Society for Popular Astronomy
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I see the SPA are asking us to join
https://popastro.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21168
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Author:  RMSteele [ Mon May 13, 2019 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

This has been a very interesting and informative thread.
Can I just mention a couple of things?
Firstly the Society officers are unfailingly helpful in my own experience, for example, my subscription became due in March when I was out of the country for a long time. I tried to renew by paypal but couldn't because it demanded that I create a paypal a/c - contacted Graham Jones and he advised that this happens with some locations outside the UK; and he kindly arranged for my membership not to lapse (amusingly when I returned to the UK it happened again with paypal - maybe its because I use AOL - but I could still send a cheque, which is an example of the SPA's flexibility in itself).
Secondly the Society as a whole is tolerant and inclusive.
Money can't buy these admirable virtues.
Bob

Author:  skyhawk [ Mon May 13, 2019 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

I have re joined today

.06p a day isn't bad value :) :)

Author:  Cliff [ Mon May 13, 2019 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

Skyhawk
I like that Moon image. It is great stuff.
from Cliff

Author:  mike a feist [ Tue May 14, 2019 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

I am still thinking about it Cliff.
The business of "soon losing interest" ,Skyhawk, as you say, may indeed be made worse by your Asperger's etc, however is not confined to those with that problem. After many years of general observing, one can soon lose interest, hence the need to focus on a small part of the subject and even George Hole of the big Patcham telescope is reported that in later years preferred his pipe and slippers in front of the fire, saying that there was nothing left to observer!
You do seem to have amassed a lot of expensive equipment and wonder just what you originally planned to observe. Actually ten minutes focussed on a special interest subject, currently in my case comets, asteroids, conjunctions of planets etc is quite long enough to make an observation if one's equipment is easy to set up and use.
I really do have a low level of concentration when it comes to listening to talks, and nearly always now fall asleep and cannot wait for them to end especially if they are tooooooo long. I much preferred to give them although what with my rather knackered voice - too much talking, and partial deafness - getting old, plus probably the change in technicalities of presentation, I rather balk even at that.
Regards maf

Author:  skyhawk [ Tue May 14, 2019 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

mike a feist wrote:
I am still thinking about it Cliff.
The business of "soon losing interest" ,Skyhawk, as you say, may indeed be made worse by your Asperger's etc, however is not confined to those with that problem. After many years of general observing, one can soon lose interest, hence the need to focus on a small part of the subject and even George Hole of the big Patcham telescope is reported that in later years preferred his pipe and slippers in front of the fire, saying that there was nothing left to observer!
You do seem to have amassed a lot of expensive equipment and wonder just what you originally planned to observe. Actually ten minutes focussed on a special interest subject, currently in my case comets, asteroids, conjunctions of planets etc is quite long enough to make an observation if one's equipment is easy to set up and use.
I really do have a low level of concentration when it comes to listening to talks, and nearly always now fall asleep and cannot wait for them to end especially if they are tooooooo long. I much preferred to give them although what with my rather knackered voice - too much talking, and partial deafness - getting old, plus probably the change in technicalities of presentation, I rather balk even at that.
Regards maf



I prefer to go out with people, to me being alone with a scope is boring, which in my case sounds really stupid as I HATE being around people (aspergers does that), but it is nice to be able to say "HELP !!!!!" sometimes AND help others which is what I really like doing.

I retired at 60 two years back and six months before retiring I decided I wanted to get back into astronomy after my good friend Patrick Moore had died, yes we were mates. So I spent six months checking out gear before my NHS pension lump sum came, and got what i did.

For the FIRST time since getting it I used the tube of the HD Edge 8" last night on my AltAz mount

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My sons with Patrick at the stand we ran for and with him, they got 50/50 :)

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Author:  mike a feist [ Tue May 14, 2019 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

A few additions to my previous posting.

When giving talks I used to favour "acetates and overhead projector" which were easy to produce and use. Slides were good but not so flexible or available. Nowadays everything seems to be on "digital projector" which can be very slick and efficient but not so easy for me to use...computers general are still a bit of a mystery to me although I have mastered their use up to a point.

