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Successful Third Drift Test at the Observatory

Oct 04
by Kai Staats

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AWB Update - September 28, 2019 at 9:30 PM  Last night MMAO Astronomy Ambassadors Zacharia Mjungu and Pendael Nassary were successful in conducting a third drift test, this time noting all parameters to make certain we can effectively interpret the results and align the telescope more accurately.

In short summary, they selected a star almost directly overhead, which at MMAO is close to the celestial equator. They rotate the reticle eyepiece such that when slewing the telescope East and West the star tracked parallel to one of the two cross hairs. They then centered the star and with the RA motor engaged, allowed the star to drift from center to edge.

With a 25mm eyepiece, it took 23 minutes for the star to move past the edge. This is very good for a hand-aligned telescope and perfect for public star parties, but for astro-photography we want to do better.

Now, they will interpret the results using the guidance provided on this website: http://www.minorplanet.info/ObsGu…/…/DriftPolarAlignment.htm for the Southern Hemisphere, and suggest how we can make very small adjustments to the polar and/or equatorial axis.

Stay tuned!

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    About Telescopes to Tanzania

    Telescopes to Tanzania (TtT) brings scarce educational resources to this developing country in east Africa. The emphasis now is on building the Centre for Science Education and Observatory in Usa River, Tanzania.

    Program Goals

    • Visit schools throughout Tanzania
    • Train teachers to teach hands-on, inquiry based science
    • Teach students
    • Train government education officers in understanding science teaching and scientific concepts
    • Bring more NEW science curricula to schools throughout Tanzania

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