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By Jamie Carter
I'm a keen moon observer (and new here), primarily using 15x50 Canon image-stabilized binoculars, but also an old 4-inch 'scope that recently broke.
I want to take things to the next level and invest in a 'scope powerful enough to study lunar features as the terminator creeps, including craters, mountain ranges, and perhaps even the lunar X, etc. It would be great to have the option of photography in future if that doesn't hugely change what I should buy, but observing is by far my primary goal here. Any suggestions please? Budget is £1.5k+.
I am considering buying a Skywatcher al/az+eq mount to use in alt az mode for lunar CCD photography. I currently have a celestron 11 CDC and a celestron 8 on a nexstar evo mount. I can use both these telescopes with the celestron 'solar system align' and sharp cap for short (~10 sec 300-500 frame) captures. I want to replace the nexstar evo mount for the C8 with a sturdier Skywatcher AZ-EQ 5GT mount BUT -
1) the altz/az option is supposed to be 'for visual use'. Does this mean its tracking in lunar rate/alt-az mode is very poor ?
2) I am confused about 'alignment' (is this only necessary to accurately access the database of interesting object positions?) The skywatcher mount does not have solar system align - but it does have lunar rate tracking in alt-az mode. If I align on any random stars in lunar rate+alt-az mode with the moon centred in the telscope will the mount then track the moon? If not ,is there another way to track the moon ?