Celestron StarSense AutoAlign

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Celestron StarSense AutoAlign
$349.95
Item # CE-94005
OR
  • Add SkyProdigy genius to your Celestron computerized telescope with the Celestron StarSense Accessory!
  • Align your telescope in three minutes or less without the need to locate or identify even one star in the sky, and then start observing the best objects of the night right away by pushing a simple button!
  • The Celestron StarSense accessory module is compatible with all of Celestron's current computerized telescopes, and is even backward compatible with many models…see a full list of StarSense compatible telescopes below.
  • The StarSense includes a small module (shown in image) that attaches to your telescope's optical tube, as well as a specialized hand controller. The small digital camera in the StarSense starts the alignment procedure as soon as you hit the "Align" button, and three minutes later (or less!), you start observing.
Description

Details

Add SkyProdigy Genius to your Celestron Telescope* with StarSense!

The revolutionary technology in the award-winning SkyProdigy telescope is now available for almost every Celestron computerized telescope.

Before the Celestron StarSense, using a computerized telescope required a lengthy alignment process of finding and centering at least two bright stars in the telescope’s eyepiece. But those days are gone! When you add StarSense to your Celestron computerized telescope, it will automatically aligns itself, no user input is needed. You don't need to find an alignment star…you don't even need to know which stars are up in the sky! The Celestron StarSense Accessory takes care of all that for you.

StarSense is not only compatible with all of Celestron’s current computerized telescope models, but backwards compatible with many older models as well. *Here is a full list, as of January, 2013. If you do not see your Celestron Computerized telescope on this list, give us a call and we'll find out if they can hook up:

  • NexStar SE Series
  • CPC, CPC DX
  • CGE Pro
  • Advanced VX
  • CGEM, CGEM DX
  • CGE
  • NexStar SLT (with optional Aux. splitter)
  • LCM (with optional Aux. splitter)

 

Please Note: The NexStar i series and the Ultima 2000 are NOT compatible with the StarSense.

How Does the StarSense Work?

The Celestron StarSense Accessory includes a small digital camera that attaches to the telescope’s optical tube, along with a specialized hand controller. Just set up the accessory, push the Align button on the hand controller, and StarSense starts capturing and comparing images of the night sky against its internal database of 40,000 celestial objects. In about three minutes, StarSense will gather enough information to triangulate its position and align itself. Then, to start observing, press the Sky Tour button: StarSense will automatically slew to all the best stars, planets, galaxies, and more based on your exact time and location.

Even the most advanced telescope users will love using the affordable Celestron StarSense Accessory. StarSense replaces expensive software used for Advanced Mount Modeling, providing superior pointing accuracy from horizon to horizon. Users can add as many calibration stars as desired to give their telescope mount a new level of accuracy.

Highlights of the Celestron StarSense…

  • The StarSense system enables automatic alignment of your Celestron computerized telescope*.
  • No need to identify or locate any star in the sky – StarSense will automatically align your telescope, so you can begin observing in minutes.
  • The Star Sense is the only accessory available that will enable automatic GoTo alignment.
  • Aligns your telescope from start to finish in 3 minutes or less.
  • The Celestron StarSense provides advanced mount modeling – the ability to align on numerous stars throughout the sky for extremely precise goto pointing accuracy.
  • StarSense hand controller included.

 

Additional Information

Additional Information

SKU CE-94005
UPC Code 050234940054
Manufacturer Celestron
Warranty 2 Year Warranty
Reviews

Customer Reviews 9 item(s)

WOW - it just WORKS
Bought it for my C9.25 Celestron Evolution, an Alt-Az telescope. Use it with the Celestron SkySync GPS accessory.

In less than 2 minutes the telescope is aligned, and every object, including the planets, that you ask the telescope to go-to, are close to the center of the eyepiece.

StarSense uses a Plate Solving algorithm to align the telescope. If you think this is simple, take a look at this PowerPoint presentation:

http://cosmo.nyu.edu/hogg/research/2006/09/28/astrometry_google.pdf

Obviously Celestron found a way to simplify the process, as they do not have access to massive computing resources inside your little handset. Still, as the handset informs you as it takes three or four pictures of the sky and runs the plate solving algorithm, it does process several hundred stars.
Things to keep in mind:

1. The Manual is outdated. Firmware (the software inside StarSense) has changed must faster than the paper update process. Fortunately, it is not hard to learn the hand controller, and it provides pretty good directions.

