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I guess i am old fashioned...

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#1 clusterbuster

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 02:51 AM

I see LOTS of people getting into Astronomy, and saying; Hi, I am new to Astronomy, i want to get a BIG TELESCOPE and do Astrophotography....

Astronomy is a very broad hobby, I do beleive that if one goes directly into AP, they truly miss out on the JOY that VISUAL ASTRONOMY and GENERAL OBSERVING can bring them.

 Also if they are not familiar with the DSOs, they are already at a loss.

  Just my 2 cents worth.

 I hope that my post does not offend anyone, I believe in the old LIVE AND LET LIVE philosophy...

 Clear Skies

 Mark


Edited by clusterbuster, 09 July 2020 - 02:53 AM.

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#2 havasman

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 03:07 AM

We agree on that for sure.


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#3 edwincjones

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 04:03 AM

the old wisdom

1-learn the naked eye sky with an atlas

2-binoculars

3-small telescope

4-bigger when know above

5-then AP, maybe

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 09 July 2020 - 04:04 AM.

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#4 clearwaterdave

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 04:10 AM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,


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#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 04:26 AM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,

 

They're very likely to interested for the same reasons you are.

 

You don't have to live near a beach to be interested in surfing..

 

Jon


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#6 clearwaterdave

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 04:39 AM

They're very likely to interested for the same reasons you are.

 

You don't have to live near a beach to be interested in surfing..

 

Jon

Well no.,but I bet there are not many surfer dude's in Kansas.,lol.,


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#7 Tony Flanders

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 05:05 AM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,

In my experience, most people's interest in astronomy starts out with abstractions, which they then try to turn into direct experience. For instance, many people of my generation became interested in astronomy due to the space program of the 1960s. My own interest was piqued largely by book-learning. Like many boys, I was fascinated by dinosaurs, whales, and planets -- despite never having met a dinosaur or a whale.

 

Given that many if not most people's interest starts with our solar system, people who live in cities and suburbs are at no disadvantage at all, since the Moon and planets are every bit as visible -- both to the unaided eye and through a telescope -- in cities and suburbs as anywhere else.

 

It's tougher to learn practical astronomy in cities and suburbs, but so what? Adversity makes us stronger. After all, the poster of the question above lives in western Maine, which is completely blanketed by trees -- are a far bigger obstacle to astronomy than lights are. Someone from the desert West might well ask "What got someone living in the forest interested in astronomy in the first place?"


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#8 Upstate New Yorker

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 05:54 AM

I see LOTS of people getting into Astronomy, and saying; Hi, I am new to Astronomy, i want to get a BIG TELESCOPE and do Astrophotography....

Astronomy is a very broad hobby, I do beleive that if one goes directly into AP, they truly miss out on the JOY that VISUAL ASTRONOMY and GENERAL OBSERVING can bring them.

 Also if they are not familiar with the DSOs, they are already at a loss.

  Just my 2 cents worth.

 I hope that my post does not offend anyone, I believe in the old LIVE AND LET LIVE philosophy...

 Clear Skies

 Mark

I think that folks are missing out on the inexpensive fun that they could have simply by starting with naked eye, proceeding to binoculars, later on progressing to a small, well-made telescope, all the while learning the sky with a star atlas.  I agree with you.


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#9 Upstate New Yorker

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 05:57 AM

the old wisdom

1-learn the naked eye sky with an atlas

2-binoculars

3-small telescope

4-bigger when know above

5-then AP, maybe

 

edj

This is the best post that I have seen in weeks.  Thank you & please disseminate!  Too many are obsessed with equipment; too many are engaged in the pursuit of even better equipment, when they could be camping out under the stars with binoculars and a star atlas and having the time of their lives.


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#10 Allan Wade

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 08:00 AM

I guess a lot of people get into astro photography because they like taking images of stuff, and are not necessarily obsessed with astronomy as a lot of visual observers are. They have spent a lifetime taking photos of all sorts of things and have gravitated to astro targets.

 

I know lots of people who only image, and they generally don’t have even a basic knowledge of the sky or how to observe anything through an eyepiece. That’s fine with them and doesn’t bother me either. I see visual and imaging as two completely seperate skills and hobbies. 
 

But I personally agree with the OP that visual astronomy is the purest and most rewarding pastime.


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#11 airbleeder

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 08:40 AM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,

   I live under a light polluted sky as I did when I got into astronomy, but I still enjoy it. I admit, I enjoy it more when I drive to a darker site, but it's still good here.


