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umasscrew39

What's in a name?

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Hi All

I am trying to explore the possibility of this forum becoming more  active like the electronically-assisted astronomy (EAA)/live viewing on CNs use to be.  A lot of the more experienced and most congenial posters have left and it is a real shame.  It is how I and others have learned the techniques and simply shared our thoughts and live views, in addition to the fun monthly challenges .

I had a nice email exchange with a SGL admin about this, just expressing my opinions to enhance this specific forum.  So, I'd like to challenge those interested in EAA/live viewing/realtime views or whatever name you prefer to develop a more active forum.   I'd like to start by proposing to have the name Video Astronomy revised to something like:

Live Viewing/Electronically-assisted astronomy (EAA) to help attract back more of the lost posters from CNs and add many new folks interested in the approach.  

Perhaps I am out on an island here and all feel there is no  reason to change a thing - just my 2 cents.

Bruce

 

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It was me you were talking to - we are discussing this among the moderation team. I think I suggested: Video & Live Viewing Astronomy (EAA).

This seemed to cover most of the permutations? 

We are open to changing the name if it broadens the appeal but, we don't want to get caught in some of the infighting that seems to happen with this side of astronomy particularly when it comes down to what to call it.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Grant

Yes- I think that covers it like I agreed in our exchange the other day and I think it would broaden the appeal.  Not sure what all of the in-fighting is about.  It was so bizarre to see this on CNs.  I just do not get it- this is suppose to be  fun hobby.  I have enough stress at work.  That is why I stopped posting on that forum on CNs.  It is just ridiculous what was going on.  I am friends with a few very nice folks who left CNs.

Anyway, if the name gets revised and helps folks engage more in a friendly way, great.  If not, I tried and I'll just be quiet and move on doing my own thing.  I am not a big social media guy to begin with.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Bruce

Edited by umasscrew39
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Posted (edited)

How about a democratic method - put up the suggestions and then vote on it - mine just add (EAA) to existing title.

P.S. changing the name wont help IMHO.

Edited by stash_old
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I haven't done any EAA yet, but I'm certainly interested in learning more and have started to aquire equipment for it. I'm not aware of what the arguments are about what is/isn't considered EAA, video astronomy, live viewing/stacking, etc. My understanding is that EAA is very broadly defined and all encompasing of all these types of observing. I had just assumed the Video Astronomy board was for anything EAA related based on the content already on the board. Not against a name change and there's certainly no reason NOT to change the name, in my opinion, just not sure it's going to have the desired effect. I seemed to have found my way here on my own just fine by looking and searching. I could be entirely wrong though.

As for CN and the arguing, I'll just say I'm from the US and there's a reason I'm here and not there.

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I used to post and have seen all the names and changes over the years personally it won't change anything. I found folks to be far too uptight about what it's called, this camera is better, strict amounts of exposure that should be allowed, what processing was allowed the list goes on.

As for EAA it's wholly inaccurate. It covers everything from a lunminated eyepiece to a driven mount. Video is also now inaccurate as it's not video unless it's a planet cam or a Watec camera. 

The rest is basically fast imaging. This includes older Mallincams onwards. They take a set exposure and stack wether it be within the camera or using software.

On the other side of the coin imagers don't see it as their sport as it's not to their standards. So it has remained in no man's land.

People usually find it due to stumbling along it in a forum.

I would think most who start to think about placing a camera on a scope logically go to the imaging section and that in my opinion is where this section should be as that's what it is only fast.

Carl

 

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Clearly there are different points of views about the interests and intentions of people who may (or may not) post here. For what its worth, I don't consider what I do to be principally imaging. I consider it to be observing. I just happen to use a camera to get deeper more quickly, and under marginal conditions.

Coincidentally, I bumped into some birdwatchers today and saw one with a camera and the other with binoculars. I didn't think to ask them whether they were aware they were pursuing different hobbies. What we seem to leave out here is what ought to be a common love of astronomy. 

My preference would be to have two sub-fora, one on EAA/video kit (equipment/software) -- perhaps living in Imaging, and the other on EAA/video observations, in the Observing section. Actually, what I would *really* like is to have a single forum on deep sky observation where EAA types could also contribute observation, but I don't think that is going to happen. I don't really understand the tribalism though. I've often been motivated to look for certain objects by what I read from visual observers with large scopes, and serious visual observers seem to have no issues consulting books like the Night Sky Observers Guide, which is full of EAA-type photos!

