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Telescopes and babies

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#1 Amateur1985

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 10:41 AM

Hi all,

 

Not sure if this is the right place for such a topic so apologies in advance if it is not. 

 

Some weeks ago I got the news I will become a father (relatively soon). Just been wondering, how did you manage to combine the stargazing (I am a pure observer, no AP at all) with taking care of a baby, catching up with the sleep etc.? Honestly, with a pain in my heart, I have been thinking to sell the whole equipment (an XT6i Intelliscope with all eyepieces, Barlows, polarized filter etc.) and to switch to a 10x50 and 20x80 binos due to the quicker setup and the easiness of observing, even from a light polluted city like mine. 

 

Any tips and tricks? Is it worth it to sell the telescope and once I have the free time again to buy another, with larger aperture one? Just I do not want to block some 700 euros (is the price for which I am selling everything) for 2-3 years instead ot reinvest some of them for the 20x80 and the rest into baby stuff. 

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 Alrakis

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 10:55 AM

I would (and did) keep what I had. A couple things. First, those sleepless nights will pass pretty quickly. For us, by 6 months we were fine; especially when each one moved from a bassinet in our room to a crib in their room. Second, you will need a way to decompress from life. Astronomy is a very healthy way to do this.

 

Chris 


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#3 Stellar1

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 10:58 AM

Congratulations!! I think your plan is sound, I can see myself doing the same in your situation. You WILL have your hands full for the next few years, the only drawback is there will be moments of quiet and peace where you’ll wish you had your scope but, a nice set of binoculars will tie you over. There’s no harm in making snap decisions, we all find ourselves selling off out scopes sometimes but there’s always another around the corner. God knows there’s always another scope around the corner.


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#4 DSOGabe

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:00 AM

I agree with Alrakis. Do not sell off your gear! You'll probably get a chance here and there to go out for a while until the kiddo starts to sleep all night. Then you can start to go out more often.


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#5 wrnchhead

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:04 AM

My daughter will be 18 in 21 days, and yes, those baby/toddler days don't last forever (not long enough really). 

 

Your finances are your own decision to make though, if you need the cash, you may need it. But a 6 inch dob is about the most reasonable easy to use grab and go I can think of. And I bet in a short 3-4 years, you'll find yourself wishing you had that scope! 

 

Plus, maybe on observing nights you can volunteer baby duty and her mother will think you're the swellest guy on the block. 


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#6 cookjaiii

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:06 AM

Fatherhood is very demanding for sure, but it isn't all-consuming, and there will be times and events for which you will use and appreciate the views that only a telescope can give you.  Get some binoculars too.  Believe me, there will be times when you will need to have a few moments under the stars.


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#7 mdavister

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:39 AM

My perspective:

 

If you are happy with the equipment you have, and can afford it, I would keep it. With a 6" scope you should be able to find a few nights where you can get the scope out and have a few minutes of quiet time. It may be a few years before they would be interested, but for the most part, the equipment doesn't go bad or cease to function with just age. The electronics may eventually have an issue, but are not necessary to utilize the optics.


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#8 Don W

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:50 AM

I ordered my first real telescope, a Celestron 8, from Astronomics. It arrived on June 25, 1981. My buddy, George, came over and we had everything laid out all over the living room. We looked like two kids on Christmas morning. We were having a great time playing with all of the new goodies when my wife came in and announced, "My water broke!" We just sat there staring at her trying to figure out what that had to do with us. She repeated her announcement, more emphatically. "MY WATER BROKE!!" Finally I responded and said, "What do you want me to do?" She replied "Take me to the hospital, NOW?" Things got a little louder after that and I got moving. George was still on the floor. He looked at us and asked, "Should I go or can I stay here?" My wife told him where to go.

 

She let me go out a couple nights a month to observe, but not as much as I had before. It was a while before the midnight wake ups subsided, but eventually you can get back into a regular observing schedule.


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#9 knight_parn

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:59 AM

Unless you desparately need that 700 euros, I'd recommend you keep the kit until you get more free time. I had to spent a lot of time looking after my boy when he was just born, but everything got much better by the time he was 3. If you sell your scope now and then buy the same thing new later, it will be a net loss for you. Of course if you plan to upgrade when it's time to buy the scope again, then forget what I just said.


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#10 Justin Fuller

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 12:06 PM

Congrats! My son will be 15 mo. old soon, and it's given my life a new meaning and purpose that I didn't know I was lacking before. The first six months are maybe the most difficult in terms of sleep and time to yourself...you can pretty much write off finding time to stargaze in that time, but you'll be so busy you probably won't notice. Because of that I wouldn't sell your scope off, you'll be back at it soon enough.

Astronomy is probably one of the best hobbies as the dad of newborn/ toddler as they should be asleep by 7pm or so. The tip and trick is to have a fairly rigid bedtime routine and be disciplined yourself about. Babies are great at picking up rhythms if you adhere to them, it comforts them and helps them sleep through the night.

In the last 4 months I've managed to have a full time job, start grad school, move my family into a new house and have even started to establish an observatory in my backyard, and I'm usually able to fit at least one night of observing in on the weekends...so where there's a will there's a way!
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#11 epee

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 02:13 PM

Congratulations! I don't think you ever really become a "grown-up" until you have kids of your own.

 

I'll second the others in advising you to keep what you have unless you are hurting for the money. It may become harder to justify buying another scope as your child gets older. Both of my children were raised with a telescope at hand. My daughter is now expecting her first child (and my first grandchild). A couple of weeks ago she was over for a visit and we enjoyed views of Jupiter and Saturn.


