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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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youngamateur42
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/21/12

Loc: La Verne, CA
Classic Astronomers new
      #5975433 - 07/17/13 03:28 AM

Simple astronomy is quickly fading away, without the steady flow of young people like myself. Astrophotography is a large part of amateur astronomy now, but I thought one day that some people "rent" a telescope hundreds of miles away for a few hours waiting for some image to pop up on their computer screen. Maybe this is an enjoyable activity, but it's nothing like being out in the fresh air on a clear night, enjoying the night sky, the simplicity is what draws me to sketching, taking notes, and making it a time to relax from a busy day. Anybody else still enjoy astronomy the way I do?

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FJA
Sketcher Extraordinaire
*****

Reged: 11/17/04

Loc: 50.65° N, 1.15° W
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5975440 - 07/17/13 04:01 AM

I do, very much and I think a lot of others do too, quite probably the 'silent majority'. I've been doing astronomy for 21 years now, mostly deep sky observing, and just the simple way, scope, notebook and pens.
It's good to see young guys like yourself into astronomy. Have any of your friends shown an interest in it?


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FoggyEyes
sage


Reged: 06/01/13

Loc: Columbus, Ohio
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: FJA]
      #5975523 - 07/17/13 07:39 AM

I enjoy being out at night, on one of the few nights when the sky is clear. I bring my radio out to listen to a baseball game and time flies. Very pleasant. But, different people are wired differently, so other things will appeal to them. What the heck, there is room for everybody.

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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: FoggyEyes]
      #5975562 - 07/17/13 08:39 AM

I like simple and enjoy astronomy! Look at stars for a few hours, look at Moon and planets!

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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: Illinois]
      #5975577 - 07/17/13 08:51 AM


Another joy of observing in the night air is the sweltering heat. Last night by ten o'clock, everything was wet.

I'm glad you realize there are other things out there. Many young folks would rather stare at those hand-held devices. Over time, the eye muscles regrow until the individual becomes cross-eyed.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5975673 - 07/17/13 10:00 AM

Quote:

but it's nothing like being out in the fresh air on a clear night, enjoying the night sky, the simplicity is what draws me to sketching, taking notes, and making it a time to relax from a busy day. Anybody else still enjoy astronomy the way I do?





Count me in! I absolutely love "simple" observing, just you & the awesome night sky. Serenaded by the night sounds, it's as close to perfect, as I can imagine!


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5975704 - 07/17/13 10:20 AM

In the predawn couple of hours in fall/spring when temps are crisp but not really cold, I'll sometimes go out observing in my driveway dressed in pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt. That last hour or two before dawn on cloudless nights are typically when suburban light pollution (both far and nearby) is at a minimum, and transparency and seeing are at their best.

If it's been awhile since I was out that early, sometimes when I first look up the stars and constellations visible seem disconcertingly unfamiliar, because at e.g. 4am I'm in effect jumping ahead a whole season or more from where the sky is around 10pm, and because constricting treelines limit my field of view, almost no stars visible at 10pm are still visible at 4am etc. But those first five to ten minutes of struggling to get my bearings are part of the fun. The second thing that's a bit disconcerting is how suddenly the first hints of dawn begin appearing - often, I'll be seated in my observing chair, look down into the eyepiece to study some object still surrounded by 100% dead-of-night dark skies (such as they are in suburbia), study it for 3-4 minutes, and when I look up, notice that the sky is unmistakably beginning to brighten along the eastern horizon. At that point, I know I only have another 5 minutes or so left of useful observing time at higher altitudes away from the eastern horizon, although I can stretch that out a bit if there's a bright planet out at that hour.

The only person(s) who ever see me out at that hour are the newspaper deliveryman (who whizzes past very quickly) and occasionally, there's one or two early-risers who briskly walk past my driveway. However, I doubt anyone but perhaps the news delivery guy even notices I'm there (and he only because his lights very briefly reflect off me in passing), because I'm mostly secluded from view by shrubbery except when they're passing directly past the end of my driveway 50+ feet from where I'm sitting. And in the limited light, they can't see that my pants are pajamas unless I stay out too long into the dawn.


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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5975708 - 07/17/13 10:21 AM

Quote:

just you & the awesome night sky. Serenaded by the night sounds, it's as close to perfect, as I can imagine!




True about the night sky for those of us who've got it, but maybe remote rental observing's as good for those who live in white or red.

Regarding night sounds, I was aligning my scope last week when I heard the sound of hooves and a lot of heavy breathing. It was too dark to see what they were (I assume a few mule deer), but they were mighty close, loud, and I'm glad they didn't decide to cross my scope pad.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: Seldom]
      #5976006 - 07/17/13 01:30 PM

I enjoy visual and imaging, however, if the WX doesn't improve soon, I may take up another hobby. Not really, but it does get frustrating.

David


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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5976098 - 07/17/13 02:17 PM

While not exactly related to your original post, one thing I've found myself getting into is trying to repeat observations from the "classic astronomers" of the 17th through early 20th century.

It is fun to look at the Moon or Mars and imagine yourself in earlier times without all of the astronomical knowledge that we have now. What do you see? How do you interpret what you see?

For example, I am working on looking at a particular lunar crater where an observer of the 19th century was sure beyond any measure of doubt that he was witnessing the construction of a lunar city. I am trying to view this crater myself (albeit with better equipment, of course) at the same lighting angle to see if I would interpret it in a similar way.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5976328 - 07/17/13 04:34 PM

Quote:

some people "rent" a telescope hundreds of miles away for a few hours waiting for some image to pop up on their computer screen. Maybe this is an enjoyable activity, but it's nothing like being out in the fresh air on a clear night, enjoying the night sky, the simplicity is what draws me to sketching, taking notes, and making it a time to relax from a busy day. Anybody else still enjoy astronomy the way I do?




I sure do!


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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: GeneT]
      #5976410 - 07/17/13 05:11 PM

I've always been a visual observer, going on 45 years now. I started at age 10. And although I used to do emulsion astro-photography and have recently started getting into digital imaging, I've never enjoyed it as much as visual observing.

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CelestronDaddy
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/22/09

Re: Classic Astronomers [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5976503 - 07/17/13 06:03 PM

Justin - Thanks for posting this! I have always been a visual observer by nature I guess. I started my astronomy adventure when I was a youngster in elementary school. My parents bought me an inexpensive reflector and that got me going. I moved on to better scopes in High School. I find much pleasure in planning, finding, and observing various astronomic targets like planets, DSO's, and double stars (stars in general). It is a joy to visually observe these treasures and try and discern as much detail as possible. It never fails to humble me when I consider the great distance and immenseness of the universe and my tiny part of it

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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: CelestronDaddy]
      #5976562 - 07/17/13 06:23 PM

I am a "VTO" Visual Treasure Observer. that's what I call it, love visual observing, searching and looking at the treasures I find. When I first started observing I was in to mostly planets and lunar. These days I'm very heavy in to DSO's, I find myself doing that the most. I have seen so much and it's still mind blowing looking at the same objects that I seen 20+ years ago.

I almost jumped the gun and invested in a good AP rig, I stepped back from that thought. Maybe later down the road, we will see. But right not visual is were my heart is for sure, with some sketching at the EP.


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5976621 - 07/17/13 06:48 PM

I'm a strictly visual observer... Once, after posting something in the old sci.astro.amateur group, a fellow told me I do astronomy like right out of an old Sam Brown book. He meant it as a compliment, and I proudly took it that way.
Marty

Edited by bumm (07/17/13 09:03 PM)


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bumm
sage


Reged: 01/07/11

Loc: Iowa
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5976635 - 07/17/13 06:55 PM

Quote:

While not exactly related to your original post, one thing I've found myself getting into is trying to repeat observations from the "classic astronomers" of the 17th through early 20th century.

It is fun to look at the Moon or Mars and imagine yourself in earlier times without all of the astronomical knowledge that we have now. What do you see? How do you interpret what you see?

For example, I am working on looking at a particular lunar crater where an observer of the 19th century was sure beyond any measure of doubt that he was witnessing the construction of a lunar city. I am trying to view this crater myself (albeit with better equipment, of course) at the same lighting angle to see if I would interpret it in a similar way.




Sort of related... There are several threads in this group where I've rattled on about my efforts using antique opera glasses and field glasses to duplicate the views discussed by Garrett Serviss in his delightful 1888 book, "Astronomy With An Opera-Glass." It's not an effort to "discover things," or "explore the sky," but an attempt to see things as his readers did back then. I'm enjoying the dickens out of it.
Marty


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5977299 - 07/18/13 06:04 AM

Quote:

Simple astronomy is quickly fading away, without the steady flow of young people like myself.




Backyard astronomy is certainly in a period of decreasing popularity right now, at least in the industrialized world. That's happened before. Time will tell if it's a long-term trend or if there will be another resurgence.

Quote:

Astrophotography is a large part of amateur astronomy now, but I thought one day that some people "rent" a telescope hundreds of miles away for a few hours waiting for some image to pop up on their computer screen.




The fraction of people who do remote observing is negligible compared to the total number of stargazers.

If you think that true remote astrophotography is a matter of waiting for an image to pop up on your screen, you have a lot to learn!

Astrophotography is certainly becoming more popular, because the barrier to entry is much lower than it was in the days of film. But this is certainly not happening at the expense of visual observing. If anything, the fact that astrophotography is so easy (relatively!) today makes the entire hobby more attractive, boosting the total number of visual observers.

The biggest enemy of old-fashioned visual observing is light pollution.


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Brett Carlson
sage


Reged: 12/12/11

Loc: Rochester, NY
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5977419 - 07/18/13 08:28 AM

I got back into this hobby just a few years ago. I had a cheap refractor telescope as a kid and was fascinated by what I could see!

Visual observing is one of the most calming, rewarding experiences I do. Either alone or in a group....doesn't matter to me. I have fun either way. If I'm alone I tend to tweak things a bit more and try something different. Since I'm new I'm experimenting using different filters and the views through different eyepieces. Lots to learn!

My favorite thing it the reaction of people as they look through the eyepiece for the first time!

I'm interested in Astrophotography but do not have the equipment yet to really jump into that quite yet. Maybe down the road a bit.


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #5977421 - 07/18/13 08:30 AM

Quote:

I am working on looking at a particular lunar crater where an observer of the 19th century was sure beyond any measure of doubt that he was witnessing the construction of a lunar city. I am trying to view this crater myself (albeit with better equipment, of course) at the same lighting angle to see if I would interpret it in a similar way.




I actually did a afocal image of the moon once and would have sworn there were barracks there, lol.
Im also visual, accept for afocal lunar images, and use the time to distress from every day worries.


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Classic Astronomers new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5977525 - 07/18/13 09:41 AM

Quote:

I enjoy visual and imaging, however, if the WX doesn't improve soon, I may take up another hobby. Not really, but it does get frustrating.

David




Hang in there Dave. Tuesday, I finally got a clear night after four weeks and few days of clouds, clouds and clouds. Come fall time, the skies will open up for us all.


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