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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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MikeBOKC
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Dave74]
      #5567912 - 12/12/12 04:28 PM

The opera singers sound the same whether you arrive at the concert hall on foot, in a horse drawn carriage, by car or by parachute.

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Astrojensen
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5568113 - 12/12/12 07:12 PM

Quote:

The opera singers sound the same whether you arrive at the concert hall on foot, in a horse drawn carriage, by car or by parachute.




Indeed, but for many of us, there is as much satisfaction from the preparations leading to the main show, as the show itself. Perhaps the tickets are not easy to get, the opera hall is in a faraway location, hidden and not easy to find. And maybe the artist is only doing a few performances a year, so if you want to attend, you got to hunt down tickets, find a map with the location of the opera hall and find out exactly when the artist is going to perform. But if you do all this, then there's going to be tremendous satisfaction from beating the odds and get to that rare, perfect opera evening, where everything is perfect. That sure beats just being taken there by a yellow cab.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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The Ardent
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Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5568204 - 12/12/12 08:01 PM

Im 100% starhopping myself, but how many starhoppers actually take a few minutes to observe the stars they use to hop with?

Most observing lists and guides will have you believe that its ALL about the "object" and not about the stars. I disagree. But thats just me.


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5568626 - 12/13/12 03:20 AM

I'm with you. I make it a point to enjoy the stars along the way. Noting which are variable, which are doubles/multiples.

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Sasa
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Reged: 11/03/10

Loc: Ricany, Czech Republic
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5568633 - 12/13/12 03:33 AM

Ray, you are right. Especially when you do star hopping with the finder. Then you barely notice the stars on the way. However, from time to time I do star hopping with the main telescope (which for me is usually small 63-100mm refractor) - mostly because I'm lazy to get the finder or simply because the finder could not be easily attached to OTA at that tome. It is definitely more work, sometimes quite frustrating, but sometimes it is also quite interesting and rewarding.

Here and there I notice some unusual color and later at home I identify the star, sometimes it is a carbon star, interesting variable, or nice unexpected double. Or even something totally different. For example, this autumn I noticed very nice orange color of gamma Cep. Later at home I was trying to dig out some information about the star and to my surprise I found out that the star was used in past as a spectroscopic standard for its class, or even more fascinating story about being it the first star with discovered planetary system.

More rarely, I notice even some DSO objects that are not listed in my field atlas (Pocket Sky Atlas). For example, last year on the way from gamma Sge to M27, I noticed fuzzy group of stars which looked like an open cluster. At home, I found out that this was open cluster Roslund 3. Or from this summer, I noticed in 63mm refractor open cluster Cr421 when star hopping from gamma Cyg to IC1318. Or another open cluster Basel 1 in 120mm refractor when star hopping to M11. Interestingly, these are the regions I looked at a hundred times...

I can't see myself with GO-TO which would deprive me greatly out of this little pleasures of star hopping.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5568749 - 12/13/12 07:17 AM

Quote:

Im 100% starhopping myself, but how many starhoppers actually take a few minutes to observe the stars they use to hop with?

Most observing lists and guides will have you believe that its ALL about the "object" and not about the stars. I disagree. But thats just me.






There are really very different ways to enjoy this hobby, different mindsets, different paradigms. Certainly one can go down an list of objects and try to spot them all, enjoy them for what they are and then move on.

But one can also view a telescope as an instrument of discovery, observing every moment and seeing what there is to be seen. Whether looking through the finder, with binoculars, through a "finder" eyepiece on the main scope or a high power small view, there is something to be seen, appreciated both aesthetically and intellectually.

My wife I most often take our vacation as trips to the dark skies of NE Arizona. As we drive along, we look at the countryside, just taking it all in. Not every vista is of the Grand Canyon but along the way, there are some wonderful views, wonderful sights.

I am big on just looking around... keeping an eye open...

Last year I was hunting for the galaxy cluster centered around NGC 5350, its a favorite I stumbled upon several years ago. It's about 1/4 the way from Alkaid to Arcturus... I was tired and not having much luck but I found an unfamiliar object... It turned out to be NGC 5466, a large but relatively faint globular. It's about 1/4 the way from Arcturus to Alkaid. I guess I was tired but I still had my eyes open...

Jon


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Tony Flanders
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5568787 - 12/13/12 08:08 AM

Quote:

Hhow many starhoppers actually take a few minutes to observe the stars they use to hop with?




My notes are full of phrases like "Stumbled on remarkable wide double star en route to xyzzy. Identified the next day as Herschel such-and-such." Or even occasionally, "Grossly lost attempting to locate foobar. Just as well, because I encountered a suspiciously clusterlike object x.y degrees east-southeast of 5th-magnitude star. Research the next day indicates that it's ..."


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tigerroach
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Reged: 08/13/08

Loc: Houston, TX USA
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5568840 - 12/13/12 08:57 AM

Quote:

I sometimes feel this way when it is very cold. It takes a certain amount of energy to star hop. Sometimes there's just not much left when you subtract the energy required to keep me warm




That's the case with me too - cold makes all the difference. It has a way of just sucking out all my will to put forth the effort of going back and forth between the scope and the atlas.

