Jump to content


Photo

Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life.

  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 FrankJ

FrankJ

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 164
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Ohio

Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:54 PM

Some thoughts from an older newbie: Since I'm new at this and have a lot to lean, I can't be of much help to the veterans of this forum, but I have a few words I would like to say to the others who are just starting; and that's about enjoying your hobby. I live in Ohio and the weather is just starting to get nice. We have a flat roof on the second story of our house that is easily accessible from a room on the second floor. Last night I put a comfortable chair out there and brought out my 10x50 binoculars. The sky was fairly clear and I sat there gazing at the sky. I wasn't sure what I was looking at, but at this point I really didn't care. I just enjoyed sitting and looking. It was so calming to the mind and body. What I'm saying is this: If you're just starting out, don't worry if there is much that you don't know about. Just enjoy the moment. I am not suggesting that you don't try to learn more--not at all--that will come with time. But, if you can't enjoy even the little that you have thus far accomplished, what's the point. In my 82 years on this earth, if there is one thing that I have learned it is to relax and not take life so seriously. Learn to laugh at your own mistakes and you will have less stress in your life--you'll live longer. So get your scope or your binocs and go outside and relax. If someone asks what you looked at in the sky and you don't know, just say, "Geez, I don't know, but it sure was enjoyable and relaxing."

#2 UBHSTRY

UBHSTRY

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 25
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2013

Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:07 PM

Well said.

#3 MikeBOKC

MikeBOKC

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4649
  • Joined: 10 May 2010
  • Loc: Oklahoma City, OK

Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:15 PM

Now and then some of us (me included) get wrapped up in big aperture, fancy eyepieces, the latest collimation gizmos and techniques and all the many facets of this hobby. And then we (or at least I) get out on a club observing night with all that fancy stuff and glance over at the next pad where someone may be just lounging in a chair absorbing the sky through binoculars or panning around with a scope that might have half or even a third of our battle-won aperture with a "simple" plossl in the diagonal . . . and they are having just as much fun (and maybe even more) that we are. The most important thing to bring to astronomy is the grey matter between your ears, where all of us have basically the same aperture, and hopefully a similar sense of awe and wonder. Well said, sir.

#4 GeneT

GeneT

    Ely Kid

  • *****
  • Posts: 12839
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2008
  • Loc: South Texas

Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

don't worry if there is much that you don't know about. Just enjoy the moment.


Amen! :ubetcha:

#5 Gert K A

Gert K A

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 291
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark

Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:36 PM

Right on the money.. thank you Frank :waytogo:

#6 Paco_Grande

Paco_Grande

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1594
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Free State of Arizona

Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

:rockon:

#7 TexasRed

TexasRed

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 976
  • Joined: 17 May 2011
  • Loc: East Texas

Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:43 PM

+1!

#8 Isdaako

Isdaako

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Devils Tower, Wyoming

Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:12 PM

Well said. Thanks!

#9 Starman81

Starman81

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2115
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA

Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

I wish I could relax and just observe, but I can't. I have to record the transparency/seeing/temperature and how each fluctuated roughly throughout the evening. Then at some point, take out the SQM (even if I'm not at a dark site) and take the reading just for the record. Then I have to remember to save the image of the Clear Sky Chart for the location that I observing at that night. Those are all for the observing report that I write after my session, whether the session was 30 minutes or 3 hours. Then during the session I have to remember all objects viewed (not too hard) and also all eyepiece/magnifications that object was viewed at (a little harder) and which view was best (ok, now that can be a bit much). To help with this, I sometimes use a voice recorder on my phone. In order to earn my AL stripes, I use my scopes but without goto or push-to, so I better have my smartphone out with the SkySafari or my iPad so I can map out each star hop. If I wanted to do some eyepiece comparisons I have to fit those in as well and be sure to record my observations. And the list goes on...

#10 YetAnotherHobby

YetAnotherHobby

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 284
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Central CT

Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:17 PM

Thanks for reminding me why I bought a scope in the first place. Tonight I spent 2 hours looking at 3 objects. Just stood there, trying different viewing angles, different magnifications.....just looked. Nothing I haven't seen before - the Leo triplet and Saturn. If I didn't have work in the morning I'd still be out there.

clear skies to you

Geoff

#11 Maverick199

Maverick199

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12544
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2011
  • Loc: India

Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:23 AM

That's a thoughtful post. Sometimes we tend to take this hobby a bit too seriously rather than just relax and enjoy. Even better to share this happiness.

#12 kenrenard

kenrenard

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1562
  • Joined: 13 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Dunmore, PA

Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:44 AM

Frank,
I believe you have captured the essence of why we all go outside at night and look with wonder. May you have many good years to relax and enjoy the wonders of the universe.

Clear Skies
Ken

#13 woolbrig

woolbrig

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 310
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2013
  • Loc: Bethalto, Illinois

Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:55 AM

Great post! As a newbe myself, I couldn't agree more.

#14 festa_freak

festa_freak

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 79
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:05 AM

First 82 year old I've seen online. I think that's awesome! Thanks for the simple thoughts regarding this massive hobby. Just take bite-size pieces.

