Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


How did you get into astronomy?

  • Please log in to reply
79 replies to this topic

#76 csrlice12



  • *****
  • Posts: 25,245
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:56 PM

I've looked up as far back as I can remember.  I remember I got a Tasco 60mm on a horseshoe flimsy mount when I was around 10.  The library had one book with star maps....my dog chewed it up, cost a whole $2.25 to replace (thats probably around $25 today).  It came and went, but I continued to look up.  Then 23 years in the military...got to see Polaris directly overhead and complete lack of LP (Thule, Greenland) and was able to see and experience Earth in the wild, the creatures, the glaciers, the iceburgs, the motor pool blowing away with the wind indicator at 205mph......the one thing I've learned, we're all connected...people, planets, stars, the universe itself.  Maybe my reason for existence is just to look up, if so, then I'll look up.  In my 30s, I took a class at UNM called "Cosmos"....Carl best expressed how I felt...We are all star stuff.  And the time will come when I continue my journey, I look forward to it...the universe is filled with my brothers and sisters.

Edited by csrlice12, 19 January 2020 - 01:00 PM.

  • Don H, bumm, SeaBee1 and 2 others like this

#77 mark77



  • *****
  • Posts: 487
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2015
  • Loc: PA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 01:10 PM

My path into astronomy is quite a bit different than the others I have read here.


I am a computer engineer, got hooked on computers in 1977 while in high school.


In 1993, I was writing imaging software on the Macintosh. I dont remember how, but I came across CD-ROMS from NASA of Voyager images.  These images where in PDS (Planetary Data System) format, (similar to FITS).  They came with software to read them on DOS and Windows 3.1.  But nothing for Mac. I got the documentation by mail (remember, the internet was not available to the public at that time) and wrote my own software.  It turned out pretty good and I tried to get NASA to buy it from me.  They did not but I did get them talked into GIVING me ALL of the CD's.  So I have over 400 CD-ROMs of Voyager, Viking and Magellen images.


So of course, I am strictly an imaging observer.  everything is computerized and I write most of my own software or use open source.



  • bobharmony and chrisgt like this

#78 Chilihead


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 201
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Oklahoma

Posted 19 January 2020 - 05:09 PM

I've been a space and science nut my whole life (58 years). I started following the story of Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1993. In spring of 1994 I bought my first scope, an 8" Meade Dobsonian. Seeing the impact points on Jupiter that summer with my own eyes blew me away (and my friends).


Been at it ever since. 

  • chrisgt likes this

#79 Tim Hager

Tim Hager

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Milford, CT, USA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 07:49 PM

As an oldster,  I was fascinated by the space program in the 1960's.  I started looking for books in the school and town libraries about space. Mostly there were books about astronomy and I devoured them.   


I desperately wanted to identify ANY constellation that I saw in those books but was unsuccessful until one night I carried the trash out on a night of a bright moon with snow cover on the ground. On the way back to the house,  I looked up and there it was - the Big Dipper standing on its handle perfectly framed between a bare tree and the neighbor's house.  I was ecstatic and ran in the house bubbling over to tell my parents.  I think the bright sky that drowned out other confusing stars and the perfect framing was the key.   After that, it all fell into place.  I got a 4 inch Criterion reflector for Christmas when I was 12 and I was off to the races.


This was before Apollo went to the moon and most of the planetary probes were still in the future.  Everything was new and mysterious.  It was a wonderful time.  I wish that I could recapture that feeling today.



  • bumm, GUS.K, SeaBee1 and 3 others like this

#80 Mikefp


    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 303
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2012
  • Loc: The Bak

Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:38 AM

When I was a kid in the 60s I was really into the space missions and the first moon landing my parents got me a Galileo telescope for Christmas I remember being outside with my parents and an uncle looking at Jupiter and mars a few years later as a teenager I brought that telescope to a friend's house and we observed a solar eclipse I now live in a dark sky area and have come back to astronomy I have an 8 inch dob and a few other telescopes

Space Race kid myself.    I build my first scope starting with an Edmund Scientific mirror grinding kit that I quickly ruined when 8 years old.  The folks at Griffith Observatory, Ca. help me on my second try.    I still own that scope and used it at the Apollo 50 year anniversary celebration.   

  • SeaBee1 and bobharmony like this

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics