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Why YOU love this hobby.


Space Oddity6
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To Telrad:

"...This is a Universe of supernovas, neutron stars, magnetars, pulsars and Gamma Ray Bursts – beams of high energy radiation that would eliminate all life on our planet in an instant were our Earth unfortunate enough to stray too close. Black holes exist that can compress the mass of whole stars into volumes a few kilometers wide, creating gravitational fields that nothing, not even light itself, can escape from. This is the stuff of childhood fantasies. Superpowers. Forcefields. Instantaneous death. The destruction of worlds..."

With your permission, I will use that at my next astronomy presentation at the grade school where I'm invited a few times a year. The kids will love it!

Your whole text is brilliant. I've copied and saved it for when the weather is too lousy for observing.

Cheers.

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Why do you love this hobby? A very good question, let's see.......

It can cost a lot of money especially if you get into imaging...

The weather is a constant source of irritation...

You become a social outcast at the places where Normal people meet, "You will always find astronomers in the garden at parties"...

You become preoccupied with the weather at night...

You bore the socks off people who aren't interested...

You become increasingly preoccupied with the weather...

Good looking single women find it a turn off...

You have become so obsessive about the cloudy nights, your family is considering having committed to the local mental hospital...

When it is clear you are up late, loose out on your sex life, and have to go to work the next day...

So back to the question at the top.:D

The answer - BECAUSE WE'RE ALL BLINKING MAD:evil6:

Edited by keithmrris
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@ Keith

You summed up my thoughts on my hobby very well :D

My wife thinks I am mad and she thought photography was an expensive hobby now with astronomy and bird watching as well my home is full of optics of varying types from field scopes, bins, telephoto lenses and now telescopes to add to the list.

I think if I had stuck to one hobby e.g astronomy I would have a fantastic kit list I would be able to afford a huge scope....

I must admit I am a bit of a gearhead but it all gets well used :p

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When I was a very young lad my mum was putting me to bed , as she went to close the curtains I apparently said in quite a shocked voice " Look the sky has holes in it " Mum quite surprised said

holes ? what holes ? I replied " The little white dots " After a brief description by mum :D , How can someone so young come to terms with stars planets and such vastness

50 plus years later its still mind blowing and probably will be till I go in my box :p

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I'll agree with pretty much everything that's said on this thread, which are mostly visual perspectives that are best appreciated from a dark site. I've certainly had those feelings of awe and wonder, as well as the daily grind of everyday work seeming insignificant in comparison. More recently it's the inspiration of looking at what arrives in the deep sky imaging section, and thinking "I don't have that level of equipment, but I'd still like to have a go at imaging that object anyway...".

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well said o/p. for me astronomy has it all, every science in one place. evolution, chemestry, physics, maths, everything. to wonder at the night sky and just observe, are we alone? are do other races traverse the very space we observe? its a fantastic hobby and for me it started way back in 1969, with apollo 10, (i think) watching the earth rise above the moon, still has me awespired, our rock, and home of mankind.

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Astronomy latterly... at first "Science" (i.e. particle physics!) was, for me, something, almost "immaculate" - It gave me HOPE amidst the world of religious / political in-fighting. Once, as I sat watching a sunset, drinking (quite a few!) beers in company with Europeans of similar ilk, I was very struck that (for me anyway) a mere generation ago our "fathers" were killing one another at the rate of one "911" per week. I may be wrong about the numbers, but... :p

<Wicked aside> Naive probably, "dangerous" maybe, but perhaps why I am not quite so into the "Cox versus Nobbers" etc. portrayal of science. Leave SCIENCE alone! Heck, I'm beginning to sound like Chris Crocker (qv) LOL. :D

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  • 5 weeks later...

I think Steelfixer hit it spot on. In this over technical world we have to work in where our masters (computers) seem to do their best to make even the simplest task as complicated as possible, it really is the best antidote to simply go outside, look up, and just wonder at it all.

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*skips to the end*

For me it's just the sheer scale of it all - when I have a great piece of technology such as the SkyScout with the audio telling me the vast sizes and distances, spending a bit more on a lovely Skywatcher EQ6 mount (though relatively little compared to some hobbies) so that I know it can't really get much better in my budget, I can slowly build up my equipment so that I can see more and get that WOW factor again and again... but when it comes down to it it's the best waste of a few hours that I can think of at any time of the year, the time really does fly when you're having fun!

