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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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C_Moon
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/23/09

Loc: Beneath the arms of Cassiopeia
The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby
      #5870542 - 05/19/13 12:05 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.

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!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5870557 - 05/19/13 12:14 AM

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.

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C_Moon
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/23/09

Loc: Beneath the arms of Cassiopeia
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5870564 - 05/19/13 12:19 AM

Quote:

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"?


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5870576 - 05/19/13 12:30 AM

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!

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.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: Mike B]
      #5870579 - 05/19/13 12:35 AM

Quote:

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.






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linux
member


Reged: 01/04/13

Loc: Evans, Ga.
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5870588 - 05/19/13 12:45 AM

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


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: linux]
      #5870623 - 05/19/13 01:13 AM

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

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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
*****

Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: linux]
      #5870627 - 05/19/13 01:15 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.

Edited by Asbytec (05/19/13 01:17 AM)


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5870875 - 05/19/13 08:27 AM

Quote:

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




Isn't that what this place is?


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FJA
Sketcher Extraordinaire
*****

Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5870926 - 05/19/13 09:02 AM

Quote:

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.

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.


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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: FJA]
      #5870987 - 05/19/13 09:41 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


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5871006 - 05/19/13 09:50 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.

- Jim


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Mxplx2
sage


Reged: 09/12/12

Loc: NE PA USA
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: Ed D]
      #5871012 - 05/19/13 09:53 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.

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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: Ed D]
      #5871022 - 05/19/13 10:03 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


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: bumm]
      #5871204 - 05/19/13 11:53 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


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Kon Dealer
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/05/11

Loc: Cambridge UK
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5871250 - 05/19/13 12:12 PM

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


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jeff heck
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5871279 - 05/19/13 12:30 PM

Quote:

"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.

- 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.


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Red Shift
super member


Reged: 11/09/11

Loc: Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: jeff heck]
      #5871648 - 05/19/13 02:46 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.


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DG Aucoin
super member
*****

Reged: 03/20/13

Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5871872 - 05/19/13 04:17 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.

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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: The shortcomings of Astronomy as a Hobby [Re: C_Moon]
      #5871875 - 05/19/13 04:18 PM

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

David


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