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I have a question that could get me laughed at.

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#1 Koala117


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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:45 PM

But.. I need to ask it, anyway! :jump:

The big red moon is coming up in a few days and I'd like to see it through my Meade 312. I also would really like to show it to a few relatives that I hope will be here that night!

So, my question is this: Will a normal polar alignment(as in, towards Polaris) allow me to track the Moon through the sky like it would allow stars or DSO's? If not, is there an easy way to achieve an alignment that would allow me to just use the RA axis to track with? My mount is not motorized.

The main times that I've viewed the Moon since I recently got my telescope is when it was not polar aligned, so I just kind did the alt-az thing with my EQ mount on those nights. Also, I did a good bit of searching and the only thing even remotely related that I was able to find was about astro photography. I'd really like to find out if an alignment is possible with any kind of ease for viewing the Moon because it's much easier to tell someone that knows little about scopes to 'just turn this one knob,' than it is to explain 2 knobs. :p

Thanks very much.

#2 Tom and Beth

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:28 PM

The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. At some point we are/were beginners.

A normal Polar Alignment will work for you. While there is a slight difference in Luna motion than Sidereal, it won't likely be noticeable in use with manual drive, and the guests knocking your scope around all night.

So enjoy...Observe more, worry less.

#3 Koala117


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:07 AM

Thanks very much! I really appreciate your answer, especially since I likely wouldn't have had a chance to test this ahead of time by doing a polar alignment in the next couple of nights! :D /highfive

#4 Jim Curry

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:25 AM

In 45 years of observing I have never polar aligned other than to eyeball set the equatorial mount to the north star. Both altitude and azimuth are eyeballed and that goes for my goto mount as well. Visual use only.


#5 Koala117


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:48 AM

Thanks, Jim.

Yeah, the main thing was I just wasn't sure if a Polar alignment would work for tracking the Moon with the RA axis. Now that I know it will work, I'm super happy :D

#6 Rick Woods

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:15 PM

Ahhh, HAHAHAHahahahahHAHahhahahahaha!

Just kidding. That'll work fine. :D

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