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michael.h.f.wilkinson

Poll: who uses goto/star hopping

What do you use to find stuff in the sky?  

115 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you use to find stuff in the sky?

    • Go To
      44
    • Star hopping
      39
    • Mixture
      28
    • Nothing, I cannot find ANYTHING up there ;)
      4


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After reading the thread "GoTo = Cheating?" I was given to wonder, who uses what to find stuff in the sky. I like to star-hop, but that is at least in part because my mount is that old.

Edited by michael.h.f.wilkinson

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star hopping for me. When I first purchased my scope I was advised to put my limited budget into aperture and hold off on the goto side of things. 4 months later and im actually finding that I love the challenge and the sense of achievement of finding things on my own as much as actually observing them. I have also found that it has helped me to learn the night sky in a way I perhaps wouldnt of needed too if I had goto.

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Done 30 years of star hopping,now i'm a GOTO guy.I've had the sense of achievment of finding objects by star hopping,know the sky like the back of my hand so now its time for a little luxury.

Now i want spend as many hours as possible imaging objects i cant see instead of spending hours on end trying to find them.

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I can like S5 find objects but these days don't have the time to spend trying to find things.

We use up to date technology for just about everything, why not in observing.

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Star hopping is difficult with a narrow-field Mak and under urban light pollution, but when I can find an object manually, i like to do so. It's quicker than waiting for the GOTO to trickle its was to the object.

Edited by Ags

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Bit of both really although I would'nt be without goto now, when there's a sea breeze the moisture level in the sky where I live really puts the boot in to star hopping.

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I would echo bunnygod1's statement. I star hop for the most part, but do some astro-photography with a friend that has a goto mount for his scopes. If I had the money, I would gladly switch over to a heavier mount with goto capabilities.

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Star hopping, altough I am currently in the possession of a GOTO for a few weeks, just to see what it is like. :( Then, it's back to good 'ole fashioned star hopping. :)

Edited by Beulah

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Star hop with my Dobsonians. I have used this technique for more than 25 years. In my observatory though I use GOTO.

My view is that any approach that allows the astronomer to collect the light of distant suns is good.

IMHO there is no cheating there are just different approaches to doing Astronomy.

Adrian

Edited by JAO

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i do a bit of bothe i use the 300p dobmost of the time and star hop a little ,depends what am looking for i do use the goto as well at the same time i let the goto find hard targets , and once found with the goto,i then jump back to the 300p dob and and lifes sweet,but star hop in does a few things it is a better way of learning your way round,but what a find with the goto on its own is i tend to spend 5 mins on a target and then choose my next ,with the dob 300p,i sta looking at the target for ages planning a nights view in is the best thing ,as just looking round is great but never seem to find things

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Star hopping for me 2 main reasons:

1) Dont have a GOTO

2) Star hopping is helping me to learn the night sky

Also found the satisfaction others have when finding your target :)

Can see myself getting a GOTO though when I start to upgrade/find the cash to do so.

Can see a huge benefit to both methods obviously if you want a lot of imaging/viewing time having the advantage of locating your target instantly and accurately is going to be ideal.

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Both - At some level? At various times...

In the 60/70s, as a kid, I used to do a bit of *simple* star hopping, with binoculars - Mostly to involve my (ever indulgent!) Dad in my self-found passion for astronomy... M31: "Left - left - up - up...". You get the idea? :(

After LONG hiatus, I continued this in the 2000s with my first "real" mount - The Giro III. Though I was quick to add an Azimuth scale and a "Wixey", for even Star Sweeping. And found many MORE objects, that way...

GoTo (MAK/Synscan) proved a revelation though. For the first time, I moved beyond revisiting the same (slightly tired) objects and found even more stuff! Once found, I became accustomed to finding some of them manually too.

These days - It's nice to have a small observatory, and to mess with "GoTo" VIDEO imaging.

I don't envisage star hopping with an HEQ5 (Or any equatorial!): I value my (relative) sanity. :)

Edited by Macavity

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I always used star hopping. Silly enough, in the mean time I own two NEQ6 pro mounts with GOTO. When I had the first one, I used GOTO for a few nights but I found it cumbersome to do a time consuming 3 star alignment instead of just switching tracking on. So due to pure laziness and time efficiency I reverted back to star hopping using a GOTO mount !

My 2nd, new NEQ6 pro had NEVER had a GOTO run yet ...

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Go To for me Michael, after using a couple of scopes for 4 years now. I have learnt the night sky using them as well as other kit and methods.

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Star hopping! Its a rewarding way to learn the fuzzies! Though I am not an imager :) I did have goto on my first scope! Its horses for courses.

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Go To for me. I have had my first scope for a bit over a year now.

My scope sets in my den. From the time I decide I would like to do some observing to the time I am observing is 9 minutes for the Eastern sky and 7 minutes for the Western sky. That includes breaking it down, carrying out to the site, reassembling, plugging everything in and doing two alignment and two calibrations stars.

I press the TOUR button and am offered over 100 objects to choose from. I know what each offering is before I peer into the eyepiece and it is always there for my viewing pleasure.

Some nights I do them all and some nights I spend the entire session on a single object.

The best part is I am the only one that has to enjoy this setup, and I do.

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Star Hopping. I dont know how to use the Go To function of my Bins.

I am currently in the 'Go To or not To Go To' decision of my first scope.... Time will tell.

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I mainly use my GOTO but I am now trying to do some star-hopping too.

Being on my first scope and having only had it a couple of months, I know for sure that to begin with I wouldn't have stood a chance of finding anything without the GOTO and quite possibly would have been a little disheartened and put off by the lack of results. The GOTO definitely helped to get me hooked, and very quickly too.

Now though I am very conscious that if someone handed me a manual scope to use I would be pretty clueless, so am making the effort to learn how to star-hop, learn the constellations, etc, so I don't feel that I have to completely rely on computer-gadgetry (as much as I love my gadgets :) )

But on balance, I would definitely rather spend longer looking at objects than finding them :(

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For many years star hopping, now have a goto SCT but still use it in alt az!! also along with 3 star hopping rerfractors!!

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Star hopping at the moment. I don't have too much trouble finding the brighter DSO's and I am sticking with Dob for visual use but for imaging it just takes up too much time so I have GOTO mount incoming in October.

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I am quite surprised at the results to date, I had expected far more go to than star hopping. Incidentally, I find equatorial star hopping easier, because I follow lines of constant right ascension or declination. These I find in my good old Sky Atlas 2000.0. What with alt-az maps being made readily with stellarium, this might be a dying art.

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S&T Pocket Sky Atlas lives in my EP case.

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Both.

Goto when imaging and star hopping visually.

Rob

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