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Why Astronomy....?


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For myself, I had books when I was a kid, but did not do anything until last Christmas. The wife bought me a little ExplorerScope from Celestron (after much hinting), and I thought it might be quite interesting to look up.

Blimey, did that knock my socks off!! Especially seeing Saturn (albeit a little fuzzy, but I could make the disc out), which was a real thrill. I then started to look at the sky a little more closely, started learning some names and constellations and generally reading up. I went to an Astronomy Fair in London in the early part of the year, and it took all my effort to leave the credit card in the wallet!!

I then found my little 114m Atlas Explorer on eBay, which cost me £45 (inc delivery), and just recently, have invested in the 200mm f/5 newt from Skywatcher.

This hobby has now taken over all my spare time, even my martial arts training is suffering, and I love and miss my training. But the propsect of a clear night is just too tempting to waste!

:)

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I know what you mean Daz, a clear night is indeed rare...

I was walking with a mate across some fields when I was about 12, and came across an "Astronomy Resource Centre", we went in and had a chat with the guy and then next thing you know I'm here...

It's been something that has always interested me - from a much earlier age. Glad I went for that walk.

Ant

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As a child, my parents took us on vacations in Ontario, Canada, on some land my grandparents owned. We'd watch the sun set over a pristine lake as my mom read Winnie the Pooh to us. After sunset, we'd see the stars come out and the bright Milky Way above us. The wonder this generated in all of us took root, and when I grew up I took it up more seriously. A divorce lead me to the dark site I live in now. One night, I noticed the stars and Milky Way overhead once again, and decided to buy a telescope and really learn the sky. While Sir Patrick had nothing to do with my inspiration, I do understand how he has contributed to you Brits, and that's a good thing. Many others contributed to my interest, such as Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and others. I read extensively and voraciously, and poked around the sky at every opportunity. I took up variable star observing, wanting to return some of the joy the stars had given me. The rest is history, so to speak.

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Astroman,

I take it Patrick Moore isn't on your Xmas list? :)

He does have his detractors and I understand some of their points, but the guy has probably got more people into astronomy over the last 40 years than anyone else.

He's a National Treasure! :)

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I always had a fascination with space (being a child of the Jim Kirk era)

I did nothing about it until Hale Bop appeared in the night sky (this struck fear in me) dunno why it just did.

So i decided to find out more about what happens up there.

Got invited out to see a meteor shower that year it was a belter fireballs everywhere.

So here i am.

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Having an older brother that was into cosmology whilst i was 6yrs old stirred the passion to see what was out there. I remember before i had to go to bed i would ask him all about the cosmos and bug him until i got an answer. From that moment i always asked my teachers in school things about astronomy of which they had no idea what so ever which was Fun :). Sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to watch Patrick moore's sky at night was a great mission for me i normally got away with it 10 tens a year(it's on one a month Astroman). Christmas came when i was 6yrs old and i got a Telescope and an excuse to stay up till late fantastic times were had, reading up on the Moon and finding each crater and making notes of what i had seen, this soon lead to drawing the craters and i ended up with thousands of logged craters.. From then at the age of 10yrs of age i met a night watchman who looked after house's being built close to my home. He had a dobsonain telescope and we spent many nights observing together the guy was 62yrs old and i was 10yrs to think of that age gap that meant nothing as we both loved Astronomy(i miss him still to this day after he passed away). Soon after all this i got a Tasco scope and kept that for a good few years..

I am ranting now so I'll stop lol

James

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Nice post James!

I know what you mean about asking questions, I used to bug my Dad (who knows [removed word] all about astronomy) silly with "But why is....." type questions, everytime he'd answer I'd go "Yeah, but if thats true, why is....." :)

I must have done his head in!!!

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Astroman and myself have discussed Sir Patrick Moore extensively on another forum, in the past. It's safe to say that we both have opinions on the gentleman, which, of course, we're both perfectly entitled to have. :)

Nuff said.......

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Patrick Moore must be acknowledeged as a major contributor to astronomy in the UK. He has detractors over here, but so did Carl Sagan, especially amongst the professional astronomy crowd. I have no strong feelings either way. I just find his "Caldwell List" redundant and somewhat self-serving. No offense intended. I have stronger feelings about John Dobson. Don't ask. :)

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Carl Sagan was most entertaining in the Cosmos series he did i still find it a fantastic programme cant say i know that much about the guy but from what i have read and seen he's certainly another Astronomy Hero.

James

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Astroman,

Is Patrick Moore well known in the USA (with the astro crowd that is)? Whats the general feeling? I'd have thought the "British eccentric" thing would have gone down quite well?

BTW it's not just American professionals, many of the the UK ones don't seem to like him either! :)

Gaz

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