Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (show all)
orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
As much as I hate to admit it...
      #5713395 - 03/04/13 09:25 PM

I'm an oldtimer when it comes to Astronomy, My first scope had 2 types of eyepieces, those with small fields of view and those with smaller fields.
There were no such things as computers available except for that one between my ears.
Star Hopping was it, the "in" thing, Star charts were a luxury.
Still my old RV6 gave (and still gives)me untold pleasure.
When Go-To first came out I thought "what a lazy way of Astronomy"
I have to admit it is the best thing to happen to bring young people into the hobby since Christmas time.
I still wish the scope and mount mfgrs made the mounts so they could have the clutches loose and slew about without
having to re align.
My wonderfull old C8 with the JMI computer can do this because the encoders are attached to the RA and Dec Axis, not the motors.
It is good to see activity in younger folks.
It is also nice watching the regestered member count going up . So keep using those computers and try to learn a bit of the Sky by heart....
You have converted an Old Fogey.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DavidC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/24/05

Loc: Mesa, Arizona
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: orion61]
      #5713472 - 03/04/13 10:05 PM

Yes, I used to second the go-to as being the lazy version of astronomy until I needed one that's go-to equipped to find something you spend too much time looking for. Then I see where it is in his telrad, and then go back to my telrad and now I can find it. I've had to do that plenty of times, plus that helps me get 100 + objects in our messier marathon. After all, its all about looking at an object in an ep.
David


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: orion61]
      #5713479 - 03/04/13 10:08 PM

I find "push to" scopes to kind of be the best of both worlds. I have it on my 10 inch dob and on my sky view pro mount which has tracking.

In my heavily light polluted skies it can be very hard to star hop. Some objects are harder than others. That doesn't mean that objects are not worth looking at as some people would say. I find the blue snowball to be super cool in my skies as well as other planetary nebulas. But they are pretty hard to find for me at least. I did purchase some telrad charts to help with finding.

I think they can help people learn the skies in some ways...especially depending on how you use it. It can give you a lot of information about the objects which can be further researched.

Also if you find something cool you can write down the coorindates and look it up elsewhere. So there are a lot of possible uses for it.

For me I'd like the learn the sky a bit more. I don't have a lot of time to give toward it with young kids. One thing I find hard is the difference between my light polluted skies and dark skies. There are just so many stars in dark skies. You can pretty much point at anything bright and find cool stuff (without even needing to know what it is). That being said it's been a few years since I've been in really dark skies.

What's the best way to learn the skies? I find books tend to put me to sleep...even if I am somewhat interested. I think videos would really help if there are any that simulate personal instruction. I hope to go to some astronomy club events some time, but it's hard to get away to do that.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: DavidC]
      #5713520 - 03/04/13 10:32 PM

Quote:

After all, its all about looking at an object in an ep.




I know some people actually like the hunt as much as looking at the objects. I find the hunt to be frustrating and boring. But maybe that's related to me not knowing the sky all that well. However, I love observing just about all objects. So I totally agree about the actual observing part. While I would like to learn the sky so I don't have to rely on electronics, I like the observing part the most.

People enjoy the hobby different and there is nothing wrong with that.

I will say that if you want to maximize objects observed, electronics are pretty good (especially a push to which I feel is faster than go to). I noticed when I was with some fairly experienced observers, I observed 30 or so objects to their 10. They had to hop a bit, and some objects can take a bit to find, even in dark skies.

Still, I'd like to learn the sky so I don't have to rely on it. At least enough to find most objects. I think I'm actually OK on most bright objects. But I know very little constillations. Then again, I can't see most constellations so I would need to learn them on the computer.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: DavidC]
      #5713525 - 03/04/13 10:34 PM

Quote:

Yes, I used to second the go-to as being the lazy version of astronomy until I needed one that's go-to equipped to find something you spend too much time looking for. Then I see where it is in his telrad, and then go back to my telrad and now I can find it. I've had to do that plenty of times, plus that helps me get 100 + objects in our messier marathon. After all, its all about looking at an object in an ep.
David




As a noobie to this hobby... IMO, it so much more than looking thru an eyepiece. I need to know my equipment and learning that alignment process was a b***h. Learning stellarium was also fun at first (not). Learning the sky and what is of interest to look for = an ongoing learning process made easier by David Fuller.

