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Biggest annoyances in astronomy


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Having people touch your astro gear!....

I think I might have posted this once before a while ago but one day my partner and I decided  to take my new telescope to a dark sky site for the first time. I was really excited as I had only had the scope for a couple of months and it was my first chance to see what it could do. So I clambered up into the loft to retrieve the original box and packing safely saved to ensure a safe journey.

The day dawned a few days later and I duly loaded the car and we set off on our 4 hour journey to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

That night we found a nice dark desolate spot and we were all set. I took the box from the car, opened it up and found.........books!!!

She thought it would be a good idea to use the box to take old books to the charity shop which she planned to do when we got home.

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Neighbours security lights and people saying to me "I've always been interested in Astronomy....What's your star sign?"    

My biggest annoyance is making a fool of myself, easily done. I had a couple friends come to stay and with clear new moon skies they were enthusiastic about there first views through a scope. I d

Having people touch your astro gear!.... I think I might have posted this once before a while ago but one day my partner and I decided  to take my new telescope to a dark sky site for the first t

3 minutes ago, mark skelton said:

My biggest pet hate is cloud cover. As for point 2 I got red led's under each leg so I can see where they are, point 3 all my cables go down the pillar then they're buried under gravel so I don't trip over them, When I go indoors for a cuppa I use a red light when I put the kettle on.

Hi Mark, could you please explain your set up where you have the cables running down the pillar when you also say you use a tripod cos I’m a bit confused. I wonder if it’s possible to get red tinted goggles? I’m going to Google that right now.

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Too short nights.

After 40 years non-stop in the hobby, my equipment and the DSO visual observing flow are perfected so much that I'm observing from dusk till dawn with no single annoyance, pure joy, and just want more. 

Clouds? I' have settled in California on purpose :) Can't recall single time driving out and not setting up for some awesome views (also because I have 4 well established remote locations in different directions around the home to choose from after observing the weather pattern for a week before the usual New Moon's go).

Correction: except for the late trend of raging California fires of course. We had Smoked Sun Eclipses on some days when all automatic street lights remained on well after the noon, and my remote locations was not excepted.

Edited by AlexK
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23 minutes ago, pastiche said:

Having people touch your astro gear!....

I think I might have posted this once before a while ago but one day my partner and I decided  to take my new telescope to a dark sky site for the first time. I was really excited as I had only had the scope for a couple of months and it was my first chance to see what it could do. So I clambered up into the loft to retrieve the original box and packing safely saved to ensure a safe journey.

The day dawned a few days later and I duly loaded the car and we set off on our 4 hour journey to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

That night we found a nice dark desolate spot and we were all set. I took the box from the car, opened it up and found.........books!!!

She thought it would be a good idea to use the box to take old books to the charity shop which she planned to do when we got home.

Ouch! Reminds me of the time we went to the far north of Scotland for a short break, we lived in Glasgow at the time. I took along my new Canon film camera because I wanted to take advantage of the fabulous dark skies there. The first clear night we walked along the cliff top until we were well away from the not very bright lights of the hotel, the sky was amazing with the stars like light bulbs. I put my camera setting on bulb after carefully placing it on a handy flat rock then walked back a safe distance so I could light a cigarette, so glad I later gave that habit up! Fag finished we walked back to where we thought we had left the camera but couldn’t find it anywhere. After wasting 30 mins stumbling around in the pitch black  we decided to give up and returned the following morning to collect it. Didn’t get another clear night after that, but what can you expect for Scotland?

Keith

Edited by Moonshed
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1. Most people would probably think that astronomy is very relaxing and sedentary. Little do they know the stress of manically setting up everytime there's a hint of a clear sky. I'm going to nominate it as a sport for the next Olympics - think Colin Jackson jumping hurdles but replace hurdles with cats/dogs/children and add expensive equipment.

2. Most people also probably don't realise astronomy is an extreme sport. e.g. Dodging a heavy 'scope that's swinging on the mount after you release the clutch but forgot to put the counterweight on.

3. Felixstowe. Not only does the port cause skyglow to my East, but now they can't dock ships that contain things I have on back order (I maybe personalising that issue slightly.... 😆).

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3 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I don't let anything annoy me!   If I can't do anything about it I put up with it, if I can I do.     🙂   

Please, please let me into your secret! How on earth do you manage it?

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Having read this thread, I'm amazed so many of the contributors are still into astronomy!  If I found so many things about astronomy so annoying, I would have given up over 50 years ago. 😁

May I suggest three courses of action that may help those so afflicted.

