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hi all...

just started in astronomy and im using stellarium to try and find objects. im trying to learn the setting circles on my scope, ( skywatcher 130 with an eq2 mount), but im wondering what co-ordinates to use in stellarium..... the three are ra/de j2000... ra/de of date, they seem to have stationary co-ordinates and the hour angle/de that has continual moving co-ordinates, any advice on the one to use would be much appreciated ... thanks

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The first one you mention is the co-ordinates for epoch 2000 which is the values you will find on current star charts.

The second are those values updated to to-day.

Use either of these.

The third set of values is constantly updated to show the objects curent position in the night sky.

I found this little video which you might find helpful. Bear in mind that this mentions using the bottom scale on the RA axis, this may not be what you need for your mount, you will need to check in the manual.


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I would not bother with the setting circles on your scope! They are far too small, inaccurate and (to be honest) useless!! Far better to use Stellarium and "star hop" by using the scopes finder. Some folk, myself included, find the Telrad finder exellent for this sort of thing Telrad Finder :: Finder scopes :: Altair Astro

Hope this helps.

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I would agree with using the Telrad. Don't forget, there are charts that are designed for the Telrad like here which makes finding objects easier.


(edit: Link not working but charts can be obtained by looking up Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society)

Edited by JamesM
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thanks for the advise guys... been looking at the telrad on line, seems the business, will purchase one in next couple of weeks along with a couple of new eye pieces... either celestron omni, meade 4000 or vixen npl, what advise on the best of these.. sorry to keep asking.. thanks

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