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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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as it's closely balanced, manual for me :); I like the fun of finding things myself and I like the silence and I don't think I'd like the faffing about with set ups and power supplies etc. and I could never have afforded a 10" scope with goto.

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I think there is a difference between true "star hopping", and what I do. <G> A delicate art: Find a bright star... hop to a fainter star... hop another, even fainter... then a DSO (maybe?). I was quite PROUD though to find M65/6 via way of "Chort" and iota Leonis. The names on the way (Chort! Heh) do stick with you though... :)

Edited by Macavity

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Still very closely balanced. Quite surprising as I would have thought very many more people used goto.

It would seem that at least 60% of those responding have goto capability - could it be that of the rest a significant proportion don't have goto mounts? As the poll is currently structured we can't really tell if star hopping is a preference or a necessity.

Chris

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For me, whatever you like best, I like a mix of both. Goto is a must for me for imaging, I would find it really hard to get to some of the fainter DSOs without it! With goto and a careful three star alignment, I don't need to check the target really is in the view, it's usually in the middle or close enough. A big Thank You, Professor Goto! :)

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OK, I tried GOTO (Synscan) for the first time - I can find the blooming objects a lot faster (AND QUIETER!) manually. Not happy. :)

The above sentence must seem strange to those who have used automated scopes, but you have to remember I have always used manual mounts to align my telescopes. (I'm an observer)

Perhaps I'm just an old fart...:D

Join the club ;)

I have the impression I have got several fuzzies while others are still getting their goto aligned. At Messier marathons you often hear star-hoppers find things more quickly than goto systems. It does require a lot of practice. I have had around 33 years of practice so I had better be good, hadn't I :p

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. It does require a lot of practice. I have had around 33 years of practice so I had better be good, hadn't I :)

I do agree, and think that my opinions would be different if I had used a GOTO from the get go. Last night I was more concerned about conserving battery power (the person who has loaned this to me hasn't sorted out the powerpack yet) and planned to see objects near and around the previous one.

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I have both GOTO and PUSH TO Alt-Az mounts - if I had to keep one it would be the manual mount because for me the pure Zen pleasure of scanning the skies with a good scope, pointer and star Atlas outweighs the considerable benefiits of GOTO. You will see far more in one session with GOTO but to me you lose a lot of the context of the piece of sky you're looking at and the whole experience becomes rather clinical. I also find the noise of tracking motors distracting and prefer peace and quiet when I'm observing. However, as a stargazer of many years standing I'm still amazed by the power of GOTO and I've certainly seen many objects that I could never find manually.

Alan

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When I won my Messier pin, the rules were "no computer assisted scopes allowed" and I found all 110 objects by star hopping. I don't know if the rules have changed, or not.

I do have one "goto" scope in my collection, a little ETX-90. I have modified the finder scope by removing it, and replacing it with a green laser. That way, I can place a conventional scope next to the ETX and by sighting up the beam, I can see where in the sky, to point the second scope! It actually works quite well, as the "end" of the beam is a LONG ways out there, and the parallax is quite small where the focus converges to a point. Of course, if you are too far off the beam, it becomes dim enough to become hard to see. But put the two scopes within a five foot circle, and you will be pleasantly surprised!

Jim S.

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Goto for me at the moment - it does maximise the the time available, which is always too little. My eyesight isn't great either, so I do find it quite a help.

I do like to try a little star-hopping though, practising for the big Dob I'm going to treat myself to soon.

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Started off with goto, but as time goes by it has helped me to learn where things are, so with becoming more familiar with the location of objects I can use binoculars or a travel scope to find easier objects. But goto is essential for fainter targets.

Allan

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OK, I tried GOTO (Synscan) for the first time - I can find the blooming objects a lot faster (AND QUIETER!) manually. Not happy. :(

The above sentence must seem strange to those who have used automated scopes, but you have to remember I have always used manual mounts to align my telescopes. (I'm an observer)

Perhaps I'm just an old fart...:)

;) same here. Old farts find things manually!

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I am getting my first scope soon and I think I need to leave goto to begin with.

I just hope that I'm able to find a few things in the sky to keep me from losing my excitement!

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