Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
|The Orion Atlas EQ-G is our favorite mount for astrophotography in the sub $1500 class. |
The stalwart Orion Atlas EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount is our favorite platform for astrophotography in the sub $1500 class. It can handle up to 40 lbs. of astronomy equipment easily. A computerized GoTo database of over 42,000 celestial objects can lead you and your family to spectacular celestial sights night after night. Whether you're looking for a rock-solid GoTo mount for visual use of a telescope, or gearing up for a rewarding astrophotography hobby, the Orion Atlas EQ-G GoTo Mount fits the bill with rugged elegance.
The Atlas EQ-G has become a favorite of amateur astronomers all over the globe thanks to its consistent performance, low price, and accurate GoTo functionality. The Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount can lead you and your telescope to a variety of celestial wonders on any clear night with its sophisticated GoTo system database of well over 42,000 objects. Once a simple alignment procedure is completed, the Atlas EQ-G's included hand controller lets you select an object from intuitive menus, and then command the mount to automatically pinpoint them in the attached telescope. If you're not sure what to look for in the vast starry skies, the Atlas does! You can choose the tour function to have the Atlas EQ-G lead you on an astronomical sightseeing adventure. Once an object is centered, The Atlas EQ-G Mount's robust internal DC stepper motors track the object for comfortable extended views. The internal motors offer nine slew rates ranging from 2x to 800x sidereal and three tracking rates: sidereal, lunar, and solar.
Astrophotographers love the Orion Atlas EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount due to its precise tracking performance, affordable price, and robust load capacity. Since most astrophotography setups consist of multiple heavy pieces of equipment, an astrophotography mount must be capable of supporting hefty loads while also providing smooth, accurate tracking. Backlash compensation and programmable PEC provide the responsiveness for guiding and the tracking accuracy needed for astrophotography. There's also a jack for a CCD autoguider built right into the Atlas EQ-G Mount, so it's easy to add guided accuracy to all of your astrophotos.
Strong and solid, the Atlas EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount weighs in at 54 lbs. and includes two 11 lb. counterweights for a total assembled weight of 76 lbs. The versatile Atlas EQ-G mount head sports a dual-width dovetail attachment saddle which allows secure attachment of both narrow "Vixen-style" or wider "Losmandy-style" dovetail mounting plates. The included tripod boasts big, 2-inch diameter steel legs for enhanced stability. Thanks to its rock-solid construction, the Atlas EQ-G equatorial mount can support telescope tube assemblies or equipment combinations of up to 40 lbs. An included RS-232 interface cable, illuminated polar-axis scope, and 13" long "Vixen-style" narrow dovetail mounting plate round out the features of this impressive GoTo equatorial mount.
The Atlas EQ-G requires an external 12-volt DC power source, such as a field battery or AC adapter. A 12 volt DC power cord with cigarette lighter adapter is included.
What is polar alignment?Polar alignment is the process of physically aligning the mount's primary axis of rotation, also known as the right ascension axis, with the Earth's own axis of rotation. Once this is achieved, the mount may track any celestial object it is pointed at by rotating the telescope on that axis at a rate of one revolution per day.
How is Polar alignment achieved?In the case of the Orion Atlas EQ-G mount, an illuminated polar alignment scope is included. The polar scope includes etchings of the big dipper and Cassiopeia to allow you quickly locate the correct hour-angle on the right ascension axis. There is also an etching of a cross representing the actual location of the north celestial pole, and a circle representing the orbit of Polaris around that point. You simply rotate the mount on the right ascension axis until the constellations in the polar scope match their positions in the sky. Once that is done you adjust the mount such that the north star Polaris is within a tiny circle also visible in the polar scope.
What is the hour-angle?Hour-angle is another means of determining where Polaris should be placed withing the polar alignment scope. This is expressed in hh:mm format where 12:00 is equivalent to noon on a clock face. The Synscan controller will display the proper hour-angle during the alignment process, and you may estimate the proper orientation of the rotation of the right ascension axis by placing the circle for Polaris at that approximate position on the circle in the reticle representing the orbit of Polaris around the north celestial pole. In the case of the Orion Atlas EQ-G, this serves as a double check of your orientation of the two constellations in the polar scope.
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