posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:33 AM
Well, the thing is, the professional astronomers are usually focused on one tiny part of the sky for months, even years at a time. The
pros are looking deep into the Universe through these little windows the size of postage stamps. So they're not scanning the entire sky all
the time. Beyond that, the pros have to timeshare on the big telescopes — they're only given a certain amount of time to complete their
study of this or that.
Amateur astronomers, on the other hand, number in the millions all over the globe, they own their own telescopic equipment, and there's no
time limit on amateur skywatching. Most amateurs can't make the really deep sky observations, requiring time-lapse photography and precision
scope motion, but they can do an excellent job of scrutinizing our solar system while the pros are engaged in peering to the ends of the
I think the amateurs lead the pros in discoveries, actually, but credit for the discoveries seldom comes back to the amateurs. I've seen
amateur astronomers who captured some fascinating space images, but who were criticized and even insulted by the academics because of
what? Their technique? Their equipment? Their record-keeping?
There's a game of office politics within the professional astronomy community, and it's really childish sometimes. When you have this tremendous
resource of millions and millions of amateur astronomers, all of these eyes searching the sky, I think you should utilize that resource and
give credit where it's due.
We should all be looking up and out into space, in my opinion, because that's how we're going to identify and categorize the near-Earth
asteroids, right. Which should be a paramount concern.
— Doc Velocity