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  1. #1
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    Default How do you line up a scope without polaris?



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    I can do the three star alignment on my mount but when I stack pictures things don't line up. I'm also not really sure my latitude is adjusted properly. The scope should be dead center on polaris without moving ra or dec yes?

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    What scope do you have? Odds are if you are doing a 3 star alignment. You have an ALT-AZ mount which doesn't care about polaris.. But you will get rotation in your objects because ALT-AZ scopes don't track with the earths rotation that are a simple up-down, left-left right relative to the ground. This is one of the reasons they are no ideal for long exposure AP.

    Some stacking software should deal with this though the edges of the frame will never match only the center area of the images.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    3 star align is also an alignment option on my sysnscan eq6.

    Polaris is not at the north celestial pole, it's almost 3/4 of a degree away. The polar axis is in fact moving. There is a steady drift over time as well a circular motion (Chandler's wobble).

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    What scope do you have?
    It is a C6 SGT with CG-5GT mount. I don't care so much about the edges of the frame. What software do you use and what options to select for correcting alignment?

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    You have 2 options to do this if your celestron handset does not give you the option of an All Star Polar Alignment - not sure the one you have does. I am under the impression that your hand controller can be flash upgraded to allow this. Check that out first.
    1.Use drift Alignment - easier and quicker with PHD guiding software and a guide camera
    2.Use a computer and a piece of software called Alignmaster (around $18 to buy, free to try)

    Each method will get you to within a couple of arc minutes or better of the pole well inside 10 minutes and the remaining errors can be auto guided out in medium length exposures (3-7 minute subs). Method 2 needs you to be able to control your mount with a computer via the ASCOM driver on RS232.
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  8. #6
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    On the CG5-GT..
    You want to do a two star alignment with at least 2-3 added calibration stars.


    THEN..
    GOTO a named star not too close to the zenith.. ( This time of year Arcturus, Spica, or Regulas are good choices
    After choosing a star.. go back to the alignment menu and choose Polar>> Align

    It will walk you through where it has you get the star you just chose in the center like in a normal align and will say Synced to [STAR NAME]
    Then you will hit ENTER/ Select and it will slew to where the star should be if the scope were polar aligned so you use the MOUNT AZ and ALT adjustments on the mount base to put that star in the center of your eyepiece, never touching the hand controller or or pushing on the OTA etc When you are done you should have an alignment better than a polar scope and good enough for 60 second subs in most cases.. (drift alignment is even more precise.)

    Then I cycle the power and do my two star alignment again with 2-3 calibration stars.

    Now the scope is aligned well for AP.
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    Do what Ken said. I can not see Polaris at my prime viewing/photography location. I use a compass corrected for my location to align the telescope then the AnyStar Polar Alignment for a precise alignment. If my initial guess of true north is in substantially in error, I power down, then start all over again.
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    OK guys I was under the misguided impression that polaris didn't move. I found it and my latitude adjustment is fine. I do three and even four star alignment. I still have a problem with things drifting away not horribly rapidly but none the less I can't do much longer than 30 to 60 second exposures. My balance in ra and dec is good.
    easier and quicker with PHD guiding software and a guide camera
    Do you mean an autoguider? My mount does have an input for this. I was told if alignment was so far off it wouldn't help though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fogfire View Post
    On the CG5-GT..
    You want to do a two star alignment with at least 2-3 added calibration stars.


    THEN..
    GOTO a named star not too close to the zenith.. ( This time of year Arcturus, Spica, or Regulas are good choices
    After choosing a star.. go back to the alignment menu and choose Polar>> Align

    It will walk you through where it has you get the star you just chose in the center like in a normal align and will say Synced to [STAR NAME]
    Then you will hit ENTER/ Select and it will slew to where the star should be if the scope were polar aligned so you use the MOUNT AZ and ALT adjustments on the mount base to put that star in the center of your eyepiece, never touching the hand controller or or pushing on the OTA etc When you are done you should have an alignment better than a polar scope and good enough for 60 second subs in most cases.. (drift alignment is even more precise.)

    Then I cycle the power and do my two star alignment again with 2-3 calibration stars.

    Now the scope is aligned well for AP.
    Great tips!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pluto7777 View Post
    OK guys I was under the misguided impression that polaris didn't move. I found it and my latitude adjustment is fine. I do three and even four star alignment. I still have a problem with things drifting away not horribly rapidly but none the less I can't do much longer than 30 to 60 second exposures. My balance in ra and dec is good.

    Do you mean an autoguider? My mount does have an input for this. I was told if alignment was so far off it wouldn't help though.
    The SGT Mount is a CG5-GT.. You have two options for AutoGuiding

    1. ST4-Autoguide Port on the right end of the control panel near the power
    2. You can also guide connected to the hand controller via a serial port at the bottom of the .


    But don't mess with that until you know how to get a solid polar alignment.

    Polaris does move some.. its not completely centered...about 3/4 degree off true north..

    If you have not done a polar alignment with the All-Star function or a drift align.. you are not going to get close enough to get longer shots and probably 60-120 seconds is the best you will get before you need to guide.. just because the mount has natural error that guiding corrects. But you can do a lot of good AP using 60 second stacked subs.. guiding is not required at the outset ..
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