Alignment by the use of the program "N.I.N.A." by means of Plate Solving
The free program N.I.N.A. can be used to align the telescope to Polaris without a clear view. By rotating the right ascension axis, the software moves to three points and takes an image, which is adjusted via 'Plate Solving' by the theoretical position at the given rotation. Prerequisite is a previously executed "Star Alignment" (Easy Align) and a focusing (see menu item 'Proceeding' - 'Focusing with the Bahtinov-mask').
Information about Plate Solving:
'Plate Solving' is a very useful function especially for beginners in the field of astrophotography. Thereby the software creates an image of the starry sky, which is currently imaged on the chip, and compares this star image with a database. If the ASTAP database is used, it can be stored locally on the computer, so that no internet is needed. The program and the database can be downloaded from https://www.hnsky.org/astap.htm.
After selecting the program for the corresponding operating system, it is sufficient if only the 'H18' database is downloaded for the moment. This is installed in the installation folder of the ASTAP program.
Afterwards, it must be set in N.I.N.A. that this database is to be accessed during plate solving. For this the following settings are to be made under the point 'Options' at 'Plate Solving:
Based on the comparison with the star bank images, the software determines to which point the telescope is currently aligned. This knowledge is not only important for the 'Three Point Polar Alignment', but especially for finding the deep sky objects. After the initial determination of the coordinates, the software can specify exactly which travel distance is required again to correctly center the target object on the chip in the event of a deviation.
An important prerequisite is the correct setting of the focal length of the telescope (additional elements such as reducers or barlow must be included here) and the specification of the pixel size of the camera. Only with this information a proper evaluation during plate solving is possible.
To align the telescope with N.I.N.A., the plugin 'Three Point Polar Alignment' must be installed.
After installation, a new icon will appear in the top right corner of the program under 'Tools'.
By activating this icon, a new tab will appear in the image display window and you can start the alignment.
|(2)||Approaching the three points for plate solving |
|(3)||Deviations calculated from plate solving |
|(4)||Values corrected by turning the azimuth screw and pole height adjustment |