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Michael Rapley

Aging hobby?

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I have noticed a lack of young people that seem to be involved in the hobby, has anyone noticed an uptake from youngsters after the IYA? I'm a new start to the hobby myself so can't comment if it's always been this way or not.

My 4 year old loves looking through "our telescope"

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Depends what you define as young I suppose.

I think it's more dependant on what you're exposed to and when.

I'm 23 myself and wouldn't call myself particularly young, but the way I see it is the teen generation are very superficial? for the lack of a better word. They're more interested in what the new fashion is, what Lady Gagas new song is, who won X-Factor, etc.

There doesn't seem to be any encouragement at all to for them to step away from their insignificant (in comparison to the Universe) lives and try to see the bigger picture. Instead, they're bombarded with dreams and ideologies of becoming rich and famous, because this is how they'll be happy, apparently.

But you also find it with older people. Like people at my work place, I try to talk to them about how seeing something like Saturn with their very eyes is such an amazing experience, but they just seem to say 'yeh, sounds alright'.

I think to truly get into Astronomy you have to appreciate the intricacies involved, the vast distances, the scale of things, and to do this you have to put in the effort to read up on things. If not, then yes that star is just a star. But if you do, it's a gigantic burning ball of gas millions of light years away, potential planets orbiting them, even other life.

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I'm 19! i'm still young! ....ish

I happen to have a slight bias though, as i study this stuff at university anyway. On the whole though, i agree, there is a lack of youth in this hobby it seems, even among my peers at university, and it's a little disheartening.

There is still hope, I think I've given my 11 year old sister the bug, I showed her Saturns rings the other night for the first time and she was overjoyed :rolleyes:

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I'm 19! i'm still young! ....ish

I happen to have a slight bias though, as i study this stuff at university anyway. On the whole though, i agree, there is a lack of youth in this hobby it seems, even among my peers at university, and it's a little disheartening.

There is still hope, I think I've given my 11 year old sister the bug, I showed her Saturns rings the other night for the first time and she was overjoyed :rolleyes:

What are you studying? I'd love to study something related to astro-physics at Uni, sadly stopped my education after A-level physics and only got a maths GCSE, proving tricky to get back into it.

I don't know about anyone else, but for me, astronomy certainly puts life in perspective. All these people moaning about going to work on Monday morning, or England doing badly at the World Cup, who cares! You're on a ball of rock hurtling through space at god knows what speed, the Universe doesn't end at the blue bubble surrounding us :)

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It cant help when kids walk down the street only to be greeted by an orange glow when they look up, Imagine a young kid looks up and sees the MilkyWay or The Orion Nebula, Im pretty sure that Human nature been as inqusitive as it is would ignite an interest in Astronomy in them much more readily than a sky full of light pollution would:(

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I don't know about anyone else, but for me, astronomy certainly puts life in perspective. All these people moaning about going to work on Monday morning, or England doing badly at the World Cup, who cares! You're on a ball of rock hurtling through space at god knows what speed, the Universe doesn't end at the blue bubble surrounding us :rolleyes:

DITO!!! I have always had exactly the same philosophy! When I look up at the night sky and try and take in the vastness of it all I think the worlds problems are pointless and I belive if only more people thought like that perhaps we would look after our tiny random spec of a plannet alot better. But their you go just another 25 year old rambleing on....:)

Michael.

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What are you studying? I'd love to study something related to astro-physics at Uni, sadly stopped my education after A-level physics and only got a maths GCSE, proving tricky to get back into it.

I don't know about anyone else, but for me, astronomy certainly puts life in perspective. All these people moaning about going to work on Monday morning, or England doing badly at the World Cup, who cares! You're on a ball of rock hurtling through space at god knows what speed, the Universe doesn't end at the blue bubble surrounding us :)

I'm taking a Masters degree in Physics with Astrophysics, it's hard work, but i find it really fulfilling.

Next year, grades permitting, I'll be starting a two year project modelling the structure and evolution of Earth-like exoplanets under the supervision of a professor, with the chance to publish in an astrophysics journal at the end. Can't wait! :rolleyes:

I totally agree with you, astronomy and physics in general is humbling, it really puts things into perspective, and they instil in me a deep appreciation for what we have on this small world.

Most Uni's are more than happy to take on students that have been out of education for a few years. At my uni at least, they run maths refresher courses in the first year, and generally start off slowly so people are all allowed to reach a similar level before the punishment begins, lol

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This winter i'll be taking my scope to the local park at night in the hope that some of the locals decide to check out what i'm doing.

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This winter i'll be taking my scope to the local park at night in the hope that some of the locals decide to check out what i'm doing.

:) you are a very brave man sir. good luck. :rolleyes:

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We have loads of guides, scouts and school groups who visit our observatory in Sidmouth, and there appears to be lots of interest among them. It seems to be more getting their parents to take them out somewhere at night which many find a hinderance.

Kate

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:) you are a very brave man sir. good luck. :rolleyes:

LOL i'm also 6'1" and 18.5 stone. But joking aside i'm quite lucky, the kids in my village don't appear to cause any trouble whatsoever, there is no vandalism anywhere. The primary school has a garden that is tended by the locals and is always pristine. The kids hang around in the park at night because there is nothing else for them to do, they don't make a noise or mess the place up.

I'm hopeful that a few might show an interest. I'll take my skyscout along, i think that tools like this will help to encourage the kids who may not think the hobby is cool.

