3 comments on “Amateur astronomy and minimalism

  1. While I cannot claim to follow minimalist philosophy, I can certainly claim to minimalist tendencies in many things. Amateur Astronomy is one of those. I, too, enjoy viewing with a simple Dobsonian telescope or Binoculars. I use two electronic aids – a green laser to help me with my starhopping and a red-dot finder on the telescope. But I eschew dew heaters, tracking motors and goto computers. It's not that I oppose them. In fact, I sometimes ask one of my fellows with a goto scope to slew to an object I've found so that I can confirm it. But I get so much satisfaction from tracking by hand. And sometimes I'll just recline and enjoy the beauty. Nice to find a kindred soul.

  2. I like the bare-bones approach also. Always have. I can be set up and observing in less than ten minutes and this always draws good natured ire from my fellow stargazers who are still unpacking, assembling, or waiting on alignment stars. Nothing wrong with the more complicated approach but its not for me. Beauty in simplicity. And we learn the sky. Many times late in a session you’ll hear a servo wind down followed by not so kind words about a power supply. This is followed by, “Fred. how do you use these setting circles again?” My time for the ribbing then.

    Great posting.


    Birmingham, Alabama USA

    • Hello Fred! Any many thanks for commenting! I have had many similar experiences here in Finland with my observing buddies, that I can set-up my visual Dobson within couple of minutes, and the others are still tuning their equipment for a good while after I’m already observing!

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