M 75 -- Globular Cluster in Sagittarius
Resorting to GoTo
I am, for the most part, a star-hopper (one who guides the telescope across the heavens
using only a star map and my knowledge of the stars to find my object). I am an old-timer
that just never adjusted well to the modern telescope mounts that finds celestial objects with
a press of a button. Where is the fun in that? Is not the journey to one’s destination as
exciting as getting there?
Having said that, I do own a “goto” telescope mount (Celestron Advanced VX). And it works
like a charm – press NGC $#@% and in seconds the telescope finds it. All I do is focus and
there it is dead center in the eyepiece. It is fast and accurate, but each time I do so every
fiber in my body screams “you lazy cheating louse – what did you miss seeing as the
telescope skewed (without you) to the object – where was the gratification of the find? Are
you really so pathetic at astronomy that you have to cheat by using a computer program?”
But, at times I confess I am weak and give into the call to use brainless “goto” technology.
At the far eastern reaches of Sagittarius, where it shares space with Capricornus, resides
the globular cluster M75. It is far from any bright star that one can easily use to start a
star-hop. One can do it, but it takes time and due to the lack of obvious star arrangements
along the way can be a challenge. So, for this drawing I swallowed my pride, pushed a
button and stood useless as the telescope moved to the globular. At least, I still used pencil
and paper to make my rough drawing and didn’t resort to using a CCD camera – maybe I
am still partly salvageable.