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What is your favorite method for finding your targets?

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skelevchasul:
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:
On my imaging rig: Automatic arrangement with plate solving.

On the dob: Star hopping!

Michael Zamora:

--- Quote ---<strong>On my imaging rig: Automated sequence with plate solving.  </strong>

About the dob: Star hopping!


--- End quote ---
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:
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:
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.

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