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Pole Locator Tab

Pole Tab pic

If you don’t have access to hardware like Polemaster or camera for plate solving then using the polar scope maybe your only option.  Use can use the Pole Locator tab to polar align the mount using a polar scope.  If you’re in the north hemisphere use the directions for Polaris.  In the southern hemisphere use the location of Sigma Octans as an indication of location.

Polaris Polar Scope Alignment in 6 Easy Steps

Prerequisites – Verify Observatory information.  If not correct adjust in the Main/Settings tab.

Step 1: Align and level the mount – Align the mount roughly towards Polaris, don’t want to move it afterwards. Level it and get as close as you see fit.  It does not need to be perfect but as close as possible is good enough. Bring Polaris anywhere inside the viewport using the Alt and AZ knobs on your mount.

Step 2: Center Polaris in the Crosshairs – Tip: carefully rotate the RA axis and make sure Polaris doesn’t stray as the circle moves around. Polar scope should be aligned properly.

Step 3: Move Polaris off to the side and outside the circle – manually use ONLY either Altitude or Azimuth knobs to move Polaris outside the circle.  Do this to align the polar circle perfectly horizontal in the next step.  Move it approximately double the distance from the center of the circle. It’s important that you only touch one set of polar alignment knobs, not both!

Step 4: Align the RA axis and the polar scope – rotate the right ascension axis until one of the lines is on Polaris.

Step 5: Use the Locator in GS to find the correct position for Polaris (red dot).  The dash circle line represents position for 2020 and the inside circle is 2028. 

Step 6: Adjust the Alt and AZ knobs on your mount to move Polaris to the exact position. To refine the polar alignment consider doing a drift alignment.

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