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Alignment


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Just curious. As I've just got a new scope, I know how to polar align it. However i don't have a garden or yard to set it up in so everytime is going to be different. Im wanting to look at venus this evening however I don't think polaris will be around at that time as there maybe some sun light pollution. So is it possible to actually align during the early evening or is it a wild guess?

Thanks

Sam

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It is possible to polar align when you can't see polaris, but it's a bit long-winded.  If you are only doing visual observing and not imaging then simply level your mount with a spirit level, adjust the lattitude bolt to your locations (52 degrees for me in the midlands) and use a compas to point the North leg in the right direction.  If you don't have a spirit level and compass then just guess, it's not critical for visual, just means that you will be doing a bit of extra knob-twiddling whilst tracking your targets.

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If you don't have a compass you can can work it out, as you will be looking to the west (roughly) you can roughly guess your north/south bearing use the same routine to align your scope, I use the brightest part of the suns glow on the horizon rather than the planet, make sure you set up at least 30mins before to let your scope acclimatise. I used to like to check how far out I was but I am a geek. Hope this helps

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I'll be doing whatever it takes to kee o going with this. Theres alot to learn and its best getting comfortable with the bits I know and then as I learn more get comfortable with those as well. I've only used the scope once to view the moon which was amazing as I've never seen such a thing in such detail with my own eyes before. So im going to locate venus and give that a go aswell. Hopefully it'll be as impressive as the moon :)

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I am afraid you won't see any detail on Venus as it is covered in highly reflective clouds so appears very bright, but what you will see is that it has phases just like the moon, which is pretty impressive I think.

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I managed to get a view of venus however came to the realisation that my mount is far to unstable to be able to focus properly and settle down. So im going to keep to larger objects until money randomly comes my way :) I was pretty impressed with what I saw but it was pretty much a small dot and I could make out how much of it was being shone on by the sun :)

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Thanks Porky, I'll do just that. This hobby seems to have a million questions that need answering when you come to it. Thanks alot for your help!

Sam

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You're dead right there Sam! Spot on!

I think I said somewhere on another thread " the more I learn the more I realise just how little I know!".. but one of the great things about astronomy is that nearly all of the learning is pleasureable and putting what you've learned into practise is so rewarding leaving you wanting more of the same.

Glad you got to see Venus and plan to keep at it.

Kind regards

Roger (Geek/Anorak)

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Yeah tell me about it. I managed to get to see jupiter as well last night however I wasn't able to focus properly and I couldnonly make out one moon. The tripod I have isn't sturdy enough really but im going to battle on and get the best out of what I have!

Sam

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Yeah tell me about it. I managed to get to see jupiter as well last night however I wasn't able to focus properly and I couldnonly make out one moon. The tripod I have isn't sturdy enough really but im going to battle on and get the best out of what I have!

Sam

I love it!!!

I got into astronomy cuz me wonderfully daft brother in law once dragged me out of his kitchen one night where we had been sampling - one after the other - the delights of the beers of Burton upon Trent to show me Jupiter and all 4 of its big visible moons through his miniscule refractor scope which he had set up atop his wheelie bin........

I was gob-smacked and have remained ever since ..... which all goes to show that you can heve yer beer and drink it too - just as long as there's somebody mad enough to point you in the right direction!!!!!!!!!

May you continue to enjoy what the sky (when it's visible) has to offer. You really DON'T need a 16" Newtonian on a DOB mount or - even worse - with GOTO - to be enthralled with what's out there.

Mega mate!

Kind regards

Roger

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Well Roger I got into this because the missus decided to get a star named after me for our anniversary so I started a bit of reading and then my brother randomly started talking about his mate who's just bought a 10" meade scope and has one for sale so I thought well I may as well give this a go and let the inner geek loose and I've cone to the conclusion that it's the best thing I could have stumbled on since I needed a hobby and the steps that led up to it must have been signs. My original thought was the missus wanted me to be at the centre of her solar system hence she had the sun of the planet which she hails from named after me which is pretty romantic, not quite sure if we'll emigrate there though :)

Sam

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Just have to say, as a newbie, I could not find much before I got my goto.

May even have given up without it.

The comment about goto was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and I certainly can understand your frustration as a newbie prior to getting the goto. There really is so much to learn and so little available good seeing that without help the task can be very daunting indeed. I will eventually upgrade to goto myself but want to be truly proficient with my modest equipment and have a better and more detailed knowledge of what exactly there is out there in the heavens before I take that step. In my case I found that the more I read the more my motivation was tweaked and by joining a local group of astroheads I was able to get hands-on assisstance with observing in the field. Taking Stellarium out into the field on my ipad was also a great help for finding those illusive targets. Also SGL answered a multitude of questions I was faced with and putting all that together with a selection of quality books and maps I feel more and more confident - as has been said so often, all we need now are clear skies !!!!!!

I'm glad you didn't give up Kropster.

Kind regards

Roger

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Well Roger I got into this because the missus decided to get a star named after me for our anniversary so I started a bit of reading and then my brother randomly started talking about his mate who's just bought a 10" meade scope and has one for sale so I thought well I may as well give this a go and let the inner geek loose and I've cone to the conclusion that it's the best thing I could have stumbled on since I needed a hobby and the steps that led up to it must have been signs. My original thought was the missus wanted me to be at the centre of her solar system hence she had the sun of the planet which she hails from named after me which is pretty romantic, not quite sure if we'll emigrate there though :)

Sam

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What a really sweet thing for the missus to do for your anniversary - that's so romantic, bet you were gobsmacked!

Do let's have it's details/coordinates so we can all have a peek!

Still, if it was the missus who set you off on the astro trip she can hardly complain when you need to upgrade that scope.....

Kind regards

Roger

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