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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Telescopes and Astronomy: How GPS Makes It Better

the great galileoEver since time immemorial man has had a fascination with the stars.  The most famous person of astronomy, and greatest stargazer of them all was Galileo. Galileo of Italy lived from 1564 – 1642 making him 78 years old at the time of his death.

This most famous astronomer not only had made major improvements to the telescope and consequential astronomical observations, but was also known as the Father of Science and Physics.

Theres An Explorer in All of Us

Perhaps theres a little bit of Galileo in all of us.  I know that ever since I was a kid that, and even still today, when I look up into the stars there is amazement in my mind. And what is the most famous thing we look for when we look into the heavens?

Yes, the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper.  Then when I was a young boy I got my first telescope.  My amazement became even greater at that point.  Because now I was almost able to reach out and touch the stars.  It was awesome.

Telescopes and Astronomy have come a long way since the time of Galileo.  Even for the home stargazer like us.  Another thing I always thought would be a cool thing to experience would be to go to an observatory.

Super Seeing

And have an opportunity to look out into the Universe and see the Northern Lights up close for example.  With the power of an Observatory telescope this is absolutely possible today. How awesome do you think that would be.  Wow!  

God's Amazing Universe
Bless The Older Way 

Today for the casual or home telescope enthusiast, as well as those entrenched in Science and Physics, telescopes and astronomy have been coupled with the power of the Global Positioning System or GPS.  In this article I will tell you how that makes astronomy better for all of us to enjoy.

Most telescopes today are becoming more and more computerized like everything else.  In themselves you can get one that has very powerful magnification. The older telescopes without GPS are much harder to work with.  Let me explain.

Older telescopes that didn't have any computerization to them, were crude in the way you had to get them fixated on a certain star or planet that you wanted to observe. Once you were able to find the certain planet, for example you wanted to see, even though the magnification of your scope was very good it was difficult to observe because of the rotation of the earth.

You would have to continually adjust for the rotation of earth to be able to stay with your object in the heavens.  Making it difficult to observe.  Then you also had to deal with the shaking of your hands as you move it as well.  

Oh, The Power of The New Way

Enter the newer telescopes with computerization and GPS.  Scopes with GPS are called Go-To telescopes.  These telescopes give you lots of information about the object your viewing.

Such as the name of the object or planet, how many moons it has, the distance, etc..etc.. Mucho amounts of information from one of these telescopes could make your kid ace his or her science class or astronomy project in a matter of minutes, not days or hours.  Very powerful!

Now lets see how the GPS side of this helps us enjoy astronomy so much better. These go-to telescopes are just that.  For example you locate the planet by the GPS that you want to observe.

a goto telescope
Once the GPS finds the planet, you lock on to it by the GPS.  These telescopes are equipped with computer mechanized motors on them.  You simply lock on to the object, focus, and then enjoy.

Because the GPS works with the computer mechanism to compensate for the rotation of the earth.  This means you only have to lock onto the object once. Never again for as long as you want to view it.

The telescope will constantly rotate with the rotation of the earth.  Staying locked on and focused to the object. The only thing you have to do is move with it to keep you eyes looking through the viewfinder.

The Better Way Conclusion

Is that cool or what?  This is how GPS and telescopes together make astronomy much better for us as enthusiasts.  These telescopes can run into the thousands of dollars depending on the power you want.

Here's one with very good quality, and power with a very reasonable price.  Have a look at  Also don't forget Fathers Day is coming up this month....what an awesome gift this would be for Dad.....go here.

Happy stargazing!

Thanks for coming by...


Thank so much for sharing this interesting and reliable review. So glad I drop by reading this post.

way back this gadget serve as an instrument for what we call now science,with regards to the solar system

Thanks for the reminder of Father's Day! My husband is in love with any new gadget that is out on the market. From iPads to GPS watches, he wants them all. How much do telescopes run?

I remember being fascinated with the stars and the moon with my brother, when we were both little. I believe that we can tell a lot about what is going to happen with the world and global warming through the stars and sky.

@ Everybody.......thanks for the comments

I enjoyed reading this post. Very interesting. Great!

We really enjoy looking at the night sky through our telescope and we got some great photos, through the telescope, of the moon. Don't have anything fancy but I would sure love something like Kev was talking about.