The CGE polar finderscope’s reticle pattern of constellations and stars doesn’t agree with the sky. What’s wrong?

Nothing. The CGE’s polar finderscope has an etched pattern on a reticle in its optics to make quick polar alignment easier. In order to do this, the reticle puts together two patterns to make a pattern as a whole that won’t agree with any real view of the sky.

The reason? The constellations are a naked-eye orienting aid. However, the finder gives an inverted view of a much narrower field of view. The reticle combines both these bits of information (perhaps somewhat confusingly to some of us). It has the right-side up view of the constellations with the upside down blown-up view of the positions of the two stars needed to polar-align your CGE.

Following the instructions does work well. Trying to make the reticle view agree entirely with the real sky doesn't work, since it is a composite aid.

Updated 12/27/13