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HOW TO USE THE TELESCOPE MOUNT

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HOW TO USE THE TELESCOPE MOUNT

Several techniques can be used to find objects in the sky:

Visual Pointing is the technique used by all beginners-simply move the telescope to point at the target (usually a planet or Moon or bright star) and look through the finder to center the object, followed by looking through the eyepiece.

Star-hopping is a technique used by more advanced beginners and everyone else, all the way up to the most experienced observers. This entails finding a relatively bright star near the target then matching the view seen through the finder with a star chart or finder chart to get close to where the object should be. This technique is easiest with the Alt-Az mount, but can be successfully employed by the EQ mount as well.

Offsetting is an additional technique that the EQ-mounted telescope can employ. With this method, a star near to the target is chosen, and the mount is offset north or south to a line that allows the telescope to be moved east or west to find the object. This technique can be easily matched with the field of view of a low-power eyepiece or the setting circles on the mount can be used. Either way, it is the easiest way to find objects for the EQ mount owner.

Setting Circles on the EQ mount can be used to find an object directly. Every object in the sky has a pair of coordinates describing its position on the Celestial Sphere. Those coordinates are its N-S position (called DEC, or Declination), and its East-West coordinates (called RA, or Right Ascension). As on the surface of the Earth, a position south of the Celestial Equator is preceded by a minus sign, and all positions E-W are described by the number of hours east of a North-South line called the Vernal Equinox (where the sun is in the Sky on the first day of Spring), so this position goes from 0hr0min0sec to 23hr59min59sec.

The Celestial Coordinate System

The setting circles on the mount allow the telescope to be pointed directly at a particular sky coordinate so long as the Polar Axis is coincident with the axis of the Earth, and the Polar Axis setting circle is slipped into the correct position for the current time. Every object directly crossing the line that runs north and south, which passes directly overhead, called the Meridian, will do so at a different time of the night. Yet, each object has a discrete E-W coordinate, called its RA (Right Ascension). Hence, the RA of a point on the meridian is always changing. Another way to look at it is that a particular RA is always moving west. In order to use the RA setting circle on your mount, it is first necessary to slip the setting circle to read the correct RA for where the telescope is pointed. This is easily done by centering a bright star and moving the setting circle until it reads the correct coordinates for that star. After that¡¯s done, to find an object, simply move the telescope until the coordinates on both setting circles match the position of the object. This is the way all professionals found objects prior to the advent of computers.

Computerized mounts are typically lined up on 2 or 3 selected stars, after which the position of every object in the Celestial Sphere is internally calculated. This type of mount keeps track of the passage of time, so it knows where the object is in the sky, regardless of the time of night. Finding an object is as simple as telling the telescope to find a particular object or coordinates and pressing GoTo. It can't get much easier than that.

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GOTO TELESCOPE MOUNTS

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iOptron MiniTower II Telescope Mount, Payload of 30 lbs, GoTo, GPS, Hard Case
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iOptron MiniTower II Telescope Mount, Payload of 30 lbs, GoTo, GPS, Hard Case
Item No. 644-20051
Manuf. No. iOptron 8300-2G

iOptron 8300-2G MiniTower II Telescope Mount, Altazimuth computerized GoTo, Payload of 30 lbs, GoTo, GPS
 
Our Price: $999.00
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iOptron iEQ45 GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount With Renishaw Encoder, Pier
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iOptron iEQ45 GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount With Renishaw Encoder, Pier
Item No. 644-11752
Manuf. No. iOptron 8001P

iOptron 8001P Mount iEQ45 GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount With Renishaw Encoder, Pier
 
Our Price: $4,988.00
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iOptron iEQ45-GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount With Renishaw Encoder
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iOptron iEQ45-GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount With Renishaw Encoder
Item No. 644-11751
Manuf. No. iOptron 8001

iOptron 8001 Mount, iEQ45-GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount With Renishaw Encoder
 
Our Price: $4,800.00
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iOptron iEQ45 GoTo German Equatorial Mount with Modified Clutch and Pier for Telescopes
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iOptron iEQ45 GoTo German Equatorial Mount with Modified Clutch and Pier for Telescopes
Item No. 644-11745
Manuf. No. iOptron 8000CP

iOptron 8000CP Mount, iEQ45 GoTo German Equatorial Mount with Modified Clutch and Pier for Telescopes
 
