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Automating telescope alignment using SkyX Pro

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RayPat Posted: 10-09-2018 3:07 PM

I have an iOptron CEM60 mount, 10" RC telescope and ZWO ASI094 camera for astrophotography.

Question: is SkyX Pro with the appropriate add ons, e.g., TPoint and Camera, capable of automatically aligning my telescope, thus compensating for residual polar alignment and leveling errors, etc?  (Analogous to the functionality of Celestron's StarSense system.)

If yes, then a great short video would be to show a telescope and mount being set down on a near level surface, approximately polar aligned using a compass and the mounts protractor and then watch SkyX point the telescope to different sky locations, plate solving each location and completing the software alignment of the telescope.  A test of the alignment could be to send the scope to a deep space object and show the resulting image from a, say, 20 minute exposure showing the object in the center of the image and round stars.

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RayPat:
is SkyX Pro with the appropriate add ons, e.g., TPoint and Camera, capable of automatically aligning my telescope, thus compensating for residual polar alignment and leveling errors, etc?  (Analogous to the functionality of Celestron's StarSense system.)
Yes, TheSkyX Pro + TPoint (the world's most powerful telescope modeling software) corrects the mount's pointing errors. 

RayPat:
If yes, then a great short video would be to show a telescope and mount being set down on a near level surface, approximately polar aligned using a compass and the mounts protractor and then watch SkyX point the telescope to different sky locations, plate solving each location and completing the software alignment of the telescope.
Here are some example TPoint videos:

RayPat:
A test of the alignment could be to send the scope to a deep space object and show the resulting image from a, say, 20 minute exposure showing the object in the center of the image and round stars.
Note that TPoint will not improve the iOptron mount's tracking accuracy. 

In addition to polar alignment errors (there's no such thing as a "perfect polar alignment"), tracking errors from atmospheric refraction, tube flexure and a host of other mount-related errors must be considered before long unguided photos are possible* (at short to moderate focal lengths). 

TPoint's ProTrack technology (see the TPoint Add On User Guide above), exclusive to Paramount mounts, can be used to achieve long, unguided photos by compensating for these errors. 

* The longest unguided photo that can be acquired depends on a host of factors (focal length, weather, seeing, experience level, etc.).  Here's a few examples.

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