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  1. #1
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    Default I like star-hopping



    I know, I know.
    I know all the argument for GoTo. Light pollution, busy life, only so much time to give to astronomy, life's too short, etc etc.

    Well I'm here to say I like star hopping.

    I just saw NGC2264 (The "Christmas Tree Cluster") tonight. (It does look like a short, squat fir tree!). It was the first new thing I've found in a month. Everytime I find something on my own, I feel like a million dollars!

    GoTo is practical. But Hopping is way more fun, if you take the long view and have the patience for it.
    By the way, the "light pollution" argument for GoTo doesn't wash with me. The time I'll need GoTo is when I get to a dark site. (All those background stars make star hopping more difficult, not easier).

    Anyway, I just feel great tonight.
    I've discovered a new corner of the universe.

    And the THIRD night this week with decent conditions!!!
    Astronomy is a fickle mistress. She makes you wait and wait, but when she's in the mood to reveal her charms, she's well worth it!
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  3. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager3 View Post
    Everytime I find something on my own, I feel like a million dollars!
    Yeah! That's what it's all about!

    I'll keep my goto for those times when I tell it to find some utterly invisible nebula and the next morning the nebula emerges from my stacked frames. It's not how you find it that matters, it's the million bucks feeling that you get when it all comes together.

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  5. #3
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    Default

    I'm a big fan of starhopping too! Helps to exercise your imagination and sometimes you spot some interesting asterisms on the go. It helps you to tune out completely your everyday problems and your only focus is to hop to that faint fuzzy and give you feeling of accomplishment.

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  7. #4
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    Default

    Well Keith, actually how I find it matters a lot to me because that's part of building up to the "million bucks feeling". The thrill of the hunt, putting the knowledge you looked up yourself in to practice and being rewarded by finding the treasure, knowing that you did all the leg-work to get this object in the eyepiece. Now to me, that's when I feel like a million I know there are those that like the GoTo and PushTo scopes and they have their own reasons for buying them but others, like me, relish the hunt and look at it as a form of learning an ancient knowledge; navigating the skies using only what you have gained through the fundamental practice of astronomy. Besides, I'm in no hurry when under dark, clear skies
    Last edited by jproffitt1; 02-12-2012 at 04:02 AM.

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  9. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jproffitt1 View Post
    Well Keith, actually how I find it matters a lot to me
    No argument from me. I totally get it.

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  10. #6
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    Default

    I’m a GOTO junky. I freely and proudly admit it. Star hopping to me is about as exciting as watching a molasses flood on a bitter cold winter’s day. Understanding my compatriots who enjoy that activity is beyond my comprehension. I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

    Nevertheless, we have a common bond that transcends our differences; observing and enjoying the wonders of the universe. We go out in wilting, critter-filled, summer and bone-chilling, arctic-cold, winter nights pursuing our quest to see the wonders of our solar system and the marvels of deep space.

    For many of us, the view in the eyepiece is not enough regardless of aperture. We want more and succumb to the dark side of astronomy; astrophotography. Now talking about molasses flood...sitting in the cold, snapping away....then hours teasing details out ...Well, at least photography cures aperture fever as bigger is not better.
    SXINIAS

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  11. #7
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    Default

    I star hopped for 10 years, then moved over to goto -
    just getting to old to be pushing glass. I have a theory
    that the attraction of star hoping plugs into our baser instincts
    for hunting. The preparations, the skills, the equipment,
    tracking your target across the cosmos. Then BAM another
    trophy for the observing log
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  13. #8
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    Default

    I have no choice as I don't have Goto on my telescope. Nevertheless I enjoy star hopping since I have to learn more about the skies in order to be able to do it.

    I went to the Grand Canyon once. The view from the top was nice and I almost left it at that but at the last minute decided to hike down to the bottom. The memories I now have of the Grand Canyon is incomparable with the one I would have had if I had only enjoyed the quick view from the top.

    To me it's similar to using a Goto vs star hopping.

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  15. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gcbryan View Post
    The memories I now have of the Grand Canyon is incomparable with the one I would have had if I had only enjoyed the quick view from the top.
    Perhaps star hopping is similar to taking the train thru the countryside instead of flying. Both have something to offer, but the slow passage across the landscape gives one a feel for what's there.

    Clears,
    Joe
    In lumine tuo videbimus lumen


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    I considered spending the extra on a go-to or push-to XT8 but I'm quite happy with my choice to stick with the classic. Thanks to Stellarium I am slowing beginning to learn how to identify more than just the Orion constellation.

    It may take a little longer but many times the journey is just as much (if not more) rewarding than the destination

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