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  • wes
    (23 January 2017, 11:14)
    Right, found two. The free one (!) correctly portrays the inversion, though the other has more information displayed. So, I guess alignment goes like thi:
    1. Put scope in polar home - DEC = Lat, RA =0. (after leveling and so forth)
    2. Use alt-az adjustment to put polaris in center of polar scope to start
    3. Rotate the polar finder to put polaris circle ruling at the correct hour angle
    4. Use alt-az adjustment to place polaris in the circle
  • (21 January 2017, 11:51)
    Google "polar scope calculator" and you can find several websites and phone apps that will take date, time, and location, and tell you where the offset direction should lie. Warning: some of them compensate for the inverted image in the scope, some don't, so check that carefully.
  • Wes
    (21 January 2017, 11:09)
    Very Nice Richard. For fun I have just gotten a cg-4 mount on which I have a 5" reflector. It has a polar scope, but Celestron only ruled it with the offset circle and a small Polaris circle. How can I set the thing to the proper hour angle so the polaris circle is correctly oriented?
  • Mark
    (21 October 2016, 17:03)
    Thanks for this wonderful explanation. Very helpful! Finally I understand this enough to properly setup my daughter's reflector telescope!
  • Crowy
    (9 January 2016, 06:08)
    Wife bought me a telescope at Christmas and this article is far better at explaining polar alignment than the handbook that came with the scope. Many thanks
  • amin
    (11 December 2015, 17:19)
    very useful article...thanks a lot...i would appreciate if you explain other method you know for polar alignment...one of them that i know is polar alignment with finder that is a rapid way
  • Ahmed
    (22 November 2015, 13:23)
    Very helpful article. I live(in Maldives) just north of the Equator(4deg) and my EQ5 mount's polar axis cannot be lowered below 30deg because of the small bar that holds the bendy adjuster screw. If i removed the bar the axis can be lowered a little lower until the weights catch the front leg of the tripod. My only option seems to be to lengthen the southward legs until the mount is aligned, which could pose stability issues. It's a dilemma. Any ideas would be much appreciated. Cheers. :)
  • Chris
    (20 November 2015, 10:41)
    Great article, but there is one important thing missing before starting the polar alignment that is aligning the reticle in the polarfinder itself.
    If this isn't aligned to the RA axis, the alignment of the polarfinder isn't accurate.
  • Richard
    (18 November 2015, 08:14)
    You're right. As long as he polar axis is pointed at the NCP the base of the mount could be nailed to the side of a tree. Levelling is not part of the final result, it's just a technique to help you achieve alignment, by making the latitude setting equivalent to the appropriate mount altitude. Levelling also makes the mount altitude less sensitive to rotating the mount by moving the tripod legs. But once you're aligned, levelling of the base is irrelevant.
  • markB
    (18 November 2015, 08:06)
    Just wondering. How important is the "level-ing" part of the alignment. I assume as long as the polar axis of my mount is polar aligned (and the other axis it perpendicular to that because of the way the mount is constructed) then should be all that is required. I can see that level-ing might help with distributing the wait on tripod, mount etc and also to get into the right ball-park for the "elevation of your mount" adjustment part...
  • Richard
    (15 December 2014, 01:56)
    Superb, thanks! This is a great read and has clarified things for me.
  • Scottle
    (16 January 2013, 14:45)
    Excellent article, I am at last polar aligned and get a great view of Polaris. All I've got to do now is work out how to turn the damn thing around to point at Jupiter.
  • ZAW WIN, (13TH SEPT 2012 15.25
    (14 September 2012, 04:56)
    AT LONG LAST I KNOW HOW TO POLAR ALIGN.EVEN THE BOOKLETS THAT COME WITH THE TELESCOPE DO NOT EXPLAIN IT AS YOU HAVE.
  • Mike
    (7 May 2012, 17:48)
    +1 for the mongoose. I bought a beautiful telescope, mount and motor drive with which I captured a few snaps of HaleBopp and then turned into furniture. It's time it came back outdoors, and this helps a lot.
  • Scott
    (10 April 2012, 23:29)
    Excellent article! Thanks, and I loved the mongoose!
  • Mike
    (6 October 2011, 16:04)
    Thanks for the article, I'm very new to astronomy and this has helped me get off the ground. I do have a couple of issues though: Once my polar alignment is complete and still in position, what do I set the Declination dial too? Is it 90 degs? Also, how do I get my right ascension dial aligned?
  • Josh
    (11 September 2011, 22:03)
    Thank you for taking the time and effort to post this. I have a manual EQ mount and I'm thinking about purchasing a new scope with a powered EQ and computer drive...all that fancy stuff. This really helped a lot with my decision because I want to do photography and now I know what I need.

    And just wondering...as I'm sure others are too... Do you have a mongoose?

    Thanks again.
  • (28 August 2011, 09:45)
    Yes it is. The initial "set latitude" (and the initial leveling) is just to get the mount into the approximately correct position, to increase the chance that Polaris will be inside the sighting hole.
  • gerard
    (28 August 2011, 04:53)
    Fantastic article, makes it all very clear, one question for anyone to answr plse, In the "Better: Sighting on Polaris" it tells us to set latitude and but later on when sighting Polaris to " Continue to adjust the up/down and left/right position of the mount until Polaris is centred in the hole through the polar axis" isnt the up down adjustment changing the latitude? thanks
  • OLJ
    (9 August 2011, 13:29)
    Polar alignment is done by moving the mount only is very informative to me. Once The polar alignment is complete, how do I view an object in the Southern Sky. My Latitude is 30° and the mount is polar aligned at that setting. If I look North or South at an object (star) that requires an altitude setting of 35°, doesn't that change my polar alignment. Thanks for the opportunity to read your article.
    ojolly2@comcast.net
  • Leo
    (30 June 2011, 08:46)
     Polar alignment is done by moving the mount, not by moving the telescope.
     Polar alignment is done by moving the mount, not by moving the telescope.
     Polar alignment is done by moving the mount, not by moving the telescope.
    This is the most important message for me.Thank you very much, it makes so much sense to me.
  • N K Srinivasan
    (27 May 2011, 16:43)
    Thanks a lot for your valuable,highly useful article on Polar alignment. Most tutorilas are confusing for a beginner like me.
  • Ethan
    (17 February 2011, 02:57)
    I found your page was very helpful in learning how to polar align my scope. all the other tutorials i read were confusing, but you made it very simple and easy to understand. explaining the different ways you can align and why you might want to align it that way was also informative and helpful. Thanks!
  • AstroTasmania
    (5 February 2011, 18:35)
    Great article, we just need a similar one to cover setting up in the southern hemisphere, where they do not have a bright star like Polaris close to the pole.
    One comment on the latitude angle marks on many mounts, use as a rough guide only. A refinement is to use a protractor with a level and a fine plumb bob line.
    A great alignment tool is Andy's Shotglass StarTarg 2.0: http://www.andysshotglass.com/StarTarg.html, which has a simple tutorial on its use.
    www.shevillmathers.id.au Southern Cross Observatory
  • Heather Jones
    (27 January 2011, 23:59)
    THANK YOU!!!! SOO MUCH. I have just purchased a celestron Powerseeker 127 eq.I have had a thousand walmart telescopes and have never had the opportunity to have something like this. The Mount has had me mystified because I am so excited to just find what it is I'm looking for and in all my hurry I couldn't get the polar alighnment right. I didn't think to move the whole mount(not the telescope).directions on Setting the altitude helped too. I am truly a beginner and you were quite helpful.