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Agena's Guide to Selecting a Guide Scope and Autoguiding Camera for Astrophotography

Discussion in 'All Other Observing Equipment' started by Agena AstroProducts, May 11, 2018.

Agena's Guide to Selecting a Guide Scope and Autoguiding Camera for Astrophotography

Started by Agena AstroProducts on May 11, 2018 at 3:10 AM

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  1. Agena AstroProducts

    Agena AstroProducts Vendor

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    A good equatorial mount is a must-have for astrophotography. But even the best equatorial mount will have some mechanical imperfections, resulting in tracking errors that lead to slightly elongated star images.In many mounts, the predictable periodic error in the right ascension motion can be manually corrected to some degree. However, imperfections in the gears, slight deviations in perpendicularity between the RA and declination axes, and mechanical play in the bearings can all contribute to additional errors that lead to elongated stars and smeared images of extended objects like nebulae and galaxies.These errors are more pronounced in mid-range equatorial mounts than in more expensive mounts, but even the finest mounts available to amateur astronomers will face these tracking imperfections.

    That's where autoguiding comes in. Autoguiding, or guiding in general, involves the application of small corrections to the position of an equatorial mount during long-exposure imaging. During the length of the exposure, the astro-imager follows the motion of a star—the guide star—and, when the star appears to move slightly because of errant motion of the mount, applies a corrective signal to the mount to move the star back to its original position. In the earliest days of imaging in the late 19th century until the 1990s, amateur astronomers guided manually by visually tracking a guide star over the course of a long exposure and nudging the mount mechanically or electrically back onto the right path. With the availability of computers and sensitive digital cameras, guiding is now accomplished automatically. A camera and specialized software monitors the position of a star and nudges the mount automatically to keep the position of the guide star on track. This is autoguiding.

    Read the full Guide here: https://agenaastro.com/selecting-a-guide-scope-and-autoguiding-camera-for-astrophotography.html
     
  2. FlinnMR

    FlinnMR New Member

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    This article seems to be about auto-guiding for scopes with focal lengths of only 1000-1500mm (C6 or smaller), how would auto-guiding a longer focal length scope (e.g. C11/2800mm) be different?
     
  3. bventrudo

    bventrudo Staff

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    For such a long focal length, you will likely need to use an off-axis guider rather than a guide scope. I'm not sure of your level of experience with imaging, but please keep in mind that taking good images of deep-sky objects with such a long focal-length telescope is not recommended for beginners!
     

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