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markclaire50

Controversial Topic! Advice to Beginners.

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4 hours ago, scarp15 said:

An OIII filter will dispel the myth.

Yep - like the Veil Nebula, the O-III really works magic with the Owl :icon_biggrin:

Trouble is, the O-III more or less wipes out the lovely galaxy M108 which can appear in the same wide field view.

Once you have found the Owl with the O-III, take the filter off and see if you can detect the Owl AND M108. It's worth the effort !

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I went for manual just because of the price. What I payed for my 8" second hand would have bought me 4.5" Go-To newt.

My first evening was quite frustrating, it all was feeling awkward, but soon I figured out that I can use 2 eyes with the straight through finder and it made the things a whole lot easier.  So on the second session I could easily locate Jupiter and Saturn and was getting used to tracking at the eyepiece. Star hopping was still difficult, but it felt rewarding when I could finally find something. 

Then, after a while, I have added setting circles + digital angle gauge (a poor man's push-to :D) that worked pretty well. I could get an object in the FoV of my wide field EP. Then I added RDF and replaced through finder with RACI, that made finding stuff a lot easier, even under Bortle 8 skies.

Currently I mostly find targets with RDF+RACI. When I am having trouble with something I use the setting circles + angle gauge. I am happy with my telescope and don't feel like I miss something by not using Go-To.

I think the best advise is not for or against go-to, but as with anything else - best advise is to try it yourself at a star party or similar. Some people will be put off by complexity of manual star hopping, some will be disappointed by the views through smaller aperture, some will be happy with either.

 

On 02/03/2019 at 18:01, AstroCiaran123 said:

Anyone know of an Android app that'll turn the screen red ? 

 

I use red adhesive film cut to size + night mode on my phone. Not quite an app but it works. All the apps I have tried wouldn't turn the screen red-black, but rather reddish with absolutely horrible contrast.

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When you are trying to observe really faint targets, ANY sort of local light, whether red or not, hampers your dark adaptation.

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44 minutes ago, pregulla said:

I went for manual just because of the price. What I payed for my 8" second hand would have bought me 4.5" Go-To newt.

My first evening was quite frustrating, it all was feeling awkward, but soon I figured out that I can use 2 eyes with the straight through finder and it made the things a whole lot easier.  So on the second session I could easily locate Jupiter and Saturn and was getting used to tracking at the eyepiece. Star hopping was still difficult, but it felt rewarding when I could finally find something. 

 

I to found it to be quite a steep learning curve and struggle with my first proper telescope also an 8" second hand - C8 Celestar with RA clock drive motor. At the time I do recall thinking that Goto would have been just great. What transformed things for myself was getting a Telrad, coupled with Turn Left at Orion I could now find objects. Either format manual or Goto is entirely logical both have their attributes.

Edited by scarp15
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Considering myself to be a beginner, a somewhat experienced beginner but still.

 I enjoy the satisfaction of star hopping and manually finding a target in the eyepiece. Rarely does it take longer than a few minutes to find an object. Admittedly I typically prepare beforehand, definitely so for new or seldom visited objects. A detailed deep sky atlas like Interstellarum has been essential for me and I would probably struggle had I not had one. On a side note I do love having a paper atlas. Perhaps I enjoy a relatively simplistic approach to stargazing.

For me I also believe having to prepare and manually locate objects increase the time spent observing each object. Something I find I enjoy, but still have to keep reminding myself to actually do. There are so many objects out there and it is easy to just want to tick them all of a list!

To each his own. My particular fascination with stargazing has been well served with a ”bottom up approach”. Others may have less fascination with hunting and orienting around the night sky and thats fine. Wouldn’t discourage a beginner from using the non-powered approach but would certainly recommend a good atlas to go with the scope before venturing out.

 

Edit: There is something to be said about discouraging a beginner with too much kit. My own feelings was that simplicity and the setup time/tear down time needed for the scope could make the difference between going out in the dark and staying indoors. Simple dobsonian as an example is pretty quick in setting up and intuitive in use with the alt-az.

Realizing a lot of scopes didn’t allow for manual adjustment unless there was battery power also put me off a bit.

Point being that although Goto might make the observing easier, having the lowest possible threshold to go outside is also a factor to consider. Not having gone the powered route myself I don’t have anything to compare to however. Perhaps the equipment aspect was a factor in my head rather than in reality.

Edited by davhei
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I enjoy finding the targets as much as actually looking at them, so goto doesn't work for me. 

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I don't think this is a subject on which anyone should presume to give advice. Rather, the experienced observer should explain the differences between go-to and manual scopes, describe the different and incompatible  preferences which exist within the community, explain that some find go-to a good teacher and others the manual scope a good teacher... and then let the newcomer decide for themselves. I've been keen on astronomy for a quarter of a century and have a preference, but what my preference is doesn't matter because it might not be someone else's.

Olly

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7 hours ago, davhei said:

Considering myself to be a beginner, a somewhat experienced beginner but still.

 I enjoy the satisfaction of star hopping and manually finding a target in the eyepiece. Rarely does it take longer than a few minutes to find an object. Admittedly I typically prepare beforehand, definitely so for new or seldom visited objects. A detailed deep sky atlas like Interstellarum has been essential for me and I would probably struggle had I not had one. On a side note I do love having a paper atlas. Perhaps I enjoy a relatively simplistic approach to stargazing.

For me I also believe having to prepare and manually locate objects increase the time spent observing each object. Something I find I enjoy, but still have to keep reminding myself to actually do. There are so many objects out there and it is easy to just want to tick them all of a list!

To each his own. My particular fascination with stargazing has been well served with a ”bottom up approach”. Others may have less fascination with hunting and orienting around the night sky and thats fine. Wouldn’t discourage a beginner from using the non-powered approach but would certainly recommend a good atlas to go with the scope before venturing out.

 

Edit: There is something to be said about discouraging a beginner with too much kit. My own feelings was that simplicity and the setup time/tear down time needed for the scope could make the difference between going out in the dark and staying indoors. Simple dobsonian as an example is pretty quick in setting up and intuitive in use with the alt-az.

Realizing a lot of scopes didn’t allow for manual adjustment unless there was battery power also put me off a bit.

Point being that although Goto might make the observing easier, having the lowest possible threshold to go outside is also a factor to consider. Not having gone the powered route myself I don’t have anything to compare to however. Perhaps the equipment aspect was a factor in my head rather than in reality.

Thanks. In my case it is having the Goto and tracking that drops my threshold to go outside. When I had two manual scopes, dob 30yrs ago and eq 20yr ago, I lost the urge to go out very quickly, entirely because I found trying to track manually such a distraction especially at higher magnification. My goto setup takes 10 minutes to set up: sometimes alignment can take varying time if my WiFi connection doesn't play nicely, but once it's aligned and found my target, this is where the real pleasure comes in staring at 150x mag for minutes, with object staying  in centre of fov. No nudging, twiddling or anything else to distract me. I'm convinced I wouldn't have finally glimpsed the E star with my 127mak, if I'd not been able to focus for minutes on the exact location I knew it should be, with undivided attention. 

But, I understand other people are happy with manual. It simply isn't for me. Even though I had trouble learning to get my mount and software to work at the start, when I first bought them, I just kept reminding myself of how irritated I used to get with manually tracking, and why I was determined to go to goto and track. ?

Each person will need to start somewhere (goto or manual) and decide, as I did, whether they are happy or not with that path, or wish to tread another. 

Mark 

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A dob 30 years ago ? - was it a "Dark Star" one by any chance ?

I can't recall that many dob options were available 30 years ago.

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Just now, John said:

A dob 30 years ago ? - was it a "Dark Star" one by any chance ?

I can't recall that many dob options were available 30 years ago.

Spot on John! . It was a 8.75" one. 

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