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Suffering from boredom :-(


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Hi,

I have had my scope now for a good 6 months and have enjoyed using it thus far. I have worked my way around the sky, learning as I go and managed to locate and observe planets such as jupiter and saturn and have had a look at a couple of dso's.

I am finding now though, that it has got to the point where I am finding that I can't be bothered to get the scope out anymore; perhaps one of my problems is that whenever I do go outside with my scope, I don't know what else to look at as I have observed most of the items on my list.

Does anyone suffer from this and what can one do to re-ignight one's interest in the heavens?! :)

Any help/advice is most welcome.

Richard.

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Hi Richard. Have I ever felt like you when it comes to viewing the stars? Well, if truth ne known no. I guess this stems from the fact that I use the Stellarium program that you can download free online.

First plan what I would like to view, I am trying to sptt all the Messier objects and some can indeed be a challenge. I found that the book, "Turn Left at Orion" also gave me many interesting challenges. Lastly, have you ever thought of trying to take pictures of what you see? I have a Dobsonian and a really cheap (in the eyse of others) camera but trying to capture the moon and planets made me appreciate how much of a discipline astro-photography is.

An Astro Society is indeed a wonderful idea and joining this forum. Read the blogs and posts and see if there lies a challenge therein!

Isabelle

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hi Richard

I live in Cheshire (near Stockport) and think what you could do is obtain a copy of Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders: From Novice to Master Observer DIY Science: Amazon.co.uk: Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson: Books

It is cheap enough and gives loads of objects by constellation.

Also, try the Lunar 100?

I think everyone feels a bit like this every now and again especially when the skies are as rubbish as they have been lately. You have a decent scope and which is pretty portable. What about a trip to a darker site? I have a young family and mainly observe from my garden. I am 44 so also a bit older than you but I suspect the society you went to was a lot older?

Chin up mate and do try the book above - it's excellent.

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I would say if you're finding astronomy isn't 'doing it' for you at the moment, have a time out, but whatever you do, don't sell your stuff!! You'll probably find that in a month or two you're getting withdrawal and you'll be back at it.

Personally I'm finding it hard not letting the seeing conditions of this year get me down, but I'm still very much enjoying astronomy as a whole. So I'm reading books, chatting here at SGL and dreaming about good seeing, knowing that at some point round the corner there will be clear skies....

One day.... it has to happen....

Edited by Revs
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by way of example of the above, I have just come in from observing Saturn in the best conditions I can recall. The image is rock solid at 200x and I have even seen detail at 400x. I am sure I can even see the crepe ring. Wonderful observing!

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Have you tried the magazines? It seems every month they have like a tour of the sky of some sort.

The guide mentioned above contains the Astroleague challenges, which can be found on the web also for free.

I am just beginning stargazing, to start with a binocular. Yet to start that is, waiting for clear sky and clear time! There are apparently hundreds of targets I can hunt for, all year round. So I am beginning with no 1 :)

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Hi Richard, some good tips have been mentioned already, I decided to make a list of probable targets as the weeks go by and checking with a few books, Stellarium or the forum.

Thing is for me, I know I may have looked at a number of objects several times before and am still to see far too many! :) but the conditions are always slightly different so you never know for sure how targets will appear so on some occasions you are taken completely by surprise, see Moonshane's comment on Saturn, it was the same for me a few weeks back, I have never seen any planet look better! Then there is the Moon, as I thought I would attempt the Lunar 100, I would give it far more attention than before, its been fantastic to take the time to just take in the detail :)

Hope you keep at it :eek:

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May sound a rotten question but, what was the reason for buying the scope?

Not the "standard" to look at the celestral wonders but the real reason? Why 6 months back did you go and buy a scope?

Not sure what is around you but visit another club, may be further away but another may do what you want. One club close to me I never visit, the next one is good and has lots of excellent talks but not much observing however. Another a bit further away has regular observation nights. Simple answer to me, visit both and join, good talks at one, observing at the other. Neither are the closest to me however. Just becasue the closest doesn't suit then go forth and find another.

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If you find you're at a low point in the hobby, it probably coincides with a total loss of interest in your work, and your life generally. You're probably depressed, no longer go out with the lads on Friday night, and don't like meeting people or attending to personal hygiene any more.

There are three courses of action:

1. Call the Samaritans.

2. Sell me all your gear for fifty quid (I'll post a cheque) leave it out on the front lawn I'll pick it up and you won't even have to meet me.

