Magellan II Telescope Computer System Instruction Manual
The Magellan Telescope Computer System offers an electronic package
that permits the location and observation of thousands of deep-sky objects
as well as all of the major planets. Features include:
|IMPORTANT NOTICE! Never use a telescope or spotting scope to look at the Sun! Observing the Sun, even for the shortest fraction of a second, will cause irreversible damage to your eye as well as physical damage to the telescope or spotting scope itself. |
[ toc ]
- Celestial Navigation: Steer your telescope to any selected
object using the distance display window. As you move the telescope, the
distance to the object is continually updated. When within 1°, bars
replace the distance meter, and shrink until the telescope is centered on
the selected object.
- Two Star Alignment: Point your telescope at two bright stars
selected from the named common star database, and Magellan calculates an
alignment solution that directs all subsequent movements of your telescope
for fast, accurate object location. No need to level the telescope or input
time, latitude, and longitude!
- 12,218 - Object built-in Library: Select an object from either
the Messier catalog, the complete NGC catalog, or the complete IC catalog.
Use the STAR catalog to find bright stars, multiple stars, named common
stars, and planets from Mercury to Pluto.
- Large Membrane Keypad: Simplify Magellan operation by using
the large back lighted keypad for data entry and object selection.
- Dual Axis Drive Correction: Control the movement of your telescope
from the direction keys on the Magellan II switch panel.
- Liquid Crystal Display: Show information on a large, two-line,
32 character, red back lighted screen. Illumination is variable from bright
to none in 16 levels.
- Digital readouts on both axes: Read the coordinates (RA and
DEC) where your telescope is pointing, displayed to a precision of 5.3 arc-minutes
- RS-232 Communications: Connect Magellan to Epoch 2000 (or other
compatible programs) and display your telescope's position in the sky directly
on the computer star map.
[ toc ]
B. Principles of Operation
The Magellan system is quite simple in its basic operation. All telescopes
have two axes rotation that are perpendicular to each other. By rotating
the telescope on these axis the user can point to any object in the sky.
Telescopes with clock drives, like the Meade Starfinder Equatorial, have the axis of
rotation such that rotation about the celestial pole is possible. This is
called a "Polar" configuration.
Magellan is a sophisticated microprocessor system that is programmed to
understand the relationship between the moving sky and Polar configurations
of a telescope. For the Magellan to operate properly, it must have information
about where the telescope is pointing. This is done by installing encoders
on both telescope axes of rotation. These encoders tell Magellan which direction
an axis is moved and how far. The encoders divide the rotation into 4,096
reference points or more for a complete revolution. These encoders are installed
according to the installation procedures supplied with the Magellan unit,
and are designed specifically for your telescope.
Now that Magellan has the capability to determine various positions of your
telescope, it needs to know how these positions relate to the sky. This
is where alignment of the telescope is very important. Alignment is the
process of telling Magellan how to relate telescope positions with actual
sky locations. Once alignment is complete, Magellan knows where in the sky
you are pointing and can direct you to new objects or identify objects you
find. Alignment is basically accomplished by showing Magellan the location
of two objects in the sky. The alignment objects (stars) are the brightest
and most easily identifiable in the sky. Once you become familiar with the
location of these objects, alignment will become simple. This process is described
in detail later.
Magellan will allow you to find objects too faint to be seen with the naked
eye. One additional technique offered by Magellan is called "synchronizing."
This is a method used to improve the accuracy of your telescope after it
has been aligned. Alignment will not always be perfect and can have small
variations that will be multiplied as you sweep long distances across the
sky. These inaccuracies can be eliminated in a local area of sky by "synching"
on a known object in that vicinity. This will help Magellan to improve its
accuracy for other objects in the neighborhood and will permit you to accurately
find hidden objects by "synching" on a bright neighbor.