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David Gray
sage
*****

Reged: 08/06/12

Loc: Co. Durham UK
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254063 - 12/15/13 09:32 AM

Perhaps a seasonal element at present (N. Hem. Winter): stove-huggers; lay-a-beds etc??

I have recently visited a few more forums and, not wanting to cause uproar here(!), some seem to show a degree of angst and faint-hearted-negativity/defeatism.

In particular I responded to a post: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6250044/page... about the discomfort of cold-weather , and simply giving in to it. I suggested going in and out of doors (where practical); making incremental intervals out, which has always worked for me. Then another thread appeared apparently alluding to my ‘radical’ suggestion with regard to dark-adaption: “that would kill your nite vis.” I had addressed this and a little lateral thinking/application simply deals with this for me at least. Maybe I come from another planet: but I dark adapt rapidly anyway and once achieved, if I lose it, comes back in minutes – and I’m pushing 70 now. Similarly cold-adaption develops with that in/out practice and find I can endure longer spells out after a few ins. I claim no discovery there as S&T and others have addressed these matters several times over the years – cold/dark-adaption.

Of course I am thinking of those in reasonably good health. My wife is developing T2 diabetes so I am well abreast of the hazards of sufferers getting too cold.

As a baker I worked with a guy, in his early 20s, who got the astronomy bug big time. Straight off he got an 8” Celestron SCT, then a Vixen 90mm refractor. I field-tested them both for him and they were ideal for his purposes. He used to inundate me with questions all through the shift. Often to great distraction for as shift-foreman I had certain stresses/anxieties – at risk of showing favouritism I coped (men can multi-task!).

Then as winter set in his whining about cold-discomfort escalated; and also he already had warnings about sleeping in for dayshifts. As his enthusiasm declined he asked me however did I manage to get out of bed at, say, 2 a.m. to observe on cold winter mornings. Sickened off by then I said: “Simple! I put one foot to the middle of the floor and the other has to follow!”.

He had also joined several BAA sections using me as a reference to my subsequent embarrassment. Not seen him for years but those fine scopes got little use after that I know of…..??


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Special Ed
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/03

Loc: Greenbrier Co., WV 38N, 80W
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254077 - 12/15/13 09:44 AM

I too have noticed over the years that the observing forums seem to have the lowest participation numbers (with the Solar Observing forum usually leading). Of course, when there is some phenomenon occuring like Nova Del or the much anticipated ISON, those numbers spike. Mars and Jupiter usually bring observers out, too and the best part of their current apparitions is just beginning.

There is a lot of traffic in the Beginners forum and some interesting observations posted there but those folks tend to hang back from participating in the dedicated observing forums. Perhaps they can follow the fine example that Mathias has set for them (welcome, Mathias )

It could be that people are spending their time on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. instead of here. Don't know--I haven't crossed that threshold (yet).

The various equipment forums are great if you have a question and get a lot of posters because of that. They also tend to have huge ongoing bull sessions where people discuss/argue/describe their stuff. A large fraction of amateurs seem to prefer to talk about scopes rather than what they see with them. That's understandable since astronomy equipment tends to be beautifully designed and machined. I know I love my mine--I just don't talk about it much. I think I feel a little guilty that I have such a beautiful, well equipped observatory.

Amateur astronomy is often a solitary pursuit--I feel lucky I can share my observations and compare them to those of others world-wide in almost real time thanks to the Internet. I've made a lot of friends here and I hope to make more--CN is a friendly (and educational) place.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Eric63]
      #6254078 - 12/15/13 09:45 AM

Pete, if you're on the moon and didn't invite me...

Hi, Eric, totally understand about the weather and the views. We are just emerging from 6 months of rainy season. It seems natural to be less active or even dormant focusing on other things during such times.