Our Price: $1,888.00
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Losmandy G-11 Equatorial Mount, Gemini Goto, Weight Shaft, FHD-MA Tripod and 21 lb. weight
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Losmandy G-11 Equatorial Mount, Gemini Goto, Weight Shaft, FHD-MA Tripod and 21 lb. weight
Item No. 670-30018
Manuf. No. Losmandy G-11 GFT

Losmandy G-11 GFT, Equatorial Mount, Gemini Goto, Weight Shaft, FHD-MA Tripod and 21 lb. weight
 
Our Price: $3,695.00
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Losmandy G-11 Equatorial Mount, Gemini Goto, Maxon motors, HD Tripod
Losmandy G-11 Equatorial Mount, Gemini Goto, Maxon motors, HD Tripod
Item No. 670-30016
Manuf. No. Losmandy G-11 G, MAXON MOTORS

Losmandy G-11 GM, Equatorial Head G-11 Mount, Gemini Goto, Maxon motors, HD Tripod
 
Our Price: $3,495.00
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Losmandy Mount G-11 Equatorial Head, Gemini Goto, Weight Shaft and 21 lb. weight
Losmandy Mount G-11 Equatorial Head, Gemini Goto, Weight Shaft and 21 lb. weight
Item No. 670-30013
Manuf. No. Losmandy G-11 GLT

Losmandy G-11 GLT Equatorial Mount, Gemini Goto, Weight Shaft and 21 lb. weight
 
Our Price: $2,995.00
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Parallax Instruments Observatory Model German Equatorial Mount HD150-O w/Digital Drive
Parallax Instruments Observatory Model German Equatorial Mount HD150-O w/Digital Drive
Item No. 608-50100
Manuf. No. Parallax Instruments HD150-O

Parallax Instruments HD150-O Mounts, Observatory Model German Equatorial Mount w/Digital Drive
 
Our Price: $9,500.00
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Parallax Instruments Standard German Equatorial Mount HD150 w/Digital Drive
Parallax Instruments Standard German Equatorial Mount HD150 w/Digital Drive
Item No. 608-50000
Manuf. No. Parallax Instruments HD150

Parallax Instruments HD150 Mounts, Standard German Equatorial Mount w/Digital Drive
 
Our Price: $8,500.00
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iOptron iEQ75-GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount
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iOptron iEQ75-GT GoTo German Equatorial Mount
Item No. 644-12000
Manuf. No. iOptron 8700

iOptron iEQ75-GT is a one-of-a-kind premium CNC-machined astro-imaging mount from iOptron. The iEQ75-GT offers the next generation GoTo technology from iOptron plus a tracking error of only 0.3 arc seconds realized by a Renishaw high resolution encoder-en
 
Our Price: $8,799.00
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iOptron MiniTower Pro GoTo Mount with GPS and 8-line display
iOptron MiniTower Pro GoTo Mount with GPS and 8-line display
Item No. 644-21000
Manuf. No. iOptron 8100

The MiniTower Pro has all the GOTO technology and portablity as the MiniTower but a beefed-up tripod and bearings.
 
Our Price: $1,299.00
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iOptron CubePro Portable GPS GoTo AltAzimuth Mount
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iOptron CubePro Portable GPS GoTo AltAzimuth Mount
Item No. 644-20000
Manuf. No. iOptron 8200

The CubePro GoTo AltAzimuth Mount is the ideal portable mount to go with your traveling OTAs, such as a 60mm or 80mm ED refractor, a 90mm or 100mm Mak or 114mm Newtonian reflector
MSRP: $700.00
Our Price: $399.00
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Losmandy Motor Based GOTO Computerized Positioning System for Equatorial Mounts
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Losmandy Motor Based GOTO Computerized Positioning System for Equatorial Mounts
Item No. 770-61000
Manuf. No. Losmandy GEMINI KIT S

DC servo motor based GOTO computerized positioning system. Retro-Fit Kit for: GM-8, G-11, HGM200, CI-700 & G9 equatorial mounts.
 
Our Price: $1,595.00
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