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All Stargazers, report !

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I suspect that he person asking has made a few mistakes.

Product Design, but not a product design question.

Have they a new idea to change the design of a refractor, or a newtonian reflector?

The title will have rubbed up a few feathers, it is more a command then a request.

Next do you tell your lecturers what to do?

If not, then do the same here, ask.

Many of us have been through universtiy, done our Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates.

We are not here to be told what to do.

Are you actually Product Design or Product Design Engineering, I see GSA has both.

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This does seem a bit vague but an App that can be used to log which Messiers, NGC's (including image and info) etc, so that I can keep a record of which objects I have viewed, imaged might be useful. Would save writing it all down. Something where I can tick them off and keep track.....I'd certainly take a look, assuming it was free, lol.

+1 for that app.

I'm always missplacing my notes.

D.C

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Imho we are being used as a focus group for some product development and the questions seem vague, unspecific, and too general to be of any use in a psychological survey. I think maybe a visit to a star party would yield more of whatever the OP is after than here. :)

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Oh dear. Fairly typical responses you'd expect from any internet forum. (No criticism intended for fellow SGLers), The poor OP probably thought they were being perfectly reasonable, too.

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Just to give the OP the benefit of any doubt. I thought I'd attempt to explain the fascination of stargazing for me, but am struggling to put it into words. I think it's something inherent in us (like staring into a bonfire) that grabs us at a fairly fundamental level. I can imagine our prehistoric forebears looking at the same (almost) heavens with the same fascination. It's nothing new. Now we realise that the starlight we are seeing has travelled so far over time and space, it's truly mind blowing. Add to that the fascination and appreciation of the equipment now available, and I believe that is enough said.

As for apps? I have little understanding or need for them. Part of my fun is planning a target hunt on paper using as many charts, maps as I can then drawing it out, then going out to try and find it. If successful I like to do a rough sketch and make notes. To me there's something "hands-on" about astronomy. (I'm put in mind of Sir Patrick who I believe hand copied a book of the moon that he'd borrowed when he was a lad).

Hope this helps.

Jason

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It looks, from your original questions more likely that you are writing a paper on the psychology of astronomers to me. ;)

I have to agree.

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Imho we are being used as a focus group for some product development and the questions seem vague, unspecific, and too general to be of any use in a psychological survey. I think maybe a visit to a star party would yield more of whatever the OP is after than here. :)

I agree, I to beleive that a visit to a Star party, or local AS. I would certainly make enquires with the Star Party organizers or AS first before turning up, just out of common courtesy, you will very probably get a better response face to face, and get a feel based on peoples response to your questions :)

Edited by Si W

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I'M SIGNIFICANT!!!....screamed the dust speck.

Looking up at the stars helps me put my life into perspective and reminds me that in my youth I cracked a vertebra in my neck playing rugby :o

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I stargaze as it's more fun than doing my own research for my MSc, I'd suggest you reevaluate your research strategy though, maybe try putting a link to a more structured questionnaire via survey monkey or something. Asking a loosely structured series of questions with a limited explanation of the purpose on an internet forum is a bit discourteous in my opinion.

Good luck though!

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First of all, as a retired designer let me assure fellow members that product design is indeed taught at art colleges.

Secondly, if this is a design project set by the college, then time will be limited and the need to acquire information, pressing.

Third. If you know nothing about a subject, how do you know what questions to ask? The enquirer is upfront about his/her ignorance and IMO is trying to get an idea of what tangent to go off in. What he/she is looking for is a starting point.

So........for what it's worth...........

Some people - like myself - simply like looking. The sky's free and with a little bit of easily acquired knowledge becomes a thing of wonder.

Other individuals take it more seriously and study and record things like variable stars. They get a buzz out of collecting and comparing data over extended periods of time.

Astro photographers aim to acquire images of things they can't see, the eye being very poor at discerning faint detail in nebulae and galaxies. They spend a long time tracking objects with their scopes and an even longer time perfecting the images on their computers.

Cosmologists aren't interested in looking at anything.

You won't find any mystics on this site.

Anybody else want to add to this?

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I would add that having seen numerous pictures and TV programmes on space over the years, nothing quite compares to the first time you see Saturns Rings in all their glory through a telescope, or the Orion Nebula. It's one thing to be told that something exists but quite another to witness it with your own eyes. Knowing that you are looking at an object that is so far away that technically it may not even exist anymore is fascinating. Add on top of that the ability to be able to take a photograph of say, Jupiter and her moons and is it any wonder that people become interested.

i'm new to this so each new discovery is simply amazing.......to locate a DSO like the Ring Nebula is stunning. Even something simple like watching the ISS fly overhead is a great feeling. And let's face it, knowledge is a great tool. Keeping the old grey matter ticking over never did anyone any harm. We are gifted in as much as we have the capacity to learn.....why waste that watching hours of brain numbing soaps or reality shows.

