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

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#151 25585

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 09:31 AM

Retirement....life's BIG gamechanger

Yessiree!

 

But... I am here with A1 gear, and little idea due to older age, inertia, cloudy night skies. But I do like learning still. 

 

I go back to beginner roots. Binoculars, books, plastic planispheres and 4" refractors, then an 8" g&g Dob. 

 

Too much expensive gear can impose a burden of need-to-use. Mine are kept & cherished, but my need is to get out just to see anything, so what is immediate for quick use counts.

 

Easy targets are gratifying and encouraging to find harder ones, modern scopes can show more. A small GOTO mount will give me a gadget buzz, and help me see & find more, I think.   



#152 jcj380

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 05:42 PM

Hey Johnda,

Get you a go to scope, Set it up next to your window, and then keep it plugged in to the wall outlet. Or just have a friend to help you set up a dob next to the window. I know some city dwellers view right through the window. Maybe get a good light pollution filter. No reason you can’t still view if you have one window with clear sky.

Steve

It's not perfect, but observing through my south-facing dining room window works pretty well on those sub-zero windchill January nights.



#153 joelin

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 12:42 AM

Regarding losing inertia in this hobby, I realize a big part of my interest was chasing the tech tree of whats possible and then feeling a bit bored after I reached there. In the beginning it was darker skies where I could see a gazillion more stars. Then it was bigger apertures to go for fainter objects. Afterwards came astrophotography and with each successive technology, my photos got better and better. Each time I would read about how getting X tech could make my images way better or objects much prettier. Often times I would see the improvements but at the same time I would run into another limitation. Usually this was a lack of time, lack desire to haul a lot of equipment around, lack of desire to go drive to very far places for dark skies, not wanting to spend a lot of time processing or wanting to go for impossibly faint objects. So I would hit walls, overcome them with tech, hit more walls and eventually hit a lot of walls because I can't generate 10 Hubble like photos a night. 

 

I think my interest in this hobby will come back but it's also time for a little bit of a break. 



#154 bjkaras

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 12:51 AM

I’ve been interested in astronomy since I was very young, and bought my first telescope when I was 16. I majored in astronomy in college and later got a PhD in physics. I had this idea of spending my career on a mountaintop observatory imaging galaxies. What I found out was that the real fun was reducing the data and using it to do real physics, and actually learn something in the process. That being said, the hobby part of it for me is actually looking through the eyepiece at those same objects. You can do the physics and form the theories of how the universe actually works, but equally rewarding is actually seeing the beauty of nature with your own eyes. It’s a great balance, making astronomy one of the few fields you can do both as a profession and a hobby at the same time. What a beautiful thing!


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#155 ltha

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 08:38 PM

My interest in astronomy began roughly 60 years ago as a boy of eight. It has been one of many themes in my life since then though it’s intensity has ebbed and flowed which I consider both natural and healthy. Life is a continuing adventure with fascinating experiences and learning opportunities constantly arising.

 

In my teens I sold my last telescope to buy a car. For most of the next decade I was obsessed with climbing, kayaking, surfing, hunting, fishing, and exploring. No telescopes at all, but astronomy wove a thread through everything I did. Kayaking alone on the ocean at night I found myself navigating by the stars. In very remote places on other continents the mere sight of familiar stars provided comfort. The stars were always there.

 

For a long time I did not miss owing a scope. Then one evening while bivouacked on Big Sandy Ledge part way up the NW Face of Half Dome I watched the stars emerging and found I wanted another scope. Have not been without one since and actually moved to better skies to build an observatory so I can view more with less hassle.

 

People often talk about astronomy as a hobby. For me, and most of us I would wager, it is something far deeper. Hard to say exactly what. My advice - do not stress about life’s non-linear path, relax and see where it takes you. As someone mentioned above, the stars will be there waiting.



#156 StarTrooper

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 06:08 AM

Hello, 

 

I have been through this.., 

 

I took a break for ~3 years from the hobby (work, life etc) and marginally got back into observing (I'm visual-only and have only ever been interested in DSOs) but I guess since my now being split between the US and the UK, my observing time was nowhere near what it was like before. 

 

As for my participation on CN, I have to say - things seem different here and not in a good way.., As a result, I do not wish to post (nor bother to read beyond titles of) nor respond in most cases. Not wanting to take away from your post, so I'll leave that alone. 

 

What does help is the awareness of the need to actually maintain the equipment, so I do get motivated every now and then after spending time working on the mounts, OTAs and eyepieces - there's nothing quite like the feeling I get when mucking around with scopes, eyepieces and mounts that will get my motivation levels up.., 

 

So not quite "bigger" nor would I call it "better", but the fact that I actually go out every now and then ==> progress in my book.., 

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd 

Out of curiosity and for the benefit of the CN Community what exactly do you mean "things seem different here and not in a good way". Different from what ten or twenty years ago? If so perhaps it's society! WE may need to hear YOUR Input on this.
 


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#157 StarTrooper

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 08:36 AM

Regarding losing inertia in this hobby, I realize a big part of my interest was chasing the tech tree of whats possible and then feeling a bit bored after I reached there. In the beginning it was darker skies where I could see a gazillion more stars. Then it was bigger apertures to go for fainter objects. Afterwards came astrophotography and with each successive technology, my photos got better and better. Each time I would read about how getting X tech could make my images way better or objects much prettier. Often times I would see the improvements but at the same time I would run into another limitation. Usually this was a lack of time, lack desire to haul a lot of equipment around, lack of desire to go drive to very far places for dark skies, not wanting to spend a lot of time processing or wanting to go for impossibly faint objects. So I would hit walls, overcome them with tech, hit more walls and eventually hit a lot of walls because I can't generate 10 Hubble like photos a night. 

 

I think my interest in this hobby will come back but it's also time for a little bit of a break. 

Congratulations! Very few are able to diagnose their own problems.
 



#158 csrlice12

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 10:20 AM

Then there's me....I'll drive an hour to the club dark site to watch the moon rise.....not even use a scope.  It's peaceful.




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