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Subject: Re: vote by
By: Anonymous (
Date: 08/25/2002 08:55:37 pm PDT
>Many of us grew up and got into astronomy in the pre-computerized GOTO age. Funny -- somehow we managed to find everything. Ever heard of setting circles? They do still work, you know. Oh -- but it takes a little thought and you've got to be able to add and subtract. That's right -- I guess our youngsters are too dumb to think for themselves anymore. We've gotta press that button for instant gratification.
>The Orion Starmax 127 gives you two whole inches more aperture -- a very big leap in light-gathering power -- and costs only $539 with a tripod. Learn how to star hop and use setting circles and save a cool $200 on a scope that gathers 200 percent more light than the puny plastic ETX.

Anyone new to astronomy, "Pay not attention to the man behind the curtain." In this case, the old guy who walked 20 miles to school, uphill, both ways. He's not correct in his analysis, at all!

First off, he didn't find everything. Scopes with a computer can find so many celestial objects in one night it's unreal. If your doing it the ole fashion way, and you spend a night with someone with a good computer'll be after your scope with a big sledge. So easy, so fast. You actually spend most of your time looking at the stars! What a concept!

Furhermore, guys like this forget to mention when it's overcast. Can see anything when it's overcast, right? Wrong! Sometimes you can still punch through and do some reasonable viewing. Try that with your setting circles!

Oh yeah, what about this scenario. Your camping, and a tree is blocking Polaris, and you can't see it. Or a tree is blocking many of the stars you usually use for alignment, and you don't have the coordinates with you for the ones you do see. That couldn't happen.... could it? How about your sitting in your backyard, and your house is blocking Polaris? One last scanario, your looking at the Ring Nebula, and you decide your going to crash for a few hours when Crab Nebula is in good position. You get up a few hours later, and guess what? You have to re-align your scope again. Oh, and guess what else? The star you used for alignmet is now behind a tree or has set, or for whatever reason is not in your field of view. Not fun! But if you have a computerized scope, you don't even need to realign!!! Push a couple of buttons and 5 seconds later you in awe of how amazing the "Crab" is that night.

If your new to Astronomy, and you will be going to a lot of places that don't have 360 degree viewing then computer are almost essential.

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