A question about astronomer group size.

13 years 8 months ago #27288 by Jared Macphester
A question about astronomer group size. was created by Jared Macphester
Would anyone know or would there be a way to estimate (educated guess) the current number of ‘amateur astromomers‘ in Ireland?

That in its self probably prompts other questions but I can only start there.

(I realize that these posts may irritate but I assume that unlike a list you don‘t see all the follow up unless you are interested.)

Thanks

JMP

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13 years 8 months ago #27290 by dmcdona
Replied by dmcdona on topic A question about astronomer group size.
Perhpas the number of members per club? Though of course the numbers from one 'club' would have to be doctored... You'd also need to account for amateurs not in clubs.

For a start, KAS has 19 members.

HTH

Dave

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13 years 8 months ago #27294 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic A question about astronomer group size.

Would anyone know or would there be a way to estimate (educated guess) the current number of ‘amateur astromomers‘ in Ireland?


I don't have a handle on how many each IFAS club has. If KAS was typical with 20 members that would be a total of 300 for the 15 IFAS clubs. KAS (at the moment since its fairly new!) is probably one of the smallest clubs. So 300 would be a lower bound.

Some clubs memberships is, I imagine, in the hundreds so a more realistic guess of IFAS club membership is probably around 1000.

Add to that the people who are registered and read the forum but are not members of any club. And those who subscribe to Terrys emails but are not in clubs.

That brings us to probably 1500.

A lot of A&S subscribers are in other clubs also so we can assume they have say 1000 unique subscribers[1].

So thats 2500 who have enough interest in astronomy to join a website, club, magazine...

I guess if you count people who would turn up at a public observing session etc. then you can probably at least triple that number.

Again thats just guesswork off the top of my head. I've no idea what the various groups memberships is, and I don't really care to know!

Cheers,
~Al

[1] I neither know nor care what the A&S numbers are or how they are measured! I'm just picking numbers out of the air there :-)

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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13 years 8 months ago #27295 by dmcdona
Replied by dmcdona on topic A question about astronomer group size.

I've no idea what the various groups memberships is, and I don't really care to know!


Presumably you're not including the IFAS affiliates in that statement. As chairman of IFAS I know you have a personal, deep and genuine care for all of here in Kildare.

Cheers

Dave :wink:

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13 years 8 months ago #27301 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic A question about astronomer group size.
Perhaps a different tack to take would be to take a large number of pseudo random people and see how many of that are in a club. Lets take the student population of NUI Maynooth, about 6,000 and realise that 120 of those are in the NUIM Astronomy club. That means that about 2% of people in NUIM are interested enough in Astronomy to join their local Astronomy club. Multiply that up to our 4,000,000 population and you get 80,000.

This seems a rather large over-estimate, I guess that conclusion is that Maynooth students are not typical!

Anyhow, you can take 80,000 as an upper bound and Al's figure as a lower!

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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13 years 8 months ago #27305 by dmcdona
Replied by dmcdona on topic A question about astronomer group size.
Bart - Students are a biased sample. They have TONS of time on their hands, as you well know :wink:

Cheers

Dave

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13 years 8 months ago #27321 by Jared Macphester
Replied by Jared Macphester on topic A question about astronomer group size.

Perhaps a different tack to take would be to take a large number of pseudo random people and see how many of that are in a club. Lets take the student population of NUI Maynooth, about 6,000 and realise that 120 of those are in the NUIM Astronomy club. That means that about 2% of people in NUIM are interested enough in Astronomy to join their local Astronomy club. Multiply that up to our 4,000,000 population and you get 80,000.

This seems a rather large over-estimate, I guess that conclusion is that Maynooth students are not typical!

Anyhow, you can take 80,000 as an upper bound and Al's figure as a lower!

Bart.



"Pseudo random people" .... thats good.... It puts me in mind of the joke about the physist who claimed he could quadruple the milk output of a herd of cows. When asked to explain he began "Consider a spherical cow......."

.......actually Im sure there is a thread here for astronomical humour.

JMP

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13 years 8 months ago #27326 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic A question about astronomer group size.
good one Jared :lol:

Maybe we could just claim that we have the highest number of members per head of population in the known universe. 8) :wink:

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
IFAS Rep. 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

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13 years 8 months ago #27328 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic A question about astronomer group size.
And they are real, valid ones at that! :D

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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13 years 8 months ago #27910 by DaveGrennan
Replied by DaveGrennan on topic A question about astronomer group size.
I can tell you that last month A&S sent magazines to 3531 individual subscribers. But you could ask does someone who buys a magazine count as an amateur astronomer? I say no. My criteria would be to define an amateur astronomer as someone who observes the heavens on a REGULAR basis.

How could you ever estimate that number, however one thing is clear to me that in Ireland we do seem to have a much bigger interest in astronomy than other countries.

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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13 years 8 months ago #28232 by Frank Ryan
Replied by Frank Ryan on topic A question about astronomer group size.
:lol: Reminds me about the one about the Japanese geneticists who are trying to create a breed of more 'rectangular' shaped cows so they can stack their frozen carcases more efficiently into transport containers.

My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers

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13 years 8 months ago #28244 by Pioneer
Replied by Pioneer on topic A question about astronomer group size.
Dave Grennan wrote:

How could you ever estimate that number, however one thing is clear to me that in Ireland we do seem to have a much bigger interest in astronomy than other countries.


Kind of strange considering the weather we get. Especially now.

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13 years 8 months ago #28263 by JohnONeill
Replied by JohnONeill on topic A question about astronomer group size.
Hi,
Dave, I think your definition of Amateur Astronomer is too narrow. After all
many professional astronomers never observe the sky!

Many would be interested in e.g. History of Astronomy, Astronomical Computing, Astro-Physics of stars etc.

John

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