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The unthinkable is starting to happen- a waning interest in astronomy

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#26 Tyson M

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 05:59 PM

*snip 

 

Now Jupiter is coming back to the evening sky. How many have seen a shadow transit? Seen a moon suddenly appear out of Jove’s shadow? Or slowly fade as it enters? That’s a whole field of study in itself. And with all the moons, dozens of chances to see something wondrous. 

So my advice for anyone feeling burnout. Give it a break for a while. Come back when the desire hits. Try some different things. Read up. Learn the names of the stars or the Big Dipper. Recite the Greek alphabet. Keep some binoculars handy and attempt to spy the most southerly thing possible (Like Gamma Velorum from my latitude) 

My last Jupiter outings have been outstanding, particularly my last outing with the 9" refractor.  I plan to catch it as much as I can. I love seeing a transit or when a moon pops out from around Jove.  I did get some 20x60 binoculars on a manfrotto 410 geared head to use for grab and go until my 100mm (or 127mm) refractor gets made. 

 

I have spent time with the big dipper and learning their names but the majority of constellations not really...always something new to learn for me in astronomy which is part of the draw in for me.

 

I have not even finished the Messiers.  Seen many of them multiple times but timing has been off and observing sessions shorter than others for various reasons.  

 

I have all of these wonderful lists from Sue French on SS6 that I havent explored. I just need some good sessions to really start diving in.


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#27 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 06:18 PM

I've spent so much time and money on equipment through the years, that I want to use it.  I, too, would feel guilty if I didn't use it.  If I quit using it, lost interest, then I would feel obligated to sell the equipment.  I am not advocating that anyone else feel this way, it's just the way I roll.



#28 The Ardent

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 06:21 PM

Think about this. Folks up in Fifth Meridian , Alberta  don’t even have darkness of night this time of year. Just nautical twilight at best. 


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#29 The Ardent

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 07:45 PM

Fool:  The reason why the seven stars
are no moe than seven is a pretty reason. 

Lear: Because they are not eight?

Fool:  Yes indeed. Thou wouldst make a good fool.


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#30 Tyson M

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 07:58 PM

Think about this. Folks up in Fifth Meridian , Alberta don’t even have darkness of night this time of year. Just nautical twilight at best.


Yup I live in alberta. 53 deg north.

And now we have to deal with wildfire smoke late summer when we just start to get more night hours.
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#31 Jeff Lee

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 08:26 PM

I gave up the hobby for a couple of years, but kept my gear. Got into EAA and now I do it 20-30 times a year. No pressure. I have 4 real hobbies and I just do them when I want. With my current scopes/mounts/binoculars I can do anything I want, but I do 99% of what I do now in my Bortle 5.6/6 skies. One or two star parties a year (mostly in B1/B2 skies). But I love using my two scopes together for EAA, sometimes outside or indoors. I love every thing about astronomy but having other hobbies means each gets a bit of my interest at a time and I am happy doing each. Pressure should not be a part of a hobby and for me a hobby is a pressure release from reality. Keep everything in perspective, and keep your gear you'll want to use it. The real value of CN is keeping engaged even when not viewing IMHO. 



#32 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 09:07 PM

Visual astronomy is my passion, but to each's own.  Everyone can enjoy the hobby in different ways.

Does this mean you will not be building an observing structure on your GF's parents property?



#33 asterope62

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 10:18 PM

Astronomy has been my hobby for over 50 years: however there have been times when the astronomy bug wasn't as strong in my life as at other times. Late teens/early twenties girls tended to distract me. During raising children years they got a lot of attention,  etc. Now that I'm older I find my interest is stronger (more time), but still get busy with other things.


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#34 Oyaji

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 10:41 PM

My last Jupiter outings have been outstanding, particularly my last outing with the 9" refractor.


A little off topic, but would you please post a picture of your 9" refractor? I really want to see that big, beautiful monster! And where would I get one for myself should I win the lottery?

#35 Tyson M

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 10:49 PM

Does this mean you will not be building an observing structure on your GF's parents property?