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#12 airbleeder

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 08:46 AM

the old wisdom

1-learn the naked eye sky with an atlas

2-binoculars

3-small telescope

4-bigger when know above

5-then AP, maybe

 

edj

  I agree with1, 3, 4, and 5, but I would recommend a small scope instead of binoculars because of my neck and back. 


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#13 Jeff Lee

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 09:01 AM

To get younger people involved you need technology, it's what drives most younger folks interest today. Our club (due the C19, weather, and fires) is now fully embracing EAA as an outreach tool. I live in Oregon, we have some of the darkest skies in the nation, but it requires travel. So most of the city dwellers do most of their observing from their yards/balconies.  Just look at what new "entry level" scopes are now available, hook your phone up and drive the scope, take quick images with your phone to see what you can't view with your eyes. The times have changed (I (and others) fought for three years to get the club to embrace EAA, now we have a net work of folks that will be doing live EAA via Zoom for our clubs and others in a network of clubs in the Western States. 

 

EAA / AP is not the only way to do astronomy (at dark sites I like visual) but it is the fastest growing segment and that is why you are seeing scopes that use phones for hand controllers and for EAA. IMHO (as well as manufacturers appently) EAA is the future and C19 has moved it to the forefront for the next generation.  


Edited by Jeff Lee, 09 July 2020 - 09:02 AM.

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#14 Upstate New Yorker

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 09:24 AM

To get younger people involved you need technology, it's what drives most younger folks interest today. Our club (due the C19, weather, and fires) is now fully embracing EAA as an outreach tool. I live in Oregon, we have some of the darkest skies in the nation, but it requires travel. So most of the city dwellers do most of their observing from their yards/balconies.  Just look at what new "entry level" scopes are now available, hook your phone up and drive the scope, take quick images with your phone to see what you can't view with your eyes. The times have changed (I (and others) fought for three years to get the club to embrace EAA, now we have a net work of folks that will be doing live EAA via Zoom for our clubs and others in a network of clubs in the Western States. 

 

EAA / AP is not the only way to do astronomy (at dark sites I like visual) but it is the fastest growing segment and that is why you are seeing scopes that use phones for hand controllers and for EAA. IMHO (as well as manufacturers appently) EAA is the future and C19 has moved it to the forefront for the next generation.  

What you say about younger people makes sense--but this is true partly because light pollution means that they cannot walk out in the backyard to see for themselves.  To me, EAA is similar to the live experiences of the past, but in the age of light pollution.  Light pollution rules in Central Florida, and I'm adding EAA components for that reason.



#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 09:49 AM

Well no.,but I bet there are not many surfer dude's in Kansas.,lol.,

 

You might be surprised.  

 

I live in an area where surfing began in the US. The real "Gidget", Linda Benson, the girl that did the surfing in the movies, was in my sister's class.

 

People travel from all over the world to go surfing. People who live in cities, who live in cloudy regions, they what the can, they travel, look at the planets.. 

 

Jon


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#16 MaknMe

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 10:05 AM

Last night was my son’s birthday. Right before he went to bed, we spent 30 mins out in the yard viewing Jupiter and Saturn with binoculars and with my GOTO scope. Afterward, we called my 75 year old dad, who is getting back into the hobby with a GOTO scope.

3 generations enjoying the stars.

Edited by MaknMe, 09 July 2020 - 10:06 AM.

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#17 jiblet65

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:08 AM

Going with the surfing example, Kelly Slater makes his own line of boards now and I see people with them in the water. Nice looking boards and some people ride them well but I expect a good deal of them feel once they buy a Slater board they're going to ride like him. I'm about 6" taller and 50 or 60 pounds heavier than Slater and my skill level is nowhere near his. Buying a Slater board for myself would be an exercise in futility. I was tempted to plunk $1000 down on the Nexstar 8SE but instead I got a pair of Oberwerk 10x42 ED's and a Tasco 60mm telescope. I still have a lot to learn but I'm getting more acquainted with the constellations, stars and planets. I have yet to do any DSO discoveries but maybe when I get to Montana that will happen.


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#18 Kevin Kretsch

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:30 AM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,

I started as a kid, when 1908s suburban Dublin was still Bortle 5. I moved to Paris 20 years ago and my telescope stayed in Ireland with my Mom. This year it came back with me, then lockdown hit and there was no better time to get it up and running again. Bortle 8 or 9 skies be ****. With the moon and planets and double stars you never run out of fun targets. There's a French guy across town from me, still Bortle 8 or 9, with a Mewlon 300 that's producing the best amateur planetary images I've ever seen from his balcony. See his twitter feed...

