How To Use A Telescope With Automatic Tracking

Peering into the night sky with a telescope can be a thrilling experience, but tracking celestial objects manually can be challenging. An automatic tracking telescope simplifies this job by using GPS and computerized systems to follow distant stars or planets as they move across the sky.

In this article, we will guide you on correctly setting up and using an automatic GoTo telescope – ensuring that your stargazing sessions are fruitful without constantly adjusting your instrument.

Let’s bring those far-off galaxies closer!

Understanding Automatic Tracking in Telescopes

Automatic tracking in telescopes is a feature that allows the telescope to automatically follow the motion of celestial objects as they move across the sky.

What is automatic tracking?

Automatic tracking is a key feature found in modern telescopes. This technology allows the telescope to follow, or ‘track,’ planets, stars, and other celestial objects as they move across the sky.

Automatic GoTo telescopes use GPS data for this purpose. These specially designed instruments not only locate desired objects but also keep them in view by moving in the opposite direction of Earth’s rotation.

The automatic tracking system includes motorized mounts that lend precision and ease to celestial observation. They are handy for freeing up hands while observing fast-moving targets or capturing images through astrophotography.

Auto-tracking telescope mounts significantly reduce the need for constant manual adjustments, making it easier even for beginners to enjoy stargazing experiences seamlessly.

How does it work?

Automatic tracking in telescopes is a technological marvel. It’s engineered around combating Earth’s rotation to maintain celestial sightings. The computerized GoTo and GPS telescopes perform dual functions – locating specific objects in the sky and automatically tracking them.

They achieve this by rotating contrary to the direction of Earth’s spin.

The telescope obtains vital data from GPS, such as location, date, time, and scope info for its operations. This information aids the automated process of following stars and other heavenly bodies moving across the night sky.

Furthermore, automatic-tracking telescope mounts offer precise monitoring without requiring continuous manual adjustments.

Tracking shouldn’t be confused with guiding, though; while both are part of an automatic GoTo Telescope use, they serve different purposes. Tracking implies that the telescope focuses on a target object even as it relocates about our planet’s rotation.

Guiding then refines that tracking accuracy through additional techniques or equipment so you can enjoy clearer views or capture sharper images during your stargazing sessions.

Benefits of automatic tracking

Automatic tracking in telescopes provides seamless sky gazing with optimal convenience. The GPS technology infused into these scopes effortlessly tracks celestial objects, keeping them within the viewfinder as they traverse the night sky.

This feature is particularly advantageous when viewing fast-moving objects that could otherwise quickly move out of sight.

The distinction between simple tracking and guiding sets automatic tracking apart. While both technologies keep an object in focus, guiding further refines this process for unparalleled accuracy.

Doing so minimizes errors arising from minor imperfections in gears or misalignments – making astrophotography a breeze.

Moreover, automatic tracking means less fumbling around with controls and more time enjoying the star-studded spectacle above you. Especially beneficial for beginners, it eliminates the hassle of manual adjustments and steep learning curves associated with traditional telescopes.

You can key in your desired target and let your telescope do all necessary repositioning to provide you a prime view.

Setting Up an Automatic GoTo Telescope


To set up an automatic GoTo telescope, enter the necessary initial settings and inputs, such as your location, date, time, and scope information.

Initial settings and inputs (location, date, time, scope info)

You’ll need to input some initial settings to start using a telescope with automatic tracking. Begin by entering your location, the date, and the time into the telescope’s system.

This information is crucial for accurate tracking of celestial objects. Additionally, please provide details about your scope, such as its focal length and aperture size. These inputs will help calibrate the telescope’s movements correctly.

By entering this information accurately, your automatic tracking capabilities will be optimized. It ensures that the telescope aligns properly with your specific viewing location and accounts for any variations in time or date.

Aligning and polar aligning

Aligning and polarizing your automatic GoTo telescope is crucial to ensure accurate celestial object tracking. First, you must input your location, date, time, and scope information into the telescope’s computerized system.

Next, it’s time to align the telescope with the night sky. Different methods exist, such as Auto Align or Two- and Three-Star Align. These methods help the telescope determine its position and orientation with celestial objects.

If you encounter any alignment issues, troubleshooting tips can help you resolve them.

Proper alignment is crucial for the functioning of your automatic GoTo telescope. Once aligned, you can navigate using the electronic keypad provided with your telescope. To center objects in the eyepiece for observation or photography purposes, use the directional controls on the keypad to move the telescope accordingly.

