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Meridian Flips – Manual Method (no computers)


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This is not a question, but an answer!

I’m an ordinary amateur astronomer – with a GEM mount, and no computerised tracking. A while ago I was star hopping from Capella to the Andromeda Galaxy (near the meridian at the time) and had paused to image the current view, when the bottom of my telescope collided with the top of the tripod (due to the RA clock drive that was running to facilitate the imaging).

I realised that I needed to do a “Meridian Flip” (move the scope to the other side of the mount), but had no idea how to do it. Searches in Instruction Manuals and on the Internet found nothing of any use at all.

With the help of another enthusiast we figured out a really simple way to do this, and are offering the solution here and now, for free.

Here it is:

Rotate the RA axis through 12 hours (180°). Also rotate the DEC axis from its current reading (D), via the nearest 90° mark, to the same reading (D) on the other side of the 90° mark.

That’s it!

We’ve written a more detailed set of instructions, an explanation of how it works, and how accurately it came out in tests. You can read this at: http://www.steveholmes.net/mflips

If this helps you, please post a reply.


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