1st astronomy club meeting
Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:11 PM
Well, I've been active in astronomy to some degree or other since the early 1970's and a member here since 2004.I decided to go to my first semi local astronomy club meeting (80 mile round trip) last week, a few years back there was one located just a few miles from here, but when I contacted them about joining I was told they were serious astro photographers and didn't feel my current equipment would fit with their club's purpose. I understood that if I ever won the lottery and had an extra twenty grand for equipment they may reconsider my application.I still haven't won the lottery but do have some basic AP equipment. So I've always kept my hobby to myself and my friends here,Please accept a sincere Thank You to all my friends here.
The meeting was attended by around 20 people a quarter of us were new prospective members and one young person wanting to know care and feeding instruction on a scope that had been a gift.
The meeting seemed almost like sitting at my keyboard here,
club business was dealt with quickly and future meetings were outlined and we were informed that the club had received the donation of an antique 16" Newt that was already in the process of refurbishing the mount, the only part of the scope that showed serious neglect. The novice astronomer got some one on one advice about what the telescope was and what the bag full of spare parts were and we all assured her that she could learn how to use the scope. I was assured that although the club was not big on AP there were some members with that affliction and they would be willing to share their knowledge with a retaliative novice.There will be multiple opportunities to participate in out reach programs, I'm a little too shy to stand on street corners with my arm resting on my dob asking "Do you want to see the Moon?" Out reach could be fun with a group. Just wanted to say not all clubs are created equal and if one doesn't meet your needs try another. I think the 10 year wait between attempts like I did, is not recommended by the author.
Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:16 PM
Our club makes it a point to make sure everybody gets greeted, gets told not to buy anything until they have played around with us for a while, and knows about all the club has to offer.
Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:22 PM
Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:57 AM
It is up to us, the lookers of the sky, to invite others or to help others feel welcomed. It is difficult to approach the introverted sometimes...but others are welcome to the welcoming greetings.
Good luck with your club-
Posted 08 February 2013 - 12:28 PM
The members are very willing to share knowledge and the club has numerous scopes and assorted equipment available for loan. the club just had a 16" newt donated and is the process of restoration, mostly cosmetic stuff.
Even had another CN member introduce himself to me, yes,this could be a comfortable fit after all.
I just wanted to up date the OP.
Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:10 PM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:07 PM
Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:12 PM
Posted 10 February 2013 - 04:52 PM
I consider myself a lone astronomer who joined a group accomplish some outreach and meet others that share my interest. My wife is disabled so I have to arrange for care for her when I leave home, for any amount of time. So things like Stellarfane are not practical for me. This is a small club most of the members that I have met are retired and fairly new to the hobby. We do have a "dark" club site and there are a few members with their own observatories the club owns some equipment but no observatory. I don't mind solitary observing and for the most part CN is a good way to share the hobby, I'll have to wait and see if this option works for me and I'm sure I would not be interested in an overly organized club My life style demands flexibility and reasonable participation goals. That's why having my own equipment and observatory keeps me independent.
Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:53 PM
Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:35 AM
I enjoyed your post! Astronomy clubs can make or break a beginners enthusiasm to our wonderful (and IMO the best) hobby in the Universe. I always make it a point to introduce myself to new members or newcomers to the hobby at our club meetings.
To me, an astronomy club should cover multiple facets of our hobby.. outreach.. telescope making.. AP.. and of course, eating donuts One of my mentors, Ron Ravneberg, called our club a "loose confederation of interests" and mentioned that it was ideal. I would think clubs too focused on one thing (AP, an observatory, outreach) run the risk of falling apart. This is just my humble opinion. Kind of like diversifying investments. Putting all one's eggs in one basket is not good.
And the foundation of any club no matter what the club focuses on should be welcoming new people to the fold with encouragement to maintain the future health of the club and more importantly, the hobby.
You seemed to have found that type of club.