That said, some of my greatest star-hopping adventures have been on cold nights...

And I should also note that those of you from the frozen north would laugh at what I consider "cold."


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C_Moon
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Reged: 10/23/09

Loc: Beneath the arms of Cassiopeia
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5568851 - 12/13/12 09:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Hhow many starhoppers actually take a few minutes to observe the stars they use to hop with?




My notes are full of phrases like "Stumbled on remarkable wide double star en route to xyzzy. Identified the next day as Herschel such-and-such." Or even occasionally, "Grossly lost attempting to locate foobar. Just as well, because I encountered a suspiciously clusterlike object x.y degrees east-southeast of 5th-magnitude star. Research the next day indicates that it's ..."




For me that is what it is all about. The journey is often more than the destination...


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KidOrion
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/07/07

Loc: Carbondale, IL
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5569123 - 12/13/12 11:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Hhow many starhoppers actually take a few minutes to observe the stars they use to hop with?




My notes are full of phrases like "Stumbled on remarkable wide double star en route to xyzzy. Identified the next day as Herschel such-and-such." Or even occasionally, "Grossly lost attempting to locate foobar. Just as well, because I encountered a suspiciously clusterlike object x.y degrees east-southeast of 5th-magnitude star. Research the next day indicates that it's ..."




How do you get lost on the way to Foobar? It might be the easiest deep-sky object there is.


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Carol L

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Reged: 07/05/04

Loc: Tomahawk, WI 45N//89W
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: jgraham]
      #5569510 - 12/13/12 04:04 PM

Quote:

I use the DS-2045s to point to the target and illuminate it with the laser pointer. I then locate the beam in the finder of my 16.5 and follow it out to the end. Voila! A Point-To system.




Absolutely ingenious!!!


--------------------

For me sometimes it's go-to, sometimes it's push-to, and sometimes it's star-hopping.

I think of it this way:
When i lived in Chicago and needed something from the store a mile and a half away, i could go about it differently.
1) When the weather was bad, i drove.
2) When the weather was nice but i was pressed for time, i'd take the bicycle.
3) When it was nice out and i had loads of time, i walked.

It didn't matter one bit to me 'how' i got to the store - as long as i got what was needed.



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galexand
sage
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Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #5570671 - 12/14/12 11:15 AM

Quote:


After enuf go-to, don't you learn the sky well enuf to star hop afterward? Unless the LP is extreme, of course. We get sum visceral satisfaction from aiming with a laser and acquiring targets, but that requires knowin where they are. Seems that after long enuf the go-to obsolesces.




You know, that makes sense, but I'm not sure it would work for me. I find if I'm riding in a car and someone else is driving, I can make the same trip hundreds of times before I start to figure out where it is. But if I'm ever navigating there on my own even once then I will remember the route forever, and will be able to connect it to the map. I think that's pretty individual, though, and I've never used goto.

On another note, I am glad to see some other people here have already been doing what I've really just discovered...when I "get lost" star hopping, I often run into all sorts of fascinating things. And just two nights ago for the first time I actually bothered to complete the whole process backwards. I got lost on a hop to double cluster, and I found another nice obvious cluster. I tracked down the nearby bright star (Algol), and then checked the charts and, lo, I have discovered M34. Now that I've done it once, I'm excited for the next cluster I accidentally "discover."


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jgraham
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: galexand]
      #5570917 - 12/14/12 02:14 PM

I gotta be honest... after 40 year of star-hopping I never, ever, ever felt that it helped me to 'learn the sky' anymore than looking at a leaf through a microscope would help me 'learn the forest'. If anything, it left large swaths of sky unexplored for lack of guide stars and stepping stones. In contrast, I've learn much more of the sky from my GoTo scopes and cameras than anything else. With their help I've been able to find soooo many objects it's incredible. The laser pointer is also a nice aid since it points right to where the object is and gives me a naked eye visual reference. Also, having access to unprocessed source images shows me exactly what an object really looks like (before its processed beyond all recognition).I can now lay back in my lawn chair and scan one region after another with my binoculars knowing exactly where each object is since I've finally been able to find them. It's fun to spend a few minutes standing out in my back yard gazing up at a constellation and mentally ticking off each object that I've been able to find. In the end there no right or wrong way, and there's certainly no One True Way, whatever method you enjoy and works for you.

Oh, by the way, I star-hopped for decades tracking down faint little asteroids. Now that's fun, not only are you looking for a tiny stellar object that's off the beaten path, but it moves every night! If you're lucky to get a string of clear nights you quickly become familiar witht the field and can spot the little bugger fairly quickly.

Last note (I promise) the star-hopper's best friend? Vehrenberg's Photographic Star Atlas; one of my most treasured possessions.

Have fun folks, its just a hobby.


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Gastrol
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Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Dave74]
      #5571736 - 12/14/12 10:51 PM

I like my dob to be a simple instrument without any of the electronics but be able to locate objects. This is why I like degree circles. The only electronic gadget you need is your smart phone or tablet.

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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5571794 - 12/14/12 11:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

last saturday I went to my dark observing site after months of cloudy new moons (or close to that). I was looking forward to find some new targets, but I got lost with my charts and that became very dissapointing, thinking about all the time of pure observation I was losing.




