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What started your interest in Astronomy?


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I guess I was a late starter only having a scope for 15 months now, but I have always had a fascination about space since I was a child whether it be sci fi or the real deal.

I remember a couple of the later lunar missions then the Viking & Voyager missions. Then all went quiet through the 80's as I were into beer & bikes. When the BBC aired the series "the planets" back in the 90's I started to get hooked again, I was also looking online at all the Hubble images at the time & I was totally in awe. I remember watching the Solar eclipse from work back then too although it was a partial one from our location it still was quite an eerie experience with all the birds falling silent as everywhere began to darken. Then there was Halle Bopp another magnificent sight in the night sky. I guess you could say it has been quite a handful of things that has got me interested & I do still have a soft spot for the planets although I've still yet to see & image the outermost ones as well as to see Mercury. As for the physics side of things I understand some of it but not a great deal but for me to see objects that are a huge distance away from us is quite frankly mind blowing.

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What got me interested was stargazing live last year, so I got given an old tal reflector which was my mother's but had only been used a handful of times and went out a couple of times with that. Then this year owing to an enforced lay up because of an accident I took the plunge and bought some gear. Enjoying things greatly but could do with a few more clear nights!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Edited by skir
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I was always interested in astro events like the moon landings, sputnik, SaN and Sir PM, etc on TV since I was a teenager. Then for some reason we looked at the moon in bins one night and bang - 8 scopes, 5 cameras, loads of dosh, and 6yrs later here I am lol. It's like a drug.....highly addictive. :)

Edited by brantuk
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I was 7 or so too and found some really old encyclopedias in a cupboard. The space illustrations fascinated me. Some old sci films on TV spurred me on and then a bit later watching Patrick Moore. I first saw the moon through my old 60mm telescope in my early teens and the fascination has stayed with me.

Edited by bish
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For me my interest started when I was about 7 or 8 years old when my Grandad bought me a book called The Universe. I was totally blown away by the pictures of all the planets and the sun. One picture which I can clearly remember was a size comparison of the sun and the earth, I just couldn't get my head around it....and I still can't :)

I had the same book, was always interested in space. Star trek was probably a good influence that partspurred me on to read Physics with cosmology at university. I never really star gazed until the passing of SPM, so in a way he still inspired me to start looking to the stars.
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One of my oldest memories of astronomy is looking through the pages of some encyclopedia book as a child, I probably couldn't even read at the time but I loved looking at the images. There were these images of space rockets & shuttles's inner blueprints in colour very detailed explaining every segment of the crafts & their function, really liked those. There was also the image of an astronaut doing an EVA with nothing but the blackness of space surrounding him & with Earth below him, I loved that image & pictured many times what it'd be like drifting around in space.

Another image in the encyclopedia was of Neptune, and as a child I thought it was a blue planet like Earth with a giant ocean covering the entire globe and tried to picture what the world would be like.

I've been interested in astronomy pretty much all my life, but I must admit I have very much neglected looking at & learning the night sky & instead done most of my learning through reading & watching documentaries. I'd never looked through a telescope until last November, when I bought a small scope, a Heritage 130P just to gauge if I would keep interest, well I've been hooked completely since then and I'm very happy I made that investment and many more to come!

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As an 11 year old I was given a desktop 1" refractor as a Christmas prezzy. It was meant to have been for watching birds etc but when I turned it on to the sky that was it.....

I graduated to a 2.5" refactor of dubious quality by working in a greengrocers loading shelves at £1 a day (1969), I also joined the Norwich Astronomical Society.

In 1972 I joined the RN and had 12 years as a submariner so viewng was murky to impossible! The scope was sold to fund a motor bike.

I only came back to astronomy recently as I am residing in Aus and generally the skies here in WA are clear 80% of the time. Bought a set of 7x50 binos and was again hooked. At Christmas I sneakily bought my 6SE and could not believe the differences between that and the 'scope of my spotty youth.

I have also found astronomy is good for the garden as I keep the grass short and the bushes and tree trimmed so I have a level set up and better views.

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My religion for me, always remember going to temple when I was little and hearing prayers stating the the universe is to big for humans to comprehend, which got me thinking.

Then as a kiddy used to watch stargate a lot.

Then when I graduated and got a steady job bought my first telescope!

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First memory of an interest is being fascinated looking at some '2 page spread' colour pictures of the surface of Mars in a magazine at home in the 70's. Dad may have bought it but I have no idea what mag it was - he was a mechanical engineer so may have been the Institute magazine.

Then watched TV science and science fiction all my life but didn't do more until had to think of a 40th birthday pressie - I know I've always wanted a telescope but it's never been a priority - so got a Skyhawk 114. Played with it a bit but not as much as I should have as I found it hard to use.

Then last year walked past a shop with a Skyliner 250PX in the window - love at first sight- and haven't looked back.

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I think what planted the seed for me was the first time I used my birding scope to look at the sky and saw Jupiter for the first time. What looked to the naked eye like a bright star was, at x27, clearly a disc. I then tried it on the moon and was amazed at the detail I could see (and at just how bright it is). The wife picked up on this and bought me a 130 mm reflector for my birthday, which pulled the stargazer in me out of the closet. She may live to regret it! The sheer scale of the universe has always fascinated me, and being able to find things like galaxies which are bigger than the Milky Way, and yet appear as just faint smudges, really brings that home. 'Awe-inspiring' is an overused term, but I think it genuinely belongs in astronomy.

