The Scope Control view lets you connect to, disconnect from,
slew, or align your telescope to any object in the database.

Scope Control View

The Scope Control view is used to connect to your telescope and control it remotely. By default, SkySafari's telescope control uses a the Demo interface. This is a dummy virtual telescope that lets you to use the controls without having a real scope connected. To connect to a real telescope, choose the telescope type and communication parameters in the Scope Setup settings view.

The Scope Control view displays the name of the scope's current target object, the scope's right ascension and declination, a motion rate slider. To the right are directional arrow buttons for moving the scope while it is connected.

Connect: This button establishes a connection with your telescope. If a SkyWire serial accessory is connected to your iPhone, iPad, or iPad Touch, then SkySafari will use SkyWire for telescope communication. Otherwise, SkySafari will use Wi-Fi for wireless telescope communication.

Once you've connected, this button's title will change to "Disconnect"; tapping it will end your telescope control session.

Before tapping the Connect button, make sure you've selected the correct telescope type and communication options in the Settings. Make sure the scope is powered on, and any necessary alignment procedures are completed. Consult your telescope manual for details on the scope's alignment procedure.

After connecting, the sky chart is centered where SkySafari thinks the scope is pointing. If you are using your iPhone's compass or altimeter to center the sky chart, these items will be turned off. The sky chart cannot be centered on the telescope's position, and centered on the coordinates reported by the compass/altimeter, at the same time.

GoTo/Stop: This button issues a "GoTo" command to your telescope, which will physically slew it to the coordinates of the currently-selected object in the sky chart. To select an object in the sky chart, tap on it, or use the Search view.

While a GoTo is in progress, this button's title changes to "Stop", and pressing it will issue a command to stop the currently-in-progress GoTo. You can use this as an "emergency stop" if the telescope is in danger of hitting something, or if you have accidentally slewed to the wrong object.

Note that not all telescopes support GoTo commands, and that you cannot GoTo an object which is below the horizon.

Align: This synchronizes the scope to coordinates of the selected object. The bullseye indicated in the sky chart shows where the telescope thinks it is pointing. If that appears incorrect, the scope and the software must be aligned. To do so:

You can re-align the scope and the software anytime there is a discrepancy between the two.

Note: for Celestron NexStar and Orion/SkyWatcher SynScan telescope controllers, tapping the Align button stores the offset between the telescope's reported position and the selected object's position. It subtracts that offset from the telescope's reported position whenever the telescope is within 10 degrees of the object you Aligned on. In other words, SkySafari performs a "local sync" around the alignment target. If you move the telescope to a very different part of the sky, you may want to Align on a target in that part of the sky. Also note that the telescope's RA/Dec reported by SkySafari will differ from the RA/Dec reported by its hand controller (since SkySafari is applying the alignment offset to the telescope's reported position.)

Note: for encoder-based "Push-To" systems, like the Tangent Instruments BBox, Celestron Astro-Master, JMI NGC-MAX, and Orion Intelliscope, SkySafari now lets you perform a 2-star alignment. This eliminates the need to level your telescope mount base. Simply set up your telescope, point it at the first alignment star, select that star in SkySafari, and tap "align". Repeat the process with a second alignment star, but when given the option, align on that star as the "Second Star". Your encoders should now be aligned to the sky. You can continue to align on additional second stars; but SkySafari only uses the two you most recently aligned on. Make sure your two alignment stars are at least 10 degrees apart; 90 degrees apart is ideal. SkySafari will warn you if your alignment stars are too close together, or if their positions don't match - for example, if you've accidentally selected the wrong alignment star in SkySafari, or you're not really pointing the telescope at that star in the sky.

SkySafari remembers the telescope's alignment until you quit the app, so you should not have to realign if you disconnect (or are accidentally disconnected) from the encoder control box. However, if you accidentally kick the telescope mount, or otherwise destroy your alignment, you can realign without having to quit SkySafari. To start over, point the telescope at a star, select the same star in SkySafari, and tap Align. When given the option, align on the star as the "First Star". That will reset SkySafari's alignment process and start it over with the star you just selected.

Lock/Unlock: Tapping this button keeps the sky chart centered on the telescope's position. Moving the telescope will cause the sky chart to move as well, following the telescope's motion.

If you are using your iPhone's compass or altimeter to center the sky chart, these items will be turned off when you tap the Lock button. The sky chart cannot be centered on the telescope's position, and centered on the coordinates reported by the compass/altimeter, at the same time.