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

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#51 csrlice12

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 10:12 AM

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.

 

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.

This does not sound like waning interest....this sounds more like you are letting work and other stressors eat into "My time".  We all need some "My time" and must be careful to not let things eat into it because it's already a small serving and stressors expect a buffet.  In the end, nobody benefits if you aren't at your best, and that means having "My time".  Been there....reclaim your "My time".


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#52 laurelg9

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 10:18 AM

this is the first year in over a decade I've been really focused on astronomy. I've read a lot of books, bought a ton of equipment, and every single clear night I've gotten out at least one scope and looked at things. I've learned so much, and I've really enjoyed it. 

 

it's been about six weeks since I was able to do more than just glance at the moon, or the sun (I bought a solar filter for my smallest scope). There were two nights were I got up to see Jupiter and Saturn, but mostly, it's been very, VERY low key.  

 

Between darkness not getting here until 11 (and I sleep at 10, clouds, rain and now smoke, it feels like I have a whole corner of my dining room dedicated to expensive stuff I don't ever get to use.  But, like a lot of hobbies, I think I'll get back to it. It's frustrating though.  


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#53 firemachine69

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 10:23 AM

I left the hobby about fifteen years ago, and just very recently came back. However, I'm now married with kids, and astronomy is the perfect "me time" hobby chasing down the Messiers.



#54 csrlice12

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 10:35 AM

I went out Sunday night....smog was bad, poor air quality, bumper crop of skeeters this year, hot, and an Ozone alert, news was telling people to stay indoors  Took the 81mm and the 100* eyepiece set to view the moon.  Was out for about two hours.  I had not really used the 100* eyepieces much in this scope, mostly orthos, sometimes XWs.  Despite the conditions, It was a sight to behold...the moon fit into the fov of the 4.7mm and nearly fit the 3.7mm.   It was only a couple of hours, but it was some "My time" and I enjoyed it immensely.  My grabngo 81mm has become my most used scope and I highly recommend having one.  When I go to the dark site, I take the dob, but for those nights I have a couple of hours or less of "My time", the 81mm is a godsend.


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#55 firemachine69

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 10:51 AM

I went out Sunday night....smog was bad, poor air quality, bumper crop of skeeters this year, hot, and an Ozone alert, news was telling people to stay indoors  Took the 81mm and the 100* eyepiece set to view the moon.  Was out for about two hours.  I had not really used the 100* eyepieces much in this scope, mostly orthos, sometimes XWs.  Despite the conditions, It was a sight to behold...the moon fit into the fov of the 4.7mm and nearly fit the 3.7mm.   It was only a couple of hours, but it was some "My time" and I enjoyed it immensely.  My grabngo 81mm has become my most used scope and I highly recommend having one.  When I go to the dark site, I take the dob, but for those nights I have a couple of hours or less of "My time", the 81mm is a godsend.

 

 

I concur on a small grab and go setup. My old Eq3/Meade 114 combo will be converted to alt-az setup shortly. I grabbed it for a quick viewing session (under 50 min) a few nights ago, and I got annoyed trying to do even a rough polar alignment. Must have wasted half my session doing that, and that won't do (I may as well do a nexstar session with more aperture).

 

My 80mm equinox at camp on the AZ5 is seeing 90% usage. 


Edited by firemachine69, 20 July 2021 - 11:11 AM.


#56 Jeff Lee

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 11:15 AM

I have two quick view setups: One is the C5/SE Mount. With GPS the alignment process and either 2 or 3 (very point and done) alignment this is very good for stuff like OC and GC in my B5.5/6 skies. The other is my 20 x 80 binocs on a very tall mount and an Orion Paragon mount (carry it outside and viewing in less than 3 minutes). These two kits get the most use because I don't setup my Az-EQ and C8/Es102 unless I am going to get two nights (maybe 15 times a year here in Oregon). The Binocs for sucker hole nights and the C5/SE (the one for the C6/C8) for EAA on 1 hour or more. I use SkyTools V4 to customize viewing list for each night for each setup if I think I'll get out. When I've lost interest (about 5 years ago for two years) it has always been the Binoc's that get me excited again, because they are so easy to use. I should mention that my spotter - USA rubber coated C90 - on the Paragon gets the call for the moon.