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I did answer the first thread than "Martin" started, although that one seemed to disappear rather quickly. My initial thoughts were that English is perhaps a second language for "Martin" and hence the odd wording and grammar, then I realised that perhaps he's a student....

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I'm amazed that the OP hasn't yet interjected with a reply by now, given the responses the first post has generated..... Troll comes to mind..... but then as most students don't appear to surface until PM maybe its too early in the day to expect a reply ?

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Alternatively Malc.......Maybe some of the negative responses scared the OP off?

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Yeti Monster, your spell check seems to have an amusing word in it :D, made me laugh.

Stu

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Now corrected I see :D

Stu

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Martin,

You may find some answers to your questions of what are people looking at, why and how they record that information, by looking at the observing reports forum and the blogs section.

As suggested already maybe visiting a star party would be a better opportunity to understand peoples enthusiasm for astronomy.

Alternatively you could look up a local astronomy society and go along to a meeting or a public outreach event if they are running one.

This may provide you with the opportunity to look through a telescope as well and maybe answer some of the questions from your own point of view.

Best of luck with your project

Tyr

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I think it's great that a design student at Glasgow School of Art should take an interest in astronomy. I think it's a pity that the design concept should instantly be seen as designing an app. All design has to begin by defining a problem to be solved, looking at what solutions already exist, and trying to find a better one.

The problem hasn't been defined - my impression is that the OP is trying to get forum users to present one. As to existing apps, there are zillions, designed by people who know something about astronomy and wanted to solve a particular problem. There are also countless astronomers like myself who have absolutely no use for apps and are happy with a good map and a clear sky.

A really, really useful area for the Glasgow School of Art to think about would be outdoor lighting design. They would need to think about energy efficiency, lighting quality, task requirements, and from thre astro perspective would of course need to think about how much of the light is getting sent - directly or from reflective surfaces - into the sky.

Recent public art works have included illuminated balloons on Hadrian's Wall at night, and a plan to project a column of light miles into the sky. Artists could learn a lot from astronomers, and the best way to start is to try looking at the night sky.

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Hy is it a pity that the design should be seen as an app. You admit you don't use them so dismiss them. Some of us do use them and I for one like the idea of an app designed around logging my workflow. My iPad is my bible....I use it for everything so would find it very useful. Yes there are a few good apps out there, Star Chart, Sky Safari etc but there isn't one that I can see that would allow me to catalogue my viewing experience of the Messiers, NGCs etc. it's purely my response to the OP's request.

i also applaud your idea for new streetlight design.....I'd take that too.

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Maybe it's time for a reply from the originator to say whether or not we are answering his questions and in what form this information will be used I.e. App, mount design, scope design, light pollution reduction.

Negativity aside, I think some questions may have been answered.

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I'm reading through this post thinking to myself 'the OP is going to reply anytime now....'.

Probably given up.

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I have an idea: why not design more optimal street lights. Light pollution is the greatest problem we face (except for the weather). Designing not just regular street lights, but also e.g. illuminated advertisements in such a way that stray light is brought down to a minimum would have everybody on SGL cheering. Some such designs do exist, but I bet there is room for improvement. Designing a system using dynamic lighting control (e.g. lowering light levels when nobody is near) would be another area where progress could be made.

If designed optimally, it could also cut back on energy use, so you would score green points as well!

Win-win!

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Thank you everyone for replays !!! I do appreciate all suggestions as well as criticism !!!

Just to replay to some of the responses.. Yes this is a study project but it has nothing to do with engineering or scientific research,

rather it's a social research that investigates stargazers. (you all have made a mark).

This project is not trying to solve any problems, rather trying to enhance the experiences.

Whatever it may be - a new app. (just given as example, as some replays required) more efficient starmap layouts, specially tailored diaries etc.

(im not asking you to give me suggestions on what it could be, and then take some credit for it, as some replays proposed)

Without information, what is important for stargazers, it's imposible to enrich the experiences.

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Some of the comments and accusations have probably put the lad off a bit to b honest which is a shame because we are supposed to be here to help. I appreciate that sometimes people's intentions may not necessarily be obvious but that doesn't mean we should treat everyone with suspicion and dismiss them. If we are proved wrong then fair enough but I see nothing more than a young guy looking for help. Yes.....a bit vague but hey, I flunked English at school so who am I to pick up on someone else's way of writing.

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Some of the comments and accusations have probably put the lad off a bit to b honest which is a shame because we are supposed to be here to help. I appreciate that sometimes people's intentions may not necessarily be obvious but that doesn't mean we should treat everyone with suspicion and dismiss them. If we are proved wrong then fair enough but I see nothing more than a young guy looking for help. Yes.....a bit vague but hey, I flunked English at school so who am I to pick up on someone else's way of writing.

Your replays are kind and understanding. Thank you.

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