Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Autostar Systems

  1. Aug 18, 2009 #1
    How efficient are the current auto-star systems?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What do you mean by efficient? As in how much power do they consume?

    Or do you mean accurate?
  4. Aug 18, 2009 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Are you talking about go-to systems for telescopes? "Autostar" is a brand name....

    I have an Orion Atlas, which is considered a good quality mid-level mount, and has an advertised pointing accuracy of 1 arcmin.
  5. Aug 19, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Stellar atlases are still useful to zero in on objects of interest, but, modern 'goto' pointing systems are amazingly accurate. Much better than the old setting circles I grew up with. You should be able to locate objects within a few arcminutes, as Russ noted. That will put them within the field of view of almost any scope.
  6. Aug 19, 2009 #5
    I have an idea and I don't know how feasible it is:
    Let us say that attached to a telescope was a computer that is able to capture an image of the sky. Stored in the computer are a bunch of images of the sky and programmed into that are the various identities of stars, galaxies, and so forth within those images. Using a vector analysis program to adjust the appropriate program image with the view from the telescope, the computer can then identify various celestial objects in the current sky. How reasonable is this idea as an autostar system?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  7. Aug 19, 2009 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Space probes and cruise missiles navigate essentially that way. But again, if you're talking about just making a telescope that can track, why bother with that much hardware when without too much effort you can make a passive tracking system that will place an object within the eypiece? Note that with your idea, you need a second telescope or an SLR type mirror system to steal light from the telescope.
  8. Aug 19, 2009 #7
    I didn't think of how I would do that yet.

    I see...I suppose you're right.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook