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Hey all, just wondering what the best alignment is when using a celestron nexstar8se, we have had the scope for a few months but we are really starting to appreciate it now, what is the best alignment process to use, there seems to be a decent choice, auto 2 start, one start, solar system sky align, many thanks in advance,    Pete

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Make life really easy - get a Starsense.

In the UK when we often only get 40 minutes between the clouds, why waste 10 minutes on alignment? Having already carefully calibrated the camera and added additional alignment points; I click on <align>; insert date/time (location is retained) and by the time I have brought out the rest of my eyepieces and kit (two minutes) I am auto-aligned. I get fantastic goto results.

OK,  I 100% accept the argument that a better prior investment is a couple of decent EP'S.  But your question was specific about the best way to achieve alignment!

 

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On 9/11/2016 at 21:35, noah4x4 said:

Make life really easy - get a Starsense.

In the UK when we often only get 40 minutes between the clouds, why waste 10 minutes on alignment? Having already carefully calibrated the camera and added additional alignment points; I click on <align>; insert date/time (location is retained) and by the time I have brought out the rest of my eyepieces and kit (two minutes) I am auto-aligned. I get fantastic goto results.

OK,  I 100% accept the argument that a better prior investment is a couple of decent EP'S.  But your question was specific about the best way to achieve alignment!

 

Why blow £270? after a few goes it literally only takes 5mins tops anyway :icon_biggrin:.

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34 minutes ago, MARS1960 said:

Why blow £270? after a few goes it literally only takes 5mins tops anyway :icon_biggrin:.

Why buy a Jaguar when a Fiat will get you there? Why buy a Sat-Nav when a map will do? Why buy a pen when you can scratch the route in the dirt? I did say that I fully accept an argument that a couple of quality EP'S  is a far better PRIOR buy if cost is an issue. But the question was what is THE best way of achieving alignment. Cost wasn't necessarily a qualifying criteria, so why limit the discussion to the "free" inbuilt options?

Indeed, why buy a  GoTo telescope? Why buy an Evolution with WiFi? Why buy a GPS module?  Why buy an improved micro-focuser? These are simply technology advances. You can enjoy astronomy without any accessories,  but if money isn't an issue, why not invest in additional stuff like Starsense to make life easier/ better?

It seems to me that Starsense is typically maligned by those that don't have it and loved by those that do. Currently, most people will buy it ONLY after becoming frustrated by the fussy challenges of other alignment methods. It will be very interesting to see if the automatic bundling of Starsense will assist sales of the Edge HD Evolution or if the added inclusive cost is a deterrent. Frankly, I think Celestron have been quite clever by positioning this particular bundle to appeal to the "Jaguar" owner market (n.b other prestigious cars are available). Having bought a standard Evo' 8, I won't be upgrading to Edge HD optics, but think Starsense is so good I bought a second for my 'grab & go' NextStar SE4 scope. Extravagant? Yep!

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  • 2 weeks later...

A lot depends on what you are viewing.  For instance if it is the Moon then you don't really need to do more than have the correct location, time and date.  And if you are not likely to move around the sky much then a one star align will be sufficient.  If you are imaging then that might also work unless you are searching for a faint object.  You could also use the planets if they are visible but beware of using Mars though that isn't likely this year.  When I used it once with the Celestron 6SE it seemed to mistake it for Betelgeuse!

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18 hours ago, CSM said:

A lot depends on what you are viewing.  For instance if it is the Moon then you don't really need to do more than have the correct location, time and date.  And if you are not likely to move around the sky much then a one star align will be sufficient.  If you are imaging then that might also work unless you are searching for a faint object.  You could also use the planets if they are visible but beware of using Mars though that isn't likely this year.  When I used it once with the Celestron 6SE it seemed to mistake it for Betelgeuse!

Mars is also a bit of an enigma with Starsense.

Often the most prominent object in the sky when viewed by the naked eye, Mars initially drove me nuts until I realised all my other GoTo's were also 15 degrees out as I had overlooked daylight saving time. My misfortune was taking delivery of Starsense the day before DST changed!  Once time was corrected, Starsense alignment then gotos plonked Saturn, Mars and everything else smack in my FOV. Then in a matter of about a week, Mars had sulked off, yet all my other targets were bang on. More frustration until I worked it out. I am advised it's the result of the unusual retrograde motion of Mars, but it seems odd to me we can remotely and accurately land a probe on Mars but can't auto-find it in an eyepiece.

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An up to date GoTo system would account for a planet's apparent retrograde motion in our skies so I don't buy that that is the reason it wasn't targeted.  Kepler could figure it out.  I would have thought another reason is more likely.

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