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Naf

Who or what inspired you to take up amateur astronomy?

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G'day everyone, who or what inspired you to take up amateur astronomy?Was it a historical figure or a influential relative,teacher or just your own curiosity? Or as a child did you stumble across astronomy only to drift away when other adolesent interest arose, but came back later in life?

      I started out as a teenager of about 13, bought my first telescope at 15, carried on for a couple of years then suddenly found another nocturnal activity, only to come back later in life when in a better financial position and having shed those earlier distractions. So whats your story, any of those, or something else, so why not share with me, after all no one else will read this, clear skies. :grin: :grin: :grin:

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I think its just a fascination with the nights sky and stars.

Prof Brian Cox is a inspirational for the educational side of it so to speak, as I actually understands things when he explains it, unlike other people.

Matt.

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My family...... they were fed up with me moaning about what was on T.V. of an evening so my wife bought me a scope so I'd spend my nights outside. 

Lee

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My family...... they were fed up with me moaning about what was on T.V. of an evening so my wife bought me a scope so I'd spend my nights outside. 

Lee

Do you moan about the weather instead now? :D

For me, it would be about the age of 9 or 10. My dad had been an observer when he was younger. When we were young we had a couple of kiddies books on the solar system and I became interested in thinking about the solar system. Someone gave us a rubbish telescope and he showed us things like Sun spots. Then the wonderful comet of 97? appeared. I wanted a proper telescope. Upon moving house I still wanted a telescope to use in the lovely dark garden, but we never purchased one. I read a few astronomy magazines, had some of my dad's old astronomy books but never took it further. At the age of 21 I purchased my first telescope, an 8" reflector. I guess what did it for me was a couple of Sky at Night specials that year in 2007.

John

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Plain curious, looked up and wanted to know more.

Might one day learn more.

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Pretty much the same as Ronin.

As a child I lived on the edge of town with fairly dark skies and the winter months displayed the glorious sight of Orion as soon as I

left the house, the front garden of which faced South over open fields. That vision, in a cold dark sky,  has never left me. :smiley:

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My Son. He expressed an interest in Astronomy, and looked to me for guidance. I had to learn, and it turned out I love it too!

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I was 9 when the Apollo 11 mission landed 2 men on the moon so the coverage of that made a great impression. About that time I acquired Sir Patrick Moores "The Observers Book of Astronomy" which stoked up my interest even more. My secondary school had an astronomy club with a small planetarium and a dome with an 8" newtonian in it so I joined that. My first scopes were borrowed from mates (both 60mm refractors) while I saved my pocket money up to get my own.

40-something years on I'm still hooked on the hobby :rolleyes2:

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This is me about 45 years ago just before, like Galileo, I looked up at the night sky. At least my optics were probably better than Galileo's, and I didn't have to spend the rest of my life under house arrest! That, and Apollo 11 probably did it for me.

17048927727_f4ee8cc54a.jpg

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A chance look through a small refractor while cycling through the Andes of Ecuador. Our B and B put on an evening's observing and Saturn staggered me. That plus the fact that our host seemed to know what all those points of light were. I thought, 'I want to know all that stuff.' And twenty years later I still wish I knew it!!!

By the way, the B and B is still going. It's grown a lot since we were there but the ride over the 4000 metre pass looking down on Quilotoa Crater Lake will be with me till I die. Here you are; http://www.blacksheepinn.com/

Olly

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I don't think I can blame any one event or person. for most of my life I was quite content to browes the skies naked eye and watch what others had achieved on telly and later, tinternet, It wasn't until relatively rescently that I actually started to take things to the next level and view/image things for myself (although I remember doing a star trail many, many yrs ago on film but for the life of me i can't find it.

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Looking through my mates tasco refractor at Jupiter and comet hale bopp. Also amazing meteor shower around this time. Got my own orion optics 6" reflector on eq mount soon after which I sold for £50. Gave up for 10 years then bought a vivitar 50mm refractor on the worlds worst mount. Should have known better! Went on holiday to Thailand and the sky there sparked my interest again. Ordered a skywatcher 90mm evostar which I still have and a 200p dob soon after.

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Like others here the Apollo Moon landings got me fascinated, but actually in space travel not astronomy. Around that time my parents bought me a small Japanese made refractor on a table top tripod for Xmas. I remember climbing up on top of our brick outhouse and stacked two kitchen stools one on top of the other so I could get the telescope up high enough to look at the night sky. My first sight was Jupiter and even in such a small dubious quality scope perched rather shakily on stools, well the view was just absolutely amazing. That was when I was hooked. I had friends and my brother climbing up on top of that roof that night and how the roof didn't cave in I'll never know. I will always remember my first sight of Jupiter through that scope and 45 years later although I now have a scope which is infinitely better than that little refractor and gives far better views, I wish I could recreate that initial amazing feeling I had when I looked through that little scope.

Bob

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I remember quizzing my dad about space when I was 6 or 7, and I asked for a telescope for Xmas. Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear look at the Moon with the 60mm high street store frac so I lost interest for a while. When I was in my late teens I decided to save for a better scope and bought a 6" f/5 Newtonian which blew my socks off when I saw Saturn! My interest grew and grew until I decided to try and become an Astronomer, so I did an access to Uni course then my degree in astronomy which wasn't quite good enough to go onto Masters and Phd, I was quite upset for a while and backed off for a few years until I bought a big achro frac, then I've never looked back, still obsessed today :)  

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A long term interest in spacecraft and space exploration, and the eclipse

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I consider myself lucky to have been a child in the 1960's, when the space race was in full swing, and I can remember seeing a particularly bright satellite (probably Echo 1) when I was about 5 years old (1964), and being utterly fascinated by it.

Then my parents, seeing my interest, bought me a copy of Patrick Moore's 'Observer's Guide to Astronomy', a few years later, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Stumbled out of a pub in Allihies - West Cork - and couldn't believe the sky - pitch dark. After 1st child had no time in daylight so thought to get a scope for when kids asleep! Came across SGL, lurked (thanks for all advice freely given to newbs) and bought a 10" dob :) 5yrs later just bought my 2nd scope and loving the hobby!

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Geography teacher from school, excellent teacher, still in touch today some 40 yrs later.

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My Da bought me a Tasco 60mm frac when I was ten and I looked at the moon. Then I was without the bug for around 29 years until my wife bought me a new scope for Christmas.

I haven't looked back and have just enrolled in my BSc(Hon) in Astronomy!

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My Da bought me a Tasco 60mm frac when I was ten and I looked at the moon. Then I was without the bug for around 29 years until my wife bought me a new scope for Christmas.

I haven't looked back and have just enrolled in my BSc(Hon) in Astronomy!

Good luck with your course :) top tip, make sure you brush up on calculus and transposition of formula before you start. Are you doing it at OU?  

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The first manned flights captured my imagination. A friend at primary school introduced me to astronomy. We used to walk round and round the playground discussing the planets - a right couple of geeks. Then it was watching Patrick Moore on TV talking about astronomy ... and of course the Apollo moon programme.

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