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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.


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DavidC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/24/05

Loc: Mesa, Arizona
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.


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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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OneGear
member


Reged: 12/30/11

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

Post deleted by OneGear

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


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beanerds
sage


Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Darwin Australia
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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)


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.

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ensign
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.



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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [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


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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5714152 - 03/05/13 10:38 AM

Quote:

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.




Yes..

Edited by geekgroupie (03/05/13 10:42 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: droid]
      #5714165 - 03/05/13 10:46 AM

Quote:

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




The Veil is relatively straightforward, the western part is centered on 52 Cygni which can be found by following gamma to epsilon Cygni and then moving onto to 52. With an O-III filter, a low power, wide field eyepiece and reasonably dark skies, it should just pop into view. Then for the eastern Veil, it's about 2.5 degrees east. There are interesting pieces between the two as well.

When conditions have been ideal, I have seen the Veil from my urban red/white zone backyard. It's easier with my 10 inch dob but I did see it with my 4 inch F/5.4 refractor, an O-III filter is a must from less than dark skies.

Jon


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5714196 - 03/05/13 10:59 AM

Both my mounts are goto and there are many times, I do over 20 objects in one night. You also can't image without goto (as you can't look through the eyepiece). So for my scopes its goto.

But last night as an example I put out a beach chair and just sat down with a 15X50 Canon IS binoculars. I started off at M44 went to M67, then M42, the the Auriga clusters (M36, M37, M38) went back to M42 and then before packing up the double clusters, the owl cluster and back to M42 and Orions belt.

I don't need goto, but I like to look at various objects and I also like cruising the sky.

This is a hobby, there is no reason for disliking or liking goto. If you use it great, if you don't great. Do what you like, but don't criticize what others do.


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5714202 - 03/05/13 11:02 AM

The obstacle is the path! After trying something several times and then that final Eureka moment of finally viewing it!
I watch a woman in our club who is a very skilled star hopper with 30 years under her belt. I marvel at the way she tours the sky pointing out where things are. While I stand in awe dumbfounded by her prowess.
I imagine watching Jon is the same way. I can only hope to hone my skills for 25 more years to get to a point where some experienced folks are.

I've had many a magical evening with some gentle prodding that I was close to keep looking your in the right area go back to your chart and look a little closer. The I call over I think I have something! Yep you got it!

Ken


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5714224 - 03/05/13 11:10 AM

Quote:

[shakes head]

GoTo is useless when there is a building in the way, or you can't see said star because of a stray cloud. If you bought a telescope to "see stars" thinking that some computerized thing is going remedy your ignorance of the heavens requires a particular kind of naÔve.

I read so many times on here and other sites how important GoTo is for folks under city lights, but only on this forum do I notice the lack of complaints regarding GoTo. Makes a man wonder where the paychecks are coming from.

GoTo is utterly useless for me. I live in the heart of the city and anyone who thinks GoTo would be ideal for my situation possesses a special class of stupidity that has no polite name.

I starhop because that is the only way I can navigate the heavens. I can't see all of any constellation but I can see some of the stars naked eye. With binoculars I can see most of them and can then navigate to objects and stars I could never see naked-eye from my window. W T F help is GoTo when I have a literal window for observing? There is a ceiling between me and GoTo's favorite star, stop asking me to center it.

Just seems like malicious ignorance to tell folks that GoTo will solve all their problems without addressing the issue - most people don't know Mirach from Polaris and couldn't see both from the same location anyway if they are street-level in their backyard.

A horse and buggy will get you there, but a guy who pretends his GoTo never makes him work the whole night trying to get it aligned is a damn liar.

IMHO, GoTo in the city is a waste of money. Learning to recognize the bright stars one can see and identify the visible planets and their relationship to constellations trumps GoTo when you don't have 360 degrees of unobstructed horizon.

If you have 360 degrees of unobstructed horizon and use GoTo rather than learn the stars, I just shake my head. It's like telling people you are a marathon runner but ride in a wheelchair while you pay some guy to push you 26 miles. And excuse it because "you haven't trained, but they have people who will push you. What's the difference?"




I think your opinion is way off base. I set my CPC up with any 2 stars at the beginning of the night and don't touch it again the rest of the night. I'm not a liar and anyone that thinks I am is a damn fool. I don't need 360 degrees of the sky to do the alignment, I'm not an idiot, I'm not special, I'm not any of the other things you might think I am. If you can't see Polaris and went with an EQ goto mount, that's not the mounts fault. There's an expression that I'll tweak for astronomy\family friendly purposes. Opinions are like Uranus. Everyone's got one and some are louder than others. You can view however you want to view, no one cares, but I'm not going to let you sit there and mock how I view the night sky. This is all about the love of the night sky, and anyway you want to view it is ok with me, why isnít it ok for you?

Jim


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rdandrea
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5714240 - 03/05/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

[GoTo is useless when there is a building in the way, or you can't see said star because of a stray cloud.




This is utter poppycock. The sky from my yard is more than half obscured by trees. If I can't see the alignment star my CG-5 is offering, I just choose a different one.


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Tim Gilliland
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: jerwin]
      #5714248 - 03/05/13 11:32 AM

Quote:

Quote:

[shakes head]

GoTo is useless when there is a building in the way, or you can't see said star because of a stray cloud. If you bought a telescope to "see stars" thinking that some computerized thing is going remedy your ignorance of the heavens requires a particular kind of naÔve.

I read so many times on here and other sites how important GoTo is for folks under city lights, but only on this forum do I notice the lack of complaints regarding GoTo. Makes a man wonder where the paychecks are coming from.

GoTo is utterly useless for me. I live in the heart of the city and anyone who thinks GoTo would be ideal for my situation possesses a special class of stupidity that has no polite name.

I starhop because that is the only way I can navigate the heavens. I can't see all of any constellation but I can see some of the stars naked eye. With binoculars I can see most of them and can then navigate to objects and stars I could never see naked-eye from my window. W T F help is GoTo when I have a literal window for observing? There is a ceiling between me and GoTo's favorite star, stop asking me to center it.

Just seems like malicious ignorance to tell folks that GoTo will solve all their problems without addressing the issue - most people don't know Mirach from Polaris and couldn't see both from the same location anyway if they are street-level in their backyard.

A horse and buggy will get you there, but a guy who pretends his GoTo never makes him work the whole night trying to get it aligned is a damn liar.

IMHO, GoTo in the city is a waste of money. Learning to recognize the bright stars one can see and identify the visible planets and their relationship to constellations trumps GoTo when you don't have 360 degrees of unobstructed horizon.

If you have 360 degrees of unobstructed horizon and use GoTo rather than learn the stars, I just shake my head. It's like telling people you are a marathon runner but ride in a wheelchair while you pay some guy to push you 26 miles. And excuse it because "you haven't trained, but they have people who will push you. What's the difference?"




I think your opinion is way off base. I set my CPC up with any 2 stars at the beginning of the night and don't touch it again the rest of the night. I'm not a liar and anyone that thinks I am is a damn fool. I don't need 360 degrees of the sky to do the alignment, I'm not an idiot, I'm not special, I'm not any of the other things you might think I am. If you can't see Polaris and went with an EQ goto mount, that's not the mounts fault. There's an expression that I'll tweak for astronomy\family friendly purposes. Opinions are like Uranus. Everyone's got one and some are louder than others. You can view however you want to view, no one cares, but I'm not going to let you sit there and mock how I view the night sky. This is all about the love of the night sky, and anyway you want to view it is ok with me, why isnít it ok for you?

Jim




Ditto


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mountain monk
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: jerwin]
      #5714276 - 03/05/13 11:45 AM

Jon,

Wonderful posts. In most of the marvelous areas of life, efficiency is overrated---sex, food, hot showers, fishing, observing.... But then everyone seems to be in a hurry--gerbil life.

Thanks.

Dark skies.

Jack


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5714358 - 03/05/13 12:29 PM

Quote:

You also can't image without goto (as you can't look through the eyepiece).




People imaged long before there was GOTO and they still image without it, I am not much of an imager but when I image, I use a manual mount. Finding the object, there are several techniques. Using a finder, use the guide scope, remove the camera and insert an eyepiece, they all work.

Jon


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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: geekgroupie]
      #5714374 - 03/05/13 12:37 PM

Quote:



Yes..




Texas MotoGP event at Circuit of the Americas is next month!



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Escher
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tim Gilliland]
      #5714475 - 03/05/13 01:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

[shakes head]

GoTo is useless when [insert verbose flamage here]




I think your opinion is way off base. I set my CPC up with any 2 stars at the beginning of the night and don't touch it again the rest of the night. I'm not a liar and anyone that thinks I am is a damn fool. I don't need 360 degrees of the sky to do the alignment, I'm not an idiot, I'm not special, I'm not any of the other things you might think I am. If you can't see Polaris and went with an EQ goto mount, that's not the mounts fault. There's an expression that I'll tweak for astronomy\family friendly purposes. Opinions are like Uranus. Everyone's got one and some are louder than others. You can view however you want to view, no one cares, but I'm not going to let you sit there and mock how I view the night sky. This is all about the love of the night sky, and anyway you want to view it is ok with me, why isnít it ok for you?

