Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by CURRAHEE CHRIS » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:46 pm

I have always had an interest but was relatively poor growing up and couldn't really afford a telescope but I do remember my dad at least trying to show me the constellations. I never felt like I could dedicate the time and effort necessary to make a good effort towards learning about astronomy. Now that my youngest child is 12 and I am pretty established at my job, my wife got me a neat little scope and I have tried to read and keep up with it to some degree on a daily basis.

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by sincozh » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:54 pm

Trough photography. The night was always magic for me. A few years ago I joined a nightscape photography workshop. Since then I only shoot night photography. Its the best moment to disconect the daily routine from the job.

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by PaulMcP » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:02 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm Paul from northern Scotland and have always been fascinated with astronomy since I saw my first northern lights as a kid. Right now I live in Moscow and can't really look at the sky (which is always overcast, and polluted with light when the weather's good) but when I go to the dacha (a small cottage in the countryside that most Russians have and where they like to go during the summer) with my kids, we love to watch the sky together.

I've decided to join this forum in order to learn more about astronomy, since I know how to look at the sky through a telescope but not much more.

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Post by HenryStein » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:16 pm

Hi, everyone! Not sure if anyone had done this already, so I just made this thread for new guys like me to create an intro. Anyway, newbie here. I'm glad to have found this great online astronomy community. I'm hoping to learn more from the other members here. Cheers!

Tragic Astronomy
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by Tragic Astronomy » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:44 pm


My name is Paul and I've been visiting APOD as my first official act of the day since 2010. I save all of the images on my hard drive and they power my screensaver. Today's count is 3,200 images.

I'm an autodidact anorak so, I have many interests that range from human consciousness to the cosmic microwave background and that's a breathy body of work.

For some time I've been using the APOD images as metaphor for lyrics. Curiously, it only appears to work for Gord Downie lyrics. If you're not familiar, he was the lead singer/songwriter for The Tragically Hip. He past away October 17, 2017 from glioblastoma.

In 2015 I started making some slideshow videos with APOD images and Tragically Hip songs. I made seven videos and I thought I was done. It doesn't work for every song. A year after I made the seventh, the First Nations honoured Gord Downie with his native name; The Man Who Walks Among The Stars. And then I found one more song to make into a video. Here is my playlist called Weatherman.

[youtube] ... YnAB3k36QE[/youtube]

There is a point to all of this. What is the connection between consciousness, metaphor and the universe? I've heard Steven Pinker say that a metaphor is the smallest unit of thought. And what is a metaphor? It's an anology, a comparison, a juxtaposition, (my favourite word); this is to that as that is to this. Look familiar?

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where the ratio of each adjacent number is approaching phi; the golden ratio. The golden ratio can be expressed as a + b / a = a / b OR, a + b is to a as a is to b.

So, there is the math that is expressed ubiquitously throughout the universe and all living organism. It's in the largest structures such as spiral galaxies and down to flowering plants and human bodies and the molecules of DNA.

We can't see human consciousness but, why would this pattern not repeat into that domain of the mechanisms of consciousness. The metaphor as expressed by this is to that as that is to this is a very close approximation to the golden ratio. We call it a stream of consciousness but I believe we only perceive it as a stream because it's all we can perceive at a time. Standing underneath a hurricane one can't see the spirals because it is just to large. We call it a stream because we can only perceive a single arm of the spiral at once.

In the Spring of 2018 I started applying a song lyric to APOD images as a tribute to Gord Downie. I working on a book and I have over 300 as of today. I would like to post these lyrics to this message board purely for the amusement of all. I hope that this will be a welcome addition to the forum.


Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by mmbudny » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:45 pm

My interest in astronomy is an adjunct to my interest in cosmology. I am forever fascinated by the physics and chemistry driving the creation of the universe and the evolution of galaxies, solar systems, and individual planets and planetesimals; the concept and contraditcions of space-time; and our humble place in the universe.
BTW, one of the definitions of SOL is the SUN.

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by longtry » Thu May 30, 2019 4:09 am

I grew up in a city in northern Vietnam, where hardly there's a night clear of clouds. That fact combined with light pollution, resulting in the number of nights in a year with 100 or more visible stars can be counted on the fingers of one hand. During my childhood and early adulthood, I knew next to nothing about all these stuffs like nebulae and galaxies and comets. Some people on our forum got the inspiration from their parents and relatives. A bit unfortunately, I didn't have that, since our lives were not exactly easy because of the war.

I only had the first impression of the grandeur of the night sky when I quit my job and traveled through Vietnam 4 years ago. I can remember it clearly. It was New year's eve, and I just arrived at a hilly remote farm in the afternoon. As the night fell, stars appeared so numerous that I lost track of them very quickly and just lied there in awe. Without internet, I couldn't locate any constellations or asterisms, but I doubt I would be able to remember to do it if given the chance. All that I could distinguish from that night is 3 stars which appeared to align in a nearly straight line. It was only much later that I found out I had been looking at Orion's belt. Yeah, so that constellation is indeed THE most recognizable one on the sky - take it from a total noob! ;)

That trip did light up a spark of interest in 'learning about the stars' in me, but it didn't blossom into anything significant right away. Astronomy in Vietnam was, and still, in its infancy. Only until I read an article on waitbutwhy about hidden internet gems, that APOD was first mentioned in my life. It was in the first half of 2017. I clicked the link, and it led me to a super-magnified image of a puffy body and a creasy face and tiny fat legs... of a water bear. You know what? If you have to impress somebody with only one picture, then that one can be a good candidate. The description also left me fascinated. I clicked another link, it was great too. In no time, I've found myself digging and digging down into a really deep rabbit hole.

So, suffice to say that it's APOD which brought me to astronomy. Very soon after that event, I decided that I would read each and every post from the very beginning. A threatening challenge, cause there are more than 8700 of them, counting up until now. I knew that it should be a long task, and I wouldn't be able to achieve it if I just dived head in and then give up out of exhaustion. So I devised a 4-year plan: in the 1st year I would read 11 posts a day, thus would finish 11 years of APOD from 1995 to 2006 when it ended. The 2nd year would be 8: 2006 to 2014. And the 3rd year 5: 2014-2019, the last year 2: 2019-2021, finally catching up with you guys.

Which brings us to now. Today is the halfway mark of that journey. I'm in '2014' now! :D This is a "hello" from a rookie currently in the past! Well, during the last 2 years, I've learnt so much about cosmology and astronomy that I am beginning to recognize the shapes (and names!) of some recurring objects in APOD before really reading its title. My knowledge in the field is thousands of time wider and deeper than when I started. I still haven't got a proper telescope yet (I partly blame the cloudy climate here for the tardiness), but a pair of binoculars should be due soon, and I'm saving money in case of a chance to relocate appear! Who can tell, I may even meet one of you guys one day...

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by rinkukhanna » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:01 pm

Hello, I am new here. From childhood I have passionate about knowing the earth. I am interested in findings new things about it. Everything just feel so good to know how all these things are present and we are discovering them.

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by owlice » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:50 am

Welcome, Bill!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by APhoenixRisen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:03 pm

The night sky has fascinated me since I was a young boy and first gazed into infinity. I'm now 66 and that fascination has never waned. I'm here to learn.


Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by BobinBend » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:32 pm

I am 82 and my grandfather introduced me to the night sky with a homemade 6 inch Newtonian built out of stovepipe, 2x4s, and door hinges. He knew only a few constellations and could locate Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. That was enough to hook me.
I live in Central Oregon under dark skies and own, what I call the smallest big telescope, a Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain 8-incher. I start my day on the computer by checking out the cosmos with APOD and then, I am ready to take on the remainder of the day.

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by felix_wegerer » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:06 am

Hy everyone!
I will just post my introduction as a reply:
So my name is Felix and I run the observatory of the school I graduated from. I went from landscape to nightscape to deep sky imaging and I love to see the progression by others and by myself. It's a lot of fun to compare your images to the older ones because you really can see how far you have come and how far you still could go.
After starting astrophotography I became interested in astronomy more and more and read some books about different topics.
I'm looking forward to seeing some interesting posts on this forum!
Clear skies,

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by MSpano_AstroVal » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:59 pm

Hi all,

New here but a long time fan of APOD. I loved astronomy since I was a kid, always wanted to look at the sky and understand it. Did a lot of astronomy in club in south of France, started astrophotography in my teenage, studied astronomy, astrophysics up to a PhD.
Now I am a happy manager of a public observatory in Switzerland.
Looking forward to see all your beautiful pictures and hopefully propose some too.

Clear skies!

John Zelada
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by John Zelada » Wed May 13, 2020 7:35 pm

Hello, I am John since I was a child I was interested in the stars in pate because my grandfather talked to me a lot about what he knew about the stars, he always asked me if there was anyone else watching us, my dream was always to investigate the stars but my economic position did not allow it, now that I already have access to a lot of information thanks to the internet I am exploring websites and that's how I got here, I hope to learn a lot and thanks for this forum

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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

Post by Jerome68 » Fri May 22, 2020 8:31 pm

So nice everybody to sharing your beginnings :), I feel pretty much reflected in most of you guys