Celestrons Good Idea

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Celestrons Good Idea

Postby jsc248 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:46 pm

Hi Gang,
I was just wondering whether anyone had seen this new device from Celestron. It is a hand held device for locating stars and DSO using the GPS system. Seems like a good way to find your way around the night sky! Take a look and see what you think.
John.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby andrew short » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:53 pm

Hi John,
Just had a look at the Sky Scout on the Celestron website,it's an ingenious device that makes learning your way around the night sky very easy.Call me old fashioned though,I still think the best way to learn is to find your own way around with just the aid of a star chart or planisphere.
The first constellations I found was with the aid of a little book called 'I Spy the Sky' and Leslie L Peltier's 'Guideposts to the Stars'.Looking back,I wouldn't want it any other way,I suppose we have to move with the times though!

Andrew.
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby jsc248 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:10 pm

I know what you mean Andrew, I found my way round with Patrick Moore's Guide to the Universe. Like you say times have to change and if you are new to the subject than this would be a good way!
John.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby wgater » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:16 pm

Hi John,

I've seen this cool gadget around for a while now, but haven't had the chance to test one. Unfortunately there is no 'optics' specification on the site, so in that respect I have no idea what sort of magnification etc. it is (Anyone know?). The principle is essentially sound and I'm sure it will help with identifying the brighter stars/objects as well as planets and constellations; something which (as you guys have said) is learned from practice, with books and other knowledgable astronomers by your side. The only thing I worry about is if the completely new amateur astronomer gets hold of this and 1)thinks it's a telescope and is disappointed by the view or 2) trys to find some of '100 deep space objects ' and can't because they're too faint. Both these scenarious could put off a beginner. Until I get my hands on one I can't be sure how good a scope it is. I reckon it could be quite a good tool to use to 'teach yourself' the night sky. It'll be interesting to see how it gets on.

Will
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby jsc248 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:56 pm

It's funny you should say that Will, it brings to mind the son of a friend of mine. I was out observing and he made out that he really wanted to get "into" astronomy and wanted nothing more than to get out and buy a telescope. I showed him The Ring Nebula in lyra and couldn't believe his reaction! He just said "Is that it? It doesn't look like that in the books and on the photos!" and he has never shown an interest since.
John.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby big binoculars » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:46 pm

hi,guys,i think theres a place for technology,but i don,t think
you can beat using a good star atlas,and learning the night sky
the old 'school way'.just my opinion.
cheers,andy
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby clipperride » Mon May 01, 2006 11:20 am


While I can see the advantage for a new observer of any sort of "goto" type equipment, I am still in two minds about it. I will always remember the thrill when I first saw the Orion Nebula through my eye piece! I do think, when starting out, a good book like "Turn Left at Orion" is the way to go. I wonder if the temptation to just jump from target to target without properly observing each would be too much?

Once you know the sky, fair enough it saves time. My main reason for going for a Dob is I want as many as my limited pennies to go on the optics as possible. Each to their own tho [;)]

Mark
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby gtip112 » Thu May 04, 2006 12:10 am

Gadgets and Gizmo's are great if you have limited time. I purchased a goto scope a few of years back and have seen far more, when my spare time actually coincides with good seeing, than I believe I would have using more conventional navigation techniques :)

I still remember the first time I thought I may have seen the orion nebula many years ago through a small telescope, and believe me the thrill of seeing it again was just as intense. Maybe I have missed out on something by not learning my way around the sky by more conventional methods, but it is still a thrill every time I press the goto button and look through my eyepiece. The only real difference is that with the goto I am usually pretty sure I am observing the right object :)
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby skymaster » Thu May 04, 2006 12:26 am

hi,guys,i prefer the 'old skool' way learning your way
around with an atlas.i'm not a fan of goto's,or devices.
i do think however there is a place,for technology,
and who knows i may one day take the 'tecno' plunge
myself,horrors of horrors.
cheers,andy[&:]
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RE: Celestrons Good Idea

Postby jjdemery » Thu May 04, 2006 10:23 pm

Technology is a great thing, you spend time saying how you will never succumb to it - then buy new gadgets and wonder what you did without it. I always said I would never get a goto scope - prefering to use setting circles. I bought an ETX and am now thing of trading in my trusty LX10 for something big with goto. If this new technolgy encourages more people into this hobby by making it easier and more accessible then its got my vote. It also does make life easier for us traditionalists.

Jonathan

PS the other night couldnt work out why my etx couldnt find anything, then one of my school pupils who was with me said " [i][color=#0033cc]Sir ,isnt it May not April?"[/color][/i]
- no wonder things were going wrong!!
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