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meteoriot

Who or what inspired you and why?

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Have to add Simon Singh to my list of inspirations and would highly recommend his book 'big bang' and also Jim Alkhalili for his work on Tv.

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I received a small telescope for my 13th birthday in 1968. A small booklet called Signpost to the stars came with it and I just could not put it down! That was it .... Hooked!!

To show how sad I am, I still have it... it lives on a shelf next to my new telescope and I still read it. In fact, I think I will have a look through it now!

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For me it was walking back home from church with my grandad in the 1950s. He was the one who pointed out The Plough, Orion and other wonders to us kids and I've been looking upwards ever since. Got my first 'scope 2 years ago, upgraded it this year and I love it . Sometimes I just like to look at the sky with my small 'bins and be overwhelmed by stars!! Want to see as many DSOs as I can though! :)

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Similar to KatieM.

Both my Grandad and my Dad introduced me to those smaller pinpoints of light and I've been looking up ever since. I have always been interested in mechanics, engineering and science, noteably flight, so the learning about the space age was a highlight whilst growing up and reading books.

Think I was about 7 when my Grandad pointed out the plough and Polaris one night. Then my Dad showed me how to navigate to Polaris from Ursa Major when I was 11, he said that his Dad taught him that! He also pointed out parts of Orion, I then used this info to point them out to fellow school children and teachers when I was on a school trip in the Yorkshire Dales.

When I was 14 I received a small refractor from my parents, but I didn't use it much, I wasn't really into astronomy big-time, though I do remember looking at what I thought was Saturn....but a few years later realised it was an out of focus Arcturus!

Then I hit university and studied Astronomy and Space Science, thats when everything got going and its been like that ever since.

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Stargazers Live did it for me too! Birdwatcher all my life so always had bins and a scope, there just a lot bigger now!!

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I read a book when I was 7 called 'I wonder why stars twinkle'. That got me hooked. At the age of 7 I was giving lectures to my teachers explaining why Venus is the hottest planet and not Mercury. Only recently did I start to get interested in actually going out and learning the constellations.

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I'm goin to write my reply before reading others or I'll start taking peoples ideas

It sounds pretty stupid but what inspired my growing obsession with the universe and everything in it was the movie "Apollo 13" (the movie because I am a child of the 90's so I didnt witness the real thing!)

I absolutely loved it and it just got me wondering about what's out there and such... Started buying books on the subject, heard about the perseids meteor shower and went out watching with my little sister, trying to answer her questions (when I didnt know most of the answers myself!) and just started getting to know the constellations and being totally blown away at the sight of a meteor burning up in the atmosphere, and then there was watching out for the International Space Station... It's all so amazing I cant wait to get my first telescope! (by the way, anyone got any advice on a good, reasonabley priced first timers telescope I might go for? There's so much on the market I dont know where to start!)

There's so much the human race doesn't know, so much to ponder... :)

Edited by Miamtea

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I have always been interested in the night sky from an early age ,i got my first scope when i was in my twenty's ,I sold it as I was working nights ,then I was diagnosed with cancer when I had just turned 40 and I bought a new scope to see where my atoms were going to go when i died.I believe I will be recycled back into the Universe .......kev

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I recently read 'A short history of nearly everything' by Bill Bryson. That combined with a desire to find a way to take my mind off work re-ignited an interest I had 20 years ago. After finding the work thing really did work i now cant get enough. :)

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as a kid Apollo missions, match of the day, PM & sky at night.

born in 1960 i grew up as a child witnessing the space race and its subsequent achievements and have had a slight interest of it ever since. they still do it on MOTD now they show a shot of the moon zoomed in at least once a season, me and my dad used to cheer when they done it. I always fancied being able to have a camera that could do that. PM was on ( and still is) late on a Saturday evening and it was a good excuse to stay up late i never always managed it. I had to be a good boy for the whole week, as i said i never always managed it.

the reason i am here and involved now was due to the time that 5 planets lined up in the western sky in the late 90/early 2000's. it was on the news in the morning and i had just been paid and had spare cash and green as i was got permission from SWMBO and she said go for it. off to the local camera shop in Caerphilly only to be freaked by the cost of a ETX90. Bless her she smiled through gritted teeth and said go on get it. as it got dark i set up in the ambulance car park in Caerphilly under the street light so i could see what i was doing. focus in focus out focus in focus out slap slap, slow down she says.

and there it was in all it glory as i write this now the hairs on the back of my neck once again stand up.

