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pick a new target each day. Polaris

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#1 thundherr

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 06:19 PM

yesterday, while working the evening shift,

i selected Polaris  as my target for the day.

 

when i tried to find polaris around 1am  at 32.2 degrees in the northern horizon i realized that its the one and only area that i have a problem with light pollution.

 

light pollution is so frustrating.

 

i started having doubts if i was not finding polaris because of poor viewing conditions or if i was looking right at it and not recognizing it.     lol

 

i do have a star map  but now  i dont feel confident at locating stars.   


Edited by thundherr, 06 October 2019 - 08:26 PM.


#2 Codbear

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 06:40 PM

That would be the Pleiades, otherwise know as Messier 45. It is an asterism, meaning it is not an official constellation but is recognized in its own right, and it is part of the constellation Taurus the Bull. To find Polaris, you would not want to look at the northern horizon, but about 32 degrees above the northern horizon.

 

Other than being the North Star, there is nothing spectacular about Polaris - not super bright, and no different color, such as Arcturus. But because it is the North Star, it never rises or sets, and the rest of the northern hemisphere's sky seems to rotate around it.


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#3 caheaton

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:00 PM

I too have heavy light pollution (can usually only see stars naked eye down to around mag 3 to 3.5).  Polaris is visible, but it isn't at all obvious.  The only stars visible in the little dipper are Polaris, and the two end stars Pherkad and Kochab.  Here's a link that may be of some help.

 

https://earthsky.org...-the-north-star


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#4 B 26354

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 07:26 PM

Many of us know about finding Polaris by using the "pointer" stars at the end of the Big Dipper's "pot".

 

Problem is... right now, the Big Dipper is almost completely below the northern horizon at 9pm for his latitude.

 

He's almost a degree further south than I am... and here's how things look for me (approximately 33°45' N), at 9pm, as demonstrated by SkyMap 12 Lite:

 

Polaris vs Big Dipper.jpg


Edited by B 26354, 06 October 2019 - 07:27 PM.

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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:31 PM

Polaris is actually a very attractive double star. Many of us visit it when aligning or initializing our telescopes for the night... but rarely think of actually looking at it... just to enjoy its beauty! Especially the imaging guys (= more than half of the folks here) spend so much time and effort ~collecting data~ that nothing is left for relaxing and enjoying their targets as they present at the eyepiece.

 

When I finally got my new 36-inch (yeah, it's big) telescope running on a superbly sharp and clear night... The very first star I looked at, under those wonderful conditions, was Polaris. I had intended to just center it, hit a couple of buttons, and then slew over to another mount initialization star. But... Polaris completely mesmerized me... right there at the eyepiece. I realized that 1) this giant telescope is indeed magnificent... exceptionally crisp imagery, full aperture, high magnification... and 2) That Polaris itself is a fantastic object! So I spent a good fifteen minutes trying different eyepieces, even Night Vision... and just enjoying Polaris and its companion(s).

 

Here's a link to a good thread on Polaris! >>>

 

https://www.cloudyni...ris-a-ab-and-b/

 

So... Polaris is undoubtedly the most telescopically visited star... yet way down the list of most scrutinized stars! Next time we go to it... remember to take just a few minutes to look at it!    Tom


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#6 thundherr

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:50 PM

That would be the Pleiades, otherwise know as Messier 45. It is an asterism, meaning it is not an official constellation but is recognized in its own right, and it is part of the constellation Taurus the Bull. To find Polaris, you would not want to look at the northern horizon, but about 32 degrees above the northern horizon.

 

Other than being the North Star, there is nothing spectacular about Polaris - not super bright, and no different color, such as Arcturus. But because it is the North Star, it never rises or sets, and the rest of the northern hemisphere's sky seems to rotate around it.

its exciting to have such fast responses to my post.   i am a fan of Cloudy nights.    : - )

a you tube video suggested that i try the 2 star align on my celestron 8se by selecting Polaris.   

Thank you for the information.   i will definetly look for it again tonight, weather permitting.  



#7 thundherr

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 08:55 PM

Many of us know about finding Polaris by using the "pointer" stars at the end of the Big Dipper's "pot".

 

Problem is... right now, the Big Dipper is almost completely below the northern horizon at 9pm for his latitude.

 

He's almost a degree further south than I am... and here's how things look for me (approximately 33°45' N), at 9pm, as demonstrated by SkyMap 12 Lite:

 

attachicon.gif Polaris vs Big Dipper.jpg

Thank  You B 26354. 

im in the same boat with not being able to view the Big Dipper. 

i gave up on finding it by just viewing with my night vision goggles and looked at my star map book.   

the star map confirmed that the big dipper was not in the horizon.  lol    



#8 caheaton

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 08:31 AM

Ooops, didn't catch that he was at 32 degrees.  I'm at 39 degrees, so there's quite difference in seeing the dipper when it's low.  However, all is still not lost.  You could use a compass to point yourself north, then look for a notable (not bright, but likely visible when in light pollution) at a height that matches your latitude (in the original poster's case it would be around 32 degrees, or about a third of the way up from the horizon towards the zenith (straight up).  You could also confirm your sighting by using binoculars to chart out the stars in the Little Dipper.

 

You could also wait until the wee hours of the morning when the Big Dipper will be more favorably positioned and then look for Polaris.  Once you've located it from your observing location, it's easy to locate again (since it won't move ;-)  ).


Edited by caheaton, 07 October 2019 - 08:33 AM.

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#9 thundherr

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 08:28 PM

update;

due to light pollution in my northern horizon, i have been aligning my telescope by selecting the stars near the Orion constellation.

its exciting to  see the telescope display  indicate "success"  !!

 

its strange but when i have doubts i start with locating the Pleiades star cluster and target Alderbaran first and Rigel second.   its like working your way down the eastern horizon.   

 

Question;   have you ever selected a target after alignment just to watch the telescope travel nearly 360 degrees ?   

my celestron 8se did this last night when i selected  uranus.   

at first i thought i should abort the search but i decided to just let the telescope go until it stops.   

the telescope did end up near the expected constellation,  i just had doubts if the long travel may indicate a problem with my alignment set up. 



#10 quality guy

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 01:48 AM

Hey thundherr what town/state do you live in? My lat./long is 32N 93W


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#11 GeraldBelton

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 12:33 PM

When the dipper is below the horizon, you can use Cassiopeia to find Polaris.


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#12 thundherr

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 02:57 PM

Hey thundherr what town/state do you live in? My lat./long is 32N 93W

Hi quality guy.

i live near Glen Rose Texas. 

lat / long  32.24 N   -97.82



#13 thundherr

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 03:03 PM

what do you think of the idea of using a compass along with a star map ?  

i had no idea that a compass can also have a clinometer as well.

https://www.youtube....h?v=9Q-cOQCC2a0

 

 

i feel confident that i know where north is but now i can dial  in on polaris with confidence.  i hope.  lol 

 

our weather was not so good the past couple of nights.

 

thank you all for responding.   : - )



#14 thundherr

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 04:51 PM

are you using polaris to polar align your telescope ? 
i have not tried that before.   i would to know if polar alignment is more accurate than the two star alignment. 
i  have been aligning my celestron 8SE telescope using the two star alignment.
some times its successful but other times i get a failed alert.




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