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: David Gray]
      #6254090 - 12/15/13 09:54 AM

I'm still here. The evenings have been very cloudy in Miami and have limited my observing of Jupiter. On the other hand, mornings have been usually nice and I have been observing the approach of Mars. I haven't posted that much because I think people would tire of reading the similar 'I think I saw brown surface features' with Mars being so small right now. But, get ready, as the 'Roman God of War' is fast approaching!

Ed D


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254092 - 12/15/13 09:55 AM

Nice comments Dave and Michael. Ive made a few friends in here, too. One iscapparently vacationing on the moon where the seeing is better. Maybe more of them went and without me. But, yea, generally a good community with its quirky group dynamics. Probably couldn't stand half of ya in person. (kidding, of course.)

Dave, next time someone bugs you for answers, refer them here. Michael, yws, jupiter is bringing a few more regulars back, thankfully. Less crickets.

Well, its late, warm, and overcast here in the south pacific. I bet the moon is clear, though.

Edited by Asbytec (12/15/13 10:21 AM)


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Special Ed]
      #6254101 - 12/15/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

I too have noticed over the years that the observing forums seem to have the lowest participation numbers (with the Solar Observing forum usually leading). Of course, when there is some phenomenon occuring like Nova Del or the much anticipated ISON, those numbers spike. Mars and Jupiter usually bring observers out, too and the best part of their current apparitions is just beginning.

There is a lot of traffic in the Beginners forum and some interesting observations posted there but those folks tend to hang back from participating in the dedicated observing forums. Perhaps they can follow the fine example that Mathias has set for them (welcome, Mathias )

It could be that people are spending their time on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. instead of here. Don't know--I haven't crossed that threshold (yet).

The various equipment forums are great if you have a question and get a lot of posters because of that. They also tend to have huge ongoing bull sessions where people discuss/argue/describe their stuff. A large fraction of amateurs seem to prefer to talk about scopes rather than what they see with them.




I've noticed these things myself and I would have guessed had I not seen it first, the observer forums and imaging forums would see the greatest amount of member traffic and telescope specific forums lagging far behind. In reality Ive got it completely backwards and the observer forums appears to languish at times while a lot of people put great time into Tekescope spec. forums.

I've learned a lot from the specific forums, but I do wish more traffic was had in the observer areas.

Pete


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Ed D]
      #6254125 - 12/15/13 10:14 AM

Ed, you're a regular. Thats off topic.

Glad you are still here, get clear soon. Tonight got that unscratcheable urge to see whats going on with Jupiter, but clouded out, too. So, this topic came up.

Okay thats a a handfull of us.

Pete, yea, I am shocked and pleased when some of the equip and imaging forum regulars poke their heads down here in the observing basement. They're doing what they love and we check on them. But remember Jason's classic Io thread right here in this forum? Great stuff and far too rare.

Edited by Asbytec (12/15/13 10:34 AM)


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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254154 - 12/15/13 10:29 AM

Quote:

Brooks, sure there are fewer folks as you approach the "top" tier, I guess for lack of a better term, doing what might be deemed progressive work in our field. Maybe many don't post in social networking. Maybe some of their research is more appropriate for official publication and not so much up for peer debate. Whatever reason.

Still the tens of thousands that enjoy this hobby on every level, from a quick look at the Pleiades with the naked eye to more serious double star or planetary work, for fun or even for scientific gain, can take or leave the option of mingling with like minded folks online. Maybe many people, as I do, prefer personal contact and avoid most social networking. I observe online, but I do not play pool nor meet people (like dating ) online.




Don't misunderstand me; I'm not measuring anybody by my level of involvement in the hobby. My observation is not in any way intended as any sort or criticism, only an example of the actual state of things. Over the years I've briefly belonged to several local/regional clubs. When I'd ask around I would discover that the typical hobbyist was getting out often no more than once every other month, sometimes even less frequently! They would profess interest, yet fail to take advantage of clear nights over and over again. I honestly cannot think of another hobby where such dormancy in pursuing the hobby's supposed objective is considered the norm, or even how any real enthusiasm can be maintained at such a sluggish pace.

My comments were offered simply because I don't think the average hobbyist realizes just how infrequently a great many fellow hobbyists are hands-on practicing their supposed interest in astronomy.

BrooksObs


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #6254178 - 12/15/13 10:39 AM

Obs, sure. No worries, I understand your intent and concern for being understood in context. I think others do as well. Your take is appreciated. My work is sheer enjoyment, others vary in motivation and preferences for reasons that are their own. How many of us have *BLEEP* away a clear night, been grumpy, or taken long periods from whatever observing activities. Your chatting with one whose done all that. Maybe our hobby is more like skiing than golf with the round of a lifetime being played out during a severe thunderstorm. And folks drink beer in the club house tallying scores and recounting the day.

Edited by Asbytec (12/15/13 10:57 AM)


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254213 - 12/15/13 10:57 AM

Here are some random thoughts on the subject:

Right now participation in the observing forums are probably low because many are busy with seasonal gifting and holiday preparations. Likewise, the beginners forum probably has more activity with people interested in gifting telescopes but not knowing much about it.

The observing forums are pretty far down on the list and people may just look at the forums closer to the top of the list, interest waning as they progress through the list of forums. Would there be more traffic if the observing forums were at the top of the list? Hmmm.....

I think most people have an interest in satisfying their curiosity and purchase a telescope only to use it a few times and then relegate it to a closet corner. Tony Flanders recently brought this point up in another forum/post. Also, I don't believe it's limited to cheap or inexpensive scopes from some of the posts I have read.

I believe that most of us participating in the observing/imaging/sketching forums are the ones that are deep into one or more facets of science that astronomy and observing play only one part of. Likewise, when we pick up a new 'member' of these forums it is probably one with similar budding interest.

Weather patterns have a big influence on the activities and habits of most (if not all) life on this planet, including human activities such as war, construction, or observing the night sky. (I had my planetary Dob ready to observe Mars this morning, but Mother Nature decided I should sleep in.)

Well, another random thought just hit me: I'm hungry! Breakfast is long overdue.

Ed D


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Ed D]
      #6254227 - 12/15/13 11:01 AM

Then why aren't more Intes 8" Maks up for resale? Heres another randon thought. Sleep! Good night.

Well, after this. Yea, good point on scrolling. How nany of us often scroll down to off topic, gardening, or space rocks? I usually stop scrolling right here and felt more comfortable in the beginners forum a few years ago. Thats with decades of experience.

Edited by Asbytec (12/15/13 11:08 AM)


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David Gray
sage
*****

Reged: 08/06/12

Loc: Co. Durham UK
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254244 - 12/15/13 11:07 AM

Quote:

Dave, next time someone bugs you for answers, refer them here.




Norme most of the questions I get these days are about some NEO media drivel, moon conspiracy, face /pyramids on Mars etc. etc. In particular from one of my wife's brothers. He gets chronic anxiety re. any 'threatening' NEO's, and seems to earnestly want to believe the others. After he leaves it's: (Me!)

Dave.


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: David Gray]
      #6254251 - 12/15/13 11:09 AM

Hmmmm. You tube, then? How many people think you're an astrologer?

Edited by Asbytec (12/15/13 11:12 AM)


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David Gray
sage
*****

Reged: 08/06/12

Loc: Co. Durham UK
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254291 - 12/15/13 11:24 AM

Quote:

Hmmmm. You tube, then? How many people think you're an astrologer?




The answer lies in the stars!


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Nerotheroman
member


Reged: 03/02/13

Loc: Germany
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Asbytec]
      #6254333 - 12/15/13 11:42 AM

Thanks for welcomming me Michael

It's pretty interesting to follow this discussion.

Here is something I observed on German
astronomy platforms.

In my opinion we have 3 different types
of forums here.
The first one is quite technical
and has the same amount more or less
over the course of a year.

The second one is a mixed one.
Here you can see lots of people posting
about there observations during the summer and on special occasions like ISON for
example.
During winter there are less people,
because the weather is just ... in 90% of the cases and people prefer to go to the first forum to talk about their gear.

The last platform isn't a single platform.
It's a group of regional forums in which
the participation of the people is strong
through the whole year.

I think that's because of two simple things:

First people know each other personally, which lets them post easier ( yes many people are shy ).
And second their observation reports
aren't to scientifical, it's more about
the atmosphere of the moment.
To share your what you have seen AND what
you have felt.

Maybe it is similar in the states?


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nirvanix
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Saskatoon, SK
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Nerotheroman]
      #6254368 - 12/15/13 12:03 PM

Hi Mathias, I don't think I fit in any of your categories! Although I have two university degrees in physics, I have no interest in making an effort to contribute to astronomical research unless that contribution fell into my lap. I just love to feed my soul with the beauty and wonder of the heavens, and I enjoy playing around with optics so I do hang out in the gear forums too.

As for cold weather - if I can overcome it surely anyone can. I used to abhor the cold but living where I live I had no choice but to deal. If I may be allowed to pat myself on the back at your expense, last winter I spent two uninterrupted hours at the eyepiece in -30C. There are two simple rules to follow in dealing with it:

1) wear the right gear
2) put it out of your mind - don't think about it and before you know it you've spent two hours stargazing and you weren't feeling the cold.

PS - I wish our neighbor Mars would come around more often - we love his company. It's been about 3 years hasn't it since we had a good visit?

Edited by nirvanix (12/15/13 12:06 PM)


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Nerotheroman
member


Reged: 03/02/13

Loc: Germany
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: nirvanix]
      #6254397 - 12/15/13 12:22 PM

Well maybe scientific wasn't the right word.
I ment some people talk about a galaxy this way:
"It is very faint, close to a variable star and 9000 light years away from earth."

And some people report like this:

"Yesterday I saw this wonderful galaxy. It was amazing
even it was quite faint. I'd say it looked like a soup bowl.
When I thought about how long the light travelled till it reached my eye I felt really small.."

I myself prefer to write and read the "non scientific" way.
And most of the time this is how people here write in regional
forums.

I share your opinion about the weather!
There is no bad weahter, just wrong clothing

Sorry if my English leads to a misunderstanding sometimes.

P.S. Yep I miss Mars he is beautiful!
Time for him to come closer.

Edited by Nerotheroman (12/15/13 12:25 PM)


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kcb
super member


Reged: 07/18/13

Loc: georgian bay,ontario
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: Nerotheroman]
      #6254675 - 12/15/13 03:27 PM

hi,
where is everybody,well most of us still have to work and work and work, when i am not doing that i am observing when clear with any of my many scopes,personally i am not a computer geek and i spend all my leisure times observing the moon planets double stars ,tracking asteroids,deep sky,aurora,,solar white light and hydrogen alpha,i love to observe,i want to see with my own eyes,i like being like the ancient astronomers and just observing and not just that but we have better telesopes and accessories than they did,but hats off to ancient astronomers as the history of astronomy and observations with eye and telescope is the real deal,kevin


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nirvanix
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Saskatoon, SK
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: kcb]
      #6254834 - 12/15/13 05:02 PM

That's great Kevin, glad you're enjoying all your scopes. If you can spare the time, getting on CN to give some enthusiastic reports about your observations can only benefit this hobby! I too am a strictly visual observer - I love that immediate and direct connection with the sky.

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ohioalfa64
sage


Reged: 08/16/12

Loc: Ohio (NW)
Re: Where is Everybody? new [Re: kcb]
      #6254850 - 12/15/13 05:13 PM

Most observers have daytime employment. It helps pay the bills for astronomy gear and living expenses. Observation time is squeezed between sundown, bedtime, and leaving again for work in the morning. Winter weather does kill interest. We got 7" of snow yesterday. I am not as good as Canadians at ignoring extreme cold. When it's cold, I feel cold.

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