Goto or Not Goto? That is the Question

Goto or Not Goto? That is the Question

Goto is the clever software that some telescopes come with that allows you to choose which object you want to look at from the library of objects in the Goto telescope's computer, push a button and the telescope will go straight to the object for you to view.

Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT


Sounds great right? Well it is great and it is useful if you have limited observing time or if you are not really sure what some of the objects actually look like in the eyepiece. The Goto telescope will put the object right into your field of view and hopefully make it easier to recognize those faint fuzzy deep space objects. However, there is a debate about how good this actually is, as it takes away that great feeling of excitement and the sense of achievement when you finally find the object you've been searching for. It is true that every astronomer should try to learn the constellations and how to star hop, as recognizing the night sky really makes home astronomy so much more rewarding. Although, a lot of home astronomers live in light polluted areas, which can make star hopping very difficult if you can't see the stars to hop between. Goto telescopes can be very useful if you are somebody in this situation.


Goto is improving all the time and can be very accurate but you need to be pretty careful when setting up your telescope to make the best of it. You can learn more about setting up Goto by reading the article Setting up a Goto telescope.


So, Goto telescope or not Goto telescope? that is the question. The answer depends on what you want to get from the hobby. If you want to observe and photograph as much as you can in a short space of time, have difficulty recognising the deep space objects or live in light polluted skies then a Goto telescope would be a helpful piece of equipment to make the best of your astronomy time. However, if you prefer the thrill of the hunt and want to become a master navigator of the night sky then the money you save in not purchasing a Goto telescope could be put into a better quality telescope or accessories. 

Related Posts:  Equipment

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Back to Beginners guide to Astronomy

Or next:

Part 1. Getting Started in Amateur Astronomy

Part 2. Binoculars or a telescope, which should I buy first?

Part 3. 5 Things you Need to Know Before Buying a Beginner's Astronomy Telescope

Part 4. Goto or Not Goto? That is the Question

Part 5. How to Set-up an Astronomy Telescope

Part 6. 8 Tips for Making Your Goto Telescope More Accurate

Part 7. 10 Easy Astronomical Objects to see From the City

Part 8. 5 Things to do on a Cloudy Night

Part 9. Which Eyepieces Do I Need?

Part 10. 10 Useful Astronomy Accessories

Part 11: How Can I See Deep Space Objects Better?

Part 12: How Can I See More Detail On Planets?

Part 13: How to Dress for Astronomical Success

Extras: Beginner Astronomy Telescopes

Or Start reading the Learn Astronomy Blog

Or Start Finding Deep Space Objects with the Constellation and DSO Guide.

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