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Drift Alignment Made Easy

This method is for refractors or SCT’s using a star diagonal. Reverse altitude adjustments, if using a star in the west for second star. Reverse all adjustments for newtonian telescopes.

  1. Level tripod.
  2. Roughly polar align mount, preferably with a polar scope.
  3. Pick a star on meridian, just north of celestial equator.
  4. Orient eyepiece crosshairs with north-south and east-west axis of mount.
  5. Place star on horizontal crosshair. If star drifts up, adjust mount in azimuth to move star right. If star drifts down, adjust mount in azimuth to move star left.
  6. Place star back on crosshairs using hand controller.
  7. Repeat adjustments until no drift is seen for 5 minutes.
  8. Pick star in east, just north of celestial equator, about 20° above horizon.
  9. Orient eyepiece crosshairs with north-south and east-west axis of mount.
  10. Place star on horizontal crosshair. If star drifts up, adjust mount in altitude to move star down. If star drifts down, adjust mount in altitude to move star up.
  11. Place star back on crosshairs using hand controller.
  12. Repeat adjustments, as necessary, until no drift is seen for 5 minutes.

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