Jump to content




Aligning the scope (Nexstar 4SE)

Recommended Posts



I've had my telescope for a couple of months now and I still didn't get the chance to try the sky align option, I watched some video and tried aligning my scope many times but it never seemed to work. I only use it to watch the moon and I have to manually move it every minute or so because it keeps getting out of frame, how can I set it to track the moon on its own? I wanted to see Saturn a month or two back but I couldn't do it, I'm planning on trying again tomorrow as I'll know where it'll be in relation to the moon and mercury. Any tips you can give me? I really want to see Saturn. (Also, will my 25mm eye piece that came with the telescope work to see Saturn?)


Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find with my 8se, same operating system, that a 2 star alignment is the most reliable. The Moon is the hardest object for a GOTO to find due to the Moon's complex motions. There is also a lunar rate function on the handset, the Moon moves in the opposite direction to the stars.  :icon_biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not hard to use the Nexstar system but it can be a bit of a learning curve. First, read the manual. Then take some time to work through the options till you see what's what. Make sure you have entered the time, latitude and longitude in the format required by the handset.

You don't have to use the sky align. There are several alignment options - if you just want to look at the Moon or a bright planet then select Solar System Align and select the thing you want to observe as the alignment object and aim the telescope at it and complete the alignment. The mount will now track. And if you leveled the mount and performed the alignment with sufficient accuracy, it will also find other objects for you.

I fear you have lost your chance to see Saturn for the next several months as it is now lost in the sunset.  You probably want a higher powered eyepiece for Saturn. Check what is recommended and then look for a good quality Plossl (e.g. a Celestron Omni) of the appropriate focal length.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point of the Nexstar Skyalign is that you do not need to know what the three bright stars are. The software will figure it out. A two-star align is less work but you then need to know the names of the stars you are using.  No initial position is required.

Edited by Cosmic Geoff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 19/11/2017 at 14:57, Peter Drew said:

There is also a lunar rate function on the handset, the Moon moves in the opposite direction to the stars.  :icon_biggrin:

Are you sure about this?...it moves on a different plane but not opposite..never seen it going backwards..the motion of the stars is because of the earth spin....motion of the moon is also because of the earths spin combined with its own orbit of the earth..but never backwards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, newbie alert said:

Are you sure about this?...it moves on a different plane but not opposite..never seen it going backwards..the motion of the stars is because of the earth spin....motion of the moon is also because of the earths spin combined with its own orbit of the earth..but never backwards

Lunar rate is slightly slower than sidereal rate. If you observe the moon over a period of time you will notice that the stars are moving faster so it appears that the moon is going backwards.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cornelius Varley said:

Lunar rate is slightly slower than sidereal rate. If you observe the moon over a period of time you will notice that the stars are moving faster so it appears that the moon is going backwards.

Sorry but can't say is noticed..stars move because of earth rotation..sidereal rate..but moon is also effected by this sidereal rate..i can see that the moon is in a different position especially leading up to full moon phase  but always tracks across the sky east ish to west..

So yeah I can see it's at a slightly slower rate but backwards might be the wrong term to use

