Total Pointing Integrity™

TPoint™ provides world-class telescope pointing analysis and pointing corrections that help identify, quantify, and automatically compensate for systematic errors that commonly exist with all telescopes.

For a comprehensive look at what’s involved with telescope pointing, you might enjoy the article “Ten reasons why accurate pointing is non-trivial” written by Patrick Wallace, a professional astronomer, the world’s foremost authority on telescope pointing and TPoint author.

TPoint is used by professional observatories worldwide (Keck, GBT, Gemini, ALMA, AAT, ARC, WIYN, WHT, UKIRT, JBO, IRTF, NSST, ESO, CTIO, SOAR, MMT, Magellan, LBT and others) on telescopes of many different designs — equatorial and altazimuth, optical, infrared, and radio.

TPoint is also widely used by amateur astronomers.

Two TPoint versions are available with the same software at their hearts but offering different types of use:

  • TPoint Module: The retail version of TPoint commonly used by amateur astronomers (in addition to many professionals) is available for $249.  Click the Add to Cart button below to purchase it.  After you purchase this module, a serial number is registered to your account.  Use it to activate TPoint from TheSky Professional Edition. The TPoint module is for use on 0.5 meter and smaller optical tube assemblies and is compatible with equatorial mountings.
  • TPoint Professional: ProTPoint is used almost exclusively by professional astronomers, and typically within the world’s largest observatories. This version can operate without TheSky software and supports altazimuth and equatorial mountings. It can be licensed for telescopes with apertures exceeding 0.5 meters. For a price quotation, please contact us.

With TPoint, you’ll enjoy a highly refined, reliable and proven pointing solution. It also increases your observing productivity and efficiency as less time is spent centering objects.  When you operate a large professional observatory or installation, time savings translates to significant operating cost savings.  TPoint’s also a boon for amateurs who want to spend more time observing and less time fiddling around trying to place objects in the field of view.

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In addition to providing telescope pointing analysis and corrections that help identify, quantify, and automatically compensate for systematic errors, TPoint™ quantifies your mount’s polar alignment, even when the celestial pole is not visible, and helps get the mount aligned with the refracted pole (the optimal location for amateur observing needs).

The telescope is calibrated by slewing to a series of stars and recording the pointing error at each position.  Calibration is performed manually, or automatically using TheSky’s Automated Pointing Calibration feature; the automated calibration requires either TheSky™ Imaging edition, or TheSky Professional edition and the Cameras & Devices module.

TPoint’s Super Model™ feature uses this data to create the optimal pointing model that automatically corrects repeatable errors each time the telescope is slewed.

What you need to know:

  • When you purchase TheSky Imaging edition, TPoint is included and automatically activated, so there’s no need to purchase, download, or activate TPoint separately.
  • A free 90-day TPoint trial period is included with TheSky™ Serious and Professional.
  • If you already own TheSky Professional or Serious edition, when you purchase the TPoint module, it must be activated from as described here.

Important Distinctions between TheSky and TPoint:

  • TheSky Professional includes a 90-day free trial for Cameras & Devices, Dome Control, and TPoint.
  • TheSky Serious includes a free 90-day TPoint trial.
  • Both TheSky Professional and TheSky Serious can control your “go to” telescope and show the position of the telescope on a simulated sky chart without TPoint.
  • While TPoint provides tools for telescope pointing analysis and polar alignment that improves your telescope’s pointing accuracy, it is not required to control your telescope.
  • After your telescope is calibrated by pointing it to multiple stars across the sky, TPoint’s Super Model™ feature creates a pointing model that works behind the scenes to improve your telescope’s pointing accuracy — and, if you own one of our Paramount™ mounts, which includes ProTrack™, your telescope’s tracking accuracy as well.

TPoint Module Documentation

The TPoint documentation is included in TheSky Pro and Serious Astronomer Edition User Guide.

Be sure to check out the related products below

Optional modules can extent TheSky's core functionality