Way more than looking thru an EP... otherwise I wouldn't study up all week just to be armed and ready for weekend.

I always like stuff way over my head... and indeed, this hobby has unlimited potential both financially and intellectually
just saying


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: geekgroupie]
      #5713578 - 03/04/13 11:13 PM

And then, you could just toss a towel on the ground, lay down and look up yonder. Some of the best stargazing I've ever done was at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern Calif. We'd camp there for motorcycle track days. Nice and dark, the sky is a joy there. No idea what I was looking at. All I knew was I liked it.

I fell in love with a gal from Ukraine when we were stargazing there. Then I remembered I'd been married twice before. I still love that crazy gorgeous former-Soviet scary-smart lady but I'm still single. I thank the Big Bang daily.

Sorry for the over-sharing moment.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5713742 - 03/05/13 01:27 AM

For me the tracking is what makes my goto worth it. Especially when your'e sharing your views. But the goto lets me identify what I can see from my light polluted back yard. If I can see it in my 11" goto, I can probably see it in my 10" dob. But if I can't find it in the goto, I don't want to waste the time searching with the dob. I'd rather spend the time looking at "nothing" than looking for something and finding nothing.

And under dark sites, I feel like my time is so limited. I only get 1 or 2 dark sky nights a month if the clouds hold off. I'm still new enough that I want to see as much as I can and not "waste" the night searching for a smudge. I think once I complete my list of favorites that CAN be seen from my 2 different locations, I can start spending the time learning how to find them without assistance.

My plan anyways.

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: orion61]
      #5713770 - 03/05/13 02:05 AM

There's nothing wrong with a horse and buggy. It will get you there, eventually. And horses can have lovely personalities. But efficiency has its own charms. GOTO is especially handy in a crowded field, but even for general cruising it makes observing the mainstay of the session rather than finding stuff. There's a reason progress progresses.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OneGear
member


Reged: 12/30/11

Re: As much as I hate to admit it... *DELETED* [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5713788 - 03/05/13 02:36 AM

Post deleted by OneGear

Edited by OneGear (03/05/13 03:05 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: OneGear]
      #5713825 - 03/05/13 03:36 AM

Ha ha , good points , one and all .
I used to be a lot like the people that thought GOTO was a lazy astromoners way to go , but since I have used my IEQ45 for a year or 2 now I LOVE IT ! , more time viewing instead of searching , but thats not to say I dont enjoy looking for objects in my 127mm f/8 Istar achro mounted on its TV Gibralter from Mag 7 dark skies here in the NT of Australia , great fun that !!
Old dog taught a new trick ,, GOTO .
Brian.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5713865 - 03/05/13 04:59 AM

Quote:

However, I love observing just about all objects. So I totally agree about the actual observing part. While I would like to learn the sky so I don't have to rely on electronics, I like the observing part the most.




A few thoughts/experiences:

- Starhopping is observing, it is observing the sky on a different scale, a larger scale. Discovering objects without a chart, without a list, that is also observing.

- When I am out under the night sky, I am not in a rush to go from one object to the next, I take my time, enjoy the moments as they happen, I see the sky as a continuum, one I only partly understand, one I only partially know. Star fields in the eyepiece, by themselves, they make the night worthwhile. It's like trout fishing, the stream, the rushing water, the quiet of the forest, these are the things that matter, not how many fish are caught.

- Truly being observant, being fully aware with full attention, that requires the entire mind and body. It's not a rush and a hurry, it's a calm slowness. I work as a scientist, I watch truly brilliant scientists work. They do not rush about but take their time, awareness, Eureka moments, they happen as the result of patience.

