How to use a computerized telescope

How to Use a Computerized Telescope

A computerized telescope, occasionally known as a “Go To” telescope, permits the user to instantly move the telescope from one celestial object to one other using a portable control pad. The telescope contains an internal computer with a databases containing lots of, even thousands, of celestial objects, such as the planets, star clusters, nebulae, comets, double-stars and variable stars. Before the telescope’s computer system can easily move the telescope to an item in the sky, the viewer should align the telescope with two guide stars, enter the telescopes place and insert the correct time and date.

Choose a location for the telescope, faraway from street lights, buildings and bushes. The chosen location must give an clear view of the sky, whilst offering sufficient space to enable the viewer to easily move the telescope. If the telescope is kept inside, move it outside a minimum of 20 minutes before watching, to allow the telescope’s glass mirrors or lenses to adapt to the temperature change.Orient the reflector telescope in order that the open end (with the big lens or opening) is fronting north, and position the eyepiece with the widest area of view into the eyepiece owner. The bigger the number on the eyepiece, the wider the field of view. For example, many telescopes come with two eyepieces: a 9mm and a 25mm (or close to those two focal lengths). In this case, the 25mm eyepiece provides the widest field of view.Level the telescope so that the base (the mount holding the telescope tube) is not tilted. Some telescopes have a built-in bubble level, but if yours does not, a short carpenter’s level will work. If you are using a level, adjust the telescope base along two axes (place the bubble level pointing east/west and level the base, then place it pointing north/south and level the base).Turn the best telescope on and allow the computer to run through its start-up procedures. During the start-up process, you will need to enter the correct date and local time. The more accurate the entered time, the more accurate the telescope will be when moving from one object to another.During the start-up process, you will be asked to enter the location of the telescope. In some cases, a built-in menu of major cities is provided and you can select one of these cities as the telescope’s location. You may also enter the longitude and latitude or GPS coordinates. The more accurately you determine the position of the telescope, the more accurate the telescope will be when moving to objects in the sky. You must select two guide stars on which to align the telescope. The computer within the telescope has a list of guide stars and you must use two of these. Begin by reviewing the list of guide stars. They can be viewed on the hand controller’s LCD screen. Select two guide stars visible from your present location at the time you are setting up and at the present time of year. Some stars are only visible during a limited time, so consult your star charts to find two suitable stars. You will need to use different guide stars during different seasons, so learn the location of a dozen or so guide stars. Use the hand controller to move the telescope so that you have one of the guide stars within the telescope’s field of view (so that you can see it in the eyepiece). Adjust the focus so that the star becomes a point of light. Then, using the hand controller, make slight adjustments until the star is positioned at the center of the field of view. On the guide star menu, “select” this star as one of the guide stars. Repeat this process with a second star. The telescope is now aligned and ready for use.

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