answer is yes and no. I bought my dad an Infinity 102 for Christmas and while the 102 happily sits on the EQ2 mount from the 130, the 130 is simply too heavy for the Infinity Alt-Az mount. I think the Polaris 70, 80, and 90 refractors would probably work fine on the Infinity mount, but the114, 127, and 130 reflectors are simply too big. Bummer.I don't mean for any of my criticisms above to imply there is anything inherently wrong with the scope or that potential buyers should be concerned. On the contrary, I've been extremely pleased with the telescope and it and I have spent many hours out in the dark together. A year later and I still smile every time I bring it out. Occasionally I think a little more aperture might be nice but then I look at the stairs and decide, ""Nope."" For me, at least, the Polaris 130 has been the perfect balance between aperture and portability. Because the scope's performance is better suited for low and medium power I'm not sure it makes the best first telescope for someone but if you want to make a leap of faith it's not hard to learn with and will take much longer to outgrow than a smaller scope would as long as you keep I mind the scope's limitations. As a second scope it has been phenomenal at meeting my needs and there's no way I would trade it for anything else.

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Probably not the best for beginners, but it's not bad
by Valued Customer on September 17, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

This telescope is great for viewing the moon as well as the sun (with proper filters of course) I've only used it a few times, mostly due to weather as well as a lack of objects to view in the sky where I am.It's surprisingly light weight, the counterweight is about as heavy as the telescope and tripod put together. The Right ascension and declination knobs are kind of finicky and sometimes don't want to turn easily, and the RA knob is hard to use while keeping your eye on the eyepiece.The unit arrived and required collimation (I used a laser collimator for ease) The screws were undifferentiated so I had to keep referring back to the manual to remind myself which were anchor screws and which were adjustment screws. The secondary mirror cannot be adjusted (and mine is misaligned) Despite this, I still was able to get a focused image of Saturn (unfortunately it's a poor time to view it and even with the 6.3mm lens, the rings were just barely visible and it was really had to focus)The finder 'scope' is much better than the standard mini-tube, it uses a laser scope, so you have a low-power laser beam projected on a plate of coated class. This makes viewing easy and adjusting the sight much more simple, by using a few knobs to aim the laser; although the placement of the one of the knobs makes it extremely difficult to adjust that and keeping your eye on the red dot, so you really just have to look, adjust, look again until you get it, rather than seeing it in 'real-time'Now the lenses they supply are 26mm (low power), 9mm (medium power), 6.3mm (high power), and a 2x Barlow lens. For reference, I used the 9mm lens when I took the photo of the sun. The Barlow lensIs awful. No really, just throw it away and spend $15-20 ( can even see some for $11 here on Amazon that are better quality) for a COATED lens, whether 2x or 3x. None of these lenses are optically coated, so don't expect much in the way of HD viewing, you don't need to spend $125 for multi-coated lenses, but shell out $20-40 for a lens that has been coated.The tripod feels much more sturdy than the Celestron 128EQ which is great, because I was always worried that the legs would give way with how light they were. The lens tray is screwed into the tripod which keeps the legs extended, you cannot fold the legs for easy transport without unscrewing the cap and pulling off the tray, which makes trying to get the unit through doors a task. (I'm 6'2"" so I have the legs extended to maximum so I'm not hunched over to use the telescope)Out of the box, I had 2 defects. One of the tripod feet had it's bolt broken so I had to epoxy the foot back onto the tripod. Secondly another bolt had broken off or not punched properly near the top of one of the tripod legs.So far it's okay. I'll update the review later when I have a chance to really start viewing planets and DSOs

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But I just recently acquired this telescope and I am very happy with it
by Valued Customer on September 03, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

This is the first telescope I've owned. My old man was totally into the astronomy scene when I was younger so I have the most basic understanding of terminology in the subject. Just enough so that my kids think I know what I'm talking about But I just recently acquired this telescope and I am very happy with it. I can show my kids the rings of Saturn. That's all they care about so well worth the investment there. I took the advice of the guy I got it from and updated the eyepieces that came with it. Yes it's worth it but no it's not a deal breaker for this telescope. The eye pieces that come with with it work great and I put it together without the instructions so as long as you can butter bread you should be able to handle putting this together. My husband only advise is if you plan on using this to spy on neighbors leave the counter weight off.

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for starter this scope is great for beginner
by Valued Customer on August 30, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

for starter this scope is great for beginner. Easily seeing Saturn, Jupiter. Nebular, not quite yet because I believe a higher power lens is needed. One thing on the design is the eye piece is opposite to one of the fine adjustment knots which I found it surprising. I have to extend my hand across the the bottle of the scope to reach the knot for fine adjustment. Inconvenience but can be adaptable. Otherwise, I say this scope is a great bargain for the price. The DVD showed a older model so beware that some of the instructions you have to kind of figure it out yourself but it should not be hard. Because if you can not figure that out, it will hard to find the stars or planets in the sky.

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Shoot for the stars!
by Valued Customer on July 26, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Verified Purchase

Wonderful telescope and very easy to use!

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