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Moonshed

What got you started?

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"The Stars: a new way to see them" by H.A. Rey did the job for me (if you have never heard of it, get out and buy, borrow or steal it !) :icon_biggrin:

The simplicity and genius of his graphic drawing of the Gemini constellation just amazed me and got me hooked more than 30 years ago !

GEMELLI.jpg

Edited by PHIL53
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Accidental for me really. My wife wanted to get a decent DSLR for fashion photography as she is a make up artist and wanted to learn more about the photography side. I said I would learn how to use it with her so we could learn together, but as I could not see myself being interested in fashion photography, I decided to investigate astro-photography on a whim. Hooked within a session or two.

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As a kid I loved the moon, it still holds a magical quality now, i got my first serious scope about 4 months ago, so i'm a complete newbie, i hope to combine my photography with astronomy and see what happens, but i shall be happy if all i view or image is the moon.

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I got interested in astronomy through an uncle, (my mothers brother), when I was a young boy. He passed away just before christmas 2014.  

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I am so impressed with all your responses, it makes really interesting reading! The different variety of reasons why people have got started on this wonderful hobby is simply amazing. Thank you so much and please keep them coming.

Keith

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For me, I think the seeds were planted very young, looking at the pitch black rural skies of the Dordogne during family holidays in France in the 70's. The real kick came when a friend of mine bought an astronomy book to school (by Iain Nicholson I think) - I borrowed it, loved it and joined the local astromomy club, Clacton and District Astro Assoc. They were (and still are) a group of enthusiastic amateurs who formed the club after the excitement of the first Apollo landing and were incredibly encouraging. I have them to thank for inspiring my lifelong passion and my parents for supporting my strange hobby. It's been a big part of my life ever since. Thankyou Iain Nicholson, CDAA and my parents!  :) 

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Always interested, but I bought my first scope at the age of 43, for my 4 year old daughter. It's a 76mm f/4, good for looking at the moon. She loved putting stickers on it, and I found out that it was much more difficult than I expected to find anything of interest just by looking.

A year and a half later, thanks in no small part to this forum, and also to a lot of looking up as well as reading, I'm the local astronomer.  That's a great position to have, because all the interesting questions come my way, and by the time I have researched good answers I know a lot more than I would have ever expected.

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"What got me started", well I've always been interested in the night sky from a very young age..I was gifted a rubbish telescope one Christmas whilst I was still a young'un. The cheap handheld telescope got used. Then at the age of 25 I got my first proper telescope. Oh and I've always been a fan of Sir Patrick Moore.

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Loved the Apollo space programme and the moon landings as a child (old enough to have watched them). Always a little fascinated by the night sky and trying to recognise the constellations, but never really had time or the inclination to get into astronomy. What got me into buying a scope and devoting more time to looking at the night sky was my son doing some astronomy at school and helping him take pictures of the moon with my SLR and then having a little disposable income to actual be able to afford to buy my first scope.  Now I have a thirst for learning more about the night sky and observing with my scope as often as I can. Also find it a very relaxing pastime which acts as stress relief!

 

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I bugged my mum to get me one of these when I was 7:

vintage-fisher-price-telescope-w-6-slide

I looked at the moon and I remember finding a planet, but not sure what it was.

Books and encyclopedia's kept me enthralled through school.

Seeing the Perseids and the Milky Way stretching away above me while on exercise at Sennybridge when I was a squaddie has always stuck with me.

The passion and the wonder stayed, but until recently, I've not had the time or money to really do anything about it.  That's now changed :-)

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Patrick Moore and the sky at night, was where my interest started in the 60's. I then bought a Prinz Astral 500 at Dixons for £80.00 in the late 70's, for some reason I thought it was a three inch? When I realised it was less than 2 1/2 inches I was a bit disappointed, as a telescope virgin I think the diameter of the Dewshield confused me.  I remember that Patrick always said that anything less than three inches aperture in a refractor was of no use for serious astronomical observation. I still remember my first view of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn though and how amazed I was. I now have another Astral 500 and I can appreciate the build quality, its elegant looks and the good optics. Off topic a bit: I met Patrick Moore once when he opened the new Liverpool Astronomical Society's observatory on Pex Hill in Widnes in the 90's, he signed and dedicated a book for my son Gary and he told me he had a good friend named Garry but spelled with two r's. He was a very nice chap.

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Was bought a 1'' telescope on a table stand for Christmas in 1967...looked at the Moon and that was it.

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Pre Messrs Armstron, Collins and Aldrin my father used to try to tell  me about the various constellations.

Around the same time I developed an interest in the Science Fiction literature - probably due to Gigantor? Not sure.

Ever since I've wanted to take picture os the star - and try to get Trantor as well as the Eddorians galaxy.

1st setup was 2013, 130SLT with the WiFi Q.

Still found neither of my targets ;( 

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On 22/08/2016 at 08:44, PHIL53 said:

"The Stars: a new way to see them" by H.A. Rey did the job for me (if you have never heard of it, get out and buy, borrow or steal it !) :icon_biggrin:

The simplicity and genius of his graphic drawing of the Gemini constellation just amazed me and got me hooked more than 30 years ago !

I would agree, " The Stars " was my first book. My Dad got it for me back in 1965, and I still have it.  I believe for a beginner, the tutorial is just as valuable today as it was back then.   If you can find a hard back copy, the dust cover opens up as a chart. 

PICT0001 (Small).JPG

PICT0001 (Medium).JPG

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Watching Ancient Aliens, I took the decision to go out and look at the sky every nights to spot unusual objects. But things turned out differently, I had an intense (obsessive) interest in learning the constellations instead then the 130mm newtonian came along a few weeks later.

At the end there is still no UFOs but the sky gave me the true gift of happiness and passion.

 

 

 

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Back in the early 80s there was a  satallite that broke up and caused a meteor shower as it came down (does anybody know which it was) I still remember it hundreds of streaking lights across the sky and that fired my interest but the cost back then of telescopes were out of my reach and I bought a 3inch refractor second hand I struggled for some time and my interest went on the back burner fast forward to this year after looking at the reflectors in jessops the cost was easy reach so I bought a 130m and my interest has been fired up again I'm now on my third scope after realizing the 130 wasn't the one and I'm constantly looking for breaks in the weather so I can get out  really got bitten this time and trying to learn more all the time.

Baz

Edited by barrie greenwood

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I'm not dead sure what got me started but it has a lot to answer for...

:Dlly

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4 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

I'm not dead sure what got me started but it has a lot to answer for...

:Dlly

Same here - I initially thought you'd just buy a 'scope and take it into the garden.  Never imagined there would be so much expensive paraphernalia to go with it!

(Still love it though!)

Doug.

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12 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

..............  I initially thought you'd just buy a 'scope and take it into the garden.  Never imagined there would be so much expensive paraphernalia to go with it! .........

Doug.

That's only because we have been brainwashed to buy stuff, and more stuff, and the latest flavour of the month.  :wink:

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sorry to say it, but it appears I'm not quite as old as some of you guys, so Apollo and the space race had been and gone before I was born. It was probably Star Trek The Next Generation that got me interested in space, then Mir and Helen Sharman came along and made being an astronaut acheivable by anyone. Haley's comet was around at that time too, and I think the crazy long orbit it had started to fire an interest in the solar system. But it wasn't until about 4 years ago that I actually got a telescope (not a very good one), and it's been a slippery slope for my wallet ever since.

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