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Thread: What got you started in astronomy?

  1. #81
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?



    I can't really remember, but probably around 13 years of age when I joined the Air Training Corps as a cadet and got taught navigation including finding North without a compass. I enjoyed Physics at school and the teacher was into astronomy in a big way. Later on, learning aircraft navigation as a senior cadet for my air navigator wings, I learnt a bit about astro navigation and it's really snowballed from there. I didn't get my first scope until I was 20, and stuck with that until now, where I've purchased a new scope which will be better to use for my six year old son. As an instructor with the Air Cadet Organization, I try to throw bit of astronomy into the navigation lessons, and also help any cadets who are wanting to do astronomy as a skill for their Duke Of Edinburghs Award scheme.
    I guess once you've generated that initial interest, it sticks with you for life.
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    I would have to give some credit to this guy, who I met on TV before I was 10 years old. He was known as the Galaxy Being, star of the very first episode of The Outer Limits. He had a very cool online conversation with an earthling (Allan Maxwell, played by Cliff Robertson), then got transported here from the Andromeda Galaxy by accident. We know he was from M31, because he had Maxwell hold up a star chart and point at it. That got me to the library looking at star charts, and the rest is history

    Check out the episode if you get a chance...

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  3. #83
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    Apollo 13. When that movie came out I wanted to be an astronaut. I was 10 when it came out. I took a white sheet and made like a fort in my room, covering about 2 and half feet above my bed and onto the floor. Laying pillows on the floor, I bounced back and forth from the bed to the floor as it I were going from the Command Module to the Lunar Module. From then on, I got interested in Space. We then learned about the stars and space in School and it was noticed by my teachers that I took a huge interest in it. My father then bought me a department store telescope and a sky chart. I taught myself the sky, and played with my scope constantly.
    For years, I would also lay outside and stargaze for hours.

    Later on, I realized that working for NASA would never happen, so I went to college in the city where there was too much LP and kinda got lost from astronomy.

    In college I got interested in Astrophysics and I paid attention to a lot of what we were discovering in the universe. It was then I decided to get back into astronomy. I studied the universe, how it works, the planets, and the stars for year before moving back to the suburbs and I bought a scope, learned how to properly be an observer and here I am. I was worried that once I got a scope, it would be one of those "Fad hobbies." I purchased a reflector and hated it. I almost said "screw it" and gave it up, but I bought another small tabletop dept store scope, this time a refractor. I loved it, even though it wasn't the best, it did provide some decent views. I then found you guys, and bought my Astroview and now I'm infatuated with this hobby, as well as astrophysics and now I'm getting into AP.

    I wish I can go back to College and redo it all and not get my degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and go for Education in Science and teach this stuff.

    A long story, but that's how it happened for me.

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  4. #84
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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    Simple answer: Wonder, about something greater than myself. . .

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    I friend of mine, who likes astronomy but has never gotten a telescope, talked a group of us into taking a trip to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, AZ.

    I think of us, she was the only one who was really "into" it. The rest of us treated it as a, "yeah lets leave the 10 degree weather at home and go to Tucson where it's 60-70 degrees. I know I completely ignored the fact that the observatory happens to be on top of a mountain. So the trip happens and originally we were going to just spend one day for the Observatory, to take the tours and then do the night exhibit. Well Mother Nature didn't agree, and decided to be over cast for the day, so the night exhibit was canceled. After some talk we decided that since the night show was the reason for the trip that we would try again tomorrow. The weather worked out and the exhibit was very well presented.

    That trip got me thinking back to when I was growing up and could just look up at the stars. Needless to say it has gotten me interested in finding out more. I find myself paying a lot more attention to how clear the sky is when heading home. And I find myself waiting for the temps to come up, before I venture out. I've even checked out the local astronomy club. So we shall see where this adventure takes goes.

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    I grew up watching Star Trek (original) and the moon landinga. My dad got me a Manon telescope (60mm objective, 700mm focal length) in the early '70s. It's not the greatest scope but when I say Saturn with it for the first time I told myself that one day I was going to get a really nice scope. Years passed and I used the Manon every now and again. I also saw the adds from Celestron in Sky & Telescope and wanted one of them. Didn't have the money at the time but it reminded me that of what I told myself that I was going to get a nice telescope one day. More years passed...life happened...work happened but never forgot that one day I was going to get a nice telescope. Of course with work happening, there was very little time for star gazing. Back in 2014 I was laid off and now I finally had time to star gaze. I bought a Celestron 6SE to see if I still was interesting in astronomy. I was and I was interesting in astrophotography. About 1/2 year later I bought a AVX mount and tried out some astrophotography. That really got me hook. So, withing in a year I bought a Celestron C1100 EdgeED on a CGEM DX mount and went about photographing different objects. I realized that the 6SE and C1100 were good for DSO objects, so sold the 6SE (shouldn't have) to purchase an Orion ED80T CF for wide fields images but I missed the 6SE range so I ended up with TPO 6" RC (wow...collimation...what a bear...think I finally have it close). I noticed that the AVX was good for the Orion scope and the DX was good for the RC but not so much for the C1100 Edge. Ended up getting a GCE-Pro which handles the Edge just fine. Well, work happened again and there very little time for astronomy again. I try to get some scope time every now and again. Haven't done much astrophotography lately, so, I'll have to relearn that again. But learning is what this hobby is all about. Need to crack open the books again and start reading up on things. Now if the weather would just cooperate...

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    Default Re: What got you started in astronomy?

    Youtube astronomy documentaries is how I become interested in this hobby. At first I really enjoyed the animation. My first scope was a $6 Tasco I got at a Walmart discounted. Then I got an Orion Starblast 90mm refractor. Now I own a Meade 120mm f/8 refractor mounted on a Orion Skyview Pro eq mount. Oberwerk LW 15x70 and Celestron Cometron 7x50 binoculars. A Meade 80 Adveture f/5 refractor is on the way with a Orion Tritech tripod to mount. The most important thing in this hobby besides a telescope is dark skies. Five inches of aperture really shines under bortle dark yellow or better skies.

 

 
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