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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: SpaceOtter]
      #5493130 - 10/28/12 01:31 PM

1 - learning exotic & mythological star names and constellations from dad the former air-sea navigator starting maybe 2nd grade

2 - one aspect to keep in the hobby is to do what you can (eyeball, binocular, telescope, image, etc. may all fit schedule and location at different work-life situtations)and another is to do something new (learn the Lunar 100 or other new observing target, do a new activity like outreach or IDA)

3- scaled back to binocular / eyeball looks in grad school, and later moves to light pollution and poor weather locations.

4 - open ended nature of hobby. Lately, only occasional scope use and outreach, lots of binocular quick looks, walks with kids to darkest pockets in neighborhood, early morning previews of coming seasons. Living in SW USA means dark skies are a wonderful aspect of almost every camping trip.

good questions! interesting answers too!


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: SpaceOtter]
      #5493135 - 10/28/12 01:37 PM

If you thought the TV series was good, (and it was), taking that course in college was one of the best classes I ever took.

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Grandpa Jim
old fogey
*****

Reged: 08/04/12

Loc: GREAT AMERICAN DESERT
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5493173 - 10/28/12 02:18 PM

I was "drawn to the hobby" towards the end of my life because I have always liked the outdoors, and very often at night found myself looking up.........plus, I tend to be a bit of a loner, so me, a telescope, and the sky seemed like the perfect thing. I also want to introduce my grandson (7, soon 8) to some of the wonders of the night sky.
I have "considered leaving the hobby" for several reasons........first among them is that this turned out to be a LOT more expensive than I originally thought. It seems like there is *always* someplace to drop several hundred dollars
Secondly, although I have met a few nice folks here willing to share advice and help...........there seems to me to be a level of snobbery in this hobby, with a "mine is bigger than yours" mentality. (I ran into that at the local club as well, couldn't be bothered to help the "newb" - which is where I may have got off on the wrong foot, so I keep trying).
*Many* times, I have posted questions here, and although I did get a fair amount of help, I also! got many instances where my questions went unanswered.
I ask questions (some dumb, I'm sure), so that I don't have to make expensive mistakes and it aggravates me when I get no answer, and THEN I see a similar post to mine get answered by several (???). I'm old enough to have left "High School" behind long ago, and I don't like the behavior...............

Edited by Jim Jeffries (10/28/12 02:30 PM)


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: Grandpa Jim]
      #5493240 - 10/28/12 03:25 PM

I'm 57 and began enjoying this hobby only a few months ago. I've always enjoyed the sky but didn't look up all that often; light pollution will do that. A couple of years ago I was dating this beautiful woman from Ukraine, she's a bio-chemist and scary smart. We used to hang at night time and look at the stars. It was awesome. (Note to self: never date a Ukrainian/Russian again, remember how crazy they are!)

Anyway, I stumbled across Brian Cox on Youtube and that was that. Bought an Orion 90mm Mak, looked at Saturn, and was hooked.

I suppose my interest may wax and wane, which is fine. You know, it tends to wane as the moon waxes and, um, never mind.


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The Ardent
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5493284 - 10/28/12 03:53 PM

1. Popular influences from the late 1970's Movies: Star Wars, Close Encounters. TV: Battlestar Galactica, Project UFO, Cosmos. Carl Sagan sealed the deal.

2. Some really have a genuine interest, some dont. Those of us who are truly into astronomy often find time to help others.

3. Age 16-26 there are better things to do on weekends.

4. Comet Hyakatuke and Hale-Bopp

Jay, there is more detail on the moon than in the deep sky sometimes. (not trying to start a debate, just something Ive discovered on my own) Dont wait for the new moon, make the most of what you have.


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Glen A W
sage


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: Grandpa Jim]
      #5493337 - 10/28/12 04:32 PM

Quote:


I have "considered leaving the hobby" for several reasons........first among them is that this turned out to be a LOT more expensive than I originally thought. It seems like there is *always* someplace to drop several hundred dollars
Secondly, although I have met a few nice folks here willing to share advice and help...........there seems to me to be a level of snobbery in this hobby, with a "mine is bigger than yours" mentality. (I ran into that at the local club as well, couldn't be bothered to help the "newb" - which is where I may have got off on the wrong foot, so I keep trying).
*Many* times, I have posted questions here, and although I did get a fair amount of help, I also! got many instances where my questions went unanswered.





Just don't worry about all that. I have been involved in this since 1989. You have to make it, and keep it, your own. There is a lot of snobbery and there is a lot of focus on equipment instead of the sky. Make it your own, enjoy it on your terms, and you will never tire of it! GW


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5493395 - 10/28/12 05:17 PM

My father and grandfather taught me the constellations as a very small boy. I've been hooked ever since. Got my first telescope in 1967 (3" reflector). Scopes and binos have come and gone, but I don't really feel I've ever 'left' the hobby.

I think folks leave this hobby for the same reasons they leave other hobbies.


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Grandpa Jim
old fogey
*****

Reged: 08/04/12

Loc: GREAT AMERICAN DESERT
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5493411 - 10/28/12 05:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I have "considered leaving the hobby" for several reasons........first among them is that this turned out to be a LOT more expensive than I originally thought. It seems like there is *always* someplace to drop several hundred dollars
Secondly, although I have met a few nice folks here willing to share advice and help...........there seems to me to be a level of snobbery in this hobby, with a "mine is bigger than yours" mentality. (I ran into that at the local club as well, couldn't be bothered to help the "newb" - which is where I may have got off on the wrong foot, so I keep trying).
*Many* times, I have posted questions here, and although I did get a fair amount of help, I also! got many instances where my questions went unanswered.





Just don't worry about all that. I have been involved in this since 1989. You have to make it, and keep it, your own. There is a lot of snobbery and there is a lot of focus on equipment instead of the sky. Make it your own, enjoy it on your terms, and you will never tire of it! GW




Yep........that's pretty much the decision I finally made for myself as well. I will find help where I can, enjoy the good people I meet, and ignore the rest of it.


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BillFerris
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5493503 - 10/28/12 06:36 PM

Quote:

I think there are many reasons for many of us to have gotten into the hobby. I guess with this post I am asking 4 things.

1. What drew you to the hobby?




As a young boy, I was drawn to observing the Moon and planets to feed a desire to know that sense of exploration and discovery. As an adult, that attraction remained, and was enhanced by my enjoyment of being outdoors in nature and by the creative opportunities observing offered. Observing was a calming activity that allowed me to escape the pressures of work and life. Sketching my observations provided a creative outlet.

Quote:

2. What keeps some in the hobby long term and why do others quit?




I don't know, it'll be interesting to read the replies to this survey.

Quote:

3. If you've quit the hobby for a significant amount of time why did you leave?




My interest in science and astronomy has continued but my active involvement in observing has waxed and waned. There have been two extended periods during which I was not an active observer. My first extended break from active observing occurred during the decade spanning my early-20's to early-30's. I was focused on finishing school and starting a career. Money was tight, and any "free" time was heavily invested in building relationships with co-workers and, ultimately, my future wife.

My second extended break from active observing began about 5-years ago and is ongoing. My son was born in 2000. Over the next several years, my body clock adjusted to accommodate a toddler's schedule. The all-nighters I used to pull with the telescope became late nights rocking my son to sleep, and early mornings getting him fed and ready for school. I also re-discovered an old activity that offered new challenges. Growing up in northern California, summer vacations typically involved backpacking or canoeing in wilderness areas with my family. In 2006, I started hiking and backpacking in Grand Canyon. This activity has largely replaced visual observing at the center of my recreational interests.

Quote:

4. What drew you back to the hobby?




My return to active visual observing in the early 1990's coincided with the early heyday of Hubble Space Telescope. My fiance gave me a 4 1/2 inch reflector as a birthday/Christmas gift in 1992. In March 1994, I purchased a 10-inch Meade Starfinder Equatorial and spent the next eleven years actively exploring the heavens. Though I'm not an active telescopic observer, I often carry mini-binoculars when backpacking and will use them at night to seek out old friends amongst the stars.

Bill in Flag


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5493575 - 10/28/12 07:29 PM

Just been cogitating a bit...
A few people have brought up the expense of this hobby for reasons of leaving it, or the unpleasantness of snobbery. The snobbery concerning the expense of equipment can sometimes definitely exist, in this and many other hobbies. However, you can spend as much or as little as you want on this hobby. One can go for building the largest telescope in the world, (EX$PENSIVE!) or one can enjoy delving deeper and deeper into the naked eye aspects of the constellations, asterisms, Milky Way structure, etc, for absolutely nothing. (FREE) In between, carefully chosen pawn shop binoculars and such can add considerably to what one can see with very little expense.
Few pursuits can be more expensive, or as close to free, as amateur astronomy.
Marty


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5493593 - 10/28/12 07:40 PM

My dad had a 8" scope. I seen quite a few sites looking through that scope. But, I was in my last year of high school. I was playing guitar in a band and chasing girls. I remember one night he woke me up real early in the morning. He said, your gonna want to see this. So I got up and said what's going on? He said get dressed and dress warm. Then we "the family" went outside. Wow, comet West, I can still see that comet in my mind. But, years went by...job and family. Then one year I decided I was going to buy a scope. It's the B&L 4000. Mainly I just looked on a clear night when I knew a planet was up there. Sometimes I don't view, sometimes I do. In Florida, sometimes it just feels way to hot and humid. Right now is when my interest starts to peak and I pull out the ol' B&L and start viewing. I'll never quit, I just take breaks from time to time.

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AdirondackAstro
sage
*****

Reged: 06/06/11

Loc: Plattsburgh, NY
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: bumm]
      #5493615 - 10/28/12 08:01 PM

I got into the hobby almost 2 years ago when my girlfriend bought me a telescope for Christmas because I had mentioned to her once that I wish I had a way to view the moon better than just with the naked eye, and the cameras zoom function wasn't cutting it. Ever since then I have been very addicted to the hobby.

Not once have I thought about leaving this hobby. There are times when it's clear that I'll pass up going out, but there is always regret the next day when it's cloudy. I don't see myself exiting this hobby, especially not in the near future. The only thing that would keep me from progressing further is my lack of money, but I do pretty damn good for someone with almost zero dollars to spend on the hobby.

The online astronomy community here, other astronomy forums, twitter, and google+ have kept me extremely interested in the hobby. There doesn't seem to be a day that's gone by in these two years that I haven't thought about or done something to do with astronomy whether it's editing images, reading about the latest astronomy news, or even just something as simple as looking up on a clear night as I walk to my car, or as I walk into work on a winter morning.

This is such a vast hobby that I can't see it getting old. I enjoy sketching what I see through the eyepiece, and doing long exposure photography. Seems just these two things alone will keep me busy until I'm too old to stand at an eyepiece. Even if I cover all the Messier objects I can move to IC and NGC objects, you also have the Moon and Sun to keep you occupied. There is always something more you can do with to sketches or photographs, and if you feel you have ran out of objects you can just get a larger scope, and it's almost like the old objects are brand new again... at least that's how I felt jumping from a 114mm to a 150mm. I can just imagine jumping up 4 more inches of aperture.

The other night I didn't feel much like going out; I didn't have my cameras charged, camera card cleared off, and just didn't feel like dragging the scope out because the moon was too bright for DSO observing. I did drag it out when my girlfriends daughter and her friend started asking me questions about astronomy. Brought the scope out, aimed at the moon, aimed at Andromeda, and even pointed out constellations with my green laser pointer. Spent about an hour and a half out there with them, and they both got to see their very first meteor, very bright and very slow with a nice vapor trail behind it. Definitely gave me the urge to continue on with astronomy for the night.


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Robert70
sage


Reged: 02/11/11

Loc: The Garden State: NJ
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: AdirondackAstro]
      #5493624 - 10/28/12 08:05 PM

1. Christmas present etx70at
4. Cloudy Nights and ES EP's


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joseph07081
sage


Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Chippewa, PA
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5493632 - 10/28/12 08:11 PM

Quote:



1. What drew you to the hobby?

For me it was definitely the space race. I grew up during the 60's and I was an avid follower of the space program.


2. What keeps some in the hobby long term and why do others quit?

I think you will find this happens in many hobbies. Someone is exposed to something new, they think "this is cool" and take off with it, then as time goes by their interest wanes and they move onto the next "cool" hobby.