Jim




Ditto




+1 here as well..

The point is - as Larry (the OP)said in his opening remarks - we can't judge someone elses experience. If Goto works for you - sweet. If Star hopping is your thing - that's cool as well..

But to make broad statements denigrating one observing style just because you don't agree - well, that's what is naive.

I tried for years to star hop, but my severe light pollution coupled with my eyesight really limited me... Should I have just given up and gave my equipment to a "more deserving" person?

Hopefully you were just having a bad day - happens to all of us, me included... but don't alienate an entire group of folks just because they don't fit in your specific mold..


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Escher]
      #5714551 - 03/05/13 02:03 PM

Quote:


I tried for years to star hop, but my severe light pollution coupled with my eyesight really limited me...




In an ideal world, everyone would have the equipment that best suited them. If someone finds wandering around the sky stumbling upon interesting new objects and/or starhopping frustrating, and disappointing, hopefully they could avoid it with DSCs, GOTO, whatever.

But I think it's also important to make it clear, particularly in a beginners forum, that there are those of us who truly enjoy these things, they are not tasks of frustration, they are an important part of the observing experience, a joyful part.

Not long ago I picked up a Nexstar 5, I had been looking for another C-5 and this one popped up at a good price. I did the GOTO thing a couple of nights, it works and it's kind of neat the way it does all that stuff but I realize the time has come to remove it from the mount and use it the way I like to use a scope, just me and the scope, a simple mount and the night sky...

Jon


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michael hester
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Reged: 11/28/08

Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5714845 - 03/05/13 04:39 PM

Yeah. Go-to means the difference between a washed out soup of a sky you can't find anything in and a sky that has hidden treasures waiting for you to find at the push of a button.
Sadly the good bulk of young people are in suburbs with horrible light pollution. This prevents the sky from being brilliant to look at and makes finding even the most prominent objects a strong challenge. Having a go-to or push-to computer on your scope gives you a second expert opinion to confirm that you're actually seeing the thing you're looking for and in some cases even determines if you actually see it. Just having confirmation that your scope is in the right spot helps you see the object for the first time.


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Achernar
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: michael hester]
      #5715055 - 03/05/13 06:32 PM

That is why I no longer think of GOTO mountings or digital setting circles as a gimmick, they are darn near a must for many folks who live in or near urban areas. If you can't see stars to starhop by, there is no way to find objects either by star hopping.

Taras


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GeneT
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5715081 - 03/05/13 06:46 PM

Quote:

Still my old RV6 gave (and still gives)me untold pleasure.




These were and still are great telescopes!


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: michael hester]
      #5715101 - 03/05/13 06:54 PM

Quote:

Yeah. Go-to means the difference between a washed out soup of a sky you can't find anything in and a sky that has hidden treasures waiting for you to find at the push of a button....





Michael:

You did reply to my post and you did seeming say that a washed out sky would keep me from finding anything. This is not true, if it is visible, I will find it.

But more importantly, it also true that a washed out sky does not keep a determined, curious beginner from finding those hidden gems, scattered about the night sky. It is really a question of attitude and interest and having the right equipment. When John Kuroaka came over for an evening under the stars in my Mag 4 backyard, he had that interest and determination and located some interesting, challenging targets and learned (I hope) ways to find more.

There is no doubt that a decent quality GOTO scope can short circuit the need to develop the skills to find one's way around a light polluted sky but that does not mean it cannot be done, it just means it's more challenging.

So, again it comes back to knowing ones self, knowing what one enjoys doing. I don't consider myself a particularly skilled observer, not like Tony Flanders or David Knisely. But I do know that, rather than investing in electronics and motors, one can invest is better finders, telescopes that are optimized for finding faint targets under difficult conditions and there is a two fold benefit at the eyepiece.

There is no need for an excuse to use GOTO, just use it. My concern is that by making such explanations, the implication is that GOTO is necessary for observing under significantly light polluted skies.

Jon Isaacs


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Achernar]
      #5715245 - 03/05/13 07:58 PM

Quote:

That is why I no longer think of GOTO mountings or digital setting circles as a gimmick, they are darn near a must for many folks who live in or near urban areas. If you can't see stars to starhop by, there is no way to find objects either by star hopping.

Taras




A 4 inch F/6 refractor can provide a finder-like 4 degree field of view. Even with seriously light polluted skies such a rig offers plenty of guide stars.

Jon


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GOLGO13
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5715246 - 03/05/13 07:58 PM

This is pretty much true. Certainly the combination of a telrad or rigel quick finder and a 8x40 or 9x50 finder should make many objects findable in most light polluted skies. But it can still be frustrating and seem not worth the effort. And some may say then they are not work observing in those skies. That's not always the case. Planetary nebulas especially are fun to observe. A few I have found hard to find without some help. Either way we are likely using help. Whether it's a star atlas, an app on our smart phones, a software package, telrad charts (my favorite) etc.

Observing the objects themselves is the most important thing to me.

For Onegear: The Nexstar 5i (previous version of the 5SE) had a feature where it would not suggest stars or objects below a specified degree of the sky. So for instance, I also have a limited sky window. So I set it to not suggest objects below 35 degrees. (some of my sky is worse than that, but that happens). If you cannot see enough bright stars for a two star alignment, I would suggest a new observing spot. That's got to be darn limited for even doing star hopping.

As much as I defend go to and push to...I have not used it since summer time. My intelliscope hand controller doesn't like the cold and I haven't felt the need to keep it warm some way. I either observe what I know or I get out the telrad charts. Quite frankly, I don't really care how I find the objects as long as I find them.

I also don't have a lot of time to observe...so I try to be pretty efficient. If I have the "push to" going I can observe 20-30 objects in an hour (unless I spend more time on an object). If I use what I know I observe 7-10 objects depending on the season. If I use the star charts I probably observe 10-12 in an hour provided I found them.

I do think some darker skies help. Heck, in dark skies you can just point at anything that looks interesting. If I have my push to on, I can write down the coordinates (it also has an "ID" feature which tries to figure out what the object is, or another bright one near by).

However people enjoy the hobby it's a good thing. I may not be observing still if I wouldn't have had a go to and push to scope when I did early on.

A lot of learning the sky is understanding sizes of objects. That was a big learning curve for me. Also the fact that I wasn't going to see most galaxies in my skies. I sometimes questioned whether my electronics were working...but it was just me not understanding the limitations of the scope in light polluted skies.


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Pak
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5715259 - 03/05/13 08:08 PM

We don't need computers, cars, cell phones, televisions, the electric light bulb, interior plumbing, and least of all modern medicine. If you guys all want to live in the stone age by all means do so. I prefer to sit here in my recliner in my modern day home with central heating and air while watching my LED LCD flat panel tv and remotely controlling my go-to telescope and keeping an eye on my sub exposures on my laptop computer.

It's progress folks. If you don't like it, you don't have to join us but don't criticize those of us that do.


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orion61

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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5715323 - 03/05/13 08:45 PM

Quote:

Both my mounts are goto and there are many times, I do over 20 objects in one night. You also can't image without goto (as you can't look through the eyepiece). So for my scopes its goto.

But last night as an example I put out a beach chair and just sat down with a 15X50 Canon IS binoculars. I started off at M44 went to M67, then M42, the the Auriga clusters (M36, M37, M38) went back to M42 and then before packing up the double clusters, the owl cluster and back to M42 and Orions belt.

I don't need goto, but I like to look at various objects and I also like cruising the sky.

This is a hobby, there is no reason for disliking or liking goto. If you use it great, if you don't great. Do what you like, but don't criticize what others do.




I can image without Go-To, simply have a flip mirror and parfocal eyepiece.
Unless your scope is a type that has limited focus travel.
Chalk another one up for a Compount Telescope "Schmidt Cass"
Myself I get bored to death when I go all Auto, after about 1/2 hr its about all I can take.
BUT like everything else time marches on, Technology moves on too.
The main thing is to keep the hobby going and the first few experiences with a scope will probably make or break it
for a new Astronomer!
I have talked to newer members who actually went backward, useing Go-To first, THEN manually searching, No surprise
they said the time went faster while Star Hopping!
There is one thing we can all agree on here... We disagree!
Thanks for making this an enjoyable read for the Beginners, to give options and experiences newer members may not have gotten without this thread, that was my purpose starting it.
I thank you all for your knowledge, and opinions.
We are here for them remember.....


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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5715494 - 03/05/13 10:19 PM



FRIENDLY MODERATOR REMINDER -

One of the most contentious subjects we as moderators have to deal with is the GoTo vs. Starhopping topic. It's always interesting to read which method(s) folks prefer, and why. HOWEVER - IT IS NOT OK to put someone down for their use of either method.

Are we all clear on that?


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maa2sm4ca
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Reged: 08/02/12

Loc: Bay Area,CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5715508 - 03/05/13 10:28 PM

The journey is the reward - Steve Jobs

Seems to cover a lot


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Tony Flanders
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5715893 - 03/06/13 07:04 AM

Quote:

Certainly the combination of a telrad or rigel quick finder and a 8x40 or 9x50 finder should make many objects findable in most light polluted skies. But it can still be frustrating and seem not worth the effort.




