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Best Autoguider and Guide Scopes

24 Aug 2019, 13:29 UTC
Best Autoguider and Guide Scopes
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Autoguiding with modern astrophotography gear is really quite simple. You basically just need to get your guide camera and scope, attach the guide scope and focus it, and plug everything in. Then guiding is as simple as opening up PHD 2 software, calibrating and selecting a guide star, and then start guiding. It’s really simple! Without autoguiding, exposures longer than 20-30 seconds with most telescopes and mounts will turn into a blurry, smeared mess.Guide CamerasA guide camera automatically tracks a target star to compensate for tiny amounts of drift and tracking errors almost any mount will produce. You typically use the free software PHD2 to do this. Guide cameras are usually best if they’re monochrome, but a color camera can work just fine too. I personally use a color camera for autoguiding.Guide cameras must always have both USB and ST-4 ports to plug into your computer and telescope mount respectively. Some people ditch the ST-4 port using specialized software but most imagers don’t and the complications are not worth the savings.Top 2 guide cameras for astrophotographyZWO ASI 120MC-S (Choice under $150) – Lowest price, and also a decent color planetary camera for beginners.ZWO ASI 120MM Mini (Choice between $150-$200) – ...

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