 

https://twitter.com/JLucDauvergne


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#19 Anthony236J

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:56 AM

the old wisdom

1-learn the naked eye sky with an atlas

2-binoculars

3-small telescope

4-bigger when know above

5-then AP, maybe

 

edj

This is a great path and the one that I took smile.gif . It's not the only path, though. I don't think there's anything wrong with starting out in AP if that's where the interest lies. In that case, it may be helpful if the associated challenges, realistic expectations and alternative options are understood (but the same could be said for visual astronomy).


Edited by Anthony236J, 09 July 2020 - 11:58 AM.

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#20 zipzipskins

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 12:24 PM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,

Because space is amazingly, mind-bogglingly beautiful, incredible, and fascinating no matter how bright your local skies are. 

 

I have read some people on the beginner forum express this sort of sentiment and I'm pretty baffled. A lot of people are willing and able to make it out to dark sky sites, but I'm unable to now, so 100% of my telescopic observation has been from my front yard, Bortle 8 most nights, with monster artificial horizons in all directions (I'm back off the street in a condo complex). I jumped in with both feet with an 8 inch manual Dob and I'm so glad I did and that I didn't feel discouraged by anyone based on where I live. I am routinely in awe of what I find in my eyepiece.

 

On the topic of jumping in visual vs. AP,  I'm really glad I only wanted to do visual observation to begin with (and maybe ever?) and I find a lot of joy in it... but if someone is motivated by photography to explore and experience the wonders of the cosmos, I feel like that can only be a good and beautiful thing. 

 

Nate


Edited by zipzipskins, 09 July 2020 - 12:25 PM.

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#21 edwincjones

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:03 PM

This is a great path and the one that I took smile.gif . It's not the only path, though. I don't think there's anything wrong with starting out in AP if that's where the interest lies. In that case, it may be helpful if the associated challenges, realistic expectations and alternative options are understood (but the same could be said for visual astronomy).

 

True

 

so many forks in the astronomy road.

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 09 July 2020 - 01:05 PM.

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#22 Andrekp

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:28 PM

What I find confusing is when someone post.," New guy here.,got my scope.,what's next".,.And they live in borte 8 skies.,What got someone living in such light polluted skies interested in astronomy in the first place?..,To each his own I guess.,lol.,

I’m in those kinds of skies.  There is still plenty to see and do.  I’d personally be more confused about thinking you need Bortle 1 skies to observe because that’s so far wrong I’d wonder what else I was missing.


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#23 Andrekp

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:34 PM

I see LOTS of people getting into Astronomy, and saying; Hi, I am new to Astronomy, i want to get a BIG TELESCOPE and do Astrophotography....

Astronomy is a very broad hobby, I do beleive that if one goes directly into AP, they truly miss out on the JOY that VISUAL ASTRONOMY and GENERAL OBSERVING can bring them.

 Also if they are not familiar with the DSOs, they are already at a loss.

  Just my 2 cents worth.

 I hope that my post does not offend anyone, I believe in the old LIVE AND LET LIVE philosophy...

 Clear Skies

 Mark

I saw a post, some time back, of someone who bought an entire AP rig, never having even looked through a scope before.  There was some issue where he could just hit the ground running with AP right away, so he, *gasp*, did a visual session with the scope. First time ever.  Mostly, it appeared he was unimpressed and bored with that.
 

so...there you go.


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#24 havasman

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 02:14 PM

My concern with folks jumping straight into AP involves all the work each requires and the overload potential when starting both at once. But lots of people are WAY ahead of me with the computer hardware/software and math capabilities that AP requires. So my point of view may be is skewed by my skills or lack thereof. So I'm willing to agree that it can be done and actually enjoyable work. But there are still going to be better pics available from various sources for a long time whereas eyepiece views are inimitable and personally satisfying right off the bat.

 

I have never had an astrophotographer stop by for a peek through the Starmaster while their data gathering is in process and say they were disappointed with the view. Usually their response is how they did not know visual astronomy could produce such images. Often we talk about how much more depth they can make readily accessible with their long exposures. We all enjoy each others' results.


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#25 Dwight J

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 03:10 PM

When my Astro buddy and I get together and talk astronomy it seems to be about visual observing and telescope making.  We both did film astrophotography, digital imaging, and EAA but we alway end up talking about catching the central star in the ring or Comet Hyakataki spanning the sky at 105 degrees.  You can look at images anytime.  


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