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#51 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:40 AM

I am proficient at using goto mounts and in using a Dob with nothing but a Telrad. Both have their place. I do think that using nothing but a goto mount can (does not have to) lead to knowing nothing about the context about where objects are. You could be one field away from another object and never even know it. Or that you might be able to switch to a low power eyepiece and see both at once. When you visit the ET cluster (NGC 457), do you drop by to see nearby NGC 436?

#52 csrlice12

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:07 AM

the thing to remember is we all started out a blank slate, with no idea of what is involved besides an urge to look at the universe.....and we all learn in different ways. My dob has push-to, my XLT is motorized, but no computer, so I take my dob's push-to and find the object, then I'll take my XLT and "match up" the views in the finderscope (both scopes have the same make/model of finderscope). Truthfully, I work with numbers all day, and don't wish to work with them all night too, so I'm not an RA/DEC guy. Maybe down the road after I retire. For now, I'm happy with skymaps and the push-to. And I have used the dob in manual mode for some objects, and am slowly being able to refind some things...

#53 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:27 AM

BTW, I don't buy the argument that this is recreation and there is no right/wrong way to do something. Playing guitar is also a recreation. And there most certainly are some wrong ways to play guitar. I wish I didn't have to spend all the hours I did relearning certain things because I first learned the wrong way.

Or switching to Astrophotography, there certainly are ways of approaching it that will guarantee poor results and hold you back from advancing your skill and what you can capture.

Likewise, there are wrong ways to observe. For example, using bright lights around the telescope.

Whether using a goto mount is in that category of something that will hold you back is a horse of a different color. It is certainly possible that it can be used in a way that separates an object from its context. I happen to think that is important. You may disagree.

#54 lordhaw

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

As only really having been in this hobby seriously for a couple of years, I definately appreciate the effort I've put into finding things manually. It was frustrating at first until I changed the finder and then I found I was banging off Messiers.

But I am considering goto for my next telescope, mostly for the tracking. I've found what I enjoy doing in this hobby and for me getting a goto will allow me to concentrate on that.

It's simply a matter of choice and there is no right or wrong choice in this regards. I will agree that learning the sky manually is worth the effort, but it's not for everyone and requires some patience. So cheers to anyone who chooses a goto as their first and is simply enjoying the wonders of the universe. It's the observing that is most important in my opinion.

#55 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

BTW, one comment I very much agree with is I detest how some of these mounts do not allow you to manually slew without losing your goto alignment. I love my goto scopes and I do think they have their place and can be used in a very beneficial way. But the lack of manual slewing really puts me off.

#56 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

BTW, I don't buy the argument that this is recreation and there is no right/wrong way to do something. Playing guitar is also a recreation. And there most certainly are some wrong ways to play guitar. I wish I didn't have to spend all the hours I did relearning certain things because I first learned the wrong way.

Or switching to Astrophotography, there certainly are ways of approaching it that will guarantee poor results and hold you back from advancing your skill and what you can capture.

Likewise, there are wrong ways to observe. For example, using bright lights around the telescope.


Whether using a goto mount is in that category of something that will hold you back is a horse of a different color. It is certainly possible that it can be used in a way that separates an object from its context. I happen to think that is important. You may disagree.



Well...

There are times when it is desirable to have some bright lights... And there are many ways to play the guitar, many reasons to play the guitar. Techniques that are fundamental for Classical Guitar may not work for other styles. Ever notice that Eric Clapton only uses three fingers to play his leads??? No classical guitarist would play without using the little finger. But no classical guitarist sounds like Eric Clapton.

Likewise, there are many different aspects to this hobby, many different ways to enjoy it. The important thing is to find a way to make it recreational, enjoyable. I am quite clear what works for me, what is important to me. It works for me because of my interests, my personality, my goals, my situation. I present what works for me as an example, as one of the many choices and I accept that there are many other quite different ways to enjoy this hobby that are appropriate for those with different personalities, different goals, different interests, different situations.

The main thing is, each of us as an individual needs to find that way that works for us as an individual. For someone just beginning, this is the key... In a thread like this, when I write about my experiences, my attitudes, when someone else writes about their different attitudes and experiences, hopefully there is something that rings true, resonates with someone and it helps them be clear.

Jon

#57 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:27 AM

BTW, I don't buy the argument that this is recreation and there is no right/wrong way to do something. Playing guitar is also a recreation. And there most certainly are some wrong ways to play guitar. I wish I didn't have to spend all the hours I did relearning certain things because I first learned the wrong way.

