Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ GoTo-Moount - Named and Alignment Stars

Introduction | Charts of the Alignment Stars | Preliminary Conclusions | Links | Appendix: List of Named and Alignment Stars for the Sky-Watcher SynScan GoTo Control

On this page, I present a list of the named and alignment stars of the Sky-Watcher SynScan GoTo controller. This is intended to help me find suitable alignment stars when aligning the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery GoTo mount. But first of all, I will report on the thorny way that I got there ...

See also:

 

Introduction

A List of the SynScan Alignment Stars...

Elsewhere on this site, I already hinted at my limited knowledge of the constellations, and even less do I know stars. However, some knowledge of stars is necessary if you want to align a GoTo control, such as my Sky-Watcher Star Discovery GoTo mount. Depending on the alignment method and the mount used, you need to know the position of 1 to 3 stars whose names are given by the handbox and which are typically Arabic. But how do you find the stars needed for alignment in the sky?

Of course, you can enter the names in an astronomy application and let it show the star, but that seems a bit too involved for me. A list of alignment stars would be more handy, but unfortunately I cannot find corresponding lists in the manuals, just a few details on optimal the size and location of the alignment stars. So I came up with the idea, to manually go through section "Named Stars" in the handbox star by star and write down the star names. This, of course, led to some spelling mistakes... In addition, I found that, depending on the time of day (or the time set in the handbox), different stars were offered. In general (but not always), these were probably those stars that were visible at the appropriate time or above the horizon. I then looked up the stars and their data via an astronomy programs on my iPad or Mac (the apps did not always know the stars...). At some point in time, I came up with the idea that the handbox itself can provide this information, but the list was already quite advanced... Using the handbox is probably also slower than using an app, because you need a lot of keystrokes until you get to the so-called Bayer name...

And Now with the Aid of the Internet...

After extracting about 150 stars this way and there was still no end in sight, I finally came up with the idea to check on the Internet, if there are not already such lists available. The search query "which alignment stars uses synscan" actually took me to the correct destination, the Jim's Cosmos-Website (I was not able to find Jim's last name). On page SynScan alignment stars, Jim offers the PDF document SynScan Alignment Star Chart, which can be downloaded and printed in A3 or A4 format. It shows a kind of "Mercator-style" sky map with constellations and the registered alignment stars of the SynScan control (version 3.27). Unfortunately, an alphabetical list of alignment stars is lacking, as well as an indication of the source of the information.

Thus, my problem was actually solved and my previous work basically "useless". Nevertheless, I still visited some discussions on this topic, which were offered in the search query. In a discussion titled SYNSCAN Alignment star list in the Stargazers Lounge forum lukebl writes as starter of the discussion:

Does anyone else find it frustrating that Synscan uses the colloquial (ancient) names for its alignment stars, rather than the constellation name? Fine for obvious ones like Arcturus, but a bit of a pain when it comes to things like Zubeneshamali (Beta Librae).

As part of my sky is obscured for various reasons, I would rather know what constellation it was in, so that I can choose one in the right general direction rather than fumbling through a list of arcane star names to find the 'official' name and constellation. Not that I object to these wonderful evocative names, it's just that I can't darn well remember them!

The poster spoke directly from my heart! When I used my GoTo controller some time ago, I got on well with Vega and Atair, two bright and familiar stars. The next time, Atair was visible equally well, but it was no longer offered by the SynScan control as a second alignment star (similar reports showed up in discussion forums). Instead, the handbox presented names like Enif & Co. that unfortunately did not say anything to me and frustrated me a lot. At the end, I was able to get along with Fomalhaut (and then the clouds came ...). Incidentally, this feeling of frustration was the reason why I came up with the idea of ​​creating a list of alignment stars - this is how the bites its tail!

I have to add to the discussion initiated by lukebl: Here, too, Jim's Cosmos and his chart were mentioned, as well as another list with 12 charts (SkyScan Alignment Stars and matching Finder Charts), which is supposedly based on Sky-Watcher information, as well as various text lists that were also improved in the course of the discussion. I downloaded all these lists and charts. And because the lists are considered "public," I list the one that I like best in the appendix. In the discussion, however, the distinction between "Named Stars" as such and alignment stars got probably lost, as some participants noted in the discussion. That is, with one exception, these lists contain all the named stars that the SynScan control "knows" about, not just the alignment stars.

Alignment Stars...

What characteristics needs a star for Sky-Watcher to quality as an alignment star? Such knowledge might help reduce the complete lists of named starts to the alignment stars. The SynScan manual mentions a minimum size of 1.5 mag for alignment stars, but this condition may only apply to the "Brightest Star" method. As some panelists noted, the SynScan control itself does not seem to follow these rules in its proposals - or does it only apply to the first star? For the positions of alignment stars Sky-Watcher/Orion recommend the following for AZ mounts:

Such conditions might, of course, be checked by the SynScan controller and taken into account in the selection of the alignment stars. To what extent this actually happens seems to be largely unknown in hobby astronomer circles...

Regrettably, these rules do not really help you pick alignment stars. Either you laboriously browse Jim's map or trust the list that is attached to the 12 charts. The latter is, however, based on a fairly old software version.

 

Charts of the Alignment Stars

For copyright reasons I do not publish maps of the alignment stars here (only small previews), but provide only links to these maps. The maps are all mentioned above, but once again offered for easy access once again.

Jim's Cosmos: Synscan Alignment Star Chart

First and foremost is Jim's Cosmos-Website (I cannot find Jim's last name), which I mentioned earlier. On page SynScan alignment stars, Jim offers the PDF document SynScan Alignment Star Chart, which you can download and print in A3 or A4. It shows a kind of "Mercator-style" sky map with constellations and the registered alignment stars of the SynScan control (version 3.27).

Figure: Look of the chart with alignment stars

Unfortunately, an alphabetical list of alignment stars is lacking as well as an indication of the source of the information.

Stargazer's Lounge Forum/Australian Astronomy Forum: SkyScan Alignment Stars and Matching Finder Charts

In a thread in the Stargazers Lounge forum, a list of 12 charts (SkyScan Alignment Stars and matching Finder Charts) is linked to. It was published in an Australian Astronomy forum (iceinspace; there was a small dispute regarding the authorship...) and allegedly is based on Sky-Watcher information.

Figure: Look of the 12 charts with alignment stars (section of chart 2 shown)

The Stargazers Lounge forum also presented in the above-mentioned discussion various text lists that were further improved during the discussion. A more or less "final" version can be found in the appendix.

 

Preliminary Conclusions

After my own, lavish attempts that I aborted, I found on the Internet two versions of charts that show the SynScan alignment stars. In addition, there were lists of all the named stars that the SynScan control knows on the Internet. I used one of these lists to mark the alignment stars.

Thus, the job is done, and now I just have to print the charts and list and apply it in practice. As soon as I can report more on this, I will do so here...

 

Links

 

Appendix: List of Named and Alignment Stars for the Sky-Watcher SynScan GoTo Control

Die folgende Liste der benannten und Ausrichtungssterne der Sky-Watcher SynScan GoTo-Steuerung entstammt der Diskussion SYNSCAN Alignment star list auf Stargazer's Lounge, wurde von mir in einem Fall korrigiert und ferner um die aus SkyScan Alignment Stars and Finder Charts stammenden Informationen zu Ausrichtungssternen der SynScan-Steuerung ergänzt. Diese Liste enthält einige wenige Sterne, die in der ersten Liste nicht enthalten sind; deshalb sind diese Sterne hier nicht aufgeführt. Alles in allem kann ich natürlich keine Garantie für die Korrektheit der Informationen übernehmen... Trotzdem denke ich, dass sie für den einen oder anderen SynScan-Benutzer nützlich sein können.

