A good alignment is crucial to GoTo and tracking performance. The
most comprehensive alignment advice for NexStar telescopes can be found in my
books, The NexStar User's Guide II and The NexStar User's Guide (see link above).
Here I present several alignment resources that are available on-line.
Version 4 and NexStar+ Alignment Methods
The following alignment methods were introduced in NexStar
version 4 hand control. I originally created the following articles at
that time. These articles are a rather brief treatment of what I more
fully explain in The NexStar User's Guide II but I will continue to
make them available here for anyone who might find them useful:
John Carlyle's NexStar Alignment
NexStar Alignment Guide,
developed by John Carlyle with contributions from Alain Fraysse, Carroll Morgan, and
Michael Swanson (me), provides many tips to insure the best GoTo performance possible from your
NexStar. Please note that it was written for the original NexStar 5/8
and the NexStar 60/76/80/102/114/4/130 GT. Many of the points will apply to newer
models, but some may not - specifically, for the 'i' series scopes, read
to download (50KB). Also, GT owners should read this list of
common problems with alignment. This file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at www.adobe.com) to view or print.
Jean Piquette's 'i' Series
Jean Piquette has developed an alignment guide for the 'i' Series NexStar
telescopes. It addresses improvements in these newer models and
presents a different approach for selection of the two alignment stars.
Click here to download
(15KB). Note that after you unzip the file, there are actually two
guides - a quick start guide with all that most folks will ever need to get a
good alignment on a NexStar 5i/8i and a more in-depth guide that provides
additional details along with the theory Jean applied to come up with his alignment
method. You might also want to download Jean's program "Select
Alignment Stars" - details and the download are available
here. These files require Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at www.adobe.com) to view or print.
AS-GT Alignment Guide
For alignment tips for the AS-GT scopes, join the
Celestron_AS Group on Yahoo and refer to the Frequently Asked Questions
found in the Files section. Note that this information is mostly
pertinent to hand control version 3 - the alignment routines in version 4
are much different.
Help Selecting Good Pairs of
Alignment Stars (Alt-Az use only)
In addition to Jean Piquette's "Select Alignment Stars" program (above),
NexStar Observer List (link at top of this page) provides assistance in
selecting pairs of alignment stars. People also report good success using "Best Pair II" to assist in
selecting alignment stars. Windows and Macintosh versions are found at