I think that's largely a matter of attitude. I actually find that star-hopping provides a bigger fraction of my pleasure in an urban environment than it does under dark skies. That's because once your eye is to the finderscope or the main eyepiece, star-hopping is much the same regardless of your location. But the actual objects tend to be less interesting in bright skies.

It does depend some on where your target is located. Urban star-hopping is easy in the winter, where bright stars abound all across the sky. But working my way down to Uranus and Neptune in the dim reaches of the Great Celestial Sea, where the nearest naked-eye star might be 30 degrees from my target, is pretty time-consuming.

Quote:

Planetary nebulas especially are fun to observe. A few I have found hard to find without some help.




Like the planet Uranus after which they're named, small bright planetary nebulae are a great example of objects that are particularly onerous to star-hop to while being harmed little if at all by light pollution.

The reason is that these objects are typically invisible in finderscopes and look completely stellar at low magnifications through the main eyepiece. So you may have to do a 4-step hop: unit power to sight on the jump-off star, finderscope to get to the nearest 8th-magnitude star, low magnification to get to the right place in the star field, and high magnification to confirm that you've actually found it.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5715912 - 03/06/13 07:41 AM

Quote:

This is pretty much true. Certainly the combination of a telrad or rigel quick finder and a 8x40 or 9x50 finder should make many objects findable in most light polluted skies. But it can still be frustrating and seem not worth the effort. And some may say then they are not work observing in those skies.




If an object is not worth observing, it doesn't really matter how one locates it, it's not worth observing. In any event, I am all for people using GOTO, this is a hobby and recreation is the goal. There is no right/wrong way to do it.

But also think it is important to be clear that it is very possible to star hop and locate difficult to find challenge objects. And one thing about starhopping, the more you do it, the better you get.

One issue that needs to be considered is budget. With an unlimited budget, there is no need to compromise. However if one is on a budget, there is a need to compromise. Often this compromise is between a scope that will point itself at an object that cannot be seen because of that compromise or a scope that will show the object but will not point itself.

Jon


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ensign
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5716165 - 03/06/13 10:57 AM

Quote:


This is a hobby, there is no reason for disliking or liking goto. If you use it great, if you don't great. Do what you like, but don't criticize what others do.




Sometimes you have to look past what someone says to what someone means to communicate.

Case in point, when I was very new to the hobby, my first scope was a 4" goto achromat. I asked an experienced visual observer what he thought of goto. His answer? "It's the work of the devil."

(BTW, he said it with a straight face - I was the one who found the remark funny.)

I later discovered - on my own - the joy of learning the night sky and finding various objects using nothing more than a sky chart and a manual Dob with a Telrad.

I fully respect others' opinions regarding their choice of equipment. But in his own way, this experienced observer was pointing me towards what he saw as a more interesting and fulfilling aspect of the hobby.

I have since come to understand and appreciate his viewpoint.

Of course, as in many things, YMMV. I just think maintaining an open mind and respecting others' viewpoints and especially trying to learn all you can from others is a great way to go.


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Jarrod
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5716202 - 03/06/13 11:23 AM

As a beginner and with a typically purist mind-set, I thought and read about this quite a bit before selecting my first "serious" telescope. Goto, push-to, dumb tracking, or completely manual? After the first couple of sessions with my manual GEM starter scope, it was clear to me that I had to have tracking. For me, the enjoyment of taking in the details of a celestial object is significantly diminished by having to fiddle with the RA every minute or two. And at high mag this was simply frustrating and annoying to me. That quickly ruled out push-to and manual. At that point my gut told me to get a goto setup, because my time under the stars will be limited and I simply don't know the sky at this point. But as I said, I tend toward being a purist, so naturally I felt that was a shortcut that would ultimately short-change my experience.

I finally rationalized the two competing views when I realized that goto can be used as a tutor, using it in reverse to learn more about what's up there and where. At the same time, it provides "instant gratification" that will maximize my limited observing time and minimize frustration. And the decision got even easier when I realized that there are goto systems that allow you to manually slew the scope without the computer losing alignment. This provides the best of both worlds. Use goto, or not, at your discretion, even switching back and forth within the same viewing session. For me this removes all the controversy from the decision of what to get. In fact it almost obsoletes the whole discussion we are having.


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csrlice12
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5716257 - 03/06/13 12:00 PM

My dob has push-to, my refractor is on a motorized CG4 (no go-to). I've used the dob's "Push To" to locate an object, check the finderscope, Go to the refractor (uses the same model finderscope) line up the same view as the finder in the dob, and it's usually very close. So, it is helping me learn the sky. That and skymaps.

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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5716340 - 03/06/13 12:59 PM

Quote:

In any event, I am all for people using GOTO, this is a hobby and recreation is the goal. There is no right/wrong way to do it.
...
Jon




+1

And then we can encourage one another to try different styles and see what fits. And once fit, revisit other ways of observing every now and again and see what's up.

I liken this to stick vs. auto transmissions in sports cars. For years I was of the mind that a "real" sports had to have a manual gear box. I did see the attraction to paddle-operated autos, but no one was offering one worth owning, except maybe Ferrari - that is until Porsche released its PDK transmission. I drove one last October and was absolutely blown away by how good it is. If I were to buy a Porsche, it would have the PDK.

http://www.porsche.com/microsite/technology/default.aspx?pool=uk&ShowSing...

So, I think, remain open minded and check the new technologies from time to time. An old starhopper might be convinced to change his ways, or vice versa. Either way, enjoy!


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ylem
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Loc: Monroe, NC
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5717810 - 03/07/13 07:14 AM

Well I 've been on the fence with upgrading to GOTO F
for about 10 years, took the plunge last week and I am not very happy.
I installed the upgrade kit on my SVP and I can't stand the tracking whining, the slewing is fine it sounds like the mothership is here to take me away, no problems there but the RA whine sounds like a mosquito in my ear. My celestar
and meade 626 are perfectly quite. I called Orion and they said this is normal
and I would get used to it, It's going to have to go back, sad to to say.

Jeff


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: ylem]
      #5717836 - 03/07/13 07:38 AM

Quote:

Well I 've been on the fence with upgrading to GOTO F
for about 10 years, took the plunge last week and I am not very happy.
I installed the upgrade kit on my SVP and I can't stand the tracking whining, the slewing is fine it sounds like the mothership is here to take me away, no problems there but the RA whine sounds like a mosquito in my ear. My celestar
and meade 626 are perfectly quite. I called Orion and they said this is normal
and I would get used to it, It's going to have to go back, sad to to say.

Jeff




Jeff:

Some mounts have a way to limit the maximum slew rate. The noise is depends on the slew rate, maximum slew rate = maximum noise. It will take longer to get to the object but will be quieter. Looking at a pdf of the manul, I don't see that option but it still might be there.

Jon


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5717920 - 03/07/13 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?

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csrlice12
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5717945 - 03/07/13 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...

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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5717975 - 03/07/13 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.


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lordhaw
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718006 - 03/07/13 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.


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: lordhaw]
      #5718014 - 03/07/13 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.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718016 - 03/07/13 09:54 AM

Quote:

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

Edited by Jon Isaacs (03/07/13 09:59 AM)


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5718057 - 03/07/13 10:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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.

Edited by Madratter (03/07/13 10:28 AM)


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718088 - 03/07/13 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).


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rdandrea
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718157 - 03/07/13 11:02 AM

Quote:

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.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718168 - 03/07/13 11:06 AM

Quote:

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.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718170 - 03/07/13 11:06 AM

Quote:


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

Edited by Jon Isaacs (03/07/13 11:12 AM)


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5718191 - 03/07/13 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.

Edited by Madratter (03/07/13 11:22 AM)


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GOLGO13
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718196 - 03/07/13 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.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718203 - 03/07/13 11:25 AM

Quote:

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.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5718222 - 03/07/13 11:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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?


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5718241 - 03/07/13 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.


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csrlice12
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5718251 - 03/07/13 11:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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......


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ensign
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5718261 - 03/07/13 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 . . .


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rdandrea
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5718287 - 03/07/13 11:59 AM

Quote:

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




Stellarium lets you dial in varying amounts of light pollution.


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: ensign]
      #5718292 - 03/07/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

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.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5718299 - 03/07/13 12:06 PM

Quote:

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.


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csrlice12
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718315 - 03/07/13 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.


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Escher
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718324 - 03/07/13 12:21 PM

Quote:

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.









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.

Edited by Escher (03/07/13 12:27 PM)


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GOLGO13
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5718326 - 03/07/13 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.


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rdandrea
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5718331 - 03/07/13 12:25 PM

Quote:

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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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Escher]
      #5718365 - 03/07/13 12:45 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.









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.




Not mad at all. But that was humorous. And I need to reiterate I am not against goto scopes.

I have two goto mounts, and I use them. I do think they can be (and don't have to be) used in a way that will limit what people can do. If those limits are within their goals, I'm totally fine with that. I think those years spent star hopping have helped you at the eyepiece in the way I described earlier.

Thanks for the comments about my Astrobin account. When it comes to Astrophotography, I have dabbled with it in the past and I'm dabbling with it again. I'm a beginner. I do know my way around Photoshop. I like Nebulosity a lot.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718380 - 03/07/13 12:52 PM

Quote:

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.






