Good evening everyone. I've read through this entire thread and I was intrigued to see the many lines of thought that have been offered. As someone who is in the transitional zone between young amateurs and the more seasoned generation (I'm in my late 30s), I wanted to highlight a couple of observations and expand of them.
1.) Starman1 offered the view that outreach events doesn't necessarily drive people to invest in a scope. If someone were to purchase the venerable Orion ST-80 beginner kit with 2 Expanse eyepieces, and never spent another dollar on the hobby, would we be content with that, or is the focus really about driving amateurs to additional (and or continual) purchases?
2.) There was a singular post or two that caught my eye but has been mostly glossed over in this thread: the observation that when a beginner asks a genuine question, most CN responders go directly to advocating for high-end gear, be it scopes or EPs. While I acknowledge that TV EPs are phenomenal, are they right for everyone, and it is always the right answer to an OP's question? I think that we collectively need think about the context of the OP's question and respond accordingly rather than with a "well, for just $xyz more, you can get a ________".
In both of these cases, the tension between the act of observing and procurement is highlighted. I think this thread is truly about the former, yet so many responses have centered on the latter.
I'll pick on myself for a moment, I was gifted an Orion ST-80. I've had it for nearly a decade and its my only scope. I've acquired several ES82s and don't have any current need to purchase anything additional. In the context of this thread, am I good since I'm observing, or part of the problem since I'm not currently buying things?
Edited by AstroFalcon, 17 December 2019 - 03:36 PM.