Celestron StarSense auto alignment system for Celestron telescopes


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Tired of having to align your Celestron go-to telescope on the sky each night?  Let the Celestron StarSense auto alignment retro-fit kit take care of it for you.  Just turn it on and watch it go to work.  In three minutes you will be aligned and ready to observe . . .
Our Product #: CSTAR
Celestron Product #: 94005
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Product Description

The unique Celestron StarSense brings the same advanced automatic alignment technology found in the award-winning Celestron SkyProdigy telescopes to almost all of Celestron's computerized scopes and mounts.

Before StarSense, using a computerized telescope required an often lengthy alignment process of identifying, finding, and centering at least two bright stars in the telescope's eyepiece. But StarSense allows you to simply turn on your Celestron scope and let it automatically identify the stars needed to align the telescope on the sky. It takes only about three minutes for the Celestron StarSense to align your telescope for go-to observing of the 45,178 accessible celestial objects in its database - without your needing any prior knowledge of the night sky. With this one-of-a-kind accessory, you become an instant astronomer - even if you've never used a telescope before.

The Celestron StarSense consists of a small digital camera that attaches to your Celestron telescope's optical tube, along with a new specialized StarSense hand control that replaces your scope's existing hand control and adds new functions to your telescope. The camera uses a high sensitivity, low noise 1.2 megapixel CMOS sensor with 3.75 micron square pixels. It images through a fully multi-coated 20mm f/2 doublet objective lens.

The integrated StarSense camera uses advanced multi-point mount modeling to take a series of images of different parts of the sky. Using up to 10 stars as reference points, StarSense compares those images against its internal database of over 40,000 celestial objects. It uses these images to identify star patterns to determine your telescope's position in relation to the sky so the scope's StarSense hand control can take you on your nightly sight-seeing tour of the heavens.

The StarSense is controlled by a dual-core 32-bit CPU running an embedded operating system. The new hand control has a red back lit four line LCD. For increased pointing accuracy when imaging, you can add up to ten calibration reference points using a plate-solving database of 40,000+ stars.

Just attach the StarSense to your telescope (in place of your existing finderscope or using the mounting holes for a second finder found on most 8" and larger scopes) and push the Align button on the hand control. Your scope will start slewing to different parts of the sky, stopping periodically to take an image and compare it to the StarSense internal database. In about three minutes, StarSense gathers enough information to triangulate its position and align itself on the sky so you can begin imaging or go-to observing. If you have no particular object to observe in mind, simply press the Sky Tour button on the hand control and StarSense automatically slews your scope to all of the best stars, planets, galaxies, and more that are visible that night, based on your exact time and location.

The lightweight and compact StarSense has two brackets to mount it in place of the finderscope on most non-SCT optical tubes (refractors, reflectors, etc.) or in the second set of finder holes at the one o'clock position on the rear cell of most Celestron SCT optical tubes. A cable attaches the StarSense to the new supplied StarSense hand control on your scope. The StarSense has user-upgradable firmware and a USB 2.0 connection to let you download upgrades from Celestron's website.

The Celestron StarSense works with most existing Celestron computerized telescopes and mounts. It will not work with other brands of scopes. Compatible go-to Celestron scopes and mounts include:
the NexStar SE series,
all NexStar Evolutions,
all CPC and CPC DX,
all CG-5 Advanced Series scopes and mount (with CG-5 Aux Splitter),
Advanced VX series scopes and mount,
all CGEM, CGEMII, and CGEM DX scopes and mounts,
all CGE and CGE Pro scopes and mounts,
all CGX and CGX-L scopes and mounts,
and all NexStar SLT and LCM scopes.

You will need an optional and inexpensive Auxiliary Port Splitter #93919 for the older NexStar GT and current LCM series scopes and for the CG-5 mount and scopes on a CG-5 mount. The StarSense will not work with the NexStar i, NexStar GPS, Ultima 2000, and older generation Compustar scopes.

