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Is it time to throw in the towel!?maybe for now could be giving up the hobby.

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#1 Supernova74

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 03:48 PM

Well I apologise to the moderators in advance if this particular thread is not the most ideal fit in the equipment section in the forums however I was struggling to find a good fit so to speak in other sections of CN.

 

well firstly I’m sure a lot of my fellow members have been down this road once or twice in there amateur Astronomy adventures maybe once or twice or even more perhaps!?however I can assure you amateur Astronomy is in my DNA and once you have dabbled your toes in the water it’s very hard literally not to jump into the deep end which truly this fascinating hobby can bring not just on our ambitious goals perspective and out look of the cosmos um!? Our wallets also.which is safe to say a lot of us follow the same trend.

 

I had from a very young age of 13 no change there then a fascination anything related around space and instead of drawing portraits in my art class I was drawing telescopes and space ships so safe to say I didn’t pass my art exsam so over the last couple of years or so I decided to ignite the flare and passion again associated around Astronomy and admittedly between the ages of 13-47 untill which I am now I have always been interested and knew deep down one day I will come back to the hobby and I have dabbled now and again inbetween that time frame however not quite as serious as I am now.

 

So untill now which is more recent don,t you find guys firstly how strange things sometimes can work out slighty later in life you can finally afford this dream scope without selling a kidney or literally being in debt of the rest of your life only to find out either your health deteriorates in some shape or form or life’s circumstances suddenly change without any true reasonings and basically happens more unless over night out of your control that’s myself at present kind of left in limbo mode struggling what the best route of call is to undertake (that’s just life I guess).

 

So due to personal issues circumstances etc which I will not go into I can no longer really observe from my current location now which happens to be my mothers house,the sky conditions have never been great a class 6 on the bortale scale however in the scheme of things you just have to make do at times as something is better than nothing.And recently on top of all this my scope packed up after just owning in 2 years and took around 6 mths or so to have repaired then once received still not working again.so after some initial research and self diagnosis I managed to get the scope back up and running again.

 

So most recently I decided to put my thinking cap on with very little success so far,apart from living in the uk and having a very un predictable climate clear sky’s are far and few between anyway and any clear sky’s are very much appreciated which comes my way.So initially I decided to try and find a more rural observing location which I could possibly stay or rent a very small plot of land which I would supply myself in a small cabin or hut which I could sleep in on rare occasions however the trade of would be more quality sky conditions however less observing however in my eyes would definitely be worth doing for 1-3 over night stays when I can.

 

well finding a very small plot of land only approximately 8x6ft in dimensions is no easy task even to rent on a temporary basis it seems however it’s definitely not from the lack of trying!?.we have in the uk organisations such as the national trust,woodland trust un spoiled green zones in lovely country side away from heavy light pollution thay couldn’t help due to by laws etc even if I became and member or volunteered my services in exchange for a tiny plot of land.ive contacted holiday parks,my local counsel,an President of all the uk Astronomical society’s of the uk with little success.cold called hosts of air b@b in trying to share my passion an enthusiasm and insight which this hobby can bring which eventually I could do outreach to the local community to folks who have mental disorders and long term illness etc,as a last resort I even advertised on uk Astrobuyandsell with a polite notice in my requirements.

 

So it’s come to the point now I’ve truly had enough as it’s a hobby at the end of the day even tho a way of life for most of us however when every direction is exhausted I’m struggling to find a resolution now so for now I’m considering in sellling all my kit as cannot justify collecting dust even more so and never being used and maybe in a few years time I will consider purchasing a piece of land and eventually which I can call my own.


Edited by Supernova74, 24 June 2021 - 03:54 PM.

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#2 havasman

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 04:19 PM

One truth in your post with which I can completely agree is "how strange things sometimes can work out slighty later in life". At 70 myself I can assure you the strangeness with which life unfolds does not diminish with advancing years but instead seems to amplify.

 

Apart from that, your story is a sad one and I'm sure not entirely unique either. Short of owning a plot, are there spots in public lands where citizens can camp to which you might configure some observing kit? That is a strategy many US observers (including this one) follow for all or most of their sessions.

 

Yes, it's a hobby. And life goes on. Maybe if you sell your kit you can retain a reserve piece of the proceeds in case the strange arc of life opens up some new opportunity for you down the road.

 

Good health and good luck to you.


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#3 FloridaFocus

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 04:20 PM

I don't know anything about your area, or situation, but things do change with time. The only advice I could provide would be to think carefully about selling your gear.

