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Any Lunar Goto software?

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#1 Chote

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:32 AM

Any Lunar GOTO software which allows my mount (EQ6) to slew to any Moon formation?

Thanks in advance.

#2 Quinn

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

SkySafari Plus or Pro from http://www.southernstars.com/ works on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Mac OS X. Not sure about Linux or Windows computers.

I have it on my iPhone and Macbook Air. You will have to check to see what mounts it will operate.

#3 Sarkikos

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

SkySafari will show an image of the Moon, with labels, I believe. But IIRC it does not have a goto function for lunar features. I doubt if any program out there can do that. Every lunar feature will be within about 1/2 degree from any other lunar feature, so I don't think it's really necessary to goto objects on the Moon. Go to a good lunar map, like Rukl's or Sky & Telescope's Field Map of the Moon, or a program like Virtual Moon Atlas for Windows or LunarMap HD for Android.

Mike

#4 Quinn

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

Oops I mis-read your post Chote.

SkySafari does not have a Lunar GoTo beyond just centering you on the moon. Don't know about any software that will goto lunar objects like Mare or craters. But by comparison to just Space in general the moon is rather easy to learn the basic layout. Spend some time just looking over Lunar maps and you will find your way around in a very short time.

Quinn

#5 azure1961p

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:12 PM

GOTO for moon features is rather overkill. It just isn't large enough to warrant such a contraption. A free program like Virtual Moon Atlas will suffice and MOON HD on iPhone as well. A GOTO program though... You kno it'll probably happen or some eyepiece that flashes the names of the craters you scan over but its still overkill. There's a point where GOTO would do more harm than good and this is it.

Pete

#6 rtomw77

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

One of the earlier versions of the Virtual Moon Atlas had a GOTO feature. You would need a better than the usual amateur mount for precise pointing on a 0.5º in diameter target IMHO.

Tom

#7 Tim2723

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

I doubt goto would ever exist for Lunar features. Even at high mags there's any number of features in the field at any time.

#8 Sarkikos

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

Pete,

GOTO for moon features is rather overkill. It just isn't large enough to warrant such a contraption. A free program like Virtual Moon Atlas will suffice and MOON HD on iPhone as well. A GOTO program though... You kno it'll probably happen or some eyepiece that flashes the names of the craters you scan over but its still overkill. There's a point where GOTO would do more harm than good and this is it.


You're right. But IME GOTO may have already done more harm than good for many new observers ... as well as for more experienced ones who have to pack it up and go home when the GOTO stops going to. :lol:

:grin:
Mike

#9 edosaurusrex

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

Regarding GoTo, I used to be a GoTo basher but have come to realize that whether you walk, drive, or fly to the Grand Canyon, it's still looks as grand once you're there. The same can be said for what we see in the sky. Yes, the fliers didn't see all of what the drivers did, and the drivers missed what the walkers saw along the way but they go all got there.

Off soapbox now.

Ed

#10 Rick Woods

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

FWIW, the Meade Autostar supposedly has lunar go-to capabilities. I've never used it (for all the reasons stated above), but it's there. My scope is almost 10 years old, so it's not anything new. I think you have to sync on a feature, and then it knows where everything else is. Or something like that.

#11 Sarkikos

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

There are so many thousands of lunar features, all within the diameter of about 1/2 degree. Pete was right: over-kill. I can't imagine anyone actually using GOTO for lunar. Lunar GOTO would have to be set very precisely in order to GOTO the exact feature wanted, or it definitely would do more harm than good by misleading the observer. Not worth the trouble.

Get a good lunar atlas, printed or a program.

Mike

#12 Sarkikos

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

Ed,

Regarding GoTo, I used to be a GoTo basher but have come to realize that whether you walk, drive, or fly to the Grand Canyon, it's still looks as grand once you're there. The same can be said for what we see in the sky. Yes, the fliers didn't see all of what the drivers did, and the drivers missed what the walkers saw along the way but they go all got there.


