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Meade Autostars
#497 Autostar Computer Controller

One of the most important advances in telescope control in the past 25 years, the Meade #497 Autostar Computer Controller turns the ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, or ETX-125AT into an automatic celestial object locating system. Just plug the Autostar into the telescope's HBX port, do a quick (less than one minute!) telescope alignment, and you're ready to observe any object in the Autostar's 30,000-object database.Best of all, the Meade Autostar is easy to

use. Even the most novice observer will find himself or herself locating dozens of fascinating celestial objects the very first night out - from commonly-observed objects such as the rings of Saturn, the satellites of Jupiter, and the Orion Nebula (M42); to more difficult objects such as the Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra, the Spiral Galaxy (M33) in Triangulum, and the Sombrero Galaxy (M104) in Virgo; to very obscure objects near the telescope's threshold of visibility such as the diffuse nebula NGC 6559 in Sagittarius, the galactic star cluster NGC 1778 in Auriga, and the spiral galaxy NGC 3310 in Ursa Major.

#497 Autostar Computer Controller

The #497 Autostar Computer Controller is included as standard equipment with ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, and ETX-125AT Astro Telescopes.

Any of Autostar's database objects can be called up and entered on the hand controller display in seconds. The observer then simply presses the GO TO pushbutton and watches as the telescope automatically slews (moves) to the object and places it in the field of view. The effect of Autostar is to bring objects easily within reach which were previously unreachable for all but the most dedicated of amateur astronomers.

Without exaggeration the Meade Autostar Computer Controller opens up a new era in astronomical study for the casual or beginning astronomer, just as Meade LX200 and LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrains have for the advanced amateur. Most Autostar users see more celestial objects in one night's viewing than typical first-time telescope owners previously have in a lifetime.

Object Database: Included within Autostar's database are all of the following astronomical objects — a range of objects certain to keep even the most active amateur astronomer growing in his or her studies of the skies for years:


5,386 objects from the Index Catalog (IC); galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters of all types; the complete Index Catalog
7,840 objects from the New General Catalog (NGC); additional galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters of all types; the complete New General Catalog
109 objects from the Caldwell Catalog of the best objects for small telescopes
110 Messier (M) objects; the complete Messier catalog
16,800 stars from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) catalog, including double stars, variable stars, and other stars of special note
50 Earth-orbiting satellites
26 asteroids, including all of the brightest asteroids
15 periodic comets
8 major planets from Mercury to Pluto


Any of the objects in the preceding listing can be located simply by calling up the object from the Autostar database and pressing GO TO. Within seconds Autostar directs the ETX telescope to move automatically to the object and place it within the telescopic field of view with uncanny precision.

Call-up of an object from the database is facilitated by Autostar's simple menu options. For example, to enter NGC 6960 on the Autostar display, the observer selects in sequence (and in a few seconds of keystrokes): OBJECT/DEEP SKY/NGC OBJECTS/6960. When GO TO is pressed, the telescope moves at 5° per second on both axes, simultaneously, to place NGC 6960, the Veil Nebula in the constellation Cygnus, in the telescope's field of view.

Additional Capabilities: In addition to database object selection and observation, Autostar permits a wide array of fascinating and educational capabilities:

Automatic GO TO capability to any astronomical object of known Right Ascension and Declination, plus digital readouts of telescope position, continuously in RA and Dec.


"Stellar diffraction patterns were virtually textbook-perfect...the Cassini Division in Saturn's rings popped into view despite the rings' low tilt. [Double-star] Epsilon Lyrae's component stars were cleanly split...The Moon was outstanding even at 75X per inch of aperture. Daytime terrestrial views were tack-sharp with rich color saturation. I could see every wisp of velvet on the antlers of a deer 50 feet away... the ETX [90mm] was totally free of chromatic aberration, making this an ideal all-purpose telescope for anyone wanting to inspect eagles at 100 yards and stars at 100 light-years.

...The ETX/Autostar is not just a new tlelscope system. It's a revolution! Its impact on amateur astronomy and science education will be unprecedented."

- from the review in Sky & Telescope, January 1997.



Precise sidereal-rate tracking in either altazimuth or equatorial modes. Once an object is located by Autostar, the telescope automatically tracks it and keeps it centered in the telescope's field of view, fully compensating for the Earth's rotation.

200 User-Defined Objects: The observer can add the locations of up to 200 objects of his/her choosing, store these objects in Autostar's memory, and call them up at any time.

9-Speed Dual-Axis Operation: Use the Autostar pushbuttons to move the telescope on either or both axes, simultaneously, at any of nine drive speeds, from 2x sidereal to 5°/second. Guided Tours: Allows Autostar to choose the best objects for observing on any given night.

Point and click astronomy with Meade AstroFinder Software

Point-and-click astronomy with Meade AstroFinder software, the #505 Connector Cable Set, and an ETX telescope.


GO TO capability through Autostar's RS-232 serial interface*, using Meade AstroFinderTM astronomical software: Use the optionally-available package of AstroFinder software and the #505 Connector Cable Set to form a system consisting of the ETX telescope + Autostar + your PC. Point and click to any celestial object on the PC display and watch as the telescope moves to the object and places it in the field of view.

Plus: over 20 other menu options, including major event menus (e.g., times of Moonrise, Moon phases, etc.); utility functions (e.g., timer, alarm, eyepiece power calculations); and much more.

With Autostar plugged into your ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, or ETX-125AT,the astronomical universe is in the palm of your hand: never before has such powerful telescope technology been so easy to operate, even by the most casual observer.

