Guide and Imaging Camera Alignment

Using SharpCap's Polar Alignment feature
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martinclayden
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:31 am

Guide and Imaging Camera Alignment

Post by martinclayden » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:44 am

I use a Star Adventurer (SA) tracking mount and I'm trying to understand if my guide camera needs to be exactly aligned to the RA axis of the SA for the PA routine in SharpCap to work correctly.

If "yes" then how do I ensure this alignment to ultimately achieve sub-minute PA of the SA.

If "no" then how does SharpCap ensure correct PA of the SA - given the imaging axis is misaligned to the RA axis.

I suspect my question demonstrates confusion and lack of understanding! ;) , but, that's why I'm here, and I would appreciate any help from the experts on this forum please :D

Thanks

Martin

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Re: Guide and Imaging Camera Alignment

Post by admin » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:27 pm

Hi Martin,

the answer is no – you don't need to perfectly align your guide scope/camera with the RA axis to get the polar alignment to work properly.

How can this be? SharpCap looks for the point in the image that the stars appear to rotate around to find the place where the RA axis is currently pointing. It's basically the same as the fact that Polaris stays in the same point in the sky even though you're not standing at the North Pole – the only point that can appear to stay still is the point that the rotation is happening around.

Once SharpCap has the RA axis position calculated and the position of the north celestial pole calculated by plate solving, it's easy to guide the user to make the movements needed to put the two in the same spot.

Cheers, Robin

martinclayden
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:31 am

Re: Guide and Imaging Camera Alignment

Post by martinclayden » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:29 pm

Thanks Robin,

That's clear !

Regards

Martin

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