Guiding, Rotating & Adaptive Optics

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There are guiders and there are autoguiders.  A guider is a manually operated, very simple measurement telescope that helps you keep a target right in the middle of your sites.  An autoguider is a form of small CCD which automates the method of guiding an exposure, which involves staring into an illuminated reticle eyepiece while tweaking your mount's electronic drive controls by hand to keep the star's pinpoint sharp. The autoguider is used in conjunction with a computer, or as a “stand alone” unit.  Autoguiders offer computerized precision which is, at times, difficult to achieve by hand.

 

A rotator is a simple connection between the CCD camera and telescope which allows the astrophotographer to change the camera’s position without disconnecting it.  Whereas a derotator is a special tool that automatically counteracts the natural rotation of the night sky so that you end up with sharp round stars and not blurry lines streaked across your image.  

Adaptive optics are an all-around imaging assistant, which will help you to overcome your mount's periodic error, combat wind-induced vibration.  They will even compensate for some of the negative effects of turbulent seeing.

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