*For PC's with USB ports order the Meade USB to RS-232 Bridge Cable, which premits connection between the telescope's RS-232 serial interface and the PC's USB port.

#494 Autostar Computer Controller

With the standard-equipment Meade Autostar Computer Controller plugged into the control panel of your DS telescope, locating any astronomical object in the sky is as easy as pushing a button. Identical in operating characteristics to the Autostar controller available for the Meade ETX-70AT telescope, Autostar for DS telescopes is easy to use, even for the beginner who has never before operated a telescope.

Autostar's celestial object database includes more than 1500 astronomical objects, any of which may be entered on to the Autostar display; alternately, the Right Ascension and Declination of any object in the sky may be input to the Autostar display. In either case when the observer presses GO TO, the telescope automatically moves to the object at 4.5°/sec. on both telescope axes, and places the object in the telescopic field of view. Autostar's database for DS-2000 telescopes includes the following celestial objects:

Deep-space objects from the Index Catalog (IC) and New General Catalog (NGC):
66 named objects (e.g., the Orion Nebula)
74 galaxies
31 diffuse nebulae
19 planetary nebulae
135 star clusters
Other deep-space objects:
109 objects from the Caldwell Catalog of the best objects for small telescopes
110 Messier (M) objects; the complete Messier catalog
943 stars from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) catalog, including 395 double stars, 189 variable stars, and other stars of special note
In the Solar System:
50 Earth-orbiting satellites
26 asteroids, including all of the brightest asteroids
15 periodic comets
8 major planets, from Mercury to Pluto
__
1586 objects, total

Additional Capabilities: Beyond the location of database objects, Autostar allows for a wide range of important — indeed revolutionary — telescope capabilities:

Automatic GO TO capability to any astronomical object of known coordinates (RA and Dec.). Enter an object's coordinates to the Autostar display, press GO TO, and Autostar moves the telescope to locate the object and place it in the telescopic field.

#494 Autostar Computer Controller

Digital Readouts of telescope position, continuously in RA and Dec.

Precise sidereal-rate tracking. Once Autostar locates an object, it directs the telescope to track the object automatically on both telescope axes, simultaneously, keeping the object centered in the field.

9-Speed Dual-Axis Operation. Use Autostar's pushbuttons to move the telescope on either or both axes, simultaneously, at any of nine drive speeds, from very slow 2x sidereal to fast 4.5°/second.

GO TO capability to any of 200 user-defined objects.

Use Meade StarNavigator sky software, included with every DS telescope, on your PC to GO TO any object on the PC display at a click of the mouse. (Requires optional #506 Connector Cable Set).

Plus: over 20 other menu options, including guided tours of the best objects observable on any specified date; major event menus; utility functions (e.g., timer, alarm, eyepiece power calculations); and much more.

For the beginning or intermediate observer Autostar is a revelation that permits the observation of hundreds of objects the very first night out. And, with its wide-ranging capabilities, Autostar is a valuable tool in the hands of the most experienced observer as well.

Autostar II Computer Controller

Completely redesigned and updated for the LX200GPS series, the Meade Autostar II control system includes the widest array of telescope capabilities ever offered in a commercial telescope:

Built-in 145,000-Object Library Included as Standard Equipment: Enter into the Autostar II handbox any of the 145,000 celestial objects stored in the LX200GPS onboard database, press GO TO, and the telescope automatically slews (moves) to the object at 8/sec., centering it precisely in the main telescope field. Additionally, the display reads out for each selected object its magnitude, size, object-type, visual quality rating, RA and Dec. Or, let the telescope take you on an automatic guided tour of TONIGHT'S BEST.

Stored in a 3.5-Megabyte flash memory, Autostar II's database is immediately accessible on the Autostar II display and includes an incredible array of phenomena - virtually a lifetime of deep-space study, even for the advanced observer. A partial listing includes:

Object List No. of Objects
New General Catalog (NGC) 7840
Index Catalog (IC) 5386
Uppsala Galaxy Catalog 12,940
Morphological Catalog of Galaxies 12,939
General Catalog of Variable Stars 28,484
Other deep-space objects: 28,484
SAO and Hipparcos Star Catalogs 42,277
Draper Star Catalog (HD) 21,127
Yale Bright Star Catalog (BSC5) 6150
Large Bright Quasars Survey (LBQS) 1055
Messier Catalog (M) 110
Caldwell Catalog 109
Named Objects 227
Herschel Catalog 400
Abell Catalog of Galaxy Clusters 2712
Arp Catalog of Irregular Galaxies 645
Major planets from Mercury to Pluto 8
Lunar features 1870
Asteroids and Comets 120
Earth orbiting satellites 50
Centroids of the constellations 88
Autostar II Computer Controller

Additional Autostar II Functions: Dozens of additional handbox functions, all easily and immediately accessible, make Autostar II the most powerful electronic tool ever developed for the serious amateur. A partial listing of fewer than half of these functions includes: GO TO capability to any input RA and Dec. coordinates; a 200-object user-defined library; event menus displaying the times and/or dates of Sunrise/Sunset, Moonrise/Moonset, Moon phases, meteor showers, minimum of Algol, equinoxes and solstices; custom-guided tours defined by the user; standard tours including Tonight's Best; 24-hour timer with beeper; alarm function with beeper sounds at selected times; 16-level display brightness adjust; 16-level display contrast adjust; red-LED utility light; battery alarm for low-battery warning; 7 alignment modes; sidereal, lunar, or any of 2000 custom tracking rates; factory-trained Smart Drive periodic error correction on both telescope axes with field-training capability.

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