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azrabella

I deem this a useless hobby

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I have several interests to keep me happy.

I'm now back at my original one which keeps me busy in my spare time.
The weather does'nt have any bearing on it apart from a few more sunspots might help.

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It is pretty frustrating at times with the British weather. I reckon looking at the brief tally I keep, around one in three days/nights it would be possible to do something from here. I've taken the odd break from active astro over the years but keep coming back and still enjoy it, so unless you need the cash I'd hang onto the gear until a better spell of weather or your motivation picks up.

Failing that there is always this? 😉

1492433280.png.a9f35b2bde88334bd3c80895d460c478.png

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scribd.com%2Fdocument%2F345375863%2Fcloudspottingguide-pdf&psig=AOvVaw1d9ns78JiO8ccC9uJjIClM&ust=1604068422031000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIDuwdaC2uwCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAQ

 

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I'm the opposite having just started up again.


I've been a visual amateur for over 35yrs but only bought my first scope around 9 years ago after years of using bino's. I then went the way many do & became interested in AP. After a while due to a limited budget, unsuitable kit & terrible weather I couldn't justify spending the money required to buy a new set up for AP &  just gave up completely.

As my financial situation improved over the years, getting back into it was always in the back of my mind (I was still spending a great deal of time researching all things astronomical & found I really enjoyed that & its certainly not weather dependent). I finally decided to bite the bullet & start again, so a few weeks ago I visited FLO's website for probably the 1,000,000th time that month & hit the 'Buy it now' button on an Explore Scientific EXOS-2 PMC-Eight GOTO Mount & that as they say is that 😃 The mounts the biggest purchase i'll make (for now 🙄) & the one I couldn't afford first time around. I'll now be spending the next 3 or 4 months slowly buying kit until im ready to start, hopefully around the same time the nice, crisp, clear winter nights arrive here in the Lake District (that'll be that now cursed😒).

I've accepted that 9 times out of 10.......sorry, out of 100 the skies wont play ball but i'll just make the most of the ones that do. With my new found interest in the research part of the hobby & my new (3yr) hobby of mountain biking, I'll hopefully have a happy balance.....Watch this space (excuse the pun) 🙂

Steve

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It is exceptionally frustrating for sure. You want to get out and use the stuff you bought with your hard-earned and yet it is cloudy for weeks on end.  Took me a month to get the chance to use my new QHY268C camera I bought end of August.  Annoyingly autumn and winter are the worse times in UK now.  Best time is late spring- middle of summer when it does not get dark until 11:30.  No good at all for people who work.

For visual, large binoculars on a mount are a great grab and go option.  The 20x110 ones offer spectacular views.

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5 minutes ago, wxsatuser said:

The weather does'nt have any bearing on it apart from a few more sunspots might help.

Looking for a bit of HF ducting? Mind that wind on your Yagi 😲

Anyway, other than running and walking the dog, my other interests are what what might be best described as "passive" :)  Much of my 45 years of stargazing has been from the comfort of an armchair!

 

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52 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

The origin of the word amateur is from the French, meaning lover of something, i.e. you pursue the hobby for enjoyment , not for payment. If the enjoyment goes, and disillusion sets in only you can decide if it's likely to be permanent or not, and if there will be any point in having money sat uselessly tied up in unused kit.

Living on the western edge of the landmass means you get more precipitation then we do in the middle or east of England, not a dramatic difference like relocating to the Canaries or Arizona I know, but perhaps a more plausible move .

In the final analysis, one of my rules of life is 'If it's not fun, don't do it.' 

Heather

Sorry Heather it is from Latin !

Quote :“Amateur” comes from “amatore”, Latin for “lover”. It means “someone who does something for love rather than money” or “someone motivated by love rather than money”.

Derek

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For me, it's the only hobby that keeps me sane.
It's just the maths and equations that drive me insane.

 

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51 minutes ago, Physopto said:

Sorry Heather it is from Latin !

Quote :“Amateur” comes from “amatore”, Latin for “lover”. It means “someone who does something for love rather than money” or “someone motivated by love rather than money”.

Derek

As I understand it, the Romance languages evolved from Latin way back, around the time when the Roman western empire collapsed. That 'amateur' has the French ending strongly suggests it arrived in the English language via French, not straight from the Romans, who were pretty much professionals .

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6 hours ago, Skipper Billy said:

During a recent check up at the quacks I mentioned to him that I was into astronomy and he said well Mercury is in Uranus, I said NO! that's Astrology!!  He said no, the thermometer has broken.....

In the last 7 years the winter weather has got noticeably worse here (NW Scottish Highlands) but the summers have got better. Bad for astronomy but great for a seasonal leisure business like mine 😉  It enables me to buy all manner of nice things to not use over the winter!!!

That joke belongs in my bad jokes thread 😂😂😂

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Good thread. Sorry to hear that you’ve reached this stage. Like many have said, interest seems to wax and wane like the moon but I always come back feeling refreshed and ready for another session.  Hope that feeling never goes away. Weather is a pain here for sure, it gets in the way of significant Astro events that don’t come round that often and you build up your hopes of seeing something, only to be frustrated by the weather.  

What other hobbies do people have? Apart from Astronomy, I’m into fountain pens, scale modelling, cycling - a bit but not much and recreational flying light aeroplanes. My mojo for all these things comes and goes and I think that is normal from what I hear others saying.

Hope the OP either sticks with it or finds a new passion.

Steve 

 

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Sorry to hear this. Maybe find other interests and do astronomy when the weather eventually plays ball? I've loved astronomy most of my life, and although there are many things you can do within astronomy that are not weather dependant with projects and such, I couldn't have it as an only hobby. I also play the guitar, run, cycle, photography, and intermittently try coding in unity to make simple games. That's been on my bucket list since age 6. I mustn't forget making You tube videos but again that's astronomy. 

I hope you find both clear skies and your mojo :) 

Edited by Lockie

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16 minutes ago, Trikeflyer said:

Good thread. Sorry to hear that you’ve reached this stage. Like many have said, interest seems to wax and wane like the moon but I always come back feeling refreshed and ready for another session.  Hope that feeling never goes away. Weather is a pain here for sure, it gets in the way of significant Astro events that don’t come round that often and you build up your hopes of seeing something, only to be frustrated by the weather.  

What other hobbies do people have? Apart from Astronomy, I’m into fountain pens, scale modelling, cycling - a bit but not much and recreational flying light aeroplanes. My mojo for all these things comes and goes and I think that is normal from what I hear others saying.

Hope the OP either sticks with it or finds a new passion.

Steve 

 

My other hobby is mountain biking. Im lucky to live in the Lake District so I have amazing natural trails right on my doorstep. Its at polar opposites to Astronomy, unless im riding solo (50% of the time) im in a group of friends & its a fantastic fun way to keep fit. Where as with my Astronomy im always solo (i'll sometimes have a friend tag along but their patience doesn't usually last 😂 ) & its not particularly of any benefit towards my fitness, unless you count lugging all the gear around but that tends to only result in a dodgy back 🙄.
 

Unfortunately Mountain biking is just as expensive as Astronomy so with both of them i'm not left with much spare cash 😒 But between the 2 they give me a good balance between physical & mental exercise.

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I'm not far from Cardiff as the meteor falls and I have to agree the weather has been pretty appalling over the last few months.  There have been clear nights, but often after wet days when the seeing becomes quite mushy thanks to all the moisture in the air.  Getting on with other things is my usual way of coping, though options are a bit thinner on the ground now the clocks have gone back.  As long as I'm actually being productive somehow I can handle the barren spells.  Tonight I wouldn't have been able to go out anyhow as I have to work, but given a free afternoon I spent it with my daughter, reorganising the polytunnel so we can fit more plants in next year, which means I still feel as though I've achieved something of value to me today.

James

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2 hours ago, Paul M said:

Looking for a bit of HF ducting? Mind that wind on your Yagi 😲

Anyway, other than running and walking the dog, my other interests are what what might be best described as "passive" :)  Much of my 45 years of stargazing has been from the comfort of an armchair!

 

Considering how low the spots have been I still pick up some nice contacts.

No yagi, HF ones are to big for my garden, one 7 band vertical and a 5band cobweb seem to work ok.

The antenna farm and the obsy.

hfants.jpg.5f17bf48bb84ee7fb79930637324a5a4.jpg

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Good thread - and a subject most British/northern European amateur astronomers can identify with. 

Working from home most of the year I’ve had well over a hundred solar observing sessions during 2020. And the Sun is just starting to ramp up to several years of increased activity. It’s a great way to stay engaged with the hobby - constantly changing details from day to day. I know the north and Scotland haven’t had as much clear weather this year, but if the OP is located in the south west, it should be a perfect place - and perfect time - to enjoy solar observing. And with more sunspots emerging, there will be lots to see in both hydrogen alpha and white light. 

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I am frustrated by clear night skies after a whole day of fighting endless cloud for solar imaging.  :wink2:

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1 hour ago, Rusted said:

I am frustrated by clear night skies after a whole day of fighting endless cloud for solar imaging.  :wink2:

Reminds me of this

"I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all"

Regards Andrew 

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41 minutes ago, andrew s said:

Reminds me of this

"I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all"

Regards Andrew 

And as @Rusted might says:

"But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone"

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31 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

And as @Rusted might says:

"But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone"

"But if you care don't let it show 

Don't give your kit away"

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Everyone goes through peaks and troughs, and when you're deep in a trough it may seem a pointless hobby, but enthusiasm can suddenly return with a vengeance. If astronomy is in your blood, you're stuck with it. Sometimes when we feel low the cure can simply be to widen out. For example, if you're limiting yourself to just one aspect of astronomy, try sticking your toe into an area you're perhaps unfamiliar with. Even on cloudy nights there can often be sucker holes in the clouds large enough to allow you to gain a satisfying view. And winter sucker holes can offer some superb seeing.  Sometimes it's nice to spend some time rekindling that initial magical feeling that we had when we first began in the hobby. For me that would be looking at the awesome moon or trying to hunt down as many Messier objects as I can using a pair of binoculars, even between gaps in the clouds. 

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1 hour ago, andrew s said:

"But if you care don't let it show 

Don't give your kit away"

"Moons of Jupiter and focus wheels
The dizzy dancing way that you feel"

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

Everyone goes through peaks and troughs, and when you're deep in a trough it may seem a pointless hobby, but enthusiasm can suddenly return with a vengeance. If astronomy is in your blood, you're stuck with it. Sometimes when we feel low the cure can simply be to widen out. For example, if you're limiting yourself to just one aspect of astronomy, try sticking your toe into an area you're perhaps unfamiliar with. Even on cloudy nights there can often be sucker holes in the clouds large enough to allow you to gain a satisfying view. And winter sucker holes can offer some superb seeing.  Sometimes it's nice to spend some time rekindling that initial magical feeling that we had when we first began in the hobby. For me that would be looking at the awesome moon or trying to hunt down as many Messier objects as I can using a pair of binoculars, even between gaps in the clouds. 

And for me, it's re-reading "Starlight Nights" by Leslie Peltier to remind myself why I love the sky so much - and always have

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Sorry to read your post , but, i do share your frustration. The worst thing for me is to read all the lovely blogs and see those fantastic vlogs from the States etc where they have lovely clear skies ( not all the time of course but you know where i am coming from) . 

In fact,we,in Britain must be some of the most dedicated to our hobby as we are constantly battling against the elements ...even in the summer ! 

I too went through a phase where i literally couldn't get outside to pursue our fav pastime and its really depressing . I tend to watch YouTube reviews and to read astronomy books ( sometimes even rereading them ) to learn more about the night sky . It doesn't make up for not being able to observe but it at least keeps the astronomy fire burning . We are having a particularly wet Autumn season this year ( just when Mars is at its best ) . Hopefully the weather will settle down soon and we will all be able to enjoy our wonderful sky ... and i hope it comes soon enough to change your mind about giving up . 

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19 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

"Moons of Jupiter and focus wheels
The dizzy dancing way that you feel"

"As every fairy tale comes real
They looked at PH3 that way

But now it's just a poor just so
And you leave 'em fading when you go"

Edited by andrew s
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4 minutes ago, andrew s said:

"As every fairy tale comes real
They looked at PH3 that way

But now it's just a poor just so
And you leave 'em fading when you go

“The dizzy dancing view you see
I wish every Tak came for free”
 

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