What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today?

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What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today?

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fred8615
Posts: 252
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 12:29 pm
Location: Sorrento, LA

What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today?

Post by fred8615 »

What do you think is the greatest obstacle to becoming an amateur astronomer these days?


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Frederick J. Barnett
"Someone's got to take the responsibility if the job's going to get done!! Do you think that's easy?!" Gregory Peck - The Guns Of Navarone

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today

Post by Christopher K. »

Without a doubt, light pollution.

I believe one of the keys (and I won't go into it too much here, as this is not the "Light Pollution" section) is encouraging people to look upon the night sky and the celestial objects in it as nature, just as much as trees, flowers and critters are.

btoman
Posts: 208
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 10:35 pm
Location: Baton Rouge

Re: What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today

Post by btoman »

I agree with Chris. Unfortunately, there are still MANY people that don't care about trees, flowers and critters EITHER! We'll just have to try to appeal to their pocketbooks instead by pointing out the money wasted on uncapped lighting.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today

Post by Christopher K. »

I see the overwhelming leading response in this poll is still light pollution.

A person should have a good relationship with his local Public Works department. Public Works is a public servant entity; its workers, like the workers of a parks department, work for the public. If there is a streetlamp that shines onto your property, ask what can be done about it. Let it be known that your want to light your property in a specific manner, with your own lights.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today

Post by Christopher K. »

It certainly was a challenge today at HRPO, as many asked us where an accessible dark area was to view the Camelopardalids. I only hope that everyone we spoke was resourceful while being safe.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: What is the biggest challenge to amateur astronomy today?

Post by Christopher K. »

There is now an "unholy trinity" of hindrances to amateur skygazing and professional astronomy...

Light Pollution: This is the one we've fought for decades. We've had minor to substantial wins in a variety of cities across the country, but the war still brews.
Deployment of Tiny Satellites: We're all thinking "Starlink" at this time, but more companies are showing interest. The tracks of these things threaten to destroy imaging not only in the optical but along other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Daylight Time ("Fake Time"): Young kids can only stay up so long, as can adults whose work day starts between 6am and 9am. A jurisdiction shifting to daylight time is massively destructive for those institutions who attempt to foster citizen interest in the hobby.

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