Mount-SGP go-to question--how to run go-to?


#1

Hi all,
Since my last post about plate solving, I’ve figured out how to successfully blind plate solve an image, plate solve with PS2, and today I successfully hooked up my mount to my computer with the kind help of George at Astro-Physics. I am able to load an image, blind solve it, and then slew to it (in my garage). I have not yet worked on the centering routine.

I do not run a planetarium program like The Sky. I have been using my Astro-Physics hand controller to slew to a target, and then I go from there.

My question is, is there a way in SGP to go-to slew from the computer using the current software that I have? I’m not interested in purchasing say, The Sky or anything like that as it’s not that important (I can still use the hand controller). But if it’s relatively easy using what I have now, I’d like to give it a shot.

Stuart


#2

Hi Stuart,

Not sure this is exactly what you are looking for, but if the object you want to slew to is a target in your sequence, you can right-click the target in the sequence window and select “Slew to target.”

If you are looking to slew to arbitrary objects that are not targets in your sequence, I think you are best off using a planetarium program. (please somebody correct me if this is a feature in SGP that I missed.)

I personally like to use Cartes du Ciel (Skychart) which is free and open-source. There are lots of free planetarium programs out there that can control the scope. Another popular free one is Stellarium. You can connect the telescope to the planetarium app and SGP at the same time (the AP ASCOM driver handles this just fine).

Andy


#3

Stuart,
I’m not entirely sure I follow your question, but I’ll give it a shot.
If you are able to plate solve in SGP then SGP will slew to the target
coordinates you have set and use further plate solves to precisely center
your target. A planetarium program is not necessary at all, and you also
don’t need to touch your hand controller.

Plate solving does two things:

  1. Syncs your mount to it’s actual position in the sky.
  2. Iteratively moves your mount to center precisely on your target.

If you are already plate solving, that’s really all you need to goto your
target. Just point your mount anywhere in the sky, click "Solve and Sync"
to get your mount’s physical position synced with the coordinate position.
Then as long as you have your target coordinates and the option to “Center
on sequence start” (or something like that) then SGP will use plate solving
to iteratively slew the mount to the target coordinates, based on your
plate solve settings in the control panel.

There’s a lot more to this, but I’ll wait to post further until I know if
this is getting at your question.


#4

Thanks guys. That’s what I was looking for.

I know that once I plate solve an object I can slew to it. My question was if I want to go to a completely new object, was there a way to do that from the computer and SGP. It sounds like I need other software like Stellarium or whatever. I also have an ipad with Sky Safari that I could use.

But it’s not a big deal–usually I just do one target a night anyway, often for multiple nights in a row.

Stu


#5

You can of course have more than one target in your list which you have
created ahead of time. But yes, if you are intending to slew to other
objects you will need a planetarium to do so. I use Stellarium and like it
a lot.

The other option, if you have internet access, is to find the object you
want on astrobin or flikr and copy the URL under the Reference Data of the
Target Settings dialogue. In that way you will be able to plate solve to
the new object directly from within SGP and avoid using the planetarium
program.


#6

I’d recommend trying out the framing and mosaic wizard. It’s well worth the money and acts sort of like a planetarium program for your image scale. I basically go on astrobin, find a pleasing object, and then use F&M to generate my sequence.


www.mainsequencesoftware.com