Edited by newbie alert
Added info
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By NorthernAstro
      Hello there,
      My synscan V3 handset is having issues in the goto settings, for example, it may be over 10 degrees out in azimuth and a few degrees out by altitude. For troubleshooting purposes and to save you from asking unnecessary questions, I have tried different locations and made comparisons, I have also tested multiple different targets. My location, date and time are also correct and to make sure, I have tried different variables to see if there is a difference but there is not, the handset is still out. I should also let you know that the difference between the real value and H.C. Value is not fixed and does vary. Help would be greatly appreciated as this has really puzzled me. I have updated the firmware and went to older versions - same issue. I have searched for this topic on the likes of YouTube and other forums and cannot find some information. Fingers crossed one of you can help me with this. 
      Thank you,
    • By Cloudberry
      Last week I've finally got my Opticron Oregon 15x70 binoculars repaired - they've been collecting dust since March when they took a graceful fall from the tripod. So when the skies opened up yesterday night I was ready - binos on the tripod, window open, sky chart and sketch book at hand.
      And let me tell you - this was one of my best stargazing sessions. What I expected to be a quick glance at the night sky turned into a mind-blowing exploration of the outer Solar System, which until now I've only seen with naked eyes.
      I'm listing the observations below along with the sketch that I made while observing. And by the way, all the underlined words are links, with extra info. Alright, let's get going!
      I saw it as soon as I opened my window - it was hanging in Aquarius, appallingly bright and very physically present. Two things really struck me when looking at it "zoomed in".
      First, I saw four little white dots forming a horizonal line on both sides of Jupiter, as if piercing it. From left to right these were: Europa, Ganimede, Io and Callisto. The first two were both affected by Jupiter's brightness, Ganimede still prominent, being the biggest one of the bunch, and Europa only visible with eyes squinted. 
      And second was that Jupiter was a circle. Up until now all space objects (excluding Sun, Moon and hazy dispersed things) looked like dots to me. Even the bright-red Mars looked like a dot, but Jupiter had a white-yellowish body with an outline! I tell you, I really took my time eyeing this little 140 000km wide circle.
      A little to the East from Jupiter, in Capricornus, was another little dot, which to my absolute bamboozlement resolved into a disk in my binoculars. Like a little sandy-brown UFO it hung among the stars, mesmerising and enchanting. 15x magnification didn't show  me neither the moons of Saturn, nor the separated rings with their coveted Cassini division. But the joined outline of the planet with it's rings looked like what it's meant to be - a planet with rings. And I don't think I will ever forget this celestial pictogram.
      After checking Neptune's visual magnitude, which is 7.9, I started star-hopping left from Jupiter: σ Aqr -> Hydor -> φ Aqr -> 96 Aqr. From there I leaped to three YBS(HR) catalogue stars that were poking right into Neptune. 
      Visually, it was a simple dim dot, akin to myriads of stars that don't have a proper name. But don't get an impression that I was disappointed - I was actually stoked to see it, given that it is the furthest planet from Earth visible with my astronomical equipment. I was however surprised that it lacked colour, which I expected to be much more blue. It was instead white, with a veeeery subtle blue tinge. So subtle in fact, that I would've probably mistaken it for a star if I focused on it by chance. Still, I was happy that I have finally met my childhood's favourite planet, the big blue one. 
      Now this one was a real challenge.
      First, the Moon's yellow waning crescent was quite close to Uranus. It was not as bright as a full Moon, but still somewhat blinding through the binos. Second, Uranus was hanging at a low altitude, where the sky was yellow from city lights. Third, it was by then 4AM and the sun was about to peek above the horizon - it was only two weeks since summer solstice. And the cherry on the cake - noctilucent clouds were scattered all over Aries, where Uranus was located. I was also quite sleepy, but decided to give it a go nevertheless. 
      I tried star hopping eastwards from the Moon, but soon figured out it's really hard to do when you only see one star. So this idea was scrapped. Then I zoomed in on Uranus in the SkySafari app on my phone (no, they don't pay me), used the accelerometer mode to estimate the planet's position in the sky and pointed my binoculars roughly in that direction.
      And now for the good part. In-between noctilucent clouds I somehow noticed a vertical pair of stars: π Ari (below) and 40 Ari (above). They were both at least of apparent magnitude of +5 , which was well within the capability of my 70mm binos, but because of the sky brightness, the stars looked extremely dim. Nevertheless, left of these two I spotted another couple, also vertical and sitting closer to each other: ρ2 and ρ3 Ari. And finally, after getting a reference from the app, I made a leap of faith to the right and there it was - Uranus, with ο Ari sitting just right from it.
      To say I was happy to see the 7th planet would be an understatement. The planet and ο Ari have the same m of ~5.8, but Uranus stood out from the surrounding stars due to it's colder hue.
      But after the whole ordeal, I was not as much affected by the looks of Uranus, as I was by the peaceful perfection of the entire view before me.
      In dawning summer skies, covered with ethereal noctilucent clouds, all planets of the outer Solar System lay in front of me, embodying the boundary between Us and the vast Nothing of the Universe. The birds were welcoming the rising sun and I could finally go bed, feeling so at home here, next to our ☉

      I say all planets of the outer Solar System because Pluto was also there, next to Saturn. Though it's m was +14.3, so I'll have to write about it some other time.
      That night all of the outer planets were aligned in what people call a planet parade.
      You might have noticed the Andromeda Galaxy on my sketch. I observed it too, however the viewing conditions were entirely against anything DSO-related, so it's a topic for another write-up.😉
    • By chrobakx
      I'm selling my beloved Celestron Astromaster 130eq tube only with 3d printed low profile focuser designed for prime focus for DSLR cameras and original focuser(you don't need any extra fitting to put it back), 20 mm erected eyepiece, red dot finder and manuals for tube and red dot finder(it has new battery).
      It's a good telescope for beginners. Good for viewing moon, planets and DSO objects.
      Price: £75
      ReflectorAperture:130mm (5.11")
      Focal Length:650mm (25.6")
      Focal Ratio:f/5
      Focal Length of Eyepiece 1:20mm (.78") with built-in erect image correctorMagnification of Eyepiece 1:33x
      The primary mirror is clean, no dents on tube, few scratches on dovetail from the use.
      I don't have the original box for it.
      Collection only from Sapcote, Leicestershire.
      Payments: cash or PaPyal - family and friends

    • By Arshad Wali Muhammad
      I need reviews on Celestron CGX L. Is it a good mount ? My scope is Celestron cpc EdgeHD 1100. 
      reliabilty ?
      disconnetions ?
      tracking ? 
      My current mount is Celestron Alt Azm Mount and  I have all my accessories from Celestron like focus motor, Starsense, Skyportal, All Star Polar. Allignment etc, these have made my life very easy. Else I do have option to buy ioptron CEM70 but I’m not familiar with the product but most of my Celestron accessories which can be connected to CGXL will go in waste. 
      Secondly how important is the GPS that I will have to buy separately because CGXL doesn’t have built in. 

      Thirdly I can buy CGXL without mount. Is there any way I can fit this on to my current Alt Azm Mount? Or Pier. I can easily save 1100 USD. 
      Right now my Telescope is fitted on the Alt Azm Mount and giving me lots of disconnections on WiFi. That’s the problems I am facing. If it’s no more in new CGX L I would go for it. 
      im confused. 
    • By Aneko1991
      Hi, I want a telescope and my budget is between 370$ -740$(I want something with a zoom as good as it s possible for this budget). Can you help me to chose one ?
      (buy in the EU)
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.