Or switching to Astrophotography, there certainly are ways of approaching it that will guarantee poor results and hold you back from advancing your skill and what you can capture.

Likewise, there are wrong ways to observe. For example, using bright lights around the telescope.


Whether using a goto mount is in that category of something that will hold you back is a horse of a different color. It is certainly possible that it can be used in a way that separates an object from its context. I happen to think that is important. You may disagree.



Well...

There are times when it is desirable to have some bright lights... And there are many ways to play the guitar, many reasons to play the guitar. Techniques that are fundamental for Classical Guitar may not work for other styles. Ever notice that Eric Clapton only uses three fingers to play his leads??? No classical guitarist would play without using the little finger. But no classical guitarist sounds like Eric Clapton.

Likewise, there are many different aspects to this hobby, many different ways to enjoy it. The important thing is to find a way to make it recreational, enjoyable. I am quite clear what works for me, what is important to me. It works for me because of my interests, my personality, my goals, my situation. I present what works for me as an example, as one of the many choices and I accept that there are many other quite different ways to enjoy this hobby that are appropriate for those with different personalities, different goals, different interests, different situations.

The main thing is, each of us as an individual needs to find that way that works for us as an individual. For someone just beginning, this is the key... In a thread like this, when I write about my experiences, my attitudes, when someone else writes about their different attitudes and experiences, hopefully there is something that rings true, resonates with someone and it helps them be clear.

Jon


It is true there are many ways to play guitar. I have played both classical (took several years of lessons) and rock guitar. The techniques are different. But there are reasons for those differences. And trying to play classical guitar with rock guitar methods will end in nothing but frustration. The opposite is also true.

It is true there are times you might use a bright light around the telescope. But there are definitely times when it is wrong. It will lead to nothing but frustration, and ultimately, less enjoyment.

Kids and adults hear way too much of this, "Everyone needs to find their own way" garbage. I'm not saying you cannot find your own style. That is important and a different thing. But the belief you can approach various things haphazardly ultimately holds people back from becoming what they could have been, if they had simply taken the time at the beginning to learn some of the fundamentals.

If you play golf, there are certain things that are required in order to hit the ball a long way. There are various swings that will achieve those fundamentals, but if you don't do those things, you will never hit the ball long. It is physically impossible to do so.

Whether any of this applies to astronomy as a hobby is a matter of opinion. My opinion is that it does.

#58 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:38 AM

I realized I should probably give some examples of where learning to star hop actually WILL help someone become a better observer.

There are many times where objects are at the very limit of detection. The skill that has been learned in starhopping, very much applies looking in an eyepiece, trying to figure out exactly where that object is and whether or not you can see it. Associating patterns on a chart with what you see in the Telrad/Finder/Eyepiece can make the difference between seeing the object and not seeing the object.

Another example is coming right up with Comet PANSTARRS. There will be plenty of people who will not be able to find it, especially if it comes in on the dim side. And their goto scope will not help them because it won't be in their database. (They might be able to find the coordinates for the time they are looking, and they might be able to enter them as a user defined object and find it that way. But they will still have trouble because they probably won't have time to align).

#59 rdandrea

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:02 AM

Playing guitar is also a recreation. And there most certainly are some wrong ways to play guitar.


I'm glad Albert King didn't know that.

#60 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:06 AM

Whether any of this applies to astronomy as a hobby is a matter of opinion. My opinion is that it does.


My opinion is that it does not. A more appropriate analogy would be to say that to play guitar properly, one must first master the classical style. That would mean that anyone not interested in classical guitar doesn't deserve to play some other style as a hobby (and yes, I did play classical guitar back in the day). Nobody should be expected to participate in areas of an activity that don't interest them. Remember, too, that while some folks make a living playing golf or music and use the skills described above, nobody who makes a living as an astronomer does so by using knowledge of the sky (I probably have earned more than most in that respect, in the form of lots of comped luxury cruises). I almost never use those skills in my hobby activities, though. It isn't interesting any more.

#61 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:06 AM

Kids and adults hear way too much of this, "Everyone needs to find their own way" garbage. I'm not saying you cannot find your own style. That is important and a different thing. But the belief you can approach various things haphazardly ultimately holds people back from becoming what they could have been, if they had simply taken the time at the beginning to learn some of the fundamentals.



The thing is this: forget about being the best guitar players, the astronomer able to see the faintest possible object, the golfer who can hit the ball the furthest. Those are very goal specific attitudes, concepts, values.

