The NexStar Evolution and SkyPortal User's Guide

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Springer, May 26, 2016 - Science - 219 pages
This book serves as a comprehensive guide for using a Nexstar Evolution mount with WiFi SkyPortal control, walking the reader through the process for aligning and operating the system from a tablet or smartphone. The next generation Go-To mount from Celestron, this is compatible not only with the Nextstar Evolution but also with older mounts. It is the ideal resource for anyone who owns, or is thinking of owning, a Nexstar Evolution telescope, or adapting their existing Celestron mount. Pros and cons of the system are thoroughly covered with a critical depth that addresses any possible question by users.
Beginning with a brief history of Go-To telescopes and the genesis of this still new technology, the author covers every aspect of the newly expanding capability in observing. This includes the associated Sky Portal smartphone and tablet application, the transition from the original Nexstar GoTo system to the new SkyPortal system, the use of the Sky Portal application with its Sky Safari 4 basic software and Celestron WiFi adaptations, and discussions on the use of SkyPortal application using the Celestron adapter on older Celestron mounts. Comments and recommendations for equipment enable the reader to successfully use and appreciate the new WiFi capability without becoming overwhelmed. Extensively illustrated using actual screenshots from the program interface, this is the only guide to the Nextstar SkyPortal an observer will need.
 

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Contents

A Brief History of Computerized Telescope Mounts for Amateurs
1
A Review of Celestron GoTo Computerized Telescopes
6
Introduction to the Celestron NexStar Evolution and SkyPortal App
27
Basic Operation of the Celestron NexStar Evolution and SkyPortal App
35
Basic Operation of the Celestron NexStar Evolution and NexStar+ Hand Control
74
Lessons Learned in Using the Celestron NexStar Evolution and SkyPortal
113
Introduction to the SkyPortal WiFi Module
123
Advanced WiFi Tricks
126
Appendix B Celestron Timeline
167
Appendix C Celestron NexStar Evolution SchmidtCassegrain Telescope Specifications
169
Appendix D Messier Catalog
173
Appendix E The Caldwell Catalog
179
Appendix F Selected NonMessier Catalog NGC Objects
183
Appendix G The Herschel 400
191
Appendix H Current Sky Portal WiFi Module Compatible Celestron Mount Specifications
207
Appendix I Glossary
211

Accessories for the Celestron NexStar Evolution
129
Mounting Other Optical Tubes on the NexStar Evolution Mounts
157
Maintenance and Care of the NexStar Evolution Mounts and Electronics
160
Appendix A Troubleshooting Checklist
165

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About the author (2016)

Author – James Chen: Retired Department of the Navy and Federal Aviation Administration Radar and Surveillance Systems Engineer. Former Program Manager for Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corporation. Guest lecturer at local Washington DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland astronomy clubs on amateur astronomy topics of eyepiece design, optical filters, urban and suburban astronomy, and lunar observing. Author of an Astronomy Magazine article on Dobsonian telescope design in November 1989 issue, and contributor to Astronomy Technology Today magazine. First book, published in June 2014 by Springer, entitled How to Find the Apollo Landings Sites. Second book entitled A Guide to the Hubble Space Telescope Objects, is also available from Springer. Third book entitled The Vixen Star Book User Guide, is also available from Springer. Served as a part-time technical and sales consultant for two Washington DC area telescope stores for over 30 years.

Graphics Designer - Adam Chen: Former Program Manager of media support for NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. Creator and executive producer of major NASA publications, including the book and web-book application documenting the history of the Space Shuttle Program “Celebrating 30 Years of the Space Shuttle Program”. Served as graphics designer for all three James L. Chen books. Currently works in marketing for Brown Advisory, an investment firm in Baltimore, MD.

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