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BenConway

Polar Alignment - How can you do polar alignment?

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Hi there, may seem like a basic question but how do you do polar alignment? I know you have to align it with polaris but any other stars also how do you adjust the evalation of the equatorial mount, thanks.

Ben

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Simplistically, you align the mount due north and then set the angle of the polar axis to equal your latitude. There are adjustment bolts on both axis of a modern mount so that you can do this with considerable accuracy. There are various methods you can use, the polarscope being one of the most common. This is a small telescope that is built inside the polar axis and has a circle marked on a reticule within it - you adjust the mount until Polaris is inside the circle, having first rotated the polar axis/polar scope to the correct position for your current date and time.

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What Bizibider typed, but i would suggest you do it with noting on the mount for the first setting up, this makes it easier to get it roughly where it need to be, also take note of where your tripod feet sit, mark these spots so you won't have to PA every time you set-up, i have 3 small holes in the patio slabs, for viewing its doesn't need to be spot on, just close, if your going to take imagines, then it does need to be accurate.....

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PA is Polar Alignment and "parking" is the "starting" position for your scope, normally pointing to the NCP (North Celestial Pole - which is near Polaris). This is also sometimes called the Home Position.

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I wouldn't have though you need worry about PA with an LX200GPS 12" as it's on an AZ fork mount surely ?

Steve.

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Try this . The guy is a little manic, but it's all good information

But this ONLY applies to an EQ or Equatorial mount.

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Try this . The guy is a little manic, but it's all good information

This Manic guys just maybe read your post , he uses this forum :grin:

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Good job he's doesn't know where Port Talbot is then. :rolleyes:

BTW, just did all 6 of the telescope basics vids. they are very very good, in fact , I'll go as far as say, excellent.

Nice one Mr Fuller (he does seem to b a very nice man)

Andy

51°35'25.98"N and 3°47'54.92"W (just next to the roundabout) :grin:

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I agree, Steve. So he claims to be very knowledgeable in the field of astronomy...that means he can't ask questions? Even ones that seem simple to other members? Hey guys, he's young and still learning so give him a break, please? After all, that's what this community is here for - to help each other, not to make judgement on any one member due to his (lack of) knowledge level.

Go on, Ben, ask away :laugh:

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:evil6: Now then, let's just move on eh? :D

Fair enough , I accept the wrist slapping . . . :rolleyes:

I'd be the first to admit that I joined here in order to further my knowledge of the wonderful world of astronomy , but if I had made such sweeping statements in my profile before asking for advice I would have to accept any mildly sarcastic comments that came my way . . . .

Steve.

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Try this . The guy is a little manic, but it's all good information

But this ONLY applies to an EQ or Equatorial mount.

That's a great video :D Very well put together and shows a great way of getting a polar alignment good enough for visual observing when your mount doesn't have an integrated polarscope.

A couple of extra points to note if you want greater accuracy of polar alignment (e.g. for imaging). Remember you are aligning the mount, not the telescope. Also the true celestial pole is not the star Polaris but a point in the sky about 3/4° away from it, in the direction of Kochab. (Google Kochab clock). 3/4° doesn't sound like much but is the whole field of a mid power eyepiece, so when the mount is accurately polar aligned and the telescope is in the home position on the mount, you probably won't be able to see Polaris through the eyepiece.

I have my tripods set so I have a North leading leg rather than South. This makes it a bit easier to see up through a polarscope without a leg in the way but otherwise is just the same.

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