That has happened to me, too. When it does, set it all aside, sit down and relax. Look at the beautiful sky for a while with the naked eye or perhaps with binoculars, then go visit some old celestial friends and forget your troubles. It's not a work or a race to see who can see the most objects. There's always a billion objects out there you'll never see, so one or two less on a list won't make a scrap of difference. What counts is being happy under the stars, not numbers on a piece of paper.

BTW, I am a very experienced starhopper myself, but recently I got my first GOTO mount. I was excited. I thought it was going to be a blast to use. It was boooooring. It was about as much fun as dragging a TV set to a river and watch a video about fly fishing... The fun, challenge and excitement from the hunt and the satisfaction from knowing the sky and how to find the target was completely missing. Other people praise the frustration-free observing of a GOTO, but I found it exceptionally dissatisfying.

Just my honest opinion.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark




I confess I love GOTO particularly because the laser finder on the c6 is painfully inadequate and my trusty 8x50 finder would t fit. Fact is I hated the notion of GOTO from its inception but in the context of my sct needs I like taking a break from star hopping and I get a little giddy when the things slewing to another new object. The downside is its confining as much as its expansive. Not knowing where in heck the object I'm looking at is with regard to star fields is detachment to the point of mild frustration. The point of star hopping is I learn the avenues and streets and byways up there. GOTO by comparison is star hopping blind folded. The avenues and byways are never seen as this electronic cab driver takes you from point a to point b while all the while the taxi has no windows . Celestial navigation of star fields and asterisms is nothing Id ever want to trade up for auto-find. It IS fun -,in moderation. For me anyway. I agree with your points to a great degree.

Pete


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Happy Birthday Achernar
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Javier1978]
      #5573150 - 12/15/12 08:28 PM

While I still starhop to objects, for the most part I now use digital setting circles. Even with the aid of DSC's many of the objects I hunt for are not a slam dunk, I still have to hunt for them. DSC's merely get me to the right haystack in a field of haystacks. Milky skies, cold and limited opportunities to observe at dark sites are why I use DSC's, which allow me to spend more time observing objects. I use themalso to obeserve DSO's I would miss from my severely light polluted front yard. And if the DSCs fail or I don't want to bother using them, I can star hop anytime I want.

Taras


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Feidb
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Reged: 10/09/09

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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Achernar]
      #5573434 - 12/15/12 11:44 PM

If I'm under skies so light polluted where I can't star hop, it's not worth observing, as far as I'm concerned. To me, that's an outreach night. That's why I drive 40+ miles to my observing site. Of course, I wouldn't expect anyone else to do that, but that's just me. The faint fuzzies I go for require skies at least dark enough for star hopping to work.

When it's too light-polluted to star hop, it's outreach time, which we do once a month, usually when the moon is out anyway. It's not a wasted evening, just tourist objects, the really really bright stuff that you could find with your eyes closed... okay, almost.

For those of you stuck in an area where you can't drive out of town or have a pier in your back yard or can't afford the gas (I can't really, but I do it anyway), I understand GOTO. I also understand for anyone else that it's a personal choice. I would rather spend the money on aperture or better eyepieces or a book or actually, save it for gas so I can go out to my observing site! However, whatever tool works for you is best.

I've said it many times that I'll never personally use GOTO but I've "cheated" a few times to confirm I was looking at the correct object. Most of my observing buddies have some form of GOTO and even though they almost always have "issues" every time we go out, once they finally get rolling, their input sometimes comes in handy, especially on obscure open clusters.


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Tony Flanders
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Feidb]
      #5573621 - 12/16/12 05:06 AM

Quote:

If I'm under skies so light polluted where I can't star hop, it's not worth observing.




Sure, I would agree with that. As long as you can see one star, you can star-hop anywhere in the sky -- though it will take longer than it would in better conditions. And if you can't see a single star in the sky, the only objects worth observing are the Moon and Sun.

Fortunately, in the most light-polluted locations where I ever operate -- such as Manhattan -- dozens or even hundreds of stars are visible on a decent night. So it's rarely necessary to hop more than 10 or 20 degrees from the anchor star.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: When star hopping gets annoying... new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5573641 - 12/16/12 05:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If I'm under skies so light polluted where I can't star hop, it's not worth observing.




Sure, I would agree with that. As long as you can see one star, you can star-hop anywhere in the sky -- though it will take longer than it would in better conditions. And if you can't see a single star in the sky, the only objects worth observing are the Moon and Sun.

Fortunately, in the most light-polluted locations where I ever operate -- such as Manhattan -- dozens or even hundreds of stars are visible on a decent night. So it's rarely necessary to hop more than 10 or 20 degrees from the anchor star.




I am not one to pronounce when it's not worth observing, rather I prefer to consider when it is worth observing and that is most any clear night. With a cup half-full attitude and a decent magnifying finder, there are few clear nights when it is "not worth observing." There is nearly always something of interest to look at. If the light pollution is severe, then the menu may be limited a few of the brightest deep space object as well as the planets, the moon along with the many, many "doubles" and "triples."

Jon


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