Back in the 1960s I had a huge cannon of an 8" Newtonian in the garden and was greatly "into the Moon" until "the guilt" struck... lovely clear cold nights, the Moon shining down but I just did not want to go outside! The effort of setting it all up was just too much... and did I feel guilt! In retrospect, I am sure the Moon did not feel abandoned. I have heard of others suffering similarly. Too much equipment can make a subject daunting.

This all has little to do with joining the SPA, I know but amateur astronomy is just not about meetings and talks. Someone on the committee of the Foredown Tower Astronomers, (which I set up 20 years ago as the Foredown Tower Astronomy Group), asked me recently why I joined an astronomy group if I did not want to listen to talks! What more can I say?!
regards maf

Author:  skyhawk [ Tue May 14, 2019 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

mike a feist wrote:
A few additions to my previous posting.

When giving talks I used to favour "acetates and overhead projector" which were easy to produce and use. Slides were good but not so flexible or available. Nowadays everything seems to be on "digital projector" which can be very slick and efficient but not so easy for me to use...computers general are still a bit of a mystery to me although I have mastered their use up to a point.

Back in the 1960s I had a huge cannon of an 8" Newtonian in the garden and was greatly "into the Moon" until "the guilt" struck... lovely clear cold nights, the Moon shining down but I just did not want to go outside! The effort of setting it all up was just too much... and did I feel guilt! In retrospect, I am sure the Moon did not feel abandoned. I have heard of others suffering similarly. Too much equipment can make a subject daunting.

This all has little to do with joining the SPA, I know but amateur astronomy is just not about meetings and talks. Someone on the committee of the Foredown Tower Astronomers, (which I set up 20 years ago as the Foredown Tower Astronomy Group), asked me recently why I joined an astronomy group if I did not want to listen to talks! What more can I say?!
regards maf



I think I prefer "doing" than listening which is why I never attend local club meetings, I WILL make an effort to travel to an SPA meeting now I have re joined, and am glad I have.

Author:  Paul Sutherland [ Fri May 17, 2019 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

skyhawk wrote:
I think I prefer "doing" than listening which is why I never attend local club meetings, I WILL make an effort to travel to an SPA meeting now I have re joined, and am glad I have.


It will be great to see you! We are always interested in our members' views on how we can improve! Thank you for being so busy on the forum.

Author:  Paul Sutherland [ Fri May 17, 2019 10:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

RMSteele wrote:
This has been a very interesting and informative thread.
Can I just mention a couple of things?
Firstly the Society officers are unfailingly helpful in my own experience, for example, my subscription became due in March when I was out of the country for a long time. I tried to renew by paypal but couldn't because it demanded that I create a paypal a/c - contacted Graham Jones and he advised that this happens with some locations outside the UK; and he kindly arranged for my membership not to lapse (amusingly when I returned to the UK it happened again with paypal - maybe its because I use AOL - but I could still send a cheque, which is an example of the SPA's flexibility in itself).
Secondly the Society as a whole is tolerant and inclusive.
Money can't buy these admirable virtues.
Bob


Thank you for your kind words! I know we all do our best.

Author:  Paul Sutherland [ Fri May 17, 2019 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

mike a feist wrote:
This all has little to do with joining the SPA, I know but amateur astronomy is just not about meetings and talks. Someone on the committee of the Foredown Tower Astronomers, (which I set up 20 years ago as the Foredown Tower Astronomy Group), asked me recently why I joined an astronomy group if I did not want to listen to talks! What more can I say?!
regards maf


We note that you post to this forum a lot, Mike, which is to be welcomed, and I am sure many will benefit from your enthusiasm. It is a service funded by the SPA, via membership subscriptions, and that's the reason we ask users to consider joining!

Author:  skyhawk [ Sat May 18, 2019 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I see the SPA are asking us to join

I think we have to remember

When my old local shop closed so many complained VERY vocal, but most admitted they rarely used the shop. !!!!

Forums are the same, USE them or lose them.

In fact I was totally wrong, I said that I don't use the SPA, attend meetings etc, but I do use the SPA every day, here, on the forum, £20 is a very small price to pay even if just to talk to others with the same interest :)

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