Tech Details

Weight 3 Pounds
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
This is my second StarSense unit, it replaces the one I had for 4+ years that got flooded during a massive rainstorm.
The unit works nearly flawlessly when it has a clear view of the sky and can complete an alignment in less than 5 minutes. It doesn’t work with cloud cover, even light clouds that produce lots of sky shine. It does work well in suburban neighborhoods with street lights nearby because it doesn’t look to the horizon. The one trick to remember is start off from the home position as close to the North Celestial Pole and have your mount as level as you can. Another trick is to make sure your mount has a good polar alignment, but that’s actually part of my first tip. Doesn’t have to be perfectly dead on but the closer you are the better the scope points after alignment and the less bringing the target into the center of the eyepiece. You don’t have to know the sky, it helps a-lot and I highly recommend it, but it does all the work.
There have been some issues with it when using control software from Sky Safari 6 but those issues seem to have been worked out. Updating the firmware can be intimidating but if you follow the directions that are on (https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/557394-nexstar-and-starsense-firmware-updates) it’s not hard. Make sure you have all the cabling drivers installed and are working from a clean download of Celestron's CFM (Celestron Firmware Manager). (Posted on 6/11/2020)
Review by:
Starsense is fun to watch in action. More importantly, it works well. I can still perform a quick align on my AVX mount faster, but Starsense is much prefered if I want to do a more acurate alignment. It saves me the hassle, and lets me spend my time look through the telescope rather than aligning the telescope! (Posted on 10/31/2019)
Review by:
It appears to be a nice product. Recently started in astronomy and my one gripe is the alignment ritual - what a PITA. so I buy this and it just increased my frustration levels. The main gripe is the documentation or should I say lack of. If Celestron ever hired good tech writers, their tech support would reduce their calls by half. I finally had to write my own document to get this to align. If it had user friendly up to date manual, this would be a 4 star review. (Posted on 10/17/2019)
Review by:
I like using it to auto align while setting up the rest of my equipment. Usually pretty spot on for visual. just minor tweaks to center most objects. People pretty amazed to watch it at star parties if I redo the alignment after a solar system alignment before it really got dark. (Posted on 10/17/2019)
Review by:
Bought mine used for almost half the price. Full price might be worth it to some.
It works! It saves time and u from having to bend over and contort yourself to star align. Its been worth it from the start. (Posted on 10/14/2019)
Review by:
This was a nice addition for my 8" Edge HD. It saves time in getting the scope setup, so one can get on with looking at imaging the sky instead of tinkering with alignment. (Posted on 10/4/2019)
Review by:
I’ve used this with my Celestron AVX and all I can say is wow! It did take me a little while to figure out how to use it, but once I figured it out it’s been very easy to use. I just do a quick polar alignment and then follow the guided steps in the controller and 5min later I’m ready to go. Objects are easily in my field of view every time. If you’re thinking of buying this product then I’d recommend you go ahead and make the purchase... well worth it! (Posted on 1/14/2019)
Review by:
I’ve used this with my Celestron AVX and all I can say is wow! It did take me a little while to figure out how to use it, but once I figured it out it’s been very easy to use. I just do a quick polar alignment and then follow the guided steps in the controller and 5min later I’m ready to go. Objects are easily in my field of view every time. If you’re thinking of buying this product then I’d recommend you go ahead and make the purchase... well worth it! (Posted on 1/14/2019)
Review by:
The thing I love about this system is its just a matter of assembling your scope and telling it to align. Takes about a min or two to do the alignment and things are off to the races. Keep in mind you do need to zero in the camera when you first get it. Also keep in mind not to knock it around as you will have to align again but beyond that everything is very smooth. The camera is very sensitive and able to pick up stars not far after sun down. Pair this with an AVX mount and you are set. (Posted on 1/14/2019)
Review by:
I have been using this for about a year and half now, and cant imagine having to do a manual align ever again!
as far as I am concerned this one of my most valued tools in my case. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
Review by:
The star-sense does its job. It aligns for you if you take your mount to a remote site and it does it quickly. But for $350 dollars you have to decide if you have a use case for it. If you are aligning for astrophotography from a laptop, it is a simple thing to use the visual guide scope to line up a bright star, then image it to put it in the center of the image. As long as you line up the finder with your CCD chip, it should be pretty easy to do two alignment stars then two calibration stars on opposite sides of the meridian. That by itself will give pretty good pointing for dim targets.

