Philosophy of Patience. Hence the Astronomer
Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:50 PM
After 2 years in this hobby I believe astronomers are a breed of individuals who have learned to tap into that will and incredible patience the world today seems to be lacking. At least from my perspective.
I for one have never been a "short attention span" person. I like to know more about what I see on TV and about the world around me. The 24 hour barrage of information on the Internet and the TV are all becoming background noise. If one gets caught up in the sound bites and snippets we will be no expert at anything. Only slightly educated on many subjects. But with no real supporting foundation for such "knowledge".
Since my dive into the world of Astronomy, I have had to slow down, breathe, and take a good long look before I would "see" what was up there. The longer you look and contemplate the more you will actually "see".
I strongly believe that this notion is something which can, and should, be applied to our everyday lives. If we took the time to stop, look, listen, and render an informed opinion before running off to the next task or action we would be so much better for it.
Astronomy and it's learned skills at slowing the pace, tease out each and every photon of information and then get a good picture of what exists thru the eyepiece, has reinforced my belief that we all are able to do better. Not just at our hobby, but in life in general.
Take what you have learned at the scope and apply it to your life. It has opened my eyes and widened a desire for knowledge which is the best weapon of all.
As they say knowledge is power. But use that knowledge for the good of all!
Human, Earth, Solar System, Galaxy, Universe.....we are all here together. So much to see and experience if we take the time to "observe"....not just up but all around us.
Clear skies and Peace!
Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:24 PM
- the process of starhopping, ever get lost and have to start a 10-min star-hop all over again?
- Seeing detail on planets. I often find outreach events unsatisfactory because so many folks do not see the detail I see because they only want to look for 3 sec or so. I have been treated to amazing views, but often they are fleeting in moments of good seeing.
- Trying to see faint objects. I remember viewing the asteroid Toutatis last month. It took me a few tries to locate the somewhat faint asteroid that at first glance was 'just another faint star" and then a little bit of time to detect movement.
- Waiting for the physical universe: objects to rise or transit, objects to move out of the glare of the sun, eclipses or transits & other transient events to happen, skies that are transparent, steady or (heavens) both.
These are just the ones that come to mind. I'm sure there's a lot more examples.
Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:04 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:08 AM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:49 PM
Astronomy also teaches humility, in many different ways.
For me anyhoo, i get this. Spend any time at all contemplating a Hubble "Deep-field" photo, particularly a hi-res version where you can "zoom-in" to inspect a few of the faint fuzzies... ya just can't come away from that feeling very big! A similar experience can be had at the eyepiece, too, more or less depending on what's displayed.
On the *patience* note, i can't help but wonder if some of this is pre-wired into personality types... some more, some less. This, and also thru nurture- the activities our parents engaged us with, or didn't... the time they spent with us as youngsters- or didn't. Or couldn't.
In today's instantaneous & electronically enhanced culture, calm, contemplative, non-digital pursuits are not nearly as popular... so the kid who (like i did) yearns many months for a 60mm 'fractor is swamped with a deluge of kids who want an i-pad or i-____ (fill in the blank)... "months" probably not sufficing as a time-frame!
Maybe it's good, maybe it's not... is certainly "different". I just know that my own astro journey, and typical nightly journeys, typically involve precious little speed or hurry... or electronic enhancement. And i'm quite happy to keep it that way.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:59 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:15 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:20 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:49 PM
Astronomy also teaches humility, in many different ways.
I feel humble, but I also feel extremely proud to share species-being with folks who can study and understand the Universe. Takes some nerve to look creation square in the face, and use our reasoning to decipher its workings. I have to say that of all the wonders I have seen in the heavens, the Aurora Borealis are the most awe inspiring, and even sometimes terrifying.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:58 AM
Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:56 AM
Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:41 AM
Ever noticed how walking tends to induce patience?
Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:59 PM
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:03 PM
No question, at least in my mind, that patience is the most important personal attribute needed in amateur astronomy.
Patience, determination and curiosity...
One might try year after year to see a particular object and never see it.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:56 PM
Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:41 PM
Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:49 PM
They both hold my attention in the same ways. With your eye pressed to the eyepiece (viewfinder), taking great pain to achieve perfect focus, seeing subjects in a whole new light (pardon the pun), and getting lost in those moments that become minutes... and before you know it, you've spent an hour or two immersed in this other world, having achieved a degree of separation from the more common world around you and all of its entanglements.
In both cases, the best results seem to come from patience, and practice. The more you look, the more you really see. The more you see, the more you appreciate what it is you're seeing. And, when you get in that zone, where you've pretty much separated yourself and your thoughts from everything else, and you're just lost in that eyepiece or viewfinder, it's pretty therapeutic. Either in the form of stress relief, or the appreciation of how small we really are. Viewing the heavens has a lot in common with taking a macro view of the world beneath our feet. Both are amazing, and both are humbling.
I *thought* I would enjoy this hobby. I expected as much. What I didn't expect was the striking, and welcome similarities to macro photography.
This is a great outlet for that part of me that likes that sense of isolation and disconnect I get when peering through the lens, or eyepiece, and paying painstaking attention to what I'm viewing. Very different outcomes, of course, photographs vs. visual memory, but the process for obtaining them is very much alike for me.