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One of my fondest childhood memories is spending the evenings gazing up at the sky sat on an old broken washing machine with my dad talking about the universe and life. Or sat by the BBQ with the embers crackling softly as we'd witness the dusk turn to dark and spot the first planets and stars emerge. I also remember my dad showing me the phases of the moon with a torch, ball and my earth globe lamp. We still stargaze together, the only difference now is that the broken washing machine is replaced by a couple of beers. I give all the credit to my dad for being my inspiration and getting me into astronomy!

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Like a lot here I've been interested since I was young, but it was a few years ago that it became a hobby. We were out with the kids on Haloween when our eldest asked what the bright star was and I told him I thought it was Jupiter, one of the mums there said she thought it was the north star. Once we got home I did a bit of googling and found stelarium and it did indeed turn out to be Jupiter. After that he looked at stelarium every night before he went to bed and I remembered that the brother in law that is currently working in New Zealand had left his telescope at home, this we pinched from the outlaws and so began the new hobby of astronomy!

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As a ten year old child my bedroom window faced south. As I was always sent to bed way too early, I used to spend hours looking at Sirius, Orion and Taurus and the Plaiedes. The Ladybird book of The Night Sky, followed by Sir Patrick's 'Observer's Book of Astronomy' got me hooked. I was given an old, battered theodolite and I tried to make my own telescope using the lens, eyepiece and cadrboard tubes, with not much success. Later I was given a pair of Swift 8*40 binoculars followed by my treasured Prinz Astral 400 60mm refractor.

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I got Sir Patrick Moore's A-Z of astronomy when I was probably 8 or 9, which had Saturn on the front cover. I was hooked from then on, even to the point that I arranged to meet a friend at midnight to look at the stars on the field of my junior school! I never got there and my Parents to this day still don't believe that I was going stargazing and that I was running away!!

It took a while before I got my first scope, which was about 5 years ago and that first view of Saturn is still remembered as a spine tingling moment!

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I was taught about stars as part of a girls group. We were learning survival skills when lost and how to work out north and south. Then I was given Patrick Oores book on the moon and have been looking at it ever since.

Didn't get a telescope until about ten years ago and have enjoyed every minute of viewing the universe

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When I was about 7-8 we had a Times Atlas of the World. Aside from all the statistics in it about what country produced what and so on which I loved there was a beautiful artists rendition of the solar system. Mum & Dad spotted that I was fascinated by this picture so they bought me an astronomy book for the next Christmas and the rest is history. I think it helped that I've been into meteorology since I was about 4, astronomy just seemed a logical progression.

James

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Hi all

It all started in the scouts for me, the scout handbook had some information about the constellations, obviously the pole star was the one that we were told we had to learn were it was for navigation, I found my self with a pair of plastic binoculars looking for polaris in my back garden, my dad thought I had gone barmy, a mate of mine had a telescope a small 3inch refractor, I asked him if I could have a look through it, I went round his house one night and was totally blown away by the site I saw, it was Saturn, I could not beleive what my eye's were seeing another world, I have been hooked ever since

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Probably like many it was as a child/teenager with my dad pointing out and naming stars, constellations and nebulae on the dark nights while we were out or having a night time beach fishing session (had to do something waiting for those damn elusive fish!).

Always remember those nights and back then the light pollution wasn't anything like what it is today (25+ years ago!!) being at south landing, flamborough head and seeing the Aurora Borealis which I've never seen again and not likely to. Also going to Derbyshire for my dad to point out Halley's comet which was a huge event.

I didn't think about a scope until recently but when I bought one my dad rekindled his interest and is keen and eager to see through what was back then a very expensive item and something out of the reach of most working class folk.

I now have a few more memories to add to those of childhood but they are the ones that set me off on this path of empty pockets and freezing toes!!!

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when i was a nipper as far back as i can remember about 4 years old i used to go down to the alotment with my dad it was dark i would sit on his knee and he would point at the constellations and tell me stories,one day my older brother came home with a pullout telescope he swapped for a bike after looking through it at the stars ive always been gazing up ever since,apparently my grandaughter told me i tell nice stories :blush:

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My stories rather different, I'm rather embarrassed to admit I don't really know. I've been racking my mind but I can't think of a trigger. My younger brother was the one who was always interested in astronomy. When he was 13 in the mid 70s he ground out his own 6 inch mirror. Every day he would do a bit until he had the right shape and then he took it on his bike to galvoptics to get it illuminised, made a dob etc, not once did I look through it. As adults we both went our own ways, he lost interest in astronomy, and we probably only spoke to each other a few times a year. At some time in 2011 I became interested in astronomy and began learning the night sky. I then began researching telescopes. Towards the end of the year, when I'd more or less decided what I wanted I phoned him to chat about it. That got him interested again and since then we barely go a few days without speaking to each other. He has bought himself a new scope, made a mount and is about to build himself an 18" dob. So whatever it was that triggered my interest I am very grateful for.

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My first and lasting awe of all things astronomy began as a very young child. I had an encyclopedia like children's book that had only hand drawn pictures of all the planets since this was before the voyalgers, but blew my mind nevertheless. From there I went to my school's library and all they had were very old astronomy books that had large hand drawn images of the vegetation and canals on Mars. This piqued my interest in the history of astronomy.

From then on there was no holding me back.

I love reading your guys' input as it brings back the sense of the world expanding around me that I had as a youngin'

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