Goto Drives vs "Star Hopping"....

2744 views
14 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October, 2013
Goto Drives vs "Star Hopping"....
Posted by Sky Captain & Pippin on Tuesday, October 01, 2013 5:18 PM

Greetings, An advanced observational astronomer I am, yes. Found my way around the night sky by "star hopping."

Incredable is the knowledge gained of the heavens when this method is used, thus I never recommend GOTO mounts

to the beginner. Down the road, after one can navigate by the stars in order to locate DSO's ... sure. 

Let us first start the beginner out with a Star Atlas .... it is so much more of a rewarding quest!

 

Gliese 1214b

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 2:52 PM

Having been an observer for over 35 years, I too started out by "star hopping" with only eyes, a star atlas, and a planisphere to guide me.  However, I now find that GoTo systems are an extremely valuable tool, even to the advanced observer.  Light pollution in urban or suburban skies can render many of our celestial landmarks very difficult to find, and therefore navigation to dimmer objects nearly impossible. GoTo provides the means to combat this problem.

Should all observers know how to star Hop?  Absolutely!  If there would be anything like a qualifying exam for anstonomers similar to a driver's license, then Star Hopping should definitely be on it.  After that, use the technology; not as a crutch but as the tool it is meant to be.

 

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    October, 2013
Posted by Sky Captain & Pippin on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 4:52 PM

Very well said.

Gliese 1214b

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by leo731 on Wednesday, October 02, 2013 10:52 PM

I agree with PoppaChris.  I have been observing for decades and still enjoy star hopping when skies permit.  Living with light pollution that makes visual sighting of stars less than fourth or even third magnitude impossible the goto mount allows me to visit objects that otherwise would be most difficult to find.

As Chris said it is a valuable tool in our visual arsenal.

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by Aratus on Thursday, October 03, 2013 4:19 AM

When I started observing, 'Goto' was what you did in a game of Monopoly. Big Smile    'Star hopping', and using imaginary lines and angles in the sky was the way you found yourself around the Sky.   Looking at a particular constellation in an atlas, and then finding it in the night's sky was part of the routine.    I am very pleased to have gained that knowledge, and I still use it for comets and asteroids etc.    

However, I have also spent large portions of time outside trying to find an object, and failing.   In freezing conditions, with patchy cloud, and total sky cover imminent I have wasted a whole evening because despite my best efforts I cannot get that tiny circle of vision over an object.  In frustration I have used language to make a sailor blush.Captain   The GOTO means I get more objects in, and less profanity!  That must be a good thing.Cool    To keep the 'knowledge' alive I regularly use binoculars to find objects too.   My head is 'up' at the sky, and not down looking at a keypad all the time.     Best of both worlds. Yes

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

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

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Friday, October 04, 2013 9:10 AM

Aratus

The GOTO means I get more objects in, and less profanity!  That must be a good thing.Cool    To keep the 'knowledge' alive I regularly use binoculars to find objects too.   My head is 'up' at the sky, and not down looking at a keypad all the time.     Best of both worlds. Yes

 
Oh so true... Although I have and use a "big gun" complete with GoTo and other bells and whistles, it is usually reserved for when I have the time and wherewithal for a dedicated evening of hard-core observing or photography.  But I would have to say that 80% or more of my observing time is done in much shorter sessions with my trusty 15x70 binos.  With them star hopping is a must!  In fact, I've done it so much over the years that I only use my Atlas or Planisphere when I'm hunting down a target I haven't visited in ages.  All of my favorites are now committed to memory.  Does that qualify as having learned the sky even though I use GoTo?

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    July, 2011
Posted by Darren in Tacoma on Saturday, October 05, 2013 7:04 PM

Goto or star hopping always seems to be a topic that people get passionate about. Aren't we intellectual enough to realize that different people have different interests and different circumstances, and neither choice is incorrect?

 Why would anyone "always" recommend one over the other?

