LCM Computer

LCM Computer Hand Control: The supplied NexStar-based LCM computer hand control has an illuminated numeric keypad and a two-line 16-character LCD display. It stores in a holder that clips to one of the tripod legs. The telescope can be operated with the ergonomically-designed hand control conveniently docked in its holder. You can also remove the control and its coiled connecting cord from the holder for hand-held use. There is no need to worry about wrapping the cord around the mount as you walk around the scope to observe different parts of the sky. The hand control plugs into the fork arm rather than the drive base, so it always moves with the scope.

    The LCM computer has a database of 4,033 stars and objects that it can locate and track for you. The database includes the complete Messier and Caldwell catalogs of famous deep space objects; a selection of the brightest and best deep space objects from the Revised New General Catalog (NGC); selected SAO stars, including the best variable stars and multiple star systems; the planets; the Moon; the Sun; and more.

    With the LCM computer's hand control, you can select an object catalog at the touch of a button; automatically slew to any of the 4,033 objects in its memory, including over 600 galaxies, 300 star clusters, and dozens of beautiful binary stars; move to objects not in it's data base under your command; change the slew speed; view fascinating information about an object, including enhanced information on many of the particularly fascinating objects; or simply determine if a desired object is visible in the sky. It can automatically take you on guided tours of the best objects visible in your sky the night you are observing, any night of the year. The computer's hand control/database software and motor drive software can be flash upgraded via the internet so you will always have the most up-to-date software version available.

SkyAlign Technology: With Celestron's SkyAlign technology, you don't have to know Altair from Zubenelgenubi or know how to read a star chart to line up your LCM telescope on the sky. There is also no need to point the telescope north and level the optical tube or to pay extra for a competitive scope that levels the scope and points it north for you. With SkyAlign, the initial position of the telescope is irrelevant. Trees and buildings can block your view of the north celestial pole and you'll still be able to properly align the scope on the sky. This makes for fast and very easy alignment of the telescope every time you take it out to observe.

    Simply input the date, time, and your location into the computer hand control. The LCM computer has a U.S. and international city database that lets you easily set your observing location. It will normally default to your last observing site automatically, but you can change to a new observing site anytime you want.

    Once you've entered the date, time, and location, use the StarPointer red dot LED finder to align the telescope on any three bright stars, or to two stars and a bright planet or even the Moon. You don't need to know the names of the stars or the planet. The LCM computer system will automatically determine which objects were chosen and then generate an internal map of the sky that will let it move automatically to any star or object you select for the rest of the night. It does it by calculating the angles and distances measured between the objects you've chosen and then compares them to the known separations between objects. Using this method, the telescope determines what objects were chosen. The display will tell you which three objects you aligned to for confirmation.

    Only two of the alignment objects will actually be used for calculating the model of the sky that the computer uses for locating objects. The third object simply provides a positive identification of the other two. Therefore, at least two of the three alignment objects should be spaced at least 60 degrees apart in the sky if possible, and the third object should not fall in a straight line between the first two alignment stars.

    Since the brightest stars appear first as the sky darkens at dusk, the SkyAlign system is exceptionally easy to set up and use as night comes on. You don't have to guess which stars are brightest, as only the brightest will be visible in the early evening. The same holds true for observers from a light-polluted suburban site, where only the brightest stars are visible to the unaided eye.

    Other alignment methods are also built into the LCM computer. Auto Two-Star Align asks you to choose and center the first alignment star, then the LCM computer automatically selects and slews to a second star for alignment. Two-Star Align lets you identify and manually slew your telescope to the two alignment stars. One-Star Align is the same as Two-Star Align, but only requires you to align to one known star. Although not as accurate as the other alignment methods, One-Star Align is the quickest way to find and track bright planets and objects in Altazimuth mode. Finally, Solar System Align displays a list of visible daytime objects (planets, the Moon, and the Sun) available to align the telescope for observing during the day.

    Once the scope has aligned itself with the sky, it takes only a few keystrokes on the computer hand control to have the scope move automatically to your first observing target and start tracking it so you can observe at your leisure. You can find hundreds of fascinating deep space objects your first night out, even if you have never used a telescope before. No matter what level of experience you start from, your Celestron LCM scope will unfold all the wonders of the Universe for you, your family, and your friends.

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