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Fix Misalignment

This page describes how to polar align your PANOPTES unit using the al (deg) and az (deg) values obtained from previous page.

Altitude and Azimuth error in mount pointing

al (deg): Mount misalignment in altitude
When misaligned in altitude, the mount is either pointing above or below the celestial pole.
  • When al = +ve: The mount is pointing above the north celestial pole in the northern hemisphere and below the south celestial pole in the southern hemisphere.
  • When al = -ve: The mount is pointing below the north celestial pole in the northern hemisphere and above the south celestial pole in the southern hemisphere.
az (deg): Mount misalignment in azimuth
When misaligned in azimuth, the mount is either pointing to the right (towards East) or to the left (towards West) of the celestial pole.
  • When az = +ve: The mount is pointing to the left (towards West) of the north celestial pole in the northern hemisphere and to the right (towards East) of the south celestial pole in the southern hemisphere.
  • When az = -ve: The mount is pointing to the right (towards East) of the north celestial pole in the northern hemisphere and to the left (towards West) of the south celestial pole in the southern hemisphere.

Move the mount to do polar alignment

  • Use ‘Azimuth’ adjustment knobs to move mount along X-axis, parallel to your local horizon. This axis has to be rotated by az (deg).
  • Use ‘Latitude’ adjustment knobs to move mount along Y-axis, perpendicular to your local horizon. This axis has to be rotated by al (deg).
You unit is now polar aligned!

Test Alignment

  • Run the unit again and take new observations.
  • Use the Jupyter notebook file PANOPTES - 03 Drift Observation Polar Alignment.ipynb to download the drift rates for the new observations.
  • If the stars are still drifting, repeat the process mentioned in Find Misalignment for the new observations and do a second iteration of polar alignment of your unit.
  • Repeat the process of taking observations, running only the new observations through the Jupyter notebook, determine al (deg) and az (deg), and do polar alignment until the stars have stopped drifting through the frames of a single observation.