Jump to content

stargazine_ep44_banner.thumb.jpg.6153c4d39ed5a64b7d8af2d3d6061f61.jpg

Death of the star chart?


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 81
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

If you're trying to navigate Belgian motorways use a satnav. How exactly do you manage your lane choice at 80mph while... ah... reading a map? BANG!!! If you're enjoying a pootle through rural France

Whilst playing around with my new toy,It occured to me that if many newcomers are purchasing 'Goto' systems, would the ability to even read  a star chart be necessary? I'm no expert when it comes to r

I've seen many more deep sky objects this year since I was given the Sky & Telescope Pocket Star Atlas for Christmas. My scopes are all alt-az and I'm the GOTO mechanism I've really enjoyed dark

Posted Images

For me, when it's very clear, charts are preferred. When it's hazy or there's patchy cloud, I tend to use setting circles (pre-cambrian goto) to find an object.

I've been wracking my brains to work out what "baker's wife" might be cockny rhyming slang for....

Chris

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

You learn far more about navigating your way around the sky if you use a chart, rather than having your scope do it all for you. I like the simplicity of manual scopes too. I don't need to worry about motors wearing out, where the nearest mains socket is, and how much battery power have I got left. When that colossal coronal mass ejection which I've been long waiting for finally materialises, and we'll all have dark skies, my scope will work!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love star-hopping (especially on EQ mounts). GoTo is fine for those who like it.

Regarding processing images in the dark room: done that, great fun, but I can get a kick out of digital when I get things like this out of it (click for full size)

file.php?id=15472&mode=view

At least no one needs go-to for that one...... Hopefully

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy this new technology, but that sudden 'WOW' i've found it, might be missing.

If you ever printed your first photograph in a tray of chemicals under the dim light in a Darkroom.....

Instant results ( barring processing ) with digital photography.... no 'WOW'

Just my thoughts.

I don't know. I had a big wow the first time I turned up the gamma on an under-exposed picture and suddenly all the hidden detail appeared.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been dithering over buying a star atlas for ages. Not that I currently use, or would ever prefer a GoTo system, but rather there's so much downloadable for free, and there's Stellarium on my computer, and SkEye on my phone - I just end up wondering if I really need an expensive printed atlas. I like the idea in principle, but in truth all of the sample PDFs I've looked at leave me thinking they're just way too cluttered for my liking, and I can't see the wood for the trees.

So by way of testing the water I've finally ordered a copy of the S&T Pocket Sky Atlas. With a bit of luck it might be all the atlas I'll ever need. Certainly I can't see me wanting any more than that when I'm standing out there at the scope. I admit the pleasure of browsing a full size atlas back indoors might sway me, but I certainly don't want to commit £60 (for example) for something like Interstallarum until I'm a lot more sure of the value of it than I am now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like both star hopping using a wide field refractor on a manual Alt Az mount, and Goto usage on a high magnification SCT.  There is definitely a WOW moment when you find something for yourself on a manual set up, very satisfying.  Then again, centering and then keeping a target in view using a high focal length slow SCT which can easily deploy x400 mag, is WAY too much like hard work without a Goto system.

What I won't use again is Planispheres.  I always used to have one when I was younger but frankly they are an impoverished developing world cousin to the free (or very cheap) programs available for phones, tablets and laptops.  All I need is Stellarium (£1.60)  or Sky Safari (£2) on my phone and I have far more than a planisphere could ever tell me.  Point the phone at the sky and it shows you what in the bit of sky you are pointing too.  Zoom in to starfields, turn DSOs on or off, increase or decrease the magnitude of stars, fast forward to 9.30 tonight to see what will be up when it gets dark (ok you can do that with a planisphere), and probably more features I haven't played with yet.  Forget the pro versions of the apps unless you want to drive a goto scope with your tablet/phone.

I really don't think it's worth forking out proper money for a sky atlas when you can get all this for a pound or two on your phone/tablet/laptop. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

...I really don't think it's worth forking out proper money for a sky atlas when you can get all this for a pound or two on your phone/tablet/laptop. 

Fair enough if you take such devices out observing. What I like about a paper atlas is that it's standalone with no reliance on electrics (apart perhaps from the batteries for a torch) or processing power.

With the S&T Pocket Star Atlas I managed to find 60+ faint DSO's in a single session a few weeks back. I'm just not sure that I could manage that if I had to deal with technology as well !

I've no problem with anyone who tackles the hobby using a different approach and with different tools though - we do it for pleasure after all so whatever "floats your boat" is good :smiley:

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love star-hopping (especially on EQ mounts). GoTo is fine for those who like it.

Regarding processing images in the dark room: done that, great fun, but I can get a kick out of digital when I get things like this out of it (click for full size)

file.php?id=15472&mode=view

so how does that star hopping go Michael? find sun, observe ;).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Love star charts too!

From printed map to St pocket star atlas.. I have recently started using stellarium with a tablet inside a red cover. That also works nicely. The only piece of technology I like when outside.

