I am a video observer!

From: Derek C Breit (breit_ideas@hotmail.com)
Date: Sat Feb 07 2009 - 15:55:32 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "Re: I am a video observer!"

     (Why won't this thread, even renamed, just DIE!  OK Fine..)
     Hello There...
     Being an elitist with large aperture, I use video for tons of reasons..
    -The occulars don't fog up..
    -The record of the event is permanent.
    -The record can be processed in various forms.. It can be measured, timed,
    stacked into a high S/N still, or made into a lower resolution video for
    posting onto the website..
    -Multiple viewers can view the same object at the same time.
    -it removes errors from being cold and sleep deprived.
    -it can catch a surprise that a visual observer would have little hope of
    doing anything useful with, whereas I can later figure out the what, when,
    and where at a later date..
    -When someone says "your observation is 'off' ", I can respond "Yep!.. 'Off'
    of video!"
    I could go on.. But you get the point..
    "But Derek.. You're an elitist, with your big scope, and your fancy video
    and timing gear.. Us "average" people can't afford such things!"
    I got news for ya.. Neither can I.. I have less financial wherewithal than
    ANYONE reading this message..
    I inherited money and bought the 12" and the ST7.. All my cameras, timers,
    etc, have been *gifts* or *donations*..
    "Yeah Right!.. People just give you stuff! C'mon.. Put the pipe down, Man!"
    Ah yes.. There is a catch.. You have to expend the effort to become
    "better". Maybe observing when you are not so comfortable, like at 3 AM..
    Most importantly, you have to love what you are doing! If you have "the
    Bug", you will strive to improve.. 
    An Example..
    Your outside with your spiffy wristwatch and you see the one satellite you
    can ID heading for Sirius, the one object you know.. You watch and gleefully
    shout to the world.. "The ISS passed over Sirius at 7:31:18 PM" and you are
    quite pleased with yourself until you hear.. "That time is 9 seconds off"
    Two things can happen.. 1) You can quit, feeling it is too hard or that you
    were insulted..
    Or 2) You can *WONDER*.. "I wonder if my watch was off?"... "I wonder why it
    was late?".. 
    or my personal favorite, "I wonder what else I can see??"..
    So you improve your timebase, and progress thru some optics.. Binoculars,
    Little scopes, big scopes, you hold some glass together to see if it would
    help.. You learn the stars, buying star atlases, and computer software..
    You strive to improve. Someday, somewhere, someone might say, "Good Work!"
    and you burst forth with all you know on the subject.. The response could
    well be.. 
    "Kid.. I have this camera here I haven't used in years. Do you think you can
    use this?"
    That is a red letter day.. A Day you too, can be called an Elitest.. 
    Thank You.. I believe Galileo was an Elitest too, with his fancy new fangled
     PS.. Everyone finds there level, whether naked eye, binoculars, or a small
    or large telescope, and does the amount of work they want to... Are a
    100,000 visual obs better than 1,000 video observations?? Who put in more
    What's the difference, when both observers love what they are doing and
    doing it as well as they can???
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