Celestron Nexstar 5SE
Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:25 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:15 PM
The Meade LXD mounts used to do this using the Autostar software. You could download things like custom tours, or you could download Space Station passes.
I don't think Celestron has this though, but I could be wrong.
As for the comets, usually astro-programs like Starry Night (or others) will download this data so you can pull up the Right Ascension and Dec for any given time.
The NexStar handset allows you to directly enter RA and DEC coordinates.
So, that is all you need is the RA and DEC coordinates, but you will have to be accurate to within a few hours when a comet gets close.
If you have Starry Night or The Sky, these programs will have the coordinates, and you can hook your telescope up to a laptop in real time and have the astro-program slew and track the target. I believe that this will work with things like the ISS too, though I have not tried it. I know that Starry Nights has the ISS track info, so I would think you could set it up to track ISS or a comet.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:46 PM
2) I see you can program it to point to basically any star or planet you want but how will I find a current comet? As it isn't a stable object.
Terminology first. I would not call selecting a target from the hand control's list programing. It really is only selecting from a list. You can also enter coordinates (that you have obtained elsewhere) for targets not on any of the hand control lists.
To locate a comet you have some choices. Go to a site such as http://minorplanetce...mets/index.html and get the RA and Dec and enter them via the hand control.
Another method is to get a planetarium program (I like Stellarium, it works and is free). You can setup Stellarium to download the orbital elements for comets, and then set up Stellarium to control your mount. After that all you have to do is enter the comet's designation in the search box and two more key presses will point your scope at the comet.
OK, it is a bit more complicated and you will need a cable and a serial adapter to connect your PC to the mount, but it does work and is a nice tool to have. If you go that route and hit a wall come back here or go to the software forum and someone will help.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:01 PM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:01 AM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:14 AM
With a 25mm eyepeice, the Orion Nebula will be just as bright in a C5 as it is in a C8 when using the same eyepeice. It will be bigger in the C8, but since it is a very big object to begin with, that should not matter. This is the case for all extended objects. If you use the same eyepecie in the C5, extended targets will be just as bright, but will appear smaller than they would using the same eyeiece in the C8.
You can easily see all of the Messier objects, and many many more deep sky objects. Crusing the Milky Way with A C5 is quite rewarding.
From dark skies, you can see many larger, brighter galaxies.
Lots of doubles too.
You can even do quite a bit of planetary observing with a C5. Jupiter will easily show its larger details, and the moon is a fantastic target in a C5.
A piece of advice... 40mm Plossls are out of favor these days, but there is a very good reason to own one (they are so inexpenisve). The brightness of the object depends on the exit pupil (diameter of scope divided by power). For the faintest objects, it is often desirable to use the lowest possible power in your scope.
Over the years, as I moved more and more to high power wide-feild eyepeices, I had kind of gotten away from using Plossls, but since I have been binoviewing, I have been using a pair of 40mm Plossls quite a bit, and expecially for targets like Orion Nebula. It is so much brigher in the 40s than in a pair of 24mm wide fields that it made me remember this important lesson.
So, for the brightest possible view on large targets like Orion Nebula, Swan Nebula, Dumbell Nebula, and many others, consider getting a 40mm Plossl too. The target will be very small, but just as bright as it appears in my C14 when I use a low power Plossl.
Enjoy your C5.
I own a C5 and a C8 and would not be without them. I love my little C5.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:57 AM
If you use the same eyepecie in the C5, extended targets will be just as bright, but will appear smaller than they would using the same eyeiece in the C8.
Keep in mind that this is just another way of saying that if you view the same object at the same image scale in both scopes, it will be much brighter in the C8.