Re: Limited Sky View

Wes Mcdonald


I would only amend Brian's remark as follows.  One should try to point at TRUE north.  This will be deviated from magnetic north by some number of degrees.  Around here it is 10 degrees.  Ordinarily your phone compass will have a setting for True or Magnetic.  Just set it to True.  The app knows your location and the deviation and will correct things for you.

There are two apps I would suggest you get for your phone.  One is PSAlign.  This thing is a swiss army knife.  But the best thing is it has an alignment aid.  It provides a cross-hair which you center a spot indicative of the north celestial pole.  The phone needs to be placed flat on the top of the telescope tube and when you have the az-alt just right the spot will be centered on the cross-hair (place tube in home position).  You will be danged near polar aligned...and no need to see Polaris.  You can do this in the daytime.  

The other app is SkySafari.  It is a fantastic planetarium program that has a virtual reality feature.  It shows you the sky as you hold it in front of you and turn around.  This is the high tech version of a planisphere.  It will show you basically every star and nebula and deep sky object you can and can't see.  Get it.  It will help you plan your  viewing and especially the alignment stars you are going to be able to use.


Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired

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