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It’s amazing how many people I’ve met who own a telescope with a GOTO mount and don’t actually use it! The reason given is usually that “it is too complicated”. I do admit it takes some getting used to, but once you know how to do it, it’s dead easy and super for finding things. Back in the old days at age 12, I used to have a 60mm self-built refractor, which of course wasn’t computer powered at all. So I used most of my time outside to actually find objects. Now with my Celestron NexStar, it’s a mere matter of two star aligning and off I go, finding things I never would be able to find as quickly on my own.

I did start out using Sky Align at first, but soon discovered I was having more success with Auto Two Star Align. For one thing, Sky Align does err on occasion or isn’t able to match the objects. Finding three objects takes more time and there’s something conceptually weird about finding three random bright objects when you know most of the bright stars.

Auto Two Star Align is an easy procedure.

1) Make sure the telescope is positioned fairly level and will not move easily (this can be tricky when you position your telescope on grass or dirt).

2) The NexStar should know its position and time accurately. You need the GPS option for this.

3) In the region of the sky you want to observe, get to know the bright stars. This is fun to do and very useful knowledge, now and in the future. For instance, if you’re gonna look at Gemini, know which stars are Castor, Pollux and Procyon. Go get yourself some software that will tell you what you’re looking for. This too is essential for your stargazing fun.

4) Follow the procedure for Auto Two Star Align with those bright stars from step 3. Easy! You will notice that the NexStar already suggests stars you’re currently seeing. It will also “guess” a very reasonable second star that won’t take forever to slew to. It has never failed on me.

Once you feel comfortable using Auto Two Star Align, be sure to also check out Precise GOTO, because that’ll make you find things you thought were impossible to find.

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  1. […] 7) Now choose “EQ Auto Align” and align the telescope as you normally would do to two of the suggested stars: […]

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