1 Read "Starlight Nights" by Leslie Peltier.

2 Read "The Light-Hearted Astronomer" by Ken Fulton.

3 Join The Cloud Appreciation Society.

I'm afraid if any of you have read these two books already, and still feel the same way, you are probably already doomed 🙂.

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For me, every August we have a week’s camping trip to remote spots and I really look forward to DSO hunting at dark sites. What I enjoy much less is the reality of 7 days of constant rain and low pressure systems more akin to February.

In fact, we were so (word removed) off with this summer that, Covid permitting, next summer our annual Astro trip will be in the South of France. 

Edited by Alkaid
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I am in the South of France, don’t get your hopes up. So many times our weather down here is the same as yours up there.

Quite often it is the same Atlantic storm, you guys have the northern part and the worst of it but that long trailing arm of cloud and rain has often been all the way to northern Spain.

It seems we have some really rude weather and your latitude does not give you clear skies and none down here either. I for one have had very little due to the short summer night. November was hot and clear (a record I believe) but the seeing was so bad Mars was a no go again, for the second time.

December first.... heavy rain, cloud below and above, cloud now with high winds. We all talk about climate change but I just ‘know’ our weather is angry right now.

Alkalid, (Steve) Can you imagine finally getting through post Brexit customs and getting all the way down here for my skies. Last decent night two months ago, it’s an utter lottery. 

Marvin

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2 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

I am in the South of France, don’t get your hopes up. So many times our weather down here is the same as yours up there.

Quite often it is the same Atlantic storm, you guys have the northern part and the worst of it but that long trailing arm of cloud and rain has often been all the way to northern Spain.

It seems we have some really rude weather and your latitude does not give you clear skies and none down here either. I for one have had very little due to the short summer night. November was hot and clear (a record I believe) but the seeing was so bad Mars was a no go again, for the second time.

December first.... heavy rain, cloud below and above, cloud now with high winds. We all talk about climate change but I just ‘know’ our weather is angry right now.

Alkalid, (Steve) Can you imagine finally getting through post Brexit customs and getting all the way down here for my skies. Last decent night two months ago, it’s an utter lottery. 

Marvin

Thanks Marvin, looks like I need to keep buying more weather lottery tickets (grin!). I had high hopes of the Ardeche, with blue skies in the day, clear skies at night and not a bit of cloud...lol

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5 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

Ardeche..... Ardennes it’s all the same right now. Just for a laugh I have ordered some Badder Solar Film😂. Never know how that order will effect the sky gods.

M

I’m pretty sure ordering Solar Film is the astronomical equivalent of cleaning your car.

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Cloud, rain, cold, but when I do get a clear night my neighbours suddenly illuminate the world by leaving every light on possible, the one next door has halogen lights in their bathroom and kitchen that make the windows look like doorways into some alien underworld, no curtains or blinds and on all night,  why???

Mmmm perhaps my shuffling about at three in the morning scares them, oooooo there's the bogeyman outside again.

 

 

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Cloud, I have a permanent rig, but feel very sorry for those who have to set up every time. 

Being clear when it's a full Moon and cloudy when it's near new Moon.

Biggest annoyance is the unreliability of weather forecasts, even on the same day.

USB ports that play up when imaging, though that hasn't happened for a while - shush, did I just say that, I bet I live to regret it. 

Carole

 

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12 hours ago, Cyril said:

Cloud, rain, cold, but when I do get a clear night my neighbours suddenly illuminate the world by leaving every light on possible, the one next door has halogen lights in their bathroom and kitchen that make the windows look like doorways into some alien underworld, no curtains or blinds and on all night,  why???

Mmmm perhaps my shuffling about at three in the morning scares them, oooooo there's the bogeyman outside again.

 

 

As my comment has been severely edited by those above I have decided to remove all of it as the remaining content did not reflect what I intended.

Edited by Moonshed
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23 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I don't let anything annoy me!   If I can't do anything about it I put up with it, if I can I do.     🙂   

Now that is a recipe for a contented life Peter 😊

Increasingly I find one of my greatest annoyances in astronomy is...myself.

Mainly cackhandedness 

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34 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Now that is a recipe for a contented life Peter 😊

Increasingly I find one of my greatest annoyances in astronomy is...myself.

Mainly cackhandedness 

You have two many telescopes trying one at a time. Regards Andrew 

Edited by andrew s
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On 08/12/2020 at 10:32, Peter Drew said:

I don't let anything annoy me!   If I can't do anything about it I put up with it, if I can I do.     🙂   

That was the best advice I was ever given. 

Regards Andrew 

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