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Nothing beats experience.


sallystar
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I have had my telescope since April, read Turn left at Orion, the stargazers hand

book etc and spent hours on this forum but I have come to the conclusion that

nothing beats experience.

I made a post in the beginners section on SGL as I was having trouble locating

any of the Messier objects and couldn't find a thing.

A member called Dobby got in touch asked if I would like to meet up with him and his wife as they live local to me and they would help me out.

I met up with them last night along with my son and we had a brilliant evening in their back garden. I saw double stars, galaxies, and nebula all of which was a

first for me and made two new friends along the way.

The help and tips that an experienced person can give you are worth their weight

in gold.

I thought I would make this post to thank the admin and mods who run this forum

as without SGL I would never of found someone to give me some much needed help

and to say that if you are new to astronomy and someone offers you help say yes!

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Could not agree with you more

I have just started myself (May) & struggled many nights in my back garden trying to find things

For me the help of experienced observers at my local astronomy club (Norwich astronomical society), as well as a dark site have been invaluable

I now can find things somewhat quicker but not in the same league as my fellow club members who know the sky very well

Roll on more clear skies & practice

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Personal tuition will always be more enlightening Sally. It can be quite daunting when you're a beginner, and trying to come to terms with your telescope.

Never be afraid to ask for help here, and If you ever get a chance to attend Star Parties, you will always find people more than willing to help you.

SGL hold them regularly, and there are others too. You might wish to seek out a local Amateur Astronomy Society in yor area. A lot can be gained there too.

Welcome to SGL, and Best Wishes.

Ron. :smiley:

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I have had my telescope since April, read Turn left at Orion, the stargazers hand

book etc and spent hours on this forum but I have come to the conclusion that

nothing beats experience.

I made a post in the beginners section on SGL as I was having trouble locating

any of the Messier objects and couldn't find a thing.

A member called Dobby got in touch asked if I would like to meet up with him and his wife as they live local to me and they would help me out.

I met up with them last night along with my son and we had a brilliant evening in their back garden. I saw double stars, galaxies, and nebula all of which was a

first for me and made two new friends along the way.

The help and tips that an experienced person can give you are worth their weight

in gold.

I thought I would make this post to thank the admin and mods who run this forum

as without SGL I would never of found someone to give me some much needed help

and to say that if you are new to astronomy and someone offers you help say yes!

Absolutely agree!!

And this forum is an essential part of the learning process too! :smiley:

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absolutely. When i first started with my scope and go to mount I could not get anything to work properly. I posted on a local stargazers site (East Midlands) and within hours i had offers of help and two folks came round to my

house to help me get set up and spent entire evening here. Experienced advice is priceless. I can't thank people enough for their help and assistance. Without i may well have given up in frustration

Velvet

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I think we all get that moment when you think "help!" it takes bottle to actually say it :) Last year at SGL7 I was blown away listening to and watching an expert just hop from messier to messier with a dob setup. No computer, no star charts, just experience. It was very enlightening

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That's great - it shows the benefits of a community willing to help each other.

I was wondering if there was a way - maybe a thread - where people could offer to meet up and share viewing experiences by location? I know people say contact your local Astro club but not everyone has the time to commit to being a regular member of a club - and not all people are "club" types - Just a thought?

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Have to agree with the sentiment here - SGL is one of the most friendly and helpful online places I've ever come across. Theres always someone who will help (even if they have heard the question a million time before).

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Good to see Sally taking the trouble to acknowledge the help she has received.

I have been a member here for some time and have been really surprised how helpful and friendly the members are.

Having been a member of other fora, not astro related, the difference is quite striking.

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Lovely report, Sally.

Experience does help a lot. People sometime wonder how I can find many new objects in a single night. The best answer is probably "because I have spent so many nights finding very little". Having help is very useful. My eldest bagged 17 Messiers in his first outing with 15x70 bins. I just pointed out the fabulously rich hunting grounds of Sagittarius and Scorpius (from southern France, under stunning skies), and suggested he report anything out of the ordinary (non-stellar), and show me what he had found. I then helped identifying them for him. I did not get much time at my scope, as he was constantly shouting he had found another cloudy thing. Without me pointing out the general area first, and then helping with identification, I do not think he would have picked out as many.

I'm always surprised at how friendly this hobby is.

Actually, I am not that surprised. When any of us has a look at any object, or images it, you don't take away anybody else's opportunity to see or image the same thing. By contrast, in amateur archaeology or paleontology, many amateurs wittingly or unwittingly destroy the opportunity of professionals to do their bit. In astronomy, there is a long tradition of amateurs being of great assistance to professionals, by being extra pairs of eyes, looking out for unexpected things like new comets, or (super)novae. When we look at the stars, we leave them untouched for everybody else. That means we can all share in their beauty.