Ever seen Jim Furyk swing a golf club?

http://youtu.be/cTuTrpWCZhU

All of these guys have terrible swings and they've all won championships. You gonna tell Lee Trevino or Gary Player they don't know how to play golf?

http://youtu.be/u3kh0bjlYX0

Jimi Hendrix played right-handed guitars. I don't recall who it was, but there's a famous player who played left handed but didn't restring for left hand use like Hendrix did. So, low E was at the bottom instead of the top. That's the wrong way to play a guitar but he did it.


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5718399 - 03/07/13 01:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.






Ever seen Jim Furyk swing a golf club?

http://youtu.be/cTuTrpWCZhU

All of these guys have terrible swings and they've all won championships. You gonna tell Lee Trevino or Gary Player they don't know how to play golf?

http://youtu.be/u3kh0bjlYX0

Jimi Hendrix played right-handed guitars. I don't recall who it was, but there's a famous player who played left handed but didn't restring for left hand use like Hendrix did. So, low E was at the bottom instead of the top. That's the wrong way to play a guitar but he did it.




I'm well aware of what is "wrong" with Jim Furyk's swing. He has found a way to compensate that works for him. And again, he does many many more things right than wrong.

But lets say you decide you want to improve your golf game. You go to a teacher, and plunk down some $$$. Are you going to be happy when the teacher tells you, "Just do whatever you like?"


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718400 - 03/07/13 01:02 PM

Quote:

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.




Please be realistic and avoid the hyperbole. No one is suggesting that people look through their binocular's backwards. Take some time to read the threads here, make the effort to provide assistance and help to those who ask questions.

That's what happens here in this forum.

There are correct ways to use binoculars, there are correct ways to focus, to collimate, to drift time, to polar align a telescope, to estimate/calculate the magnification and the field of view... These are technical aspects of the hobby and helping people understand their equipment and basic observing techniques is a major aspect of what goes on here.

But there are other parts of this hobby that are subjective, how people enjoy it, why they are motivated, these are personal and subjective and there is no correct way to enjoy this hobby.

I suspect that the ways you and I observe are much more alike than they are different. But that is not the issue here. This thread is about the usefulness of a GOTO mount for someone just starting out in this hobby. As you have said, it can be useful.

Jon


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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718423 - 03/07/13 01:16 PM

Quote:



I'm well aware of what is "wrong" with Jim Furyk's swing. He has found a way to compensate that works for him. And again, he does many many more things right than wrong.

But lets say you decide you want to improve your golf game. You go to a teacher, and plunk down some $$$. Are you going to be happy when the teacher tells you, "Just do whatever you like?"






I think those of us challenging your position actually agree with you, but perhaps with less passion.

Furyk makes it work, like all the others, because while his swing is bizarre, when the club head reaches the ball, it's in the exact same position as one who makes the ideal, perfect swing. It can be no other way, physics is physics.

So, yes, at a fundamental level, you're right. There are wrong ways to use a telescope, no doubt. But if someone wants to observe while they're standing on their head, hey, have at it.


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5718457 - 03/07/13 01:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




Please be realistic and avoid the hyperbole. No one is suggesting that people look through their binocular's backwards. Take some time to read the threads here, make the effort to provide assistance and help to those who ask questions.

That's what happens here in this forum.

There are correct ways to use binoculars, there are correct ways to focus, to collimate, to drift time, to polar align a telescope, to estimate/calculate the magnification and the field of view... These are technical aspects of the hobby and helping people understand their equipment and basic observing techniques is a major aspect of what goes on here.

But there are other parts of this hobby that are subjective, how people enjoy it, why they are motivated, these are personal and subjective and there is no correct way to enjoy this hobby.

I suspect that the ways you and I observe are much more alike than they are different. But that is not the issue here. This thread is about the usefulness of a GOTO mount for someone just starting out in this hobby. As you have said, it can be useful.

Jon




I have taken the time to read the forums, and I am trying to help.

And in fact, I am trying to help here. And I'm trying to take the balanced viewpoint.

Goto mounts certainly have their place. I'm happy they are available and I use them. But I do think that time spent working on star hopping skills is time well spent. Goto mounts are not perfect and they do not always land an object smack in the middle of the field. In the case of faint objects, that can making observing them a challenge. If someone hasn't learned to star hop, when they goto that object, when they don't see it, they can just give up. Alternatively, if they have star hopping skills, they can look at a chart, find where it is supposed to be, and then determine if it is really there or not.

I use Sky Tools 3. I find it extremely useful for this very reason. I have found more than a few objects that weren't apparent when my scope landed after the goto.

Some people may well be content that they just had to move on. But I suspect they went there because they wanted to try and see it.

I think the advice to learn a little star hopping even if using a goto scope is good advice and useful advice.

On the other hand, I personally find the AL Messier program somewhat egregious in that they require you to star hop. You cannot use goto and you cannot even use setting circles.

I suspect many people just ignore that requirement.

Edited by Madratter (03/07/13 01:52 PM)


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5718466 - 03/07/13 01:44 PM

Quote:

So, yes, at a fundamental level, you're right. There are wrong ways to use a telescope, no doubt. But if someone wants to observe while they're standing on their head, hey, have at it.




Who knows? Maybe all that blood to the brain is a good thing for night vision. I haven't tried it.


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Escher
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718473 - 03/07/13 01:47 PM

Quote:


On the other hand, I personally find the AL Messier program somewhat egregious in that they require you to star hop. You cannot use goto and you cannot even use setting circles.

I suspect many people just ignore that requirement.




Funny you mention this - I looked up the "Messier-certificate" requirements a year or so ago, thinking I would try and get mine... Then I saw all the stuff about requirements, etc...

Nah... not for me.

I am, however working through them with my CPC1100 goto - and thats good enough for me... I may one day even do the "image all the messiers" thing... I think that would be fun.

I keep a spreadsheet in google docs and record each messier observation and how it was observed...

From my location, many are "photographic" observations due to LP issues... So I'm cheating there as well.. I don't care - its still fun!


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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718475 - 03/07/13 01:48 PM

Quote:

Who knows? Maybe all that blood to the brain is a good thing for night vision. I haven't tried it.





Good point!


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718507 - 03/07/13 01:59 PM

Quote:

But I do think that time spent working on star hopping skills is time well spent.






I also think it's time well spent, that's why I make an effort to explain the joys of star hopping and present it as a viable alternative even under light polluted skies. But it's not a right or wrong thing, a correct or incorrect thing. It's something I love to do but I know some people find star hopping frustrating, confusing and that it can make for an unpleasant evening. That is not a good thing and I have enough compassion/empathy to accept the value of GOTO.

I do have GOTO mounts but use them as manual mounts...

Jon Isaacs


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Tony Flanders
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5718509 - 03/07/13 02:02 PM

Here's the issue as I see it.

I absolutely don't think there's a right or wrong way to do astronomy. I know for a fact that many old-time stargazers far more experienced than I am consider Go To to be a blessing. And I also know that Go To is a huge boon for many beginners.

However, I fear that quite a lot of beginners who use Go To -- perhaps even a majority -- will miss out on something potentially valuable and enjoyable, and never even know that they're missing anything. Mind you, these very same people are likely to experience genuine benefits from Go To, and I'm certainly not about to weigh the good and the bad.

Let me give two analogies. I grew up 3/4 of my time in Manhattan and 1/4 of my time in what was then a fairly obscure rural area. In both places, I got around primarily by walking.

Everybody walks in Manhattan. When you go out to buy groceries, you walk. When you go to school, you walk. And you very likely walk when you visit a friend or go to a movie. In Cambridge, where I now live, 22% of the population walks to work.

In most of America, it's taken for granted that when you step out of your front door, you get into a car. The only major exceptions are if you're walking a dog or visiting a close neighbor. But I've seen plenty of people get in a car to drive one block, or even just across the street.

Now cars are wonderful, liberating things. But if you never get from point A to point B by walking -- or do so only on rare occasions -- you miss out on most of the texture of the real world. You don't see the birds, the grass that grows up through the cracks in the sidewalk, the details on people's homes. Cars go too fast; what you see through their windshields is only a little more real than what you see on TV. And this is the norm for most Americans; they have no clue what they're missing. It's the precise analogue of someone who leaves a glare bomb on outside his front door and never has a clue that he could see the Milky Way if only he turned it off.

Here's another analogy. My daughter got her driver's license last year, so she started to drive in the era of smart phones. Now mind you, people need all the help they can get navigating around Boston -- it is without a doubt the most confusing city in the U.S. But I worry that since she always follows the advice of Google Maps or a GPS program, she will grow up with no idea how the city fits together -- no idea that point A, which she drives to by one route is actually just 1/4 mile from point B, which she reaches by an utterly different route.

Likewise, I fear that many people who grow up using only Go To for their telescopes will end up with no idea that M20 is near M8 -- and is, in fact, part of the very same star-forming complex. By contrast, that fact is obvious if you star-hop to those places.

Mind you, I'm not saying this is true of all people who start out stargazing with Go To; others will use it to enhance their knowledge of the sky. Technology is rarely good or bad in and of itself; it's all a matter of how you use it.

