An Illustrated View of Star-Hopping versus Electronics

Jack Kramer

Let's compare a few aspects of star-hopping and electronics that make locating objects a worthwhile effort or an effort worth avoiding, depending on where you stand.

You cannot star-hop unless you know the sky.

Having a good reference source is important

You'll need to have a starting point.

Star hoppers must relate what is on the star chart to the moves they need to make in the sky, and as they maneuver their telescopes, they often talk to themselves...aloud.

Try as they may, star hoppers sometimes do come up empty-handed

...of course, so do the electronic-assist guys.

Star-hoppers feel that you don't "discover" something by dialing it up on a computer. The electronics guys regard star-hoppers as relics of the dark ages, and point out that they don't need to discover something, they just want to look at something. By all indications, no resolution is in sight...but this helps make astronomy endlessly interesting.