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Actually, I am not that surprised. When any of us has a look at any object, or images it, you don't take away anybody else's opportunity to see or image the same thing. By contrast, in amateur archaeology or paleontology, many amateurs wittingly or unwittingly destroy the opportunity of professionals to do their bit. In astronomy, there is a long tradition of amateurs being of great assistance to professionals, by being extra pairs of eyes, looking out for unexpected things like new comets, or (super)novae. When we look at the stars, we leave them untouched for everybody else. That means we can all share in their beauty.

Yes that is definetly one of the reasons. There is no competition among casual imagers and observers, everyone just tries to have their shot at taking this or that picture, or observing this or that object. The competitive side has more or less moved to the extreme frontier of space telescopes and large array interferometry and stuff like that, and even if there is science to be done by amatuers, it's far from everyone that is in it for the science. Personally it's mostly about exploring my environment, about going in the footsteps of all the people before me who have turned their eyes skyward. I also like the technical challenge of pushing my camera to the bleeding edge of what it can detect.

I also think that there is a slight spiritual edge to it, you have to be a bit open minded to gaze at the sky for no other purpose than gazing at the sky. It's also humbling.

And like you say, there is open collaboration between amatuers and scientists, for instance the guys in my club actually participate in science projects with the 16" inch RC that the university donated. It makes you feel part of something great (science), while literally being part of something even greater (the universe).

Lastly I like how non existant the gear-snobbery is. Everyone has their gear, be it binoculars or 20" RC telescopes, but no one cares, as long as you like astronomy it doesn't matter. The camaraderie is more important.

I for one would have loved to have some company on my last telescope session, like all great things in life, they become even greater if you can share them.

I also think that I am coming from a background of internet-gaming where everyone is hating everyone most of the time. That may be why it's still surprising to me.

Edited by VigdisVZ
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Astronomy is such a friendly hobby because we are a small community and there's no competition among people. In fact we want more people to enjoy this hobby, because it can potentially reduce light pollution.

Unlike photography where professional against amateur. Professional astronomy is very different to amateur. Professional class telescope are far more capable the what most amateur use and they make most of the big discovery. As amateur we can support professional research by participating in pro-am collaboration. As amateur, we own our telescope so we can deploy them when ever we like (weather permitting) where as pro need to book telescope time and wait. As such we can get a lot of transient events the pros can't and every once in a while you hear a amateur contributing data to light curves that leads to the discovery of exoplanets. Furthermore, amateur are still discovering comets and supernovae all the time. Finally, professional are all busy answering the big question and making the big discovery, they leave a lot of the trivial and house keeping tasks to amateur. For example monitoring variable stars is done almost exclusively by amateur.

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Well said Vig, I couldn't agree more to be honest

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

+1 on that :)

It is true that there is no brand or experience snobbery here. I also take part in other forums, notably photography where my second major hobby/passion exists and can say with no doubt that this field exhibits quite a lot of brand snobbery. However with astro, if you have a 5' Newtonian, a 12' Dob or a 3' refractor, or a private home observatory full of gear....it matters not.

The original post Sally made is to be applauded. It is good to recognise nice things done by pleasant folks these days.

Personally, I love this forum, the wealth of information on it and the selfless nature of the people who post on it. My learning curve would have been so much steeper without SGL and I'm quite sure that many people who have struggled with their kit may well have jacked it in, had it not been for the support given here. I also find it most satisfying to then, be able to impart a little bit of one's own knowledge to newcomers, who will in turn, impart their knowledge.......

Scott :grin:

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I found that it's one of the few good things to do where spending shedloads will not get you better visual results than starter level. This puts everyone on even footing, with our common enemies being the weather and light pollution !

The very best part is to meet up and learn, neat,

Nick.

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Astronomy does seem friendly and I'm planning on meeting up with the astronomy4everyone guys now that I'm

feeling a bit more brave.

I'm waiting for a clear night so that I can put my new found knowledge to the test. The way the weather is

shaping up though I will of forgot everything before I get the chance to look through my telescope!

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Well said Sally ,

I've been looking at the stars for years , only with a slight idea of what's what. Bought a cheap 90 mm frac from eBay , played in the garden and read a lot on here.

In two or three months my knowledge has more than doubled and that's by asking on here and just experimenting , bought a 127 skymax goto , not actually used that function yet cos I'm still playing , and even made a few new friends and no sign of any snobbery , which I have to say I have experiences in other hobbies :)

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"a background of internet-gaming where everyone is hating everyone most of the time"

@Vig - Little surprise in that forum - everyone is trying to kill, maim, or blow each other up lol.

Whereas everyone here is just trying to help others get along and succeed - brilliant thread Sally - couldn't agree more with everything you said :)

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