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Astronomy is such a nice addition to a professional life / image

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#1 TheChosen

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 08:47 AM

I work in a big corporation, mostly work from home and majority of work happens on teleconference calls. 

 

These days, you can choose a background to put behind you when the camera is on. Most people have boring generic stuff but I played with it a bit.

 

I just took a photo of where I normally sit, put my telescope there and put some digital images I have personally taken behind it in place of my big image with a tree.

 

It got a lot more positive reaction then I ever thought. Most people are very interested to know what is going on behind me.. if this is really my stuff.

 

Both of my last 2 bosses were very interested on also getting into the hobby. In fact, my very last boss when I met him for the first time, he was like: "Hey , I know you, I have seen you before"

 

Me: Huh??! What? We literally continents apart.

 

"You have a YouTube channel about telescopes right? I was interested in the topic few weeks ago and I watched your videos"

 

Me: LOL .. Crazy stuff.

 

With background photo.jpg

 

Anybody else have interesting stories of how astronomy has complimented their professional life?

 

 


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#2 daedalus

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 10:44 AM

I was an airline pilot for many years. When crossing the Atlantic, or when flying an all-night transcon, I could fix my position with a planisphere and the ship's chronometers.

My co-pilots thought I was a god.
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#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 05:08 PM

My obsessive optics/astronomy hobby, from childhood forward meandered inexorably to a career building myriad Space Telescopes, including this one >>>    Tom

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#4 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 08:00 PM

Not sure it qualifies as "complimenting my professional life," but my two big hobbies are pyrotechnics and astronomy/space science. I'm an IT guy that works for the Federal Government. Even among other IT people (who are admittedly strange people to begin with) they give me a wide berth. One guy recently told me my co-workers tend to leave me alone because I'm into things they don't understand, and things that explode, and they don't want to "tick me off." I'm not a big people person anyway so.... Works for me.


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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 09:07 PM

Not sure it qualifies as "complimenting my professional life," but my two big hobbies are pyrotechnics and astronomy/space science. I'm an IT guy that works for the Federal Government. Even among other IT people (who are admittedly strange people to begin with) they give me a wide berth. One guy recently told me my co-workers tend to leave me alone because I'm into things they don't understand, and things that explode, and they don't want to "tick me off." I'm not a big people person anyway so.... Works for me.

My cute little dome has been mistakenly tagged as an impressive amateur ICBM launch facility.    Tom

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#6 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 09:19 PM

Lol.. To be honest Tom, you kind of scare me sometimes too so.... gaah.gif

 

Nice dome by the way! 


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#7 maknswarf

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Posted 13 March 2024 - 12:40 AM

I work in a big corporation, mostly work from home and majority of work happens on teleconference calls.

These days, you can choose a background to put behind you when the camera is on. Most people have boring generic stuff but I played with it a bit.

I just took a photo of where I normally sit, put my telescope there and put some digital images I have personally taken behind it in place of my big image with a tree.

It got a lot more positive reaction then I ever thought. Most people are very interested to know what is going on behind me.. if this is really my stuff.

Both of my last 2 bosses were very interested on also getting into the hobby. In fact, my very last boss when I met him for the first time, he was like: "Hey , I know you, I have seen you before"

Me: Huh??! What? We literally continents apart.

"You have a YouTube channel about telescopes right? I was interested in the topic few weeks ago and I watched your videos"

Me: LOL .. Crazy stuff.

With background photo.jpg

Anybody else have interesting stories of how astronomy has complimented their professional life?


Wonderful idea!

I don't use Zoom too much but for the next time I do, I'll be using your idea! It will be much more pleasing than my generic apartment living room.

Now I'm saying this, put the astro-photos as your background, meetings on the moon or floating in Orion's nebula 🤣
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#8 AstroVPK

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 11:12 AM

I work in a big corporation, mostly work from home and majority of work happens on teleconference calls.

