Jump to content


Photo

List of Alignment Stars, grouped by Constellation

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:53 AM

I have attached a list of the Nexstar alignment stars in an Excel Spreadsheet that is grouped by Constellations. When I was out the other evening in my front yard where I rarely observe (more trees and too many lights), I could not find a spot in my yard where I could see Polaris AND the alignment stars I normally use. And as I scrolled down through the list in the Hand Controller, I didn't know most of them! Frustratingly, I could not find three I knew that I could see! And to boot, a neighbor had come over to join me...it was more than a little embarrassing!

So the nextg day I searched to find any list that grouped the alignment stars by Constellation, which seems to me the easiest way to identify a useful alignment star! So I looked up all the stars in the list and put them in an Excel Spreadsheet that I could then sort by Constellation. Then I also added the Greek Letter designation for each star so that I could easily find them in my Pocket Atlas, regardless of whether the name is shown on the atlas or not (and a number are not).

I thought perhaps someone else would benefit from this, so I have attached a copy. There are two worksheets, one for the first list, and then for the second list of stars on the other side of the meridian.

While I think it's pretty accurate, I do not guarantee it is error free, or that it lists every star in the Nexstar list. But since it's a spreadsheet, it can easily be modified! You can also let me know if you find errors and I'll be happy to correct and repost.

I will have to say, a couple of those stars are very hard to find...many did not show up in Sky Safari+ when searched for, and a number didn't even show up in a Google search! Almost no one references Mululizu...the more common name is Zuben Elakribi. Only after multiple searches did I find a page that referenced it as Mulu-lizi! Why the heck would Nexstar use such an obscure name??!! There were a couple other stars that I discovered had multiple names, and the one Nexstar showed did not seem to be the more common names. Made this process harder than it really needed to be!

Attached Files



#2 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:56 AM

And here is a PDF version, if you'd like it but can't open an Excel Spreadsheet. Of course, this is not editable, but like I said, I think it's fairly accurate. This is the first list

Attached Files



#3 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:01 AM

Here is the second list in PDF format.

Attached Files



#4 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 11065
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:27 PM

You mean a list like this? - http://www.nexstarsi...StarObjects.zip

Ok, you'll have to sort on the constellation column.

Nice addition of the Greek letter designations.

Not sure why C would add Mululizu as an alignment star ... it's awfully faint at mag 5.

#5 dmdouglass

dmdouglass

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 765
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Tempe, AZ

Posted 31 July 2013 - 08:49 PM

How very interesting...
Interesting because I have been researching this very issue, for much of the same reason as the OP...
By the way Jonathan... be careful about your lists, relative to the meridian.... that list would change every night with the sky rotation !

Anyway, a couple nights ago, i found this article on the Celstron website... Article ID: 2415
http://www.celestron...se&_a=viewar...

Quoting a portion of the text:

***************
Can all named stars listed in the hand control be used for alignment?

No. Only stars brighther than or equal to magnitude 2.5 (bright stars) can be used for alignments with Celestron’s NexStar computerized mounts.

Even though there are about 250 named stars in the hand control database, only 82 can be used for alignment and related tasks (calibration, etc.)

Here is the list:
*************************

At the bottom of the article is a link to download the entire list of the named stars: (There are 248, which is the other list referenced in the post above mine...)

http://downloads.cel...Named-Stars.xls

#6 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:56 PM

Mark - I did see this list on the website, but it was just list on an html page, so couldn't be sorted. While marginally more helpful, still not quite what I was looking for. I did not see the spreadsheet...though that definitely would have saved me some time!!

David - I wondered if how those lists might change based on certain factors. I just turned on the Nexstar and listed all the stars that showed up for the first alignment star, then listed all those that showed for the last alignment star....though as I played around with it, the list did seem to change a little. But I'm not too worried about what's on the first list and what's on the second. I assume between the two lists, it covers most of the possible alignment stars and I should be able to find something useable!

It is interesting that article says there are only 82 that can be used as alignment stars, because every one of those on my two lists was a choice my hand controller provided specifically for alignment. My hand controller is Version 3, so maybe that has something to do with it??

Anyway, I don't expect my list to be infallible, but I do expect to find it helpful!

#7 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 31 July 2013 - 10:01 PM

Now I see Celestron has a link at the bottom of that article for the whole list as an excel spreadsheet! That really would have saved some time! Though I think I prefer having the Greek symbol rather than the name.

#8 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 11065
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 01 August 2013 - 12:12 AM

Interesting comment from Celestron ... because I've even used DSOs (Messier) for doing calibration, and they're an awful lot fainter than mag 2.5. I wonder if the comment is related to letting the HC choose a suitable star. I've just about always chosen my own alignment and calibration targets.

I use a Mallincam and can do alignments with many brighter DSOs (globulars for example) in a twilight sky (saving time). Of course stars are the preferred choice but there have been times when I've been viewing a DSO and used it to add to or update my calibration stars.

To aid my choices of alignment and calibration target stars I took a number of suitable (well spaced) named stars and identified them on a series of printed all sky maps, one for every two months. A quick glance at a suitable map and I'm ready to choose appropriate targets for my initial alignment (like most folks I have trees blocking some areas of my sky).

If you are using the Celestron sky maps printed at the back of the user manuals be careful of the July/August map. There's an error on that map that's been there for ages ... Navi in Cassiopeia is miss identified on that map.

Jonathon, There may have already been a few lists around (which would have indeed saved you some time) but your lists are indeed a benefit to many folks ... thanks for that.

#9 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:24 AM

Thanks, Mark. I think marking the stars on maps like that is also a great idea. I may still do that. One reason I went this route, however, is that it's just two pages rather than a page for each month, or several pages at least. As it is I can just stick these in a page protector in my EP/Accessories case, which always has my atlas in it as well.

Anyway, ultimately I made them for myself and debated posting them here, but thought someone else might find them useful, too. If someone does, then great! :)

#10 TonyDralle

TonyDralle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1186
  • Joined: 17 Aug 2006
  • Loc: Bethel Park, PA

Posted 01 August 2013 - 09:27 PM

Hi, Jonathan,

Thanks for a handy list!

The situation you found yourself in in your front yard -- trees and lights rendering much of the sky unidentifiable -- is one in which the Sky-Align alignment procedure is useful. You just align on three reasonably bright stars, whether you know their names (designations) or not. The mount will figure out what they are.

The other use for Sky-Align, of course, is for the beginner who doesn't know the star names at all.

- Tony

#11 Muleya

Muleya

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Harrisonburg, VA

Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:26 AM

Thanks for the idea Tony, but unfortunately, I don't think my Version 3 HC has the Sky Align feature.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics