My mount is located on balcony where I can't see the polar star. I have only one window here which points to the eastern south. I limited by small piece of sky near the ecliptic plane between 120 degree and 140 by horizontal and 20 degree and 60 degree by vertical.

So, how can I align my mount in this case?

I tried to align it by aiming jupiter and saturn one by another and rotate the mount between. I get good enough result, but objects in frame is slowly move to out of frame (so, can't use long exposures).

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    $\begingroup$ With that little of the sky available, your results will likely be pretty limited. Your best best is probably to try NINA/ASTAP alignment: youtube.com/watch?v=CJos0stpJvA $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2022 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ This should certainly be possible, and the ease will depend on details of your mount. Is it computer controlled or just a motor on one axis. How precisely can you read the RA and Dec from the mount? Are you reading from mechanical indicators or a digital readout? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 16, 2022 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ Possibly helpful: explorescientificusa.com/pages/… $\endgroup$
    – chili555
    Sep 17, 2022 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Computer controlled, not guided. Mechanical indicators $\endgroup$
    – Robotex
    Sep 17, 2022 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ perfect - you'll be able to use the ekos polar alignment tool if you put an astrocamera in the eyepiece holder. a lot of the time i don't even bother polar aligning mine - i put it roughly in the right position and let the ekos plate solving routine get me pointing in the right place :-) $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Sep 21, 2022 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


If you have sun hitting your balcony, you could draw a line of a shadow during solar noon. You can put your place here and get the exact time: https://gml.noaa.gov/grad/solcalc/

I used a black water bottle, a ruler and a pencil to make a line on the floor.

  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't need to be solar noon, you can use the shadow at any time and just look up the azimuth of the Sun in a planetarium app, then use a protractor to find North. But this will be very rough. A "one start alignment" where you move the mount to center the star would be better, but this requires perfect elevation and level of the mount. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2022 at 13:06

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