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    Question Finding friends my age into Astronomy



    I live in middle Tennessee and Astronomy has been an important interest of mine for a very long time. Science, perspectives of the universe, star gazing, and other like subjects are what I love to talk about but I can't seem to make friends that have similar interests. I like cars, and Jaoanese language, and video games so I meet people in that area but not the most important area for me which is Astronomy. What can I do? I looked for clubs and there isnt anything around here.
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    Welcome to the forum!!

    I'm not too far from you here in Hopkinsville, and you're right, there doesn't seem to be a bunch of us around here locally. I get most of my astronomy socialization here on the forum. My observing buddy moved away and now I'm back to observing alone, oh well. There is a club that meets at Land Between the Lakes National Park where there is an observatory, that would be quite a drive for you. I don't go very often as it's a hour away from me and my dark site (just as good) is only 25 miles from my home.
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Logan View Post
    I live in middle Tennessee and Astronomy has been an important interest of mine for a very long time. Science, perspectives of the universe, star gazing, and other like subjects are what I love to talk about but I can't seem to make friends that have similar interests. I like cars, and Jaoanese language, and video games so I meet people in that area but not the most important area for me which is Astronomy. What can I do? I looked for clubs and there isnt anything around here.
    Hello Ann and welcome to the Forums. You're in luck in that you joined a forum with people who share a similar interest as you do. Not sure where you live in TN but a Google search of astronomy clubs provided the following:
    Astronomy Clubs in Tennessee - 2018 List


    In addition, you'll find a friendly and knowledgeable group of fellow amateur astronomers here. You can always talk astronomy here and know you will have an interested and receptive audience. This place provides comradery, guidance, answers, and an overall great atmosphere.


    As for your other interests, I can only speak for myself: I drive a car, I like Japanese food, and I played Pong when it first came out.
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    I am going to take a wild guess ( by your name )that you are a female.. In my area the astronmy club is mainly males, sure some of the wives tag along, but on a typical night out it's just us guys.. You are semi rare in the astronomy world. A good astronomy buddy does not have to be similar age, My astronomy buddy is about 27 years younger than I and we get along great. If you don't have a club nearby you may try and keep your eyes peeled for any public astronomy outings.

    Having a good astromy partner is 50% of the hobby as far as I am concerned. I just don't do "alone' very well so I feel for you..

    good luck

    djl
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozman13 View Post
    Welcome to the forum!!

    I'm not too far from you here in Hopkinsville, and you're right, there doesn't seem to be a bunch of us around here locally. I get most of my astronomy socialization here on the forum. My observing buddy moved away and now I'm back to observing alone, oh well. There is a club that meets at Land Between the Lakes National Park where there is an observatory, that would be quite a drive for you. I don't go very often as it's a hour away from me and my dark site (just as good) is only 25 miles from my home.
    Hello Ann and welcome to the forum. Like my friend Oz (my inspiration) I got most of my astronomical socialization on this fantastic forum. Within the last couple of months I've joined the Astronomical Society of Victoria and have become quite active in areas of interest, but my presence on the forum has unfortunately dropped off. The Society has a great variety of special interest groups, clubrooms close to where I live, a fantastically equipped dark site (large scopes, radio astronomy, bunkhouse etc.)a couple of hours north of Melbourne. I got the chance to do my first public outreach session last week, where we had about 20 scopes of various sizes and configurations focussed mostly on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus and the response was fantastic. I want more

    Now that I've settled into the club routine I hope to be back here contributing where I can.

    Cheers to all
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    The strange truth about our hobby is that it can be a very lonely pursuit at times.

    I observed for many years on my own and only recently found a buddy to share my experiences with.
    At home and work no one cares and they only really pay you lip service.
    As others have mentioned the forum is the place that I do all my astronomy socializing. I have learned tons here and still do.
    It's nice having someone to chat to that understands the thrill of a "first light" or knows the feeling of finding a tough target and that can help brainstorm around issues.
    This is all freely available here and I am grateful for all the help I receive here.

    Keep your eyes and ears open, I found my buddy right here on the forums after he joined.
    After a few months of solo observations you may find that folks like Ozman are not that far a drive away anymore.
    It's a cruel twist to a otherwise fantastic hobby!

    Those that belong to a group or even a club are lucky and should cherish those meetings and friends.
    You could also advertise on your local websites(here we have Gumtree, I think you guys have Craigslist) and you might even find a friend with the same interests.

    But do not become discouraged! There are some nights where the peace and quiet are exactly what the doctor ordered.
    .

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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    I went to sleep last night hoping to see a little bit of the meteor shower but decided to give my somewhat conscientious last minutes to composing my first post on this forum, I can always see the main show tonight.
    I did not expect all the replies. Thank you so much.
    I will definitely check out a National park nearby one day, or even look into groups even if they are an hour or so away.
    Additionally, the loneliness has recently become more difficult. For about 10 years I remember almost every conversation I have tried to initiate about space and astronomy and I always seem to get the same responses, which is a sense of interest
    but they go no where with it, their and sometimes my daily lives are such a powerful thing that astronomy is pushed in the background, quite reasonably. My mind can only do that for maybe a few days at a time if I have to work, or go to school and study and concentrate I have to force my mind to zone it all out to focus on school. Sometimes I will be researching something, or watching Youtube videos of Astrophysicists interveiws, or looking up at the sky wondering what the point of this interest is if I have no one to share it with and there's nothing I can to to contribute to the field, and now, for my own sake I feel there's nothing I can do for me. Hence why I came to a forum online, this is the first forum I have ever turned to. I hope I will be able to share my thoughts and ask many questions. I appreciate this and I look forward to it.

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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    This part of the hobby has been a big disappointment to me : I met my first telescope in a pawnshop, a newtonian, it had a beautiful equatorial mount and that attracted me, bought it for about 30$ and wanted it get it in working order, but to fix it I had to learn how it worked and so the learning began. After I got it in perfect working order : resprayed the OTA and had the mirror recoated, I wanted to share all this fun and joined the local club. Then I learned that this club only had 10 members and most were not very active. This is hard to believe because Bloemfontein's first observatory, the Lamont–Hussey Observatory was built in 1927. This was followed shortly by the Boyden Observatory 20 KM outside the city. The Lamont–Hussey Observatory has now been converted into a planetarium but Boyden is still being used by the university of the Free State. Bloemfontein has a population of about 750 thousand but a astronomy club with 10 members!
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    I find that astronomy is mostly a solitary pursuit unless you join a club. I'm a member of the EAS locally here but am not very active. I get most of my sense of camaraderie here on the forum - lots of great folks to learn from and hopefully, impart some knowledge gained over the years of practicing the hobby.
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    Default Re: Finding friends my age into Astronomy

    Welcome to the forums Ann.

    You have found a good place to socialize where gender and age are really irrelevant.

    However in the 'real world' I can understand your quandary. I will assume that you are a young female and the local 'clubs' are mostly older grumpy men. Some may even be a bit 'creepy'.

    If that is the case I would guess the first place to start would be in your school or local university. See if they don't already have a astronomical society or some sort. If not, maybe start one? Even if you are not of 'university' age, I think you will find the local university or Junior College will be open to such an endeavor.

    I know that's not a lot of help but that is all I can really think of.

    Good luck to you and don't give up on astronomy it is a pursuit of a lifetime! Most of all be safe out there!
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