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Is a goto scope nescessary

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#26 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:31 PM

Just a comment on GOTO. Just because an object is in the field of view, it still may be necessary to use a star chart to actually locate it...


Exactly. Just because you know a ball is in the ball field, doesn't mean you've found it. You still have to look around for it and verify that it is the ball, and not a rock or a toadstool.

By the way, I'd rather have Sky Safari on my tablet and no goto, than goto and no Sky Safari on my tablet.

:grin:
Mike

#27 Starman81

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:35 PM

Just a comment on GOTO. Just because an object is in the field of view, it still may be necessary to use a star chart to actually locate it...


Exactly. Just because you know a ball is in the ball field, doesn't mean you've found it. You still have to look around for it and verify that it is the ball, and not a rock or a toadstool.

By the way, I'd rather have Sky Safari on my tablet and no goto, than goto and no Sky Safari on my tablet.

:grin:
Mike


This is not like those Ford commercials, you can have BOTH tracking and SkySafari on your tablet, no one says you can't. ;)

#28 TexasRed

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:29 AM

Are GoTo and automatic tracking necessary? Of course not, but then neither are power-steering, power-brakes or air conditioning in my car. They just make driving easier and more enjoyable.

#29 Sarkikos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:48 AM

This is not like those Ford commercials, you can have BOTH tracking and SkySafari on your tablet, no one says you can't. ;)


Yes, I would like both. I plan on having about a 14" Dob with tracking for my next scope.

Mike

#30 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:08 AM

Just a comment on GOTO. Just because an object is in the field of view, it still may be necessary to use a star chart to actually locate it...


Exactly. Just because you know a ball is in the ball field, doesn't mean you've found it. You still have to look around for it and verify that it is the ball, and not a rock or a toadstool.

By the way, I'd rather have Sky Safari on my tablet and no goto, than goto and no Sky Safari on my tablet.

:grin:
Mike


This is not like those Ford commercials, you can have BOTH tracking and SkySafari on your tablet, no one says you can't. ;)


My point was simply that GOTO does not eliminate the need to learn to starhop, to read a chart.

In my mind, GOTO is not power steering or power brakes. Power steering and power brakes are a scope that moves easily and responds smoothly, without jitter or vibration. GOTO is using the GPS to guide me rather than reading the map for myself. In my experience, when I use a GPS to guide me, the second time I go there, I need to use the GPS, my attention is on the GPS, not where I am going. If I find the place using a map, electronic or paper, the second time I need to go there, I remember how to get there and I have a good sense of exactly where I am going.

I think the same is true of star hopping. I have a pretty good memory but sometimes I need to take a quick peek at a map. But then, I can point right to it. For the rest of this year, I will know exactly where NGC 5634 is, I will know exactly how to find it. Next year I will probably need a quick refresher.

Jon

#31 David Pavlich

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:06 AM

And just to repeat myself, when you have about a dozen people in line at an outreach waiting for you to star hop from one object to the next, you'll find that goto is your friend. Besides, we all tend to be visually oriented and I've found that I get a lot of oohs, aahs and questions when my mount/scope moves from one side of the meridian to the other without doing anything but press a button or two. And for me, the best part is that the people in line aren't waiting for me to find the object and then I can let that dozen long line view and know that the object is still in the FOV because the mount is tracking.

David

#32 Sarkikos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:35 AM

I have a contrarian opinion ... surprise! Non-tracking is better than goto/tracking for showing an object to a line of people.

When I use a non-tracking telescope, it automatically limits the time that each person can view the object. I ask them to let me know when it's almost out of view. Then I tell them, "Here. Let me move it back into view." I nudge the scope so that the object is just coming into the field again. Now I say, "Next!" and the next person in line gets a turn. Easy sneezy and no one gets to hog the telescope.

But I do feel like telling the ones who are busy gabbing and take their time getting to the eyepiece, "OK, slowpoke, back of the line! Next!"

:grin:
Mike

#33 star drop

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:47 AM

No it is not necessary but it is nice. Unless .. it goes haywire due to dew slippage, smoking wires etc. It is always nice to have a backup plan and a good star chart.

#34 CCC

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

Is a goto dob necessary? No I don't think so. To be honest I don't use it that much on my scope to find stuff. However when viewing planets at high power the tracking is a really nice feature.

#35 Sarkikos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:00 AM

In the field I mostly consult Sky Safari on my tablet, but I still bring along Pocket Sky Atlas and Sky Atlas 2000.

In any case, it is always a good thing to actually know the constellations, major stars and the locations of the best eye candy without having to rely on goto/DSCs or star charts, just your memory.

Mike

#36 auriga

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:21 AM

If "push-to" refers to digital setting circles, such as Sky Commander, I have found them absolutely necessary for observing from the center of a large city in light-polluted skies. There are too few stars visible with a Telrad or finder scope to make star-hopping feasible.

I don't have tracking and I wish I did, but I feel it would add too much weight and expense. I don't need tracking at all for solo observing but for observing with friends it would be helpful, and for outreach it would be an enormous convenience.

At least, this has been my experience.

Bill

#37 KerryR

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:56 AM

Even at public observing events, I find I don't miss goto or tracking. Most of the time, the targets are bright and easily found by memory, and powers are low enough that tracking is easy, even for the uninitiated (properly functioning bearings help a lot).

In fact, part of the fun at such events is showing folks my simple and 'cheap' 16", showing them how dead-reckoning or star hopping works, and letting them hand-track the scope themselves. Let's them know that the expensive and relatively complex computer controlled scopes aren't the only option.

It's interesting-- my comparatively simple scope always attracts a certain demographic as the night wears on, while the computer controlled scopes collect another.

All that said, I enjoy my CPC11 and LX90 8" tremendously. But simple, cheap, and clean Dobs have a particular place in my heart.

#38 Peter Natscher

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:12 PM

I have tracking and GoTo on my scopes and have been using these devices for over 15 years. First ones were on my earlier Starmaster Dobs (i.e., Sky Tracker and Sky Commander DSCs). I always buy my scopes with these devices for I like the tracking and do use the GoTo during outreach for quick object location to show many people impatiently waiting in a line. For me, the tracking is far more important than the GoTo. If I could get the tracking option w/o GoTo, I would. After starting out my astronomy hobby observing all kinds of sky objects, and I have observed probably over 4,000 incl. observing and drawing the Herschel I's and II's, I'm now coming full circle and enjoying purely star hopping using no GoTo as I started back in 1995. With star hoppng to find objects, it's the manual hunt for the illusive objects that is satisfying than automatically letting the scope find it. GoTo throws everything in your face and after a while, the procedure gets boring. There's no brain work pushing buttons. Planning beforehand and locating an object on star atlas, star hopping using the atlas-finder-eyepiece routine is all part of the exhilarating experience of observing. Its the anticipation of finding what you have planned for. It's using your equipment more directly. It creates more of a connection with you, your telescope, and the sky. By the end of the evening, this is more satisfying than having used GoTo to find 30 objects on a list.

Tracking is very desirable. Goto is a bonus. Tracking turns what for me is the "annoyance" of chasing an object across the sky into a serene observing experience.

Could I live without it if I had to? Yes, but I don't have to and I'm glad for that.



#39 Sarkikos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:34 PM

It's interesting-- my comparatively simple scope always attracts a certain demographic as the night wears on, while the computer controlled scopes collect another.


I'd guess that the ones really interested in the objects would like the simple scope, while the ones that are captivated by gadgets and gizmos would gravitate toward gotos.

When I talk to my fellow workers about my hobby, there are always some whose eyes will light up and they'll say "Wow" if I mention that for some telescopes you just need to plug in a few numbers and the mount moves by itself to point at the object you wanted. They have no interest at all in anything in the heavens unless it is involved somehow with modern technology. Apparently the same sort of folks who care more about the space program than about space.

Mike

#40 Sarkikos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:41 PM

With star hoppng to find objects, it's the manual hunt for the illusive objects that is satisfying than automatically letting the scope find it. GoTo throws everything in your face and after a while, the procedure gets boring. There's no brain work pushing buttons. Planning beforehand and locating an object on star atlas, star hopping using the atlas-finder-eyepiece routine is all part of the exhilarating experience of observing. Its the anticipation of finding what you have planned for. It's using your equipment more directly. It creates more of a connection with you, your telescope, and the sky. By the end of the evening, this is more satisfying than having used GoTo to find 30 objects on a list.


+1 :waytogo: What's most satisfying for me is to not use goto or DSCs and still locate and observe 30 objects. A perfect evening would be if those 30 objects were all ones I'd never seen before.

Mike

#41 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:06 PM

I'm now coming full circle and enjoying purely star hopping using no GoTo as I started back in 1995. With star hoppng to find objects, it's the manual hunt for the illusive objects that is satisfying than automatically letting the scope find it. GoTo throws everything in your face and after a while, the procedure gets boring. There's no brain work pushing buttons. Planning beforehand and locating an object on star atlas, star hopping using the atlas-finder-eyepiece routine is all part of the exhilarating experience of observing. Its the anticipation of finding what you have planned for. It's using your equipment more directly. It creates more of a connection with you, your telescope, and the sky. By the end of the evening, this is more satisfying than having used GoTo to find 30 objects on a list.



:waytogo:

What really matters is what each of us enjoys. Peter enjoys starhopping and finds GOTO boring. When I started out, I used manual setting circles to find my way around the sky. But I realized that while I was finding the objects, it was a mechanical process and I really didn't know where in the sky I was looking.. It wasn't satisfying.

I found a Cometron Jr 125 at a yard sale... $40... Optically not much of a scope compared to orange tube C-8 but I discovered the joys of starhopping and since then, I haven't looked back...

The point here though is not that Starhopping is better than GOTO or Visa versa but rather what is important is doing it the way I like to do it.

Bill finds starhopping in his urban environment a severe limitation, from my urban backyard, probably clearer and darker than Bill's it's a challenge.. Spotting the Helix Nebulae with an 80mm in the muck.. it's not much to look at but it sure is a thrill to see it.

Jon

#42 Jarrod

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:44 PM

I'd guess that the ones really interested in the objects would like the simple scope, while the ones that are captivated by gadgets and gizmos would gravitate toward gotos.


I don't think that has to be the case. The reason I have a goto scope is because I don't like the equipment getting in between me and observing. Once your goto scope is setup, it pretty much disappears into the background and lets you concentrate on observing without thinking about pointing, tracking, etc.

I *would* agree with the corollary though: If you *don't* like gadgets and gizmos and/or find them confusing, then goto is NOT the thing for you.

#43 TL2101

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:19 PM

I can understand that starhopping requires more skill and talent than goto but for me goto has some serious advantages. One is I view from my home and may only view for a couple hours at a time. With goto I can get more objects in and search for objects on the edge of my scopes capability without spending a lot of extra time.

Goto enables me to search out neo's and comets without wondering if I am actually looking in the right place.

I can see starhopping for the easy to see objects but for the difficult ones give me my goto. :grin:

#44 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:34 PM

I don't think that has to be the case. The reason I have a goto scope is because I don't like the equipment getting in between me and observing. Once your goto scope is setup, it pretty much disappears into the background and lets you concentrate on observing without thinking about pointing, tracking, etc.



It really all depends on what we enjoy doing and how we enjoy doing it. For me, GOTO gets in the way of observing the night sky, it gets between me and the telescope. It represents time and effort, it represents taking my mind away from the eyepiece, from the night sky.

For me, observing includes more than just looking at a named object. Looking at a star field, I am observing it in much the same way I observe "objects", I am carefully looking at what I am seeing, inspecting it with care, learning and comparing it with what I remember. I "discover things" DSOs I had not known, even recognize variable stars because of changes to the field.

Herschel, Messier, those whom we follow, they discovered and they observed. It is possible for the modern amateur to enjoy those same thrills, there is no need to rush about, going from one object to the next without pausing to enjoy what is there, in between, what may be unseen.

Jon

#45 JayinUT

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:02 AM

As stated, the real question goes back to the OP now. What is it you want and why do you want it? Answer that question and you'll have your answer and you'll know what to do What I want, what I do is right for me and what I enjoy and where I am at in my journey in the hobby. Lots of views and opinions, but again its up to the OP to determine what they want. In the posts members have listed the advantages of having or not having. so good luck in your decision.






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