Flexibility problems give me trouble polar aligning my mount. What can I do?

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Scope Doctor Steve Richards solves your astronomy ailments.

Sky-Watcher Star Discovery 150P full header

Flexibility problems give me trouble polar aligning up my Sky-Watcher 150P EQ3-2 Pro SynScan. Is there an auto align setup compatible with my mount?

Steve says: “Polar aligning an equatorial mount using a polarscope does require a certain amount of body contortion, leaving you in an uncomfortable position for making intricate observations and adjustments.

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Sadly, the Celestron StarSense AutoAlign, which would be a solution, is not compatible with your mount. However, there are various solutions in the form of add-ons for your mount.

If you can take a laptop computer outside with you then there are two great ways to take the physical pain out of alignment.

The budget route is to fabricate a small bracket using a plastic pipe to attach a cheap webcam to the eyepiece of the polarscope and observe the orientation of Polaris using the live view from the webcam.

However, a much better method that is very simple to implement and requires no fabrication is to use the very popular QHY PoleMaster electronic polar alignment system, which as a bonus will give you increased accuracy.

Both of these solutions can be operated from a much more comfortable position with the laptop placed conveniently next to the mount.

If you don’t have a laptop outside with you, then you could consider fabricating a bracket to attach a standard camera right-angled fnder attachment to the eyepiece of your polarscope.

The Seagull 1x-2x Right Angle Finder or the Neewer Perfect 1x-2x Right Angle Viewfnder could be used to improve the viewing angle by allowing you to look down through the polarscope rather than up.”

Some more useful guides that might help:

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Email Steve your astronomy queries to contactus@skyatnightmagazine.com and they could be answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.