Clear tonight, but not dark until quite late. (Duh. That’s what I get for re-starting the observatory only a few days after Solstice.)
I did new polar alignment tonight:
- The “rough polar alignment” featur in TheSky, which slews to a computed star position which you then correct by adjusting the mount alt and az controls;
- Then a TPoint model, about 40 observation points around the sky (semi-automated with camera and TheSky “Image Link” feature);
- Then, with the TPoint model calculated, it makes an “accurate polar alignment” feature available, which uses another star and continuous imaging to fine-tune the alt/az positions.
After that I did a few test slews. Slewing to M27 from far away, it landed dead-on, precisely centred.
Just for fun I did a quick 60-second exposure while I was there. It looks pretty good, so I’m hopeful I’ll see improvements. This image is uncorrected (no darks or flats) and, more important, has no Periodic Error Correction running. PEC training will be my next evening’s activity. I won’t really know how the mount is performing until I see that Periodic Error graph.