Re: (IAAC) Skill level categories

Thanks, Philip, I REALLY loved your criteria for Experience Level! Some
of them may be open to debate (different folks learn different skills at
different times), but you've really captured the spirit of "learning to
see". And that's exactly what this little list is all about...

As for the number of observing sessions a person has been to, though, I
might not use that as a criterion: I've known many observers who go out
night after night, year after year, and look at the same chestnuts over
and over... And then there are those (and I call them "astrotourists"),
who try to zip through as many objects (new or old) in a night as they
can, and never stop to breathe (literally, to increase oxygen) or use
any other trick to see the wealth of detail those objects might hold.

Which is why I'd also say that "still learning to see all that is in
the field at a given moment" - which is something I think all of us on
IAAC are trying to do - would actually be a better definition for ANY
serious deep sky observer than for a beginner. :)

(Not that I'd ever slight Messier or Herschel Marathoners now - that's
a whole different kettle of fish, and more of an annual challenge than
a style of regular observing!)

>bought -50 degree boot packs and professional expedition
>parka instead of scope upgrade

So THAT'S why I'm going to Florida for the Leonids this year... :)

Lew Gramer, homesick Floridian
Medford, Massachusetts, USA