Also, the knowledge that I'm able to sit in my back garden and observe exactly the same things that the top astronomers (if there is such a thing) are observing from their multi-million pound set up, and enjoy it just as much as they are.

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I do it because it's awe inspireing, breath taking, a magnificient work of art. The stars, galaxies...everything...simply beautiful. It's also one of the few hobbies in the known world that is very relaxing even if doesn't always work as planned.

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I love the fact that what we're looking at this moment in time here on earth isn't what's out there in the sky now! That's weird! I often wonder what's actually going on when I'm looking at a DSO or if it even still exists anymore! I just love that stuff! To me, that's real history!

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I can't sum it up...

Most of you guys have covered it... the impressive sight of billions of stars on a cold dark clear night. The excitement of finally seeing something for the 1st time, that etches that vision in your memory and never forget it.

For me I also try to imagine what the sky must of looked like back in the days when all the cataloging began... and relating that to the fact that even today amateurs can still make discoveries as well as the professionals.

It's obsessive... Initially when I got back into this six months ago I was considering a £300 scope for the odd occasion it's clear on a Saturday night... Didn't think that I would end up with a computer controlled rig in a large observatory that I built myself, and now I'm upgrading my kit again as I'm hooked on imaging. But I like the fact that now and again some newbie comes on here and blows us all away with his / her 1st ever image taken with a basic setup costing no more than £300... that's the twist with this hobby.

Above all it brought me to this forum.. the most friendly bunch of people I've met. Often it's the feedback, the encouragement and banter that makes this hobby so worthwhile.

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I LOVE ASTRONOMY because i have come a long way since that first 50mm refractor that my MOM bought me for CHRISTMAS when i was 14 (40 yrs ago)! I have seen many of the NGC objects, and it seems like when ever we go to observe as a group, (we normally observe until the sun comes up), there is always an unexpected treat, like when you are looking at NGC 2362 and a satellite goes right across the object, I like to keep them in view and track them across the sky ! Or when you are looking at the first quarter moon and an airplane goes right across the moon, once i was looking at the sun (with a solar filter of course) and i saw the silhouette of a large pack of distant birds flying right across the sun... I will say the best sight that I ever saw was OMEGA CENTAURI through a C14, we were down @ KISSIMEE PRAIRIE RESERVE in South Florida, the big GLOBULAR was full of green stars and it looked like the stars were extended off the core like strands on a mop... it was a sight that I will never forget, DEEP SPACE ASTRONOMY is my favorite... I like GALAXIES, PLANETARY NEBULAS, GLOBULARS, and OPEN CLUSTERS ! I would like to say that if you can pick up a TELEVUE PANOPTIC or any other ULTRA WIDE ANGLE EYEPIECES, you should do so... They give outstanding views, and the best thing about them is that an OBJECT stays in the field of view a WHOLE LOT LONGER.... Using my HARDIN OPTICAL 12" DOB with ULTRA WIDE ANGLE EYEPIECES IS ALWAYS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE,,, Keep Looking Up !!!

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Some people are terrified of looking up into the sky - especially a clear star filled sky (I know quite a lot of people who are Ouranophobic). Probably the enormity of the universe terrifies them.

I'm completely the opposite. :)

I'm with this view.

As Douglas Adams so perfectly summed up:-

"Space is Big.... really really Big. You may think it's a long way to the shops, but that's just peanuts to space"

Something about looking out on the sky puts lifes problems into perspective.

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For me it is the fact that once you have your equipment , be it a 2 " refractor or a 16" half ton dob and a few eyepieces , this hobby can last you a life time because all you need after that is a clear night and , at almost any location , you can see some amazing stuff. So even if I can only get out there a handful of times a year the fact that I CAN is enough to keep this thing going for a lifetime.

Vlebo

Edited by vlebo
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Astronomy for me is about is about seeing whats out there and wondering what is. It's a great feeling when you look up at the sky with your naked eye and see a few stars. Aim a cheap pair of binoculars at them and theres dozens more there. Seeing a planet through you own eyes through a telescope, yes you can see the flashy nasa pictures but untill you see them for yourself it just makes you realise how majastic this universe is...

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