If you are using your scope for visual use, then it is super easy just to line up two-plus-one and your visual target will be there in your eyepiece most of the time.

The normal hand controller alignment procedure gets good results for targeting/ pointing.

If you are using a laptop, then the Celestron PWI software (free) contains the exact same underlying math as the star-sense. As long as you do a handful of alignment stars on each side of the sky you are going to get excellent pointing.

So, the star-sense shaves about 10 minutes off the front end of your evening, and only really improves pointing accuracy over the hand controller alignment a smidge. Is that worth $350 to you? You can buy quite a few imaging accessories for that. (Posted on 1/3/2019)
Review by:
I got this about 6 months ago and haven’t gotten it to work yet. Oh, it says it’s aligned, but when goto another object to look at, it’s not in the scope. As I had to replace my finder scope with this, hard to tell how much it’s off. I suspect I’m doing something wrong, thus 2 stars instead of 1, but it’s not as easy to use as it claims. I’m going to keep trying, and if I finally get it working, I’ll post that here. If you do get it, suggest modifying your scope to mount this AND a finder scope. (Posted on 1/1/2019)
Review by:
I purchased my StarSense last year and I can't seem to find a thing wrong with it other then the price. Every mount should have these functions. I can even get mine to auto-guide. The ASPA function is flawless. I have used mine for AP and it's been great at it. You have to try every function and in different combinations. What helped me a lot was reading the manual. There are a lot of self help pages about this device, if at first you don't succeed find out how others worked things out. It isn't exactly rocket science. It's the best thing to happen to GOTO mounts since they were invented. (Posted on 12/8/2018)
Review by:
Can't seem to master this device although its' great in theory. It must be that I have too any obstructions to my views,trees buildings etc. for it to accurately map the sky. I find the standard handset more useful. I'll continue with the Starsense hoping I can master it better. Clear skies not too prevalent in my area could also be a factor. Maybe I need to calibrate better. Not sure why mine seems to search endlessly. (Posted on 11/14/2018)
Review by:
This is a fantastic addition to your celestron mount, especially in areas with significant light pollution and a limited patch of sky. No more struggling to find good reference stars or having to contort your body (if you're using a newt) trying to line up stars. (Posted on 10/31/2018)
Review by:
This by far the best accessory you can buy for your Celestron scope! If you onsever in the same spot usually just mark the location of your tripod legs once you setup and have polar aligned your scope. Then every time you go to observe simply set the tripod up in the same spot and the polar scope will be in its polar align emend position and then you sinmply start the auto align process on the Star sense and in a couple of minutes you can do spot on GOTOs all night long! Just fantastic! (Posted on 10/27/2018)
Review by:
The StarSense auto alignment system does everything Celestron says it will. It is easy to set up initially and very easy to use. Coming in at nearly half the price of the AVX mount made it a difficult decision for me to purchase since I could have bought a pretty nice eyepiece for the same amount. You still need to be fairly close in your polar alignment but overall it is pretty forgiving. I think that this will encourage my kids to use the scope since it is so easy to align now, lots of wow factor with the StarSense doing all the hard work. I was skeptical of the technology at first and put off by the price but I am a believer now. (Posted on 10/18/2018)
Review by:
I've owned my StarSense since late 2016 and the hardest part about owning this device is the firmware updates which arn't difficult at all. The StarSense is great at picking picking stars to calibrate on with two caveats: 1. your equatorial axis needs to be close to the pole (with in a few degrees) and level as possible. The manual says it doesn't have to be level which is true but level is better. 2. make sure you're centering the star on the right star that you selected from the list in the eyepiece, I've centered on the wrong star and messed up my alignment. Unfortunately, you can't delete a single star so you get to start over.. Follow the alignment procedure in the manual. Once you've done it a few times it gets easier. (Posted on 10/16/2018)
