There’s Just Something About CN Amateur Astronomers

Many times we become members of an online community hoping to find others that share a common hobby with us. I’d like to take this a step further in saying not only share, but to be courteous, friendly, and never to belittle a person no matter how silly or simplistic their questions may appear to those that are more experienced in the hobby. I’ve joined a few forums myself over the years where immediately I knew the community wasn’t for me. In particular, an aviation forum (back in my flying days) had members that would argue any post made regardless if they knew the topic well or not. Gardening forums (you’re probably wondering how a gardening forum could turn sour) where members, believe it or not, argued over compost mixtures and bed preparations.

It wasn’t until Paul found Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews that I finally felt a sense of comradery and welcomeness throughout an online community. I find that most amateur astronomers are generally a great bunch, but on Cloudy Nights, the gentle leadership of the administration team and the moderators quickly and quietly keep the squabbles to a minimum. Add that to the great membership (now over 50,769 registered users) and you have one of the most informative and supportive communities out there at your fingertips.

I’ve had the pleasure to meet face to face with a quite a few CN members over the past several years from around the world either through star parties, trade shows, or just to have dinner with them. Each time it feels like meeting up with an old friend. No matter what your walk of life, you have something special in common that draws you together…astronomy. People gladly share their experience, knowledge and equipment with each other, and in some instances, even our homes.

Sure we can discuss the likes of equipment or the universe, but what I’ve especially noticed is the good-hearted fun that everyone seems to have in the process. Stories are shared about the strange, suspicious looks we get from the neighbors while quietly sitting behind telescope outside alone in the dark (in my case, sitting with a cloth covering my head with a telescope pointed to the Sun) or the responses we hear after showing someone Saturn for the first time during outreach.

Most of the CN articles and reviews are of a more serious nature. But this morning, I stumbled upon a light-hearted article by Terrance Hannan that truly brings to light the spirit of the Cloudy Night’s community…just by reading their signature lines!

50 Cloudy Nights Signatures by Terrance Hannan

I’m very thankful for Cloudy Nights!

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~ by Erika Rix on July 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “There’s Just Something About CN Amateur Astronomers”

  1. Hi Erika,
    I totally agree. There are quite a few astronomy forums out there but none has the depth of knowledge and friendliness of CN. I quite like the Aussie forum Ice In Space and Our Dark Skies is nice too, if a little too quiet, but CN stands out as the best of them.
    Ok, a tiny minority try to spoil things with trolling, unpleasant remarks and flaming but the moderators try and stay on top of it as much as we can.
    Clear skies,
    Faith

  2. I totally agree, CN has become my go to forum when ever I need info on virtually anything.
    They were also virtually family like when my wife passed or I had to give away my Siberian Husky.
    I possibly more than many have benefited from my time on CN , I do out reach by rebuilding small telescopes and giving them away to local folks who dont have ,or cant afford to buy, a telescope.
    The CN folks have sent me tons of stuff. No where else could you find that kind of support.
    And more importantly, the friendships I have developed with some of the CN members.including you and Paul, ty much for all the help and support.
    Love your PCW web page by the way

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