However, the human tendency toward laziness is overwhelming. And technologies that enable laziness and feed on it -- like cars, GPS, and Go To -- can be particularly pernicious.


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Jarrod
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5718562 - 03/07/13 02:30 PM

Quote:

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.





Jimi Hendrix played the guitar about as wrong as you could think to play one - a right-handed guitar, upside down with his left hand, strung backwards. I'm quite sure many purists laughed at him for this. How many of them will be household names 40 years after they died?

If it works for you and doesn't harm anybody else, it's not wrong by any definition I care about.


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GOLGO13
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5718633 - 03/07/13 03:08 PM

Tony,

I can attest that Boston is a tough place to navigate. I've been there 3 times recently for work and it's a pretty random set of streets. Some of which don't even seem like they really are streets. All I can say is thank god for my GPS on that one. I don't think it was lazy...because I would have had a heck of a set of directions from my work's administrative assitant without a GPS

Hard to say whether it's laziness or just utilizing the right tool. I'd say if you live in an area where you can easily walk to grocery store etc then that's one thing. but when the grocery store is 5 miles away, you probably won't want to walk. The good news there is you probably live in an area where you have darker skies .

I get your point of course. But I also think a lot of people do not have a lot of time to observe. I'm 35 with two young kids, a wife, and work (which is way too early in the morning). My weekday starts at 6am wakeup, work til 5pm, make dinner and hang with the kids til 8pm. If I'm lucky to have clear skies (not often) I may get in an hour. Still need to spend some time with my wife. Get to bed pretty late (around 11-12)...do it all over again. Weekends have more potential, but still usually have familiy stuff which takes precendance. We don't have family local so we don't get much time off of parenting. So I think it really depends on your situation as to how much time one has for hobbies. I have many other hobbies as well (fly fishing, video games, cloudy nights forums, guitar).

That being said, the stars will always be there waiting for us. One good thing is I have not been to a dark sky in 2 years, and I'm not as mad about my light polluted skies now. I got to where I didn't want to observe in my skies (other than planets/moon/double stars) because dark skies were so much better. However, I am planning on getting back to them again soon.


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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5718636 - 03/07/13 03:08 PM

Quote:


If it works for you




And that is the question.

It really amuses me how many people think they can utterly disregard technique and theory on the guitar, and then they wonder why they can't play at the level they want to. And for what it is worth, the way he played is really not wrong at all as long as the guitar was setup properly (and it was).

And again bringing this back to astronomy, if a person is happy with what they are achieving when it comes to observing, I'm fine with it. But, I also think it is good to spell out what the advantages are to learning some star hopping skills. Because those advantages are real and useful even for a goto kind of guy/gal.


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Gert K A
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5718700 - 03/07/13 03:38 PM

I do get the live and let live approach it is indeed sympathetic,
that said there is absolutely no need to promote ignorance it will prevail without the promotion.
I am of the opinion that knowledge deepens the pleasure and truth be told isnít knowledge and pleasure what astronomy is all about?


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Jarrod
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Gert K A]
      #5718741 - 03/07/13 04:16 PM

I guess I feel that goto technology promotes ignorance in the same way that calculators do. They can be viewed as devices that compensate for ignorance, or as tools that enable one to learn more productively.

My view is that the truly ignorant won't use either item at all. Certainly not in the pursuit of anything resembling recreational activity.

As an aside, I've been called both naive and ignorant on this, the BEGINNERS FORUM, today. Glad I stopped in.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5718816 - 03/07/13 04:56 PM

Quote:

I guess I feel that goto technology promotes ignorance in the same way that calculators do. They can be viewed as devices that compensate for ignorance, or as tools that enable one to learn more productively.




Yes, I was thinking of making that analogy.

Do you know the short story "The Feeling of Power," by Isaac Asimov? It's about a man at some time in the future who discovers that it's possible to do arithmetic without a calculator. His friends are skeptical; it seems impossible on the face of it. Yet his method always yields the same answer as the calculator. It gives him a wonderful feeling of power to know that he can do math all on his own, without aid.

I use a calculator all the time, probably every day. I have no desire to divide a 6-digit number by a 3-digit number on paper. However, I do know how to do it. In fact, from I do it from time to time when a number problem pops into my head and I don't happen to have a calculator.

There's a huge difference between using a tool as a convenience and being totally dependent on it. Or, as in the case of many kids today with calculators, having only the foggiest idea what problem the calculator is solving for them, and accepting wildly implausible results just because that's what the calculator said.


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Mark Costello
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5718841 - 03/07/13 05:05 PM

For me, whether or not to "goto" depends on what kind of telescope I use. It's a waste of money for using it for my 5"F6.5 when I can get a true field of view of over 2.5 deg with "budget" eyepieces and so use my scope as its own finder. But I would have no problem using goto or "push to" for a scope like a SCT or a larger Dob....


One thing about starhopping. Almost always I enjoy the views while I'm looking for something, as I like looking out the window on a car or train trip. Sometimes I bump into something beautiful while looking for something else....


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spencerj
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5718861 - 03/07/13 05:13 PM

Quote:

I guess I feel that goto technology promotes ignorance in the same way that calculators do. They can be viewed as devices that compensate for ignorance, or as tools that enable one to learn more productively.




Technology promotes ignorance. I think we would have to agree to disagree on that point. I know how to add and do long division, but if I need to find the average of 100 or 1000 or 10000 numbers, I don't reach for my pencil and pad of paper. I take the lazy and ignorant way out and get the job done in 5 seconds in application that was designed for the task.

As for astronomy . . . I am just glad people get out under the stars. These discussions assume that people are one-dimensional characters in a cheesy mystery novel: the guy with a $10,000 setup that can't get his scope aligned because he can't find Capella . . . the guy with the hand-ground 60mm refractor who tracks down Abell galaxies with star charts he drew himself.

Real life is never that black and white. Absolutes and extreme outliers are not the norm. I have telescopes that have DSC's and I have a C5 ASGT, but I also have a Telrad and sky charts and books that I use under the stars. What I use on a given night depends on a number of factors. Maybe ngc7009 is up and I don't want to spend the time trying to star-hop that seemingly empty part of the sky from my suburban backyard. So I connect the Sky Commander to my Unistar, take 90 seconds to align it then let my ignorance guide me to my target with very little effort.

Does that mean I cheating some group of hard-core, old-school astronomers? Am I cheating myself? Maybe I am just trying to get a quick look at the Saturn Nebula so I can go to bed and be reasonably conscious for work the next day.


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kansas skies
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5718896 - 03/07/13 05:32 PM

I read over this thread a couple of times, just trying to make sense of it all. I have to say that I've employed both goto and conventional starhopping techniques throughout the years and for some reason, I could not wrap my mind around how this subject could be the source of such a heated debate. I think I finally figured it out, but feel free to correct me if you must.

The conclusion I reached is this - if you're not doing it right, then you must be doing it wrong!

Bill


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jgraham
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: spencerj]
      #5718920 - 03/07/13 05:40 PM

Hmmmm, maybe I really should go back to using my trusty old slide rule, log tables, or finding roots by long division. However, I gotta be honest my understanding of calculus really took off once I started writing my own code on my shiny new Apple II+. (Even though I was warned that BASIC would rot my brain.)

No one has the right to decide for anyone else what is right or wrong with their chosen style of observing. Whatever helps someone enjoy this wonderful hobby is okay by me.


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kansas skies
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5718978 - 03/07/13 06:08 PM

Quote:

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




I'm sure Hendrix would have been the first to agree...

FWIW:

Hendrix played both left-handed guitars and right-handed guitars that were restrung to be left-handed. According to what I read, he did this because it put the whammy bar on the top of the bridge on a Strat, which he felt worked better for him.

Albert King was a lefty that turned a right-handed guitar upside down and backwards to play it left-handed. I'm not sure why he did this. In my opinion, he had one of the most, if not the most recognizeable sound of all the blues players.

Elizabeth Cotten was another lefty that played normal right handed guitars. She also turned the guitar upside down and backwards to play left-handed. Her reasoning was that she was the only left-handed person playing the guitar in her large family. Since there was only one guitar to share, she had to adapt.

Phil Mickelson golfs left-handed, but according to what I saw in an interview, he does everything else right-handed. From what I gathered, he learned to play by mimicking the actions of his instructor (his father if I remember right). Since he was facing his instructor, his actions mirrored those of the instructor.

Bill


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Eric63
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: jgraham]
      #5719024 - 03/07/13 06:38 PM

And for some, not using goto is a way of keeping it simple. I can't see myself with cables, electronics or a large scope for that matter.

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Madratter
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5719036 - 03/07/13 06:42 PM

Quote:


Phil Mickelson golfs left-handed, but according to what I saw in an interview, he does everything else right-handed. From what I gathered, he learned to play by mimicking the actions of his instructor (his father if I remember right). Since he was facing his instructor, his actions mirrored those of the instructor.





We are starting to stray way off topic, but in the case of Phil, he is arguably doing it right while almost everyone else is doing it wrong. By going left handed, his right hand leads the motion. Many many right handers have problems because they push they club through the ball with the right hand.

