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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [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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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [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... [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... [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
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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [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... [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... [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... [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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Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [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... [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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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [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... [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... [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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Loc: Canada
Re: As much as I hate to admit it... [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... [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... [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... [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... [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... [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... [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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