Review by:
Makes it a snap to align your scope. Well worth the cost. (Posted on 10/14/2018)
Review by:
I bought my first Starsense for my Evolution system , then bought a second one for my CGX setup. For anyone who does not have a permanent mount for their scope and who wishes to perform easy sky alignment , this is the accessory for you. With this unit there is no need to Strain your eyes trying to find certain stars for alignment. The Starsense eliminates the need to bend, and contort to try and sight stars through your finder scope for setup. It can begin sky calibration before you begin to see most stars at dusk. Normally you only need to calibrate the Starsense to your scope one time, thereafter, the mount bracket allows for accurate removal and reinstallation on your scope. If you have a mostly open sky viewing area you can perform the fully automated Starsense Auto Alignment. If you have restricted sky viewing, you can program a fixed pattern of calibration moves or a completely manual pointing scan for alignment. Another great feature for those interested in accurate tracking for photography, the Starsense can give you feedback for accurate Polar Alignment, even if you can't see the North Star area of the sky. New enhancements and functionality are also being added regularly. Overall a very useful addition to your scope. (Posted on 10/8/2018)
Review by:
I have had one of these for about two years now and I am addicted to it! I will never go back to sumo wrestling with my CGEM mount ever again! Once you have it calibrated, just hit “align” and it does the rest itself. Done! (Posted on 10/7/2018)
Review by:
This is an excellent accessory for the Nexstar 8SE. My primary interest is astrophotography and I usually take the 8SE along as a visual scope to steal peaks while I'm taking subs with my astrophoto setup. I have enough to worry about with setting up, aligning, and tracking with my astrophoto scope and the StarSense relieves me of having to do the same with the 8SE. I just set it up and turn it on and voila -- it gives a near perfect alignment. I highly recommend this item. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
I have a StarSense AutoAlign on my AVX mount. When I first put it on I was excited to watch it slew around and align. Now I start the process, walk away to setup other stuff, and come back and just assume everything is setup. It certainly isn't needed, but it is pretty neat. When I get out one of my other telescopes without the star sense I resent the amount of time I have to spend to align things. It is a cool add-on. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
i have the starsense on my celestron evolution 9.25. I got it to assist with getting lined up with my zwo asi385. Its the equivlant of about a 6mm eyepiece so a small target. After getting set up and doing a calibration(one time) it puts the object viewable in the camera every time. I dont use a finder anymore just do the starsense auto align, takes about 3-4 minutes and done. You can add 10 additional reference points to get closer. Doesnt get better than that (Posted on 10/6/2018)
Review by:
I have a StarSense AutoAlign on my CPC 9.25 Deluxe Edge HD telescope. The scope has a GPS built in, so when you turn the scope on, it gets very accurate Time/Date/Location data from the GPS - then it asks if you are ready to align - there are several options: 3-star, 2-star, 1-star, Solar System...and STARSENSE - you can align any way you wish, but if you select StarSense, the tube elevates about 45-60 degrees and the StarSense camera takes a photo. The scope then moves about 120 degrees in Az and the camera takes another photo - and then another...after 3 or 4 photos, the handset shows the system resolving its view of the sky and then within moments it says "Solution Found - 284 star found - alignment complete.
You do need to do a one-time centering of the StarSense (to correct for any slight misalignment in the mount when you bolted it on), but after that, ask the system to show you any night-sky object that you can think of and 99+ % of the time, it will be dead center in your eyepiece.
Save time - improve accuracy - money well spent!!! (Posted on 10/6/2018)
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