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GO-TO Scopes?


pss53
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Just a question folks...

Are these classed as cheating so to speak? Are they accurate enough??

Was just thinking last night as I set up in my garden how much time i'd save without having to search for things which would give me a lot more viewing time...

:)

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this is the reason i bought a goto mount, they take alittle more setting up but once aligned you can have a tour of the night special objects or just to find any of the fainter objects in the night sky so saves me alot of time as i couldn`t find anything with a manual mount, also they are very accurate

Edited by red dwalf
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I avoided a GoTo as I felt it would be short changing the whole experience. I thought if I had one I would line it up, view Object 1 - then onto Object 2, then onto Object 3 etc. an hour later I`d of seen everything and the pull to go out the following night might not be there. I am having great fun with my manual EQ mount (with tracking motor for once I find those DSOs) and the feeling of satisfaction when I can quickly browse the sky point my scope in the right general direction then quickly navigate to a dim DSO such as Andromeda gives me a feeling I have learnt something and self-satisfaction - but hey, thats only my opinion - everyone is in this hobby for different reasons.

Thats not to say I wont get one in future, but at the moment I am enjoying the whole searching experience far too much and am loath to dilute it - also, the kids think I am Superdad for being able to do it :-)

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Its no more "cheating" than using a tripod, finder or even a telescope itself. All are simply bits of technology that help your eyes see what you want them to. Goto is just one more bit of technology - you don't have to use it but it can save you time (although initial setup may take longer) and in this climate, with limited observing opportunities, that can't be a bad thing. Go one step further and hook your goto mount up to a PC running a planetarium program (which many are able to do) and you'll not only save time finding things but you'll also improve your knowledge of the sky.

Chris.

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I did get a GoTo when I got my scope but I had spent 3 months with binos and a planisphere learning some basic stuff. Given how poor UK skies can be and windows of opportunity are often limited (last night I had barely 1 hour) I felt more time at the eyepiece was preferable. It won't stop me wanting to learn and I feel I will always enjoy finding stuff for myself.

Edited by Jimmy Stix
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Its no more "cheating" than using a tripod, finder or even a telescope itself. All are simply bits of technology that help your eyes see what you want them to. Goto is just one more bit of technology - you don't have to use it but it can save you time (although initial setup may take longer) and in this climate, with limited observing opportunities, that can't be a bad thing. Go one step further and hook your goto mount up to a PC running a planetarium program (which many are able to do) and you'll not only save time finding things but you'll also improve your knowledge of the sky.

Chris.

totally agree there chris!!:)

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This is all what's going through my head as of late too. I'm thinking of upgrading my scope in the next few months and i'd already posted a thread about what i wanted it for...then kinda decided i was going to go for a 10"Dob and just try to learn the skys...but i'm more or less clueless with my RA/DEC mount so i'm thinking a goto would be an easier and less frustrating option...but a lot of advice is the cost of a goto would be better spent on aperture,well for DSO's and general observing anyway.

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I've had both. My first scopes were manual and I spent hours looking for specific objects the hard way, often failing along the way. I found this incredibly frustrating. Now I have a good accurate goto scope I am having an absolute ball. I spent maybe 5 years unsuccessfully trying to see M81/M82. Now I've seen them over and over again and am picking up lovely detail as my scope tracks them for as long as I want. I'm a happy man.

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Very pleased to see that this debate has stayed friendly as the

go-to or not question can get quite heated :)

For me, I'm fully manual, and enjoy it that way, but many are not,

and it's no problem at all for me to accept that.

Just do it your way, enjoy, and recognise that we are all after the

same goal, viewing or imaging the night sky.

Regards, Ed.

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Its no more "cheating" than using a tripod, finder or even a telescope itself. All are simply bits of technology that help your eyes see what you want them to.

Absolutely. Would you class a driven (non-GOTO) mount as cheating because you don't have to keep moving the scope manually to keep the object in the fov?

Goto is just one more bit of technology - you don't have to use it.

I often find, particularly at the end of a session, I will just go mooching around the sky using the arrow keys, ignoring the goto, just to see what is there.