These days, you can choose a background to put behind you when the camera is on. Most people have boring generic stuff but I played with it a bit.

I just took a photo of where I normally sit, put my telescope there and put some digital images I have personally taken behind it in place of my big image with a tree.

It got a lot more positive reaction then I ever thought. Most people are very interested to know what is going on behind me.. if this is really my stuff.

Both of my last 2 bosses were very interested on also getting into the hobby. In fact, my very last boss when I met him for the first time, he was like: "Hey , I know you, I have seen you before"

Me: Huh??! What? We literally continents apart.

"You have a YouTube channel about telescopes right? I was interested in the topic few weeks ago and I watched your videos"

Me: LOL .. Crazy stuff.

With background photo.jpg

Anybody else have interesting stories of how astronomy has complimented their professional life?


It's a great way to make friends with fellow astronomers at work. I was on a large conference call a few years ago and there was this one guy who had a few photos on the wall behind him of galaxies and nebulae that were very obviously taken by him. I had never met him before. Next thing I know, I'm messaging him after the call to ask him if he's into astronomy, which he obviously was. Very cool to meet someone that way!!
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#9 Alex Swartzinski

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 11:31 AM

 

attachicon.gif With background photo.jpg

 

Anybody else have interesting stories of how astronomy has complimented their professional life?

Great thread! Getting recognized from telescope YouTube videos must have felt bizarre, but having that connection with a new boss must have been fantastic. 

 

I also work hybrid which allows me lots of freedom for astronomy "trips". Just this past Monday, I met with a new stakeholder virtually from a McDonald's Parking lot on my way home from two nights of observing. 

 

Everyone knows what I get up to when I work from the dark site. It's lead to some fantastic conversations about astronomy/telescope hardware. 

 

I find that most people outside of this niche hobby can find enjoyment from the topic. Spaceflight/astronomy can be relatable for anyone when considering the big questions of life, scale, time, etc... 


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#10 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 04:33 PM

Everyone knows what I get up to when I work from the dark site. It's lead to some fantastic conversations about astronomy/telescope hardware. 

 

I find that most people outside of this niche hobby can find enjoyment from the topic. Spaceflight/astronomy can be relatable for anyone when considering the big questions of life, scale, time, etc... 

A few years back a couple of the guys in my office were chatting about space and the stars and planets and how we know how far away they are and what they're made of, etc. Well, this conversation quickly devolved when the one guy who knew just enough to be dangerous was "speaking" with another guy who claimed all these scientists are full of.... well, you know. He claimed there was no way possible for us to know what some star X number of light years away was made of, let alone if there were any planets orbiting around it. The doubter suggested people that believe such things are morons, and things quickly devolved from there. We ended up having to separate the two. 

 

I told the doubting Thomas to Google the word spectroscopy, and I told the other guy to sit down and let it go. The rest of the night was REALLY quiet.

 

So I agree that SOME people outside the hobby can find enjoyment from the topic, but it sometimes has the opposite effect too! 


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#11 MawkHawk

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 05:25 PM

My cute little dome has been mistakenly tagged as an impressive amateur ICBM launch facility.    Tom

Haha, yeah, I can totally see that.



#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 05:53 PM

Haha, yeah, I can totally see that.

Short range amateur installations --- Finger Lakes Region fiefdoms.     Tom



#13 ABQJeff

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 02:17 PM

I used the below 2.5 year old photo of my scopes set up at a NM dark sky spot in a MS Teams call with my colleagues at Goddard, they were like “wow you have impressive telescopes!”  Like, um, don’t you guys have a couple you operate yourselves? But I know what they meant.  While they will task awesome instruments, not like they get to personally use them especially in dark, high altitude, low humidity skies.  I feel for my fellow space geeks trapped in the LP and cloudy skies of Greenbelt, MD!

 

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#14 Chris K

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Posted 13 April 2024 - 08:06 PM

As part of my duties on the company's leadership team I host our weekly Monday standup on rotation every 6th week.

