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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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korborh
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: dan_h]
      #5644733 - 01/26/13 05:03 PM

Quote:

Outreach is not for everyone. Some folks have really hectic lives and time at the eyepiece is precious. Others simply prefer solitude, quiet, and time to reflect for themselves. I don't know of any other hobby that demands outreach as a condition of participation. Why does astronomy but not woodworking, gardening, butterfly collecting, fishing or any other liesure time activity?
dan




Well said. For me, Astronomy is very personal and I like to image/observe alone. Outreach is not my thing.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: korborh]
      #5644779 - 01/26/13 05:26 PM

While parents may see $500 doable the time the kids can spend with the scope (vs tablet) is quite low. There is a learning curve which parents may be capable of helping with and the quality of the cheaper walmart type scopes turn parents off. While there is some young people picking up the mantle I am afraid tthere are more of us ole geezers droping out. I think as the quality of the new self aligning goto scopes improves and the costs decrease there will be more interest.

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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Stew57]
      #5644818 - 01/26/13 05:55 PM

I buried this question in one of my posts above, but maybe someone here knows the answer...

Are telescope sales in the US at an all time low? Per unit? How about worldwide.

I'm thinking its going to be hard to quantify "interest" in astronomy. Even then everyone may disagree on what kind of numbers it would take to be considered a resurgence. Is it creating professional astronomers? Selling more telescopes? Or just creating general interest?

It's still a niche hobby. Your club meeting isn't going to get better ratings then any garbage TV. So it may just be a matter of expectations.


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5644841 - 01/26/13 06:12 PM

I also agree that one of the draws to astronomy and imaging can be the alone time. There are many times I wished I didn't have to have conversations while I'm drift aligning. I can appreciate that.

But if you are seriously worried about the decline of astronomy, then maybe that should be the motivation to do outreach.

Either way, its not for everyone. But good thing for those who are doing it. They are planting the seeds as someone suggested above.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5644891 - 01/26/13 06:43 PM

Quote:

Are telescope sales in the US at an all time low? Per unit? How about worldwide.




I don't think that there is any good way to gauge this, but my bet would be that it is average to high at this point rather than an all time low. You have to figure in the economy and things like that, and there is no Haley's comet right now, but overall, at least based on my business I think that the industry is surprisingly OK considering the economy. I think, and hope, that it can get better, but it is not likely at an all time low.


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John Kuraoka
sage
*****

Reged: 12/12/12

Loc: Sunny San Diego, CA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: EFT]
      #5645032 - 01/26/13 08:01 PM

A lot of factors have to align - or be actively aligned - to reach out to youngsters.

For instance, my son's elementary school has very well-attended star parties about twice a year, put on by a local club. So, yes, it takes club members willing to do outreach. But it also takes a principal willing to open the school after hours and manage the staff and volunteers for the event (and the clean-up afterwards). At my son's school, the fifth-grade class sells refreshments as a fundraiser, so the event serves a dual purpose.

But even with all that work, the star party last week was cancelled due to rain!

Whether it'll be rescheduled depends on whether there'll be another non-school night (so the kids can stay up late) with a reasonably dark sky, at a time when the club members and school staff can get together.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: John Kuraoka]
      #5645121 - 01/26/13 08:57 PM

One factor is the amount of light pollution that we have today. When people cannot see a single star for the LP they have l,ittle notice of thing related to astronomy. My inlaws in CO had a group of Japanese students to the house in CO mountains. The first night there they just stared at the sky and was amazed at the stars. They said they had never seen anything like that before.

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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Stew57]
      #5645156 - 01/26/13 09:28 PM

I've seen similar reactions to being under 'a bowl of stars'... So many people that live in city and urban areas have never had the opportunity to use binoculars or a telescope under truly pristine skies. If there was a way to conduct most outreach programs under similar conditions .... these are the lifetime memory events...

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oo_void
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5645231 - 01/26/13 10:39 PM

BTW ... Seems that someone removed my post and picture of my daughter on this thread. Not cool admins! If you're going to do so, at least message me. Otherwise I get worried about how much other "editorial" control is going on.

Edited by oo_void (01/26/13 10:42 PM)


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: oo_void]
      #5645239 - 01/26/13 10:45 PM

Quote:

BTW ... Seems that someone removed my post and picture of my daughter on this thread. Not cool admins! If you're going to do so, at least message me. Otherwise I get worried about how much other "editorial" control is going on.




This thread got split and half of it appears locked. The picture of your dayghter is in the other thread under the same title. Still visible, but locked. Great picture BTW.