No- I still am building it.I have a steel pier on order from skyshed. Hope to have it in place in the ground by end of summer or beginning of spring next year.

#36 Dwight J

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:55 AM

I have had the amount of time and/or energy wax and wane over time but my passion has been unabated.  I am accepting that as I age I will devote less time to it and I have accepted that is reality as is worsening weather and other conditions like smoke most of the summer.  Our air quality today was at the very worst end of the scale and no end in sight.  Patience has always been an aspect of this hobby.  Consider it character building.  


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#37 ayadai

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 01:15 AM

astronomy_status_board.png


Edited by ayadai, 19 July 2021 - 01:16 AM.

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#38 dave253

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 01:36 AM

Pretty much a normal state of affairs!
As others say, the universe will still be there when you are ready.
I’ve recently returned to my golf obsession after a several year hiatus, and loving it. 



#39 alphatripleplus

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 06:56 AM

Yeah, as others have noted, there is nothing wrong with taking a break - the skies will be there when you come back. I took off many years, when career issues, location and family combined to make it hard to do much amateur astronomy. Sometimes the time off helps getting perspective on your hobbies.



#40 airbleeder

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:56 AM

   I will never understand anyone feeling guilt because of non-participation in a hobby. It seems to defeat the purpose of the hobby. Obsession, guilty. Waning interest, not guilty. 



#41 Supernova74

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 09:25 AM

   I will never understand anyone feeling guilt because of non-participation in a hobby. It seems to defeat the purpose of the hobby. Obsession, guilty. Waning interest, not guilty.

Yes i can see where your comming from there!?

No you shouldn’t feel guilty as mainly from my best understanding it mostly goes down to change of circumstances or health related issues,it’s not only that. from personal experience your mental state of mind can be effected dramatically your energy levels are then drained in actually trying to participate in not just amateur astronomy also any other hobby you might decide to have a genral interest in.the down side is with anything infact you can kind of go like a bull in a china shop,full on then again you can go into dangerous territory again in having to much of a good thing,and that flare and spark that once was quickly diminishes.the down side of amateur astronomy it can also become a very unsocial hobby at times,long observing sessions during the night and this can also effect other aspects in your life ie family,work,social gatherings maybe.the guilty part for myself personally is not so much being able to observe it’s more the amount of money i,ve spent on equipment which is hardly being used,but this again be related to most hobbies with fishing being another one.



#42 gwlee

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 11:59 AM

Burnout: An obsession going into remission without the need for external intervention. It isn’t necessarily bad thing.
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#43 elzopilote

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 12:08 PM

Passions and interests rise and wane, life is rich and full of so many things to learn and do. If you lose interest in astronomy, that's okay. Life is short and we shouldn't force things. Who knows, maybe you will come back full circle and enjoy the stars in a new way. Just this last weekend I was out with my wife with some lawn chairs under a beautiful sky, just looking and talking. No telescopes or gear. It was marvelous. 


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#44 grif 678

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 02:31 PM

As I read all these responses, and I all ready added one, but to be honest, if it had not been for Cloudy Nights, I would have probably been through for good. But when you read posts, get to be in contact with other astronomers, hear about their scopes, it keeps you going a little longer. A lot of good ideas have been put on this site, and during the very cold weather, rainy and cloudy nights, skies getting lighter, you can always go to CN and read about others in other parts of the country and world, and it is the next thing to being out with the scope. I guess after I quit viewing for good, I will still frequent this site, read up on what is going on, and get to contact old friends I have met here.

Billy


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#45 kjkrum

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 02:44 PM

I've always had way too many hobbies, and my interest in each sometimes wanes, only to return again a few months or years later. When I became obsessed with astronomy a couple years ago, I felt guilty about neglecting metal detecting. Et cetera. I'm just happy if I know when it's time to sell some (never all) of the equipment and make room in the shed for the next big thing.