The built-in automatic tracking feature will keep those objects within view as they move across our night sky due to Earth’s rotation.

Sky alignment methods (Auto Align, Two- and Three-Star Align)

Automatic GoTo telescopes come with different sky alignment methods to ensure accurate tracking of celestial objects. One popular method is Auto Align, which uses GPS technology to automatically determine the telescope’s position and align it with the night sky.

This saves time and eliminates the need for manual input of location coordinates. Another option is Two-Star Align, where you choose two bright stars in the sky and use them as reference points for alignment.

Similarly, Three-Star Align involves selecting three stars instead of two, providing even greater accuracy in tracking. With these alignment methods, users can easily set up their automatic GoTo telescopes and start observing the universe’s wonders without any hassle or guesswork.

Using modern technology, automatic GoTo telescopes offer multiple sky alignment methods for easy setup and precise tracking. These include Auto Align using GPS technology for quick positioning without manual coordinates input.

Additionally, there are Two-Star Align and Three-Star Align options, allowing users to select bright stars as reference points for accurate alignment with the night sky. Whether you prefer a simple two-star method or a more precise three-star approach, these alignment methods make setting up an automatic GoTo telescope a breeze.

Troubleshooting alignment issues

If you’re experiencing alignment issues with your automatic GoTo telescope, don’t worry – you can take some troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem. One common issue is that the telescope may not accurately align with the sky.

To fix this, ensure you have entered the correct location, date, and time settings into your telescope’s computer. Another potential problem is that the polar alignment may be off.

Double-check that your telescope’s mount is aligned with the North Star, or use a polar alignment scope for more accuracy.

Sometimes, even after following these steps, alignment issues persist. In such cases, it may help to utilize different sky alignment methods offered by your telescope’s software, such as Auto Align or Two- and Three-Star Align options.

These methods can improve accuracy by recalibrating the tracking system based on known celestial objects.

Using an Automatic GoTo Telescope

Navigate the electronic keypad easily to locate celestial objects and ensure they are centered in the eyepiece for optimal viewing.

Navigating the electronic keypad

The electronic keypad on a telescope with automatic tracking is how you control and navigate the telescope’s movements. It allows you to input commands and make adjustments easily.

With just a few buttons, you can move the telescope up, down, left, or right to explore different areas of the sky. The keypad also has a menu that lets you access various features like selecting objects from a database or adjusting tracking speed.

Using the electronic keypad, you can effortlessly maneuver the telescope to find and center celestial objects in your eyepiece for observation or astrophotography.

Using the electronic keypad effectively requires familiarity with its functions. For example, key combinations may be used to access specific features or perform tasks like aligning the telescope or changing settings.

Centering objects in the eyepiece

Using the electronic keypad to move the telescope to center objects in the eyepiece with automatic tracking. Simply input the desired direction and distance, and the telescope will adjust accordingly.

This feature makes it easier to locate and observe celestial objects, especially those that move quickly out of the field of view. With automatic tracking, you can enjoy a clearer and more detailed view without constantly manually adjusting your telescope.

Automatic GoTo telescopes have made centering objects in the eyepiece much simpler. By using the keypad controls, you can easily navigate through different areas of the sky until your desired object comes into view.

This saves time and frustration compared to manually searching for each object. Whether you’re observing planets or deep sky objects like galaxies or nebulae, automatic tracking helps ensure that they stay centered in your field of vision so you can fully appreciate their beauty.

Tracking celestial objects

Automatic GoTo telescopes have the incredible ability to locate celestial objects and track them as they move across the night sky. Once you find your desired target, the telescope will automatically follow it, keeping it centered in your eyepiece without any manual adjustments.

With this feature, you can easily observe fast-moving objects like planets or satellites that may quickly move out of view with a regular telescope. It’s like having a personal assistant for stargazing!

The key to tracking celestial objects with an automatic telescope is its motorized mount. This mount moves the telescope in the opposite direction of the Earth’s rotation, compensating for its movement and allowing you to keep your eyes on those beautiful stars and planets.

Tips and Best Practices for Using Automatic Tracking

Balance your telescope correctly to ensure smooth and accurate tracking.

Balancing the telescope

Balancing the telescope is a crucial step to ensure smooth and accurate tracking. When a telescope is properly balanced, it reduces strain on the motors and helps maintain stability throughout the observation.