There are certainly times where the conventional way of doing something turns out not to be the best way.

I love the technology of goto scopes and I use it (and have used a variety since 1992 when I got push to on my Dob).

Edited by Madratter (03/07/13 06:44 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5719286 - 03/07/13 08:33 PM

Quote:

It gives him a wonderful feeling of power to know that he can do math all on his own, without aid.




It's been a lot of years, but the way I remember the story that great feeling lasted only until the government realized they could stop putting expensive computers in their warships and could rely instead on expendable, inexpensive, infinitely renewable people.

Just a literary comment; no bearing on the discussion here.


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rdandrea
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5719333 - 03/07/13 08:52 PM

Quote:

Albert King was a lefty that turned a right-handed guitar upside down and backwards to play it left-handed. I'm not sure why he did this. In my opinion, he had one of the most, if not the most recognizeable sound of all the blues players.




His sound was recognizable because he pulled bends that right-handed guitarists had to push, and vice-versa.

RE Hendrix, according to an interview I read in Guitar Player magazine many years ago, he felt that because Fender made many more right-handed guitars than left-handed guitars, the left-handed guitars were probably of inferior quality. Don't ask me why he thought that, he's dead and I can't ask him.

To get this back on track, we use what makes the most sense to us. I've been in the hobby since 1961. That's 52 years. I KNOW the sky, I've done go-to, star-hopping, and setting circles. Go-to makes the hobby more fun for me. The bottom line is, I don't care what anyone else likes, only what I like. Your mileage might vary, and I hope it does.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Madratter]
      #5719566 - 03/07/13 10:45 PM

Quote:



We are starting to stray way off topic, but in the case of Phil, he is arguably doing it right while almost everyone else is doing it wrong. By going left handed, his right hand leads the motion. Many many right handers have problems because they push they club through the ball with the right hand.






Uh, that's an interesting conclusion.

He's an awesome golfer because he works at it, not because he's not pushing with his right hand (if he played right handed.) In fact, golf courses are designed for right handers, so a lefty, from the get-go, is at a disadvantage. Most dog-legs turn to the left, so it favors a right hander power-wise, a lefty has to fade a left handed dog leg, a righty gets to pull. Power baby!

A right hander who pushes with his right hand - the results are easy to see. The bigger problem is getting your head ahead of the ball - that's my Achilles heel. If I push with my right hand, the ball goes nowhere.

And this has *what* to do with telescopes? Thank you for indulging me.


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buddyjesus
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5719704 - 03/08/13 12:18 AM

we all just do what is easiest and most enjoyable for ourselves or best for the situation now, don't we?

I greatly enjoy finding objects through star hopping, but even then I usually don't do so without aids like my palm pilot planetarium or an atlas. Am I star hopping wrong because I use the hand held computer?


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herrointment
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5719725 - 03/08/13 12:36 AM

I've read this far on this thread and am reminded of the fact that on "Green Acres" the telephone was on top of the telephone pole.

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Astrodj
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: herrointment]
      #5719789 - 03/08/13 02:00 AM

I like it all, it just depends on what kind of mood I'm in whether I GOTO or not. Most times I do not, but not always.

I grew up starhopping, it's all there was then. I learned my way around the sky really well for about 22 or 23 years.

Then I bought the ORIGINAL LX200 Classic 8" with the "747 Object Library". Still have it, still use it, still love it (even though it's a Meade cake mixer on steroids).

I didn't buy another GOTO until the Nexstar 80GT. I gave that to my 9 year old to push around without power, too many bugs in the GOTO system to bother messing with it.

My other GOTO purchase was a Nexstar 130SLT. In spite of all the complaints about how shaky it is, I actually like it for several reasons (the people who complain about this mount most likely did not spend the first 5 years of their pursuit of this hobby with an Edmund Space Conqueror 3" Newt like I did. I would have killed for a scope like this in the 60's!). I use several OTA's on this mount just for fun.

I'm still a starhopper at heart since I know my way around and have no trouble with charts, and because I find it very relaxing to just take my time and see the sights along the way (like Jon said way earlier in this thread).

But in spite of my "upbringing" there are nights when I truly enjoy relaxing in a different way by using GOTO scopes to mix it up a little. It's pretty cool.

Something else I have noticed over the years is that people who predominately starhop, or grew up starhopping, tend to look a very long time at each found object. There is something to be said for that I think. Rare is the night when I look at more than 5-10 targets, even if I stay out for 4 or 5 hours or more. It is less about the number of objects and more about how much I can see in each one at a given aperture.

Oh, and about the Messier Marathon and GOTO... I have seen all the Messier's. I have never tried to see them all in one night. If I ever do try to see them all in one night it will not be with the benefit of a GOTO mount, and I will give myself a pin if I succeed.


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TL2101
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5719799 - 03/08/13 02:37 AM

Another analogy is sailing vs power boating some like to use the wind some like the power of an engine. For short trips a powerboat is nice if you are on a long haul you can't beat a sailboat. I normally observe for only a few hours at a time so goto works for me. For longer sessions I someday hope to have a large Dob and will starhop. Personally I would like to be able to do it all but so little time and so little money.

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coopman
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: TL2101]
      #5719971 - 03/08/13 07:56 AM

I like the thrill of the hunt, so no go-to for me. I tried it and didn't like it. It felt like I was cheating on my wife. The 6SE was sold within two weeks of its receipt.

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GOLGO13
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: coopman]
      #5720004 - 03/08/13 08:30 AM

I'll give a few reasons I like "push to" over "go to". Push to requires a lot less power to run. A 9 volt battery lasts about 40 hours. It's a lot quieter than go to motors. It's a lot faster than go to setups. It's not required to use the scope, also doesn't change the way the scope works.

For my dobsonian with push to, the only negative is the lack of tracking.

However, I do have push to installed on my sky view pro EQ mount. I have battery powered tracking on that scope as well. That tracking lasts pretty long on those batteries.

The only negative on the sky view pro with the push to added along with the tracking is I have a lot of cords going on. Still, it's an effective setup that doesn't burn through batteries or need AC.

I will say Orion should have choose an all red color scheme. I'd imagine in dark skies the green colors wouldn't be a great thing. Though you can dim it pretty dim. Seems to me like in dark sky conditions even the dimmest setting could be too bright.

See below photo showing the sky view pro with the tracking and push to controllers and my old C102HD scope.



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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5721701 - 03/09/13 07:16 AM

Quote:



Do you know the short story "The Feeling of Power," by Isaac Asimov? It's about a man at some time in the future who discovers that it's possible to do arithmetic without a calculator. His friends are skeptical; it seems impossible on the face of it. Yet his method always yields the same answer as the calculator. It gives him a wonderful feeling of power to know that he can do math all on his own, without aid.

I use a calculator all the time, probably every day. I have no desire to divide a 6-digit number by a 3-digit number on paper. However, I do know how to do it. In fact, from I do it from time to time when a number problem pops into my head and I don't happen to have a calculator.




The ability to do ball park calculations in one's head can be a powerful, creative tool. They say the great scientist and mathematician John von Neuwmann, could, at the age of 6, divide two 8 digit numbers in his head.

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5721713 - 03/09/13 07:25 AM

Quote:

Here's the issue as I see it.

I absolutely don't think there's a right or wrong way to do astronomy. I know for a fact that many old-time stargazers far more experienced than I am consider Go To to be a blessing. And I also know that Go To is a huge boon for many beginners.

However, I fear that quite a lot of beginners who use Go To -- perhaps even a majority -- will miss out on something potentially valuable and enjoyable, and never even know that they're missing anything.




Tony:

I think we each have to pick our battles, choose where we will put our energies and interest. I also feel that if one uses GOTO as a beginner, something will be missed.

But I am OK with that, it's a big hobby, you can't do it all. I know that I miss a lot by not developing sketching skills. I believe sketching is a powerful tool in terms of learning to see more and seeing more. I don't an aptitude for drawing. Sure, someone who has reasonable drawing skills can say, "Anyone can learn to sketch" and it's probably true. But for some it's pleasurable and a challenge, for some (like me), it's a frustrating, disappointing experience. Some probably feel that same way about starhopping.

Jon


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droid
rocketman
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5721902 - 03/09/13 09:52 AM

God I love go to vs non go to threads

Heres the gist of the problem from my humble perspective.

One one side are people who have , in many cases, spent years learning the constellations, and where to nudge theyre scopes to hopefully see theyre target.And in some cases feel an kinship with the night sky.In my personal case, the night sky is my get away from the world and commune with the Universe, I hope to see all within the reach of my 16 inch before I die, but Im in no rush, as I get older slower is ok, lol.

On the other side you have those who want to see it, and find technology irresistable.
They also love the night sky, but ,for many reasons, do not have the time to search out these faint fuzzys.
There also in this camp are the tech'ys or gear heads if you will.Some of them are dern proud of theyre gear and theyre ability to use use it to maximum effect.

you could probably extend these two too ,somewhat, say in the first category are the visual and sketchers.
And in the second are the astrophotographers.

Thats a generalization on my part , and may not alwasy be true,lol

When it comes right down to it....this arguement will most likely never see a true resolution, people are what people are, and we will always do things in the way that works best for us.

