10 in. Odyssey Dob. f/4.5 26mm Meade Super Plossl 17mm & 13mm TV Plossls 8mm RKE 2.5x TV Barlow Telrad 8x50 RA finder 8x42 Binoculars Uranometria 1 & 2 "Get out of Dodge"...and go scopin'!
AL MasterObserverC #24
16" Starfinder f4.5 Dob
6" Starhopper f8 Dob
20x80 Zumell Bino's
32mm Meade Series 5000 26mm Orion Q70 18 mm Meade HD-60 12mm & 7mm Celestron X-cel
-Tristan Schwartz- Former Resident Astro-Guru, Arizona Museum of Natural History
Member of Colorado Springs Astronomical Society Look for my article "Making the Case for Structured Observing," coming to Sky & Telescope in 2014!
6" Orion DSE Dob, Coronado PST
JMI 18" f4.5 Newtonian, split ring mount 10" f4.5 Newtonian on GEM (was a DS-10 once upon a time) ST-2000XM camera
Ken Fiscus Stargazing since 1980 Now observing from a green zone. Z12 on custom mount, Atomic EQ platform, 100% flocked, OMI primary, Astrocrumb filter slide with O-III, NPB, Skyglow filters. Focuser & spider rotated 45 degrees, new springs & Bob's Knobs, Telrad & 9x50 straight finder 35 & 24 Pans, TV 13,7,5 T6s Custom Orion XT10 with piggyback XT4.5 Round Table EQ Platform
Mr. Stacy From: Seattle, WA Proud to be a Cloudy Nights Member since 9/15/02* Celestron NS11 GPS - Stellarvue Raptor 90mm APO* Vixen Ultima 8X56 - Fujinon 10X50 FMT-SX - Nikon 7X50 ProStar - Vanguard Endeavor ED 8X42 - Nikon Action Ex. 7X35More cowbell please!
Quote:Philler, I'd suggest starting a small group of your own. Not via Craigslist, but rather put your scope on the front sidewalk. You will find the people who walk up and have an interest like you. The conversations will start up, centered on astronomy....Best,Steven
Quote:As the black of night fades to shades of grey, there is less brilliance in the impossibly distant stars to capture the imagination and interest of a youth obsessed with tiny, brilliant screens that are never further than arms reach. Stacy
Modded C9.25, Vixen SP retrofitted with DS motors and Autostar My pics Stars light the world without, to give us purpose They light us within to give us reason We live in a well-lit abyss.
Quote:I long for a power outage on a clear summer night so that more eyes will be opened to the wonders of the night sky.Ajay
Quote:There was this other area about 40 miles east of there that the club held public star parties occasionally at that seemed better than the one where their observatory was located. And I had even brought my scope and helped at a public star party there once. I wasn't sure that I could just go there on my own with my scope and set up and do my own observing without permission. So I decided to call the club president. And get this: He flew into a rage and told me in so many words that it was not the purpose of the club for us to just pursue our own observing hobby, but that the club's purpose with to educate and enlighten the public. I hung up on him and was ready to never be a part of this club again.
Quote:As I said, I won't tell the name of my former club, but instead I will tell you that it's in the Kansas City area where I live. From that you could easily find out on the web the name of it along with other info on their site. At the time I was still a member, from about 1988 to 1998, it had I think about 250 to 300 members. I think now it has over 350. I don't think I ever saw even half of this 250 to 300.
Quote:I think they liked to hand out memberships to celebrities. They would get like a local TV weather forecaster to speak at a monthly meeting and give him a free membership. All past club presidents were lifetime members for free.
Quote: I heard they even wheeled poor old Clyde Tombaugh into a meeting shortly before he passed away and gave him a membership. I don't imagine he was too impressed with them.
Quote:Maybe that club president I mentioned should have scolded him about spending too much time looking for Pluto. And explained that the purpose of this club was to make sure all the Boy Scouts get to look through his scope and see the Coat Hanger, the flag on the Moon, and the Double Cluster, and not spend his time searching for another planet X. They even got David Levy to come so they could show off their club observatory and probably gave him a free membership too. They practically kissed the ground he walked on! Needless to say, I don't think Levy was impressed with their observatory or them. I'm sure they didn't dare tell him his real duty was helping at public star parties and not chasing down comets. My theory is that most of these paper members on their rolls just paid their dues or got it for free, but never got involved. But it's good advertising for the club to say, "we've got 300 plus members."
David W. Knisely . . . . . . "If you aren't having fun in this hobby, you aren't doing it right." Hyde Memorial Observatory http://www.hydeobservatory.info Prairie Astronomy Club http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Quote:I would question the assertion that our hobby is in decline.
Author of "What's Up" articles for CN Author "Touching the Universe" iUniverse Author "Deep Sky Observing" Springer Author "Nebulae and How to Observe Them" Springer 8" Celestron SCT and Vixen ED 80 on a CGEM Canon T2i camera and lenses for piggybacking
Orion xx14g Dob CPC 1100 w/Skywatcher 80ED piggybacked Coronado PST TMB 92L refractor AT Voyager mount Nexstar 6/8 mount Denk Big Easy binoviewers Oodles of eyepieces and other optical gadgets Past scopes Meade 8" reflector and 8" SCT
Quote:The demographics in the hobby are skewing older and older every year. Membership decreases every year for astronomy clubs all around the country. Fewer and fewer high schools and colleges have astronomy clubs due to lack of interest. Attendance at national star parties is decreasing each year. If that isn't a decline, I don't know what is.The Astronomical League magazine devoted two issues to the subject this year, and they're a quarterly!
George N Obsession 20 Optical Guidance Systems 10" F/9 R-C Cass 6" F/5 & 8" F/8 home-made Newts Explore Scientific 127mm ED MI-250 mount Denk II bino-viewer, with PowerX and Newt reducer, Member, International Dark-Sky Association
Quote:Quote:The demographics in the hobby are skewing older and older every year. Membership decreases every year for astronomy clubs all around the country. Fewer and fewer high schools and colleges have astronomy clubs due to lack of interest. Attendance at national star parties is decreasing each year. If that isn't a decline, I don't know what is.The Astronomical League magazine devoted two issues to the subject this year, and they're a quarterly! I am sure that magazine sales, club memberships are on the decline but I have to believe those are not representative of a decline in the hobby itself but rather a shift away from the old traditional ways. The internet has changed the way the younger generations and many of the older generation communicate, how they meet, where they meet. Club attendance is in decline because clubs themselves are in decline, not the hobbies themselves.Star Party attendance is also a problematic measure, an informal poll here on Cloudy Nights (a rather large club itself), indicated that most amateur astronomers observe by themselves or in very small groups. In the 20 plus years I have been observing representing thousands of nights out under the stars, I have attended only one actual star party that could have actually been tabulated. From what I see, the hobby is going strong, all is well. Clubs and magazines, that's a different story.Jon
Quote:Hummmmm -- I belong to a club in the Kansas City area. It has lots of members. I have no idea about the politics, living outside KC I don't attend meetings. But I do use the fantastic dark sky site, which is about 60 miles south of KC. During my time at the dark sky site and at our star parties I have never had a negative experience. All of the observers are friendly, open folks.Ed