With Celestron’s patented StarSense Technology, telescope alignment has never been easier: set up your telescope, press “Align” on the StarSense hand control, and sit back and relax. Found in our StarSense AutoAlign accessory and SkyProdigy telescopes, StarSense uses an onboard digital camera to scan the sky and take three pictures. It then analyzes these pictures against an internal database (similar to fingerprint matching) and automatically aligns the telescope. The entire process takes about three minutes, and needs absolutely no user involvement.
StarSense requires its own StarSense hand control, which comes packaged with SkyProdigy telescopes and StarSense AutoAlign. The StarSense hand control allows you to automatically locate and point your telescope to over 4,000 celestial objects contained in its database, along with a “Sky Tour” feature that automatically moves the telescope to the best astronomical objects currently visible at that time. Plus, the hand control also has a readout that provides you interesting facts and scientific data about the object you are viewing. Keep your StarSense up to date by downloading the latest firmware updates for your hand control.
Does StarSense AutoAlign work with telescopes from other brands?
No. While StarSense AutoAlign is compatible with almost all Celestron computerized telescopes, it will not work with telescopes from other brands.
With which Celestron telescopes will StarSense AutoAlign not work?
All current computerized Celestron mounts are compatible with StarSense, although some will require the Aux Port Splitter accessory. The older NexStar i Series, Ultima 2000, and early generation GoTos like Compustar are not compatible. Check the complete compatibility list on the StarSense AutoAlign product page.
Does StarSense have an internal GPS or is a GPS accessory needed?
No, StarSense does not contain an internal GPS and does not rely on GPS for alignment, so there is no need for an external GPS accessory.
Can I use StarSense to align to the sun?
Yes, but as a safety precaution, the Sun must be manually enabled in the StarSense hand control so it can be used as an alignment option.
Can StarSense AutoAlign help with polar alignment?
Yes, StarSense features All-Star Polar Alignment to get you accurately polar aligned using any named star. Before you polar align your equatorial mounted telescope, StarSense will automatically align the GoTo which allows you to point to any celestial object in the hand control’s database. Once the GoTo is aligned, StarSense guides you through the easy All-Star Polar Alignment routine to accurately polar align.
Can StarSense be used as a guidescope for imaging?
Not currently. StarSense’s onboard digital camera does not have enough focal length to accurately guide longer focal length telescopes.
Once the StarSense alignment is successful, can I switch to my mount’s internal database and use the NexStar hand control or ASCOM control from a planetarium program (i.e. Starry Night)? Or am I restricted to the StarSense hand controller’s Sky Tour?
Yes, you may use planetarium software and control the telescope with ASCOM, just as you would with a NexStar hand control. The StarSense hand control will replace the existing NexStar hand control for the mount, but functions the same way with an ASCOM connection to the PC. Alignment must be completed through the StarSense hand control first.
To clarify, the StarSense hand control replaces the NexStar hand control. It retains all of the same functions, but with the addition of StarSense Technology automatic alignment, as well as multi-star calibration mount modeling. Just like the NexStar hand control, the StarSense hand control can search by object name or catalog number and interface with a PC via ASCOM.