2. The StarSense bracket and your telescope tube are NOT built with the precision of a fine Swiss watch movement. So, there will be some imprecision from sample to sample, and thus there probably will NOT be agreement where StarSense THINKS your telescope is pointing at and where it ACTUALLY is pointing at. (don't throw in the towel yet)

3. For this reason there is a CALIBRATE command in the Menu. This tells StarSense how much to electronically offset the camera to compensate for the mechanical offset between the telescope center and the camera center. First you select a star from the Star button (choose a bright one!), slew to it, go back to StarSense Ready, then MENU --STARSENSE--CALIBRATE. If you align on the wrong star, as I did on my first night, then all your go-to's will be off (I wonder if this is why some people report that recently bought StarSense units do not work).

4. One CRITICAL item. When doing the CALIBRATE, StarSense will first have you align the star in the finder scope, press ENTER, then align it in the eyepiece. It tells you both in the Manual and on the handset to then press ENTER - THIS IS WRONG!!! At this point (after aligning the star in the eyepiece) you press ALIGN (NOT ENTER) to finish the calibration process. StarSense takes one more picture, goes through the plate solving process, and then has you re-do the whole initial alignment process over again (don't throw in the towel - remember, it takes less than two minutes!). Why do you have to go through the alignment process again? Because remember, the original one was no good because the camera and the telescope were not pointing in the same direction. Now that they are calibrated, this new alignment will be good.

Since the camera bracket is firmly mounted to the telescope, you don't have to repeat the CALIBRATE process every night, even if you remove the camera from the bracket when transporting and storing the telescope.

So, each night after that, turn the telescope on, wait a few seconds for StarSense to initialize (it will read StarSense Ready when done), then click ENTER, and in less than two minutes, the telescope is aligned and ready to go.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by EP / (Posted on 9/23/2015)
Learning curve is steep, but once it works it's great
I have 4/5SE, 6/8SE, and AVX mounts, the StarSense works on all of them, but it took awhile. The printed (and pdf) instructions are obsolete. The instructions on the handset are ambiguous. In many cases you have to guess what the align, enter, back, and Celestron buttons will do. This means lots of time to try, error, and remember. The SkySense works best if you can see all of the sky and let it do a completely automatic alignment. I have a small portion of sky at home. For that it works best if you are careful about leveling and have a SkySync GPS or you are meticulous about entering in time and location. No matter what the best pointing accuracy requires at least a total of 8 or 9 calibration stars (10 is the max). I have gotten accurate polar alignments with both the SE and AVX mounts, but the button sequences are very confusing. You should fine tune settings like backlash and slew limits for every scope and mount combination. There is only memory for three scope and mount combinations. There are still settings that are a mystery to me. The Celestron ASCOM driver works well on platform 6.1 SP-1, but because I use WinXP I had to play with versions to get all other drivers and software to work together. My real time software suite is SkyTools 3, Nebulosity 3, PHD Guiding 1, and AstroTortilla.

Once I did all the learning, testing, and calibration I love it. I'm up and running much faster than before, and my pointing on all three mounts is much better than with the original handsets; almost always +/-0.5 degs and usually better. Even on nights when the Moon is up, there is lots of haze and city sky glow, and I can't even see most Mag 2 and dimmer stars, I can still get an alignment. It is amazing what you can see under horrible conditions if you don't have to worry about finding it. That is why I think it is worth all the pain and anguish. PS, I think a SkySync is a required accessory, and even though the combination is around $550, they are worth having on an SE mount.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by Gilbert / (Posted on 5/13/2015)
Fantastic performance
I had some of the same problems other reviewers have noted until I updated to the latest firmware. Now it performs flawlessly. I get better alignments on a nightly basis than I was ever able to accomplish using 2 star, etc.

