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Multiple technologies work together to put this mounting
system above the standard Go-To mount. Meade outfitted it with a
built-in GPS receiver and a time chip, so the mount can automatically
determine its location, day, and time when it's turned on. This
information is sent to the StarLock system which uses two digital
cameras built into an 80mm f/5 refractor OTA. The cameras take
wide-field photos of the night sky and compare them with an internal
database to automatically align the scope. During observation or imaging
sessions, the StarLock system continuously checks its tracking and
adjusts as needed, sending the data to the Smart Mount system which
learns the tracking errors and adjusts itself for the future.
brains of the mount are Meade's iconic AutoStar II computer controller.
This hand-held unit has an internal database of over 144,000 objects
from the Moon and planets, to galaxies and nebulae. Coupled with the
StarLock system, the AutoStar's tracking accuracy is an impressive ±1
arc second. It can calculate future events like Sunrises and meteor
showers, and predict Solar and Lunar eclipses for the next 100 years.
Once set up and running, the AutoStar II can take you on guided tours of
the best objects visible above, including audio tours that can be heard
from the internal speaker.