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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Brett Carlson
sage


Reged: 12/12/11

Loc: Rochester, NY
amateur astronomer?
      #6247969 - 12/11/13 10:11 PM

When can one be considered an amateur astronomer?

I've always been interested in the night sky. I had a scope as a young boy. I got back into the hobby about 5 years ago. My signature shows my slowly growing collection. My star hopping skills improve with every outing. Co-workers and friends ask me related questions and if I don't know the answers I do some research and give the best answers I can.

I'm a member of a local astronomy club and I'm active in their outreach programs. I love the public star parties. One of my favorite things is to hear the reactions of first timers looking through the eyepiece for the first time. It reminds my why I love this hobby.

Does this qualify? I feel I know so little compared to a lot of people I've met so far that by calling me an astronomer would cheapen most of you reading this.

Clear skies to you all!


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nodalpoint
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/03/13

Loc: FEMA camp
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #6247971 - 12/11/13 10:15 PM

Yeah. It just means you don't get paid and do it for the enjoyment. Nothing to do with how much you know or don't.

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Tophat3
super member


Reged: 07/20/10

Loc: Columbus,Ohio
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6248126 - 12/11/13 11:45 PM

Yep, you qualify. Welcome aboard!!

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gene 4181
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: n.e. ohio
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6248129 - 12/11/13 11:48 PM

yup, you are. even if you stand in the driveway, no scope, just looking with your naked eye. the sky only stirs some of us, the rest walk looking at the ground. my wife yells at me out in the driveway, she says you really look stupid walking around looking up like that. lol. i've seen things that people might only catch in glimpses at a magazine or book. i'm the richest man in the world.

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Rick Woods
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #6248200 - 12/12/13 12:46 AM

Quote:

When can one be considered an amateur astronomer?





The very moment one starts astromomizing!


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johnsshipp
member


Reged: 10/29/12

Loc: Baton Rouge, LA, USA
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #6248295 - 12/12/13 02:56 AM

Anyone with a passion for understanding the mysteries of the heavens is who I would consider an amateur astronomer. Equipment definitely has nothing to do with it considering that until the last few centuries 100% of astronomy was done with eyeballs and bent necks.

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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: johnsshipp]
      #6248359 - 12/12/13 05:51 AM

I'd say you have 'professional' attributes.

The dictionary definition of professional is one dedicated full-time to a vocation. That's subjective.

Our love of the sky makes us neither amateur or professional. It just makes us.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #6248370 - 12/12/13 06:22 AM

I'd say that if you look at the night sky regularly (with any instrument or no instrument at all), and are interested in and knowledgeable about what you see, then you're an amateur astronomer.

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guangtou
sage


Reged: 03/27/10

Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6248384 - 12/12/13 06:49 AM

I tend to define myself as a hobbyist or stargazer. To me, an amateur astronomer is involved in research at some level- keeping track of variable stars, meteor counting, etc.

Is someone who birdwatches an amateur ornithologist? Perhaps more appropriately, does the enjoyment of music make you a musician?

Edited by guangtou (12/12/13 06:54 AM)


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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: guangtou]
      #6248436 - 12/12/13 07:52 AM

I think that you look at stars and don't know anything but look at moon then you are astronomer. You have nice telescope and know the sky then you are amateur astronomer!

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Illinois]
      #6248447 - 12/12/13 08:02 AM

1. Look up. 2. Enjoy. 3. Receive no pay. Rinse and repeat.

Dave


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Cotts]
      #6248474 - 12/12/13 08:27 AM

1. I do that
2. Now here's where it can get dicey, what with the clouds, other obligations, bad seeing, light pollution, Cold and snow, more cold and snow, and even more cold and show, with a little extra cold thrown in.
3. Definitely qualify

Rinse and Repeat...I think Im clean now, even my ES eyepieces are starting to wrinkle......

Welcome to Cloudy Nights (aka as Eypieces Anonymous, where every eyepiece should have a name)

Edited by csrlice12 (12/12/13 08:28 AM)


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: guangtou]
      #6248479 - 12/12/13 08:30 AM

Quote:

To me, an amateur astronomer is involved in research at some level- keeping track of variable stars, meteor counting, etc.




That makes sense, but runs counter to popular usage.

Quote:

Does the enjoyment of music make you a musician?




Coming as I do from a family of professional, semi-professional, and amateur classical musicians, I can answer that.

A professional classical musician has one or more regular jobs, is a member of the musician's union, and likely earns a significant part or even all of his/her living from music.

A semi-pro is also probably a union member, is well known around town, gets regular gigs, earns real money, but has a day job (or spouse) to earn the daily bread.

An amateur musician makes music regularly, is likely a member of an amateur orchestra or amateur chorus that puts on regular paid performances, or perhaps plays chamber music regularly with a group.

I don't consider myself an amateur musician, nor would other amateurs consider me one. I have a good, strong voice, can read music reasonably well, and can anchor the bass section of an amateur chorus. But I do not make music on a regular basis, so I am not an amateur musician.

Somebody who enjoys listening to classical music, and may even be quite knowledgeable about it, is not an amateur musician. Amateur music is all about production, not consumption.

The moral is that the meaning of "amateur" varies from one field to another.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6248600 - 12/12/13 09:32 AM

We're born amateurs...we die amateurs...Life is an amateur event......

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Brett Carlson
sage


Reged: 12/12/11

Loc: Rochester, NY
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6248626 - 12/12/13 09:44 AM

Quote:

I'd say that if you look at the night sky regularly (with any instrument or no instrument at all), and are interested in and knowledgeable about what you see, then you're an amateur astronomer.




Maybe one qualification is that I was excited to see a celebrity like Mr. Flanders respond to my post! I read and enjoy your columns every month!!


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maugi88
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: SE MN
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #6248712 - 12/12/13 10:27 AM

As soon as you say you are, you are.

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seawolfe
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #6248759 - 12/12/13 10:52 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'd say that if you look at the night sky regularly (with any instrument or no instrument at all), and are interested in and knowledgeable about what you see, then you're an amateur astronomer.




Maybe one qualification is that I was excited to see a celebrity like Mr. Flanders respond to my post! I read and enjoy your columns every month!!




Yeah, and he can SING too! Does he sing to the stars? I wonder....


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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6248831 - 12/12/13 11:25 AM

Me...I just love the avatar Brett!!!

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Brett Carlson
sage


Reged: 12/12/11

Loc: Rochester, NY
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: t.r.]
      #6249077 - 12/12/13 01:28 PM

Quote:

Me...I just love the avatar Brett!!!




I know....isn't it great! When I saw it I had to have it!! Cracks my up everytimg...just like the movie Airplane!


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: amateur astronomer? new [Re: Brett Carlson]
      #6249098 - 12/12/13 01:39 PM

George Takei would probably get a kick out of your avatar too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nSKkwzwdW4


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