Author Topic: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?  (Read 78 times)

ithoclirans

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2018, 11:40:19 PM »
If you are a registered member of Cloudy Nights you are already involved in what is almost surely the world's largest astronomy club, and even if you never post a line you are deriving some benefits from that membership.

tingperbeachfnar

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2018, 11:49:09 PM »
There is a great benefit to engaging with knowledgeable, experienced people, whether you are a tyro observer or a beginning telescope maker. Probably the best way to learn anything is to acquaint yourself with people who excel, whether it be playing a sport or astrophotography.

I think my foray into telescope making got off to a very slow start because I had no mentors and my only resources were books and articles. When things went awry I could only scratch my head and go back to the books.

Sue, on the other hand, joined the local astronomy club in the late 1970s. She knew a lot about astronomy and astrophysics, but nothing about telescopes or observing. Folks in the club shared their knowledge and experience and she became an avid and skilled observer, undoubtedly far more quickly and easily than if she'd tried doing it on her own.

Clubs also provide opportunities to check out and see telescopes and accessories in person and get some feel for their performance and appeal to your eye. This has become increasingly important in the age of Internet sales, where few people live near a store that sells real telescopes.

Access to an observing site is also a huge benefit.

Clear skies, Alan

neulosali

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2018, 03:39:47 AM »
Quote
Yep, the hobby is 'graying'. FWIW, I just broached a related idea at our club's monthly board meeting. Based on a casual comment a year ago by one of our younger members, I've suggested that we try a weeknight public stargaze. She once commented that most young folks have uses for weekend nights that are more important to them. I can remember that being true for me, long ago.

So once it gets dark earlier, but before it starts getting uncomfortably cold, I think we'll offer one or more weeknight stargazes, well publicized. There are a few semi-dark place close to town that we can use. Our arrangement with the university even includes the ability to turn the lights out in one remote parking lot with advance notice.

Of course, our club, like some others, has a lot of competition for young peoples' attention. Our area has a busy live music scene, lots of outdoor activities, and a batch of micro-breweries. I think advance (but not by too much) publicity is important to making something like this go over. Local media including websites, the community college and other colleges, and grocery store bulletin boards come to mind.

Jim H.


Good idea. In addition to letting the University students know you might consider reaching out to the local middle and high schools who may have summer school programs.

I know my Middle and High School offered enrichment as well as remedial programs during the summer including science programs. The summer science teachers might be willing to talk up any outreach events. Perhaps the school would let you post flyers.

If there are members who are on Facebook, ask them to post there. Friends of friends will see it and some of those will be interested. I know I have gotten significant responses to posts about astronomy.

nontpremlapi

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2018, 05:36:02 AM »
Quote
<p class="citation">QuoteI think advance (but not by too much) publicity is important to making something like this go over. Local media including websites, the community college and other colleges, and grocery store bulletin boards come to mind.

I've been involved off and on for many years with publicizing various ASH events. I distribute fliers to local libraries, coffee houses, and other locations and post them on every bulletin board that I can find. I also send notices to local newspapers and television community calendars. There's information on the ASH website and we also have a FB page for the Naylor Observatory.

Dave Mitsky

Jeremy Kelley

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2018, 05:02:57 PM »
I have to agree with the poster's comment that CN is the biggest astronomy club in the world. It is also willing to adjust its self to fit the needs of a diverse membership, novice through masters. The first club I approached had a notice posted that they were looking for potential members who were interested in AP. The club was located about 5 miles from my home I thought ,sounds too good to be true. I had just started to experiment ( play probably a better word) with AP and really felt lost. I called the phone # in the notice and after listing my modest equipment - NexStar 5i and DSLR- was told only serious APers need apply. The club was run by 2 medical Dr.s and I would not be welcomed. A few years passed and I found a club in Portland a 70 mile round trip but they were very welcoming and never made be feel as though I needed to "qualify my equipment " to meet their standards. Their members that were into AP never seemed to attend monthly meetings and I never got to " learn" from them. They often had great guest speakers and I still enjoyed the meetings. I guess I just mean to say you may have to try on several clubs to find one that "fits".
Grey

Miguel Alvarado

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2018, 10:24:27 PM »
Quote
I love my club. Access to dark sites. Great loaner scope program that got me started.

Dude, that ain't no scope..."really, just set here, It'll be like you're really there"....and man, the dues must be outrageous to have your own rocketship....

omunsopoo

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2018, 05:03:30 AM »
I quit the two clubs that I joined.
Instant coffee ,sugar twin and powdered coffee creamer at meetings with some stale donuts.
Some times a guy can only take so much.

Jesse Kaine

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2018, 11:50:07 AM »
Quote
Quote

I love my club. Access to dark sites. Great loaner scope program that got me started.

Dude, that ain't no scope..."really, just set here, It'll be like you're really there"....and man, the dues must be outrageous to have your own rocketship....
There is an article in the last Reflector magazine about the star party in the rocket garden. I am in one of the pictures.

Stephen Moritz

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2018, 12:45:41 AM »
I joined the area club for multiple reasons:

1. Access to dark sites*
2. Camaraderie
3. To learn from people who have more experience and are much smarter than me
4. To keep me motivated
5. Lectures at general meetings...Even though most topics are way over my head I still learn something

But...I would say the most important reason I joined the club is because I recognized early on how this hobby continues and grows. Every individual i've encountered along my journey into astronomy has been an advocate or an even better term is that they've been an ambassador for the hobby may it be vendors or club members. People on Cloudy Nights fall into this as well, but seeing and experiencing first hand in my meeting of new people in the hobby really points to how ambassadorship really grows the hobby.

I've found that along this same vein that as our club gathers for New Moon observing at the dark site we call out objects or tell each other to check them out. We share in our awe of the sky. Its almost like a team sport!

For Club Outreach events we have the opportunity to be ambassadors to the general public. In most cases the skies at outreach events are not as dark, but that's not the most important thing here. This is our opportunity to give exposure to people who know nothing about astronomy. That first look at Saturn really makes a lot of people want more. Our job in outreach is to coach them along and answer questions. We can also explain from experience what not to do as we've been down that road

Club membership in my opinion gives me the greatest opportunity to be an ambassador for astronomy either by encouraging others in the club to GET OUT TO THE DARK SITE AND SEE WHATS UP!!! or by them encouraging me to do the same. It really is an amazing thing.

The key is that you need to have an active club in your area. Ours is very active and does a lot of outreach. We have partners in the educational system, local parks and other people in the community

Sure some can do it without a club. I guess if I had a home observatory at a dark site and was a loner I guess that would be ok, but I think i'd be a grumpy ole' troll (in the observatory instead of a bridge). I could also do outreach from my driveway at home which I do from time to time, but I enjoy going through this with like minded individuals. Its like Iron sharpening iron for me
Jon

Brian Olatunji

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2018, 02:37:32 AM »
I joined my club to learn from others. I remain in my club to give back to the club. Of our 50-60 members the core that keeps things going is less than 20. I am and have been a 'back bencher' officer for about 9 years as treasurer, historian and currently secretary taking minutes at the business meetings. I don't want to be president or VP. I spend a lot of time working on improving our club's equipment, helping with meetings, and public outreach. I enjoy the club's community the most when observing but that is just one aspect of being a member. I like having access to the club's 20 and 24 inch Dobs.

I am lucky that I also can enjoy observing with my wife and son so I don't actually observe much alone unless you consider my time imaging in my backyard observatory.

Trendsetters Branch

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2018, 02:42:16 AM »
I joined the local club here in SJC mostly to get out of the house during my divorce phase two years ago :-)
The club has a great outreach program with star parties and access to dark sides which is here in Silicon Valley a rare thing. I like their lectures, with the star parties it gets a little bit stale when not having own equipment for observation and AP is not the right thing for parties. The parties are good thing to meet new people still and connect with the members. They have a lot of activity in the vicinity to SJC and connections to other clubs of different objectives but always coupled to astronomy.

Jason Kaltwasser

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Re: What is the benefit of joining an Astronomy Club?
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2018, 09:15:00 AM »
Some of my best friends ever, I met in my club.

AND, I get people who are willing to do observing with me (we usually all head out to the dark site).

And I've gotten to know a bit of this and that by hanging out with people who know Useful Stuff, like electrical engineering.

Greg N