Digital positioning

In old times, telescopes were positioned with so-called circular scales, which mapped the celestial coordinate system. The positioning accuracy was increased like a caliper with an angular vernier to then track the telescope with a clockwork to the observation objects – a tedious procedure. This is long gone! Nowadays the telescope motors and possibly their encoders (like ours) are digitally controlled by a hand box or a computer program. This alone increases the observing comfort dramatically. It is even better, however, if a planetarium program works on the computer, with which the telescope position can be moved with the mouse on a digital sky map. This is already possible in our school lab and now we have set up these components on our large telescope. In addition, we are now able to set up a so-called telescope position model. It eliminates alignment and tracking errors of telescopes and thus guarantees a highly accurate positioning on the sky like at professional observatories.

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