Telescopes without GOTO

Status
Not open for further replies.
H

heyscottie

Guest
Has everybody else noticed how hard it's starting to get to find decent telescopes without GOTO on them? It seems that any scope with 6" or more aperture gets sold with some GOTO component now.<br /><br />For me, the perfect system would have excellent tracking, but wouldn't necessarily have a computer database to point me at everything. After all, half the fun is the star-hopping and looking for your targets!<br /><br />What do you all think?
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
Another factor in support of GoTo is photography. There's a limited number of hours of darkness and an unlimited number of frames I want to shoot in that period. GoTo gets me on a dim target that wants six hours of exposure with enough time to get them. Still can take multiple nights anyway. Especially the case in the winter where you're trying to shoot through suckerholes in the cloud cover.<br /><br />I learned more about the sky in a few months of my first goto than I did in nearly two decades of star-gazing with charts. The frustration of searching for a magnitude 9 object in magnitude 4 skies can greatly limit what one learns...<br /><br />I do like the purist kinda thing though. So I have both. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />Any decent scope should be purchasable as an OTA only... Just buy the OTA and then buy whatever mount floats your boat. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
G

garfieldthecat

Guest
I will support Heyscottie on that : I don’t like GOTOs. I think it’s the perfect instrument if you want to lose any notion of pointing and, most important, knowledge of the Sky.<br />I see the concrete case at my astronomy club. Most of the other members have GOTOS on their personal scopes, but the scopes we’re using for the club don’t have. So every time we go observing I’m the only one who’s able to point an object in less than an hour <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />.<br />GOTO is useful for astrophotography, for sure, but for straight observation it is useless. Plus, I think searching for a faint object and finding it by yourself is part of the pleasure, but it’s just my opinion <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />.<br />One thing for sure is that GOTO should be forbidden to beginners. I’ve seen a lot of them with their GOTO who could point any NGC object pressing on a button, but were unable to find the polar star or Orion (or, in fact, any constellation other than the Great Bear).<br />
 
G

garfieldthecat

Guest
I guess I’m an old school guy then <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />. “Forbidden†was maybe a strong word, but I still think people should know their sky before even thinking of buying a telescope. I’ve heard so much people say “I bought a telescope but I can’t see anythingâ€, just because they were pointing randomly. Now, I agree GOTO wipes out the random pointing problem, but the disappointment is the same. Instead of “I don’t see anything†I hear “I don’t know what I’m looking atâ€, and the frustration is the same in both cases. I began astronomy while I was living in town, so I could see only 3rd magnitude stars. Still, it was very helpful to learn recognize constellations and know where and what I was pointing. But again, this is just my point of view. I do recognize GOTO can be helpful under highly polluted skies, I just prefer it the good ol’ way <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br />As for the technology nerdies, they got the Ipod to play with <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br />
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
I couldn't disagree more. GoTo *teaches* what's up in the sky. It tells you what constellation you're in. It will tell you the size, significant members, brightness, age, distance, etc. Correct naming and common naming. Anyone that says "I don't know what I'm looking at" doesn't know how to use their GoTo system. I can sound like an uber-expert at Star Parties just by surreptitiously hitting the "Info" button. I promise that the Info database even in a crummy Celestron hand controller knows more about 10000+ DSCs than you or I.<br /><br />Under Mag 3 skies, you couldn't see at least 30% of the constellations and then only their major stars. You could only barely make-out Polaris on a decent night, probably not at all on a poor night. Not to mention that a GoTo GEM mount doesn't pardon you from knowing Polaris. If you can't reliably find Polaris to start, then the scope isn't going to find anything else.<br />Further, even an AltAz GoTo will teach you all the major pointer stars in the first couple days. It's not like you turn it on and hit the button and it's ready to go. It will approximately slew (depending upon how good your north and level was), but you have to pick out the bright star it's trying to point at, and the hand controller will be noting the name of the star at the least. Wanna know more? Hit the Info button. Now you know the RA/DEC, brightness, constellation, ...<br /><br />Trying to Starhop to Tuttle, for example, in early December would have been nearly impossible for you under Mag 3 skies. There wasn't anything in the same zipcode better than Mag 4.5-4.75. You'd have been scanning 20 degrees from your nearest visible pointers. And *that's* frustrating when one is looking for something specific.<br /><br />At the end of the day the beauty of it is that <i>you</i> don't have to buy GoTo. There's a thousand mounts out there that will satisfy your needs and they're less expensive.<br /><br />I don't generally insist beginners get GoTo. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
V