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Saturday, October 05, 2013 9:53 PM

I think the bulk of responses to this particular thread have expressed that both GoTo and Star Hopping are used by experienced observers.  Each to thier own strengths.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    October, 2013
Posted by Sky Captain & Pippin on Sunday, October 06, 2013 4:51 PM

At no time did I indicate that one or the other was incorrect, simply that "Star Hopping" is the best way to become intimate with the night sky, regarding the beginner.  Certainly one should choose the road that proves most enriching for them when the day is done.

Gliese 1214b

  • Member since
    October, 2007
Posted by Aratus on Monday, October 07, 2013 4:45 PM

I think this is a useful debate.  Let it continue.   It must be true that GOTOs could lead to users being less familiar with the night's sky.   Perhaps in future devices could be used that incorporate glasses that overlay the names of objects and constellations as you view them.   That could be used in conjunction with a GOTO system to point the telescope at objects.   That would be better than looking down at a keypad, and would quickly allow people to learn their way around the sky.

Aratus

Location:  North West Devon, UK

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

Celestron Nexstar8i (8" SCT).

Celestron Skymaster binoculars 15x70

Other:0.63 & 0.33 correctors. X2 & X4 barlow.

Imagers: Meade DSI & Celestron NexImage.  Canon EOS 550D

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Monday, October 07, 2013 5:14 PM

In my mind the truly best way to learn the sky is to get out there and enjoy the darkness.  Whether you Star Hop or use GoTo, the more you see the more you learn.  When you get to the point where a significant portion of the sky is committed to memory where neither method is conciously used but rather almost automatic, then you can say you've learned your lessons well.  So lets add one more to the list.

Poll:  Best method for navigating the sky:

A) Star Hopping

B) GoTo

C) Experience

 

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: North Carolina east coast USA
Posted by stepping beyond on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 5:18 PM

A works for me. no  matter how well I know an area, going to a lead star always proves to be best for me. I enjoy the "HUNT"

  • Member since
    July, 2011
Posted by Darren in Tacoma on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 8:38 PM

 Sorry Sky Cap, didn't mean to direct my comment towards you. This forum is quite good and my comment was probably driven by previous debates with other amatuer astronomers. My apologies.

 

That said, I use both methods, enjoy both methods and I am thankful we live in a time and place where we have the choice.

  • Member since
    August, 2004
Posted by stars4life on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 8:57 PM

I love a good hunt... The goto is a great tool but I only use it when I get lazy of the hunt. I also love actually finding what I want to look at so I have more than once been very glad to have a goto... too...

Contrasting this thought to my tool-maker experience is funny...at least to me. At work I prefer all the tech I can get. I have become a 'goto the computer and CNC first’ type of machinist.

It's been years since I've trigged out a part with a pencil or a calculator. SolidWorks and FeatureCam do all my higher level shop math now a days. My Trigonometry Tables book hasn’t been opened in so long that it’s becoming a museum item instead of wearing out, and I now resent having to use a manual Bridgeport Mill for anything more complicated than squaring up a block. 

All that said, manual machining is a great way to learn; it puts one more in tune with the process. Kind’a like learning to star-hop puts one more in touch with the sky.

Oh yeah... welcome Sky Captain & Pippin

  • Member since
    October, 2013
Posted by Tony383 on Monday, October 28, 2013 8:14 PM

I like to starhop when it is convenient, but more often than not the servocat/argonavis is used on my setup.  I think the reason is that tracking is more important to me than goto.  With the servocat system, you need to bend over and disengage two separate clutches to manually move the telescope, then do the same in reverse when you have found the object (if you want to track it).  This may seem trivial unless you are cold, tired, and feel a backache coming on.   If you are on a ladder, then the problem becomes even worse.  

"The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is hard to determine whether they are genuine"  Abraham Lincoln

Dobsonian, 72mm Astro-Tech ED refractor, a bunch of eyepieces, a couple of filters, a DSLR and german equatorial mount, binoculars

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook

Loading...