Techniques en Star-hopping tutorial 3: Star-skipping to M11 <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img width="180" vspace="2" hspace="6" height="194" border="1" align="left" src="/sites/" title="Star-skipping from Altair to M11" alt="Star-skipping from Altair to M11" />This the third in a series of tutorials intended to develop basic star-hopping skills. The focus of these tutorials is not on finding particular deep sky objects, but rather on using hops to selected objects as a vehicle for illustrating star-hopping techniques.</p> <p>This lesson introduces star-skipping&mdash;a way to skip across large areas either to speed up a long-range star-hop or to get across areas that lack stars suitable for traditional star-to-star star-hopping. The star-hop from Altair to M11 provides a perfect example of where this technique can be useful. Altair itself is bright enough to be visible even in heavily light-polluted skies. But light pollution combined with summer haze and M11's somewhat low position on the horizon often leaves few other stars visible for star-to-star hopping. The best way to get from Altair to M11 is to &ldquo;skip across&rdquo; such barren areas to the brighter stars...</p> <p>Other tutorials in the series: <a href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-one-m57" title="Star-hopping Tutorial 1">Lesson 1</a>, <a href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-two-m27" title="Star-hopping Tutorial 2">Lesson 2</a></p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Techniques Tue, 10 Jul 2012 01:29:49 +0000 Washed-out Astronomer 43 at Star-hopping Tutorial: Lesson Two (M27) <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img width="160" vspace="2" hspace="8" height="148" align="left" alt=" M27" src="/sites/" />For the second lesson in the <a type="Lesson one and introduction to the series" href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-one-m57">star-hopping tutorial series</a>, we&rsquo;ll star-hop from Albireo (&beta; Cyg) to M27, the Dumbell Nebula. This is a relatively short star-hop&mdash;in fact it is shorter than M57, our first lesson. But unlike M57 where we star-hopped using 3rd and 4th magnitude stars, this star-hop will rely on fainter 5th and 6th magnitude stars&mdash;stars that are usually invisible in washed-out skies...</p> <p>Other tutorials in the series: &nbsp;<a title="Star-hopping Tutorial 1" href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-one-m57">Lesson 1</a>,&nbsp;<a title="Star-hopping Tutorial 3" href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-3-star-skipping-m11">Lesson 3</a></p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Techniques Tue, 17 Aug 2010 01:16:19 +0000 Washed-out Astronomer 36 at Star-hopping Tutorial: Lesson One (M57) <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img width="160" hspace="4" height="201" align="left" alt="Illustration of a chart of Lyra such as would be used for star hopping" src="/sites/" title="Illustration of a chart of Lyra such as would be used for star hopping" />Star-hopping is one of the most valuable skills in amateur astronomy. In the days before computerized mounts and GPS, star-hopping was the only way to find interesting objects. Thanks to the steady march of technology, not as many amateurs today are proficient star-hoppers. In fact, quite a few amateurs have never star-hopped. Still, for many of us without computerized mounts, star-hopping remains a critical skill. Washed-out skies in particular can really test your star-hopping skills: when only 3<sup>rd</sup> or 4<sup>th</sup> magnitude stars are visible, it can be a pretty long hop from the nearest visible star to your target. Even if you have a computerized mount, star-hopping can be useful in light-polluted skies: with many faint fuzzies at the ragged edge of visibility, star-hopping techniques can confirm that you are indeed looking in the right place.</p> <p>To help you master star-hopping I am planning a series of tutorials, starting with the simplest of star-hops and continuing with successively more challenging star-hops. Each one will end in an interesting object suitable for viewing with a modest telescope under washed-out skies. We start with a very simple star-hop from Vega to M57, the Ring Nebula...</p> <p>Other tutorials in the series: &nbsp;<a href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-two-m27" title="Star-hopping Tutorial 2">Lesson 2</a>, <a href="/content/star-hopping-tutorial-3-star-skipping-m11" title="Star-hopping Tutorial 3">Lesson 3</a></p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Techniques Sun, 25 Jul 2010 02:36:40 +0000 Washed-out Astronomer 34 at