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If I was living in an area where there are lots of clear skies (France, Spain?), I would probably use a manual mount for observing in order to get the "full experience".

However, here in the UK we're lucky to get (on average) one clear night per month. So I have a go-to mount that allows me to find things quickly and make the most of the short observing time I have.

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I have both but tend to use the dob most (down to aperture) but a good point was raised with our viewing times here in the uk, a goto is good for this, 10mins to set up and straight to the targets you want, can't fault that.

My goto is an upgrade from an EQ2 mount and i'm glad i did, tracking much better and i dont always use the goto just the arrow buttons, it has also made the hobby easy for my young son, he can move the scope better via the arrows, so now he has an intrest in this great hobby.....which is good as i'm dragging him to SGL6 with me

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I have no goto on my mount (horribly expensive when I bought my scope), and have found that a big finder scope was the way for me to go. However, I am considering upgrading my mount with a goto option, more because the upgrade has an autoguider port than for the goto, and I will see how much I use the goto.

Stargazing is about fun, and as many have said, just use whatever tools that give you the most enjoyment.

I have found that excessive reliance on goto (in professional astronomers) can lead to an almost comical lack of knowledge of the heavens. I was at an IAU conference on asteroseismology in Aarhus, Denmark YEARS ago when I was studying astronomy, and after the conference dinner a couple of us went out onto the beach. It was a beautifully clear night, and one of the "pros" pointed at a bright object in the sky, asking "Is that a planet?" I immediately noticed it was twinkling away happily as no planet should, and that Ursa Major was nearby. I dryly remarked it was rather too far from the ecliptic to be a planet, and it was in fact Arcturus; the very star he had presented a paper on that day :). His response was: "So that's where it is". He had only ever input the coordinates in the computer control.

Another astronomer put his arm around my shoulders saying: "Ah, a real astronomer. I bet you built your own telescope and observed from your parents' rooftop!"

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Like I said, with me, the whole experience is in the learning. The nights of disappointment when I havent found the target I set out to get, is to me, all part of the fun and I am the type of person who will be gagging to get back out the following night and try to find it again. I dont look at those using GoTo as `cheaters` at all, I just see them as other amateur astronomers with completely different agendas to me. More power to them!!

However, when there is a powercut and all the lights in your town go out leaving perfectly black skies and dead mains powered GoTo mounts, who is the one who will be more stuck? Thats right - YOU, you GoTo heretics!!

I jest of course :)

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Like I said, with me, the whole experience is in the learning. The nights of disappointment when I havent found the target I set out to get, is to me, all part of the fun and I am the type of person who will be gagging to get back out the following night and try to find it again. I dont look at those using GoTo as `cheaters` at all, I just see them as other amateur astronomers with completely different agendas to me. More power to them!!

However, when there is a powercut and all the lights in your town go out leaving perfectly black skies and dead mains powered GoTo mounts, who is the one who will be more stuck? Thats right - YOU, you GoTo heretics!!

I jest of course :)

No worries so long as your power tank has been topped up:D

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Goto is just another technology, which makes the hobby easier to access. It's funny how no-one moans about other types of technological advances (bah, humbug, you SCT and mak users...you want a nice long 2" refractor, you do)

There are no awards for stargazing and no rules to "cheat" on anyway. Are we that insecure in ourselves that we really think that we are less worthy if we use tech to point a 'scope at a patch of sky compared to star-hopping? I understand the skill and sense-of-pride in having an intimate knowledge of the skies (not saying that I have an intimate knowledge! far from it), but I do not understand if we felt less about ourselves for not spending years learning how to navigate the heavens.

If you want to use Goto, then rock on. If you don't, well then rock on too!

I often wonder why we, in general, do not want to take advantages of technology? One of my other hobbies is motorcycling. You should hear the howls of outrage when manufacturers introduce tech like ABS brakes,traction control, ride-by-wire and fuel injection. For gawds sake, it makes the sport easier, makes it safer and more controllable to go faster...yet according to some people this stuff is the spawn od Satan!

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