Introductions: How did you become interested in astronomy?

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RCN Retired
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by RCN Retired » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:05 pm

I always had a interest in space while growing up. All the science fiction (some of which is no longer fiction) comics and books hooked me good. After joining the Royal Canadian Navy I was selected for a special branch with the main role of studying and being involved in the beginning of the space race. Very crude by today's standards, but without those results with our cutting edge technological (for the day) the space program would not be where it is today.

Now at the age of 72 I am even more interested in this field. Astronomy and computers go hand in hand. We went from text only computers to stick figures to squares for buildings etc. to today's powerhouses. We can now process images of the outer limits of space from our little Blue Dot and all in-between. Astronomy may hold the answer to all of mankind's unanswered questions.

jjjnettie
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by jjjnettie » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:43 am

:) Hi Everyone,
My name is Jeanette, I'm from a small town in Queensland, Australia.
My interest in all things spacey started when our primary school class was led to a near by house to watch the first Moon Landing. RIP Neil :(
Since then I've fed my interest with copious amounts of sci fi. Heinlein, Anderson, Dr Who, Star Trek, you all know how it is. LOL
7 years ago my two youngest boys did a term of Astronomy at primary school. The teacher organised a fellow to set up his scope on the school oval. The first object he showed us was Omega Centauri. And wow....I could not take my eye from the ep. That was it for me, I was taken in, hook line and sinker.
I bought the kids a 60mm wobbletronic for xmas that year. One year later I bought a 10" Dob. After doing some Afocal imaging through it, I decided that Astro Imaging was what I wanted to do more than anything. I'm quite proud of what I've managed to achieve in the last 4 years. It's more than just a hobby, it's a life style choice. :)

Pyrotex
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Pyrotex » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:21 pm

I first noticed the night sky when my parents allowed me to "camp out" in our back yard. I was 14 and it was 1960 -- and I was hooked on astronomy. Two years later, I built my own telescope (six inch Newtonian). I read every book on astronomy in my high school library. I got a degree in physics with every intention of becoming an astronomer. Alas, I became a computer programmer, which paid the bills very nicely. But I never gave up my love for astronomy. I went on to work for many NASA contractors at JSC in Houston, Texas. I developed software for the Shuttle simulators and the Space Station. I get to see the stars with my own eyes only twice a year, when my wife and I go on camping trips far away from the light pollution around Houston.

pstamler

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by pstamler » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:29 pm

I live in St. Louis, MO, USA, just turned 62, have been fascinated by astronomy and the exploration of space since childhood.

rosie357thFIS

Its here and we're in it, how can I not be interested

Post by rosie357thFIS » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:21 am

I am 74--I remember a discussion I had with my friends father in high school in 1953. It was about atoms, how there is a nucleus with electrons whirling around it. I said that seems to be something like the sun with the planets whirling around it. He said, "now your starting to think"-----I was profoundly struck by the possible relevance of the microcosmos and the macrocosmos. I still cannot settle my mind on where one leaves off and the other starts----or how they interact---or what they (we) are made of. I took a few courses in science in college. One was titled---Einstienian physics for non-science majors. The intructor gauranteed that we would all understand what Einstien had revealed to us by the end of the course--even tho the common urban myth was that there are only three people in the world who can. I took a course at UC Berkley in the early 80s from Bill Kaufman who was billed as the then leading black hole theorist. He suggested then that we might one day find a mini black hole, "there are many",---"tractor it into orbit close enouth to earth and send all our garbage into it". I am mostly retired now and I built an art studio in my back yard where I have a TV with cable where I have the opportunity to watch documentaries on astronomy and all the science and space stuff. I am in awe of the team that is working to photograph the center of our galaxy with it's super masive black hole and the many smaller black holes orbiting it---(not unlike what I thought of how the nucleus and electrons of an atom were like our solar system)---and one of the lines in the last documentary I saw suggested that the -- now plotted-- orbit of some of the circling black holes, in relation to the central super massive BH--look like the patterns of an atom---I don't remember which atom. But WOW!----that we get to sit right here and watch it all unwrap before our eyes-----I want to thank all the people who have the brains to hold all the threads of details together and have the integretty to remain honest in the quest to see inside of existance and to share it with all of us bench warmers. We had to put down our big dog, Rosie (120 lb Rott/Gordon Setter mix) two weeks ago. She had cancer in one leg that ate most of the bone away (exray photo)--We got her as a pup---she walked out of her litter of 7 and strolled over to us and became ours. She was nine and I am deeply wounded by her departure. One of the sympathy cards we recieved suggested there is a place where dogs go to play in a pasture with all their dog friends and wait for us to come along and go on with us--given quantum physics and the Higs Bosson--why not.

BlackBirdCD
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by BlackBirdCD » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:41 pm

One of my earliest memories was the Apollo 11 landing, which I watched from behind the bars of a crib (I was not quite 2 years old and it was late). My first telescope was a birthday gift from my grandparents, a small KMart branded refractor that was reasonably easy to operate if not a bit shaky. Views of the moon, Saturn, Jupiter blew my mind at the time and the neighborhood kids would line up for their turn, sharing in the excitement.

My love of Astronomy never materialized as a career, but hasn't faded. With all the wonderful outlets of information and news, including the wonderful APOD site, my interest has only increased. Over the years I accumulated many other hobbies - scale models (spacecraft of fact and fantasy), photography, film production, and cooking. I recall having to make a decision between two paths in college - Astronomy or Industrial Design. Industrial Design presented a clearer career path, so I set aside Astronomy once again. I have no regrets over this decision, having landed in the then-new software design field where I've become comfortably established.

Recently I returned to Astronomy with a level of passion I've not experienced in many years. Like a coalescing hurricane, my experiences in design, digital photography, 3D graphics and illustration merged with that dormant passion. I have no idea where this exploration will take me, but the ride is stellar. Literally. The view is amazing.

Christopher Doll
http://www.christopher-doll.com

Bushie
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Bushie » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:02 am

I first became interested in Astronomy in 1957 when I first saw Sputnik pass over Melbourne, then I started asking questions that my father couldn't answer, but due to circumstances I wasn't able to persue the interest until I saw Halley's Comet in 1986. I was away in the mountains for a week at a 'Dark Sky' location, I was amazed at the huge amount of stars that I could see compared to my home location in suburban Melbourne. I even had trouble finding 'Crux' The Southern Cross, amongst the plenitude of stars, which I could easily spot at home. I eventually spotted Halley's Comet, and even though it only looked like a fuzzy ball of cotton, it rekindled my interest in the heavens. I had a decent pair of 10x50 binos and a 5" telescope and I made good use of both of them for well over 20 years.
Now I am in forced retirement due to major health problems, APOD helps me keep my interest in the heavens with the wonderful photos and explanations in layman's terms. I also post links to APOD on my other favourite forum.

grady.l.stroud

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by grady.l.stroud » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:24 am

I am Grady, 60 years old and live on White Sands, New Mexico.

Rolf Wandel

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Rolf Wandel » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:23 pm

My name is Rolf and I'm a big fan of the 'astronomypictureoftheday' website.
I live in Reading, MA.

I have a question:
If Phobos is a captured asteroid, why is it also red? Is it because it orbits so close to Mars that it's picking up some of the dust that's so prevalent in the Martian atmosphere at times?

Claire

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Claire » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:37 am

Hi, I live in New Zealand ( under the Southern Cross) and I just wanted to say I look at the APOD everyday and love it. I'm totally in awe of the pictures. My son is interested in astronomy and told me about your site and it is a pleasure to flick on everyday. Cheers for now, Claire

2birds
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by 2birds » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:21 am

Hey folks! I am happy I have found this site...I have a couple of friends who love discussing about Astronomy and recently started informing myself. I am still full of questions and nescience - so I might will find my answers round here, I hope :) Greetings and hope to see you again in another thread!

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owlice
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by owlice » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:58 am

Welcome to Asterisk!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Jessica Renshaw

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Jessica Renshaw » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:59 pm

Self-introduction: My name is Jessica, nee Reynolds, formerly Shaver, Renshaw. I'm a human being. I'm alive and I'm interested in knowing how and why. I'm married with grown children and live in Long Beach, California.

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owlice
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by owlice » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:33 pm

Jessica Renshaw wrote: Long Beach, California.
Site of the next American Astronomical Society meeting!

Welcome to Asterisk!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Harikumar

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Harikumar » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:44 am

Me , Hari Kumar from Mumbai, India.

As a child I got interested in Stars and Planets and that is how started reading and following Astronomy.

astrosirius
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by astrosirius » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:25 pm

Hi friends, nice to met you. I am happy to be registered in Starship, hope I can learn too much from all of yours.

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owlice
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by owlice » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Welcome, new members HariKumar and astrosirius!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

TheCosmonaut
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by TheCosmonaut » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:57 pm

Hello everyone, my name is Ken. I'm a 25 year old sketch artist and a huge science enthusiast that has been browsing APOD and NASA.gov for years now. I have even promoted many of the astrophotographers in this site (including VegaStar Carpentier,Tunc Tezel, and many of the TWAN astrophotographers in an attempt to raise up the interest in stargazing and astrophotography/astronomy) via my educational blog on tumblr called CWL(ikenbot.tumblr.com), in it I dedicate myself to my love of general science and astronomy. I know many of you who don't like their images used without permission may be upset with me using the images of the apod forums but I assure you I have never gained a nickle from them and they were always under an educational context with links to the originating author. I don't come from a very educated background but I am currently trying to change the effects of such an upbringing.

I am from new york city and as many of you may already know, this is the worst place to find inspiration in the stars as it is littered by light pollution. So how did I become so interested in them? Like many of you, through childhood experiences. I am originally from the island of Hispaniola (holding Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and this was where I was exposed to those star lit/ moon lit nights that captivated my senses like no other observation ever could.

I have been harvesting data about astronomy, astrophotography, stargazing, geology, landscapes, education, the brain and so on so I can come into the world of stargazing and astrophotography with a clear head. I guess you could say I've been a silent member of your boards for some time and I have been repaying the content all of you provide to the public by promoting all of you whenever I could in my own blog (it holds a following of more than 36,000 people and many of them are just as enthused by astronomy and science as myself and many of you) which I recently just left so I can dedicate time to this and building up other skills. My knowledge is very limited and I want to begin pursuing astrophotography as a hobby (which was one of the many reasons I left my personal science page) with hopes that I can find help, suggestions, and any tips that any of you can throw my way. That is why I'm here and I hope something great comes of this journey I only recently started taking actions to realize (I don't even have or know what telescope I really need or the kind of set up a beginner in the city could find handy - although ultimately I know this hobby will force me out of the city and into uncharted lands). Thank you for reading this lengthy first time post of mine and I hope I can meet some really great people on here.

Ron-Astro Pharmacist

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:59 pm

I liked science as a kid and in high school but then a friend talked me in to going to pharmacy school. Thirty-three years later I started getting interested in physics and astronomy again and my wife thinks I’m crazy.

I suppose she would really classify me as a crazy if I postulated that there is really no such thing as gravity. It's all a figment of our brain interacting with it's matter thus slowing time down in such a way that we can perceive it in our lives. Seems like gravity might be our ability to sense mass moving though space. The more mass we encounter the slower we sense time.
Maybe it's why phyicists haven't discovered gravity waves.

I recently wrote a poem (for the fun of it) about light; the premise being that photons were only constituents of a field that permeated space. So as we moved through space at 186,000 miles per second, we sensed them at that universally constant speed. The more mass moving through space, the more photons one might encounter and the brighter the light. I never really sensed that to be true; it just seemed like an interesting concept to pursue. I am more likely now to see photons as some mass less thing that never truly could be influenced by time unless the photons are moving through a medium with mass. That interaction endows them with time.

Crazy huh?? Or just crazy ideas that someone without a formal education in physics and astronomy would come up with :? Ron

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bystander
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by bystander » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:48 pm

Welcome aboard the Starship Asterisk*, Cosmonaut and Astro Pharmacist. Please read the rules before posting.

Ron, a word of caution. This is a main stream science forum. Alternative theories are not discussed here.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

TheCosmonaut
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by TheCosmonaut » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:57 pm

Thanks for the welcome bystander, I unfortunately made my post before reading the rules but I checked them out afterwards. Thanks for the heads up!

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owlice
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by owlice » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:39 pm

Welcome to both of you!

Cosmonaut, please be respectful of astrophotographers by honoring their copyrights. Thanks.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

TheCosmonaut
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Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by TheCosmonaut » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:12 pm

Oh of course, I always have and always will. I always make sure to link to the astrophotographers of whom whatever image I promote belongs to. Name and website despite my blog not being an official site with ads and revenues, as I mentioned, it was always under an educational context.

Ron-Astro Pharmacist

Re: Introductions: How did you become interested in astronom

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:51 pm

Understood- I suppose it's too easy to let your imagination go wild but there are better place to let that happen than here. I appreciate the web site and will stick to infomation rather than speculation Thanks, Ron :oops:

meryyllsoriena
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Love To read About Astronomy

Post by meryyllsoriena » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:08 pm

Who says Astronomy is a boring topic? Actually, when I was in high school and heard about our lessons about astronomy, I don't know why I love to listen into this interesting topic. Since there are lots of scientists and experts on the field of astronomy before, this can be a big help for me to learn more about it.