Edited by Footbag (01/26/13 10:47 PM)


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cheapersleeper
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5645281 - 01/26/13 11:23 PM

Considering that a large percentage of Americans consider Scientists and Science to be "corrupt" charlatans trying to dupe the American people via the Media, I am not at all surprised that there is little interest in Science in this country. What goes around comes around and I don't see how we in the US can wage a war to discredit science and simultaneously do a good job of getting our kids interested in it

Regards,
Brad


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5645302 - 01/26/13 11:51 PM

Mikey ! Are you out there ? What happened to you ? The humorous posts about us being cynical Germans is gone ! OMG ! WGOH !


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mikey cee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5645320 - 01/27/13 12:16 AM

Dave they probably think w'ere an arm of the N--------- S------- party! Never have been. You? Mike

Edited by mikey cee (01/27/13 12:19 AM)


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5645322 - 01/27/13 12:20 AM

Quote:

Dave they probably think w'ere an arm of the Nationalist Socialist party! Never have been. You? Mike




Are you kidding , I'm a staunch conservative !
Stars and Bars all the way !


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mikey cee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5645325 - 01/27/13 12:27 AM

Any ways I'm over on Classics getting hit in the Observing in the 60's 70's. Little sense of humor there too. Mike

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5645328 - 01/27/13 12:31 AM

I think my sense of humor is getting misinterpreted . I know that I don't come out of the cookie cutter mold and am somewhat unorthodoxed but nonetheless saw nothing but a grand old thread goin on . I'm puzzled that a touch of humor here and there seems to be frowned upon .
To all concerned , please forgive my shortcomings .


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tecmageModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: starrancher]
      #5645356 - 01/27/13 01:17 AM

Okay, I took a look into what happened. Some posts were removed because they violated to the TOS. Depending on how we remove posts from threads, we can remove more posts than we intend.

BTW, If you have a question about moderator, contact a Mod.

Yes, the Mods and Admins DO have senses of humor.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5645443 - 01/27/13 04:03 AM

Quote:

I have to agree, in my case. I'm very exhuberant about astronomy, so people know I'm interested. However, if they show no interest in spending some time looking thru my scope(s); then I will not push my hobby onto them. I also live alone in a secluded area, so am not willing to have people that I do not know, come to my place; so I don't "advertise" astronomy when I'm in town. The club here that I used to belong to, was comprised of men that used the "meetings", to discuss everything BUT astronomy. After driving approx. 60 miles roundtrip for meetings, I finally quit the club.

I absolutely enjoy it when someone does visit (several CN'rs have), as observing then is completely different from observing alone; but I also enjoy the solitude of just taking it all in, by myself.




I enjoy observing in solitude, that is my preferred mode.

I also enjoy sharing the night sky with others, doing various sorts of outreach. But my goal is not to proselytize amateur astronomy as a hobby, I do it because I enjoy people and I enjoy sharing their excitement as they look through an eyepiece for the first time at Jupiter or the Pleiades. I have no ulterior motive, I am not trying to attract new converts to this wonderful pursuit, my desire is only that moment of sharing the beauty and wonder of the universe.

I imagine that for some, those few moments at the eyepiece will be something they remember for the rest of their days, it's a shared gift, we are both giving, both receiving. Gifts are best if they are freely given with no expectations.

Jon


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John Carruthers
Skiprat
*****

Reged: 02/02/07

Loc: Kent, UK
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5645486 - 01/27/13 05:03 AM

>>... I asked for help from the local astro community and got.....absolute zero...nada interest. As a result I had to drop out of the idea...<<

I'm sad to hear that. Our local AS SEKAS (and many others) help out at several schools and have members happy to give talks and demos to any interested group.
We are fortunate to have some inspired science teachers in our area who are willing to take up their student's interest in astronomy either at gcse level or as extra curricular activities.
Stargazing Live was a great success round here despite the weather and it brought the usual spurt of interest. Lots of xmas scopes to advise on and help set up.
The Sky at Night and Horizon help keep the profile of astronomy up too.


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: You want cheaper equipment? Another perspective. new [Re: John Carruthers]
      #5645532 - 01/27/13 06:45 AM

Yes, it was sad John. I was a bit depressed about it at the time. But i still do outreach in a small way. I am a mobile observer so When ai set up on some hilside if anyone wanders pastand asks I will let them have a look atp stuff. About two years ago a pile of hill walkers were doing a walk at night as I was using my Mak. Gave them alla view of Saturn and they were amazed at what could be seen.

Similarly when I go camping i let other tents know I will be out late but of they happen by they are welcome to a look. I let them know ai am out late so they arent alarmed by low voices and the cliink of stuff inthe early hours.

Always had enthusiastic responses from people and you never know you could be introducing a life long interest to someone.

guildford AS do outreach as wel,and if I can I take one of my scopes along just so they have an extra scope for people to look through.

I dont do astro societies I am afraid......they are often too political.


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