One of the most popular telescopes that are on the market today are GoTo Telescopes. These are automatic wonders that require one basic setup session and then can literally track thousands of stars and other objects in the night sky with just the touch of a button. For those that aren’t gifted in the art of using a telescope manually, GoTo Telescopes make it really easy to explore what lies beyond the boundaries of our planet.
If you’re thinking about using one of these automatic telescopes, then here is what you are going to need to do.
Step #1: You Need to Align Your GoTo Telescope
GoTo Telescopes are pre-programmed with a complete map of the night sky. This is what makes them such a useful tool. If you want to look at something, you simply need to direct the telescope to look at a specific destination and it will point toward where you need to look. In order to point in the right direction, however, you will need to align the telescope to your specific location on the planet. Most telescopes just want the date, the time, and what city you’re living in right now. Some telescopes are equipped with GPS technology that aligns the telescope for users.
Step #2: Set the Reference Points in the Sky
This is generally the most difficult step for beginning telescope users. Many GoTo Telescopes need to have two or three direct reference points in the sky in order to properly chart the stars for you. You’ll need to center the telescope on an image of a known star and log that location into the programming of the telescope. From there, you’ll be asked to repeat the process until there is enough information for the telescope to automatically navigate. This is why just a touch of a button is required to find something specific in the night sky.
Step #3: Prepare Your Finderscope
It can be exciting to discover new things in the night sky, but don’t let that excitement get in the way of preparing your finderscope so you can actually see things. This scope sits on top of the main optical tube and contains an image that isn’t as large as what you’d see through the primary lens of the telescope. This allows users to center on a location and then peer through the main lens at extreme magnification. The good news is that you can make these adjustments in the daylight hours as you’re getting ready to look at the night sky later.
Step #4: Relax
If your GoTo Telescope is telling you to center on Rigel, you don’t have to worry about trying to find the one star in the sky that is wanted. Most will put you right in the general vicinity of the star. Your job will be to center it so that the alignment can be finished. As long as there aren’t streetlights in the way, you’ll have an amazing viewing experience.
Automatic telescopes might not be the right choice for everyone, but they do allow for someone new to the night sky to explore it with ease. By following these easy steps, setting up and using the GoTo Telescope won’t take long at all.
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