Celestron’s Astro Fi line of telescopes represents the next step in computer control and user interface by discarding the familiar tethered hand-controller and instead utilizing an internal antenna to emit a localized Wi-Fi signal so you can control the motorized mounts from an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet running the free SkyPortal app.
Compatible with Android 4.0 and higher and iOS6 and later, the SkyPortal app has a database of over 120,000 objects including 220 of the best deep sky and solar system objects such as:
- Star clusters
- Asteroids and comets
- Satellites – including the International Space Station
In addition to this extensive and comprehensive database, the customized SkyTour will show you the best celestial objects to view based on the day, time, and location.
Using your smart device, the app can simulate the night sky in any location on Earth up to 100 years in the past to see what it looked like on a birthday, wedding, or world event – or to plan a future observing session – and display it on your screen. You can also view hundreds of astronomical photographs and NASA spacecraft images, and listen to more than four hours of audio narration to learn the history, mythology, and science of astronomy and the night sky. The app preserves many of the functions as the old hand controllers with multiple alignment processes for fast set-up, multiple rates to track near and deep sky objects, and slew speeds up 3-degrees per second.
The Astro Fi family of scopes is offered in three optical configurations:
The refractor is ideal for observing the Moon, planets, comets, asteroids, satellites, and bright deep-sky objects. The large reflector easily reaches outside our solar system so you can view star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. For those who want a portable yet powerful scope for observing or astrophotography, the moderately-sized Maksutov represents the best of both worlds.
All three models come with a battery-powered motorized single fork-arm mount, adjustable-height aluminum tripod with rubberized accessory to safely hold smartphones or tablets, two eyepieces, and a StarPointer finder.