#15 RussL

RussL

    Music Maker

  • *****
  • Posts: 3157
  • Joined: 18 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Cayce and Lancaster, SC

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:06 AM

Thanks for that post, Frank. I have found myself coming full circle after 53 years of observing. And I must say that living in a red zone has had an effect. Since it is hard to see many dim objects from one of my houses I have come to just enjoy what I actually CAN see more. Also, with some health issues I have been going out with smaller, lighter equipment, many times with just binos. And best of all, I got into richfield observing a few years ago. Now I don't worry about if I can see a faint fuzzy or not, but rather enjoy open clusters and other bright objects. Thing is, I'm enjoying the hobby more now than ever before. I think I spend as much time just taking in the frsh air and listening to the night sounds, or counting fireflies, as much as I'm in the eyepiece. All with astronomy mixed in. There is more to observing than just what I see in any of my equipment. Everything about the night, the sounds, smells, weather, you name it, are a part of the experience. I especially love observing after I've cut the grass that day. It reminds me of being ten years old back home on such a night in 1960. How much I know or how many objects I see is irrelevant. Just being out there with the sky above me is enough.

Nothing is wrong in the world when I'm out observing.

#16 Momerath

Momerath

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 212
  • Joined: 31 May 2011
  • Loc: Upstate SC,

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:31 AM

There is wisdom in these words.

#17 ben2112

ben2112

    Cloud Magnet

  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2012
  • Loc: North Charleston SC

Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

AMEN!! Like others, just being outside and away from computers, TVs, etc. is awesome. I look forward to clear nights and just seeing what I can see. And sometimes the neighbors come over to see what I am looking at. I am starting to get into AP, but there are nights that I just throw in my 25mm eyepiece and just look around. I can't see much being in a red zone, but what I can see is still fascinating.

#18 newtoskies

newtoskies

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1441
  • Joined: 15 Jul 2012
  • Loc: SE Ma.

Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:29 AM

A+++++ Couldn't agree more, and did the same last night. Even with very clear skies I chose to just relax and use my binos and naked eye viewing. This just let me be so relaxed and I enjoyed learning what stars are what/where and to take it all in. I ended up sleeping REALLY good last night.

#19 Madratter

Madratter

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 7111
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2013

Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

I came to a realization years ago that I need to control my hobbies, I can't let my hobbies control me. They are for my relaxation and edification, not the other way around. In other words, they aren't a job and I should not let them become a job with all the attendant stress and expectations.

And for those of us who have had life threatening illnesses (in my case cancer), you have driven home that you don't necessarily have a tomorrow.

#20 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86525
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:45 AM

Excellent post!!

Some of the most enjoyable times I've had in my observatory is when I've simply sat down, leaned back & just gazed up at the beautiful night sky. Not looking for anything in particular, simply enjoying the marvelous sight.

#21 FrankJ

FrankJ

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 164
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Ohio

Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:02 AM

I came to a realization years ago that I need to control my hobbies, I can't let my hobbies control me. They are for my relaxation and edification, not the other way around. In other words, they aren't a job and I should let them become a job with all the attendant stress and expectations.

And for those of us who have had life threatening illnesses (in my case cancer), you have driven home that you don't necessarily have a tomorrow.

On the other hand, there could very well be many more tomorrows. In 1959 I had surgery and part of one lung removed for TB. In those days TB was much more serious than it is now. So far I have had 54 years of tomorrows. I'm still counting! :) :)

#22 Paco_Grande

Paco_Grande

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1594
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Free State of Arizona

Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:55 AM

We hold three things in our hands:

1. Memories of the past
2. This current moment
3. Hope for the future
As humans, we can't escape those, although most people spend most of their time on 1 and 3 and rarely at 2.

This moment is what's really important... And yet, it's not important at all. :D

#23 Wordslinger

Wordslinger

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: 25 Mar 2013
  • Loc: NJ

Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:38 AM

When I look at the night sky, I find it fascinating to think I'm observing objects that have existed long before I was born, and will continue to exist long after I'm gone...but eventually their time will also come. We're fortunate to be here to experience them.

#24 Daniel Guzas

Daniel Guzas

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 677
  • Joined: 20 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Bethlehem NH/ Boston MA

Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:04 PM

Frank,

I couldn't have said it better myself. It's the pure awe between you and this huge endless space above us that let's our busy minds finally let go and just absorb. I often feel the only other object that brings calm and peace to my mind is gazing out at a vast empty ocean.

However living in a city or at my weekend place in the mountains, that vast ocean is the universe. Accessible to all.

Awesome thread!

#25 JerryOrr

JerryOrr

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 53
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Oracle, Arizona

Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:26 PM

Excellent advice! It took me nearly 30 years to learn this lesson. For most of that time I was caught up in aperture and checking off objects on lists, but then it finally dawned on me that some of my most enjoyable observing expierences were unplanned and involved nothing more complex than my 10x50 Binos. Now I make a point of going out on some nights with no plan, no charts and just my binoculars. I just cruise around letting the sky reveal what it will, making my own personal discoveries. These nights help to keep me connected to the "ahh" in astronomy.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics