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Interest Dropped To Zero

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Interest Dropped To Zero was created by lunartic_old

Hey there everyone.

I have noticed in the past couple of months that my interest in astronomy has dropped to zero, there is nothing, zip, nadda. I'll look out at the stars in the evening, and where once I got excited, now there's nothing. I've got to the stage now of giving some serious consideration to selling all the gear and moving on.

This is not a summer phase, I was always a fan of summer observing, I just cannot get up the enthuasism and make the effort. The thoughts of dragging out the scope and setting it up leave me cold. I have stepped out with the binos, but I soon loose interest and head back indoors.

I've been an active amateur for about a quarter of a century, I have had minor phases in the past, but never to the extent of selling up and getting out. This has been going on for about four or five months, previous phases have only lasted about a month at the most.

There is not even another branch of astronomy that I think I could move into, I have observed the sun in the past, it wasn't for me, I have sketched deep sky and double stars, I have observed deep sky and the moon and the planets. I know that variable stars are not for me, nor is astrophotography.

It is not the people, I might add, I really enjoy going to the meetings and getting out for a bit of public outreach, meeting both fellow amateurs and the public is a real joy.

One thought has come to me, and that is sell the gear, put the money away in the Post Office or bank, leave it there and if the urge returns use it to buy equipment in the future.

Has anyone else out there gone through such a prolonged barren stage?

Thanks for the time.

Paul
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
11 years 3 months ago #90431

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Replied by dmolloy on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

The only thing we can say truely exists is the universe, astronomy is the study of the universe - therefore astronomy is everything. ;)

sometimes people ask me if I am looking at the same things night after night through my telescope (weather permitting) my answer is yes and no. I love my garden and watch it through the seasons year after year. despite the obvious effect of the seasons on the garden I am always filled with gladness despite knowing what to expect.
The night sky is a bit like that for me, I wait for Orion to appear or wait for a good view of M57...I know what to expect but like looking at a beautiful thing or an old master's masterpiece - I never get bored. I think the weather has a lot to answer for. we are not blessed with desert skies or an abundance of clear balmy nights

I look at my telescopes gathering dust over the last few months - but I know I will be out there again, freezing my nuts off and wishing there was certain individuals by my side so I could say "Ya think Jedward is good, but look at this" So be of good cheer......and if you are giving any of your gear away.....Im really poor and deserving

signed Very disturbed
Co Laois :woohoo:
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by dmolloy.
11 years 3 months ago #90435

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Replied by dmolloy on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

by the way....just been turning this over in my head:
There are people out there that believe that if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck - then it must be an alien in a duck suit :laugh: .....im not so sure

(please ignore the above comment it is made by a man with too much time on his hands and too much coffee in his belly)

signed, hugely unhinged
Co laois
11 years 3 months ago #90436

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Replied by johnomahony on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Paul

I can understand your situation. It's got nothing to do with the availability of clear weather either. My last two years have been so hectic and stressful that astronomy has taken a back seat but I have still managed to hold onto it as it connects me with people. I think most people go through a "what am I doing phase" at some point and take a break. Don't sell the gear as one day you will be eager to use it again. Take a break, do something different for a while (its healthy) and you will find your interest revived at some point.
Don't lose the faith!! ;)

John
The Lord giveth, the Revenue taketh away. (John 1:16)

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11 years 3 months ago #90437

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Replied by daveg on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Paul

I say sell the gear n take a holiday for yourself. By the sounds of it youre only torturing yourself anyway, will i wont i.... Move on to something new that doesnt dig as deep into your pockets and has you out at unholy hours.

Dave Gradwell
11 years 3 months ago #90439

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Replied by Calibos on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Typical, I'll be back in the observing game after a 3 year break and me favourite fellow astronomer has given up!! :( What'll we do without 'The Eskimo' !! :laugh:

Don't worry, I still love you, Deirdre, Michael and Dave :laugh: Its funny actually, Theres probably a bunch of lads that have spent 10 times more time observing with the aforementioned mob in the intervening 3 years since I was last out, than I ever got a chance to in the 18 months I spent with ye. I'll be the 'New guy' again that nobody knows!! :laugh:

I tell you what though Paul. You need to become more of a gearhead like me. Its sustained me during my observing fallow years. Doing mods, planning mods, redoing mods, planning replacement mods etc etc :blush: :laugh:

Setting up a GEM wrecks your head. Dragging out a heavy Chinese 12 inch dob wrecks your head. You want to sell your current gear (keep your hard to source Eyepieces though) take another 6 months out till after Christmas. Then get yourself a 12" Sumerian Canopus for €1500 (Incl GSO Mirror) A piece of craftsmanship that will look well setup in the sitting room or can all fit in a Drum case behind the couch. Lightweight and quick and easy to setup. No matter where you went in the country you could take it a along on the off chance you might use it and it would take up feck all space in the car so no need to leave one of the kids at home.

I suppose its down to whether you've just seen everything you want to see within reach of the size scope your wallet and back can afford or whether you were spoilt by 12" apeture a while ago but are sick of the pain in the back of setting up a chinese 12" or the pain in the @rse of setting up a GEM mounted apeture that just doesn't do it for you anymore.

Only you can answer that question.

I'm was just amazed when I found out it was possible to get a compact lightweight premium structure and GSO mirror for only a small amount more than a Chinese behemoth with GSO/Synta mirror.

www.sumerianoptics.com/products/canopus/
Keith D.

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Ethos 3.7sx,6,8,10,13,17,21mm
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11 years 3 months ago #90440

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

I've been on the verge several times.
Two major stumbling blocks for me;
1- The weather here. (enough said) &
2- Not having a dome or roll-off observatory.
(imagine you look out, yay, it's clear, into the
obs. Shortly you're observing. Great!
Oh-oh, here's the clouds, oh well, off with the
lights and back into the house. No big deal)

Id suggest buy an observatory / roll off
& put all your gear in there.
Then go do something else for a time
until your intetest returns.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
11 years 3 months ago #90443

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Replied by lunartic_old on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Many thanks for the advice, confusing or otherwise. :laugh:

I would not put it down to the weather, after all this time I, like every other astronomer in Ireland, is well you to its peculiarities and the way it pokes fun at us. :-( On more than one occasion I've dashed outside when there has been a tiny gap showing a handful of stars.

I appreciate the advice on the purchase of collapsable dobs and observatories, there is the slight snag of no extra money to buy such. :( I also think that the size of the equipment is the problem, no smart comments please, :P My 10" SCT is a heavy piece of kit to be moving aorund, therefore if I were to change equipment I would be going down the aperture scale towards the more grab n go system. The question is whether selling a 10" SCT and purchasing a 4" refractor that would sit under the stairs unused is going to make a difference? One piece of unused kit is no different to another piece of unused kit.

I'm going to have to give it more thought, as I said, I think selling the equipment and putting the money away for any future re-emergence of the desire could be the way to go.

Sometimes life can be so confusing. :gramps:

Paul
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
11 years 2 months ago #90445

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

well Paul,
If you've lost interest then I'd sell the gear while its still worth something, why hang on to it and sell it in 5 years time when it might be worth nothing by then, if in the future you come back into the hobby you'll have cash to buy new equipment if you feel like it.
A dome is extremely convienent, but if you dont have the interest,then it would be a waste.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
11 years 2 months ago #90446

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Replied by Donegal Skies on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Hi Paul,

I think when you are struggling to motivate yourself to engage with astronomy, way torment yourself turning over in your head? I thinkk you're on the right track, sell your gear, forget about astronomy and do something you'll enjoy. If you do get the hunger back for astronomy down the line you will actually enjoy it rather than forcing yourself to continue with it now which will prob end up with you hating the hobby.

Just my thoughts on it on it but it really is your decision to make.

All the best and good luck with which ever road you take.

Brendan
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Donegal Skies
11 years 2 months ago #90453

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Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Paul, about 10 years ago I had the same hiatus as you. Did nothing for about two years. I would suggest to hold onto your gear. If you sell it you just know that the money will be soaked up elsewhere and you may not be in a position to replace it if the bug comes back. Despite what you're feeling now, once you have astronomy in your blood, it never leaves. Sooner or later you'll get the bug back. Take a break, get stuck into something new for a while, astronomy will creep up on you again. Maybe in a different way but it will return, no doubt.

Dave.
Regards and Clear Skies,

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11 years 2 months ago #90454

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Replied by johnomahony on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Paul, about 10 years ago I had the same hiatus as you. Did nothing for about two years. I would suggest to hold onto your gear. If you sell it you just know that the money will be soaked up elsewhere and you may not be in a position to replace it if the bug comes back. Despite what you're feeling now, once you have astronomy in your blood, it never leaves. Sooner or later you'll get the bug back. Take a break, get stuck into something new for a while, astronomy will creep up on you again. Maybe in a different way but it will return, no doubt.

Dave.


Welcome to the Hotel California :laugh:

As Dave suggests I'd keep the gear. It will always serve as a reminder and may spur your interest next time a comet or other major celestial event happens. :scope:
The Lord giveth, the Revenue taketh away. (John 1:16)

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11 years 2 months ago #90462

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Replied by Donegal Skies on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Actually now i that i think bout it, i think it would prob be better to keep the equipment as it would make it easier to get back into astronomy if the notion takes you down the line.


All the best,

Brendan
www.DonegalSkies.com
C8N/Omni XLT 150
CG5 GOTO Mount/CG4 Mount with Motor Drive
Self-Modified Canon Digital Rebel/Stock 18-55mm lens/Sigma 70-300mm APO Lens/Philips SPC 900nc
My Flickr Page
Donegal Skies
11 years 2 months ago #90465

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Replied by John_Walshe on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Hi Paul,
For many years I was heavily involved in Orienteering and eventually I got tired of it and stopped completely. Occasionally (once every two years) I was asked if I would help with a particular national level event. Each time I said yes and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Just yesterday I printed off the fixtures list for the coming season with the intention of attending a few. It is ten years since I competed last.

My point is that, although right now you are tired of the astro, it is in your blood, and the interest will come back, maybe not at the same level. My advice is to take a break but don't sell all of your equipment. Keep your favourite, easiest to set-up telescope. That way you will have something to keep in touch with, for those events that will come along over the intervening years, and also something to restart with, without effecting your pocket.

John
11 years 2 months ago #90467

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Replied by Calibos on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

When suggesting the Sumerian Canopus, I suppose I was purely thinking in terms of weight because I remember you saying several times how that Orion was killing you. I'm glad you got most of the money back on it. (Who has it now btw? I'd love to see the 'oul gal again :D ). Then I figured maybe the hassle of setting up a GEM and 10 inch SCT was the problem. I thought maybe you would get enough back on that scope and after a small bit of saving during your observing hiatus you might have been 99% of the way to the price of a Canopus.

However I then remembered your Streetlight posts. I suppose it must be soul destroying having your back garden lit up like that. I am in the same situation as that at my new house. I'll be relying almost solely on outreach and sdas observing nights for my fix going forward.

Obviously if you can put all the money tied up in your gear to more productive uses then that would be the way to go but would it not be worth holding on to it if even only for outreach, Lough Dan scout camping nights and Sugarloaf SDAS sessions? Flog the EP's to release some cash for other pursuits/hobbies and share my EP's. Theres a 31mm Nagler, 17mm, 10mm & 6mm Ethos in my case with your name on them that you could use every night while I'd be using the 21mm, 13mm, 8mm and 3.7mm SX. We'd share the 6mm :D Theres no one I would trust more to share them with on a given night. I mean, I really only ever intended to acquire what is known on CN as a Troika of Death of Ethos that gave a decent focal length spread. It was only the fact that I was able to get all of them discounted for the same price as 3 at full price over here that persuaded me to get the whole lot. The focal lengths I wouldn't be using would be needlessly gathering dew in my case otherwise. Better that they gather dew in the focuser of a fellow observors scope instead :D
Keith D.

16" Meade Lightbridge Truss Dobsonian with Servocat Tracking/GOTO
Ethos 3.7sx,6,8,10,13,17,21mm
Nagler 31mm
11 years 2 months ago #90471

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Replied by lunartic_old on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Many thanks for the kind offer Keith, if anything it would be the eyepieces that I will hang onto and sell the scope.

I know one thing for certain, if, and when, I return it will be with a smaller scope, most probably a refractor on an alt-az mount. Looking at Aubrey's set up, okay maybe a William Optics 6" Apo will be out of my price range though, but it seems the simplest set up, put up the tripod, attach the head, pop in the scope and away you go. No Hassle.

The weight issue would also be solved with such a set up.

At least I will have time to think about it.

Paul
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
11 years 2 months ago #90474

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Replied by flt158 on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

Hi Paul. I had a feeling you were going to mention the 6" Apo. You will always be welcome to view through it. I am looking forward to using it again very soon. Bob O'Brien and I love these scopes. I am not a man who likes putting anybody under pressure -so just feel free to have a break. I did as far back as 1994 to 1996 because of girl trouble. However a Total Lunar Eclipse sorted my out and I haven't turned my back on the hobby ever since. At the time of TLE, I think it was God who allowed me to see it as He comforted me.

Yours, Aubrey.
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11 years 2 months ago #90476

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Replied by lunartic_old on topic Re: Interest Dropped To Zero

It's always a pleasure viewing through the WO Aubrey and I believe that you are incredibly generous when it comes to letting the public see through your exquisite instrument.

Girls, where would be be without them. :whistle:

Paul
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
11 years 2 months ago #90480

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