 

I'm not sure what all you have, but don't let frustration lead you to make a decision you'll regret later. Unless monetary or living space/storage constraints are an issue, I would be hesitant to sell equipment. I'd at least look to keep a grab-n-go setup around to take advantage of any fortuitous opportunities. Things have a way of happening when you least expect it.


Edited by FloridaFocus, 24 June 2021 - 04:23 PM.

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#4 BlueMoon

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 04:33 PM

Anecdote: Life recently threw me a serious curve ball at the age of 64. I won't go into details (concerns family, not my health thankfully). Suffice to say, I had to make some changes if I still wanted to enjoy the hobby.

 

My solution is that I'm in the process of selling off all my extra gear and keeping a single scope, eyepieces and alt/az mount. What you can see in my sig. Just enough gear to be a "moments notice grab n go" solution. The rationale is a simple one: astronomy is a "healing time" for me. It's my "alone time" when I can just get outside and relax. Nothing more and nothing less. People need time to "decompress" and just let go of daily stress. I encourage you not to sell off all your gear, keep enough to put a grab n go outfit together and get out under the stars when you can.

 

A side effect, for me at least, was beyond being an outlet for stress, I rediscovered the simplicity that brought me to astronomy in the first place. I now enjoy it as much as I did when I was a kid. Good medicine.

 

Clear skies.


Edited by BlueMoon, 24 June 2021 - 06:29 PM.

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#5 Sky King

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 04:38 PM

You don't sound like someone who lost interest, actually you sound very interested. Consider EAA, works for me from Bortle 8. Might need a camera like a DSLR or a ASI224MC and a old laptop. A used scope, even a 80mm can be found cheap on classified, until your good one is fixed. Binoculars are cool! This hobby brings a lot of satisfaction, if you like it, you will find a way. Considering some aspect of the universe, from the moon and beyond, lifts you out of your circumstances and is powered by your curiosity.  As BlueMoon said above, "Good medicine."


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#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 04:53 PM

If you can't observe from your present location, is there a possibility that you can move to a nearby location where you can observe? Even if it is Bortle 8 or worse, and deep sky observing is severely limited, you can still view the planets, or do narrowband imaging etc.

 

I used to live under Bortle 8 skies with only 20% of the sky visible due to trees, and found enough to keep myself interested. 


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#7 Forward Scatter

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 05:17 PM

I agree with Sky King about trying out EAA. Opportunities to visually observe in Bortle 9 skies of the urban Bay Area was an exercise in frustration; even driving to Bortle 6 sites 30-50 miles away would take way too much time due to traffic. Once I took up EAA in 2013 with a LN300 analog camera I thought I was in heaven, even from the back yard.  Even with an uncooled CMOS color cam can produce incredible DSO images.


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#8 ShaulaB

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 05:25 PM

It's ok to take time off from a hobby. I hope no one is pressuring you to give up on the pursuit. Is there an Astro club near you? Hanging out with others who are into astro can be relaxing fun.


If you think you have excess gear that you will not want to use again, then sell it. But keep your favorites. You never know when a good opportunity to observe will pop up for you.
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#9 barbarosa

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 05:34 PM

Let me add a strong "Do it!" to the two suggestions about EAA. I have better cameras now, but I was thrilled with what I could do with  an LN-300.  A CMOS camera makes a super eyepiece, you will see more and in color than ever you could see even at a dark site.

 

EAA is real time observing with free or very low cost software giving you the advantages of real time image stacking. If your exposure is 15s then 15sec plus just milliseconds more and you have a 15 sec image, that gets better each 15 seconds there after. You can, depending on your mount and interest use 1, 2, or 3 minute exposures, that stack and improve after each exposure, or heaven forefend, you might become an imager.

 

EAA/live imaging  saved this hobby for me. My setup is in the back yard and I curse the Bay Area marine layer rather than the lights.

 

But beware once you have a camera you may start wondering why not solar too? White light for sure and then maybe a Quark.


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#10 jeffreym

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 05:37 PM

If the joy in the hobby is gone for you, then stepping away is a good idea.  It's should be fun after all.

 

If you still think the joy is there but you are just frustrated with current (sky) circumstance, maybe change your focus onto something you have not delved deeply into for a change.  Even in a Bortle 6 sky there are opportunities and challenges.  Double stars, carbon stars, short and long period variable stars, asteroids, planetary nebula, and asterisms can be fun and challenging and there are a thousand good targets reachable from Bortle 6.  There are plenty of open clusters as well that would fill a log book.

 

Then there are planets and the moon of course.  And don't forget there are solar and lunar eclipses as well as conjunctions to catch.

 

Plan one or two good trips a year to better sky or just a star party in a good location and enjoy someone else's equipment and some good conversation. 

 

I think there is still fun to be had if you want to look for it.

 

Good health and good luck!

Jeff


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#11 MikeHC8

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 08:11 PM

I found out late too much equipment (stuff) causes a lot of problems.  I am one scope person with what I call an average scope.  It is hard in this hobby because you always want to get something better, bigger, brand new.  I stick to one scope, and yes I upgrade it from time to time to only make it easer for me.  All I want to do is put it out side and enjoy, this is a good part for my life, but not all.  I have only 1 binocular which is only 10 by 25, and I find so much enjoyment with them only.  The people around me sometimes do not understand what I see in this hobby and when I show them, I get is that all.  I come to this website to text people that also enjoy this hobby and they try so hard not to hurt anyones feelings with question or statements like yours.  Take some time off and reflect about what brought you here and maybe expand to another place in this hobby, reading, checking out the pictures and find something that everyone missed.  This thing called life is short, and to all the older people like me it is now going very fast.  I want to enjoy and not worry if I can not get a good picture, I have my mind and this is were I keep all my astronomy pictures and never forget  about the people who help me along.  Just enjoy life and do what ever you want, do not let anything drag you down.


Edited by MikeHC8, 24 June 2021 - 09:30 PM.

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#12 Jeff Lee

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 09:11 PM

I second/third/fourth the idea of EAA if you can afford or have almost any camera (sharpcap ($15 or so a year) makes it easy). I quit viewing for  2 years only to get back into the game because of EAA. Visit the EAA in the AP forums here. Read all about it, it has keep many folks doing astronomy who otherwise would have quit.


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#13 weis14

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 10:44 PM

Sometimes it isn't easy to fit everything in, so don't feel too bad if you decide to hang it up.  Like others have said, it is supposed to be fun.

 

I'm a big fan of simplifying things when and where you can.  90% of my observing is done in my Bortle 7/8 back yard and I am basically 100% visual at this point.  I have young kids and at most get 3-4 hours per week where the weather, family obligations, work and my general energy level work well enough together to observe, so I don't like even doing EAA as I find that I'm inevitably fussing with something for 30 minutes, which might be half of an observing session.  What I've done to keep things interesting is pick appropriate targets for my gear and sky conditions.  That means that I look at a lot of double stars, open clusters, brighter globular clusters and the moon and planets.  Other than testing if I can even see them, galaxies and all but a few nebula are out.

 

One approach to consider when trying to find a spot to observe in the country is to try to find a friend or two (or better yet, a relative) that will let you observe in their dark, rural yard.  My best two dark sky sites are my mother's house (Bortle 2-3, 90 minutes away) or my father-in-law's fishing cabin (Bortle 1-2, 120 minutes away).  Both come with beds to use at the end of the night and in each case, the owner is usually overjoyed to see me (especially if I bring one of their grandchildren).  You might also have luck simply posting a wanted ad here or on some local social media.  


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#14 B. Hebert

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 10:59 PM

I realize that I am suggesting that you delve quite deep into this field, but perhaps you could consider the subject of narrow-band photography.  Using narrow band filters you can shoot spectacular images from even a highly light polluted area.

 

I do understand that this is diving into the quite deep part of the pool, but some of the narrow-band images you can find have been taken from urban UK areas and get published, even as APODs.

 

Another suggestion might be packing your equipment away with good humidity control and wait until you are as old as some of us and this hobby becomes more appealing.

 



#15 justfred

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 11:26 PM

Don’t sell your stuff just yet. Give it while in storage first and try for a club and/or star party from time to time. And keep things simple when you do find some dark. Doesn’t sound like the love is gone. Life gets in the way sometimes.

