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Strategies for knowing what targets are in subsections of sky.

beginner equipment Meade
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#1 rx0

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:54 AM

My backyard is decent views of the night sky, (comparable to an alright night at a place I normally travel too) except I can only view about 40% of the sky in a tetris T shape.

 

When I use auto star, I have to jump past a few alignment stars. Even if I am aligned, I'm not certain what is in the visual range. Going through the goto tour, I'm lucky to come across even 1 out of every 10 objects that is in this sliver of unblocked visibility

 

Is there an strategy to this type of situation via software, or goto settings? Some star simulator that can restrict sections of the sky? Say half the sky is blocked off, and get a list of objects that are visible for targeting?


Edited by rx0, 12 October 2019 - 09:57 AM.

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#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:57 AM

My backyard is decent views of the night sky, (comparable to an alright night at a place I normally travel too) except I can only view about 40% of the sky in a tetris T shape.

 

When I use auto star, I have to jump past a few alignment stars. Even if I am aligned, I'm not certain what is in the visual range. Going through the goto tour, I'm lucky to come across even 1 out of every 10 objects that is in this sliver of unblocked visibility

 

Is there an strategy to this type of situation via software, or goto settings? Some star simulator that can restrict sections of the sky? 

 

You can build observing lists in Sky Safari based on location in the sky, either RA and Dec or Altitude-Azimuth,

 

Jon


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#3 Gipht

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:06 AM

Stellarium is also a good tool for searching the night sky in a particular area.  If you press the letter "N"  while the window is active,  all major DSO's are shown on the screen for the area you are viewing.


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#4 beggarly

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:12 AM

http://www.astrosurf...glish/index.htm

 

Use the Telescope - Observation Planner...

You can select different criteria.

 

In the help file there is a section 'How do you Create a Custom Horizon?'

Attached Thumbnails

  • Observation Planner.jpg

Edited by beggarly, 12 October 2019 - 10:33 AM.

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#5 StarBurger

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:17 AM

My crude strategy for knowing what is visible was to get a digital inclinometer and measure the altitudes and azimuths of everything that blocked out areas of sky from my observing point.

Then using Stellarium showing the ALT/AZ coordinates I could see what I could see, if you see what I mean!

I even sketched out a rough panorama.

It is possible to generate a panorama of photos and plug them in to Stellarium but I ain't that clever yet.


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#6 gnowellsct

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 09:38 PM

"It all depends".  You can do it the way Jon suggests.  On some computerized systems there is a "tour" function.

 

--Set the tour to a specific constellation

--pick the class of objects you want to see (such as galaxies)

--set the faintest magnitude you want the computer to cough up on the tour (such as mag 11)

 

Then enjoy the tour.  On my computer (Argo Navis) there is also a "tour" function which is simply "deep sky".

 

Greg N



#7 aeajr

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:46 PM

My backyard is decent views of the night sky, (comparable to an alright night at a place I normally travel too) except I can only view about 40% of the sky in a tetris T shape.

 

When I use auto star, I have to jump past a few alignment stars. Even if I am aligned, I'm not certain what is in the visual range. Going through the goto tour, I'm lucky to come across even 1 out of every 10 objects that is in this sliver of unblocked visibility

 

Is there an strategy to this type of situation via software, or goto settings? Some star simulator that can restrict sections of the sky? Say half the sky is blocked off, and get a list of objects that are visible for targeting?

 

 

There are several approaches that I would use.   I don't have a sky that is obstructed like yours, mine is just washed out by light pollution in the South and West.  So I plan most of my DSO observing to the East, catching things as they rise into the sky.

 

1)  Learn to use paper star charts to explore the area you can see and use that to identify targets to put into the handset

 

2)  Use Stellarium or a similar program to explore the region of the sky and plan out your targets.

 

3) Create a list of targets sorted by constellation using Tonight's Sky -

Use 1 and 2 to identify what constellations will be in your observing area

http://www.cloudynig...ights-sky-free/



#8 SeaBee1

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:45 AM

GoTo is ok, but as you have discovered, it doesn't really tell you what is visible... only what is available for the entire sky, so... many times, I will just grab a planisphere (like this one HERE) to determine what constellations are in the area of visibility... the one I linked to is my favorite, as it shows where all the Messier objects are along with a few other sights to see. If more is desired, I reference SkySafari and it will show a more detailed view of my visible sky.

 

Or... you can just go into discovery mode... Point instrument of your choice at a visible section of the sky and see what is there...

 

Above all else, get out, relax, and have some fun!

 

Good hunting!

 

CB


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#9 kathyastro

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 09:15 AM

In my first observing location, I had a similar problem.  My knowledge of the traditional Arabic star names was (and still is) lacking, and when I did identify the star that my goto wanted to use for alignment, it was often hidden in the trees.

 

I don't know what mount you are using, but if you can use EQMOD with it (Skywatcher mounts), that might be a solution.  It was for me.

 

EQMOD is a software-based goto system completely independent of the goto in the handset.  I could pick any star that I could see, select it in Stellarium (without having to know its name), and then have EQMOD use it as an alignment star.


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#10 paul m schofield

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 11:45 AM

You can also use a simple planisphere to obtain the time that constellations are available in your viewing window. Then you can use charts, paper or electronic, to get the coordinates to enter into the auto-star or star hop with a finder scope.

#11 rx0

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 01:02 PM

Wow, thanks for the responses. Like the planisphere approach, finding available constellations/stars then cross referencing with stellarium/C2A (will try them along with other links later), and manually inputting targets. 

 

Meade autostar 2 doesn't seem to have any of these features mentioned. Thought maybe "nearby stars" might update dynamicly based on telescopes direction, but I slewed the telescope via the controller, and nearby stars is just a static list. The tours are rather basic, nothing like nearby constellations. Should be able to upload a list, but that is what I still need to work on.

 

I'm ok with jumping past a few alignments stars for now, but seeing telescope slew to obstacle after obstacle is obviously no fun.

 

 

If by discovery mode, you mean manually scanning, I'm not at that level yet. In my times of exasperation, I've unlocked the clutches, and slowly tried scanning randomly, and only see a ton of stars. I have a telrad now, so maybe will try learning starhopping again.


Edited by rx0, 13 October 2019 - 01:18 PM.

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#12 aeajr

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 01:11 PM

I have two AutoStar systems and use a third.  They work extremely well, but they are not made to adjust to your local blockage of the sky.

 

I believe the system will let you select your alignment stars so, using the methods mentioned above you can pick two and align on those.

 

Under the set-up menu on the hand control you have the choice of Easy Align, one Star align and two star align.  You want the two star align.  I believe this lets you pick the alignment stars.   You want two that are as far apart as possible.  


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