What is drift polar alignment?

MacRobert’s article outlines the drift method for polar alignment as it is universally quoted, where the drifts of stars in two equatorial fields are used to determine the direction towards which to move the polar axis to better align the it with the celestial pole.

How accurate should polar alignment be?

For almost all work except very near the poles, polar alignment of 2′ or less is sufficient. That is reasonably easy to attain.

What is good polar alignment?

A polar alignment within 1 arc minute of the pole is usually considered to be excellent and good enough for long exposure imaging.

How does drift alignment work?

Drift alignment requires the use of a high power eyepiece, preferably with an illuminated crosshair, or you can defocus a bright star so that the out of focus star nearly touches the edges of the eyepiece field of view. Using a 2X or 3X Focal Extender lens will help speed up the process.

How can polar alignment be improved?

There are two common methods for improving the polar alignment: a polar alignment scope, and computerized polar alignment. Many computerized equatorial mounts (including fork-mounted telescopes on wedges) have a polar alignment routine built in to their software to provide a more accurate alignment.

Why is polar alignment important?

Polar alignment is an essential first step towards a night of visual observation or astrophotography. Why is it so important? By aligning the axis of your telescope mount with the motion of the sky, you can accurately track objects in space. It’s a rather simple process for German equatorial mount (GEM) owners.

How do you set up a drift car?

On a drift car, you want to run the rear camber as close to zero as possible. This will usually give you the best tire wear and best forward bite. If you want a little more side grip, you can run some negative camber, but usually no more than 1 degree negative should be run.