Last updated: 10 May 2007
Subject: Finding North Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2007 20:05:46 From: Eric West (firstname.lastname@example.org) This might solve a problem, particularly for Southern Hemisphere users using "Auto Align" in Alt/Az mode Having recently acquired an ETX90EC, I was a bit disappointed with how poorly it was able to find things, I had done all of the calibration, training etc, and the scope was still all over the sky. But then came to the conclusion that my problem was my "Home Position" was not accurate enough. While I was somewhere near North, I was not near enough. I am sure I am not alone in this. Of course, being in the Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand) I did not have Polaris to help. However, I have solved the problem quite simply. I hopped onto "Google Earth" and found my house, (this is quite neat fun if you have never done it before, It is also quite scary how much detail you can see)! (In the States, I believe, you can find your house by entering your address in the search box). I then rotated the compass rose so the picture was oriented exactly "North Up" From my observing position in the back yard, which I could see on the screen, I then ran a line straight up the screen and found a prominent object, (a large tree in my case), which was directly North. I went down into the garden and lined this up with my observing position and then painted a small white mark on the back fence, which lined up with the tree. I can see this mark in fairly low light. I then aligned the scope North, by pointing it at the white mark. Bingo! perfect alignment, both stars centered without searching and Saturn turned up, centre screen, first try! My original North position was probably 10 degrees off. I don't know how well this works if doing a "Polar Alignment" and trying to find the South Celestial Pole, probably not accurately enough, but I will give it a go sometime and let you know Hope this helps someone Eric WestMike here: This tip could help anyone trying to locate True North, not just PE users.
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