Aligning a telescope

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gotigers44

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I just got a Meade DS-2000 series Telescope and i need to know how to align it? All it says in the instructions is to point it north at Polaris. Do i Point it right at Polaris or in that direction?
 
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yevaud

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No.<br /><br />There should be a built-in spirit level. First make certain that it's level. And then, yes, it must be aligned *precisely* on Polaris.<br /><br />From there, the internal programming can locate anything in it's database.<br /><br />Enjoy! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Np, and enjoy! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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gotigers44

Guest
So put it right on Polaris and then it will go any where?<br />Do you have to put it on Polaris every time you use it or will it know where it is after that?<br />
 
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yevaud

Guest
Ah, no. You see, it's internals "know" how many revolutions of it's motors it needs to turn and align on anything, as long as it has something to align to.<br /><br />Polaris is just a very good target. So that's why it's recommended. But regrettably, no, you have to go through the same process each time you use it.<br /><br />I'm not familiar with the particular model you're using. It *may* also ask you to confirm that it is now aligned, once you've aligned it on Polaris. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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heyscottie

Guest
Every time you use it! You've got to make sure it's level and pointing in the right direction, and then you are good to go.
 
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igorsboss

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Once you have aligned your telescope, there are some procedures for fine-tuning your alignment, using the "declination drift" method, which I'll discuss below.<br /><br />If you are only doing visual observations, there is no need to perform this declination drift fine-tuning adjustment. This is useful for astrophotography on any telescope with an equitorial mount.<br /><br />The astrophotographer's alignment goal is to align the spin axis of the telescope so that it is precicely parallel with the spin axis of the Earth.<br /><br />Declination drift means that the star exhibits some apparent motion North or South in your telescope's eyepiece. A properly aligned telescope shows no declination drift at all. If you detect some declination drift, then there is an alignment error to correct.<br /><br />To perform the declination drift adjustment, you will need an illuminated reticle eyepiece, because you will be tracking a star. In particular, you will be looking at the star to determine if it appears to drift North or South in your eyepiece.<br /><br />To observe declination drift, first center a star in the reticle eyepiece. Let the telescope track the star by itself for a few minutes. Now observe the star again. If it appears to be slightly North of where it started, there is North declination drift. If it appears to be slightly South of where it started, there is South declination drift. (Ignore East/West drift: Those are clock drive errors.)<br /><br />Precise polar alignment procedure:<br />--------<br />1) Select a bright star, which is near the intersection of the Eastern horizon and the Celestial Equator, then observe the star for declination drift.<br />1a) If the star drifts North, adjust the telescope axis Downward.<br />1b) If the star drifts South, adjust the telescope axis Upward.<br /><br />2) Select a different bright star, which is near the intersection of the Celestial Meridian and Celestial Equator, then observe the star for declination drift.<br />2a) If the s
 
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