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I spent a fair amount of Wednesday afternoon centering my polar scope... Little did I realise that the polar scope requires centering before you even attempt perfect polar alignment. It appears that my AVX has been very forgiving in the fact that in the past I have more or less just got polaris somewhere near the centre of the circle before aligning. However, after watching many YouTube clips on how to centre the polar scope I finally achieved my aim in having the polar scope centered. Last night was my first serious attempt at 'Bang on' polar alignment with a well centered polar scope!!

For some time I've been moaning about having to scramble around on the floor bending my knees and neck looking up for polaris through the polar scope! last night I raised my tripod to almost full extension and managed to look through the polar scope sat comfortably on a picnic chair. I started setting up early so used my compass during the early evening to point north ready for the appearance of polaris... Wow! when Polaris appeared I wasn't far out :-) I rotated the the reticule so the view through the polar scope matched what I could see in the sky with the plough above the centre circle, a quick tweak and 'Bingo' Polaris was spot on where it should be... let the fun begin!!

 

Oops before I did that I freelanced over to the crescent moon situated between two rooftops from my observing location... stunning! I tend to always overlook how wonderful the surface of the moon looks at high mag... Whilst observing using my Starwave 102 and a Vixen NPL 20mm I could see what looked like two bright spots at the top of the crescent like tiny stars. On closer observation I figure these must of been a couple of mountain tops caught in the sunlight... That was amazing, would lover to know the name of those peaks!

Here is my list of targets bagged using a combination of a Celestron 32mm, Vixen NPL 20mm, Meade 12 & 18mm, a trusty BST 8mm and for Jupiter a blue filter.

                Jupiter, M5, Epsilon Lyrae 1,2, Zeta Lyrae, Xi Bo, Theta 2 Can, Tegman, Kappa Bo (Loved this) Iota Cancer, Graffias, Delta Serpens, Theta Serpens, Algieba (Leo) Coma Star Cluster Melotte 111

Toward the end of the session I practised entering the RA & Dec into the handset, hitting targets pretty much bang on (very pleasing)... Although when referencing the 'Double Stars for small telescopes' book by Sissy Haas the coordinates given are not as long in numbers as the ones on the handset... I still hit the targets bang on though so was delighted. 

Nicks Tips No 5 - Throwing a blanket over the washing line to create a dark space removing a cluster of 3 streetlights 100m away over the neighbours fence... Genius! 

 

 

 

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Great report and glad you got it sorted.

One tip from me to make viewing through the polar scope a little easier would be to spin your tripod so the single leg faces North.  This opens the back up for you to fit a bit easier under the scope without the single leg in the way.  Just move the alt-az dowel in the tripod head to the other side, then turn the tripod round.

As Geof says, lovely inscription in the compass.

Edited by RayD
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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TS-Optics-90-Right-angle-finder-for-SkyWatcher-Celestron-Polar-Finder-PFZS/392014066588?epid=1363461065&hash=item5b45dbf39c:g:YnAAAOSwXeJYCFge

I got something similar to this way cheaper much easier to polar align no matter how low the tripod is, I got it because I have arthritis in my spine so cannot bend down.

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9 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TS-Optics-90-Right-angle-finder-for-SkyWatcher-Celestron-Polar-Finder-PFZS/392014066588?epid=1363461065&hash=item5b45dbf39c:g:YnAAAOSwXeJYCFge

I got something similar to this way cheaper much easier to polar align no matter how low the tripod is, I got it because I have arthritis in my spine so cannot bend down.

What a great idea that.  I wish I knew about them when I was using my polar scope!

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1 hour ago, wookie1965 said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TS-Optics-90-Right-angle-finder-for-SkyWatcher-Celestron-Polar-Finder-PFZS/392014066588?epid=1363461065&hash=item5b45dbf39c:g:YnAAAOSwXeJYCFge

I got something similar to this way cheaper much easier to polar align no matter how low the tripod is, I got it because I have arthritis in my spine so cannot bend down.

I've been looking at those and am in the research phase of making my own... after last night I might try to repeat my success without it for now. I have rubbish knees and stiff neck so feel for you with the arthritis bloke...

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2 hours ago, RayD said:

One tip from me to make viewing through the polar scope a little easier would be to spin your tripod so the single leg faces North.  This opens the back up for you to fit a bit easier under the scope without the single leg in the way.  Just move the alt-az dowel in the tripod head to the other side, then turn the tripod round.

Great point I forgot that, I think my old Skywatcher EQ5 had N marked on the mount? Anyway, it's great to get tips, such as yours and the simple blanket on the washing line... it all helps for a good night

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1 minute ago, Patbloke said:

Great point I forgot that, I think my old Skywatcher EQ5 had N marked on the mount? Anyway, it's great to get tips, such as yours and the simple blanket on the washing line... it all helps for a good night

Yes I think you're right, some do, Pat.

Good nights under the stars is what it's all about, and what a satisfying hobby when that happens.

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1 hour ago, Patbloke said:

Great point I forgot that, I think my old Skywatcher EQ5 had N marked on the mount? Anyway, it's great to get tips, such as yours and the simple blanket on the washing line... it all helps for a good night

My EQ5 has a N on one of the legs.

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