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You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective.

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#1 GlennLeDrew

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

It's one thing for a passerby to be enthused about taking a peek through someone's scope. It's quite another for that passerby to translate his/her momentary or casual enthusiasm into a long-term commitment. I'm loathe to correlate sidewalk interest with anything like an equivalent untapped reservoir of new blood for the hobby.

Among the hobbies, astronomy suffers more than its fair share of constraints and limitations. The generally late hours (by some people's standards), dependence upon weather, significant light pollution for most, a not insignificant learning curve, etc. No small degree of patience and persistence are requisites, which I fear is increasingly in short supply.

In our club, which has had over 400 members, there can not be more than a half dozen youth members; the bulk of our membership is comprised of those who have at least a sprinkling of grey in their hair. I think this imbalance is not as much attributable to the once exciting times in the heyday of space exploration as it is to a general decline in the kind of attitude that fosters a focused, sedate pursuit of the esoteric.
 

#2 starrancher

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

It's one thing for a passerby to be enthused about taking a peek through someone's scope. It's quite another for that passerby to translate his/her momentary or casual enthusiasm into a long-term commitment. I'm loathe to correlate sidewalk interest with anything like an equivalent untapped reservToir of new blood for the hobby.

Among the hobbies, astronomy suffers more than its fair share of constraints and limitations. The generally late hours (by some people's standards), dependence upon weather, significant light pollution for most, a not insignificant learning curve, etc. No small degree of patience and persistence are requisites, which I fear is increasingly in short supply.

In our club, which has had over 400 members, there can not be more than a half dozen youth members; the bulk of our membership is comprised of those who have at least a sprinkling of grey in their hair. I think this imbalance is not as much attributable to the once exciting times in the heyday of space exploration as it is to a general decline in the kind of attitude that fosters a focused, sedate pursuit of the esoteric.


Exactly .
 

#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

It's one thing for a passerby to be enthused about taking a peek through someone's scope. It's quite another for that passerby to translate his/her momentary or casual enthusiasm into a long-term commitment. I'm loathe to correlate sidewalk interest with anything like an equivalent untapped reservoir of new blood for the hobby.

Among the hobbies, astronomy suffers more than its fair share of constraints and limitations. The generally late hours (by some people's standards), dependence upon weather, significant light pollution for most, a not insignificant learning curve, etc. No small degree of patience and persistence are requisites, which I fear is increasingly in short supply.

In our club, which has had over 400 members, there can not be more than a half dozen youth members; the bulk of our membership is comprised of those who have at least a sprinkling of grey in their hair. I think this imbalance is not as much attributable to the once exciting times in the heyday of space exploration as it is to a general decline in the kind of attitude that fosters a focused, sedate pursuit of the esoteric.


Glenn:

:goodjob:

Astronomy does take patience and persistence as well as a healthy dose of curiosity. The thrills in this hobby are small thrills, staying out in the cold and wind with the hope of seeing some barely detectable object that is more easily seen by typing Google.com is a subtle pleasure at best. One has to enjoy the overall experience, not just what is seen in the eyepiece.

But I contend that Clubs are not an accurate measure of the involvement of the involvement of younger astronomers. At some level, clubs are social in nature and younger astronomers connect in other ways.

Jon
 

#4 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

It's one thing for a passerby to be enthused about taking a peek through someone's scope. It's quite another for that passerby to translate his/her momentary or casual enthusiasm into a long-term commitment. I'm loathe to correlate sidewalk interest with anything like an equivalent untapped reservoir of new blood for the hobby.

Among the hobbies, astronomy suffers more than its fair share of constraints and limitations. The generally late hours (by some people's standards), dependence upon weather, significant light pollution for most, a not insignificant learning curve, etc. No small degree of patience and persistence are requisites, which I fear is increasingly in short supply.

In our club, which has had over 400 members, there can not be more than a half dozen youth members; the bulk of our membership is comprised of those who have at least a sprinkling of grey in their hair. I think this imbalance is not as much attributable to the once exciting times in the heyday of space exploration as it is to a general decline in the kind of attitude that fosters a focused, sedate pursuit of the esoteric.



Well put. The esoteric nature of the hobby guarantees there will never be a telescope in every household, or that astronomy can even begin to compete with other leisure pursuits. The obstacles to the hobby requires a strongly motivated person to pursue it.

But the real barrier to getting more kids exposed is cultural. The media and entertainment industry celebrates deviancy and casts intellectual curiosity and achievement as very un-cool.
 

#5 starrancher

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

It's one thing for a passerby to be enthused about taking a peek through someone's scope. It's quite another for that passerby to translate his/her momentary or casual enthusiasm into a long-term commitment. I'm loathe to correlate sidewalk interest with anything like an equivalent untapped reservoir of new blood for the hobby.

Among the hobbies, astronomy suffers more than its fair share of constraints and limitations. The generally late hours (by some people's standards), dependence upon weather, significant light pollution for most, a not insignificant learning curve, etc. No small degree of patience and persistence are requisites, which I fear is increasingly in short supply.

In our club, which has had over 400 members, there can not be more than a half dozen youth members; the bulk of our membership is comprised of those who have at least a sprinkling of grey in their hair. I think this imbalance is not as much attributable to the once exciting times in the heyday of space exploration as it is to a general decline in the kind of attitude that fosters a focused, sedate pursuit of the esoteric.



Well put. The esoteric nature of the hobby guarantees there will never be a telescope in every household, or that astronomy can even begin to compete with other leisure pursuits. The obstacles to the hobby requires a strongly motivated person to pursue it.

But the real barrier to getting more kids exposed is cultural. The media and entertainment industry celebrates deviancy and casts intellectual curiosity and achievement as very un-cool.

.

Also well put Jeff .
 

#6 csrlice12

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

"But the real barrier to getting more kids exposed is cultural. The media and entertainment industry celebrates deviancy and casts intellectual curiosity and achievement as very un-cool.".....

let see, we hang out on chat rooms when we're not looking at or thru our scopes, or thinking about our scopes. We hang out alone or in small bunches in the middle of nowhere in subzero temperatures for a glance that maybe we've seen once, twice, a thousand times before. At the extreme, we spend thousands, tens of thousands of dollars on stuff we'll be lucky to use a few nights a year at best.......sounds pretty devient to me...... :lol:
 






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