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True cost of astronomy?

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#1 kbastro

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:17 PM

I often pondered the cost of astronomy,, finacially,,,
equipment, accessories & books + travel cost... (escaping to dark sites aka on the road)..
I know I have been travelling on the road for 18 yrs to get to supreme dark skies as well as investing a minumum of at least 30K towards equipment over the past 18 years,,.

is it just me, or does everyone want big better faster more?? (and darker)!

so after having owned/owning at least 25 scopes and about 7 mounts as well as film/digital/ccd cameras and traveling more than 150,000 miles in that time to image/observe,

I wonder how much money I would have,, or spent,,

help my head is spinning.....

Kev b

#2 csrlice12

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

It's not a matter of how much you spent, it's a matter of if it was worth it. So far for me, worth every penny. But, then, I'm only at about $3K so far....but the views, priceless....

#3 Glen A W

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:34 PM

It's a joke. I have spent like you, Kev. Now I have scopes I like and they are not overly fancy. I have come to recognize that this is about the sky. I was never into the consumerism as much as some, but still - if you have the money, it is easy to fall into.

I am totally happy with my current scopes, and I intend to use them until they are no longer serviceable. I enjoy the sky much more by not concentrating on equipment. Some of the best views I have had lately were from Spruce Knob, after Hurricane Sandy, a trip on which I took no equipment!

GW

#4 Glen A W

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

And, you hear people complain about the high cost of astronomy, but you can buy a used C8 for $450 and the needed accessories and books for a couple hundred more. "Astronomy" does not require constant outlay, especially if you live where you can observe. "Buying things compulsively" is another matter. I'm not out to make anyone mad - I have been guilty myself. I don't have 78 eyepieces just by chance. GW

#5 Glen A W

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:39 PM

Not to beat this to death, but compulsive or not, the money I have spent was worth every penny. GW

#6 Midnight Dan

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

You can spend a lot on any hobby. The nice thing about astronomy is that you can buy some decent gear for not too much money, and that's all you really HAVE to spend. If you want to get buy pretty cheaply, you can.

My astronomy expenses pale compared to my wife's hobby - horses. The ongoing costs for food, horse shoes, vet care, etc. are large and continuous and don't stop unless you drop the hobby all together.

For my 2 cents, astronomy is a pretty modestly priced hobby. But again, like any hobby, you can always choose to spend as much as you want.

-Dan

#7 csrlice12

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

Anyone know how to mount a scope on a Bass boat???? :question:

#8 SubaruB4

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

And, you hear people complain about the high cost of astronomy, but you can buy a used C8 for $450 and the needed accessories and books for a couple hundred more. "Astronomy" does not require constant outlay, especially if you live where you can observe. "Buying things compulsively" is another matter. I'm not out to make anyone mad - I have been guilty myself. I don't have 78 eyepieces just by chance. GW


I've always wanted a scope since my early teens but the cost was a huge put off, I'm not sure where the $450 comes from for the C8 but I don't think ebay has that many great deals.

But I say for most the price is a huge turn off.

#9 Starman1

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:22 PM

1) It's my hobby, my profession, and my passion.
2) I can't take it with me.
3) The people in the industry are generally so nice......
4) I enjoy the buying experience and getting new toys--don't you?
5) Because I travel to observe, I probably have paid more for gas over the years than I have for all the equipment I've bought.
Gas is more expensive now than 40 years ago, but my income is higher, too, so it probably evens out.
That's an exaggeration, of course, but still! I went out last Sunday night and the 354 mile round trip cost me $52 in gas, and I have a small car.
[My "close" dark sky site is a round trip of ~200 miles].
Figure 12X a year for the last 35 years.......
Nope. I've spent more than that for just eyepieces. :foreheadslap:
6) I've got to face it, I'm an addict. The 12 step plan to beat it entails....naw, who am I kidding? I don't want to be cured!
And my wife is an enabler--after 10 purchases on eBay, she says to me, "Honey, don't you need a new eyepiece or something?"
Life is Good.

#10 MikeBOKC

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

I have owned eight scopes in my life since the first 60mm refractor in 1957. Have three currently and will probably add one more, but I expect the scopes to outlive me. Eyepieces and other accessories? Maybe 20 items total. I suspect I have about $12,000 iin current equipment, accumulated over a number of years. Might spend another $3,000 tops. I know people who have twice that much invested in boats, three-wheelers, expensive shotguns for competitive trap shooting, huge home entertainment centers, one with a single-engine airplane, etc. Not to mention the people with lake or mountain cabins or trailers. And I bet I get more hours of use out of my astro gear in a year than any of them do with their toys. So no, this is not an expensive hobby if you figure cost per hour, and certainly not when you add in the enjoyment and satisfaction. And one of the nicest things about it is that once each of us shuffles off the mortal coil we know someone somewhere will continue to use and enjoy the equipment we left behind.

