Polar Alignment With Pictures!


I found a brilliant polar alignment program. You put the camera on the mount and align as well as you can. Then you take two pictures with the camera swung 90 degrees around the polar axis. The software uses plate solving to analyze the two images and tells you how to adjust the mount. It takes me a few iterations at a minute or so each but the results are great – Getting within say 5-10 arcminutes is pretty good but with this process i can get to <1 arc minute – 1/60 of a degree! Last minute I was shooting 3 minute exposures at 200mm with no star trailing.

A couple of caveats: The script is written in Python 2 which is obsolete and i had to poke at it a bit to get it working; It depends on downloading the cygwin software to run the astrometry software on windows which is also unfamiliar. The best info i found was in a forum post started in 2014.


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