Author Topic: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?  (Read 655 times)

skelevchasul

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What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« on: December 24, 2017, 01:29:21 AM »
Just how many ways are there to locate goals?  What's your favorite?

As a newcomer, one of my greatest concerns was to be sure I'd be able to find things.  I had some success with celebrity hopping with binoculars but once I got my very first telescope I selected a GoTo bracket.  I am very happy with my decision.  But I've since learned other techniques.So I had been wondering as to just how many ways there are to find goals and interested in what people like best.

Here's What I know of so far:

<strong>GoTo</strong> -- fully computerized such as locating and tracking.

<strong>PushTo </strong>-- Computerized aid in finding targets but no tracking

<strong>Star Hopping</strong> -- Start in a bright star then go there and proceed and you should be on it.  (like turn by turn directions in your car) Usually exercised in a paper chart or with a computer software to work out the measures of the hop.  If it is possible to see the guide stars and affirming patterns that this should do the job nicely.

<strong>Setting circles within an equatorial mount</strong> -- Uses Right Ascension and Declination coordinate system that is unique to astronomy -- may read coordinates from a paper graph then use the setting circle dials on the telescope to point the scope.

<strong>Altitude and Azimuth</strong> -- Height above zero angle along with a degree angle from North.  I've tried this using an angle gauge for the elevation component.  I believe this is worked with a real time program on computer or phone to supply the coordinates as these change constantly.

These are the ones that I know of.  Are there others?I have used:

GoTo -- Meade ETX 80 and ETX 125 -- Love it!

PushTo -- Orion Intelliscope- Love it!

Star Hopping -- Most success with binoculars and bright goals.  Less so with my telescopes in the majority of my light polluted skies as I can not see lots of the stars I'd love to see in order to do the hop or to observe the pattern that would affirm I am in the ideal location.

AltAz coordinates -- Tried this recently with an electronic angle gauge for the elevation.  Employed Star hopping to approximate azimuth position.  Don't tried with a compass or an azimuth degree gauge on the extent.

Never attempted setting circle dials in an EQ mount.

Are there others?

Which do you use?

Which would you enjoy?



bauradoubpay

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 05:44:33 AM »
On my imaging rig: Automatic arrangement with plate solving.

On the dob: Star hopping!

Michael Zamora

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 10:52:36 AM »
Quote
<strong>On my imaging rig: Automated sequence with plate solving.  </strong>

About the dob: Star hopping!

That is a new one to me.  I'm not into AP.  Can you explain this method?   Is it only for AP or may visual men and women use it too?

settmagganen

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 03:21:21 AM »
Push-to does not necessarily mean no tracking. It just means that the motor parts and the object location are not tied together. Like encoders+computer on a GP mount or G-11/GM-8.
Star-hopping just means you work your way to an object by using nearby stars to get closer and closer to it.
There is also scanning, where you put in a WF eyepiece then start moving back and forth in an area shifting a little each time until you find it. That's one I may have developed/invented myself back in the late 1950's. You can also use star-hopping to get to the area you plan to scan.

Troy Furlong

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 03:51:50 AM »
Mostly GOTO. Used to star hop but getting old and lazy. My favorite way with my dob is to use Argo-Navis DSC system. I can set it to show me all of the galaxies or other objects in a particular constellation. Much less moving around.

mosretouless

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 01:12:07 AM »
For destination observing I use GoTo, for celestial walkabouts I like to star-hop. Sometimes I combine the two using Sky Safari via SkyFi.

Greg Fleming

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 12:42:09 PM »
I personally love Go-To, its very convenient and makes it so easy to observe. I know this method kind of takes away from the "hunt" but there are times where you just want to point the scope at something right away instead of star hopping there and not waste any time.

Bryan Sonian

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 01:55:27 PM »
I use all of those options, depending on which rig I'm using.

aftilicomp

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 12:44:00 AM »
Quote
Quote

On my imaging rig: Automated sequence with plate solving.

On the dob: Star hopping!

That's a new one to me. I am not into AP. Can you describe this method?  Is it only for AP or can visual people use it too?
I use Sequence Generator pro for capturing images. One optional part you can do is integrate 'plate solving' into your sequence. Essentially the program uses the image taken to locate exactly where you are on the Equatorial grid by using a plate solving program. Once it knows your exact position, it figures out the difference between your position and the intended target, and automatically issues slew commands to get you there. This can be done over the internet, or you can download the plate solving database for your imaging scale for 'faster' lookups.

Scott Bentley

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 09:08:03 AM »
Goto and plate solve

pesorramidd

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 10:02:15 AM »
I use Star Hopping, but when that Pittsburgh Digital Angle Gauge arrives, I'll try Altitude/Azimuth too.

jumphindnore

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 02:25:37 PM »
For the last 15 years or so, I have used a telrad along with telrad star charts for the most of the M objects, most of the time. Finding Ngc objects was a little more difficult, I finally used Saguaro Astronomy Clubs 100 Best of the Ngc's.telrad charts. Now I have a 16 inch truss with ArgoNavis, which is push-to {like orion's intelliscope} with no tracking. I still like the thrill of the hunt, and I don't use the AN all the time. Once I do a two star alignment on AN, the controller stays accurate all night long, and I just dial in what I want.

David

Dave Matthews

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 03:59:09 AM »
I used to be very good at scanning and star hopping with my old Dob. As I got older, it seems my vision, patience and neck flexibility are not what they used to be. That's why I now prefer GoTo.

Adam Rice

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 04:59:34 AM »
Lately it's been mostly star hopping using sky charts. Once in a while I use go to method, mostly for difficult objects not near any reference star

Todd Topcic

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 06:03:41 AM »
I star hop but I find that to be several different methods all lumped together. Most people
think of plotting a path from a known star to an unknown position. That takes too long for
my tastes. I've long learned the constellations and found it much faster (90% of the time)
to just triangulate the position from a star chart. Having a powerful finder scope and dark
skies helps a lot using this method. Usually I can just point my scope to the correct position
with several hundred of the easiest to find targets anyway. Finding something more obscure
for the first time is my biggest challenge. When I struggle it usually is because I'm using the
wrong magnification/exit pupil so when I go back more prepared, I find it.