This is an account of my personal journey started & nurtured in youth, beginning with looking up at the night sky, & ending with the black art that is imaging. It will either lead you, gently through the site or scare you away forever!
When I was young, I was interested in dinosaurs, fairies & the planets, as I think a lot of children are……….. or were, most boys probably replaced fairies with action man or something, yes i know its different now days!
As I grew older I read many books on astronomy & when I discovered Fred Hoyle’s “The Nature of the Universe”, I was hooked.
After reading numerous books, I could have told you all the main star’s magnitudes, colours & temperatures, all about spectroscopy, the action going on in our Sun, the kinds of different galaxies etc etc.
All I read were books on astronomy, or science fiction
As I grew older, dancing, socialising & boys, took over & astronomy was put on the back burner, although I was always interested in various astronomical milestones that would appear on TV, or in the newspapers.
I then went to night school, for astronomy, once a week, so my interest was always reawakened, every so often.
One day a neighbour stopped me & told me she had read that the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich , was running a GCSE course in astronomy. I signed up, took the course, & then, soon after, discovered the Orpington society, which I joined.
I soon got interested in the imaging side. I had always liked photography & had always spent ages getting the composition right for my holiday or nature photo’s.
After having some practice with, my first scope, an 8” Orion Europa, I remember someone asking me, on one of my first observing nights, if the scope was polar aligned & I said yes. No wonder I could not find anything as all I had done was point the Orion north, not properly aligned it! Oh so much more to learn!!!!