Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

Imagers are not Astronomers or are they.


astro mick
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi.

I have struggled with this question for a long time,because i now feel i am distancing myself from the night sky that i fell in love with.

A long while ago my sessions,would involve hunting down the objects,especially double stars,then i would carefully log down my results,and draw and carefully note the colours.I did this with most of the objects i observered,and often went back to see if i could notice any changes.

Not anymore,i became hooked on Imaging,got myself a Goto Mount,ccd camera,pc,and many more things to aid this infectious urge.

I fast found myself sitting for hours doing absolutey nothing while my set up took the Photo,s.

I would process away,then finally say "Yeah that looks ok then maybe post it on this website.

But i did,nt really look at the object,or note what was visible,all i looked for was blemishes.

Yes you notice the main details,but do you know what you are looking for.

I never send my images to any special sections,to be analized,proberbly because i would be laughed at.

I know there are many great imagers on this site,and i certainly dont belittle there achceivements.

But do you feel a little like me,in the fact i now feel more like a Photographer taking pictures of Astronomical objects,rather than an Amatuer Astronomer who is actually looking at what he see,s.

Mick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 73
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Sounds like you need a nice big dob and a bunch of mates to go observing with (eg astro soc or social group). Then you could satisfy both urges and have fun doing it. Just leave the imaging rig snapping away in the garden and pop and meet the guys at a dark site - problem solved! lol :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sympathise.. the more I automated the process the less I enjoyed it... the obs has sat unused for most of the last year any time I have spent outside has been with DSLR's with camera lenses on and EQ3 Pro Snapping the sky...

On the other hand looking at smudges and pin-pricks do nothing for me either...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't consider myself an astronomer (a sentiment many would agree with i'm sure)...I just see myself as someone who loves space, and everything to do with - so in that regard I try to spread my interest in this subject as far as I can......so being labelled as one thing or another isn't really something that I spend any time thinking about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i cant remember the exact quote but its something like "if you went to the supermarket to buy fish, you wouldn't call yourself a fisherman" :D

if you are computerising the finding, tracking and imaging...you are an astrophotographer.

if you are using goto you are a computerised astronomer.

if you are using a tracking system only, you are a computer-assisted astronomer. only when you manually slew and track are you a true amateur astronomer :p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

That's a bold statement, but I understand exactly what you mean.

There are two different breeds of scope owners.

I decided early on that I would not image and just observe.

Someone ( I forget) commented on here that if you don't want to image, you can always view the fantastic work of those that do.

Hats off to the effort people put in.

BUT I have a 900NC and if I get the urge to image Saturn I still end up doing it.

I think in your title, an astronomer is more likely to just view the sky with a vague viewing plan and see what happens, where as an imager will most likely have a set plan for the night. So they'll set up accordingly.

I still think they are astronomers, just astronomers with a plan ?

I prefer finding new things every night.( well not EVERY night, I live in Scotland after all :D) Nice to see how far I can push my scope.

I think you'll get a lot of replies to this one !

Cheers

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting conundrum.

The funny thing is that a lot of 'real astronomers', i.e. professional scientists who contribute 'serious' scientific research in space, couldn't even show you where Saturn was in the sky.

I've always been a keen birder, but would never call myself an ornithologist as that implies some sort of professional scientific interest. Similarly, I don't even call myself an astronomer as that sounds far too grand. TBH, I don't really know what to call myself!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got to agree with twotter here, I don't think the gear you have defines the label you use.

An amateur astronomer surely has to be defined as someone who looks to the sky for scientific learning, research and education.

Nowhere in that definition is there an exclusion clause which states "you can't be an astronomer if you are looking for beauty in the sky", because as most people with a scientific bent are fully aware, beauty is found in the most startling places, from something as abstract as an equation to a nebula in the blackness of space.

A true amateur astronomer is anyone who looks to the sky with wonder and a thirst for knowledge.

My two penny worth, anyway.

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brantuk.

You miss the point,its not whether or not you image alone or with a group,and i suspect there are a lot of us sat outside in our solatairy isolation.The question is about how connected are imagers with the night sky.

Also if i was to leave my set-up to its own devices,i would proberbly come back to chaos,and i big bill.

I have tried running two scopes,but my imaging set up needs monitoring all the time,hence the often long idle sessions.

Mick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mmmmm

surely if you leave your scope setup on it's own, you are detatching yourself even further from the sky ?

You could argue that with a good internet connection, you don't even have to be there at all ?

But I see your point that imaging can be seen as taking away that connectivity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Imagers are not Astronomers or are they."

Hawhawhehe. Oh my, you're going to get a record number of views on this thread.

I believe imagers are meddling in the dark arts. Burn them. Burn them all. It ain't natural I tell ye.

snigger....

Andy.

