Finding Polaris?

Started 9 months ago | Questions thread
Alen K Senior Member • Posts: 1,117
Re: Finding Polaris?

landscaper1 wrote:

82Virago wrote:

landscaper1 wrote:

I've owned an iOptron SkyTracker Pro for some time and would like to be able to use it.

When I last made the effort (some time ago) I gave up because I found it all but impossible to locate Polaris through the optical sight in the SkyTracker. To begin with, because of light and air pollution I rarely can see Polaris even though I know the approximate area in the sky where it's located.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to get around this obstacle? Or am I doomed to forego using a tracker anywhere other than exceptionally clear night skies?

If you can see the stars of the big dipper you should see polaris.

The 2 stars that form the end of the dipper (or 'plow' ) point to polaris. If you start earlier

before it gets too dark it is the only star that the dipper stars point too.

Of all the suggestions made in this thread, the idea of attaching a laser pointer to the SkyTracker Pro (probably right above its optical sight) seems the best of all. I'm going to try that.

Of course, my OP inquiry was based on a certain amount of optimism. I'm 74, have high BP, and live in what is expected to be a Covid-19 epicenter (Baltimore/Washington/Northern VA region). In all likelihood, it'll be some time before medical experts are likely to say it's safe for people like me to be getting out of our self-imposed quarantine.

I have seen low-power green laser pointers on Amazon for as low as $8, so it's an economical solution too. Just be mindful of airplanes and don't do it if you are anywhere near an airport.

Stay safe. We're going to get through this!

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