Kids and AP

If you were ever curious about the frustrations associated with teaching kids about amateur astronomy and AP, I can assure you the road is fraught with loads of patience and “you are going to have to just trust me on this one” type answers.

My daughter, now age 8, decided she wanted to go to her first star party back in November of 2014 (a small star party in Eldorado Texas). I gave her a list of targets and she chose the Wizard Nebula (Harry Potter?). Anyhow, we didn’t have the best luck getting data… my CCD has captured better images. We were plagued with brilliantly clear skies and… wait for it… low lying fog every night (creeping along the ground). Fighting the dew monster. Not the greatest data.

Regardless of this, she did everything herself (with some guidance and lifting of an NJP). It was captured, calibrated and processed and it only took 3 months! I was clear that I had no intent of doing this for her. We went through many frustrating nights of processing and this is her final result.

I know that this is like pulling out your wallet and saying “look at my kids” (eyes roll), but I promised her I would post it and I think she did a great job.

As a side note… if you ever forget the difficulty of AP, try teaching it to somebody without pressing any of the buttons yourself. Everyone in this hobby deserves a medal.


Great job! That is amazing! Congratulations to your daughter for such a fine work of art! All that hard work paid off with a beautiful image.


A stunning success. Hope we see many more!!!


Eight - Eight , did you forget the teen bit ? , I might as well give up will never catch her up :smile:


That’s awesome Ken! And congrats to your daughter. I remember meeting you and her out at ESP, but I didn’t know it was her idea to go to the star party and that she had her own imaging project. That’s really cool. I definitely think you should have her submit that for the AAS newsletter and the Reflector.


Congrats to your daughter and on your patience! Maybe I should think carefully before wishing my kids were more interested in AP and astronomy… :slight_smile:

I owe this money pit…er hobby…to my dad. He tried to get me into it when I was younger but I didn’t care. Now I look back and remember things like him running outside to see Haley’s Comet and me not caring (granted I was pretty young…but old enough to know what was going on). Also him setting up his 10" meade in the driveway to checkout Hale Bopp and I was also apathetic.

So keep trying…if nothing else it will have an affect on them and they’ll look back at those moments and realize they’ve missed some pretty big things :-/

FYI, this is my Dad, not me…but I look a lot like a younger version of him.

IMG_1228 (Large)


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This is why I wish we had signatures!

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