Hello matey i said talking directly at Saturn for the very first time. and to this date the first view on any evening i always greet Saturn exactly the same way.. I was hooked I still am hooked. Lunar, deep space, planets, imaging or just naked eye all tick the box especially the first time i see things.

but to see and hear someone viewing something for the very first time and they say that magic word and you now it there a spark just been lit that magic word listen next time for the magic word when someone views my mate Saturn for the first time. and that word if you have guessed it yet

WOW

i

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Have always had an interest in astronomy. As a youngster i would put this mainly down to sci fi films,tv and books. Something like Star Wars would have been the first thing that actually made me aware of space,galaxies other planets etc etc. Dissappointingly school tended to involve not learning anything even about our own solar system and the interest shown as a child kind of stayed in the background growing up whilst enjoying lots of sci fi. Then about 5 years ago i stumbled across a podcast 'The Skeptics Guide to the Universe'(which i would recommend to everyone) and it made me realise that science was not boring as i had found it in school, and through listening to them came across Astronomy Cast(equally good) which made me realise i could go out get myself some equipment and act upon that interest which has always been boiling under the surface. Now i am studying purely for pleasure through OU to learn about all these related sciences and have bought a scope and binos and i have a new hobby that i love and i wish i had been encouraged to start up 20 years ago! I am amazed looking back at how schools managed to make science so dull in high school! I mention this because i believe this is where people should be getting inspired and where i wish i had been inspired. Anyhow making up for lost time is turning out to be alot of fun!!

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my brother should have been patrick moore 2.....he knows everything about up above and I MEAN everything...........his constant talk about stars...galaxys..nebulas...black holes.....i just had to get a scope.

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my brother should have been patrick moore 2.....he knows everything about up above and I MEAN everything...........his constant talk about stars...galaxys..nebulas...black holes.....i just had to get a scope.

Ask him what Is dark matter? What is dark energy? What cause the big bang? How did galaxies form? What was the origin of mass? And last of all why is orange jam called marmalade?

:)

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Always had an interest in astronomy finally got my own scope about a year and half ago. Just the sheer beauty of the night sky is enough for me.

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Easy...Jim Lovell

I read his book 'The Lost Moon' as a child (I'm 28) and that just had me hooked from the word go. Honourable mentions go to

Paul Dirac

Richard Feynman

Pauli

Jim AlKhalili

Brian Cox

Simon Singh

Niels Borr

YEah I like my physics!

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Ask him what Is dark matter? What is dark energy? What cause the big bang? How did galaxies form? What was the origin of mass? And last of all why is orange jam called marmalade?

:)

i would hazard a guess if i asked him the first 5 questions he would answer them in the same manner as stephen hawkings would and thats not a joke

Edited by BertUK

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My dad had a little penguin book from the sixties with imagniative drawings of the planets and constellations, and pictures of stargazers with funny early sixties haircuts... I read the book a dozen times as a kid and still have it today. The book is really old - it thought that an amateur might have (at best) a 3-inch refractor.

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It was a few events for me - my Dad taking me out on a windy night to see the Mir space station flying over the roof, reading books and then going out to see the same things for real, and also family holidays in the Maldives where the skies are just heavenly - lying right next to the sea with Milky Way all the way to the horizon and more stars than you can take in at once, with my Mum telling me what the Milky Way was, and how we would look just the same as those dots to anyone looking up at us in their sky.

I never really did astronomy as a hobby until 2009, when my Grandad got a telescope which I came over to use after getting my first look through it. Now I'm 17 and have my second scope. I'm looking forward to when I'll be able to go back to the Maldives myself.

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I was 8 years old when I witnessed a fireball in the sky over my hometown of Belfast, truly a once in a lifetime event which later led to my interest in astronomy from an early age, the fireball was the spectacular meteor that crossed the british isles on the night of 25th April 1969 and the resulting meteorite that was called Bovedy after the place where the largest piece almost 5kg was found.

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As a kid, I was fascinated with rockets and space in general but for me, it was seeing hale bopp when I was fifteen that really got me going. I was in the army for nearly seven years and served in iraq and afghan. The desert skies were beautiful and were even better through our issued maxikite sight and P.N.G ( both work on the collection and amplification of ambient light). I was hooked, and when I left the army I started to spend dosh on scopes and the rest is history!!

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Out of a number of people I could pick, one would be a physics teacher at my old school called Geoff Perry:

Geoffrey Perry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The tracking stuff was still going on when I was there, but the landmark discovery was way before my time. Physics lessons were still cool though.

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I have to give another nod to Sir Patrick ! ! ! One of the first books I ever saw on the subject was, "The Picture Book of Astronomy" which was written back in 1961. I swore that if I ever found that book again, I would swipe up the copy ! I found one in almost mint condition ( paper cover and all ) at a used book sale just a short time ago. Revised 1964 !

I had been interested in the science going almost back to my toddler years ( not quite ) but certainly from the time I read and re-read that book, my interest has never wained.

I was a past president of the "TriState Astronomers" and am currently it's newsletter's Editor. I own several telescopes, binoculars sky charts and books, and am quite active in our club's activities. You will hear more about them in future posts, I'm sure.

Feel free to contact me at the e-mail address listed in my signature, but if you have a question you think I can answer that will be of benefit to all the members of the forum, do feel free to ask it here, and keep a dialog going on line.

Cear skies ! Jim S.

Edited by JimStan

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For me, it was having a very convincing UFO (:)) experience one night!

I was living at a site with stunningly dark skies on occasions (Italian Alps). The "UFO" was reported in the local press as many others had seen it; as a spectroscopist/scientist, this started my interest in the sky and in the hardware involved (still got a passion for nicely-made kit, and aperture).

Chris

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