(meteorobs) Why don't more amateurs get it? (Meteors, that is.)

Alister aling at telus.net
Thu Sep 27 23:43:10 EDT 2007

A very interesting thread - thanks.

I could ask the same question "why don't more amateurs do variable star 
observing?"  or "why do most people like Mozart but don't "get" Bach 
fugues?" It's just how each of us connect.

I'm at 13 observing sessions so far this September - one Aurigid, 2 full 
Moon rise behind buildings lit up by the setting Sun, and the rest variable 
star sessions, some from my backyard, others from a dark sky. Most deep sky 
observers sit at 2 sessions per month and complain about the skies for the 
rest - I've decided to enjoy full Moon nights by observing variable stars. 
But even then, I can't only watch say cataclysmics (though some do), because 
99% of my obs would be "fainter than mag 14.2" and I like to see something 
more than rarely, so I watch Miras too. And I join Bruce McCurdy on 
Aurigid/Quadrantid/Orionid sessions when I can, because I like that 
reconnection. But something inside me pushes me to a wide variety of things 
rather than quite specific, so I can't seem to do meteors on non-shower 
nights - I just don't have the stamina. It's tough to understand, but it's 
how I am.

The only link in all this is eye to sky, whether through an eyepiece or 
unaided. There's no hieracrchy in my mind - some 10-15 years ago I realized 
that it didn't matter what you looked at, but that you looked at all. And 
now I find that's too restrictive - some fine non-hard core observing folk 
have helped set up a large dark sky preserve - maybe they just blew away all 
the value of my observations with that act. Fundamentally, it comes down to 
appreciating the universe in a way that gives you the most satisfaction. 

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