"If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing badly." G. K. Chesterson.

It's not about being haphazard, it's about concentrating on the things you as an individual want to do and figuring out how to do them. This is life, we are free to do as we please.

What I hear too much of: "My way is the only way."

GOTO does not work for me but I am well aware that it works for others.

Jon

#62 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:16 AM

Well, if all you want to be is a poor astronomer, by all means shove a binocular to your eye the wrong way around, look at the ground, and enjoy whatever you happen to see! Who am I to stop you? But don't expect me to pat you on the back and tell you what a proficient and excellent observer you are and give you a medal for being different.

EDIT: Ultimately my point is this. I think we do harm by not telling people there is a correct way to do things. It holds them back. Now they may well choose to ignore that advice because it is not important for them and their enjoyment. And that is certainly their choice. I play golf. I know I'll never be a great golfer, and I am unwilling to put in the effort it would take to become great. But because I have been told what the correct way is, at least I can make an informed choice.

#63 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:19 AM

Maybe guitar wasn't the best choice as an example. Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, etc. All played what would be considered "wrong".

I don't know...when I started I kept it very simple. Find bright object, start at low power, increase to higher power, repeat.

I was considering Tony's comments about learning the constellations. Which I agree is a good idea. But then I looked in my sky and realized I cannot see many of the stars within most constellations. Orion is good. Ursa Major is the dipper section. Ursa minor, 3 stars. Wondering if this will be a problem in learning them and applying them to my sky. Or I wonder if I can setup software to simulate my sky.

#64 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:25 AM

don't expect me to pat you on the back and tell you what a proficient and excellent observer you are and give you a medal for being different.


Believe me, I don't. I don't know you and you don't know me. How could your opinion of my hobby skills possibly of any interest to me? Don't tell the cruise lines, though; I still have them fooled. ;)

#65 jrcrilly

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:34 AM

Playing guitar is also a recreation. And there most certainly are some wrong ways to play guitar.


I'm glad Albert King didn't know that.


Or Django Reinhardt?

#66 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:44 AM

All these examples people are throwing up of guitar players that did things wrong are kind of funny. Those guys did many many things right. They were fortunate that the things they did wrong did not hold them back from the style of guitar they played. And in the case of Django, I'm pretty sure he would have preferred to have his fingers. He did have incredible technique with the ones he had.

Anyway, I think the point I have been trying to make has been made. You either accept it or you don't. But I still contend and will continue to contend that we do a lot of harm by not telling people there is a right way, when one does exist.

Now many times what people think is a right way is really not necessary. That is a different thing.

#67 csrlice12

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:47 AM

Playing guitar is also a recreation. And there most certainly are some wrong ways to play guitar.


I'm glad Albert King didn't know that.


My mom and dad thought what Jimi Hendrix did with a guitar was an absolute sin......

#68 ensign

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:51 AM

I wonder if the words "correct" or "incorrect" are perhaps inappropriate to stargazing.

There are goals and there are activites and behaviors that will help or hinder people when it comes to reaching those goals.

If your goal is to see very faint objects in a telescope, failing to dark adapt will hinder you from reaching that goal. If you want to learn the sky, goto might help, it might hinder.

If you have nothing but a passing interest and would like to quickly look at a few objects with "no muss no fuss" from your driveway, goto might be the ticket.

If you want to take beautiful pictures of objects in the heavens . . .

If you want to get all you can from the hobby and jump in with both feet, spending all your spare time and cash . . .

If you're on a tight budget in the middle of a light-polluted city . . .

If you live on the South end of the Big Island of Hawaii . . .

#69 rdandrea

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

Or I wonder if I can setup software to simulate my sky.


Stellarium lets you dial in varying amounts of light pollution.

#70 Madratter

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:01 PM

I wonder if the words "correct" or "incorrect" are perhaps inappropriate to stargazing.

There are goals and there are activites and behaviors that will help or hinder people when it comes to reaching those goals.

If your goal is to see very faint objects in a telescope, failing to dark adapt will hinder you from reaching that goal. If you want to learn the sky, goto might help, it might hinder.

If you have nothing but a passing interest and would like to quickly look at a few objects with "no muss no fuss" from your driveway, goto might be the ticket.

If you want to take beautiful pictures of objects in the heavens . . .

If you want to get all you can from the hobby and jump in with both feet, spending all your spare time and cash . . .

If you're on a tight budget in the middle of a light-polluted city . . .

If you live on the South end of the Big Island of Hawaii . . .


I think I can agree with what you are saying. And that goes to my point about golf. I am willing to live with the fact I do some "wrong" things in golf because they are not necessary to what I realistically want to achieve.

#71 Tony Flanders

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:06 PM

I was considering Tony's comments about learning the constellations. Which I agree is a good idea. But then I looked in my sky and realized I cannot see many of the stars within most constellations. Orion is good. Ursa Major is the dipper section. Ursa minor, 3 stars. Wondering if this will be a problem in learning them and applying them to my sky.


Two thoughts about that. First of all, you can probably see a lot more stars than you think if you really try. Only three stars in Ursa Minor are obvious, but I can see three more in my urban skies if I really make an effort. The skill required to see these is precisely the same skill required to see more stars within a cluster when viewed through a telescope -- definitely worth cultivating.

Likewise, I'm sure you can see most of the major stars of Ursa Major -- at least when it's reasonably high in the sky. They're not faint! The paws are no fainter than Megrez, at the junction of the body and tail. But because they're not part of the compact pattern, you have to look a little harder.

Second, it's worthwhile learning what the constellations look like under different conditions; after all, moonlight will hide stars just as effectively as artificial light pollution. There are a few constellations, such as Cancer or Camelopardalis, that may indeed be hopeless. (Some people would say that Camelopardalis is always hopeless!) But most of them are pretty easy to make out once you know what to look for.

#72 csrlice12

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

Guess it boils down to this:

The guy who can point the scope at it just because he knows where its at....

The guy whose scope shows and/or takes him to where it's at...

The guy fumbling around who using his skymaps and telrad charts, finally get it into view.....

The guy whose just scanning the skies with the scope because he doesn't know anything about the sky, and, by sheer luck it comes into view.....

Whose more awed?????

Some things really don't have AN answer, sometimes there are lots of answers....none of them wrong.

#73 Escher

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:21 PM

Well, if all you want to be is a poor astronomer, by all means shove a binocular to your eye the wrong way around, look at the ground, and enjoy whatever you happen to see! Who am I to stop you? But don't expect me to pat you on the back and tell you what a proficient and excellent observer you are and give you a medal for being different.


Posted Image

:)

Sorry - I had to...

Honestly though - Don't take it so seriously. Some folks - me included - just dont want to take the time to memorize and learn a lot of new things. I know enough to find my way around, but not nearly as much as some folks...

I used to get all stressed about it, about 10 years ago when I started getting serious... but then I realized (matured?)... this *hobby* is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable... why am I treating it like work? If its not fun, why do it? So I embraced Go-To. I've only been using Go-To for about two years. Before that it was charts and hopping... and a lot of frustration.

Ohh and by the way - I started guitar at 35 - recorded my first CD at 37 just for fun... I'm a hack, but I took private lessons and made sure I had my technique down. I've been a musician all my life so I understand your point there... but I dont think it applies the same way to astronomy.

If you told my wife that she *had* to learn A,B and C... and that she *had* to understand X, Y and Z... she would NEVER even take the time to look. Some people just dont want to have that level of commitment. But - I tell her - "hey this is cool, come and look" - and she does occasionally... but the minute it gets into the *science*, she tunes out and walks away.

Its all about what you want to get out of it... I learn the things I'm interested in.. and thats all.

EDIT: By the way - I checked your astro bin - nice stuff - We should chat about Nebulosity sometime - I'd be curious how its working for you and how much processing you use it for.

#74 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:21 PM

I just found the feature in Stellarium and I think that will help. It's almost kind of funny when I go to a dark sky. I kind of get lost because there are SO many more stars then there are at home. Think I will play around with the software and see if I can figure them out a little better.

I usually look to Ursa Minor to figure out how dark a sky is. If I can see all of the stars naked eye, then I feel it's going to be a pretty good sky.

Everyone seems to have their porch lights on lately...so local light pollution is an issue. I have dark panels I made out of PVC and dark material that work great...but I don't exactly live in the best area it they could draw attention. My sister's house has a lot less issues and is only 40 minutes away. It's also a good amount darker, but still not really dark (maybe going from Red to Orange/yellow). Tell you what though...even that little bit makes a huge difference in faint objects.

I have some good books and I just need to take some time (and not fall asleep). Learning about the objects themselves can make it more fun to observe them.

#75 rdandrea

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:25 PM

I usually look to Ursa Minor to figure out how dark a sky is. If I can see all of the stars naked eye, then I feel it's going to be a pretty good sky.


Same here. It's the third thing I write in my observing log after the date and time.






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