How do you Polar Align using an EQ Mount?

To Polar Align using a Computerized AZ mount with wedge, click here. To Polar align a manual EQ mount, click here.

Polar Alignment of your computerized EQ mount consists of 5 steps to polar aligning your scope.

Steps:

  1. Rough Align
  2. EQ Align
  3. Polar Alignment
  4. EQ Align #2 (optional)
  5. Calibrate Mount (optional)

Rough Align

  1. Orient your telescope so the polar axis is roughly north (facing Polaris), use compass if needed or Southern Hemisphere, face your telescope setup and wedge south or Sigma Octantis.
  2. Roughly polar align the wedge using the hex bolts to be within 5 degrees.

NOTE: Move the knobs slowly so you can see the change in your eyepiece. Also, just in case you are rotating the wrong way, you can correct easily.

NOTE: To aid in polar aligning your telescope setup, Celestron has 3 polar axis finderscopes: CG-5/AVX/CGEM Polar Finderscope, CG-4-Polar Axis Finder, and Polar Axis Finderscope for CGX and CGX-L

 

EQ Align

Align your mount using EQ align and follow the onscreen instructions on the hand control. Instructions here.

Polar Alignment

  1. On your hand control, click Align and follow the instructions provided.
    1. Once you click the align button, select Polar Align
    2. Under the Polar align, select Align mount
    3. Your mount will slew to a star and it will ask you to center the star in your eyepiece. Once you have centered the star, push enter.
    4. The scope will slew to the position where the star would be if it were accurately polar aligned. Your hand controller will ask you to move your latitude and azimuth (on the mount) to place the star in the center of the eyepiece and press Enter.
  2. Like in the rough alignment section, move the knobs slowly.

To check your polar alignment, click Align on your hand controller and click Display Align. The below screen will pop up. You want to get your numbers as close to 0 as possible. If you’re polar alignment numbers are a little higher than you’d like, you can repeat the alignment, then redo the polar alignment.  Each iteration you do should get you closer to the celestial pole.  Once your numbers are below 10 arc minutes in each axis, you will be close enough for longer exposures.

     

    EQ Align #2 (Optional)

    To improve your pointing accuracy and make sure you are 100% on point, you will need to do an EQ North align again. The mount will retain its alignment; however, accuracy may have been compromised depending on how much the mount has been moved during polar alignment. Although the telescope’s tracking may be very good, pointing accuracy may need improvement, especially if you are trying to locate small objects on a CCD chip. This is recommend for (serious) astrophotographers.

    Calibrate Mount (Optional)

    1. Go to Utilities à Calibrate Mount à RA Switch
      1. This process optimizes the performance and pointing accuracy; it compensates for individual mechanical variations in the mount. It is automatic and applies the cone error correction on opposite sides of the sky and applies this constant to alignments.

    Note: Though both are related to the cone error, this is different from the use of calibration stars after Two-Star Align.)

    1. Go to Utilities à Calibrate Mount à GoTo
      1. GoTo calibration when using heavy accessories with your telescope. It calculates and compensates for balance changes to the amount of time and distance it takes for the CGE to complete the final, slow GoTo when slewing to an object.