Plate Solving: Where Am I?
Of course, a telescope must point to the target accurately. One could rely on GOTO functions of a mount to get to a target. But GOTO is not usually accurate enough for precision object framing. Sequence Generator Pro uses routines that zero in on a target by taking successive pictures, analyzing the stars in the frame to determine just where the scope is pointed, and if it is not where it is supposed to be, moving the scope and repeating the process until it is. Although many imagers refer to the process of aiming the telescope as “plate solving,” that term is most properly applied only to the analysis of the image and determination of the image coordinates and orientation in the sky. Plate solving is only part of the larger process of centering, which includes iterative imaging and telescope movement to correct where a telescope is aimed.