 

I can go from simple to complex (remote control of the AZ-EQ) and just am a happy campera @71 and doing mostly EAA from the yard. When I don't fell like it, I don't and it doesn't bother me.



#57 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 11:26 AM

In 55 years of viewing, my interest has waned a few times.  I only had one scope between 1998 and 2001, but I never sold my better eyepieces. 


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#58 cmooney91

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 12:57 PM

...... Maybe EAA in the future but not jumping for it.

EAA is a powerful drug. 

 

My interests are strongly cyclical, I routinely pick up new hobby's and return to old ones.

 

I got into Astronomy in 2011 with binoculars and  loved it, I got a dob in 2012 and loved it even more, but then my interest faded ~2013. 

 

After the 2017 eclipse my interest was reignited and I joined a club and subscribed to S&T. The sense of community really helped to keep me engaged.  

 

Around 2018 I discovered EAA and started to play around with a live stacking using a cheap 224 camera and fast C-mount lenses from a stationary tripod. In seconds it showed me the horsehead in color under a street light with a 60% moon. After that, the meat hooks were set, and I spent the next few years putting together a small tracking telescope and then continually improving the system. With EAA there is almost no question if you will see what your looking for, only a question of how well, and how quickly. 

 

Even with the incredible power of EAA my interest still waned. For most of late 2020 and early 2021 I've been playing multiplayer video games(Sea of Thieves) with friends. It has been a great supplement to offset the isolation of the pandemic. At times I did feel a little guilty playing on clear moonless nights, but it was a lot of fun and I don't regret it, the stars aren't going anywhere.  

 

I'm just now starting to come out from under my rock and getting back into EAA and visual astronomy. Just like clockwork, the cycle goes on. 


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#59 James Paulson

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 02:23 PM

Interesting post. I kind of took up astronomy as a 6 year old kid and I am now 58. That means I have been in and out a few times, and most recently have just returned after a bit over a 2 year break from the hobby. In my experience, it doesn't hurt to leave. And as a bonus, you will be amazed at how much things have changed and you will get to see all the new gear that has arrived and enjoy it even more. Go ahead, the sky will still be there when you get back.


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#60 ayadai

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 04:34 PM

I expect that we'll see a bit of an exodus from amateur astronomy as frustration with the degraded (i.e., smoky, light-polluted) atmosphere and post-pandemic buyer's remorse sets it. I'm already seeing a bit of an uptick in ads for gear, including "complete setups" and scopes both in the classifieds here and on EBay.


Edited by ayadai, 20 July 2021 - 04:34 PM.

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#61 Tyson M

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 07:37 PM

Well I just picked up a Lzos 115mm apo for grab and go lol, for a price I couldn't refuse. 

 

It should help me get out the door more for backyard sessions if I get some free time and clear skies. Bonus is I can dual mount my two scopes on the AZEQ6 for solar work in whitelight and halpha.

 

I have 3 weeks off coming up soon.  I was hoping to get some astronomy in but with the wildfire smoke it might not happen.  

 

Thankfully I have some warhammer 40k models to assemble and paint to pass the time.


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#62 George N

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 08:32 PM

One thing that helps -- is to have interest in multiple aspects of astronomy - say imaging, visual in different areas solar/lunar/planets/deep-sky/outreach/astro-club - maybe telescope making, or astronomy as a 'science'. That way when your interest in one area goes down, maybe it will pick up in another.


Edited by George N, 20 July 2021 - 08:32 PM.

