At times it could be great to setup the telescope mount in daytime. Generally this is not possible when you can’t see any stars. In this post I will describe a method to align the mount precisely in daytime.

 

Sometimes on a nice sunny day you would like to observe the sun or the brighter planets – Mercury and Venus. Unless you have a fixed installation in an observatory this can be difficult, as you can’t easily spot the planets with the naked eye. Using the principle described below, you will be able to align your mount during the day and make goto’s directly to the brighter planets and even the brighter stars can be seen in broad daylight. The basic idea of using a terrestrial object I got from Claus Jensen, a friend and member of Copenhagen Astronomical Society.

Using the sun for daytime alignment is another well known option but I will not go into that method here.

 

 

Click here for: Step-by-step procedure for most Alt-Az mounts

 

Click here for: Step-by-step procedure for Track The Stars TTS-160 Panther Mount

 

Step-by-step daytime alignment of your Alt-Az mount (most brands)

 

Some preparations first

 

Find your favorite observation spot

  1. Pick a good spot where you want to set up your telescope mount for later daytime observations
  2. Mark the spot with marks for the tripod legs or a center point below the mount head

Your observation spot can be in your backyard, on your balcony or a remote location. As long as you go back to the same spot next time.

On a clear night do the following (this only needs to be done once)

  1. Setup the mount and telescope on the selected observation spot
  2. Be sure to level the pier precisely
  3. Now make a precise stellar alignment as you usually will do

The trick – save a Terrestrial object

  1. Using the handpad slew the telescope to a remote terrestrial object. Precisely center the terrestrial object in the field of view. Turn off celestial tracking while you do this. (It is ok to use a fairly close object if the mount is set up at exactly the same spot next time).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Now save this object in the handpad – and the mount is ready for daytime alignment. And remember you only need to do this once. Every time hereafter when you want to setup in daytime you can use this terrestrial object.
  2. Take down telescope and mount.

Setting up for daytime observations aligning on terrestrial object

 

  1. Setup the mount and telescope exactly on the selected observation spot
  2. Be sure to level the pier precisely
  3. Power up the telescope and perform a (cheat) one or two star alignment like this:
    1. For many mount types you point the telescope towards north and set the tube horizontal. It is not necessary to do this precisely – just point no measuring needed.
    2. Start the alignment procedure on the handpad. The mount will slew to the first alignment star. As you can’t see the star just accept the position without moving the telescope. If you selected a one star alignment skip to step 4.
    3. The mount will slew to the second alignment star. As you can’t see the star just accept the position without moving the telescope. Now the mount believe it is aligned. But as we did not point precisely towards north and had the telescope precisely horizontal there will be some discrepancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Now make a goto to the terrestrial object you have saved earlier.
  2. The goto will not place the object precisely in the center. So now you release the clutches on the mount and manually (don’t run the motors) center the terrestrial object. Lock the clutches again and the mount is aligned.

Now you can observe and track the sun, planets and stars just like at night!!

 

Step-by-step daytime alignment of your Alt-Az mount – TTS-160 panther

 

Some preparations first

 

  1. Pick a good spot where you want to put up your telescope mount for later daytime observations
  2. Mark the spot with marks for the tripod legs or a center point below the mount head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a clear night do the following

  1. Setup the mount and telescope on the selected observation spot – with the Panther mount there is no need to level the pier.
  2. Now make a precise stellar alignment as you usually will do

Now save the telescope alignment for later use

  1. Using the handpad manually point the telescope at a remote terrestrial object. Precisely center the terrestrial object in the field of view. Turn of celestial tracking while you do this. (It is ok to use a fairly close by object if the mount is set up at exactly the same spot next time).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. In the handpad menu select PARK function. This saves the actual scope position.

 

 

 

 

  1. Take down telescope and mount.

Setting up for daytime observations re-using the night alignment made earlier.

  1. Setup the mount and telescope on the selected observation spot
  2. Using the handpad slew the telescope to point at the same remote terrestrial object used at night. Precisely center the terrestrial object in the field of view.
  3. In the handpad select “Load last alignment“.(As the telescope is pointed in the same direction as when parked the mount will know where it is pointed.)

 

 

 

 

  1. The mount is now aligned and goto’s any object can be made.
  2. If you want you can refine the alignment by aligning on objects visible (found by goto).

 

 

 

 

  1. When finished observing the mount can be parked on the terrestrial object again to be ready for next observation Session.

 

Now just enjoy daytime observations in the warm sunlight

Summing up

Normally aligning your telescope mount in daytime involves using the sun as alignment object or trying to get it done using bubble level and compass.

Using a terrestrial object to align your telescope in daytime is a simple and very accurate method. It can be done fast and will give you new opportunities to come out and observe with your beloved telescope.

Feel free to comment the article on our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/telescopemount.org/

Leave a Comment

0 comments… add one

TTS-160 Panther Mount

\"Web