Martin

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Hi All,

Just to keep things simple, I think Grant’s suggestion appears to be a good next step.  I think the label of just Video stuck because it was the initiator of what Carl calls fast imaging.  For a while when this started, all you had were fast video cams. Then along came Paul Shears, Nytecam, and Martin who developed a simpler one USB cable system that uses an SX Lodestar with Paul’s brilliant Lodestar Live, now Starlight Live.  Not really video, but gives similar results.  I believe CN actually went from calling the forum something like Video & Electronically Assited Astronomy to just EAA.  Video still plays a role in live viewing, and it has a clearer meaning to many.  So, I like Grant’s proposal.  Whether it helps to bring more posters, only time will tell, but it sure couldn’t hurt.

Don 

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Interestingly there has been a discussion on SGL about whether Night Vision observing reports should continue to  apear in the Observing Reports section.  A simple rule clarification was made (no significant change really) and one of the key NV contributors took umbrage and left SGL. It’s a minefield! Based on that (and previous debates) I would say we have to be sure there really is a problem, and that a name change is the solution. Personally I don’t think a name change would help, perhaps we can think of other ways of addressing the problem stated by the OP?  

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My two pennysworth, i always describe what i do to non astronomy folks as EAA, not video astronomy but i found this forum section no problem. Perhaps calling it Video ahd EAA might help folks find the forum a tad easier when searching EAA but anyone who is interested in this hobby should find it easy enough anyway. 

As a visitor to cn EAA forum sometimes i find the whole 'is it EAA' thing rather silly. I kind of understand the 'no processed pics' thing but if you state you have post processed the image a  little, what is the issue ?  it is not like false advertising :)  and as for night vision, perhaps it should have it's own sub forum under video astronomy & EAA.  Whatever is decided it will not effect me visiting and posting on occasion ( when the storms in the UK finally subside ) :D 

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Actually the CN forum has a low participation at present. Personally I have learned almost everything there from people who are no longer there, why?

I hope this idea works and can meet fans wanting to learn and share.

Yes, please, no rules that prohibit the postprocessing of the images or we will move away many people who do not resign to present their modest photographs as best as possible.

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Dont go to CN very often but I did notice some guy chastise someone as he was using Asrotoaster ,as I do, and posting in "EAA whatever" - he was instantly rebuked ,correctly IMO, as it doesn't matter how one does it - ONLY to the person doing it "his/her way" - asking for help or passing on info in any section is not a crime ? - if you dont agree dont read it (or comment about it)

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Posted (edited)

This might be controversial having read the posts so far, but the question for me is given that 'Imagers' already have their own (multiple) forums where should Electronically Assisted Astronomers, hence pure 'observers' go? Why shouldn't there be an exclusive forum with emphasis on observing other than through an eyepiece? 

The CN EAA Forum has recently become overwhelmed by NV (fair enough) and because there are no integration or exposure time limits, by CCD/CMOS Astrophotographers that will argue that 20 minutes total integration time is 'near live' observing because it comprises of 80 x 15s stacked frames, hence "short" exposures. The truth is that allowing for discarded 'bad' frames it is probably nearer 30 minutes of activity.  Then they add 'darks on the fly' and other camera processing, yet post processing is prohibited. Then they post 'images' to demonstrate their prowess as astrophotographers and it's all become too competitive and critical of images with negligible discussion about 'observing'.

That forum has hence become far more about astronomy as an Art form rather than as a Science and many pure EAA observers have, as Bruce suggests, stopped contributing. I haven't because I am hoping to see future solutions. As others have commented, the rules are restrictive and counter productive as there are no winners, just confusion about forum aims and objectives. We don't want this SGL Forum to suffer similarly.

Those of us that are genuinely interested in Electronically Assisted Astronomy and rarely save our work as an image now feel reluctant to post anything other than equipment discussions. I can have a decent observation of the Horsehead on screen within 30 seconds using Hyperstar. But I might as well go and watch football if I need to wait a further 30 minutes to 'develop' it.  I don't publish my results as that has become a competition for best pictures, and I am not into photography. I use "EAA" simply to defeat light pollution. However, I respect that 'Imaging' can be a natural bi-product of observing. But why can't 'imagers' remain in the existing imaging forums? 

In summary, EAA embracing Video and NV is truly 'live' and that could embrace EAA using CCD/CMOS strictly as an 'near live' observing discipline.  But anything else is either long exposure or long integration short exposure astrophotography.