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I do rather worry that my limited experience with astronomical societies led me to feel they were a bit... Fred Dibnah-ish? (A fine chap thougbut!) But sadly, Male dominated, "conservative", slightly anti-intellectual... Or maybe I just tried to join on a BAD night. :)

Though perhaps AGE has made me more tolerant of the younger generation? Do I sense a (new, kindred) "rebellious spirit" in 21st century youth... :rolleyes:

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I am 18, still fairly young. I got into this hobby at the age of 5 after hearing about the comet holmes outburst at the tail end of 2007. At that time I had no internet or knowledge of the skies, let alone a telescope and I didn't really have any other interests.

When I began attending my local astro club in 2009 and I immediately noticed that I was the only young person there, I am still the youngest there by a long way and there been little in the influx on young people to society. I do notice that not a lot of people at my college have any kind of interest in science or astronomy so on that feel quite isolated and do not tend to talk about my interests because of this.

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Interesting topic.

I'm 25 nearly 26 and i think there is alot of interest from younger people than myself.

When i first got into the hobby it was all a bit daunting with the M's, NGC's Supernove, Blackholes. Learning all about the differences in Galaxies etc, but the more you look the less complicated it seems.

If i told my friends about Astronomy they would turn off and call me a geek etc but since Professor Brian Cox did the series wonders of the Solar System on BBC 2 my friends are more interested and will sometimes ask me what's up in the sky because they've seen a very bright star.

I think the tv series mentioned above also had a bigger outreach than people thought as well. I remember reading in the business pages a month or 2 back that sales in Telescopes have actually increased due to people watching the series. Whetever that's because Mum and Dad have sat to watch it and then little Timmy has joined them and started to take an interest am not sure. But I for one am trying to pass down my hobby to my 1st nephew and when my 2nd one is old enough to him to.

Aging Hobby? I don't think so. :rolleyes:

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I'm sure the next generation of back garden astronomers are out there as we speak. I think its just a case that they are too young right now to be active members of an online astronomy forum.

NOT because we dont welcome them (we do) but because all they want to do is observe. Their minds are too active and running all over the place to actually allow them to sit down and partake in the forums.

Then again there could be hundreds of them here right now. Not many people tell you their age when they start posting. There's no need to know a persons age.

Its a clean fun for all forum. I do think there should be an age verification system employed on "The Lounge" because the rules,subject of topics are slightly more relaxed there.

Maybe there already is?. I cant remember if i had to give my date of birth here when registering. That's no use though cuz if i was 10 yrs old.............i could just enter a DOB that makes me 18+.

I'm NOT 10 yrs old BTW..

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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I'm 19 and looking to get into astronomy.

I find it fascinating too but most people my age don't like to spend the money on a telescope. I however don't make a big thing about going out and getting trashed every weekend, I don't need to be drunk to have a good time so I'd rather spend my money on something more worthwhile and fulfilling.

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Astronomy was my main fascination as a kid, and I completely forgot about it for music, DJing, going clubbing etc between 14-27 (now 30)

For a lot of young people it's a peer pressure thing, to do what the everyone else is doing. It's something you eventually grow out of and get back to the things you really care about. I'm even considering getting back into Golf, used to play it all the time in my early teens, not played since

People just have different priorities at different times in their lives

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Im 16 and recently got into the hobby but i can confirm that nobody else at my school is in the slightest bit interested in astronomy.

I think the problem is, i reckon there's quite a few people who would secretly get quite into it if they wanted to but it's not regarded as "cool" so they want to stay part of the in crowd so therefore dismiss anything like this as geeky.

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cloud 9,astronomy is the coolest hobby in the universe,if it wasnt i would have nothing to do with it,you cool im cool dude big up for the astro man......kev

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,astronomy is the coolest hobby in the universe

Here is the proof:

hTKedyQQkZQ

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I'm taking a Masters degree in Physics with Astrophysics, it's hard work, but i find it really fulfilling...

Ain't that the truth? I didn't go as far as MSc, but I got my BSc in the same thing last century. The maths never really jumped out at me like it should have. Ultimately, I was more interested in the pretty pictures than the dry stuff. I guess that's why I became a photographer.

EDIT: Totally forgot to get to my actual point. I think I read it somewhere above, but astronomy/astrophotography can be such an expensive hobby, that might explain the lack of younger people. They might have a very high disposable income for things like DVDs and Playstation games, but I doubt many of them have the spare money for a Takahashi, etc.

Edited by fatwoul

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It's reasurring to see the replies here from younger members :rolleyes: Oh and i'm not exactly old myself in 33.

The disposble income thing is an illusion i think. Yes you can spend a fortune on this hobby if you want, or for less than the cost of a PS3 you can get a skywatcher 130p goto. How many kids get PS3s for presents? I think the hobby just isn't seen as cool. I for one am glad we all know better :)

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cloud 9,astronomy is the coolest hobby in the universe,if it wasnt i would have nothing to do with it,you cool im cool dude big up for the astro man......kev

I particularly liked this reply !!!

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The youth of today is more concerned with playing the xbox are watching tv. It is dishearten how many people I see say they “hate reading books”. Sitting in the backyard staring in the night sky is to old fashion for them, even if you can hook a telescope up to the computer. Me I’m only 28 but I love the thought of staring into the unknown even if what I’m looking at has been seen by thousands of people.

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cloud 9,astronomy is the coolest hobby in the universe,if it wasnt i would have nothing to do with it,you cool im cool dude big up for the astro man......kev

Good Grief! First time i've ever been cool in my near on 52 years :rolleyes:

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