Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    spereira's Avatar
    spereira is online now HYPER GIANT
    Points: 12,326, Level: 76
    Level completed: 79%, Points required for next Level: 74
    Overall activity: 22.0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!1000 Days+ Registered Achievement!3 Years + Achievement
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Bedford, NH, USA
    Posts
    2,330
    Points
    12,326
    Level
    76
    Thanks
    509
    Thanked 451x 390 Posts

    Default Polar Alignment w/o Polaris



    I'm thinking of how to align a wedge or tripod platform to Polaris without being able to actually see Polaris from my location. Unfortunately for me, Polaris is lost in the sky glow from nearby Manchester, NH.

    I've Googled around and I found that there is a spectacularly easy way to do this by using an Astronomy program on your cell phone. From what I understand, you run the program on your phone, place your phone on the plane that you want to face to the North, and select the southern Pole Star (Sigma Octantis). So, when you adjust the plane of your wedge or tripod such that your view in the Astronomy program is centered on the southern pole star, then you've got it.

    Am I right with this?

    I've found some "directions" online, but I don't know if I fully understand them. My only experience so far with an Astronomy program is with Stellarium on my Mac. This doesn't help me too much with pointing and centering on a target.

    Which Astronomy program do folks use? Stellarium? Sky Safari? Oh, yeah, I went to look for Sky Safari and there's something wrong where I cannot see any of the pages Google brings up. Is Sky Safari still available? Maybe it's my impeccable timing and their site is down right when I need them?

    Thanks very much in advance for any thoughts, comments, concerns or advice.

    smp
    Stephen
    - - - - - -
    Telescope: Tele Vue TV-85
    Solar: Daystar Quark (chromosphere)
    Mount: Explore Scientific Twilight I tripod w/ Celestron NexStar GT mount
    Local Club: New Hampshire Astronomical Society

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  2. #2
    CamelHat's Avatar
    CamelHat is offline Bronze Supporter
    Points: 50,875, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 16.0%
    Achievements:
    50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Posts
    5,718
    Points
    50,875
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,148
    Thanked 1,687x 1,368 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    Dunno, if something sound too good to be true then it probably isn't (true). The inclinometer probably works OK however the magnetometer is sensitive to metal. In my tests I had to keep it 2 feet away from my Dob before it was anywhere near where it should be. Still, for PA for AP you need to be about 1' to 2' accurate, which I doubt if the inclinometer will meet. For visual the inclinometer is probably fine.
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  3. #3
    UlteriorModem's Avatar
    UlteriorModem is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 82,617, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Awards:
    Most Threads Award
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Tallahasse Florida
    Posts
    16,730
    Points
    82,617
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    2,274
    Thanked 4,186x 3,539 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    Wow if you loose Polaris in the skyglow it must be pretty bad!
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
    ~ Put your money where your mount is ~


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  4. #4
    spereira's Avatar
    spereira is online now HYPER GIANT
    Points: 12,326, Level: 76
    Level completed: 79%, Points required for next Level: 74
    Overall activity: 22.0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!1000 Days+ Registered Achievement!3 Years + Achievement
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Bedford, NH, USA
    Posts
    2,330
    Points
    12,326
    Level
    76
    Thanks
    509
    Thanked 451x 390 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    Quote Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
    Wow if you loose Polaris in the skyglow it must be pretty bad!
    Well, yeah... Manchester is directly N-NE from my house, and we're just the next town over. We're perhaps 2.5 miles away from the border between Bedford and Manchester on Manchester's west side. That's pretty close, and, while the sky glow is not like being outside of Boston, it is pretty bad. I think we're Bortle 4-5 here.