To balance your telescope, start by adjusting the counterweights on the mount. This involves adding or removing weights until the telescope remains steady in any position.

Proper balancing also depends on where you attach accessories like cameras or eyepieces. These additional items can affect the center of gravity and throw off balance. Positioning them carefully allows you to distribute weight evenly and achieve better overall balance.

Remember that balancing may need to be adjusted as you change equipment or move your telescope around. Regularly checking and fine-tuning will ensure optimal performance when tracking celestial objects with your automatic GoTo telescope.

Using guiding techniques for better accuracy

It is essential to use guiding techniques to achieve better accuracy in tracking celestial objects with a telescope. Guiding is a method that helps improve the telescope’s tracking accuracy by making minor adjustments as necessary.

One common technique is autoguiding, where an additional camera or sensor is used to monitor the position of a guide star. This information is then fed back into the telescope’s system, allowing it to make real-time corrections and keep the object centered in the eyepiece or camera.

Another guiding technique involves manually adjusting the telescope’s controls based on visual cues from stars near your target object. By carefully observing these reference stars and slightly adjusting your telescope’s movement, you can keep your desired object in view for extended periods.

Guiding techniques are especially beneficial for astrophotography, where long exposure times are required to capture detailed images of celestial objects. With accurate guiding, photographers can avoid blurring caused by Earth’s rotation and achieve sharper images with more detail.

Understanding the difference between tracking and guiding

Tracking and guiding are two terms often used when using a telescope with automatic tracking. Let’s clear the confusion by understanding what each term means. Tracking refers to the ability of the telescope to follow an object as it moves across the night sky.

With automatic tracking, the telescope constantly adjusts its position to counteract Earth’s rotation, keeping the object in view for extended periods. On the other hand, guiding is a technique used to improve tracking accuracy.

It involves making small corrections to ensure an object stays centered in the eyepiece or camera throughout observation or imaging. While tracking is about following an object’s motion, guiding helps enhance precision for better results.

Tracking allows your automated telescope to keep objects within sight while they move across the sky due to Earth’s rotation, thanks to its automatic adjustments. Guiding complements this by improving accuracy through fine-tuning adjustments to achieve precise and focused views or images of celestial targets without them drifting out of view.

Considering the need for auto guiding in deep sky astrophotography

Autoguiding is a crucial technique in deep sky astrophotography. It helps photographers precisely track celestial objects, even during long exposure shots. Autoguiding involves using a separate guide camera and software to correct the telescope’s tracking system continually.

This ensures that stars remain pinpoint sharp throughout the exposure, resulting in stunning images of galaxies, nebulae, and other deep space wonders.

You’ll need a sturdy mount with accurate tracking capabilities to successfully auto guide. The guide camera captures images of a specific star or group of stars near your target object.

The software analyzes these images and sends commands to adjust the mount accordingly. By constantly monitoring and correcting for deviations from perfect alignment, autoguiding allows for incredibly detailed and high-quality astrophotographs.


In conclusion, using a telescope with automatic tracking opens a new world of stargazing possibilities. With the ability to locate and track celestial objects automatically, these telescopes make it easier to observe and capture breathtaking night sky images.

Whether you’re an astronomy enthusiast or an aspiring astrophotographer, investing in a telescope with automatic tracking will enhance your experience and bring you closer to the universe’s wonders.

Explore the cosmos with ease and precision – enjoy all that automatic tracking offers today!


1. How does automatic tracking work on a telescope?

Automatic tracking on a telescope uses motors and sensors to keep an object in the field of view as the Earth rotates, allowing you to observe without manually adjusting the telescope.

2. Can I use automatic tracking with any telescope?

Automatic tracking can be used with certain types of telescopes that have motorized mounts or computerized control systems specifically designed for this feature.

3. Do I need special skills or knowledge to use a telescope with automatic tracking?

Using a telescope with automatic tracking requires a basic understanding of aligning and calibrating the system, but it is generally user-friendly and does not require advanced technical skills.

4. What objects can I observe using automatic tracking?

With automatic tracking, you can observe various celestial objects such as stars, planets, galaxies, and nebulae for extended periods without manually adjusting the telescope.

5. Are there any limitations or considerations when using a telescope with automatic tracking?

When using a telescope with automatic tracking, it’s essential to ensure a stable power supply and proper alignment for accurate positioning. Additionally, extreme weather conditions or obstructions may affect performance.