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  #1  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:06 PM
glend (Glen)
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The Popularisation of Astronomy

Look I love astronomy and have done so for a long time, but it really "grinds my gears" to see masses of people holding little ABC logo'd scopes sitting under the glare of CBD lights, hoping to see something other than maybe the Moon.
Has the ABC commercialised astronomy for its own purposes, is this Star Wiz hosted by Julia Z? Many of those kids clutching those little ABC scopes will probably be put off forever. Just my 2 cents...
What say you?
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  #2  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:27 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Look I love astronomy and have done so for a long time, but it really "grinds my gears" to see masses of people holding little ABC logo'd scopes sitting under the glare of CBD lights, hoping to see something other than maybe the Moon.
Has the ABC commercialised astronomy for its own purposes, is this Star Wiz hosted by Julia Z? Many of those kids clutching those little ABC scopes will probably be put off forever. Just my 2 cents...
What say you?
Any outreach that gets people to look up and kids interested in astronomy is tops in my books. Even through a 1:1 toilet roll. I don't care.
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  #3  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:29 PM
Robair (Robert)
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Anything encouraging people to look up for a change is a good thing in my opinion.
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  #4  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:35 PM
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As I understand it, they are going for the world record in stargazing.

They are aiming for 7500 or so people so if half of them get the bug and buy themselves a proper scope or one for the kids then that can only be a good thing in my books.
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  #5  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:37 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
Any outreach that gets people to look up and kids interested in astronomy is tops in my books. Even through a 1:1 toilet roll. I don't care.
It goes deeper than that Marc....

https://www.skynews.ca/bathroom-tissue-universe/

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  #6  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:40 PM
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Good question Glen, and worth looking into/learning from.


Without being a "fly on the wall" in the ABC boardroom, we'll never know the true motives. Whilst I stopped watching TV entirely around 2001 (when I left home), ABC has always been the "educational channel". In 2018, such a statement is possibly well out of date (though I wouldn't really know).


I suspect this latest ABC Astro effort is akin to a broad spectrum antibiotic - just apply a generic compound at a swath of diseases, and see how we go...


What is the "entry ticket" to astro hobby these days, $200? Definately more than $7 for that little ABC 30mm. I think it's utterly impossible to give a "quality", 1:1 astro introduction to the masses without silly money being spent. One either reduces the quantity of audience and uses set gear, or increases the tool outlay - $50 scope, subsidised to a $7 purchase, perhaps?


The media converage seemed good. 1st TV I'd seen in a long time. Only the tools at hand could be improved. Perhaps more info on the website regarding ideal conditions (within human control), would help? You're right - substandandard conditions (avoidable with knowledge), can destroy first impressions.



It was a lofty goal for sure - perhaps impossible. All I know is, my daughter had her first look last night, and wants another tonight. That said, her 80mm refractor and Vixen 8-24 zoom EP was miles above the standard serving of the occasion.


Again, thanks for bringing this up. I actually wish to learn how to host/assist in star parties in future. I was asked to return in future to the local Girl Guide hut where the record attempt was hosted. They would like me to help in Astro activities throughout the year. A tall order, considering I don't know much. I know others will bring wisdom to this thread however
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  #7  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:45 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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It goes deeper than that Marc....

https://www.skynews.ca/bathroom-tissue-universe/

Hang on a sec here... are we talking three ply? Is that peer-reviewed paper?
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  #8  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:52 PM
glend (Glen)
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Have a look at the notice on the Bintel website today - they have been inundated with orders for scopes. Good for them. I wonder if Sirius, Astro Anarchy, and the others are getting some of the action.
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  #9  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Look I love astronomy and have done so for a long time, but it really "grinds my gears" to see masses of people holding little ABC logo'd scopes sitting under the glare of CBD lights, hoping to see something other than maybe the Moon.
These "ABC logo'd scopes" were designed to observe one thing -the moon.
Probably the only thing visible under those light conditions. And from what I experienced at our site they did this perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Has the ABC commercialised astronomy for its own purposes, is this Star Wiz hosted by Julia Z? Many of those kids clutching those little ABC scopes will probably be put off forever. Just my 2 cents...
What say you?
Would it be better if they were given out with the purchase of a multi-national company fast food meal?
I also had the opportunity to encourage punters to look up IIS for follow-up information. What will they find but this negativity.

I thought you could do better Glen.

My 2cw...
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  #10  
Old 24-05-2018, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Have a look at the notice on the Bintel website today - they have been inundated with orders for scopes. Good for them. I wonder if Sirius, Astro Anarchy, and the others are getting some of the action.

I heard Bintel getting mentioned multiple times during that ABC show last night. Only heard it, as I was busy setting up/helping people. Must have been the ultimate plug... No complaints, they've done very well by me.
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  #11  
Old 24-05-2018, 02:01 PM
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Hang on a sec here... are we talking three ply? Is that peer-reviewed paper?