My two main concerns about GOTO are newbies who never bother to learn the constellations and stars beyond a few for the purposes of setting the GOTO, and any observer who has a GOTO mount that is incapable of being manually pointed if the GOTO goes kaput. IME & IMO, both these scenarios are a pitiful sight to behold. And I've seen them often. Always have a Plan B.

Mike

#13 edosaurusrex

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

Hey Mike!
I see your point for newbies, it's likened to trying to learn algebra by giving the answer first. But one of the ways we learn by repetition. So if a newbie Goto's to Rigel enough, after a while they learn which star it is. I agree that newbies should learn to walk before they run (and I can sense I'm getting off topic here) but anything that gets people interested in the hobby is okay in my book. A topical question for another forum "Are the constellations relevant any more?"

Did you get those trees trimmed?

#14 Sarkikos

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

No. I've given up observing on the front porch. I hate to have to request over and over that the tree be trimmed. You know it just keeps growing back! :grin:

Besides, the neighbor right next to me has his lights on all night every night. Scotophobes! I don't need complete darkness for observing the Moon, but I would like a little privacy.

So now if take a scope out at home, it goes to the far back corner of my building or I walk 500' to a hill above a pond in the back. There's also a hill on a golf course that I can walk to in about 20 minutes with a small scope or binoculars. Surburban astronomy here has gotten worse and worse.

Lately I've mostly been observing deep sky objects at my dark site 50 miles away. I've logged nearly 1000 objects so far (not counting doubles) - without GOTO! :grin: I get more privacy there and can stay out with my 10" Dob all night if I want. I feel more at ease and relaxed observing there in a field in the woods than I do here at home. I've been thinking about going there throughout the month just to look at the Moon and the planets.

Mike

#15 Rick Woods

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

In general, I agree with the "learn the sky" philosophy; but it takes a lot of work and frustration, and is a labor of love that not everyone wants to tackle.

I'm in favor of anything that will get people out to marvel at the sky. Someone working two jobs, with only a few minutes at a time to devote to observing, might never bother to do it the hard way. But with go-to, they can get some actual enjoyment right out of the gate. Once they're hooked, eventually they'll take the next step and learn their way around. Or their kids might, once they've seen a few things like M57, M13, M42, and Saturn.

(But for the Moon, it does seem a little silly - like getting in the car to drive next door.)

#16 THEPLOUGH

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:14 PM

Well I think the OPs question has been answered, so can we now move on??? :waytogo:

#17 azure1961p

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

To where?

Pete

#18 azure1961p

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

And is that a GOTO move on or topic hop?

Pete

#19 simpleisbetter

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

SkySafari Plus or Pro from http://www.southernstars.com/ works on Android and iOS phones and tablets, Mac OS X. Not sure about Linux or Windows computers.

I have it on my iPhone and Macbook Air. You will have to check to see what mounts it will operate.


The equivalent of SkySafari on Windows is Voyager 4.x, which is basically what SkySafari was originally built from. In fact, much of their display, functionality, and tools still appear virtually the same on-screen. That said, on a PC/laptop, I'll still pick and recommend SkyTools hands down (for Mac or Linux, just run it in a virtual window or with WINE).

#20 Chote

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:24 PM

Hi Guys, sorry I was away. Thanks a lot for all your inputs. Virtual Moon Atlas seems to be a good alternative. I might use my Toucam Pro to view the Moon feature side by side with VMA.

#21 Tom and Beth

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Hi Guys, sorry I was away. Thanks a lot for all your inputs. Virtual Moon Atlas seems to be a good alternative. I might use my Toucam Pro to view the Moon feature side by side with VMA.


I also use VMA and compare it to the "Live" view through the telescope. Even after all these years I realize just how little I know.

VMA DOES interface with your telescope GOTO. It could be operator error but I found it confused the issue more than helped, ESPECIALLY if you're using a scope with short (lets say under a meter) focal length.






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