I guess you might say the old saying " differant strokes for differant folks " is all we will really get out of discussions about go to vs non go to.

Neither is alwaysw right or always wrong....it just is what it is.

In the end whats important is we all love the night sky.


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csrlice12
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: droid]
      #5721911 - 03/09/13 09:58 AM

For some its the Destination, for others its the Journey; but the bottom line is, we both end up with the same view....

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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5722228 - 03/09/13 12:32 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Quote:

"Anyone can learn to sketch" and it's probably true.





Well, not really. Here's a sketch I did during the last full moon. Don't think it will win any awards. Think I'll stick to making boiling water. I'm pretty good at that.



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skinnyonce
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5722240 - 03/09/13 12:38 PM

sign it and put it on EBAY and I'll bid on it if the starting bid is reasonable
Quote:

Quote:

"Anyone can learn to sketch" and it's probably true.





Well, not really. Here's a sketch I did during the last full moon. Don't think it will win any awards. Think I'll stick to making boiling water. I'm pretty good at that.






Edited by skinnyonce (03/09/13 12:39 PM)


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Paco_Grande
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: skinnyonce]
      #5722258 - 03/09/13 12:44 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Great idea!

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droid
rocketman
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5722264 - 03/09/13 12:46 PM

Sketching doesnt have to be perfection.....its just to remind me later of a memory or a time under the sky.
We can't all be Erika Rix or Jeremy Perez......but we can wish, lol.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5722596 - 03/09/13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Here's a sketch I did during the last full moon.




I love it!


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Mark Costello
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5722602 - 03/09/13 04:31 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Do you know the short story "The Feeling of Power," by Isaac Asimov? It's about a man at some time in the future who discovers that it's possible to do arithmetic without a calculator. His friends are skeptical; it seems impossible on the face of it. Yet his method always yields the same answer as the calculator. It gives him a wonderful feeling of power to know that he can do math all on his own, without aid.

I use a calculator all the time, probably every day. I have no desire to divide a 6-digit number by a 3-digit number on paper. However, I do know how to do it. In fact, from I do it from time to time when a number problem pops into my head and I don't happen to have a calculator.




The ability to do ball park calculations in one's head can be a powerful, creative tool. They say the great scientist and mathematician John von Neuwmann, could, at the age of 6, divide two 8 digit numbers in his head.

Jon




Wha???

A book I have about math, physics, and astronomy (can be read by intelligent laymen) has a story about Von Neumann's skills in this area. It seems that at a party he attended someone posed to him the problem about a bird flying between two cars heading towards each other and asked him to tell how much distance the bird would fly before getting caught between the two cars when they crashed. Speeds were constant and the time for the bird to reverse direction was neglected. This can be solved quickly by calculating the time it takes for the two cars to close the distance and then multiply by the bird's speed. Von Neumann worked the problem in seconds by setting up the geometric series and calculating the value to which it converged.

I agree with the statement, Jon.


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OneGear
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5723052 - 03/09/13 09:55 PM

My only issue is the knee-jerk response of "You need GoTo" whenever someone asks what telescope to buy for viewing in an area with light pollution.

I live and observe from a white zone. I enjoy searching out various objects by star hopping and dead reckoning. I enjoy the feeling I get when I locate a faint object. Swapping between naked eye-balling, binoculars, finder scope, and telescope eyepiece, with frequent Stellarium checks and consulting Bright Star Atlas, it's real accomplishment when you find it, not even discussing the things I learn about the universe we live in by exploring in such a way.

When I visit my mom on the dark edge of an orange zone, I am lost, my constellations obscured with all these unknown stars. But I wrap the blanket around my body and just start from a place I know, visit things I can find, and then just start exploring through the eyepiece, seeing what I can see. It's discovery every time. I've never felt I'm wasting time looking. The "looking" is what I'm there for. I can lay on the dock after midnight for hours just looking naked-eye, only going in when the high thin clouds blow in. Well, maybe not hours, but more than an hour easy

Telling people they need GoTo to enjoy looking at the stars is like telling a 1st-time visitor to California they have to see SeaWorld and Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, and if there's time maybe Muscle Beach or Chinatown, or they're wasting their time. That's not California. That's "Hollywood Cali," better experienced on TV anyway.

I write software and build computers for money, so I'm not a Luddite. I bought my telescope to see the moons of Jupiter, not to save time checking off someone else's list. If someone had convinced me I "needed" GoTo to enjoy myself looking at stars and planets, I'd probably be putting a talking telescope up on Craigslist by now, like everyone else who bought one. Instead, I followed very popular advice to buy binoculars before spending money on a telescope. And nobody yet sells GoTo binoculars

Again, I understand GoTo, appreciate for what it can do and for how clever it is that it works at all. But I take issue when people insist it's the only way to go when you're just getting started, especially when someone is truly interested in what they've seen without a telescope.


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jerwin
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5723108 - 03/09/13 10:40 PM

Quote:

My only issue is the knee-jerk response of "You need GoTo" whenever someone asks what telescope to buy for viewing in an area with light pollution.

I live and observe from a white zone. I enjoy searching out various objects by star hopping and dead reckoning. I enjoy the feeling I get when I locate a faint object. Swapping between naked eye-balling, binoculars, finder scope, and telescope eyepiece, with frequent Stellarium checks and consulting Bright Star Atlas, it's real accomplishment when you find it, not even discussing the things I learn about the universe we live in by exploring in such a way.

When I visit my mom on the dark edge of an orange zone, I am lost, my constellations obscured with all these unknown stars. But I wrap the blanket around my body and just start from a place I know, visit things I can find, and then just start exploring through the eyepiece, seeing what I can see. It's discovery every time. I've never felt I'm wasting time looking. The "looking" is what I'm there for. I can lay on the dock after midnight for hours just looking naked-eye, only going in when the high thin clouds blow in. Well, maybe not hours, but more than an hour easy

Telling people they need GoTo to enjoy looking at the stars is like telling a 1st-time visitor to California they have to see SeaWorld and Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, and if there's time maybe Muscle Beach or Chinatown, or they're wasting their time. That's not California. That's "Hollywood Cali," better experienced on TV anyway.

I write software and build computers for money, so I'm not a Luddite. I bought my telescope to see the moons of Jupiter, not to save time checking off someone else's list. If someone had convinced me I "needed" GoTo to enjoy myself looking at stars and planets, I'd probably be putting a talking telescope up on Craigslist by now, like everyone else who bought one. Instead, I followed very popular advice to buy binoculars before spending money on a telescope. And nobody yet sells GoTo binoculars

Again, I understand GoTo, appreciate for what it can do and for how clever it is that it works at all. But I take issue when people insist it's the only way to go when you're just getting started, especially when someone is truly interested in what they've seen without a telescope.




Telling someone that wants to go to Disney or SeaWorld not to because in your OPINION that's not the real California is a disservice from someone that doesn't listen to or care about what someone else prefers to do.

New people come here and ask for advice. Any post where someone says I don't know what I want, help me buy a scope will have an just as many manual dob guys as goto guys. Everyone draws their opinions from their own experience. I'd never tell a person that wants a dob not to buy one, I doubt if any goto person would. However when someone says they are considering a goto scope, I'm more than happy to offer up my opinion and share my positive experiences. I'm happy to share my dob experience if they want a dob. Everyone has to make their own decisions based on personal preference and their budget. I've never seen a post from a goto person that says if you don't buy goto your wasting their time. I've seen some astrophotography posts saying buy a nice EQ mount or you'll regret it, and I've read hundreds of posts from people that ignored that advice. So as best I can tell everyone that buys a scope still makes their own decision. I don't think I've read one post from a user that said I bought a 8se because of CN and I hate it. If your the exception that sucks, but it was still your decision, so there's only one person to blame.

There is a negativity that I've read in a a few of your posts. In my opinion your the reason CN has an ignore this user button. If I didn't enjoy calling out your BS I'd use it.

I hope you have clear skies and are able to see whatever you want to see with your method.

And those of you with goto, may your batteries and dew heaters run all night.

And to the rest of you old school guys, I greatly respect your knowledge of the sky.

Most of all, I'm happy the sky doesn't discriminate.

Jim


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wky46
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5723136 - 03/09/13 11:01 PM

I for one am ready for some goto. Like so many of us, I've spent many years nudging, sweeping and hopping. I'm ready to kick back and let someone (or something) else take the wheel . So, if and when I ever have an opportunity (and the moola) to own that C14 with goto, it will be well appreciated and guilt free....I guess.... Right? ....Phil

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OneGear
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Reged: 12/30/11

Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: jerwin]
      #5723138 - 03/09/13 11:05 PM

Jerwin-

You are arguing with someone who did not post here.

I specifically did not say "Don't go to SeaWorld."

But then you'd know that when you read my post.

I find it interesting you disregard my very first sentence, starting with "My only issue is..." and instead substitute "I hate everyone because they all say..." I would like to think people would put nice things in my mouth, not bad things.

If you are consistently reading negativity, consider looking in the mirror.

I rarely have clear skies. Me and Orion are good friends because when he sinks below the horizon so do my nights of clear, stable seeing. I look forward to his arrival and lament his passing.