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#12 rhetfield

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 03:12 PM

Keep the scope someplace where it stays acclimated.  In my case, the gazebo - stays at temperature and is kept dry.  If the weather supports it, let it stay at the observing station already aligned and ready to go.  Your scope should be able to see at least a thing or two in a 10-15 minute session.  Check into whether it is an option to replace the 1.25" focuser with a 2" focuser if you haven't already done so.  The extra FOV would be of benefit.

 

When the kid wakes you up, take the time to take a peek after putting him/her back down.

 

Also consider that most infants in most parts of the world have spent lots of quality time in the outdoors in inclement conditions since the beginning of time.  They are much less fragile than many people think.  Don't be afraid to properly bundle up the child to go outside for an observing session.


Edited by rhetfield, 02 December 2020 - 03:19 PM.

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#13 Alrakis

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 04:22 PM

rhetfield, on 02 Dec 2020 - 3:12 PM, said:

Keep the scope someplace where it stays acclimated. In my case, the gazebo - stays at temperature and is kept dry. If the weather supports it, let it stay at the observing station already aligned and ready to go. Your scope should be able to see at least a thing or two in a 10-15 minute session. Check into whether it is an option to replace the 1.25" focuser with a 2" focuser if you haven't already done so. The extra FOV would be of benefit.

When the kid wakes you up, take the time to take a peek after putting him/her back down.

Also consider that most infants in most parts of the world have spent lots of quality time in the outdoors in inclement conditions since the beginning of time. They are much less fragile than many people think. Don't be afraid to properly bundle up the child to go outside for an observing session.


Note that in Scandinavia they purposely let the babies sleep in the cold at times. Not that your wife would approve.....

#14 zleonis

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 05:06 PM

Congratulations! I became interested in stargazing right around the time my second daughter was born (she'll be three next spring), and in a lot of ways, amateur astronomy and kids fit together reasonably well. Assuming you can observe from home, I would (still do) put my scope outside around the time the kids are getting ready for bed so it's ready to go when they're asleep. I'd take the baby monitor outside so I could hear the kids if they woke up. While there are certainly some nights when I was too tired / busy with the kids to observe, there are also fewer nights when my wife and I are out and about in the evenings, which frees up time for observing. While it's probably harder to get away to dark sites than it would be without kids, it only takes a little subterfuge to plan weekends at a cabin / camping to coincide with the new moon. 


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#15 MellonLake

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 06:05 PM

Congrats!

 

Don't sell the equipment, kids love astronomy.  It may be a few years, but your kid(s) will love it!  My 16 year old daughter now teaches other random people about the stars at dark sky sites we attend (which this year have been overly well attended by just people out to stargaze).    Both my daughters go out stargazing with me many times a year (now 9 and 16).

 

Rob  


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#16 Kutno

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 07:39 PM

Congratulations on the new addition to the family!

 

No!  Don't sell anything, Amateur1985!  Binos, shminos. 

 

Look at your situation in a positive way.  I, too, have an XT6i and lived in a heavily light polluted city when the little one came.  One of the intercoms was close to the crib and the other one was next to the Dob.  Look at this as an opportunity.  My viewing logs from that era support what I say.     


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#17 rhetfield

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 07:44 PM

Note that in Scandinavia they purposely let the babies sleep in the cold at times. Not that your wife would approve.....

what mom doesn't know won't hurt her🤣

#18 wpostma

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 10:06 PM

Keep it. Frankly by next summer you will be able to get out there and do your thing. 



#19 vtornado

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:58 PM

I would keep the scope.

 

I have two kids, one had insomnia as an infant, the other as insomnia now as a teenager.  Maybe someday I will get some sleep ....

But a six inch with intellescope is a great scope for those time pressed.  I have one.   It cools in 30 minutes, 9 times out of 10

it doesn't need collimation, and never needs it for medium power.  The intelliscope feature should have you finding things

quick, instead of star hopping.

 

If you were asking to sell your 12 inch monster scope that you rarely use now I would say yes, trade it in for something smaller.

 

I am not a fan of giant binos.  They need a good tripod and once they are on a tripod they aren't so fast an portable anymore.

The other night I took out a telescope to find the pinwheel cluster.  It was surprisingly small, I started at 20x to find it,

but then moved to 50x to get the best framing.   You can't do that with binos.


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#20 Gastrol

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 12:24 AM

Congratulations!!
It doesn’t matter what hobby you’re into, just don’t sell your gear.



#21 ShaulaB

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 12:42 AM

Congratulations! The first few months will be interesting. Be patient. I like that you are concerned. Stepping up and being a good parent is so important.

To be honest, you won't get much for a used 6 inch. And in a year, when you want it again, you will probably feel conflicted about spending the money.

Speaking as a Mom, I know how great you will feel helping your child get his or her first views at the eyepiece. The sky and all the lovely objects will still be there.

#22 Amateur1985

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 03:49 AM

Wow, thanks a lot guys. It is not about the money, just not to "waste" them by not using the investment but after all your kind words I am convinced I will not sell my little cannon :)  Indeed this is what I like of it: relatively light one, no need for collimation, easily cooling, the aperture is pretty enough for me (used to have an XT8 which was too heavy for me to say "I enjoyed the evening").

 

Some 6-7 months not using it is not a big deal.


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#23 MawkHawk

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 05:44 PM

Oh, "babies". I thought the subject was "Telescopes and babes".



#24 Sky Muse

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 07:09 PM

Binoculars may not do it for you in the long run.  For quick, impromptu sessions, consider a smaller telescope; a refractor(80mm to 90mm), a tabletop "Dob"(130mm), or a Maksutov(a C90 or a 100mm).  There are many from which to choose.



#25 Sam Danigelis

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Posted 06 December 2020 - 05:45 PM

Congratulations! We raised 3 kids, loved it. You can and should keep your hobbies. Yes, you will have to learn to balance family time with hobbies. Enjoy the times when your child is young. It passes too quickly.


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