 

Fred


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#16 GeneT

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 11:51 PM

I turned 78 on May 3rd. I also gave up the viewing part of astronomy. I could no longer drive on windey roads in the skies of Texas. My daughter got my 12.5 inch Portaball, and I sold a bunch of Delos, Ethos eyepieces, and others to a member of my astronomy club--at a great rate. I had been an active viewer for about 63 years. I have no regrets in moving on. I did not do so when I was younger, in fact I was never tempted to 'throw in the towel.' I have a lot of memories stretching back when my grandmother in Minnewaukan, N. Dak took me out on the back porch in Mag 7 skies, and told me to look up. I have been looking up ever since. I went through about a dozen telescopes, only selling when I wanted to try a different one. My telescopes ranged from a four Dynascope, through a few equatorial mount driven ones, two SCT's, and several Dobs, the largest one being a 20 inch Obsession. My first eyepieces included a 9 Ramsden and a 25 Huygens that came with the Dynamax. My last ones included Ethos, Delos, Radians, and a few specialty eyepieces such as a 5XO, a 7 TMB, an 8 Brandon, and a 9 Hutech. I keep up with the hobby mainly through Cloudy Nights, my favorite blog type thing. My mother died at age 77 as did her father (my grandfather) so I don't know how long I have on this good earth. I don't worry about it, but it is a sober thought to realize you may be looking at your last summer, or your last fall, or your last winter, or your last spring. My life is centered on my faith in God, my love for my wife, two daughters, two sons, and five grandchildren. I enjoy and give thanks for every day that I live, and look forward to the next. I have moved on, but not thrown in the towel.   


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#17 Notdarkenough

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 09:55 AM

Honestly, it is a great time to sell. Astronomy is booming, prices are crazy and everything has 6 months backorder. Sorry if that is too Machiavellian!



#18 bunyon

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 09:59 AM

I wouldn't throw in the towel as it sounds like you (the OP) aren't irritated with the sky but irritated with the nagging bits of life. Unfortunately, life intercedes sometimes. I doubt there are many of us who haven't gone on a bit of a hiatus due to health, family, work, etc. You could sell your stuff or not. You could spend a year or more away from the sky. The beauty of it is, the sky will be there for you when you're ready for it. 


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#19 therealdmt

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 11:41 AM

It’s definitely often true that when people figure out stuff (who they are, what they really want/need, how to handle other people) later in life is right when health concerns start providing ever-mounting roadblocks. As the old saying goes, "youth is wasted on the young" grin.gif  

 

Well, that’s the way it goes.

 

I have to say, Bortle 6 isn’t so bad — it’s better than I’ve got, for one. Perhaps it’s actually worse than Bortle 6 though? https://skyandtelesc...dark-sky-scale/
According to Bortle’s scale, you should be able to see stars down to Mag 5.5 and be able to detect M31 naked eye while being able to see M33 in binoculars — yeah, I totally wish I had that.

 

Meanwhile, perhaps you can load a telescope in your car and take a drive to a darker site sometimes, eh? Doesn’t have to be your own plot of land; could just be a dead end road somewhere out in the country or some public land just off the road/parking lot and out of the direct light. Keep your rig light, like a smallish refractor on an alt-az mount — no cool down time, no batteries, no computers, no polar aligning, no multiple trips (well, one for the tripod/mount and another for the scope with everything in/on it set to go). Use just a zoom eyepiece.

 

Then maybe once or twice a year, or even just once every couple of years, you could take a big multi-day trip to a real dark site.

 

And of course you can still see the planets and the Moon and a few other bright targets even in the city…

 

if your health/finances allow, stick with it if you still want to. Just make sure your rig and expectations suit your circumstances. 

 

Good luck, we’re all pulling for you smile.gif


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#20 Supernova74

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 12:34 PM

Thankyou guys for all your advice and comments so far.yes it’s differcult to make the right choice in making any possible rash decisions and completely agree the night sky is always go to be there!? Far longer than we are on this tiny little planet of ours unless there is another asteroid or Big Bang we don,t know about lol.one day I perhaps have my observatory in a more rural location.


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#21 Supernova74

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 12:43 PM

It’s definitely often true that when people figure out stuff (who they are, what they really want/need, how to handle other people) later in life is right when health concerns start providing ever-mounting roadblocks. As the old saying goes, "youth is wasted on the young" grin.gif  

 

Well, that’s the way it goes.

 

I have to say, Bortle 6 isn’t so bad — it’s better than I’ve got, for one. Perhaps it’s actually worse than Bortle 6 though? https://skyandtelesc...dark-sky-scale/
According to Bortle’s scale, you should be able to see stars down to Mag 5.5 and be able to detect M31 naked eye while being able to see M33 in binoculars — yeah, I totally wish I had that.