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#63 jimkz400d3

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 11:23 AM

I understand the OP point of view. When I was in my teens I’d be out 75% of the clear nights. I had pretty good view of the sky. After a 30 year or so hiatus I purchased an Orion Starblast 6. Now living in a rural area the skies are certainly dark. Unfortunately for stargazing etc I live in a forest. I have very tall trees, plus my backyard is a hill. The only really good views are straight up, limited viewing to the NE and North. You might suggest driving to a dark spot, but I might run into Coyotes. That being all said I somewhat recently purchased a Z10. Still I’d love to go out on clear nights. With limited open sky at home, and don’t want to be attacked by wildlife I seldom take either telescope out. My interest is slightly waned. I’ll be retired in a few years. We might go to a warmer climate, but I must have open skies, even if I loose some darkness
To the OP, don’t feel guilty. Just don’t completely loose your love of the night sky.

#64 aatt

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 01:42 PM

I got my 15” upgrade and was obsessed with observing for five years. Every clear night practically and then I hit the wall
Globs and galaxies became a so what? I stopped observing and would not take either scope out unless I really wanted to. Any doubt and I would not. Fortunately this cam on during the long New England winter. When I did take the scope out, I enjoyed it. My break was probably 4-5 months and since then it has been sporadic. I still enjoy it immensely, but those five years really pushed my tolerance for hard observing. I certainly learned the capabilities of the 15”. I would not worry about it, too much of anything is not great. You will bounce back in all likelihood, just take a break and then be judicious about when you roll out. One benefit is I be an to appreciate binocular astronomy- easy to do and easy to stop. Hassle and low motivation will keep you inside for sure.

#65 Crow Haven

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 02:30 PM

Don't worry, be happy with whatever hobbies grab your interest.  Certainly don't feel guilty about any of it, interests just ebb and flow.  When the time is right to get back to astronomy you'll be ready. smile.gif


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#66 ayadai

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 06:58 PM

As long as there is some sort of challenge and new gadgets to go along with it, my interest is maintained. As soon as it becomes routine, I'm distracted by the nearest squirrel...



#67 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 06:52 PM

I’d recommend radically simplifying. Get a small long achro like an f/12 to 15 or a comparably sized apo or mak-cases on a simple alt az or equatorial. Alternatively, get some handheld binoculars. No need to collimating, it makes life easier.



#68 luxo II

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 02:18 AM

Just looking to hear thoughts from others.  Perhaps others who have felt the same waning interest, took a break, and came back in "bigger and better". Cheers

This can happen for various reasons.

 

Changes in life, moving home, divorce, even a long spell of crap weather (a bad run for 18 months convinced me to sell everything and take up another hobby).

 

But you will come back to it, eventually, it is an enduring interest. 

 

Even if in retirement you buy a 3.5" Q.


Edited by luxo II, 24 July 2021 - 02:19 AM.

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#69 Ihtegla Sar

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 12:48 PM

It is possible I could just be burned out too much from my job, NOT astronomy.

I gave up Astronomy for many years both because of work (it's hard to stay up all night when you are working a lot) and because other hobbies (like white water kayaking) were taking up too much of my time and energy. I lost energy to set up a telescope at night and without intending on giving up astronomy, the years slipped by . . .

I'm older now, and can't kayak like I used to and have a lot more control over my work schedule. I got back into astronomy a couple years ago when I moved to a place with an unobstructed southern view and realized that I could finally afford a 4" florite refractor and could easily set it up in the back deck for short sessions of planetary and lunar viewing, even in my light polluted skies.

Turned out I still had a passion for astronomy. Even more passion for it now since I can now afford much better gear than when I was younger. I supplemented the 4" Tak with a 20" Obsession and make it out to dark skies about a dozen times a year. But more time is spent with the four inch refractor at home either after work or in the early morning before work.

But I still find I can only really enjoy it when I am well rested so there are a lot of nights when I don't make it out just because I am too tired from work.

Last night was a beautiful night and I had planned to go out with my four inch refractor and look at some double stars, take another look at the Nova in Cassiopea that is still pretty bright, Saturn, Jupiter and the nearly full moon. But after a days work, I ended up being too tired even to set up a small refractor. Hopefully I will have energy to rally tonight.