vandivx

Guest
I can see the point both of you have (garfield...)<br /><br />I'd say you got more of the point but I also realize if I get my first telescope with goto I will use it just because I have it out of laziness and will never learn the sky because of that and may loose interest in stars because of that, I mean once its too easy to find something you are not likely to invest time to look for it hard way, I also know only big and small dipper and where orion belt stars are (at least I think I know, nobody ever pointed anything to me and I don't really know where I got the little knowledge that I believe I have LOL) and that's about it <br /><br />I can also see one can get all the info at touch of button but then it doesn't have much meaning and feels dry knowledge that won't stick and have much meaning, that's why I see garfield has a point too, thinking of shopping for my first scope I was sort of pondering goto yes or no because it doesn't take Einstein to figure it has pros and cons and I think I will get it and try not to always use it, at first I might use it but there will be times I hope when I would try to look without it and find it more interesting that way, still if I find it too hard to find things then I may be put off completely and give up, I'd say buy without goto if you believe yourself to be serious about star gazing<br /><br />I'd hate to buy scope without it and then have some night when I just want to look at something and not being in mood to look for it and want to find it fast and run into the problem that I didn't get it when buying the scope - that's like when you just want to write something and don't care how computer does it underneath, you just want to write or generally get something done, period<br /><br />vanDivX <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
I see you point, however there is another thing to consider - and that's the reality of GoTo.<br /><br />Has anyone seen a GoTo mount that will center an object 100% of the time when you GoTo it? How about 50% of the time?<br /><br />My NexStars will probably approach 50% if I'm careful with alignment, maybe 60% somewhere near the field of view. The rest of the time, it's pretty handy to have a star chart and know how to use it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
G

garfieldthecat

Guest
Let me explain my point about beginners a bit more <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />What I see, as I’ve been teaching astronomy to beginners for some time now, is that GOTO for beginners is making a lot of damages. People who start astronomy with directly buying a telescope were deceived before because they tried to point at objects before learning the sky first. Then what happened is the ones who were really interested started by zero again, buying astronomical maps, learning their constellations and where to find the main objects, learning how to find and recognize them and finally finding interest in it. It was demanding of an effort, if you want to call it that way (I never thought learning how to recognize constellations was boring at all, plus it’s a very classic trick to impress ladies <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />), but it was rewarding.<br /><br />Now, with GOTO, and precisely because it tells you everything, I see people who don’t make any effort to learn their sky. Their GOTO will tell them they’re pointing this object in that constellation, they’ll say “great†and they’ll forget it until the next time they use it. Worse than everything, most of the people who start astronomy with a GOTO will never go much further than observing planets. Simply because, the first time they’ll point any deep sky object, like for say M51, without even knowing how to point it roughly naked eye in the sky or in which constellation it is, won’t see anything. They’ll know they’re right on target thanks to their GOTO, they’ll know what they are supposed to observe and they’ll know it’s in some kind of constellation named Canes Venaciti, and they’ll see nothing because they’re not prepared to any kind of observation and to the fact that observe faint objects needs efforts. <br /><br />I think people who are not ready to make the effort of learning before observing will never be passionate astronomers. I saw a lot of them: they buy a
 
A

adrenalynn

Guest
So people that just want to get out and observe, introduce the kids to some family time and something bigger than themselves, should just forget it, go inside and turn on the television? <br /><br />I mean, they're never going to be "serious astronomers" after-all.<br /><br />I think the blanket anti-goto sentiment is damaging to the hobby frankly. I've given away one or two GoTo scopes a year for the last six or seven years - and they're all still in use and all still exciting the imagination of younglings, and all prying families away from the television. Good enough for me. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
G

garfieldthecat

Guest
My opinion is, if you got to observe with family from time to time just for pleasure you don’t need a GOTO (a good map will show you the main objects and planets to see, and it will take less than 2 minutes to point them).<br />And GOTO can break the spirit of beginners who want to get serious much more easily than it helps them to progress. But this is my point of view based on my experience, not a universal rule <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br />
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY