TPoint

When only the most accurate telescope pointing and tracking will do.

TPoint™ software provides world-class telescope pointing analysis and correction to help identify, quantify, and automatically compensate for systematic errors that exist with all telescope mounts.

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  modeling, and TPoint author.

TPoint and TPoint-related software technologies are 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 in conjunction with TheSky astronomy software to assist with getting optimal polar alignment, analyzing pointing calibration results, achieving precision pointing accuracy, and improving tracking accuracy on Paramount mounts using ProTrack™.

There are two TPoint versions available, both use the same underlying engine, but for different audiences:

TPoint Module: The retail version of TPoint is available as a companion module for TheSky™ Professional and Serious editions. It is licensed for use on 0.5 meter and smaller optical tube assemblies operating on equatorial mounts. Purchase it below by clicking on the Add to Cart button. (Note: TPoint is included with TheSky Imaging edition.)

TPoint Professional: ProTPoint™ is used almost exclusively by professional astronomers, and typically on the world’s largest observatories. This version can operate without TheSky software and it 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. Amateur astronomers spend more time observing and less time fiddling around trying to place objects in the field of view. For operators of large observatories or installations, those time-savings translate to significant cost savings.

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$249.00

Description

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

TPoint requires that the telescope be 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 TheSky 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 extend TheSky's functionality