- When my wife and I travel about the southwest, around the US, we take it slow, we take the back roads and see what those on the Superhighways between one tourist spot to the next miss. We hit the famous tourist spots but invariably, the memories and joys are found in the hinterlands, uncharted but discovered.

I know that many find starhopping frustrating, I have no problem if someone wants to find their way around the sky with a GOTO telescope, this is a hobby, everyone should enjoy it they way that works for them.

GOTO scope or even Intelliscope/Setting circles, I just do not enjoy the experience, I have a couple of GOTO mounts, I find the experience unsatisfying, I not only want to carefully observe an object, but I also want to know exactly where it is and how I can find it. When I first started out, I was finding objects with manual setting circles. One night, I realized, I really had no idea where in the sky the scope was pointing.

We each have our own way of enjoying this hobby. If GOTO enhances the experience, GOFOR it. As you grow from a beginner to a more experienced amateur, the most important discoveries are what it is you love to do and how you like to do it...

With that knowledge, choosing equipment is relatively easy. For a starhopper, an assortment of relatively fast telescopes covering a range of sizes is helpful. Finding one's way around the sky with a 8 inch SCT with a 2000mm focal length and a 0.8 degree maximum field of view is a challenge. With a 4 inch F/6 refractor that is capable of a 4 plus degree field of view, it's a whole lot easier.

- I do consider myself fortunate, I have the time to take it slow and easy, I live in place where about half the nights are clear and within an hour's drive, the skies are dark and clear maybe 250 nights a year. I figure I get in some observing at least 150 nights a year.

So, again, there is no reason to feel guilty about using GOTO or DSCs to find your way around the night sky, if that is what you enjoy, that's great. But, it's not for everyone and there are other effective ways to find your way.

Jon





Edited by Jon Isaacs (03/05/13 05:55 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5713967 - 03/05/13 08:23 AM

Jon,
That is great way to put experiences into words. I really like the way you describe the experience. I find the hunt of the object as much fun as finally seeing it. Unfortunately I get about 200 cloudy nights a year. Sounds like you have some very pleasant viewing most of the year.

There is something to be said about taking the back roads whether in the car or finding celestial Gems. I am always trying to teach my young girls patience and taking their time. I have a quote on my desk by Henry David Thoreau that reads "Nothing can be more useful to a man than determination not to be hurried"


Ken


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: kenrenard]
      #5713996 - 03/05/13 08:46 AM

The symphony sounds the same whether you arrive at the concert hall on foot, by car, on horeseback or by any other means. Last I looked it's called "observing" which means looking AT, not FOR. I understand Jon's affinity and that of others for the hunt. However there is a reason the Hubble is go to. It's the most efficient and effective way to find and track things.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ensign
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5714066 - 03/05/13 09:51 AM

For me it's a matter of "both and" instead of "either or".

I get a great deal of enjoyment out of travelling to a dark site and finding things using nothing more than a star chart and a manual setup.

I also enjoy observing with a Mallincam using a GOTO mount that also tracks.

Each has its place and it's all good.



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5714085 - 03/05/13 10:01 AM

I dont know ....Im on the fence as far as goto goes, while I will admit to being tempted, Im also fairly old school.
I have several scopes none goto.I also get a huge satisfaction in studying charts planning, and then carrying out the search, and with some luck finding the object(s) I had targetted. Is it slow ,yep, but its also emensly satisfieing.
As for goto....as long as the user makes an effort to learn where the scope is pointing and what consteallation its pointing at, and doesnt rely so heavily on the goto thats he learns nothing, then great.
A few years ago ,2001 IIRC, I was set up at the black forest star party when I man , I dont remember his name now, set up to my left with a Celestron 8 inch sct, on a massive mount with goto drives.I had an old uglier than the south side of a mule 8 inch dob.
He explained to me his set up, and we chatted for several hours, as darkness approached we both went to our scopes.
After roughly an hour and as real darkness set in, he loudly proclaimed he was done , his goto wouldnt go to, so I suggested loosening the clutches and using like a dob.
He couldnt, he had relyed on his goto so heavily, he had no idea where to point a scope or anything.
We , spent the rest of the night together surveying sagittarius, scorpio, etc.....he told me he was going to build as dob asap, lol.