You have a couple really nice but very large telescopes (I've enjoyed reading your thread about your 9" achro, as well as your comparison to the 25" dob). It must take a lot of energy to set either of those telescopes up. I wouldn't feel guilty if you are too tired or burned out from work to make it out for a while. Nothing wrong with taking a break to get some rest, or even to enjoy something different. The sky will always be there.

Although, I am still kicking myself for missing the Venus transit, but at least I got back into astronomy in time to see the Mercury transit, and was lucky enough that the weather cooperated.

Edited by Ihtegla Sar, 24 July 2021 - 12:50 PM.

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#70 jcj380

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 01:04 PM

Between darkness not getting here until 11 (and I sleep at 10, clouds, rain and now smoke, it feels like I have a whole corner of my dining room dedicated to expensive stuff I don't ever get to use.  But, like a lot of hobbies, I think I'll get back to it. It's frustrating though.  

Same here.  I'm about to fire up my model trains again (it's been at least three years) - weather, LP, and smoke have no effect on railroad modeling or railroad photography.  I have a ton of military history books on the shelves too.


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#71 Tyson M

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 04:13 PM

*snip
You have a couple really nice but very large telescopes (I've enjoyed reading your thread about your 9" achro, as well as your comparison to the 25" dob). It must take a lot of energy to set either of those telescopes up. I wouldn't feel guilty if you are too tired or burned out from work to make it out for a while. Nothing wrong with taking a break to get some rest, or even to enjoy something different. The sky will always be there.
 

The 25" dob isnt too bad at all, now that everything is in place for it. Actually quite easy as it lives in a machine shop at my dark site.

 

The 9" achro on the other hand....takes creative planning and grunting.  The lens on it is super fine though.  Incredible really and I know its a special scope, it shouldn't be that good for how large it is. With the matching chromacorr it has taken it to another level.  This needs an observatory which I have a pier from skyshed on route to me.  Hopefully I can get it into the ground this summer at least.

 

And I am glad you enjoyed the thread.


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#72 The Ardent

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:45 PM

Mask it down to 4” and it will weigh as much as a 4” , right?
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#73 Tyson M

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:48 PM

Mask it down to 4” and it will weigh as much as a 4” , right?

Tell that to my body haha. What it doesn't know wont hurt it?

 

I am 36 and loathe setting it up and taking it down.   



#74 Supernova74

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 04:58 AM

Well I just picked up a Lzos 115mm apo for grab and go lol, for a price I couldn't refuse. 

 

It should help me get out the door more for backyard sessions if I get some free time and clear skies. Bonus is I can dual mount my two scopes on the AZEQ6 for solar work in whitelight and halpha.

 

I have 3 weeks off coming up soon.  I was hoping to get some astronomy in but with the wildfire smoke it might not happen.  

 

Thankfully I have some warhammer 40k models to assemble and paint to pass the time.

Well that doesn’t make much sense!?

from your original post the impressions i got your interest was waning in astronomy you puchasing another scope I feel will not help matters for you at the moment. however that’s entirely up to you.however I don’t mean come across disrespectful to you or anything however there is a narrow line there between being passionate about something which could turn into a obsession and just be careful that’s all that your only receiving a buzz from the initial puchase as that could become unhealthy!?


Edited by Supernova74, 25 July 2021 - 05:00 AM.


#75 ayadai

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 05:45 AM

Well that doesn’t make much sense!?

from your original post the impressions i got your interest was waning in astronomy you puchasing another scope I feel will not help matters for you at the moment. however that’s entirely up to you.however I don’t mean come across disrespectful to you or anything however there is a narrow line there between being passionate about something which could turn into a obsession and just be careful that’s all that your only receiving a buzz from the initial puchase as that could become unhealthy!?

Unhealthy? I think not. The acquisition of new gear creating new challenges and opportunities is what drives our interest and the industry that facilitates it.
 




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