Nothing against GOTO. Just a matter of taste.

Edited by Piero
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

With the S&T Pocket Star Atlas I managed to find 60+ faint DSO's in a single session a few weeks back. I'm just not sure that I could manage that if I had to deal with technology as well !

I've seen 45 targets in a session with a tablet. Power for a tablet is not really a problem as the battery lasts for ages. Love ST pocket star atlas though. Glad they both exist! :) Edited by Piero
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen 45 targets in a session with a tablet. Power for a tablet is not really a problem as the battery lasts for ages. Love ST pocket star atlas though. Glad they both exist! :)

Me and small electronic devices don't go well together in daylight let alone in the dark. I'm glad the technology is helping many though :smiley:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

i find goto a very useful tool, but i would say that it is more useful for someone who does know the sky than to someone who doesn't. it is a great auxilliary, but is not  100 reliable and someone who is a complete beginner might be stranded if the goto is off the mark on a particular target. it is super helpful when you plan to hop around to show a number of targets to...kids :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough if you take such devices out observing. What I like about a paper atlas is that it's standalone with no reliance on electrics (apart perhaps from the batteries for a torch) or processing power.

With the S&T Pocket Star Atlas I managed to find 60+ faint DSO's in a single session a few weeks back. I'm just not sure that I could manage that if I had to deal with technology as well !

I've no problem with anyone who tackles the hobby using a different approach and with different tools though - we do it for pleasure after all so whatever "floats your boat" is good :smiley:

I wouldn't ever try to change your mind John, but don't rule it out. As has been said, the more interactive nature of apps makes it very easy to match say the exact field of view or the magnitude of stars you see through your scope so star hopping becomes much more intuitive.

Even on a more simple level, the fact that the apps show bright stars on a black background means they look far more like the view through the scope and so it's easier to match things up.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Interesting topic.... everybody is allowed to use the methodology they feel most comfortable with.

I agree with Stu......

I use paper, GoTo and Skysafari Pro 4.

I really like Skysafari, it is a great planning and observing tool, I have copies on my iPad, iPhone and MacBook Pro.

I believe in using the best tools available, so we could use a star chart drawn out in the sand, (before paper became available), not only were clear nights required but also they had to be windless!!! :laugh:

I hope we get more clear skies in the coming months than we have had so far this year.

Cheers

Adrian

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use go-to and also star charts. You have to know where your targets are so you can progress from one to another that's nearby. Also you may need to account for terrain, obstructions, observing near the zenith whenever possible, etc. Charts also help you decide what to observe. What may be the "death of the star chart" is perhaps the software planetarium, specially since they are widespread on portable devices.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't ever try to change your mind John, but don't rule it out. As has been said, the more interactive nature of apps makes it very easy to match say the exact field of view or the magnitude of stars you see through your scope so star hopping becomes much more intuitive.

Even on a more simple level, the fact that the apps show bright stars on a black background means they look far more like the view through the scope and so it's easier to match things up.

But don't "apps" need something to run on Stu ?

Not my scene I'm afraid. I have a £5 pay as you go mobile which I use for emergencies only. I can just about send and read a simple text on it. Thats as fas as I'm going with mobile technology !

(I had quite enough of it before I retired !)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

But don't "apps" need something to run on Stu ?

Not my scene I'm afraid. I have a £5 pay as you go mobile which I use for emergencies only. I can just about send and read a simple text on it. Thats as fas as I'm going with mobile technology !

(I had quite enough of it before I retired !)

Err, yes I suppose they do! Doesn't have to be a phone though but I think I may be flogging a dead horse here ;)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Granted I don't have a GOTO but I think I prefer it that way. I love hunting the skies for dso's, that little rush you get when you see the smudge of light in the ep.

I have a planesphere which I do use occasionally. Mostly though I use stellarium for star hopping and the 'star chart' ios map for checking what's in the vicinity of the think I'm already looking at.

I guess each to their own. I can definitely see the benefits of a GOTO, especially for those who know what they want to see. But also I get the joy of hunting for stuff.

Whatever helps you enjoy it can't be a bad thing really!

Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Err, yes I suppose they do! Doesn't have to be a phone though but I think I may be flogging a dead horse here ;)

I appreciate seeing and hearing about what is possible though Stu, I just don't choose to use it myself :smiley:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If technology helps those without the skills to do without it to appreciate and explore the sky, the only people who lose out are those who don't want hoi polloi discovering what's out there.

Must say I haven't found the 'old school elitists' around here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If technology helps those without the skills to do without it to appreciate and explore the sky, the only people who lose out are those who don't want hoi polloi discovering what's out there.

Must say I haven't found the 'old school elitists' around here.

It's not about having or not having the skills, it's about using the method which works for you. I can star hop to plenty of DSO's from memory, plus use a star map too, but prefer using SkySafari on a phone. I use manual mounts most, but also have push-to and Goto for when I want it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's best having both if you have the money. No harm there. I agree it's about which one works. I'm a manual guy though. I don't have any charts but I look forward to buying one :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.