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The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby

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#1 C_Moon

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:05 PM

I think for many a hobby is an escape -- from the stressful, the boring, the unhealthy, ... you name it.

What do you do when your hobby is so affected by weather? It's hard to observe when the weather doesn't cooperate. And boy, it really needs to cooperate if astronomy is your main hobby! I mean, we're not just talking about rainy days & nights. No, even weather that is beautiful in the eyes of the masses, is often dismissed by us due to murky, hazy, and frequently choppy skies. :p

So what do you do when you want (need) to escape to the stars with your scope, your binoculars, or maybe just laying on a blanket looking up, but mother nature is not cooperating? It seems like such a restrictive hobby, but maybe I have been jaded by a particularly lousy spring (observing-wise, that is).

I suppose like many I substitute reading, planning observing sessions, mod-ing my scope, etc, but it's getting old. I just want to do some observing!

#2 csa/montana

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

I don't use Astronomy as an escape; rather to me it's just a very enjoyable hobby. When I can't observe, I find plenty here on CN, and my many books to keep my interest at a very high peak, until I can get out & enjoy the night skies again.

#3 C_Moon

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:19 PM

I don't use Astronomy as an escape; rather to me it's just a very enjoyable hobby. When I can't observe, I find plenty here on CN, and my many books to keep my interest at a very high peak, until I can get out & enjoy the night skies again.


Well, fortunately I don't have trouble keeping my interest high.

I just think of the woodworker who can shuffle off to his workshop after a frustrating day. For me, all troubles melt away under a clear dark sky (or even a clear, moonlit one). Wouldn't it be nice if star therapy was available "on-demand"?

#4 Mike B

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:30 PM

Hi Paul-

I share your pain. Yeah, there's always stuff to "do" when the sky is fubar- hence the name of our beloved website: "Cloudy Nights". But sometimes getting my personal & work schedule to align with the weather's patterns can be maddening! :foreheadslap:

I dunno... maybe we'll just buy more eyepieces when we can't observe. The sheer weight of glass in our EP case will create a gravitational vortex, clearing the skies over our yards.
:help:

#5 csa/montana

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:35 PM

I dunno... maybe we'll just buy more eyepieces when we can't observe. The sheer weight of glass in our EP case will create a gravitational vortex, clearing the skies over our yards.



:roflmao:

#6 linux

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 11:45 PM

When I want to observe but can't, I try and read about Astronomy, cosmology, astrophysics, star hopping, etc etc. So much to learn...

Occasionally I'll order another eyepiece :)

#7 kfiscus

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:13 AM

When I can't hunt down faint fuzzies, I hunt down the next great deal on astrostuff I have on my wish list.

#8 Asbytec

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:15 AM

For me, it's simple...astronomy totally dominates the tropical dry season: observing, study, optics, reading, cloudy nights and other forums. Astronomy, girlfriend and telescopes (and girlfriend) consume me night and day. But, yes, it's enjoyment, something to sink teeth into and drop your jaw while observing.

During the rainy season, it's endulgement of my other hobby: economics, study, debating, blogging, investment, (avoiding politics), etc. Same intensity, same girlfriend.

#9 mich_al

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:27 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if star therapy was available "on-demand"?


Isn't that what this place is?

#10 FJA

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:02 AM

I think for many a hobby is an escape -- from the stressful, the boring, the unhealthy, ... you name it.

What do you do when your hobby is so affected by weather? It's hard to observe when the weather doesn't cooperate. And boy, it really needs to cooperate if astronomy is your main hobby! I mean, we're not just talking about rainy days & nights. No, even weather that is beautiful in the eyes of the masses, is often dismissed by us due to murky, hazy, and frequently choppy skies. :p

So what do you do when you want (need) to escape to the stars with your scope, your binoculars, or maybe just laying on a blanket looking up, but mother nature is not cooperating? It seems like such a restrictive hobby, but maybe I have been jaded by a particularly lousy spring (observing-wise, that is).

I suppose like many I substitute reading, planning observing sessions, mod-ing my scope, etc, but it's getting old. I just want to do some observing!


I get annoyed and it is frustrating but I've got other interests, such as photography and birdwatching.

#11 Ed D

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:41 AM

Without realizing it, I became a lunar and planetary observer over two years ago because of the very heavy LP where I live, as well as the humid/rainy tropical climate. Now the LP doesn't really bother me, neither do the 'murky, hazy, and frequently choppy skies'. Life threw lemons at me, so I made really good lemonade out of it. It's what works for me.

Ed D

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:50 AM

"What do you do when your hobby is so affected by weather? It's hard to observe when the weather doesn't cooperate. And boy, it really needs to cooperate if astronomy is your main hobby!"

You retire, load up the belongings, and move to someplace cheap, warm and dry most of the year, of course. :grin:

- Jim

#13 Mxplx2

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:53 AM

That’s what I have found being new to this, that viewing time is heavily controlled by season and weather. But most of my hobbies are too, so astronomy is just “one of” and not ‘the” hobby.

