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Southern Hemisphere

Southern Hemisphere and the Problems with Computerized Telescopes

For all of you living in the southern hemisphere there will be a few problems you will face when buying a telescope. In the S/Hemisphere the sky spins clockwise, while in the N/Hemisphere it spins anticlockwise. If you buy a computerized telescope or a simple tracking motor you need to be aware of this.

Another problem with cheaper equatorial telescopes is that the supplied RA setting circle index scale (from 0h to “24h”) is usually “backwards” for S/Hemisphere users. You can make your own index by attaching a strip of paper, with the correct labels, over the existing index. As shown below.

Here is the schematic views on the RA setting circle.

In this diagram you are looking down the polar axis.

southern hemisphere

Remember when the telescopes manual tells you to align your telescope, it will probably be using the northern hemisphere stars, so don’t spend the night trying to find stars that are not there.

The better equatorial will have both index scales for the S/Hemisphere and N/Hemisphere, and instructions on which index to use. Ask your local dealer when buying a computerized telescope whether it is set up for the southern hemisphere.

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