Name Bayer name Constellation
Magnitude
AS* Comment
Acamar θ Eri Eridanus
3.24
x  
Achernar α Eri Eridanus
0.46
Achird η Cass Cassiopeia
3.44
Acrux α Cru Crux
1.33
Adhafera ζ Leo Leo
3.44
Adhara ε CMa Canis major
1.50
x  
Ain ζ Tau Taurus
3.53
Alaraph β Vir Virgo
3.61
Albali ε Aqr Aquarius
3.77
Albireo β Cyg Cygnus
3.08
x  
Alchiba α Crv Corvus
4.02
Alcor 80 UMa Ursa major
4.01
Alcyone η Tau Taurus
2.87
x  
Aldebaran α Tau Taurus
0.85
x  
Alderamin α Cep Cepheus
2.44
x  
Aldhanab α Gru Grus
3.00
Alfirk β Cep Cepheus
3.23
Algenib γ Peg Pegasus
2.83
x  
Algieba γ Leo Leo
2.61
x  
Algol β Per Perseus
2.12
x  
Algorab δ Cor Corvus
2.95
Alhaud θ UMa Ursa major
3.17
Alhena γ Gem Gemini
1.93
x  
Alioth ε UMa Ursa major
1.77
x  
Alkaid η UMa Ursa major
1.86
x  
Almach γ And Andromeda
2.26
x  
Alnair α Gru Grus
1.74
Alnilam ε Ori Orion
1.70
x  
Alnitak ζ Ori Orion
2.05
x  
Alniyat σ Sco Scorpius
2.82
x  
Alpha Cen α Cen Centaurus
-0.01
Alphard α Hyd Hydra
1.98
x  
Alphecca α CrB Corona Borealis
2.23
x  
Alpheratz α And Andromeda
2.06
x  
Alrai γ Cep Cepheus
3.21
Alshain β Aql Aquila
3.71
Altair α Aql Aquila
0.77
x  
Altais δ Dra Draco
3.07
Aludra η CMa Canis major
2.45
x  
Alula Australis ξ UMa Ursa major
4.41
Alula Borealis ν UMa Ursa major
3.48
Alwaid β Dra Draco
2.79
Angentenar τ2 Eri Eridanus
4.75
Ankaa α Phe Phoenix
2.39
x  
Antares α Sco Scorpius
0.96
x  
Arcturus α Boo Bootes
-0.04
x  
Arkab β1 Sgr Sagittarius
3.96
Arneb α Lep Lepus
2.58
x  
Ascella ζ Sgr Sagittarius
2.60
Asellus Australis δ Cnc Cancer
3.94
Asmidiske ξ Pup Puppis
3.34
Atik ο Per Perseus
3.83
Atria α TrA Triangulum Australe
1.92
Auva δ Vir Virgo
3.38
Avior ε Car Carina
1.86
Azha η Eri Eridanus
3.89
Baham θ Peg Pegasus
3.53
Baten Kaitos ζ Cet Cetus
3.73
Beid ο1 Eri Eridanus
4.04
Bellatrix γ Ori Orion
1.64
x  
Betelgeuse α Ori Orion
0.50
x  
Canopus α Car Carina
-0.72
Capella α Aur Auriga
0.08
x  
Caph β Cas Cassiopeia
2.27
x  
Castor α Gem Gemini
1.98
x  
Cebalrai β Oph Ophiuchus
2.77
Chort θ Leo Leo
3.34
Cor Caroli α CnV Canes Venatici
2.90
Cursa β Eri Eridanus
2.79
Dabih β Cap Capricornus
3.08
Deneb α Cyg Cygnus
1.25
x  
Deneb Algedi δ Cap Capricornus
2.87
Denebola β Leo Leo
2.14
x  
Diphda β Cet Cetus
2.04
x  
Dnoces ι UMa Ursa major
3.14
Dschubba δ Sco Scorpius
2.32
x  
Dubhe α UMa Ursa major
1.79
x  
Edasich ι Dra Draco
3.29
Elnath β Tau Taurus
1.65
x  
Eltanin γ Dra Draco
2.23
x  
Enif ε Peg Pegasus
2.39
x  
Fomalhaut α PsA Piscis Australis
1.16
x  
Fornacis α For Fornax
3.87
Furud ζ CMa Canis major
3.02
Gacrux γ Cru Crux
1.63
Giauzar λ Dra Draco
3.84
Giedi α Cap Capricornus
2.87
was "Geidi"
Gienah γ Crv Corvus
2.59
x  
Gomeisa β CMi Canis minor
2.90
x  
Graffias β Sco Scorpius
2.62
Grumium ξ Dra Draco
3.75
Hadar β Cen Centaurus
0.61
Hamal α Ari Aries
2.00
x  
Heze ζ Vir Virgo
3.37
Homam ζ Peg Pegasus
3.40
Izar ε Boo Bootes
2.70
x  
Jabbah ν Sco Scorpius
4.01
Kaffaljidhm γ Cet Cetus
3.47
Kaus Australis ε Sgr Sagittarius
1.85
x  
Kaus Borealis λ Sgr Sagittarius
2.81
Kaus Media δ Sgr Sagittarius
2.7
Kekwan γ Lup Lupus
2.68
Kitalpha α Equ Equuleus
3.92
Kochab β UMi Ursa Minor
2.08
x  
Kornephoros β Her Hercules
2.77
Kraz β Crv Corvus
2.65
Lesuth υ Sco Scorpius
2.69
Maaz ε Aur Auriga
2.99
Marfik λ Oph Ophiuchus
3.82
Markab α Peg Pegasus
2.49
x  
Matar η Peg Pegasus
2.94
Mebsuta ε Gem Gemini
2.98
x  
Megrez δ UMa Ursa major
3.31
x  
Meissa λ Ori Orion
3.54
Mekbuda ζ Gem Gemini
3.79
Menkalinan β Aur Auriga
1.90
x  
Menkar α Cet Cetus
2.53
x  
Menkent θ Cen Centaurus
2.06
Menkib ξ Per Perseus
3.98
Merak β UMa Ursa major
2.37
x  
Miaplacidus β Car Carina
1.68
Mimosa β Cru Crux
1.25
   