    I have a bunch of woods to the east of me. Usually, I curse that because it takes quite a bit longer for things to rise up and clear them. OTOH, they also block a good bit of the glow, too. I take the silver linings where I can!

    smp
    Stephen
    - - - - - -
    Telescope: Tele Vue TV-85
    Solar: Daystar Quark (chromosphere)
    Mount: Explore Scientific Twilight I tripod w/ Celestron NexStar GT mount
    Local Club: New Hampshire Astronomical Society

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  5. #5
    Christo's Avatar
    Christo is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 30,411, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points200+ Posts Achievement!2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    North Eastern, USA
    Posts
    1,894
    Points
    30,411
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    757
    Thanked 359x 322 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    I have tried using the south pole for polar alignment for daytime, using an app to find it. Remember celestial north and magnetic north are two different things but this will get you close. For polar alignment get it close and then drift align to fine tune.
    Skywatcher Esprit 100, Skywatcher Pro 120ED, Meade ETX90, AstroTech 72ED, Celestron C8, Astromania 60mm Guidescope, Celestron AVX Mount, Orion Atlas Mount, Explore Scientific Twilight 1, QSI 683 WSG, Astrodon Filters(LRGB and 3nm), Canon T3i & XSi(XSi is a full mod), ZWO ASI 120MC & ZWO ASI 120MM-S (with LRGB Filters) as well as for the daytime a Lunt 35mm Ha Solar Telescope, Lunt 1.25 Hershel Wedge, and White Light Filters

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Christo For This Useful Post:

    spereira (05-16-2018)

  7. #6
    KathyNS's Avatar
    KathyNS is online now Super Moderator
    Points: 170,319, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 14.0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!Ghost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!First 1000 Experience Points400+ Posts AchievementGot three Friends
    Awards:
    Activity & Post & Thread Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    24,896
    Points
    170,319
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    6,599
    Thanked 14,862x 9,459 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    Your location shows you in the northern hemisphere. So you won't be able to see sigma octanis.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    DSO AP: Orion 200mm f/4 Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide scope; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on HEQ5 pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome; iOptron CEM60 (pier);
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    .

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to KathyNS For This Useful Post:

    arsene37 (05-17-2018)

  9. #7
    spereira's Avatar
    spereira is online now HYPER GIANT
    Points: 12,326, Level: 76
    Level completed: 79%, Points required for next Level: 74
    Overall activity: 22.0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!1000 Days+ Registered Achievement!3 Years + Achievement
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Bedford, NH, USA
    Posts
    2,330
    Points
    12,326
    Level
    76
    Thanks
    509
    Thanked 451x 390 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    Quote Originally Posted by KathyNS View Post
    Your location shows you in the northern hemisphere. So you won't be able to see sigma octanis.
    Hi Kathy,

    Thanks - yes, I know that. Here's where I found some directions on how to do this:

    Blind Smart-phone Equatorial Wedge or GEM Polar Alignment @ not so bad Astrophotography

    It appears that the Astronomy program(s) don't care where on the Earth you are, you just have to eliminate the view of the ground and then they'll look straight through the Earth and show you Sigma Octantis so you can adjust the plane of your tripod or wedge or whatever and get it centered.

    I haven't yet purchased the equipment I'm thinking about, so I'm trying my best to get this figured out beforehand. This method will obviously be handy for daytime solar viewing, and it appears that it would assist me greatly as I'm pretty much without a view of Polaris at night, too.

    smp
    Stephen
    - - - - - -
    Telescope: Tele Vue TV-85
    Solar: Daystar Quark (chromosphere)
    Mount: Explore Scientific Twilight I tripod w/ Celestron NexStar GT mount
    Local Club: New Hampshire Astronomical Society

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  10. #8
    Lokifish's Avatar
    Lokifish is online now Bright Giants
    Points: 4,149, Level: 43
    Level completed: 33%, Points required for next Level: 101
    Overall activity: 4.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Central Eastern U.S.
    Posts
    330
    Points
    4,149
    Level
    43
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 105x 80 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    I've done this with SkySafari in "compass" mode and using a transparent horizon.