I just hope the "printer" wasn't set for double sided printing
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  #12  
Old 24-05-2018, 02:03 PM
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Did you notice the plug Bintel got a plug live on air?



Not intentional on their part I am sure but on talking to one of the "Viewers" for the record attempt (This is the second record attempt, I am not sure that it has much to do with the ABC other than perhaps them jumping on board and plugging the blazes out of it as part of the program) Anyway, the bloke they were talking to they were mentioning that he was only just ready as he had driven up to Siding Spring for it and had to set up his "New Bintel scope" (Or some such wording) for the first time which arrived just in time to bring it.



Edit: Mentioned by Andy above while I was typing.


The scopes look like the same ones as last time around. They may be "Cheap tat" but how many families would come and take part if the price of admission was a couple of hundred. I was at the last one a couple of years ago and it was exactly the same, loads of people with the $10 telescope but quite a few more serious instruments set up with the usual queue of people waiting for a look and a keen operator/owner describing it all.
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  #13  
Old 24-05-2018, 02:19 PM
that_guy (Tony)
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When I was out yesterday night at a local school that SAS was helping out at, most kids knew that the little 30mm was more or less garbage. They only used it for the 10 minutes required for the world record. Any time before and after, they all wondered around looking through proper scopes like C8s, LX90s, couple dobsonians, an ED80 and 127mm Maks. If a gimmick like a world record attempt gets people more interested in astronomy, I don't see a reason why its a bad thing
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  #14  
Old 24-05-2018, 02:20 PM
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Whilst I didn’t watch it apart from snippets, our 9y.o daughter did. She has shown NIL interest in astronomy (polar opposite with her 4y.o sister who loves it) up until now so this is a positive thing. Hopefully she will ask to have a look tonight if the clouds hold off.

I find the show itself obnoxious personally, but it does the job it is intended to and that is all that matters.

Last edited by LewisM; 24-05-2018 at 02:46 PM.
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  #15  
Old 24-05-2018, 05:51 PM
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theodog (Jeff)
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This seems to be in response to a post that has been removed.

I'm sorry I don't understand Glen.

I have been into this "hobby" for about 35 years, and still am amazed with what I learn from others. I am not part of the "pop" anything, and many who know me will testify.

I have taught Astronomy to those from 5 (Kindy) to 85 (Adult Education) years old in a variety of professional positions including nearly 30 years as a High School Physics teacher. I have written research proposals that link High School education and astronomy long before the Faulkes, itelescope and the Swinbourne courses were conceived. I once resided on Siding Spring.

Last night I gave over 300 people a look at the Moon, Jupiter and moons, Saturn and Alpha Cent -from ages 18 months to 80 years. Many their first view at these objects. One retired lady had a telescope she had owned for 10 years and last night the moon was the first object she had seen through it.

That alone made my mind pop.

It is my guess that 3 hours of "Social media" generated TV has introduced more people to this hobby than all involved in this website combined.

Collect the ABC scopes from land fill, clean them up and give them to under-privileged kids that are interested in looking at the moon.


That I see as positive.

Last edited by theodog; 24-05-2018 at 05:56 PM. Reason: original post removed.
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  #16  
Old 24-05-2018, 06:08 PM
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Although I also found the show somewhat obnoxious it served a purpose, certainly, to get kids interested in something deeper than cartoons, and parents royal weddings.

My boy is just 3 going 4 and enjoys a 6x30 Finder as his “telescope” so each to their own IMHO. Anything, as long as it triggers some constructive thought about the real world around us.
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  #17  
Old 24-05-2018, 07:18 PM
Kunama (Matt)
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The event here in Canberra drew a crowd of about 6000 people to the Aust Nat Uni Oval. though most people were toting the ABC scopes, there were 'proper' scopes from my little FOA60 to a 20" F5 Dobsonian.

I estimate that at least 500 people took a look at the Moon and Jupiter through the big Dob, a sizeable number even took a look through the FOA and seemed to me that every other scope had at least a dozen people lined up to take a peek.

On the stage we had Brian Schmidt, Brad Tucker, Celine d'Orgeville, Charley Lineweaver et al.....

An event well worth attending....

Sure some of the show was more aimed the LCD but still very enjoyable....
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  #18  
Old 24-05-2018, 09:44 PM
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I now have about a dozen work colleagues interested in another dark sky viewing night with me as a result of last night.

Joe
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  #19  
Old 25-05-2018, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
Look I love astronomy and have done so for a long time, but it really "grinds my gears" to see masses of people holding little ABC logo'd scopes sitting under the glare of CBD lights, hoping to see something other than maybe the Moon.
Has the ABC commercialised astronomy for its own purposes, is this Star Wiz hosted by Julia Z? Many of those kids clutching those little ABC scopes will probably be put off forever. Just my 2 cents...
What say you?
You really don't want to know
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