I admit I do have a problem with long signatures, but in this case you get a pass because your post actually exceeds your equipment list :thumbup:

BTW, I've read hundreds of posts that suggest newbies buy an AltAz because EQ's are a PITA to set up and use. I held out for an EQ mount and couldn't be happier. I use it in AltAz mode a lot, but it's so much easier to manually track a planet by turning one knob than zigzagging after it all night. So obviously I'd agree with you - people make their own choices.

I think you are over-stating our points of contention. And I would suggest you are reading things into my post I made an effort to eliminate. If I failed, my bad, not yours.


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GOLGO13
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5723192 - 03/09/13 11:40 PM

OneGear deleted the one post I had an issue with...so I think we are OK here. (though it does live on because of quoted responses)

Lets focus on the "go to" or not "go to" question.

Usually when a beginner describes what they are looking for, you can get a feeling as to if "go to" is going to be good or bad for them.

I'll admit it was a lot more important to me at first. As a techie having a computer has an appeal to it. Even if I didn't use the go to part of it, I enjoyed using the slow motion controls to reposition the scope on the object (assuming I didn't have it aligned for tracking).

I don't mind nudging or using manual slow motion controls...but I prefer tracking because why not just have the objects stay in the field of view? You don't need "go to" for that, but you do need an EQ mount with motors for automated tracking.

Now if I can score a nice equatorial platform for my dobs I'll be very happy!

Edited by GOLGO13 (03/09/13 11:43 PM)


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jerwin
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5723203 - 03/09/13 11:49 PM

Quote:


That's not California. That's "Hollywood Cali," better experienced on TV anyway.





I read that to mean don't go to SeaWorld.

I'm a very positive guy but your negative posts rub me the wrong way.

Quote:


GoTo is useless when there is a building in the way, or you can't see said star because of a stray cloud. If you bought a telescope to "see stars" thinking that some computerized thing is going remedy your ignorance of the heavens requires a particular kind of naÔve.
I read so many times on here and other sites how important GoTo is for folks under city lights, but only on this forum do I notice the lack of complaints regarding GoTo. Makes a man wonder where the paychecks are coming from.





Quote:


If you can't identify any constellations it doesn't matter what scope you buy.





Quote:


Obviously you can lie to people to sell telescopes. I fail to see how telling people to buy 8" dobs serves anyone but people who sell 8" dobs.





Quote:


If you hobbies are more about buying than anything else, buy away.

I never understood people listing everything they own in a signature.





You have some posts that aren't negative, I'll give you that. But your negative ones set me off because it seems like you donít respect anyone that wants to buy a telescope that doesnít already know their way around the sky.

When I was new to the hobby, I knew nothing, but from the second ďfoundĒ Saturn I realized I wanted to see everything else that was up there. If I had to pass a constellation test or spend several months with binoculars or a 60mm refractor before I was allowed to buy something new my neck would have snapped or Iíd have given up. I made an educated purchase I was happy with. Later, I wanted more and more and more, so continued to increase aperture and buy bigger and better equipment. I know more today than when I started. I donít know everything, nor would I expect to. But Iím having fun, and thatís all I care about.

Jim


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orion61

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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5723237 - 03/10/13 12:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Here's the issue as I see it.

I absolutely don't think there's a right or wrong way to do astronomy. I know for a fact that many old-time stargazers far more experienced than I am consider Go To to be a blessing. And I also know that Go To is a huge boon for many beginners.

However, I fear that quite a lot of beginners who use Go To -- perhaps even a majority -- will miss out on something potentially valuable and enjoyable, and never even know that they're missing anything.




Tony:

I think we each have to pick our battles, choose where we will put our energies and interest. I also feel that if one uses GOTO as a beginner, something will be missed.

But I am OK with that, it's a big hobby, you can't do it all. I know that I miss a lot by not developing sketching skills. I believe sketching is a powerful tool in terms of learning to see more and seeing more. I don't an aptitude for drawing. Sure, someone who has reasonable drawing skills can say, "Anyone can learn to sketch" and it's probably true. But for some it's pleasurable and a challenge, for some (like me), it's a frustrating, disappointing experience. Some probably feel that same way about starhopping.

Jon




As the OP of this thread one of the points I was trying to point out is, I'd much rather see a Beginner with Go-To
than to pass on the hobby all together, once He or She sees
the object they start WONDERING, where? How far? when did it happen?
Its a lot better to have them join our group than spending their Nights lurking around with their hoodies and Gangsta
buddys if they didn't get into Astronomy (not saying everyone would do that) it was just an alternate choise.
A lot of times they move up from their little pea shooters
and buy a cheap C8, or 2080, without a computer, but by then, they have been bitten by the hobby..
So if it's Go-To or Nothin' I choose the Go-To and WELCOME to the Forums!
Orion


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Astrodj
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5723290 - 03/10/13 01:09 AM

"I don't (have) an aptitude for drawing. Sure, someone who has reasonable drawing skills can say, "Anyone can learn to sketch" and it's probably true. But for some it's pleasurable and a challenge, for some (like me), it's a frustrating, disappointing experience. Some probably feel that same way about starhopping."

I never thought of it that way, what a great insight Jon.

I definitely fall into that category. Putting forth some real effort in the sketching area would no doubt contribute greatly to my observing skills. I should think more about this.


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panhard
It's All Good
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Astrodj]
      #5724676 - 03/10/13 08:13 PM

Second warning lets keep on topic. Without the personal fencing matches.
I say to each his own and let it rest at that.


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rdandrea
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: OneGear]
      #5724817 - 03/10/13 10:08 PM

Quote:

My only issue is the knee-jerk response of "You need GoTo" whenever someone asks what telescope to buy for viewing in an area with light pollution.




I don't recall seeing any posts like that, but maybe I was asleep. Care to provide a link to such a response?


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YetAnotherHobby
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Loc: Central CT
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: orion61]
      #5725329 - 03/11/13 07:53 AM

Just finished reading the entire thread and I find my position on Go-To unchanged despite some well crafted arguments for and against.

"For those who believe no explanation is necessary, for non believers no explanation is possible"?

I'll admit the passion for and against escapes me. I cannot imagine how my chosen method of enjoying astronomy prompts someone else to offer criticism.

I had to Google that quote by the way. I was close, but needed the technology to land it. I probably shouldn't be posting.....



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spencerj
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: YetAnotherHobby]
      #5725468 - 03/11/13 09:52 AM

That is right, YetAnotherHobby. If you can't post a comment to this forum without a computer . . .

I first started out in this hobby 10 years ago with an Orion XT 4.5 and the center fold-out of Sky and Telescope magazine. I could not find anything at first. Luckily for me, Saturn and Jupiter (and the moon) were up that winter. They were rewarding targets and I could find them. After about a month of failed attempts at finding anything else, fate led me to Turn Left at Orion. It was a revelation. I instantly started understanding and finding DSO's.

I enjoy solving problems. Failing at something does not bother me--at first, but we all have our limits. How long would I have kept panning around for M1 (because why bother with anything else if you can't find M1) before I found my limit? Luckily I did not have to find out, but based on my experience, I understand why some people give up and just put the scope away forever without actually getting off the ground and seeing what is out there. For those people who gave up, maybe some early success would have changed their outlook.

The big dark truth that lurks behind this eternal argument is that it is a generational in nature. Younger people (as a whole, there are certainly exceptions) are not as patient as people from past generations. They are used to things coming fast and easy. Everything being a button click away. This is not a moral flaw (as some would seem to suggest), but it is the way they are taught at a young age. Technology is everywhere. It has crept into all aspects of life. Why would astronomy be any different for them?

Amateur Astronomy needs more people who are inspired and excited by the universe and a dark clear night. Some of these new people will want to start out with GOTO, some will not. It doesn't matter. The only thing that truly matters is that they care enough to look up at the night sky and that they see enough there to want to do it again.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: spencerj]
      #5725512 - 03/11/13 10:20 AM

Quote:

Younger people (as a whole, there are certainly exceptions) are not as patient as people from past generations




I am unwilling to accept such a generalization as fact. It's rose colored glasses we look through when thinking about the younger generations...

The young people I know are more patient than I was in my youth but patience is a virtue that can blossom with age. One hopefully becomes more wise so the Jon that people know today is patient and measured in his response to life.... When he was a young, he was quite impatient.

Jon


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ensign
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Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5726243 - 03/11/13 04:16 PM

I'm not sure that the "microwave mentality" applies exclusively to the young. I grew up with a TV that proclaimed continuously that the most difficult problems could be solved in 1/2 hour or an hour (with time in between for commercial breaks).

Of course, I realized that TV was fantasy, not reality, but like it or not, it affected my perceptions - perhaps at a subliminal level.

As far as I'm concerned, the future ain't what it used to be. Technology, far from reducing the demands on humanity and providing more leisure time as was often contemplated when the future was still pretty cool, has actually created a more frenetic lifestyle ahd higher stress for uncounted numbers of people.

Maybe some of these folks don't have the time to learn the stars, but can take the time to learn the technology, which is easier and somewhat less time-consuming.

For me, learning the sky and basic technic with manual gear, although more time-consuming, has given me some respite from the frenetic, hurried, high-stress life.

To each his (or her) own.


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