just a precautionary tale, lol

Just a note: I think most of us know goto vs non goto is a hot topic in astronomy, it is my hope this thread can continue with out any problems.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: ensign]
      #5714098 - 03/05/13 10:09 AM

I can certainly see many advantages of GOTO and I don't discount folks time into using them and I don't think anyone is less of an observer either. I enjoy viewing through the GOTO's at my club's site all the time.

However, for me there is something almost romantic about finding an object with just a chart and Telrad. Maybe its a silly point of view! I also have tried sketching instead of taking a picture its just the way I like to do things. I guess it my own stubborn way of trying.

I know I have missed several objects just because I'm not a good enough star hopper and I'm OK with that. When starting out I looked like a fool trying to find something only to have an experienced member come over and get it right away.

I know if I had the money I would no doubt build an observatory and put in a large GOTO SCT with a Mallincam to see things I could never see with my manual processes.

Ken


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: kenrenard]
      #5714110 - 03/05/13 10:18 AM

Ken; Ive had the same experience trying to locate something, and not finding it.
Then some one else walks over, and using my scope finds it.
I simply ask them to explain to me , in laymens terms lol, how they did that.
M81 and 82 were my bug a boo, now I find them easily.
The viel is my current road block, waiting for some one to come teach me...where are they


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: kenrenard]
      #5714115 - 03/05/13 10:20 AM

I'm too new at this so I guess my opinion isn't much here in this thread. But, I think go-to's have it's place in the hobby. I found myself looking at some used go-to scopes and may get one later on down the road simply because of the LP here. This used with a dob or my refractor will be a good set up.
The searching for an object without go-to can be frustrating at times but man the thrill you get when you do find that faint fuzzy makes it all worth it I think.

Beginners should start with a dob or a refractor and learn the skies first, then maybe later a go-to.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5714140 - 03/05/13 10:34 AM

Quote:

The symphony sounds the same whether you arrive at the concert hall on foot, by car, on horeseback or by any other means. Last I looked it's called "observing" which means looking AT, not FOR. I understand Jon's affinity and that of others for the hunt. However there is a reason the Hubble is go to. It's the most efficient and effective way to find and track things.




Honestly, I don't really think you do understand. When I am out under the night sky, I am looking at the night sky, I am observing the night sky in the fullest sense of the word. Certainly Herschel and Messier were great observers, yet a good part of their time was spent looking at the night sky, carefully searching for something they had never seen before.

I will say this: The way I experience the symphony, the way I hear it, it does depend on how I got there because my chosen method of transport has a direct effect on me. But the bigger picture is that there is sound, music all around us, I can observe and be sensitive to those sounds whether one is riding a bicycle to the symphony or sitting in the seat in the auditorium.

There is no need to justify the use of GOTO, the Hubble would be impossible without it.

But I think it is important to realize that there are other paradigms, other ways to look at the world, at the night sky. The experience of using a GOTO scope to navigate the night sky and concentrate on a particular small regions is fundamentally different from considering the night sky as a continuum that is all of interest, all worthy of observation.

Jon Isaacs


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [Re: orion61]
      #5714148 - 03/05/13 10:37 AM

I once thought the same way about GOTO and digital setting circles, until light pollution really began to make finding anything very hard for me. Now I use DSC's on my larger telescopes to make the most of the limited opportunities I get to observe due to weather and work considerations. I still observe the way I always have, I take a few minutes at least to actually LOOK at something, if not much longer to sketch it. GOTO and DSC's merely make finding objects in less than ideal skies a lot easier and they also help your be sure of which object you are looking at in densely populated regions of the sky.

Taras


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | (show all)


Extra information
11 registered and 23 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  zjc26138, WOBentley, kkokkolis 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 3561

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics