Re: (IAAC) Skill level categories

Carl wrote:
>What is the difference between the category of a beginner, intermediate
>and advanced for a skill level?
>Carl C. Gaither & Alma E. Cavazos-Gaither (Authors)

I have been thinking about the same thing. I was thinking about it this way:

under one year experience; has not seen the whole sky at least once
still learning her or his way around the sky 
still learning what different classes of objects *should* look like in her
or his instrument
still learning to use magnification optimally for given conditions
still learning to see all that is in the field at a given moment

more than one year = 40-50 observing sessions 
knows the way around the sky= can point at more than a few objects without
looking at map
has located and observed all classes of objects
knows what to expect from her or his instrument when looking at different
classes of objects
has tested the resolution of her or his instrument under all conditions
knows what to expect to see for given conditions
has tested the limiting magnitude of her or his instrument under a variety
of conditions
can assign a value to seeing, transparency, limiting mag on a given night
is in the habit of keeping a log with critical notes of observations ("saw
spiral arm" vs. "cool!")

multiple years experience = not less than 100 to 200 observing sessions
depending on quality
has logged 1000+ observations;  of some objects repeatedly
routinely compares observations from previous years and conditions
has experienced the best possible seeing and transparency at site more than
once, and knew it
capable of routinely exceeding normal limiting magnitude for site and
instrument by using various tricks
has logged observations beyond normal limits of instrument and site
shows off the heavens to a lot of people in the course of a year
bought -50 degree boot packs and professional expedition parka instead of
scope upgrade
belongs to international dark sky association
has adopted a humble attitude toward the universe

I like this list although I have not contributed observations. Thanks you-- PJT


Philip J. Tramdack
Associate Dean, Roscoe L. West Library
The College of New Jersey 
Box 7718
Ewing NJ 08628-0718

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