Author Topic: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?  (Read 315 times)

Andre Stubblefield

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2018, 01:12:47 PM »
Depends on where I am:

At an observing site I use a red-dot finder to get to a bright star. Then I use star maps and a 9x50 corrected image finder to locate the object (or where the object should be). The 9x50 is probably my favorite piece of astro gear I've bought. It makes starhopping a total pleasure.

In my backyard (in the perma-daylight of Chicago), I use setting circles. If I didn't have them I'd probably be hunting for a push-to system.

fibcapoti

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2018, 03:21:56 PM »
A combination of right-angle sweeps (RA & Dec) and star-hopping.

Christopher Buchanan

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2018, 06:57:17 PM »
I have a nice GOTO mount and will use it when the object is in the database. BUT - I am a double star/variable star observer and most of the objects I am looking for are NOT in any manufacturer's database.

So I mostly use R.A./DEC coordinates to find my objects. The "fun" begins when I dig into an older book (Burnham or Couteau) and get coordinates from an early epoch. Then I have to use interpolation, plus my skills learned at the TLAR Institute, and maybe even a SWAG to adjust them to today's skies.

Fortunately, after I figure out a set of numbers to try, the A-P hand paddle makes it easy to key them in. Then I push the button and .... Hope.  I have been successful much more often than not and that is what keeps this hobby fun and exciting.

Cheers,

Ron

James Bagby

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2018, 06:38:16 AM »
Quote
There are several techniques with equatorial mounts that stop short of full-fledged setting circles. One is to use the setting circles to offset from a known nearby naked-eye star. That doesn't require a truly precise polar alignment, as using setting circles from scratch does.

Another is the right-ascension sweep, where you find a nearby star with the same declination, and just sweep along in RA until the object appears.

A related method, which works for any undriven scope, is to find a nearby bright star with the same declination but lower RA, and then wait until the object drifts into the field of view.

I first learned of the "strip method" reading Scotty's Deep Sky Wonders column in S&T. It's effective, but can take patience. After 40 years of stargazing, I'm still a star hopper. Though I totally get the use of go-to, I have more fun star hopping.

Nick Ellis

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2018, 01:13:39 PM »
Goto all the way! I even use Starsense. My observing time is rare and precious. I focus on developing my observing skill.
I'll play the star hopping rally game later on once I buy my second scope, which will be a smaller grab and go setup but also a nice one for open star clusters, asterisms and planets (no appearture fever for me, I plan to go between my 8" sct  and a 4" apo refractor on manual mounth).

aththrilnalo

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2018, 06:47:19 PM »
I'm strictly a starhopper. I've only got one scope, a C8, and I've been using it for a long time, and I've optimized it (for me) to make starhopping easy. I've got a red dot pointer strictly to easily aim my finder scope. My finder scope is a nice 50mm RACI one, making it easy to nail down my "jumping off star." An extremely rough polar alignment gives the sky an "up & down" and "sideways" in my low power eyepiece, and I can measure off eyepiece FOVs with little acetate circles on the Uranometria 2000. It rarely takes me more than a few minutes to land on the correct spot. After that though, I can spend a considerable amount of time trying to get a difficult object to confidently register on my aging retina.
 Marty

manreistilles

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2018, 01:26:38 AM »
Select target in Pocket Sky Atlas, point Telrad at the spot, enjoy.

JosephBC

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Re: What is your favorite method for finding your targets?
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2018, 11:23:36 AM »
find yourself and find out what you love most and where you spend time most.