posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 06:09 PM
Amateur astronomy can be a fun but frustrating hobby, depending on what you expect and how much money you have.
The frustrating parts are...
1. How expensive everything is. A really decent telescope that you would actually want to use and wouldn't quickly get tired of will probably be a
thousand dollars (US) right off the bat.
2. Light pollution. It really depends on where you live but in general, if you live somewhere where everything is convenient, there will probably be a
million street lights nearby all blasting their light into the sky and making sure you can't see anything but the moon and maybe Jupiter on a good
night. Basically, if you live in or near a big city, you will probably have to drive out somewhere away from the lights every time you want to
observe. It might not seem like a bad thing but it gets old fast.
3. The weather. Where I live in the US, the clearest skies are to be had on the coldest nights. Not sure why that is but it just is. You'll freeze
your butt off just setting up your telescope. And then if you start observing and realize it's way too cold, you wasted all that time and effort
driving to a dark spot and freezing your butt off setting up the telescope. And of course, there's things like rain and clouds and bugs (in warmer
4. Amateur astronomy isn't all that common of a hobby and depending on where you live, people might think you're weird. Or you just might feel weird
if you know people can see you where you are.
5. Anything better than a basic telescope is going to be REALLY expensive. It's a one time expense but you could easily spend as much as you would on
a cheap used car. Now in their defense, a lot of the companies that make these things tend to include almost anything you could possibly need in their
nicer telescope kits but if you want some kind of accessory that's a little unusual you might have to buy it and it might not be cheap.
6. When it comes to telescopes. the size of the objective lens (or mirror) is the main thing. Almost nobody wants a little telescope. If you have to
choose only one instrument, you'll probably want something big. Big as in BULKY and hard to transport.
7. When you start wanting to get into things like astrophotography, the prices really go up. If you don't want a cheap telescope you really don't want
cheap photographic equipment.
In short, it's a constant struggle with money, time, weather, people and everything else you can think of. I gave up on it 20 years ago. You can get
a nicer telescope cheaper now than you could then but if you're poor, forget about it. Buy yourself a decent pair of binoculars and you can see a lot
with that for not that much money. At least if you find it isn't for you you won't feel like you spent a lot of money for nothing. I imagine a used
telescope would be very difficult to sell.