    1. Ignore pole stars, it's the celestial pole you want.
    2. *Make sure mount is level (if possible, and the surface you use is stable, mark the position of the feet for next time)
    3. If you have properly calibrated the home position, leave the OTA cap on and place phone on the cap. If not, then use the plane you need to point to the NCP.
    4. Adjust until you get as close to a stable position on the SCP
    5. Drift align to fine tune (be warned, you will be pretty far off initially, but should be closer than pole star alignment)


    You can skip the last step if doing visual.

    *When placing on stable ground (concrete, blacktop, etc), marking were the feet of the tripod sit during first alignment cuts down future alignment time significantly. For visual, one can even go weeks or months with ever doing another alignment and still be closer than pointing at Polaris. In the case of "out in the yard", one can flush set three block or bricks and get similar results.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Viewing and live streaming from
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    8/9 suburbs
    Meade SN8/LXD-55, Celestron 130SLT, LZOS 106/10 (A.K.A MC Rubinar), Houghton-Cass 62/8, SMC Takumar 200/4
    Altair Hypercam 183c, Canon 1100D (full spectrum), Sony Nex-3 (full spectrum)
    Nikon 7-21mm, 20mm OPPL, various Plossls/Konigs/etc.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Lokifish For This Useful Post:

    spereira (05-16-2018)

  12. #9
    spereira's Avatar
    spereira is online now HYPER GIANT
    Points: 12,326, Level: 76
    Level completed: 79%, Points required for next Level: 74
    Overall activity: 22.0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!1000 Days+ Registered Achievement!3 Years + Achievement
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Bedford, NH, USA
    Posts
    2,330
    Points
    12,326
    Level
    76
    Thanks
    509
    Thanked 451x 390 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokifish View Post
    I've done this with SkySafari in "compass" mode and using a transparent horizon...
    Thanks very much for the confirmation, Lokifish.

    Celestial Pole, not pole stars - got it. Thanks.

    smp
    Stephen
    - - - - - -
    Telescope: Tele Vue TV-85
    Solar: Daystar Quark (chromosphere)
    Mount: Explore Scientific Twilight I tripod w/ Celestron NexStar GT mount
    Local Club: New Hampshire Astronomical Society

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  13. #10
    gcisko's Avatar
    gcisko is offline SUPER GIANT
    Points: 7,018, Level: 58
    Level completed: 34%, Points required for next Level: 132
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    988
    Points
    7,018
    Level
    58
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 166x 154 Posts

    Default Re: Polar Alignment w/o Polaris

    So this is the same problem I face when I use my Coronado to view the Sun.

    Assuming you have an equatorial mount... Just make sure your elevation (declination) is set to your location and simply point the polar axis (Right Assention) north as best you can. I do this all the time during the day and it keeps the Sun in the field of view of my Coronado for hours. If you want to align it for imaging you are in for a huge challenge. As it in it's probably not possible. Though someone may try to talk you through drift alignments :-)
    Celestron 8SE | StarSense & SkySync GPS | 2" Star Diagonal | Rigel Quickfinder
    F 6.3
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    | Powertank |
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    7x50 Binoculars
    Astrotech AT72ED | Star Adventurer by
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    Eyepieces: Tele Vue 32mm WideField & 6mm Ethos | Nagler - 9mm & 16mm Type 2
    Baader Hyperion 21mm, 13mm, 5mm with tuning rings
    University Optics Plossl 12.5mm Illuminated Reticle
    Filters: Lumimcon & Baader OIII, Baader Sky &
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Glow, 13% Moon

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Polar alignment without polaris for trackers
    By denizcan in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-16-2017, 06:19 PM
  2. Polar alignment without Polaris
    By localhost in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-11-2017, 09:26 PM
  3. Polar Alignment without Polaris
    By Campbellag in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-22-2012, 01:42 AM
  4. Polar Alignment without Polaris
    By feelkg211 in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-23-2011, 02:29 AM
  5. Polaris/Polar Alignment
    By dmfishin32 in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-29-2010, 04:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:46 PM.