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After 2 years with a telescope what have I learned?

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#1 OIC

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 04:48 PM

After my first year I thought I was an experienced Noob. Now after two years I know I was not. Even now there is so much more to learn. It's a good things I enjoy learning. I've learned that the color of a star can tell you what the electrons in the hydrogen atoms are doing. I've learned that the spectrum of the light from a star can tell us about the magnetic fields (among many other things.) I've also learned that some of the most enjoyable times are when I just look through my scope without any thoughts.

 

Who else has put in two years? What have you learned and what is the most fun for you?


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#2 Supernova74

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:51 PM

After my first year I thought I was an experienced Noob. Now after two years I know I was not. Even now there is so much more to learn. It's a good things I enjoy learning. I've learned that the color of a star can tell you what the electrons in the hydrogen atoms are doing. I've learned that the spectrum of the light from a star can tell us about the magnetic fields (among many other things.) I've also learned that some of the most enjoyable times are when I just look through my scope without any thoughts.

 

Who else has put in two years? What have you learned and what is the most fun for you?

Well I cannot comment as it’s been a lot longer for me and I know very little about stars on the equipment side of things tho different kettle of fish I suppose,however that’s the beauty about Astronomy there is always something to learn which you can do in your own time and pace.the world is definitely your oyster in this hobby,also sometimes I try to forget about all the specific tech jargon now and again and just enjoy what I’m looking at in wounder.

 

( ps good thread by the way)


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#3 Old Man

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 06:57 PM

Learning never gets old. After 25 years of visual, I am still learning and enjoy every minute of it.


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#4 Jethro7

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:04 PM

After my first year I thought I was an experienced Noob. Now after two years I know I was not. Even now there is so much more to learn. It's a good things I enjoy learning. I've learned that the color of a star can tell you what the electrons in the hydrogen atoms are doing. I've learned that the spectrum of the light from a star can tell us about the magnetic fields (among many other things.) I've also learned that some of the most enjoyable times are when I just look through my scope without any thoughts.

 

Who else has put in two years? What have you learned and what is the most fun for you?

Hello oic,

It has been a might longer than two years for me. I am much more of a hands on type of person and my "Pieces of the Sky Astronomy Project" has been a continuous experiment with successes and failures along the path as far as equipment and such. All ways learning and all ways moving ahead. But one interesting side effect is that I have become Ametuer Meteorologist along the way, I have actually learned how to interpret a weather map. We are all  beholden to the Weather and I learned this just by paying attention to the weather and reading dailey weather maps.  Another cool thing is I can understand Basic Astro Physics at least I am aware of some of the principals and alot of this stuff is beyond what SciFi is made of. My interest in Astro Phyics comes from the desire to try to understand the why and how, of the Celestial artifacts that I sit out with my telescopes and view.  So there is learning on many levels attached to the Hobby of BackYard Astronomy. I'm looking ahead to new Astronomy endeavours with excitement of all the new things to experience and all the new things learn.

 

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro 


Edited by Jethro7, 24 July 2021 - 09:11 PM.

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#5 mikemarotta

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:30 PM

....  It's a good things I enjoy learning. I've learned that the color of a star ... Who else has put in two years? What have you learned and what is the most fun for you?

 

Well, six years as an active observer, though there were many months when the telescope was not outside at all. I have done a lot more viewing and learning in the last two years because I retired from a part-time position in emergency management (Texas State Guard). If I look way back into my history, I can point to college classes in astronomy, but it was more of a passing fancy than an active pursuit. So, I'll take the two years as a benchmark and say that like you, I am still learning. We all are. I think you can have consensus on that.

 

...  I have become Ammeteur Meteorologist along the way, I have actually learned how to interpret a weather map. ... I can understand Basic Astro Physics at least I am aware of some of the principals ...

We share that. I took an online class in astrophysics and I am looking at taking another. I believe that it is important to understand what you are looking at. As for the weather, I got good enough at it when I was learning to fly back in the 1990s. I agree that "we are all beholden to the weather" so you might as well learn to read it and plan around it. 


Edited by mikemarotta, 24 July 2021 - 07:32 PM.

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#6 manusfisch

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:40 PM

I took up the hobby after a long absence (Boy Scouts) and now I am closing in on retirement and have set myself up to learn more and do more when I have a day that is unscheduled.  They are rare right now.   I look at astronomy as a science and hobby that has nearly an infinite number of things to learn so no matter where you start or how expert or novice you are you will never reach the end of the line on learning.  NO running out of material.  


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#7 gwd

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 08:50 PM

You'll stop being a "noob" when you realize you'll always be a "noob".   


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#8 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 09:15 PM

After my first year I thought I was an experienced Noob. Now after two years I know I was not. Even now there is so much more to learn. It's a good things I enjoy learning. I've learned that the color of a star can tell you what the electrons in the hydrogen atoms are doing. I've learned that the spectrum of the light from a star can tell us about the magnetic fields (among many other things.) I've also learned that some of the most enjoyable times are when I just look through my scope without any thoughts.