#14 bumm

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:03 AM

For me, astronomy IS something of an escape from the stresses of my job, etc. My job can be a stressful one, and I keep it separate from my hobbies... (I didn't enter in to the "what do you do for a living?" thread for just that reason.)
It CAN be frustrating when the weather, DST, etc, doesn't cooperate with observing urges... Last night, I wanted to run out and catch a peek at PANSTARRS climbing up above Cepheus, but it was CLOUDY, and now the moon is waxing. However, I have other interests and hobbies that I actually spend more time with than I do astronomy. Astronomy is what MATTERS though, and definitely the most therapeutic. I spend a few minutes outside most every night, even if it's cloudy. Just casually contemplating the universe, so vast, ancient, and beautiful, and so much larger than day to day earthly problems, helps put things into perspective.
Marty

#15 mountain monk

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:53 AM

For me, astronomy is one just one hobby of many, one way of looking at, being in, connected to, the natural world. I also paint--landscapes in summer, veggies in winter. I fish when I can--April, then zip during runoff, then again in later summer and autumn. I watch birds and animals--two days ago we watched a large female grizzly--Blondie--for an hour, several days before that a huge boar grizzly, 750#; there are always new birds--our ospreys are back, etc. I read way too much--a new biography of Cezanne, new novels by Le Carre and James Salter, a splendid book by Wade Davis--"Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest. I meditate a lot. And I write--but that is definitely work, hard work. I am never bored. When the sky is clear I look at the sky with both scopes. And, of course, I check CN several times a day! It helps that I am retired.

"I can't get all the honey into my jar." Winnie-the-Pooh

At 71, that seems to be the problem, not cloudy skies, though, like everyone else, I whine a lot about them. Now I'm preparing to whine about smoke.

Dark skies.

Jack

#16 Kon Dealer

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

My wife yhinks I'm nuts.
You have two hobbies, she tells me, both weather dependent.

One is astronomy, the other is a 50 year old Jaguar car.

It doesn't like clouds and rain either :grin:

#17 jeff heck

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:30 AM

"What do you do when your hobby is so affected by weather? It's hard to observe when the weather doesn't cooperate. And boy, it really needs to cooperate if astronomy is your main hobby!"

You retire, load up the belongings, and move to someplace cheap, warm and dry most of the year, of course. :grin:

- Jim

I'm with you, Jim. My five year plan involves finding the perfect dark sky place with 300+ clear nights, scenic non-traveled roads for cycling and access to a few nice lakes for bass and trout fishing. :praying:

#18 Red Shift

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:46 PM

A shortcoming ?

How about this.....
We are currently NOT able to actually visit the beautiful places that we constantly look at.

Akin to pouring over travel brochures or magazines about exotic places and absolutely not having the funds to travel.

#19 Stargazer3236

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:17 PM

I enjoy my hobby of astronomy immensely. It is not stress relief, it is a hobby. I look forward to clear nights of observing. When I am not observing, I panic. I want to be out under clear skies, light polluted or not. When I observe in front of my con do, it is impossible to look for anything because of the bad light pollution, so I look at Saturn or Jupiter. I recently put degree circles on my dob, to help me find objects in the sky (not that I canno0t find them without the circles), but the light pollution is so great, I have lights on all sides of me. Anyways, the circles provide me with objects that you can see from a terribly light polluted site. When not observing, I am making plans to buy new equipment, mod my scope or make improvements. I look forward to using mew accessories on my scope or coming up with something new when I am not observing. It is pure joy, not stress relief.

#20 David Pavlich

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:18 PM

You can own your own business and spend a lot of your free time there. That's what I do. :grin:

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#21 C_Moon

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:54 PM

It is pure joy, not stress relief.


Aren't they one in the same?

#22 philrod

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:50 PM

fire up the laptop & go to Cloudy nights or SkyTools or The Sky or Stellarium. Not necessarily in that order.

Phil

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#23 GeneT

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:16 PM

What do you do when your hobby is so affected by weather?


We are a ship of fools. Cloudy weather, the jet stream, a full moon, too hot, or too cold--all things that can ruin a night of good seeing. However, for me, what it is all about is that night of good seeing that comes along once in awhile. Through my telescope, the universe connects with my imagination and takes me to places that I can can only dream about. When those nights occur, it is all worth while.

#24 Feidb

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

Astronomy has been a lifelong passion. It's always close by regardless of the weather. Since my other hobbies include writing, I keep busy writing articles about astronomy for my web site, or editing the Observer's Challenge for the Las Vegas Astronomical Society when I'm not working on one of my novels. I also woodwork, garden, play and listen to music, and of course, write about those subjects.

Living in Las Vegas, I get my share of viewing nights, but sometimes, not as many as one might think. Astronomy is still at hand, especially since I'm sekiterry of the club and the AL coordinator.

The are no shortcomings of this hobby unless you make them shortcomings. The only issues I've ever run across are some of the people, and very few of them. As long as I avoid those people, which I do and have, this has been the greatest for me.

#25 csrlice12

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

Old man screams at clouds!






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