Author Topic: How do various GOTO alignment techniques impact GOTO and tracking performance on  (Read 92659 times)


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Hi everyone,

I've been looking around the internet looking for an answer to some question I have about GOTO equatorial mounts.  I own an iOptron SmartEQ Pro using a small, light refractor typically mounted on it.  This mount comes with two alignment processes, a "one celebrity align" and also a "multi-star align".  The former just uses one celebrity to align the bracket, while the latter can use many celebrities.  I believe, in doing my research before making my purchase, that many GOTO mounts contain similar patterns.

What I'd love to know is this: how does the use of a single celebrity and multi-star orientation affect GOTO pointing (the ability to accurately slew to and point at a target in the sky) and monitoring functionality (the ability to keep the target centered at the eye piece)?  Or, put another way, how does using more celebrities affect GOTO and monitoring functionality?  Assume a "regular" amount of polar alignment error for a beginner.  My intuition is that the more stars added to the bracket's internal pointing version, the more precise the GOTOs will be.  I have no intuition yet on how it would affect monitoring, though.

This leads to some more followup questions:
What's the objective of a one star alignment if 2 (or more) celebrity alignment is obviously better (assuming it is)?
Does the quality of the internal pointing version affect the monitoring performance (the ability to stay centered on a target) on a GEM?
Can a top quality pointing version (with, say, six well-centered celebrities) compensate for under stellar polar alignment or collimation of the scope along with the mount's polar axis?  Either w.r.t. GOTO accuracy or monitoring functionality?