 

Who else has put in two years? What have you learned and what is the most fun for you?

 

I have put in quite a number of years..  I think George said it best:

 

 

You'll stop being a "noob" when you realize you'll always be a "noob".   

 

No matter how long you've been doing this, there is always more to learn.  As that the cliche goes, the sky's the limit and in world of amateur astronomy, the sky is unlimited.. 

 

Jon


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#9 laurelg9

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 09:48 PM

I started sort of serious observation and study of content about a year ago.  I've had telescopes for a decade, but never thought about what I was doing with them. 

 

I'm stuck right now on this: a photon is created in a star. It's light. Hydrogen turning into something else.  A photon "ends" when we see it, and, I assume, convert it into "us" energy.  All materiality is just light.  This idea makes starlight crazy to me ---- light from stars that are NOT the star that makes the light that makes me --- crazy special.  

 

It has been cloudy or smoky for seven weeks now. I'm sort of going out of my mind.  


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#10 river-z

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 10:26 PM

This is my second year of observing and my favorite thing I've learned is simply knowing where basic stuff is in the sky.  Obviously I'm still only getting started with this but there is a vast difference between where I was when I first got interested (only knew a couple constellations) to where I am now. 


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#11 Old Man

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 11:55 PM

I started sort of serious observation and study of content about a year ago.  I've had telescopes for a decade, but never thought about what I was doing with them. 

 

I'm stuck right now on this: a photon is created in a star. It's light. Hydrogen turning into something else.  A photon "ends" when we see it, and, I assume, convert it into "us" energy.  All materiality is just light.  This idea makes starlight crazy to me ---- light from stars that are NOT the star that makes the light that makes me --- crazy special.  

 

It has been cloudy or smoky for seven weeks now. I'm sort of going out of my mind.  

Sort of ?????? lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif


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#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 05:46 AM

No matter how long you've been doing this, there is always more to learn.  As that the cliche goes, the sky's the limit and in world of amateur astronomy, the sky is unlimited..


In the world of professional astronomy, the sky is even more unlimited. One of the beauties of this particular science is that the answer to most of the interesting questions is "there are some theories, but nobody really knows."


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#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 05:59 AM

In the world of professional astronomy, the sky is even more unlimited. One of the beauties of this particular science is that the answer to most of the interesting questions is "there are some theories, but nobody really knows."

 

I am not sure that is such a beautiful thing.  Particularly when often the stance is that they do know... 

 

Jon


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#14 alphatripleplus

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 07:16 AM

I started as an amateur when I was a kid, and built a telescope with my father as a  teenager. I keep learning new  things all the time, so I still think of myself as a newb even though I've been soaking it up for many decades. 


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#15 Jarnett51

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:36 AM

Thank you for your post, OIC! This is the kind of thing I need to see more of.
I have had various scopes over the years, from dime store (many years ago), to Nexstar SE8, Astroblast 4.5”, Astroblast 6i, 102mm refractor, then back to (currently) Astroblast 4.5” - always in search of the ‘right’ scope that is easily transportable but with the ability to see ‘everything’! 😳
Yeah, wellll, I am learning that there is no ‘right’ scope and that each instrument can give one pleasure if we just accept the dcope and learn what you can see. And like some have said above, there is so much to see no matter what you are using.
I am to the point in my retired life that I just want to be able to pick up and go outside, set up easily, and enjoy the sights - andvthere is so much to see and learn!
I meed to forget about ‘aperture fever’ and all of the bells and whistles and just ‘do’!
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#16 Asbytec

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 09:01 AM

It's been much longer than 2 years for me, as well. I started about 45 years ago at age 15 with a small achro refractor. I've run the gamut of scopes to 18" and back. Probably as a noob the whole time.

It took nearly 35 years (of career and family) before I recognized the beauty of double stars. Heck, I gave up on galaxies for decades because they were featureless faint fuzzies. Not until I learned the art and science of observing was I able to pull detail from galaxies and really pay attention to planets.

The most significant thing I learned over the many years is how important the human element is to observing. I don't rely on the telescope to show me anything. Instead, I take responsibility for what I can make of the image it delivers. That made all the difference.

After all, telescopes don't observe anything. We do.

Edited by Asbytec, 25 July 2021 - 09:17 AM.

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#17 mikemarotta

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 04:18 PM

In the world of professional astronomy, the sky is even more unlimited. One of the beauties of this particular science is that the answer to most of the interesting questions is "there are some theories, but nobody really knows."

Yeah... I attended a couple of AAS conventions this year, the general assembly in January and the Dynamical Division meeting in May. They have a lot of data but not many consistent and complete explanations of all of that. Professionals and amateurs alike are on learning curves.


