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7 Great Discoveries by Amateur Astronomers

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posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 11:44 PM
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Isnt it amazing that with something so amazing and important such as our Universe, that an everyday Joe can still make an amazing discovery that can rock the Scientific world.

From the recent scar appearing on Jupiter to the discovery of Uranus, the amateurs have much to be proud of in the astronomy world!!

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:33 AM
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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 Universe.

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



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