I really like doing this, but when I find an object, I'm often unsuccessful in trying to identify it. Like many, I don't have setting circles on my mounts, or any other useable substitute. I usually use Sky Safari, but find that it is not precise enough, or shows nothing in the location of the object. I'm in the process of getting a Nexus with digital encoders set up for my APM big binocular fork mount. This should solve the problem.
Pick up a digital Angle Gauge - $30. Will give you precise Alt which will help you identify the object.
I ran a workshop on the AltAz method recently for two clubs. One of the exercises was to have the group center a bright star, read the angle gauge and then check it on Stellarium or whatever program they were using. Matched perfectly.
So, if you find something at 36.5 degrees altitude, a little right of Arcturus, you can check your app and identify it. If you can estimate the Azimuth you can be even more precise. You can get the AZ by using Arcturus and using FOV of eyepieces, Telrad circles to estimate. Or you can use a compass or AZ circle on the mount. (see post 24)
A newbie who attended the workshop emailemed the next day. He had his scope only a few weeks. He got up at 3 AM and found Uranus by pegging Mars, then setting the altitude, then sweeping left till he found the blue ball. I was impressed that he had done that on his own. He can now find anything in the sky.
Using an angle gauge to help find targets – AltAz coordinates
Edited by aeajr, 28 August 2020 - 03:59 PM.