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Walking on the Moon

Are you a member of club or society?


Mancunian Lee
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It boils down to individual preference.

If you enjoy observing with others and learning in a group and the social side of "Clubs" then you'll enjoy it.

Not fussed on the lecture side of it, i'd rather sit down with a book.

Just remember to try and put something back into the club or it won't grow.

I'm happy on here....More than enough for me and the knowledge :shock:

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*besides being lured out to the clubs "dark site", being murdered in a botched initiation ceremony and ending up in a shallow grave next to junction 4 on the M6.

Rob and I came very close. We got charged down by a stolen car. Standing in the middle of disused runway, we had no where to run. The guy did a handbrake turn at the last moment. Scary moment! We haven't been back to the dark site since.

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*besides being lured out to the clubs "dark site", being murdered in a botched initiation ceremony and ending up in a shallow grave next to junction 4 on the M6.

Gaz,

You forgot to mention the "Goat" Thing... :shock:

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On the few really clear nights I've had out I have found myself totally absorbed, hours pass by and the only way I realise is that the stars have moved. Having someone chatting away would ruin that.

I'm looking forward to our starparty though since that will be a totally different affair hopefully with a chance to look at other set ups and see how people do things.

For a normal observing session just give me the company of foxes, owls , the odd bad and various unidentified rustles. :lol:

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*besides being lured out to the clubs "dark site", being murdered in a botched initiation ceremony and ending up in a shallow grave next to junction 4 on the M6. :)

Yes, but we only did that once!! :lol:

But really, it is each to his own, and that is exactly the way it should be. I go because I like the company, I get to meet people who know buckets more than me, I get to meet people that know buckets less than me and I have already put something back into mine by standing as Programme Coordinator.

WIll I be there for the next 20 years? I don't know. But while I am, I will make use of the knowledge, instruments and contacts.

Will I make fun / abuse / harang people for not joining one? No. Certainly not.

BTW - thought it was a bit harsh to put Orion's thoughts down as 'tosh'. This should not be a thread to argue over - it's a personal, subjective decision to join a club and should be treated as such.

>Twopence duly paid at the bar<

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BTW - thought it was a bit harsh to put Orion's thoughts down as 'tosh'. This should not be a thread to argue over - it's a personal, subjective decision to join a club and should be treated as such.

Yes like fishing Daz...

Point taken and after reading Orion's explained post it can be taken in the context it was meant to be written, i take back my remark and apologise for it.

James

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Our Society has an active core of about twelve and we are out every chance we get. Having talked to other people on visits to other societies we learned that not every group are as active as us,so we asked a range of questions as to why. The most popular answer was security, people didn't like the fact that they were on their own and there are a lot of low life's around up to no good. The next one was our group dint seem to like dark sky observing with beginners, it seems like there are little cliques that go out and the rest only find out after the fact. We took these concerns on board and asked our members what they thought, suprise suprise thats what quite a few of our members thought as well. So as a Society we bought a phone and gave every member the chance to register their number so they would get a text informing them whenever there was going to be a trip to our dark site, as of the last meeting there are 10 numbers registered. Go figure!

Our society also has an observatory on a secure site with an LX200 14 inch on a wedge which is for the use of the membership and the public, the log book in there has the same four names in it regularly. We publicise in the local paper when we are having an open night and we get a hand full of people along and they all seem to enjoy the experience and sometimes they join. Out of every ten new members, we might get one who is willing to make the trips to our dark site, the rest are just happy to come to the lectures and the workshops. We sent a questionnaire out to see what the members wanted changing in the society and apart from the few who wanted a bar :lol: everyone was happy the way the society was being run.

On a personal note the company of like minded people at a dark site is a pleasure i wouldn't easily give up. Some nights there are only two or three of us out there in the dark and I know from different conversations I have had over the years that some people will not come if they know there will only be one other person with them and so miss out on some really fantastic nights of clarity and good seeing. I try and make light of their concerns and cajole and sweet talk them into going and a few have admitted that once you get to know the site and the strange sounds of the nocturnal beasties they do enjoy it a lot more than they did.