#11 thomas68

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:37 PM

I just hope my wife don't find out how much I've spent in the last two years! :(

Tom

#12 dlapoint

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

Astronomy is like camping. You start off with a 29.00 tent and a garbage bag full of blankets. 20 years later your pulling a fifth wheel with your big @ss truck. Its a journey.

#13 csa/montana

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

I've always wanted a scope since my early teens but the cost was a huge put off, I'm not sure where the $450 comes from for the C8 but I don't think ebay has that many great deals.

But I say for most the price is a huge turn off.



My first scope, including 2 eyepieces, came to $299! This was a brand new 8" Dob. Don't know how a price this good would be a huge turn off for people getting into astronomy.

#14 MDB

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

Could be 'astronomical'.......sorry! ;)

Mike

#15 Messyone

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:33 PM

The true cost of Astronomy is nothing compared to the cost of my 12 year old daughters ballet classes over the last 5 years :shrug:
Matt

#16 mich_al

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

I've followerd similar threads in the past and people claim they are 10 years and $150 in and happy. Originally I thought I'd spend $200 or so and see if I was really interested in looking at the sky. Now after adding a couple of zeros to that I'm thinking about a different mount and binoviewers. Not many of my purchases have been big ticket items, most where a hundred dollars or so but they tend to add up. I've kept good record of where it all went. Recently I have sold a few things.

Al

#17 dan_h

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

I often pondered the cost of astronomy,, finacially,,,
equipment, accessories & books + travel cost... (escaping to dark sites aka on the road)..
I know I have been travelling on the road for 18 yrs to get to supreme dark skies as well as investing a minumum of at least 30K towards equipment over the past 18 years,,.

is it just me, or does everyone want big better faster more?? (and darker)!

so after having owned/owning at least 25 scopes and about 7 mounts as well as film/digital/ccd cameras and traveling more than 150,000 miles in that time to image/observe,

I wonder how much money I would have,, or spent,,

help my head is spinning.....

Kev b


I was once seriously into some amateur sport. Trained two hours a day every day. Kept logs, got a coaching certificate, travelled the country many times and had a ball for ten years. Spent a LOT of money. Got some good memories and a few red ribbons. Quit cold turkey and changed interests. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat under the same circumstances.

Life is a journey. You pay your fee and you take your chances. You can change direction any time. And yes, there are times when I feel the resources I have tied up in astronomy could bring me more happiness if invested elsewhere.

You see ads all the time from individuals who are getting out of this hobby and selling all their gear. One day, it may be me advertising, but not just yet.

dan

#18 BlueGrass

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:02 PM

For those that are visual only, the expenses are typically tied up in OTAs and eyepieces. For imagers however, the costs quickly escalate many times with high end mounts, CCDs, filters, adapters, software, etc. The costs can easily top 15k for a single mount, OTA, CCD setup... what we spend always seem to come under some sort of scrutiny... from ourselves and the community at large. Astronomy is what you make of it. If you're happy with an 80mm refractor, occasionally spending a few hours in the backyard, great. If you're a dedicated imager, traveling to dark sites with enough gear to fill a truck bed, that's great too. In the end, IMHO it's the personal satisfaction we receive that counts.

#19 MitchAlsup

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

I probably spent a similar amount as OP on astronomy.

But compared to racing my Ferrari on race track, astronlmy is essentialy invisible in overall cash flows.

#20 RTLR 12

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:13 AM

My brother collects Ferraris. Astronomy is cheap...

Stan

#21 kbastro

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:52 AM

in 25 years I'll be in the high 60's,, and probably go through at least 3 more vehicles, 10+ more scopes and another 2 or more mounts 'CAUSE who the hell knows what they will invent by then!!!!
And don't forget to add some new hi-tech imagers at 1 million iso by then,,,

I have all the bills I paid for the stuff over the past 8 years,,, and over the next 25 years I will continue to monitor what and how much I spend/spent on this life's journey!!

Keep in touch fellow astronomers! I will let you know in the year 2038....

Kev b

#22 MAURITS  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:27 AM

Good astronomical stuff is expensive, we know that all!

It is the price of a very beautiful and nice luxe car, but after then years of use the car is old and ugly with low value!

The astronomical stuff is than just so good as new!!!

#23 RTLR 12

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:05 AM

It is the price of a very beautiful and nice luxe car, but after then years of use the car is old and ugly with low value!


Hardly...

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#24 Traveler

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:27 AM

Sure amateur astronomy can cost money. But there are some strategies which can reduce the expenses in relation with equipment.

Fist buy the telescope and mount if you are sure what you want and buy always your dream setup.

Second: don't buy EP's simple because they are newer and got better reviews...the differences between the ep's are not that big.

Third: Beware of buying electronic equipment: in two, three years you can replace the device whaich were once so good...

Fourth: Like what you have and USE it.

#25 JayinUT

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

I think I've gained more from the friendships I've made than the financial costs I've inquired. YMMV of course.






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