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Polaris and latitude


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From reading guides how to polar align a scope i was under the impression that when the latitude is set to your location and pointed north you would be polar aligned more or less. Tonight i aligned my scope to Polaris and the latitude on my dial was 60+ degrees not the 52 degrees that i am located at. Also i'm confused to what dials i should be adjusting when i am polar aligned. For example i'm looking for the Orion Nebula what should i be adjusting ??? Sorry for these basic questions but i'm totally confused on how Polar Aligning works to see objects other that Polaris.

Mike

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Is your mount level ?

as that may explain some error in latitude,

JJ..

Will double check that tomorrow but i'm more concerned about what i need to adjust after polar alignment. For example the orion nebula is a lot lower in the sky than polaris so surely im adjusting the latitude scale to see this ??? If so whats the point in setting this to your latitude in the first place if it has to be adjusted each time you want to lock on something???

Mike

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Once you have polar aligned you don't want to touch the Alt/Az screws or even nudge the tripod! Otherwise you would have to do it again.

To move the scope around; unlock the RA/DEC Clutches and move the scope around until you find your target, then lock them and use the slow motion controls to center your target.

If you have a rough polar alignment all that will then be needed to keep the object in the eye piece will be adjustments in one direction on the RA slow motion control.

HTH

Michael

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Position your tripod so that the North leg is facing North, check that your mount is level, set your latitude to whatever your latitude is. That should be sufficient to start visual observations, if you are manually tracking objects. Once set up you should only need to operate the RA and DEC. Locate an object, and if you are well aligned you should be able to track using just RA, with occasional tweeks of DEC maybe.

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Thanks Guys, Great information. So i can manually move the RA and then let the motor track the object for me. Think i might have an issue with the motor on my Celestron Astromaster 130EQ-MD as when i was testing it last night the motor was on but it wasn't moving anything. The RA should be moving with the motor switched on ?

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Do remember that the RA motor will not appear to move as it goes at the same rate as Earths rotation (but in the opposite direction). So you won't actually see it moving cos it's so slow.

To test this you can locate an object and look in the eye piece with the motor off. The rate at which your object moves across the eyepiece is the tracking rate of the motor. You'll only have to turn the RA slo mo control very slightly to keep up with it :D

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Don't rely on your mounts latitude scale being correct, it probably isn't. A wixey, or a quality Inclinometer is a better tool. You won't even need those either, if you drift align your mount.

Don't be too particualr if you are merely going to be observing, but imaging is a different ball game, and accurate alignment is very necessary.

Ron.

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I had the same problem last night, the first time for a proper alignment with the NEQ6. With the tripod level I aligned and found that instead of 52 I was on 48, anyway carried on and done a three star align and all targets came up centre of the EP.

Jim

Edited by The Sailor
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This is why i use the Skywatcher AZ4-2 Alt-Az mount for visual viewing as it comes with none of these problems/glitches, obviously you want a equatorial mount if you are into AstroPhotography, but for observation only a Alt-Az is simple but effective.

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Thanks Guys

I balanced the scope properly and had a play around with the R.A and Dec dials and can see how i could point in any direction without moving the Latitude setting. Previously to point at different objects at different heights i was adjusting the latitude dial constantly. So now its polar align and adjust RA and DEC only. Thanks again. What a brilliant forum this is.

Mike

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