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goodricke1

Aligning the Celestron SE8

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Still getting to grips with my new scope so here's maybe a pretty dumb question: If both the latitude/longitude and date/time information is entered exactly right, shouldn't the scope be able to find its way around the sky without any alignment stars? Thanks.

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If the scope is level and the figures are entered correctly, all that is required is a one-object (one star align or solar system align) to give the scope an initial point of reference and then, yes it can find its way around. The problem is getting the scope PRECISELY level. That is why you add another object so that the scope's computer can work out how far unlevel it is. This of course assumes that you know which objects you are entering. If you do not know what the objects are, (using skyalign) it needs three to work out what you have pointed at, so it can again 'get its bearings'.

HTH

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It needs at least one point of reference because it has no idea which way it is pointing :confused:

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I thought it might be capable of working out where it should point if all coordinates are entered properly... anyway I tried the two-star align last night and no problems, had a fab session :grin:

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Latitude, longitude and time just tell it where and when it is so the computer can calculate the model of where the stars should be, but it has no means to determine which way you put down the tripod :rolleyes:

The SkyPeodigy series use a camera to take pictures of portions of sky and recognise the patterns of stars and determine which way they are facing.

Edited by Dunkster

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The scope really needs to know how level the unit is set, you most likely cannot tell better the =-5 degrees and it needs to be level both forward/back and left/right. I am impressed by how badly I can judge the level of mine. Then it has to have a start direction you might have it pointed north, or you might have it pointed at Arcturus or at Saturn, or the neighbours bedroom. So the scope needs to know this (neighbours bedroom doesn't actually help in the alignment)

A part will depend on what extras are on the scope, GPS etc.

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It's a little annoying that the tripod doesn't have a built-in bubble level, I attached one to the tray but it's so small the accuracy won't be brilliant; isn't one of the legs marked N? I'm sure I read in the manual about how to initially set up the tripod and mount, in theory if it is set correctly (as you might for an EQ, but without the polar alignment) then I would have thought it shouldn't need any star align.

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Tripod legs are not assigned on the SE. The scope will fit onto the tripod in any one of three positions, 120 degrees apart, so a leg labelled 'N' would not help.

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You can set the time/date/long/lat.

That wont do. The scope needs at least one star or planet to know which way it is pointing.

The more points of reference you give it, the more accurate it is, but a single solar sstem point of reference (the moon or a planet)................it will be fine.

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It's a little annoying that the tripod doesn't have a built-in bubble level, I attached one to the tray but it's so small the accuracy won't be brilliant; isn't one of the legs marked N? I'm sure I read in the manual about how to initially set up the tripod and mount, in theory if it is set correctly (as you might for an EQ, but without the polar alignment) then I would have thought it shouldn't need any star align.

I have the supplied bubble level stuck slap bang on the badge where the batteries should go. There is no polar axis (north pointing leg) on the SE scopes.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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