3. If you've quit the hobby for a significant amount of time why did you leave?

Usually the reason I step away is because of time or financial constraints. I am always looking up at the sky, but my active participation is subject to that little thing called "life". The past few years I have been focused on my wife's cancer and something like that can take a huge toll on time and energy.

4. What drew you back to the hobby?

I have always managed to sneak back into the hobby. This site and more specifically this forum often sparks my interest. While there may not be sufficient time for me to get outside and observe, I can still take some time and read about all of the exciting happenings in the universe on Cloudy Nights.

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FordGalaxy
member


Reged: 07/06/11

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5493665 - 10/28/12 08:29 PM

1. Went outside, looked up.
2. My lack of committment, and willingness to alot astronomy to times when it's optimal, rather than obsessing over cloudy nights or fretting over poor weather with astronomy as a nearly sole hobby.
3. I'm never fully "in" this hobby, but I bounce back in from time to time. I walk outside at night quite a bit (feed the chickens,etc), and if it's a nice night-out I go starwatching.
4. The venus transit made me realize that I hadn't replaced an old scope that I had given to a friend's kids, and that I missed observing with something a bit better than cheap porro prism binoculars or an old russian spotting scope.

My advice is to get a great daytime hobby, and a great indoors only hobby. Rotate your time amongst them as time permits. Don't get so tied to a hobby that you obsess over it day and night, but don't forget about it so long that you lose touch with current trends in it.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5493669 - 10/28/12 08:32 PM

When I was two, living in Minnewaukan, N. Dak, my grandmother took me outside and pointed up at her Mag 7 skies. I was struck with awe and their beauty. When I was about 10, a friend took me to Ruth, Nevada--about 7 miles from Ely. A doctor friend had a 3.5 inch Questar. He pointed it at the moon, and I was startled with the detail I saw. I still consider the moon a friend, not an enemy of the night sky. I have been looking up for 67 years. Astronomy is the only hobby that has remained with me throughout my life. Over the years, I got into photography, hunting, a variety of sports and many other hobbies. They all went away. Astronomy did not. Astronomy gave me continuity in my life. My life's dreams always had astronomy as part of them, and my life's disappointments were often softened by the beauty of the night sky.

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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? [Re: GeneT]
      #5493704 - 10/28/12 09:03 PM

Very well said, GeneT.

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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5493803 - 10/28/12 10:14 PM

1.A TV show not that long ago(The sky at night).

2.Probably light pollution and lack of time.


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Gary Riley
sage


Reged: 12/01/11

Loc: White Bluff, TN
Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? [Re: bumm]
      #5493814 - 10/28/12 10:22 PM

I became interested in Astronomy as a teenager during the Apollo Moon missions. My first telescope was a Jason 60mm refractor my parents got me one Christmas. I used that little 40X scope for a few years until I graduated high school.

I waned from the hobby for many years after getting married, raising a family, work and other responsibilities. Got back into the hobby a few years ago after my daughter and son-in-law gave me a Meade 70mm refractor one Christmas. This re-ignited my passion for stargazing again. Later on I purchased a 12 inch dob and several months ago purchased a Celestron 4 inch refractor.

I still have times of ebb and flow with the hobby but I still stay connected with it regularly and try to observe a few nights each month as time and the weather will allow. This hobby has taught me many amazing things about our universe. It also gives me a sense of peace and wonder each time I view a distant object thru an eyepiece. I hope I never outgrow that!

Clear and starry skies everyone!
Gary

Edited by Gary Riley (10/28/12 10:28 PM)


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Dave Hederich
sage


Reged: 09/12/07

Re: Why do People Stay or Leave the Hobby? [Re: Gary Riley]
      #5493869 - 10/28/12 11:11 PM

1. What drew me into the hobby was a fascination of looking up at the night skies and seeing the moon, planets and stars as a little kid, becoming attracted to science fiction stories, and then my parents buying me a "40mm, 40X" Tasco telescope in 1955 at age 10.

2. What's kept me in the hobby on and off is that I keep going back to my original childhood fascination with the universe beyond planet Earth.

3. I've quit and returned several times for various reasons, mainly work-related, that didn't leave me much time for hobbies, and I've been attracted to many different hobbies over the years.

4. What drew me back the most recent time is that I've finally retired from a full-time job and I no longer have any excuses for not going back to my first true love!


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