 

Meanwhile, perhaps you can load a telescope in your car and take a drive to a darker site sometimes, eh? Doesn’t have to be your own plot of land; could just be a dead end road somewhere out in the country or some public land just off the road/parking lot and out of the direct light. Keep your rig light, like a smallish refractor on an alt-az mount — no cool down time, no batteries, no computers, no polar aligning, no multiple trips (well, one for the tripod/mount and another for the scope with everything in/on it set to go). Use just a zoom eyepiece.

 

Then maybe once or twice a year, or even just once every couple of years, you could take a big multi-day trip to a real dark site.

 

And of course you can still see the planets and the Moon and a few other bright targets even in the city…

 

if your health/finances allow, stick with it if you still want to. Just make sure your rig and expectations suit your circumstances. 

 

Good luck, we’re all pulling for you smile.gif

Thankyou for your kind words!? It’s not so much I’m picking and choosing my location however the location I currently in yes in the scheme of things are acceptable and beggars cannot be choosers I suppose.being a 47 year old man who currently lives with a narcissistic um mother lol cat out of the bag now is not easy to live with not all as it seems also yes not good for my health from suffering from servere depression and anxiety.however once I’ve found somewhere else to live not easy and very exspensive in my neck of the woods just outside London maybe my head will be more clearer in what is the best option etc.the other draw back for myself also I don’t drive I know don,t laugh!? So logging an Meade 12” ACF sct cassagrain around and all the additional accessories is not really feasible to do hence why in the ideal world a private land owner could possibly rent me a small plot of land.


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#22 DSOGabe

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Posted 25 June 2021 - 05:07 PM

I second the idea of just holding off any decisions for now. 

Perhaps in a couple of months or so, you circumstances may change and you feel ready to start up again. Then your equipment is there, ready to go again.

If however, you feel at that time that nothing has changed and you still feel ready to move on, then you can consider selling off the gear. At that time you will know for sure that you did not make a rash or spurious decision so selling off will not be filled with regrets or feelings of making a big mistake.


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#23 grif 678

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Posted 26 June 2021 - 05:24 PM

For us in the 60's and 70's age, we need to be thankful that we had the skies, the excitement, and all the things we had that are not available to the kids now. Just think how exciting a good 60mm refractor was to us back then. We made the excitement and fun with what we had. No matter what any one says, this hobby is not what it use to be for the kids. Kids now a days have something in their hands that they can show them anything they want to see, we thankfully did not have that, we had to find the things on our own, used our imaginations, it was exciting and fun. The first views of Jupiter, Saturn, the moon through a small scope, we really were on top of the world.

I would keep a small scope at least of I were you, a good nostalgic one that has been with you all those great young years, one you grew up with, it will bring memories and smiles to you when you think about the times you had with the scope.


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#24 sevenofnine

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Posted 26 June 2021 - 07:01 PM

No matter how prepared you think you are, life throws you curve balls. Personally, I've had a lot of them. What clears my head is getting out under the stars. Not cataloging all my finds or organizing them like a stamp collection either. Just being out there with a small scope, breathing the fresh air and being a part of it...whatever it is waytogo.gif


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#25 CollinofAlabama

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Posted 27 June 2021 - 02:13 AM

What Billy writes is true, kids are attached to screens attached to the Internet, and can see most anything they want.  I have been fascinated with the night sky and telescopes all my life, and that cannot change as long as I have vision, relative control over my body, and the desire to pursue this wonderous hobby.  There have been times of tumult in my life, no doubt like others, when nothing seemed to give satisfaction, and astronomy cannot cure depression and some of the worst emotional distress this world can throw at a person, but time, if given the chance, heals wounds, even deep ones.

 

A 12" SCT, btw, is more telescope than I'd ever want to own, having witnessed fellow Club members labor over the setup and tear down of one.  And I had my best view of Saturn through that same scope!  But ownership and appreciation are not the same thing.  I appreciate the view of a tiger at the zoo, but my cat is as large a feline as I want to possess.  Perhaps you have more scope than you can handle?  It would be the case for me, personally, but this hobby is so individualistic and personal, it is unwise to extrapolate my predilections or, someone else's for that matter, to you.  A 12" SCT may indeed be the best thing for you, even as I prefer my 8" dob, 130mm F/5 reflector, 4" achromat, 80mm ED F/7 refractor, and 4" Mak to larger apertures, at least as far as ownership goes.  But that's me.  What is right for you is something only you can determine.

 

Good luck and may your spirits be lifted so that you are moved again to observe God's good heavens -- naked eye, small telescope, or large, as the case may be.


Edited by CollinofAlabama, 27 June 2021 - 07:06 PM.

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