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astromog

Hello world

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Hi all,

Had a couple of telescopes over the years but never used them much. Realized this is because 1. the time requirement is too much and 2. the earth turning means that nothing stays in view very long, so have just bought a GOTO scope. Was delighted last night after I had a 20 minute interruption, when I returned to the scope to find it still showing Mars, which I'd just got centred before the call came in.

I now have some questions as I did have a few issues but I'll post them on the appropriate board.

Thanks for running the site.

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Hello and welcome to the community, hope you enjoy your time with us.

Clear Sky's.

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Hello and welcome. I agree, I cannot understand why it took me so long to get a goto, great aren't they? ?

Fire away with your questions, I am sure someone here will know the answer, or at least an answer. ?

( Now I will go an look what else you have posted... )

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Greetings from this newby to you, via Ottawa, Ontario. I think you'll find-as I did and am doing-the members here to be the most knowlegeable, patient and helpful bunch you could ever hope to be associated with.

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Not sure where you are, welcome from land down under anyway

Started out with a dob, them progress to an EQ5

 

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4 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

Not sure where you are, welcome from land down under anyway

Started out with a dob, them progress to an EQ5

 

Thanks. I'm from the United Kingdom. 

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12 hours ago, Greymouser said:

Hello and welcome. I agree, I cannot understand why it took me so long to get a goto, great aren't they? ?

Fire away with your questions, I am sure someone here will know the answer, or at least an answer. ?

( Now I will go an look what else you have posted... )

OK so one thing, is how to find and name bright stars. The Goto thing is great, but I need to find the bright stars first of course! So seeing as you ask and you're in the same Goto boat as me, what are your tips? (Please anyone else feel free to contribute too!!) I've already been recommended a book, but  I'd love to hear what existing Goto users actually do when setting up your scope. Here's what I've got to so far from my little prior knowledge and making notes from reading various different websites and books that I already have when I've had a spare minute over the last few days. It's based of course around the things I know I can recognise in the sky, which for me is The big dipper, Orion, Cassiopeia's W, and the Pegasus square.

If I can see Ursa Major:

  • pointers take me to Polaris (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • top of the two pointers is called shooby "Dubhe" (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • far end of the pan handle is called Alkaid (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • following the line at the end of the pan handle takes me to Arcturus (0) (which apparently is in the constellation "Bootes" but I can never make that out myself)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • following across the top of the pan should apparently take me to Capella (0) in the constellation or Auriga (again I've never made Auriga out myself)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?

If I can see Orion:

  • right shoulder is Bellatrix (2) Lestrange - I'm starting to think JK Rowling was nabbing stars for her character names!!
    • confident I can find this
  • left shoulder is called beetle juice, ahem, Betelgeuse (0)
    • confident I can find this
  • following the shoulders left I should find Procyon (0)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • bottom right star is the very regal Rigel (0)
    • confident I can find this
  • following the line from Rigel to Betelgeuse I should find Castor (2) & Pollux (1)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • following the belt left I hit the Dog Star, Sirius Black (-1)
    • confident I can find this
  • following the belt right I should find the old baron, Aldebaran (1)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • following the line from Bellatrix through the brightest star in Orion's bow/shield (Tabit (3)) should get me to boys toys, Menkar (2)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • carrying on in this direction the same distance again should get me to Diphda (2)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?

If I can see the Cassiopeia W:

  • the top right point of the W is a place to have a coffee, Caph (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • the bottom right point of the W, it's cheddar ahem Schedar (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • following the line from the centre of the W through the bottom left should apparently take me under water to the merfolk, Mirfak (2) in Perseus (another constellation I've never been able to make out):
    • half confident about this, think I've noticed this star before but didn't know it's name till now!
  • going in the opposite direction from the bottom left through the centre of the W should get me to Deneb (1):
    • confident I can find this
  • following the line from Schedar to Caph a long way I get to Suzanne Vega (0) - noting that around half way I'll pass close to Deneb (1)
    • confident I can find this - that's the way I got my scope set up the first time I used it (and only time so far!) 
  • following the line from Caph through the centre star, should get me to Capella (0) - noting that when I'm just over half way there I should pass close to Mirfak (2)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • If I keep going in that direction past Capella, about the same distance again, I should get to Procyon (0)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • going in the opposite direction, following the line from the centre star through Caph a looooong way, I should get to Altair (1) - noting that around half way I'll pass close to Deneb (1)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?

If I can see the Pegasus square:

  • top left is the prime rodent Alpheratz (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • top right is what you make the bed with, Scheat (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • bottom right is Michelin star chef Mark Abbott, Markab (2)
    • confident I can find this
  • Following the top of the square left from Alpheratz nearly two square widths should get me to Hamal (2) in another constellation I don't recognise:
    • not too confident with this, any tips?
  • Following the line from Markab through Hamal should get me to the old baron, Aldebaran (1)
    • not at all confident with this, any tips?
  • Following the line line from Markab and Alpheratz through the two other bright stars in Andromeda gets me to Mirfak (2)
    • confident I can find this, although the name is new to me as mentioned above
  • Carrying on from Mirfak in the same direction should get me to Capella
    • oddly completely failed to find this - followed the line of stars but Capella seemed to be missing! Any ideas?
  • Following the bottom of the square right from Markab by one square's width should get me to Enif (2)
    • half confident about this, think I may have noticed this star before but didn't know it's name till now!

If I can get proficient at finding all of these it gives me quite a few to choose from depending on what I can actually see at the time:

  1. Polaris (2)
  2. Shooby "Dubhe" (2)
  3. Alkaid (2)
  4. Arcturus (0)
  5. Capella (0)
  6. Bellaxtrix Lestrange (2)
  7. Beetle juice Betelgeuse (0)
  8. Procyon (0)
  9. Regal Rigel (0)
  10. Castor oil (2)
  11. load of Pollux (1)
  12. Dog Star Sirius Black (-1)
  13. The old baron, Aldebaran (1)
  14. Boys toy, Menkar (2)
  15. Diphda (2)
  16. The local cafe, Caph (2)
  17. It's cheddar, Schedar (2)
  18. Merfolk, Mirfak (2)
  19. Pink panther tune deneb, deneb, deneb, deneb ,deneb, deneb, Deneb (1)
  20. Alternative atmosphere Altair (1)
  21. prime rodent Alpheratz (2)
  22. what you make the bed with, Scheat (2)
  23. Michelin star chef Mark Abbott, Markab (2)
  24. Gammon Alan, Hamal (2)
  25. Enough is Enif (2)

Please excuse the names - just trying to make them easier to remember... because of course if I can't remember what they're called, I can't set up the scope!

Thanks in advance for any thoughts / advice!! I'm hoping that this all being in one place may help someone else with the same how-do-I-set-up-my-new-goto-scope issue. Please do let me know what you do, which is much more likely to be effective than my beginner attempts at doing this! I can then add to and update the above.

Cheers

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Depends on your sky quality, it is in fact easier to find bright stars with some light pollution, a pristine dark sky can be very confusing :grin:

The only downside of this is that all the dimmer stars in a constellation are hard to see so difficult to make out the shapes like Bootes kite with all the other stars being much dimmer than Arcturus which is supposedly one of the brightest star in the northern hemisphere.

 Star maps being flat and the sky being the inside of a dome, constellations continuously altering their orientation and appearing / disappearing, in the sky depending on the time doesn't help either.

You're well on the way any way so soon be able to impress your friends pointing out stuff and answering questions like " what's that star there " 

Good luck

Dave

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OK just found this great map, sorry if you guys have already seen it, but it has the names of the stars my SynScan controller knows about - wish I'd found this before:

Northern-Hemisphere-Map.png

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When I first started with my goto i used a mobile app like sky safari or sky guide.

You just point the phone to the sky and it will tell you what you are looking at. After a while you just know where you are going. 

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Tips, mmmm, Well the two biggest are for you to get yourself  a planisphere:    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/david-chandler-night-sky-planisphere.html

That is not the make of the one I got, but it has been totally invaluable to me, a must buy. I even wore one smaller one I had out. Next would also be a must buy, though in fact only just recently bought for me, but again, invaluable in trying to find your way around:  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/turn-left-at-orion-book.html

If you have not already got, or ordered these, do so, I doubt you will regret it. ?

Also don't stress about knowing all the stars, you will take time to come even close to that, I still cannot name all, or even close. I guess that GOTO makes one slightly lazy too, because to set it up you only need to find a few. This is why many go for a manual mount first, to ensure they learn ( have to! ) their way around, before growing too dependant on GOTO.  I am not so sure about this, because I have seen many grow very frustrated with lack of progress and give up. GOTO is great and it allows you to relax and get a good session in observing, easily.

I have no idea which scope you have, but I own a Celestron Evolution 9.25 and it is easy, in the extreme to set up. The only issue I have is with the free SkyPortal app, crashing at times, which I am working on. The hardest thing I have to put up with is the cold!  

One last thing, if you are bothered about learning your way around, just turn off the GOTO and use it as a manual scope, if you can. My Evolution mount is easy for this, just ease off the clutches and away I go. I have to admit a curious satisfaction the other night in finding M31 ( Andromeda Galaxy ), with GOTO turned off, first time in years to be honest. ?

Edited by Greymouser
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hello and welcome , fantastic bunch on here, simply amazing people, sorry i cannot be of much help as i am a green behind the ears newbie, but i wish you a warm welcome.Best wishes and best regards Dave.

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@Greymouser ha ha. It's funny. Before I had the Goto scope, I wasn't at all bothered about knowing star names. Now I have it, yes I need to know them to set it up. But... having started looking into it, you're right, I DO want to know them! In fact right now I'm actually more excited about getting outside and seeing if I can put into practice the stuff I've been reading than I am about using the new scope!!! (It's a Sky Watcher SkyMax 127 by the way).

I am using the Dark Skies weather app that a friend recommended to me. I don't know if you know it but it shows the cloud cover in your area. For hours it has been saying: cloudy now, but in an hours time it will start to clear and in two hours time it will be completely clear. I've a feeling I won't see any stars tonight!

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1 hour ago, Greymouser said:

I use the Clear Outside app. free and very good generally.  http://clearoutside.com/forecast/50.7/-3.52

That looks awesome!! I knew there must be an app with everything.... and it seems more accurate than Dark Skies too, which, you guessed it is still saying "couldy now, clearing in an hour, and completely clear in 2 hours". Thanks for your help

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