It's just a team building call to start the week and possibly share some highlights of the coming week.

 

When it's my turn I always spend a few minutes on Astronomy News. Could be a quick lesson on what a solstice is, how to view an upcoming meteor shower or eclipse, or some other celestial event like a conjunction.

 

I even did a contest where I awarded a $25 amazon gift card. I happened to notice that there's a moon crater with the same last name as me. Then I noticed there were about 8 others in my company that had either the same last or first name. So the contest was to identify what our names had in common as it relates to astronomy. It took a week but someone actually figured it out. (could be a closet astronomer because she also went to Ohio for the eclipse)

 

No one's ever come to me and asked for more info, but I'll be darned if I'm only gonna talk work stuff.


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#15 bjkaras

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 08:33 PM

When I worked for NASA I used to collaborate with other physicists/astronomers and after a while I started wondering about this subject myself, because I've owned telescopes of one sort or another ever since I was 16. At a conference I finally broke down and asked one of my colleagues if he had ever looked through a telescope (you'd be surprised by the number of astronomers who have not). He said his wife bought him a 4.25" Newtonian for Christmas, because she couldn't understand why a professional astronomer would not own a telescope. We had a big laugh over that one!


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#16 TheChosen

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 11:35 AM

It is one of those things.. I was Mainframe operator, shifteader and team leader of a Mainframe command center at IBM.. and never saw a Mainframe in real life, nevermind touching it.
Years later, I had to ask them to let me in one of their server rooms at a location which had one while I was there delivering a workshop on Project Management. So I can say I have seen one 😉

#17 GrassLakeRon

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 06:51 AM

Earth Science Teacher then 12 years as a Planetarium Director.  I guess it had a little bit of an influence.


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#18 Freezout

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 08:10 AM

I'm in-house lawyer and always worked in "real" production industry. As an operational lawyer, most of my colleagues are engineers and sales engineers or technical specialists, so we get along very well because I am really interested in the science behind the products. One of my colleagues of a certain age, specialized in X-ray analysis, had a very good relation with me and was very interested in astronomy. When he retired he told me "thanks to our discussions I followed your advice and I have now a nice SCT on my balcony"!

 

Discussions about astronomy and the hobby enabled me to get a good connection with all the technical guys who had the same kind of interest.


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#19 Donacton

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 01:17 PM

I used to be a Foreman for an inmate fire crew in California. On some nights when we were out on a fire, taking a meal break or mopping up, I would point out the constellations to the fellas. Many on my crew had never been out under the night sky and looked up. Some of the areas we were in were some of the darkest skies I have ever been in and it was sometimes hard to pick the constellations out. For some of these guys it was the first time they had been out of the city and quite an experience for them. Hopefully they took a little wonderment away with them from our night duty assignments.


Edited by Donacton, 19 April 2024 - 05:19 PM.

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#20 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 01:49 PM

As a professional artist, I was hired by the Geneva Lake History Museum to help create a Native American display. The President on the board of directors of the museum (Jim Gee) found out I had an interest in astronomy. 

 

He just happened to be (at that time) the director of the Yerkes Observatory and gave me a personal, private, day long, one-on-one tour of the Yerkes. When we were up in the attic (storage area) I saw a lot of historical artifacts up there. Jim gave me an original brass bookend (see pic below) from their recently remodeled library.

 

While we were walking down the hall we met one of the professional astronomers employed there who studied NEO's (Near Earth Objects) and asked if I'd like to come back later that evening and image with her, using the huge 4 ft. reflector (in the dome on the opposite end from the famous refractor). 

 

They had just installed a newly polished mirror and she wanted to test it. She was having issues connecting to the giant mount with her computer and getting it online to connect with the other observatories around the world. As a former IT network admin, I helped her get it all connected and we imaged a lot that night. I found out that the only personal scope she owned was an ETX125.

 

yerkes-bookend.jpg


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