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Howto use RA and Dec to locate objects

How-to September 8th, 2018

Using RA and DEC tutorial put together by Matthew Knight using RA and DEC for locating Objects

The video guide:


  1. Celestron Computerized Telescope with NexStar+ hand controller Celestron StarSense AutoAlign (optional)
  2. Preform an Alignment
  3. RA And Dec celestial coordinates

You can get RA and DEC Celestial Coordinates at: TheSkyLive

Alignment is done?


Okay! then let's start the steps included pictures.

21p RA and Dec Example
Step 1:

We need to find the celestial coordinates for the object we're looking for. I'd recommend a site called; TheSkyLive
Now take in mind when you visit that site very important that you enter your Coordinates by default the site uses a Greenwich, United Kingdom longitude and latitude.
Failing to add your longitude and latitude will generate your telescope going to the wrong RA and DEC Coordinates.

Step 2:

We need to go back to the Menu screen:

Celestron Hand Controller Home Screen
Step 3: Navigate to Goto RA-Dec
Goto RA-Dec
Step 4:

Enter in the RA Celestial Coordinates Have a look at above Step 1 you will see an "Example" Ignore the settings I have that object will no longer be there

You need to find a object for right now and the information you're looking for is the (RA) Right Ascension Example: (05h 42m 32s) - Don't use...
Once you've the information entered press (ENTER)

(RA) Right Ascension Example
Step 5:

Enter in the Dec Celestial Coordinates again check the picture above Step 1 as I mention in Step 4 the Coordinates are just an example... This time we are gonna use the (Dec) Declination Example: (+35° 55’ 09”) - Don't use... As Mentioned in Step 4 Once you've the information entered press (ENTER)

(Dec) Declination Example
Step 6:

Assuming you did your alignment before trying to use the RA and Dec the Telescope should start slewing to that RA and Dec you set.

(NOTE): If your alignment is not good don't be surprised if you don't see what you wanted to view, You really need good alignment otherwise you could be off by many degrees.

I highly recommend a Celestron StarSense AutoAlign ONLY! if you Have a Celestron Compatible Telescope, and Have the money and DO NOT have a lot of light pollution And a lot of trees or structure blocking the sky.

Step 4 and Step 5 I think are going to be a bit confusing for some so I'm gonna explain real quick what I mean.

The information I gave for the Example were for Comet 21p however if you wanted to go to them Coordinates I used for this guide 21p isn't gonna be there. But you still can go to that Coordinate. The website will have other objects right now as you read this guide that will have there own RA and Dec times.

This guide was thrown together will work on fixing it up better later.

If this guide has been helpful to you and would like to help me out you can donate to my GoFundMe or help share my GoFundMe!


Matthew Knight

About Me

I started this website to share the universe through my images, I consider myself Amateur astronomer!

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