The tale of two astronomers

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VinSnr
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The tale of two astronomers

Postby VinSnr » Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:49 am

Read this :

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1496

I suspect many older members here are like Alfred. The newer ones are like Steve.

And the newest ones say it doesn't matter Alfred or Steve as long they are happy.

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gwenyi
 
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Postby gwenyi » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:15 am

haha. just read it, i have to 2nd that view. i suppose it's becos younger ppl today have higher purchasing power than in the past ?

i think the ppl in the past had the mentality of starting with a small budget, learning the sky before deciding on their next big purchase. However, the current generation wants to make a big purchase to learn the skies.

i guess it's the younger ones who have the mindset of ' since i'm gonna buy my potential dream scope in the future, why not buy it now to learn the skies (dun waste $ getting the lousy beginner scope.) ? ' as opposed to the older generation's thinking of ' i think i should buy a simple scope to learn the sky before i get my dream scope'.

clear skies =D

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VinSnr
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Postby VinSnr » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:54 am

The difference between Allfred and Steve is that Alfred spent more time on the sky and Steve more time on the scopes and accessories. Alfred is indeed doing and loving astronomy....Steve maybe doing telescopology.

I remembered once a very senior member here ever told me that he is quite worried that the recent trend in singastro is on equipments and not on the sky. Except for a few who truly use their equipments to produce and observe something, the rest are merely changing equipments. I agree with him to a certain extend. While there are many fancy equipments now, I don't see many who even seen half of the M objects or are able to find half of the M objects themselves with their fancy scopes (before it get sold and another fancy equipment comes in). On the contrary, during the older days, the members were able to find, photo, and observe many objects using very modest equipments - almost toy-like stuff by today's standards. You need to be here since 1999 to feel the changing trend.

The newest members will say it doesn't matter....as long they are happy doing whatever they do. If that's the case, I would suggest that they join me at the local pub, on my treat, either a long island tea or a tequila pop and I gurantee you that you will be happier that way seeing stars after a few of those drinks. (hey, it works for me but I need scotch)

On a more serious note, I see an importance of having more Alfreds than Steves. Not sure about you guys though.

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Postby Canopus Lim » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:12 am

I have read that article. It is true that astronomy is about enjoying the stars, planets and universe. That is the main reason and not equipment. There are many fancy gadgets out there, and I have bought one which just cannot work till now since it is electronic. 4 months already! Anyway, I do not need to depend on such fancy equipment as I can find the objects myself. Therefore it boils down to how much passion one has or what one wants to see. If a small achromat stated in that article is enough, then that is good. It saves a lot of money too. :) If one wants to see more and go more deep, then that small achromat does not fit the bill as the deepsky will be real faint to see.

Lastly, there is another problem here in Singapore. That is the crappy weather and bright lights. I think many people want to be like Alfred to enjoy the stars, but it is very necessary to go overseas to do that. That is a big hindrance as some people may not be able to do that. A small achro can only see planets and the real bright DSCs here and probably many people will be disappointed with such views in Singapore. Even a big scope performs like a small scope (in dark places) in Singapore, but at least better than nothing if there is no opportunity to travel to other countries.
AstroDuck

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Tachyon
 
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Postby Tachyon » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:13 am

That's what so fun about any hobby, you can either concentrate on the tools, or you can concentrate on using the tools. After all, if everyone is busy observing the sky, who is thinking about designing and building better instruments for the observers?

I have friends who own ultra-expensive photographic equipment which did not commensurate with their photography skills. But hey, they are happy! Also I have friends who own expensive swords but they are neither swordsmen nor have they killed anyone with it (so far!).

I guess some of us are just collectors, while others are practitioners, the rest a bit of both. I belong to the last category :P

My 'Definitions':

Collector: Those who buy quality instruments, take extremely good care of them, and would NEVER think of exposing them to cold dark skies and dew.

Practitioner: Those who can use any instrument, or even the naked eye, and have no qualms about scratches/set-screw marks or keeping them in an ordinary backpack (not the WO type) for transportation. They tend to buy 'just good enough' equipment for their needs.
[80% Steve, 20% Alfred] ------- Probability of Clear Skies = (Age of newest equipment in days) / [(Number of observers) * (Total Aperture of all telescopes present in mm)]

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VinSnr
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Postby VinSnr » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:37 am

actually talking about Alfred, how many of you here really record down your observations in a log book?

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ariefm71
 
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Postby ariefm71 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:50 am

i used to be an alfred...now still is (with a tiny bit of steve :D ).

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wucheeyiun
 
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Postby wucheeyiun » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:08 am

i am actually boths, seasonally sometime i just do CCD on planets, sometimes watching my favorite M42 or Pleiades or simply watching neighbour's life. Now i am into terrestial photography.
i find renewing equipment bring back the zest of the hobby too, that why i end up buying and selling them to bring interest back into the Hobby.

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VinSnr
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Postby VinSnr » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:13 am

wucheeyiun wrote:i am actually boths, seasonally sometime i just do CCD on planets, sometimes watching my favorite M42 or Pleiades or simply watching neighbour's life. Now i am into terrestial photography.
i find renewing equipment bring back the zest of the hobby too, that why i end up buying and selling them to bring interest back into the Hobby.


I think changing equipment is inevitable....but the question is, how many actually squeeze their equipments to the last drop before changing them? I suspect not many.

Hopefully we don't have to change the name singastro to singtelescope one day.

Somehow this reminded me of IKEA founder, one of the richest man in the world. When asked why is he still driving his 20 year old car, he said "she is still a beauty!. She drives well, handles well, and never gave me a problem. I don't see the need to change!" . A man who truly know his stuff.
Last edited by VinSnr on Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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river
 
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Postby river » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:17 am

I say both, We are a mixture of Collector and Practitioner. With the internet and credit card, it is easy to spend future money. Also, Equipment prise drop so much even a student can afford a full setup. We are fortunate to own some equipment without burning a big hole in the pocket.
... So we are collector.( how much is Celestron First Scope 70 in 1999?)

With better and bigger scope, we have higher expectation to see more. Yet our sky, haze and the cloud limit us to the very few. In 1999, I remember we can still observe at Jurong East near Chinese Garden. Now with the Jurong Port and the refinery, don think I can do the same any more.
… I wish we have more chance to be practitioner.

Some of us like me started with something beyond what we can handle with ease. My case is the heavy GOTO GEM, it is not really grab-and-go for my size. With our sky, clear window is very short and we need fast and easy setup to see more often. Lucky I got a short tube setup at low cost later so that I still go last minute star gaze now and then.

… With so many confusing ads and choise, it is hard for the beginer to tell which one they should get, "more $$$ equipment is better" ruled. (like choising girl friend, you will only know more when you married them.. haha)

Yes, with all the equipment we have now, we should be more Practitioner than collector.

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