3. Get a collar length, straight black wig with a fringe, and some tight leather clothes, and find a new girlfriend who's drools over Brian Cox and likes astronomy (you may need to take a shower for this).

Hope that helps :) lol

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Why not come closer to home and have a crack at finding some hard to find objects on the Moon, as has been mentioned, or have a go at splitting doubles, just finding them is often a challenge, I see you only have a 102mm refractor at the moment, perhaps if finances permit you could change up to a 150mm reflector this will open up a whole new world with DSO and the like :) the doldrums is a rotten place to be with Astronomy, often when things don`t work or go wrong, take a step back and visit your local Library, there should be a wealth of books on the subject, I am sure something will come along to rekindle your enthusiasm before long :eek:

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I've not even got my telescope yet, but I have years of projects to keep me going.

One of the more interesting ones is asteroid spotting, using subtractive images to isolate them.

The idea is, take two images of the same patch of sky, a few minutes apart. Using your favourite image editing software, inverted both images, then combine them using a subtractive algorithm.

What happens then is the stars, which will appear to be stationary in both images, will cancel each other out, and disappear from the image. What is left on the image should be pairs of dots - or lines, depending on the length of exposure.

The distance between the dots is essentially the distance each object has travelled in the time between each photograph.

If you think about it, you then also have enough info to calculate the distance of the objects, their velocity and with more observation, their orbits. Real science, in your back garden.

The beautiful thing about it is, it is an area of astronomy where amateurs can make real and important contributions.

Not many professional observatory doing it, but the information can be extremely useful, as well as personally rewarding - fancy having an asteroid named after you?

Alan

Edited by inksmithy
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Have you tried putting your 1000D on your mount instead of the scope? Just using the lens and grabbing some images using the RA drive? Plenty of free software DSLR Shutter, DSS, GIMP etc, you should get some good data to play with. You have 'Live View' which really helps.

Also consider getting this book, I use it as a source of inspiration when looking for the next subjects to observe:

http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/139069-book-review-dk-universe.html

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First of all, thank you to everyone for your comments.

Moonshane: thanks for the links, I will certainly look into them.

Revs: don't worry, I'm not going to sell my stuff, at least not for £50 to Brant! :)

ismangil: I have tried a few magazines, yes, I buy Astronomy Now.

Ronin: That is a perfectly valid question. I decided to buy a scope because I have always been interested in astronomy, but I guess with any hobby, there will come a time when you will get bored or not use one's equipment as much as one did at the beginning.

BrantUK: I'll pass on all three there thanks, I'm not going to commit suicide..., and no, you can't have my stuff for £50! :eek: lol

glowjet: I have given this some thought about getting more aperture, the problem I have is that my scope is only an f/5 and is not great on planets; I bought it as a 'best of both worlds', but I would really like to view planets in more detail... time for another scope, a 4" mak cass maybe. ;-)

inksmithy: That sounds like fun. Do you just take random pics of any portion of the sky I take it as one can't know where these asteroids hide? lol

nightvision: I hadn't actually given that any thought to be honest, but might give that a go. Thanks for the tip.

Richard.

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de ja vu here. I had much the same experience about eight years ago and flogged the Meade LX90. Never thought I'd return but the mrs bought me a magazine for chrissy and here I am - hooked and here to stay with astrophotography.

Leave it be awhile at least to Autumn. Get a mag amonth and keep in touch here with SGL.

There is so much up there

ye olde git

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Well thinking about it, the majority of these objects will be coming from the outer solar system, but its unlikely they will be from beyond it, so I would guess they will be found in the region of the eclectic plane.

Alan

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Richard, I've just had a thought! Have you had a go at solar viewing? We're headed for summer and there's going to be plenty of opportunity, and IMHO you can have as much pleasure viewing to Sun as viewing the stars.

Get yourself some Baader Solar Film and have a go, if you haven't already. You should be able to get some good shots with the 1000D, too! :)

EDIT: This shot was taken last year with the Mak in average seeing. One shot, tweaked in Lightroom...

revs-albums-mak-pics-picture6739-sun-single-shot-f11-8-bsf-no-other-filters-tweaked-lightroom.jpg

and this one from this month, taken through haze with the webcam...

revs-albums-mak-pics-picture10268-sun-spots-02-04-2011-mid-afternoon-mak-127-scp900nc-prime-focus.jpg

Edited by Revs
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