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Quick South Pole Alignment


The chart above shows the region around the South Pole that can be used for quick polar alignment (shown here in mirror image as it appeared in my finderscope at dusk in Chile in late September.) The circle marks the 5 field of my finderscope. The three fifth-magnitude stars making nearly a right angle above the pole point at a sixth-magnitude star that lies within of the pole. Once my mount was roughly aligned using a level and compass, it turned out to be easy to find this pattern of stars near the pole and finish the alignment to within a few arcminutes.

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