Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stargazing Is my telescope compatible with my latitude?

Tags:
  1. Dec 19, 2012 #1
    Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    I have a newtonian Celestron Astromaster 114EQ (CG-2 equatorial mount) and the manual says: "The Astromaster CG-2 mount can be adjusted from about 20 to 60 degrees [...]".

    The latitude where I'm is -15º. What does this excerpt means for me. I wouldn't be able to use it correctly from where I am?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2012 #2

    jedishrfu

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    I think the mount has to be polar aligned to be useful in tracking correctly.
     
  4. Dec 19, 2012 #3

    cepheid

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    20-60 degrees (probably) refers to the range of possible elevation angles (above the horizon) of the telescope mount.
     
  5. Dec 19, 2012 #4

    cepheid

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    Hmm, yeah it it turns out the elevation angle you need to point the telescope at for polar alignment is just equal to your latitude, so you'd need to point it at 15 deg above horizontal to see the south celestial pole. If 20 deg is indeed the minimum elevation, then it sounds like the telescope can't get low enough. Interesting...
     
  6. Dec 19, 2012 #5
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    well... the circle that indicates the latitude has a range from oº to 90º so, in reality, I'm able to set my 15º latitude. But, according to that exert, I wouldn't be able to track "well"? What would be the real effects of that limitation?

    Because of the weather I'm not able to make tests and I have no prior experience with telescopes... actually, when it came, when I was tracking objects, I was moving the scope by increasing and decreasing latitude...:redface:
     
  7. Dec 19, 2012 #6

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    That is odd. My only guess is that below 20 degrees, the counterweight might hit the tripod.
     
  8. Dec 19, 2012 #7
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    Yeah, exactly! below 20º (and depending on the direction of it...) the weights can hit a leg of the tripod! this problem is over when you set a latitude near 20. I hope it's just that...
     
  9. Dec 19, 2012 #8

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    You probably need to improvise with your balance weights as they will collide with the tripod. You can try mounting them higher up on the shaft to gain clearance, or use diy weights with a slimmer profile. I believe the CG-2 has a 1/2" shaft, so you should be able to substitute a shorter length of all thread if it is too long.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2012 #9
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    You could set the tripod on a 5 degree south-facing slope, or modify the tripod to tilt it 5 degrees. Then check it to be sure that the scope is still steady.

    OF
     
  11. Dec 20, 2012 #10

    davenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    nice looking scope :)
    should provide years of fun sky watching

    [​IMG]

    yup I see the problem
    My suggestion would be to tilt the tripod a bit, ie. 1 or 2 of the legs shorter than the other 1 or 2. Then clamp the tripod legs firmly to the ground to stop it falling over. The problem is probably only be when looking at a particular area of the sky.

    or you can get rid of the tripod and mount the EQ mount on a pillar giving you more room to swing around

    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Dec 20, 2012 #11

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    If the tripod has a post that the mount rests against to adjust the 'azimuth' setting, you might try removing that post and position it on the other side of the tripod. These tripods usually give you two options to position the mount on the tripod. One (shown in the above picture) has a tripod leg facing north and one where a tripod leg faces south. You will note that the tripod leg in the configuration shown above interferes with the full range motion of the mount about the RA axis. Put the post in the opposite position and you will have more clearance. Of course there's always a part of the sky where the weights will interfere with the tripod.
     
  13. Dec 21, 2012 #12
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    Maybe we are making more of this than is deserved. Back in olden days, I would just plunk my SkyScope tripod on the ground, and "eyeball" the polar axis to the north star. Not very accurate, but good enough. If you are 5 degrees off but are using the scope only for casual observing, I wouldn't worry about it, you can easily compensate for this manually.

    OF
     
  14. Dec 21, 2012 #13
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    Yeah, that could work too but won't be necessary. thank you.
     
  15. Dec 21, 2012 #14
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    Yeah, that works too. Actually I can move it 360º... Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  16. Dec 21, 2012 #15
    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    I found a way to balance the weights in which the scope is well balanced and still dont hit the tripod legs! I was more concerned if it would affect my tracking, I mean if I couldn't use the DEC/RA due to my position (silly... I know...), although this tripod inconvenient could really affect my observations with that scope... thank you all! Now... any of you know how to make the rain stop?
     
  17. Dec 21, 2012 #16

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Re: Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?

    Move to south Texas.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Similar Discussions: Is my telescope compatible with my latitude?
  1. My handmade telescope (Replies: 3)

  2. My New Telescope (Replies: 1)

  3. Got my first telescope! (Replies: 32)

Loading...