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Re: Can't Sight Polaris

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Posted by Jarvis Krumbein on January 26, 2003 22:42:03 UTC

You need two things, a reasonably good compass and some means of setting the elevation of your mount.

Using the compass, take a sight on Polaris from some place close by where it is visible. Note the exact compass heading. At your observing site, line up the equatorial head on the mount to exactly match the compass heading. Next, determine the exact elevation required by checking a good map such as in an atlas. What ever the North Latitude is at your location is the elevation needed. Make sure the mount is properly leveled and then set the elevation. If you have a mount that has the elevation of the polar axis indicated, it's easy. If not, use a simple elevation measuring device such as a protractor with a string and weight or if you want to be fancier, you can use one of the angle indicating devices such as are found at places like Home Depot etc..

The above instructions will get you close. If you need to get exactly on, you can now do this be noting which way the stars drift and make fine adjustments to the heading and elevation.

If you need more help, let me know.

Jarvis Krumbein, jkoptic@juno.com

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