Why Clear Sky Tonight?

Clear Sky Tonight was an idea to create a website about astronomy.  The initial ideas were numerous.

I have always been interested in astronomy.  As a kid, I was interested in science in school, especially the planets and dinosaurs.  I lived on a hobby farm outside a medium size city so the night sky was pitch dark.  I do remember seeing the Milky Way whenever I was outside at night.  I made the typically planet mobile in grade school.  However, I never moved beyond studying about it.  I never got a telescope as a kid.

As an adult, I finally brought a telescope back in 1999.  It was a Meade ETX-90EC.  I got the case for it and a number of eyepieces.  But, I had moved to a big city for work after college and I couldn’t just go outside my apartment and look at the stars.  I kind of brought the telescope on a whim and it has sat ever since.

Recently, maybe with turning 40, I have realized that I really need to focus on a hobby outside of family and work.  Plus, I couldn’t have a bunch of hobbies because there just isn’t enough time in the week.  So, I did some thinking and I realized that astronomy had that draw as a kid and as a hobby, it also had other related components.

I had a SLR camera as a teenager.  Also, my undergrad degree was in architecture and photography was a good complement to architecture.  Astrophotography looks very interesting to me.  First, I don’t think I will be able to stay outside all night long looking through an eyepiece.  Though I want that thrill of seeing something with my own eye, I want to share it.  As I started to research the current state of astrophotography, I was amazed how technology driven it is.

My career is an IT Manager so I setup and maintain servers, networks and computers.  Astrophotography and telescopes do seem to have a major technology integration which is very interesting to me.  The idea of computer-controlled viewing is definitely something I want to explore.

So, after some thought, I realized my hobby of choice should be astronomy.  It fit many of my interests and skills.  But, how does this relate to Clear Sky Tonight?  As someone who saw the Internet and specially the World Wide Web come into being, creating a website to share my astronomy experience seemed a prefect endeavor.  Plus, maybe someone who also is interested in astronomy can learn from my experiences and jump ahead in their hobby.

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