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How far should I be looking to hop?

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If going from a nice and easy to find point of reference to try to find something that's well hidden out there what's the furthest a new boy should be looking to try and go please? I appreciate that much will depend on the section of sky and how many good reference points there are but an expert opinion or two would help me try and choose targets that may be within my ability to reach rather than overreaching myself and trying to star hop too far.

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IMO it is more of a case of checking out magnitudes and surface brightness of the objects you're targeting. That way at least you'll know if at the end of your hop whether you'll see anything.

No point hopping all over the sky when you have no hope of seeing the object you're after.

Also worth bearing in mind is your local sky conditions. For example. It's very hard observing diffuse nebulae from city centres

It is also harder to observe any DSO close to the horizon, so make sure the object you are after reaches a decent altitude.

I would try at first to select objects no further than two finder fields ( about 10 degrees ) away from a reasonably bright star.

Regards Steve

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Might be worth picking something like Ursa Major (more or less overhead at the moment) and "hopping" along the main stars in the constellation - easy targets to find and will give you some idea of "how far" things are.

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Thanks chaps. Looks like I'm way overreaching my ability and that of my equipment given my location. I'd better choose some easier targets higher in the sky.

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I recommend buying a book such as illustrated guide to astronomical wonders. This will give you about 400 objects with detailed guides on each on how to find them etc...

Once you have done a 100 or so you will become very able to hop to most visible objects for your scope....


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