Kev

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Hello Steve and Lee

Sunderland Astronomical Society or the SAS as we are known. Our Secretary ( Gary Fildes) is the organiser of the Kielder star Party in cohorts with Richard Darn of the Forestry Commission. <http://www.richarddarn.demon.co.uk/starcamp/page6.html> and <http://www.richarddarn.demon.co.uk/starcamp/>

We meet every second and third sunday of the month, and we are at our dark site two weeks before and two weeks after full moon usually, or any chance we can get.

If anyone wants to get in touch just use the links on our site <http://www.sunderlandastro.com/contacts.html> it may take a while but one of us will reply. It isn't that we are ignorant its just that everyone is busy doing PAID WORK :) to make sure that they can slope off to the great back of beyond ( Derwent or Kielder) when the mood takes them :lol: or they get a phone call :toothy7:

Kev ( The Treasurer )

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Hi iam Skip and i joined the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth Devon, cost 15 quid for the year and a local Camera shop in Exeter gives members 10% discount thats the LONDON CAMERA EXCHANGE ( okay Steve) already we have visited their planetarium three times to learn the constellations. found the members very friendly and talk to you not at you. we have had some problems (through lack of knowledge) but everyone will show you how to sort it out. we even had trouble finding Saturn (Beehive was easy) and they took us to the large scopes and opened everything up just to show us Saturn. we spent a day of one of their course cost £10 to members for the whole day and learnt loads. AND of course found this site with all the knowledge around just throw in your questions and back comes the answer ( i get lost sometimes but great fun)

sorry got carried away. oh and we found saturn through our own scope just amazing

skip

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Kev - sounds like a good society there, and I like the idea of the text messageing on dark-sky nights. We stopped the dark-sky because of lack of interest ( :shock: ) but I am going to start an open discussion on why and what they want from it, if at all.

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a local Camera shop in Exeter gives members 10% discount thats the LONDON CAMERA EXCHANGE ( okay Steve)

Mmmm..Is this endorsment/advertising I see here........ :whip2: :)

You could say that for the most part I feel I do not need to belong to a club or society as this place is more than enough for me...

I'm not really a social person.......Que a "Little Britain" sketch!! :lol:

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Kev - sounds like a good society there, and I like the idea of the text messageing on dark-sky nights. We stopped the dark-sky because of lack of interest ( :shock: ) but I am going to start an open discussion on why and what they want from it, if at all.

Daz - One of the members recently said our dark sky site was too far to travel there and back in one night, its a forty five minute drive! :lol: Our other site is about two hours away and we get the same group who are willing to travel and none of them complain. Ive even offered to pick up members who don't like driving that far but as usual I had no takers.

They say "You can lead a horse to water but You can't make it drink" works for astronomers as well. Good luck with the open discussion. :shock:

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Thanks Kev

I think that was the problem before. It was about 30 mins outside of Bedford and they didn't want to travel.

But then, there are some strange things that happen.

Example: One members evening (Jan I think) was a talk on astro-websites. It was a lovely clear night, a bit fresh, but not too bad. I was outside with two or three others and some members of the public. Three guesses where most of the members were????? (you don't need three do you???)

Go figure!

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On our frequent trips to the great back of beyond we sometimes fall foul of the weather and end up sitting in cars while it lashes down. Now any sensible sane person would admit defeat and give up, not us oh no we sit it out and wait and I can only think of two complete washouts this observing season so far (tempting fate I know). We've had public sessions where people have given up after half an hour and left, while the hardy bunch have just huddled into the observatory and waited it out. Also you can understand members of the public attending a star party dressed in the wrong type of clothes and trainers but why would somebody who has been out in the great beyond do the same, they know how cold it can get yet they still forget and turn up looking like a football supporter on a sunny day. Pillocks is what I say, anyway the Rant is over for now, I'm off outside to check how wet the observatory is getting :lol: as it is Pisitivily Possing down again.

Kev

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