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Computerized GPS Telescopes Verses Conventional Telescopes

Aug 12, 2008
Astronomy is a great hobby, but how do you start? You likely are not an astrophysicist or scientist, but want a telescope which is easy to use. Today, there are the same old conventional telescopes, and the new type of computerized telescopes that make life much easier. Join me as we look at the positives and negatives of both types of telescope.

A big problem facing most astronomy telescope owners is that of how to find objects in space. It is easy to find the Moon, you can't miss it! But, what about Pleiades or Andromeda?

For centuries, to find anything in space, required a knowledge of the position of the objects that astronomers wanted to find. Though this is easier to find out this data today, it still is not the easiest of things to do, even with the information.

For example, conventional telescopes with a mount such as the equatorial mount works with having the telescope calibrated with the pole star, then using the telescope to maneuver to the coordinates of the object you seek to find.

As you can see, this process can be long, and requires a bit of learning. This can be great, especially if you want to learn how things work, but if you simply want to have the visual enjoyment of viewing objects in the heavens, this can be a bad point to astronomy and using a telescope.

Over the last few years, a new type of telescope has been created, and put to market. That is the computerized GPS telescopes, and they offer something new. Instead of having to figure out coordinates, and positioning a telescope to view something, instead you have a computer on the telescope do it!

Companies such as Meade telescopes and Celestron telescopes manufacture great 'GoTo telescopes'. And they come equipped with a database of 10's of thousands of objects. Needless to say, if you want a telescope simply to view objects in space, a computerized telescope could be your best move.

If you want to find Saturn for example, you type it in, and the computer controls the motor on the telescope, and within a minute, you have the telescope on position to where the object is!

The other benefit with a computerized GPS telescope is that it follows the objects through the sky, so this can be a great feature, especially if you want to use your new telescope for capturing pictures.

The price point of the computerized GPS telescopes is not that much more different than conventional telescopes. This makes them a good idea to buy. Your choice will come down to what you want out of astronomy. If you want to simply view objects, then computerized could be the best way to go. If you want to learn more about astronomy, and how things work, then a conventional telescope may the best option to buy.
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