The latest firmware, and instructions on updating are on tea celestron.com.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by Chuckster / (Posted on 12/24/2014)
Starsense Nonsense
This equipment was dead on arrival ! It is now back with Celestron and I am hoping that it will return and function as it is supposed to. If not it will be a very expensive dust gatherer.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by dgt43 / (Posted on 12/6/2014)
Great Work in Progress and Will be Great
I bought the StarSense about a month ago and have mounted it on both my CPC 1100 and my old deforked C8 mounted on an AVX mount. Each of the mounts presented a different set of conditions for the StarSense.
First, the C8 on AVX mount - I followed the manual installing the SS camera and mounting bracket on the old C8 Orange Tube. I needed to update the firmware and software and my Windows 7 computer's java add-in, using the SS Hand control, before things started to work. The rest was just a matter of having the correct latitude and north orientation and a little patients going through the learning curve. Leveling the tripod seemed to help the centering in the eyepiece or camera. I still haven't quite figured out the ASPA on this mount (seems to be an easy set of instructions but I mess up more than I fix when I try it).
Next, CPC 1100 early version on HD wedge and Pier - I needed to update the firmware and software for the different mount. Here is where the manual failed to mention that there is a problem with wedge mounted ALT/ASM systems. When I selected Auto Align from the menu the scope started slewing to the North from the normal start position of South and on the Meridian and well below the horizon. Spooky, with the scope configured for photography with lots of cables and wires and the scope going crazy. I found after some research the "teamcelestron..com" site for the StarSense system that has a comprehensive record of the testing and Beta testing of the system. After trying the system for a couple of 6hr sessions, I decided that I would use the old HC and did a factory reset on the system realigned the system the old way and will wait to use StarSense on my CPC 1100. We go to Mesa, Az for the winter and use the 8" with AVX mount for a travel scope so I can be sort of patient!
The StarSense will be great for a quick setup and visual use.at star parties. The alignment will also be good enough for short exposure AP and longer exposures with some guiding.
The Team at Celestron is doing a great job of keeping our older systems working with the new innovations in technology.
I would recommend this product to friend but would recommend patients for the ones with a Wedge Mounted ALT - AZM scope! Review by UMac / (Posted on 9/10/2014)
Messier Database problem
I have a CGEPro and Celestron 1100 Edge. The Auto Align works ok, but the Messier Database keeps shifting numbers M042 becomes M045, M040 becomes M045, M036 becomes M039. It has done this on two nights. I shut it off and use the origional
Hand Controller
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by astrodocJRL / (Posted on 1/21/2014)
Ummmm....no...it doesn't.
I've tried for 3 weeks to get it to "auto align". Each time, it points directly at the ground and tries endlessly to "find stars". I have tried every imaginable to change to the mount. If I manually align the starsense (by showing it where the sky is located) it will take it's pictures and then show as "aligned". Only when I select something known, it misses by enough that the object is not in the field of view. Scope is a c14 and the mount is a CGE Pro. This thing is a loser.
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by Vincent / (Posted on 10/21/2013)
Ummmm....no...it doesn't.
I've tried for 3 weeks to get it to "auto align". Each time, it points directly at the ground and tries endlessly to "find stars". I have tried every imaginable to change to the mount. If I manually align the starsense (by showing it where the sky is located) it will take it's pictures and then show as "aligned". Only when I select something known, it misses by enough that the object is not in the field of view. Scope is a c14 and the mount is a CGE Pro. This thing is a loser. Review by Vincent / (Posted on 10/20/2013)
This ROCKs !
It's new, have only used it a couple of times but got alignment in around 3 minutes, hands off. Just start the alignment procedure as indicated on the hand control. Then this unit on my 8SE moves around on its own, takes its pictures and then "alignment successful." Off you go using the Sky Tour or selecting Deep Sky Objects using the hand controller. Mine was bang on target. 5 stars as long as it keeps doing this !!
1= Houston, We Have a Problem & 5= It's Out of This World
Review by Doug / (Posted on 10/3/2013)
Included Items

Included Items

  • Celestron StarSense Accessory Module
  • StarSense Hand Controller
Questions & Answers

Product Questions

What is the part number for the star sense bracket ? can we order the bracket without the star sense? is that the same bracket of the finder scope for the cpc 11 ? Thanks.
24
Will this work with my Nexstar 11 GPS?
11
Is the StarSense compatible with Meade LX200 GPS scopes?
7
What is the field on this device. I would like to use in in my observatory. I have a 7 1/2 foot dome manually controlled with a 32 inch dome slot. Concerned that the dome slot may not be wide enough for the field of view of this device? I can move the dome manually as the telescope slews. I have a cgem dx mount
6
Will this work wit the Nexstar Evolution ?
-4
Will StarSense mounting brackets fit on a 10" Meade LX200 Optical Tube Assembly?. I have the Meade OTA fitted on a Celestron CGEM mount so interfacing StarSense for goto alignment is not an issue, just concerned about the physical mounting to the OTA. Thank you.
-4
I recently bought a 12" computerized skywatcher. Would this StarSense device work on this dobsonian scope? Thank you
-4
I have a CPC1100GPS/XLT. How well will this unit work with my current GPS feature? Besides Alt-Az alignment, will it also do alignment with the CPC mounted on a wedge? How well will this unit work with my autoguide camera?
-4
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