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Sam

LB's Method for Polar Alignment

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Attached is a series of Slides I've put together to explain how I polar align my scope, it's a follow on from this post: http://stargazerslounge.com/index.php/topic,24661.msg252072.html. I've found this method to be very quick and, so far, very effective. I'm not sure if I've explained it well but hopefully it's pretty logical (it is in my head! :rolleyes:), so feel free to give it a go, let me know how you get on of you have a try.

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I hope the star names are right! but that's why I put Stellarium pictures in there.

cheers

Sam

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You've put effort into this, and thought, i'll definitely give it a try.

Sounds a novel and logical way to do this and easier too.

Proof is in the pudding tho.

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LB YOU are a star, I think this will definitely help me where I have no view of Polaris. Will be giving it a try as soon as these blasted clouds and rain go away !

Karlo

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Well done LB , it gives everyone another option to have a go at.

Though with the present long range weather forecast I would like to have a go at anything.

John

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Lokks pretty intriguing to say the least, when I get mine out again ill give that a try. Normally with the HEQ5 I tend to use polaris as it views right in my view of sight, but to the uninitiated, this also gives an opportunity to chase a few good views whilst learning an art.

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I dont suppose you have worked out any stars for the southern sky have you as I only have that aspect to view currently and could really do with refining my alignment.. this method sounds easy, fast and straightforward..

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Ian,

I picked the stars mentioned because they line up in RA and DEC - so any bright stars to the south would do the trick. The bigger the distance between them the better.

Just checked Stellarium and Antares is on 16h 29m and Komephoros (in Hercules) is 16h 30m - so they could be used. Lining up the RA in the South will get the azimuth sorted but you still need to do the DEC part of it in the east or west to get the Alt right.

Notwithstanding the above and thinking about this a bit more :? if you picked three stars in a line in the DEC ( lets say stars A,B and C are perfectly lined up in Dec to the south - and star B is directly south) and your azimuth was right then you would track perfectly between stars A and C, if you Alt was also bang on then you would track perfectly between stars A, B and C. If your Alt was too high then you would track perfect between A and C but above B, if too low then good between A and C but below B.

:scratch: I suppose then, that you could just as easy us stars A and B, or star B and C. So if tracking between A and B (starting on A) and the track took you above B (only moving the scope along in RA (the left/right one - I only added that because I think I'm confusing myself now! :D )) then the alt must be too high (same for B-C as long as you started on C and tracked back to the left). I think this would be easier as for the three star method as you would need to find star A and C that were the same distance from B - mmmmm might have to test this out next time it's not cloudy! :D

I hope that helps Ian, though there's a bit more for me to work on to refine this process a bit. I'd be quite keen to hear how you get on if you try this method.

cheers

Sam

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Anyone got a level hard pad for their tripod with right angle plates or such to fix the legs into? I'm thinking of building one and doing a good polar align. Hopefully if the latitude setting is correct, all I will have to do in future is plonk the fully extended legs into their place and....aligned! (Am I missing something fundamental here?)

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Hmm... this seems ridiculously simple... I must try it nest time I can actually see anything but clouds. Thanks for sharing.

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LB

Hope you don't mind, but your idea intrigued me so much I went looking for pairs of stars that could be used, and have produced a spreadsheet, which I am attaching for anyone to use if they wish.

No star fainter than 4m0 is included and no star with a declination of 30+S (showing my N hemisphere bias there).

The spreadsheet is in a 'read-only' format, to prevent accidental amendment. Simply use 'save as' to save a writable version if alterations are required.

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Very clever!

Thanks for sharing! :)

Michael

Edited by msinclairinork
Didn't realise the date on this thread!

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Thanks! You might just have saved me £150 for a vixen polar scope.

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Running is exercise for your heart and cardiovascular system. Although it CAN help you burn calories and lose weight, it is not the best. The best related exercise for losing weight is stairclimbing or walking uphill (this walking up stairs)

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how accurate this method is? is it better that drift alignment?

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No idea, bamus but thanks for bumping this thread as I would probably have missed LightBucket's method otherwise. I will probably polar align very quickly and then test it using this trick.

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What a great idea! I've tried drift alignment without much success, so I may well give this a go next time out. Seems to me that it would give you a pretty well spot on alignment in double quick time.

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Very good, I have done this method before and it works very well. I have my scope pointing north. For the first alignment star I loosen the two clutches and manually pan the scope around to a bright star in the west, in the summer time I used Arcturus in the west. Once I had it bang on in the centre of the 15 mm eyepiece using the latitude adjustments aswell I locked the clutches.

Then I'd choose the second star and let the telescope slew to that star. And voila, it would appear in the 32 mm eyepiece, I'd centre it and choose third star and then calibration stars.

I have found that if you repeat the process again you tighten the accuracy.

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Very intriguing, thank you for taking the time to share it.

Could just ask that is this for the finder then? As opposed to a polar scope (which I am having not much luck with).

If I made a real hard go at it, then 60sec exposures sounds exactly what I need.

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Could just ask that is this for the finder then?

You could use a finder Adz, but I'll be using a 25mm EP when I try it (that's as wide as I've got). My finder is much too difficult to look through. If this works, in theory you wouldn't need a polar scope, although I'll be polar aligning using the polar scope first, and refining the alignment by this method.

Like most things, it probably takes a bit of practice, but on the face of it it seems like a great method.

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