If you are passionate about watching the space and the surrounding planets and stars, you must have definitely thought about purchasing a telescope on your own. Sure, these items don’t come cheap but you will receive infinite rewards when you’ll finally get to see the planets up close or watch the Saturn’s rings from the comfort of your own backyard.
However, finding the right telescope and, most importantly, learning how to optimally operate it seem like difficult tasks. They will require plenty of your time and attention but, once achieved, will finally help you see the space up close. If you’re not exactly looking for an amateur telescope that will cost you a few hundred dollars, learn that there are plenty of other worthy alternatives.
An awesome telescope to see planets is the computerized telescope because it is easier to operate and will help you learn all about the sky’s objects in no time. If you want to learn how to properly use your computerized telescope, read below our selection of tips and tricks.
What is a computerized telescope?
First of all, telescopes can fall into multiple categories, but the one we are now referring to is strictly linked to the presence of a computer. So, a computerized telescope is (obviously) a telescope that has a built-in computer. The purpose of this additional unit is to help you easily find objects in the sky and even find objects that you couldn’t see using a regular telescope, regardless of its power.
A computerized telescope is a perfect choice for newbies who don’t know how to fully operate a telescope yet and need additional help to focus and magnify. In addition, owning such a device will offer you an increased vision of the stellar map and allow you to even discover new stars.
Another great feature of a computerized telescope is that it helps you view the sky even under poor atmospheric conditions. Increased pollution from large cities often diminishes the visibility, so that you won’t even be able to see the stars or the moon with your own eyes. But, with the help of such a device, regardless of the temperature outside or the visibility conditions, you will still be able to catch a clear glimpse of the moon, the stars, constellations, planets, and more.
Know the product and its accessories
After deciding on a good computerized telescope, you should learn how to properly use it, alongside its accessories. By far the most important accessory is the tripod. You will want one that perfectly matches your telescope’s manufacturer in size, shape, and weight or you could choose a regular tripod, as long as you pick one that is sturdy and made from durable materials.
After carefully choosing your tripod, you should try and adjust it according to your height, otherwise, it will be virtually impossible for you to see anything through the telescope. Once this step is complete, it is time you moved to the “real deal”, meaning making your telescope to properly work.
How to use the computerized telescope
Keep in mind that there two main types of computerized telescopes – the motorized ones and the non-motorized ones, each coming with their own perks and disadvantages.
As you have probably guessed, the motorized telescopes are easier to use and handle, even for complete beginners. All you have to do is to choose the object you wish to see by pressing on the hand control provided to work with the computer. Many customers claim the hand control is similar to a TV remote, so it won’t take long until you understand how it works. The rest of the job is mainly done by the computer instead of you. This means that the computer will use its power to point the telescope directly towards the direction of the object you wish to observe and set the item in a proper position so that you can see it too. The computer also makes sure your object remains in your view for as long as you want to observe it.
Most computerized telescopes come with their own star maps, allowing you to choose between over 4,000 different celestial objects. Depending on the atmospheric conditions and the power of your telescope, you will be able to not only see the moon, but also entire galaxies, planets, stars, constellations, and even more.
There are also the non-motorized telescopes that work under different conditions. It will probably take you more time to deal with a non-motorized item but, provided the patience and your desire to learn, you will reach the desired results after a while.
But, while the main problem with regular telescopes is to make them focus right, dealing with computerized telescopes will bring in another problem – to properly aim for the object you want to observe.
The easiest way to help your telescope aim to the exact object you want to see is to help it find the closest point to the true north as possible. The true north is different from the magnet north usually pointed by compasses, so you may have to learn about it on your own.
If you cannot point exactly in a certain region of the sky, the best is to realign the telescope on a brighter star in the similar area, and then try to focus on it. Also, make sure to keep your feet and your tripod steady as any bump will cause the tube to move and you will lose your alignment.