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#18 PKDfan

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 07:11 PM

Hi OIC! Coincidentally I have had my scope for just over 2 years now, and find that I am constantly surprised looking through the eyepiece.

When the optical gods smiled down on me with a scope to die for I knew that I had arrived at a really good place in my life.

Usually in my observing time my mind is relaxed and prepared for maximal information retention.

Catching those split second moments when the seeing settles and putting into context the observations done previously.

 

For instance, all my time has been spent on Jupiter recently.

Here are some differences noted.

Seeing for me has been wildly variable- 75× was too much one night, since he is low, I use 135× most often.

 

The seeing and transparency issues are huge concerns for me (all of us?) i.e. a good, still(mostly) night had transparency issues, all the very low contrast details dropped out of view. Another night I had good transparency but the seeing was bad and noted excellent views of some blue/white drama (barges?) in the north temperate region. 

 

I will go out on a limb here, with a sample size of one, but everytime I observe the conditions are subtly different. Sometimes not so subtle.

 

EVERYTIME!

 

So you must be a sort of a guerilla hunter, hunting for the right conditions, the right magnification and the right frame of mind.

 

My best, most sincere advice to all, is to take the time and view with the mind of a child, lost in wonder.

Have no preconceptions.

Have no thoughts from your good or bad day.

Have good tools to power your way.

Be always prepared for those moments of sublimity.

They will arrive!

When they do it will be a moment to be cherished. A beautiful memory.

 

Astronomy IS pure magic!

 

The beauty of astronomy is in being able to assimilate those jaw dropping views and incorporting that into our life.

To enrich our lives with a purity that is so sadly lacking in so many aspects of our daily life.

 

BE that child in wonder BUT have the patience to be amazed!

 

My breathtaking Mars observation was only a span of half a dozen heartbeats!

 

The cosmos requires it of us, imho.

 

Clear skies & Good seeing

 

 


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#19 rhetfield

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 03:42 PM

It has been almost exactly two years.  Probably the biggest thing learned is just how much clouds, smoke, and haze afflict the upper midwest.


Edited by rhetfield, 28 July 2021 - 03:43 PM.

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#20 stomias

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 04:37 AM

Learned to keep looking up, even after 50 years....Oh, and R Leporis!


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#21 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:19 AM

I started sort of serious observation and study of content about a year ago. I've had telescopes for a decade, but never thought about what I was doing with them.



I'm stuck right now on this: a photon is created in a star. It's light. Hydrogen turning into something else. A photon "ends" when we see it, and, I assume, convert it into "us" energy. All materiality is just light. This idea makes starlight crazy to me ---- light from stars that are NOT the star that makes the light that makes me --- crazy special.



It has been cloudy or smoky for seven weeks now. I'm sort of going out of my mind.




I’m not sure but this sounds like it’s on the cosmology pathway. I never even knew such a pathway existed until recently. I was always amazed that atoms are mostly empty space and that everything we take for granted is a result of sub atomic particle interactions. So even within “something”, there is more of “nothing” than there is of “something”. Haha I was amazed by that for a very long time. Still am I suppose.
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#22 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:30 AM

I am not sure that is such a beautiful thing. Particularly when often the stance is that they do know...

Jon


Such are the flaws of the educated human

#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:56 AM

Such are the flaws of the educated human

 

In many sciences, it possible to design experiments to test a hypothesis.  The experiments can be modified as needed based on what is learned in the process.  

 

With some sciences, you have to take what you can get..  Studying the universe is one such science.  

 

Jon


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#24 csrlice12

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 10:20 AM

I went gear crazy for awhile, now there are times my favorite piece of astro equipment is a lawn chair.  Made the hour+ drive to the dark site last Monday to view Saturn, Jupiter, and the moonrise....I set up the scope, had a set of 100* eyepieces....and only peeked at Saturn for about 10 minutes.  The rest of the time was just spent looking up naked eye listening to the sounds of the wildlife, feeling the gentle breeze, and being at peace with the universe around me.


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#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 01:34 PM

I went gear crazy for awhile, now there are times my favorite piece of astro equipment is a lawn chair.  Made the hour+ drive to the dark site last Monday to view Saturn, Jupiter, and the moonrise....I set up the scope, had a set of 100* eyepieces....and only peeked at Saturn for about 10 minutes.  The rest of the time was just spent looking up naked eye listening to the sounds of the wildlife, feeling the gentle breeze, and being at peace with the universe around me.

 

I spend a fair amount of time under dark skies at our place in the high desert.  On a warm night when it not windy, when I get too tired to continue observing, I will drag out the zero gravity chair and just lie down and fall asleep with the Milky Way for a blanket. 

 

I have this dream of having a full sized bed with blankets and pillows that I can just roll out and sleep on under the night sky.. 

 

Jon 


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