Jun 13, 2017 UT: Re-aligning the 12-inch telescope
Jun 13, 2017
On the night of Jun 12/13, 2017,
Jen Connelly and I re-aligned the 12-inch Meade LX-200.
It was my first visit to the Observatory
after returning from sabbatical.
During the last few months, the gears connecting
the dome-top motor to the dome slit had become
but workers from FMS kindly tightened the gears
sometime in the past few weeks.
The dome slit opened and closed with no problems at all.
We did notice a couple of globs of grease on the floor
of the dome, but we cleaned them up before anyone slipped.
The procedure went something like this (for future reference):
- open dome
- take covers off telescope
- mount integrating camera on white guidescope
- mount eyepiece in right-angle prism in main telescope
- turn on telescope, set time and date
- manually move to bright object (Jupiter),
align small finder and white finder with main telescope
- place telescope into "polar home" position,
by unlocking the RA and Dec axes and swivelling manually
- start the polar alignment "1-star" procedure
with LX200 keypad
- telescope will rotate by approx 180 degrees in RA --
watch out for cables!
- use mechanical adjustments to center Polaris in white finder's
- must loosen locking nuts before making mechanical adjustments
- the big knob next to the locking nuts for Dec adjustment
is NOT the Dec knob!
- center Polaris in main telescope's eyepiece,
still using mechanical adjustments
- press "Enter" on keypad to move to next step:
telescope will slew to a bright star far from pole (Arcturus)
- use keypad adjustments to center this bright star
The skies were completely clouded over when we finished,
so we were unable to verify that the alignment was
but we'll do that soon.
Notes for the future:
- prepare a better set of finding charts showing the area
around the North Celestial Pole and Polaris;
print out and place in dome