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mount outreach star party tripod
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#26 racecog56

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 09:41 PM

PS; Tv’s, cell phones, personal computers have more features and cost less than they did a couple of years ago. Therefore, tech costs less......



#27 Diana N

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:11 AM

My hypothesis is that the high barriers to entry, like first cost, lack of support, poorly implemented products, etc. is limiting product sales and profit potential. Are the ‘majors’ actively doing market research (recognizing that we have been throughout period of consolidation, with most ending up in the hands of GSO, etc.) to determine why people enter, then abandon the hobby? As I pointed out, has anyone looked at all the post consumer product up for sale and why? These people are all potential consumers the industry has ‘lost’. Why?

I hate to break it to you, but the cost of entry into astronomy has never been lower.  Today a person can buy a perfectly fine telescope, with good optics and a decent mount, for $200.  Cost of entry is NOT the problem!

 

And more tech/better tech is not going to solve anything, because it fails to address the real problem (which is that the night sky doesn't change very much, and most people find that boring after a while).  If the Stellina telescope should ever take off, I anticipate a large percentage of them quickly winding up in closets.  The "wonders of the night sky" simply aren't as wondrous to behold as most people seem to think they are.  After they've looked at the moon, Jupiter, and a few bright clusters and nebulae a few times and notice that those sights never really change, the average person is going to put the whiz-o-scope in the closet and go back to their TV.  it's sad, but it's the truth.

 

Most people just don't have much interest in sustained observation of the natural world any more.


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#28 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:55 AM

 Hello skyward eyes. I understand many, and agree with most, of your observations. Of course, one has to have the expectation of profit, prior to developing and introducing a new product. Depending on the realization of those expectations, product support is forthcoming, or not.

 

My hypothesis is that the high barriers to entry, like first cost, lack of support, poorly implemented products, etc. is limiting product sales and profit potential. Are the ‘majors’ actively doing market research (recognizing that we have been throughout period of consolidation, with most ending up in the hands of GSO, etc.) to determine why people enter, then abandon the hobby? As I pointed out, has anyone looked at all the post consumer product up for sale and why? These people are all potential consumers the industry has ‘lost’. Why?

 

After a number of years of helping beginners get started, I realized that success or failure had little to do with their equipment, it's really about the individual.  Diana wrote eloquently about this.

 

The obstacles one faces are many. A couple of hours on a warm weekend evening in the fall after the mosquitoes have been killed by the first frost with very good seeing and dark skies is a very pleasant experience.. most observers might experience such a night once a year if they're lucky..

 

More typical is driving 100 miles to observe in a mosquito infested site only to be clouded out or to be faced with cold and wind and sleepless.

 

To be a serious, passionate, dedicated amateur astronomer, it requires perseverance, curiosity, dedication, a willingness to put up with hardships and sleep deprivation. 

 

These are the real obstacles.. these are what prevent mildly interested people from observing the universe on a regular basis.. Monday night I got up at midnight to spend 4 hours observing until astronomical twilight. Any sane person was in bed sleeping but any dedicated astronomer would have been right there with me.

 

All this to see some 14th magnitude galaxy that's 500 million lightyears from the earth, an image that is seen much better with google.

 

Equipment issues are not the real obstacles.

 

Jon


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#29 kathyastro

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:03 AM

In order to do the things we do and see the things we see, we need precision equipment.  It is easy to say that "they" should make it precise at the factory, and to a large extent they try, but precision doesn't work that way.  All precision equipment needs to be adjustable.  That is how you keep it precise.  A piece of equipment with no adjustments cannot remain precise. no matter how well it was assembled at the factory.

 

And it is we, the people in the field using it, that have to make the necessary adjustments.  If we don't want to do that, then we have to sacrifice precision.

 

Part of the satisfaction of astronomy, for me, is not just looking through the eyepiece or posting a pretty picture, it is also mastering a skill.  I take as much pride in being able to do a polar alignment with just the polar scope and nailing it with 3 or 4 arcminutes as I did earlier in my life being able to do a perfect loop in a jet.  Yes, there is a learning curve.  That is the point!

 

Because just looking through an eyepiece at a fuzzy blob gets boring really fast.  What makes it interesting is learning the skills to find that blob, and learning what exactly that blob represents.  If all you want is a device that you plug in and it shows you fuzzy blobs, you might as well just watch TV.


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#30 Eddgie

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:16 AM

 

 

Embrace the pain, right? That's the answer?

 

 

 

lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

No, that is not what I was saying.

 

I was saying if what you are doing is too painful, do something else..  The world is not going to change because you are in pain, and only masochists embrace pain. If what you are doing is so damaging to the experience that you don't enjoy it, find another way to enjoy astronomy.

 

I provided you with two different options that require far less of an investment in setup time, and that produce results in seconds rather than hours. 

 

If the only thing that interests you is doing long exposure imaging though, then you will need to learn to tolerate the pain or make less pain. A permanent pier mount would be a step in that direction. 

 

What I am suggesting though is not to embrace pain.  I am suggesting that you do something different.


Edited by Eddgie, 06 November 2019 - 11:44 AM.

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