Minkar ε Cor Corvus
3.00
x  
Mintaka δ Ori Orion
2.23
x  
Mira ο Cet Cetus
2.00
x  
Mirach β And Andromeda
2.06
x  
Mirfak α Per Perseus
1.79
x  
Mirzam β CMa Canis major
1.98
x  
Mizar ζ UMa Ursa major
2.27
x  
Mothallah α Tri Triangulum
3.41
Muhlifain γ Cen Centaurus
2.20
Muphrid η Boo Bootes
2.68
Muscida ο UMa Ursa major
3.36
Nair Saif ι Ori Orion
2.77
Naos ζ Pup Puppis
2.25
x  
Nashira γ Cap Capricornus
3.68
Nasl γ Sgr Sagittarius
2.99
Navi ε Cas Cassiopeia
2.15
Nekkar β Boo Bootes
3.50
Nihal β Lep Lepus
2.84
Nunki σ Sgr Sagittarius
2.02
x  
Nusakan β CrB Corona Borealis
3.68
Peacock α Pav Pavo
1.94
Phact α Col Columba
2.64
Phad γ UMa Ursa major
2.44
x  
Pherkad 11 UMi Ursa Minor
3.05
Polaris α UMi Ursa Minor
2.02
x  
Pollux β Gem Gemini
1.14
x  
Porrima γVir Virgo
3.65
Praecipua 46 LMi Leo Minor
3.83
Prijipati δ Aur Auriga
3.74
Procyon α CMi Canis minor
0.38
x  
Propus 1 Gem Gemini
3.28
x  
Rana δ Eri Eridanus
3.54
Rasalas μ Leo Leo
3.88
Rasalgethi α Her Hercules
3.48
x  
Rasalhague α Oph Ophiuchus
2.08
x  
Rastaban β Dra Draco
2.79
Regor γ Vel Vela
1.78
Regulus α Leo Leo
1.35
x  
Rigel β Ori Orion
0.12
x  
Rotanev β Del Delphinus
3.63
Rukbah δ Cas Cassiopeia
2.68
Rukbat α Sgr Sagittarius
3.97
Sabik η Oph Ophiuchus
2.43
Sadachbia γ Aqu Aquarius
3.84
Sadalbari μ Peg Pegasus
3.48
Sadalmelik α Aqu Aquarius
2.96
x  
Sadalsuud β Aqu Aquarius
2.91
Sadr γ Cyg Cygnus
2.20
Saiph κ Ori Orion
2.06
x  
Sargas θ Sco Scorpius
1.87
x  
Sarin δ Her Hercules
3.14
Scheat β Peg Pegasus
2.42
x  
Schedar α Cas Cassiopeia
2.23
x  
Schemali  Lib Libra
2.61
Scutulum α Car Carina
2.25
Seginus γ Boo Bootes
3.03
Shaula λ Sco Scorpius
1.63
x  
Shelyak βLyr Lyra
3.45
Sheratan β Ari Aries
2.64
x  
Sirius α CMa Canis major
-1.46
x  
Skat δ Aqu Aquarius
3.27
Spica α Vir Virgo
0.98
x  
Sualocin α Del Delphinus
3.77
Suhail γ2 Vel Vela
2.21
Sulafat γ Lyr Lyra
3.24
Talitha Australi μ UMa Ursa major
3.57
Tania Australis ν UMa Ursa major
3.05
Tania Borealis λ UMa Ursa major
3.45
Tarazed γ Aql Aquila
2.72
x  
Tarf β Cnc Cancer
3.52
Tchou α Ara Ara
2.76
Tejat μ Gem Gemini
2.88
Thuban α Dra Draco
3.65
Tsih γ Cas Cassiopeia
2.15
Tyl ε Dra Draco
3.83
Unukalhai α Ser Serpens
2.65
x  
Vega α Lyr Lyra
0.03
x  
Vindemiatrix ε Vir Virgo
2.83
Wasat δ Gem Gemini
3.53
Wazn β Col Columba
3.12
Wezen δ CMa Canis major
1.84
x  
Yed Posterior ε Oph Ophiuchus
3.24
Yed Prior δ Oph Ophiuchus
2.74
x  
Zaniah η Vir Virgo
3.89
Zaurac γ Eri Eridanus
2.95
Zosma δ Leo Leo
2.56
Zuben Elschamali γ Lib Libra
2.61
Zubenelgenubi α Lib Libra
2.75
Zubenelhakrabi γ Lib Libra
3.91
Zubeneschamali β Lib Libra
2.61

*) AS means "alignment star"

Notes: ...

 

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11.01.2018