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Own Obsy = Billy no mates


lukebl
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It's occurred to me that once you have your own observatory, there's no point in going to a darker site or to the local astro society. So you end up being completely solitary.

My local astro society has an obsy just 5 miles from me, and it even has a 19" scope, although I suspect you have to belong to the great and the good to be able to use it. I never go there as it wastes valuable time back at my own obsy and, as I'm not part of the 'inner circle', I don't feel particularly comfortable there anyway!

Just a thought....

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Ahh this is where you have a servi ce that allows your home obsy to be remote controlled from a laptop. Then you can go to the astro group, take your normal grab'n'go setup and if you find something - point the home observatory imaging setup at it :D

I'm now leading a less single life thanks to a new gf.. and so going to astro meets/parties seems to sound less sad to her! Again.. if you're sat at home and she wants you to "spend time" whilst she's watching soaps.. a remote observatory setup works there to! :p (this is my plan!)

Edited by NickK
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Yes agree, my local group has an observatory to use but I would rather use my own on the few clear nights we get. I think they have now given up phoning me on these nights as I have had to tell them that I have my own ball and goalposts to play with. :D Not to say I don't go to meetings, like tonight, looks like a clear one but a lecture on so must attend :p.

Jim

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....take your normal grab'n'go setup...

Ah, but I don't have a grab'n'go, as I don't need to grab'n'go anywhere now that I have a permanent setup! My best equipment is sitting on the mount, so anything small and portable would be a bit of a disappointment!

Edited by lukebl
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There's an old-fashioned phrase "non-clubbable". To some extent, that be me. LOL. But, perhaps the real truth is, I can be slightly shy, with strangers. I taught myself e.g. to talk to LARGE (100+) meetings of professional scientists etc., but sometimes one cannot TOTALLY banish a fundamental nature. :D

I only attended ONE meeting of a *large* (previously local) astro-soc. I TRIED, but noone else did? <G> I am actually hoping that "having an observatory" might be a GREAT INTRODUCTION to a new local group. The latter a lot smaller, so maybe I won't be left "standing alone in the middle an large empty room". Just a minor thought to the extrovert and energetic? Wish me luck... :p

Edited by Macavity
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I think that is an interesting point you raise there Luke. Last week someone on here had expressed a dissatisfaction with imaging because it seemed to reduce him into being a babysitter, feeding the technical needs of his equipment and so disengaging him from a connection with the night's sky. As great as imaging can be, perhaps this is one of it's less talked about downsides because its lack of portability (astrotrak aside) prevents meeting up and sharing in the whole experience. Even sharing in the images, asking questions and solving problems on this forum certainly helps with this potential isolation, but it is by no means a cure for it. I think it might be particularly acute if the results some people obtain from this technical pilgrimage don't produce the desired final goods. I have noticed that one or two imagers that have semi automated their kit have now got themselves a scope to do some observing during their data collection as a means of reconnecting or possibly rediscovering their connection with astronomy in general. I'm an observer and it is easy for me to forget that of course it's not just the data collecting - but the data processing that can add to this feeling of separateness.

Like all baby sitting, perhaps the answer is to have a break from it and reconnect via some 'quiet' observing and by that I mean with a small group of people that are not necessarily fighting over the society's scope. It is for this reason why I prefer observing groups to formal societies and clubs where so many inevitably fall into the trap of creating a club within a club.

James

Edited by JamesM
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...There's an old-fashioned phrase "non-clubbable".....

I think that probably sums me up. I'll just have to come to terms with the fact that I'm just a grumpy old misanthrope who doesn't belong in the local club, destined never to share his experience and knowledge with others!

Edited by lukebl
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That's a very interesting thread and one I can really identify with.

Despite being a long standing member of Bedford AS, I have found I rarely go to organised observing sessions these days since I have had my observatory.

But I still make sure I go to and participate in the regular meetings on a regular basis so that I keep in touch with my friends.

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I totally agree - I found that clubs didn't really meet what I wanted to do - which was setup observing projects and discuss building and operating stuff. So having my own stuff I build and operate that and talk to other astronomers on a one-to-one basis.

That and getting home in time most evenings AND having a pass out to a club and then staying out all night other nights of the week observing - it s not the easiest thing to do is it ?

Mike

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Another 'no mates' for the grumpy club here.

My 'local' astro socs are 30 minutes to one hour drive away.

One society doesn't even post who the next guest speaker will be and meets in a bright place.

At another became so 'cliquey' that you had to be a member before you were allowed to join. Their scope is becoming light swamped. But seems to be broken a lot of the time anyway, so maybe that doesn't matter.

The 3rd is an almost 30 miles and about hour away. But sounds OK.

For joining like minded people in a dark place East Midlands Stargazers are good. Only visited once but they were a really friendly, welcoming and helpful lot. But with a round trip of almost 70 miles it will have to be special event to get me there.

So it's just me in my shed! Fortunately I have a reasonably dark sky so don't have to go to other places.

Sometimes to break the loneliness I have my own star party. I use the main shed setup for visual and hop around the sky. Then set up another package in the garden taking photographs. Running between the two to 'feed the technology'. Gets quite busy.

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I think that probably sums me up.
Heheh - Nah. I think I came across the phrase [clubbable] re. Aleister Crowley. And "clubs" he joined, either disbanded or members mysteriously died. [only part serious / true] :D

In fairness to societies, TYPE of meeting (public, specialist) seems important. Possession of an observatory may lead to eventual "solipsism". <G> Since mine is but NEW, I'd dearly LOVE to see a few established, working observatories. Though that may not ultimately add to meeting attendance... :p

Edited by Macavity
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Although I've recently started going to the local astro club, one of the things I enjoy about astronomy is the peace and quiet of the back garden at night time.

I am also a solipsist and a miserable old fart!

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Do people stop going to club events/observing sessions because they build an observatory at home... or is it the other way round?

If a society is unwelcoming and you do not want to go back you end up observing on your own and the natural progression for that it to gradually have your setup as more and more permanent - this saves setup time and give you more time under the stars...

I haven't come across a friendly society yet! I'm hoping that there will be one in or around March that I can go to!

I also plan on getting a visual scope if I can find a way to store a large dob! So that when I'm imaging I'm observing as well!

Ant

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