Edited by AndyH
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally agree with Brant regarding the Dob. It's a must, really. I usually set the Dob up first and sometimes get so carried away with visual that I can't be bothered setting up the EQ.

For me, visual comes first, imaging second.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Mick - I get your drift - but if you're having to think like that though in the first place, maybe a new, or social, setting is what you need to get your connection back.

A dob and an observing group or star party works for me - and I can do imaging at home as and when I feel like it. Can't beat a bit of variety to maintain that "connected" feeling :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also agree with Brantuk about the Dob.

I find that if I plan an observing session too much, I quickly become bored and frustrated. Therefore I enjoy it most when I set my scope up and just look to see what I can see.

Are imagers astronomers? If someone likes to take pictures of trains but not jot down the numbers are they still a trainspotter?

(I'm so sorry for comparing astronomy to train spotting, I blame my childhood. :D )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heheh. I know that I'm significantly "over budget" re. even MINOR incursions (observatory, mount, Watec etc.) into imaging! Am I really any the wiser? Somewhat, I (still) sense... enough to pursue it a while longer? Maybe... :p

If I dare be the ultimate heretic, I don't always find Astronomy THAT much fun. LOL. Even in a past career, "devoted" to science, I'm not sure I derived THAT much pleasure... and notably much kinship from fellow scientists (Sorry Guys!)... :(

Perhaps a (personal) clue though? I am working on "human relationships". EGADS! But, in an IRONIC way, Astronomy seems to have given me a certain "celebrity" or "passport" to these, recently. Heck, hitherto estranged relatives... even annoying neighbors, seem now to crave my company. And a few, shared (video) DSO images on screen. :D

Edited by Macavity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO, whilst you may have a point, I don't think it's a simple as that...

I took up imaging because of my suburban location's ever increasing light pollution and growing frustration with not being able to see even some of the brightest DSO's so apart from a couple of exceptions, I image stuff that I don't have a hope of seeing with my eyes. I still observe with my Tal1 and my imaging kit isn't automated so I still feel I'm still doing what I've done from day one, only differently. If I had to label myself it'd probably be a stargazer that takes images of the night sky.

End of the day, as long as people are enjoying it then good for them.

Tony..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think having an understanding of the night sky (small or large) , enjoying your time and results observing ( Visual , astrophotography or both ) and the many innumerable unanswered questions whizzing in your head , driving you forward for more and more...........label you an astronomer , times change ,methods change BUT the subject stays the same , OR explodes OR brightens ............:D Great thread by the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a middle ground, neither astronomy or astrophotography, but a bit of both, because of the LP in Manchester i have found that using a CCD brings out them Galaxys,nebula's etc, my images as certainly not POW, but i get to see objects i wouldn't see with the mark 1 eyeball.

http://stargazerslounge.com/astro-lounge/136436-abandoned-my-ep-s-ccd.html

Edited by Si W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each to their own, but to me the difference between visual observing and imaging is like the difference between being at the game or watching it on telly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mick, I can totally relate to your feelings on this. I got hooked on imaging very soon after buying my first telescope and i often regret this, i do feel my connection with the night sky is not what it should be, leaving me feeling like a photographer rather than an astronomer.

I do still observe, just not very often, and these are easily my most memorable experiences in this hobby. Brian, you are correct - So I'm going on holiday to France soon and in a bid to reconnect with the night sky I'm taking my old 130p - no camera adapters!

Edited by Shibby
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that tech makes the hobby a lot easier, I started off with an alt/az newtonian and now have the added bonus of a small meade with goto. Finding an object with goto is easier obviously. Does using a rod and reel instead of throwing a pointy stick detract from the pleasure you get from your interest. I cant draw or sketch, so I compensate by using a camera to obtain an image.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Times change - early discovery of the sky at night was purly visual (with or without a telescope). Most modern discoveries are made with cameras(or other scientific instruments) attached to a telescope.

Anyone who studies the night sky is an astronomer.:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For myself Astrophotography has increased my love for the night sky! When I started out one fuzzy really does look like another and then you have to look at at an image to find out what it really should look like?

Astrophotography is the way forward for amateur astronomy...it's the future and while some will debunk this you can't get away from the fact that photo's taken bring more people into the hobby than anything else :D I mean, I knew the Elephants trunk nebula was in the sky but I wouldn't Have been able to see it without the use of my lovely CCD. Just as some people will still fish with split cane rods as opposed to the latest carbon or graphite affairs! Some people don't want to move towards GOTO etc and find that those who do are not true purists in the hobby but to be honest it doesn't really matter does it? We do what we do and if some doesn't agree it's fine :p

At the end of the day Mick you can always put your CCD back in box for a couple of weeks!!

Now where did I put my USB filter wheel?????

Matt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.