#46 GeneT

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 02:46 PM

Old age (78 years old) is what finally got me. Can't drive at night, and lifting my 12.5 inch Portaball up into the vehicle became a challenge. Gave my telescope to my daughter, and sold my collection of eyepieces to a club member here in San Antonio. If old age had not hit me, I would not have dropped the hobby.


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#47 Supernova74

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 03:12 PM

Old age (78 years old) is what finally got me. Can't drive at night, and lifting my 12.5 inch Portaball up into the vehicle became a challenge. Gave my telescope to my daughter, and sold my collection of eyepieces to a club member here in San Antonio. If old age had not hit me, I would not have dropped the hobby.

Lol your still a spring chicken!?my great grandfather was a character bless his soul.he was nearly 90 then decided smoking was a bad idea after smoking jhon player cigarettes (quite strong i beleive) then turned around and said thease cigarettes are killing me.had fried breakfast every day,liked a occasional glass of whiskey or rum never had any hobbies however he did love watching the western series bonanza on a Sunday afternoon.and then still lived till around 100


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#48 Brianm14

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 03:51 PM

Not sure if the scopes listed under your signature are your only scopes, but 2 of them are big, beautiful monsters--a 25" Dob and a 9" refractor (I never knew there was such a thing!).  It must be a huge hassle setting them up, not to mention wear and tear on your back. 
 
Maybe you sell one of your big, beautiful monsters and invest the proceeds in an astrophotography rig.  That won't solve your weather problem, of course, and it's still a bit of a hassle to set up and polar align an astrophoto rig, but your astro journey would veer off in an exciting new direction. 
 
Plus, while your photo rig is collecting photons, you could still collect photons the old fashioned way--with your eyes.  Maybe get a used c8, which takes zero time to set up with a simple alt-az mount.  
 
And, after all, the universe does look better in color!
 
P.S.  Processing astrophotos is a lot more fun than playing computer games, IMHO. I speak from experience.

Don’t spin your wheels fretting over this.  Why feel guilty?  It’s your choice.  There is no good or bad.  This is not a moral problem -unless you make it one.

 

Concentrating on an activity to the point of exclusiveness can easily lead to burn out in any avocation or vocation.  It is healthy to branch out into new areas.  Reading what you wrote several times, I started to get a sense that your very heavy involvement in astronomy (as evidenced by your equipment) has become oppressive, even suffocating. Astronomy has become a rather grim proposition, almost an obligation.  How awful!  

 

The fact that you have become attracted to and involved with a computer game suggests you really need a complete change of pace for the health of your mind, body, soul/spirit.  You picked something not even peripherally related to astronomy and there is an obvious reason for this.  It may be as simple as a need to play!  No matter how healthy the meal, eating the same thing day after day, meal after meal, will surely dull your senses and kill your appetite.  Eating will be reduced to a chore.  I submit that this is what has happened to you. Time to change your diet!

 

Store your astro gear safely, and forget about it.  When (and if) you return to astronomy, I’d suggest making your re-entry simple and just for fun.  That may even mean buying a much more basic, easy-to-set up telescope, so your focus can be on pure enjoyment.

 

Good luck and have confidence that you are on a healthy and sensible path.


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#49 KI5CAW

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 03:54 PM

What makes the difference for me is having a telescope that is always set up and ready to go. If I were wealthier it would be in an observatory, but even my weatherproof RFT is enough. No need to set up and tear down, or drive anywhere. A quick trip outside and the stars are there! And in spite of living in the desert Southwest, between full Moons, clouds, smoke and an inability to stay up past 10, I rarely get the opportunity, so I always go out. Never feel guilty about the lagging interest, as it will inevitably be temporary. Beats watching politics on the news....


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#50 Brianm14

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Posted 19 July 2021 - 08:23 PM

Thinking of Galileo, I am frequently inspired by the thought that that grand old man would have been blown away by most of the instruments we use so casually.  A lot of talented people worked very hard over the past several centuries to give us such an array of superb optics (by historical standards at the very least).  It helps keep me probing the heavens.




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