The unit can also operate as an autoguider
that connects to your mount via an RJ-11 port.
That means you'll capture more data in less time, creating stunning images without adding accessories like an autoguider
. The Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph is perfect for imaging celestial objects like the Andromeda Galaxy, Orion Nebula, and Pleiades star cluster—or creating large-scale mosaics of the night sky.
Today, most astrophotographers have replaced the guide-scope's eyepiece with a small, specialized digital camera called an autoguider
that sends commands to the mount's drive to keep the guide star on virtual crosshairs.
Firstly, it seemed difficult to use it with many autoguider
systems, since there was nowhere where the light path could be split.
Nevertheless, the tracking logs from my autoguider
typically showed the periodic error to be even smaller and often only [+ or -]1 arcsecond.
These days this tedious, exacting task is usually done with a separate camera called an autoguider
looking through the guidescope.
However, a more popular configuration would be to use the supplied dovetail base to attach an easily removable 50-mm finderscope to serve as a guidescope in conjunction with a small CCD or CMOS autoguider
camera, an accessory sold by several manufacturers.
And make sure that you buy a mount that has an electronic interface for the autoguider
As such, I use a stand alone autoguider
that doesn't require a computer.
You'll also want a motor drive on the declination axis, and electronics that are suited to making very precise tracking corrections (called guiding) either manually or with an electronic autoguider
. Furthermore, long-exposure astrophotography places even greater demands on a mount's stability than does high-magnification observing, since it takes only one gust of wind to ruin an image (rather than be just a momentary inconvenience at the eyepiece).
You can deal with this by attaching an additional camera (called an autoguider
) to a guide scope or off-axis guider that monitors a single star during the main exposure, and automatically makes small corrections to ensure a perfectly guided image.