My view is that solutions lie in creating SINGLE exposure and stacked MULTIPLE (stacked) exposure sub-forums under 'Imaging'. Then create NV, Video and EAA sub-forums within "Electronically Assisted Astronomy"  with the emphasis there on observing, but stacked CCD/CMOS can feature as regards an observation tool. Equipment discussions can feature in either.  Then everybody has a suitable forum to accomodate their interests. Just my two cents.

Edited by noah4x4

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A name update may be a useful modernisation, and I do think it would be good to have a more active forum. However, we probably need to be more active with regular posting observations if we want more people to join in too. 

I certainly don’t post observing notes here as much as I could. There’s no particular reason. I’m interested in reading other people’s observations - those are always the posts that I look for in the forums, but it doesn’t occur to me that what I’ve observed is interesting to others! 

Directing people from beginning imaging forum who might be interested in eaa would also help. Certainly that’s where I started posting asking for help before I’d heard of eaa. 

The only thing I really want to avoid is the CN situation. 

I personally don’t care about definitions or rules other than they should aid discovery and participation not discourage it. I think the lighter touch moderation and fewer rules here make for a more friendly atmosphere too. 

I would I second Martins idea of creating separate “EAA Observation” “EAA Technical” discussion forums. Perhaps that would encourage more observation posting discussion and reduce the possibility of CN issues since the posting is away from the philosophical, definition and technical camera discussions that cause almost all the arguments. 

That said, I think more than anything, to make it more active those here need to post more observations, good and bad. 

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Hi All,

You will see that I am new to this forum. In fact this is the first forum I have decided to join. I have many years of astro experience but have stayed away from the forums because of the many endless (sometimes pointless comments, asides) discussions about this and that, and minimal discussions/information about the  objects observed.  I decided to join because I could see that some current contributors are keen to observe, find out about an object, share this info and encourage others to take a look at it and share in the wow factor. I have been a member of a well known deep sky society and would contribute observations but so few people submitted observations that in the end I stopped contributing. It would have been so much better if when someone submitted an observation that others would then take a look at the same object, post their observations and thus collectively develop knowledge for the object.

A case in point in this forum, Martin submitted his observation of Hickson 44 and I coincidentally had recently observed it so I added in my image. At the next opportunity I now plan to go back to Hickson 44, read up about it, try and tease out more detail and hopefully submit another post.

Of course there is a need to discuss equipment and techniques but in my view this should be in the context of achieving better observations, a more detailed understanding of the object, to encourage others and finally to maintain the wow factor of the night sky.

Hope this has not offended anyone.

Enjoy observing.

Mike

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Well....

It's been nearly 2 years since I posted on SGL (or any other astronomy forum) - work, and family commitments have meant that I've not had much time for astronomy recently.

It's good to see the changes that have been made to what I have always consider to be my "baby" - this group  was orginally created when there was a change to the forum software and the "Social Groups" were no longer supported - my Video Atronomy social group was turned into the Video Astronomy sub-forum, however the concept was always video and electronically assisted observing. 

I was originally inspired by  Steve Chambers and his use of the SDC435 security camera for astronomy - I still have one as part of my travel set up.

The work done by Nytecam using the Lodestar cameras encuraged me down this route and Paul Sears Lodestar/Starlight Live software was the turning point for me.

For me this has always been about instant or near instant gratification - occasionally I'd save the session and post process to see if I could extract any more detail from the captures, however being able to "see" DSO from my light poluted garden was always what I wanted to do.

I've posted it before, but perhaps it's been lost in all the past posts - here's what a nights EAA can offer (3 hours compressed into 12 minutes) :-

 

 

I'll be back....

 

Paul

 

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Hey, Doc.

Welcome back!  Great video.  

I agree that the Lodestar and Paul’s software were inspirational in EAA/VA.  The late great Nytecam opened up a whole new world to me and many others.  Things have change and advanced some over the past couple of years, but the reliable Lodestar with SLL still gives a lot of pleasure in viewing the night skies.

I really liked your Eyes Galaxies.

Hope to see you around a lot more.

Don

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Good to see you back Paul, and thanks for posting the video and reminding us what a good session can be like. I haven't managed to do any serious EAA since last year and my window for spring galaxies is diminshing, but I live in hope. Hope you get some proper EAA time very soon.

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