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Stargazing Are there astronomy competitions?

  1. Mar 11, 2015 #1
    I run an astronomy club at my school, and I recently discovered that the robotics club gets $2000 from the school every year to build a robot. They then go on to compete in tournaments with that robot, so that justifies the $2000.

    It would be great if I could get the school to give us $2000 to buy a really nice telescope, but of course we would need to compete in some kind of competition or find some other way to make the telescope beneficial for the entire school. There's the obvious benefit of learning and experience and all that that goes along with owning and operating the telescope, but they need something more tangible like the award that could come from a competition.

    So what I'm asking is, are there any sort of Astronomy Competitions that we could compete in that we could use such a telescope for? Or some other way to rationalize the purchase of the telescope?

    I am a student, and here's the telescope I was thinking of:

    and then I was thinking we would get it rigged up to a gps thing, computer and monitor, if that's possible, and then maybe get the university (my high school is located on a university campus) to provide us with a dome of some sort. But that's all next step if we can even get the school to give us the money.

    Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2015 #2
    All I can think of is the Astronomy Olympiad, but that doesn't have you looking through a telescope. http://www.usaaao.org/

    Have you approached your supervisor or principal and ask for ideas or solutions?
  4. Mar 12, 2015 #3


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    Competitions would be difficult, as observations typically take a long time and are extremely dependent on location and weather. I can't think of any real competitions off the top of my head.
  5. Mar 12, 2015 #4


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    This seems a strange idea... Competitive astronomy ?
    But maybe you could find another way to make it interesting for everyone, perhaps organize an open night where members of the club show everyone the sky, visually and through the scope. You could time it to coincide with some interesting astronomical happening. Or maybe do some presentation about celestial mechanics. Or something else educational to let others get a glimpse of what there's to see. Or you could run some kind of observing program with your scope and display the pictures with a presentation... Just some thoughts...

    Edit : just saw the scope you're considering is mostly a visual instrument, so strike the idea about pics, but the rest stand I think.
    You might also want to consider something like an 8" computerized SCT which would have more potential for pictures and scientific observations, while still providing nice views visually.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  6. Mar 12, 2015 #5
    That looks interesting, I'll look into it. Thanks for pointing it out! I haven't spoken to my supervisor yet, but I will first chance I get

    EDIT: I meant for this to be a reply to Greg Bernhardt by the way
  7. Mar 12, 2015 #6
    It does seem strange, but I remember seeing an article titled "super bowl of astronomy" or something like that awhile back, and I didn't read the article but I assumed it was some sort of competition. Those are all good ideas, I could present those to my supervisor and see what he says.

    Also for the telescope, is it not possible to get some sort of adapter to connect a DSLR camera to the telescope? Would this do that? http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Revelation_T_Adaptor_1_25__.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Mar 12, 2015 #7


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    Yes, that's a T-ring adaptor, I have one for my Pentax camera. Still haven't got around to getting one for my Canon camera

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Mar 13, 2015 #8


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    Certainly, you can take pictures with this telescope. Its photographic capabilities are however limited by its dobsonian mount, which does not provide for easy tracking. Most targets suchs as nebulas, galaxies, etc, being quite faint require exposure times from several mimutes to several hours, so accurately tracking the target is essential.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  10. Mar 13, 2015 #9


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  11. Mar 13, 2015 #10


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    I didn't know about this, must say it looks like an excellent ressource, I see they have lots of concrete suggestions about activities you might set your club to - activities that should be of interest to the school.
  12. Mar 14, 2015 #11
    Yeah, it is great. Wish in my country existed such club. But even now there is no big interest in astronomy here. =_=
  13. Feb 25, 2017 #12
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