Talk:Amateur astronomy

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Old talk[edit]

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Night sky redirects to Amateur astronomy, is that correct, or is there a better place we could point it to? Edward 12:57, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm tempted to agree -- Night Sky should probably be a page on its own. Izogi 02:37, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Done. It's only a stub at the moment, of course. Izogi 04:16, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

New article Skygazing[edit]

Please note the new article Skygazing, a translation of fr:'s featured articled fr:Observation du ciel. Both articles should linked each other and perhaps a merge be considered. --Pjacobi 15:20, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Good idea -- I'll add a template to the articles. Izogi 07:14, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
It looks like Amateur astronomy and Skygazing are both well developed articles. Which one should be the "main" article into which the other one should be merged? 18:01, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
My opinion is that Amateur astronomy would better be the main since it has a more conventional article name/title. --BorgQueen 22:14, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Amateur astronomy should be the main article since it is the name of the hobby as understood by most people and the most professionally sounding name for it as opposed to skygazing, stargazing or something else like it--Kalsermar 01:58, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Skygazing isn't a commonly used term in most astronomical circles as the term "stargazing" is much more often used. As a result I'd vote that amateur astronomy be the main article. Andromeda321 03:01, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that Amateur astronomy should be the title of a merged article. I think that both articles have excellent information, and that it's very important that a merge be done carefully in order to preserve everything that's relevant. --DannyZ 06:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I actually created the original Stargazing page a year or so ago but it's been redone into a page about a band. Blah. Combining Skygazing with Amateur Astronomy would be good and would probably be better to keep the Amateur Astronomy name. --fboyd 06:44, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

What about ...[edit]

It sounds as if there's a lot of support for merging Skygazing with Amateur astronomy. I partly agree with merging the articles (my thoughts have changed as detailed below), preferably to here, but there are at least a couple of considerations that I think should be taken into account before this happens:

  1. To me, the Skygazing article reads more as if it's a publicity drive for amateur astronomy than an actual description of what it is. It'd be good for a library book, but I'm not sure if it's ideal as a descriptive article about amateur astronomy. The words and phrases used are artistic rather than direct and straightforward, and just by being so, it's arguably not written with a very neutral point of view. Skygazing is also written from a very instructional stance that assumes the reader wants to try astronomy instead of simply find out what it is. (Phrases like "We can" and "you can" that are used frequently really emphasise this.)
  2. This is in many ways related to the previous point. In my opinion at least, some of the sections listed in Skygazing don't directly belong in Amateur astronomy, beyond a mention. This is mostly because the bulk of the text in Skygazing that isn't already detailed on a more specific page tends to be simply instructional, telling people how they can do certain things instead of explaining what they are. eg. Text that explains things like what a Lunar Crater is might be of interest to someone who wants to do some amateur astronomy, but it's not really of interest to someone who wants to find out what amateur astronomy is. Besides, if someone—amateur astronomer or otherwise—wants to find out what a Lunar Crater is, the information about it is in the Impact crater article. If there's anything new in the Skygazing article, then that's where it should be merged to. Ditto with planets, constellations, and a lot of other things.

Having finished writing this, I'm now wondering if Skygazing should be merged with Amateur astronomy at all. A better action might be to rename it to something like How to get started in amateur astronomy, and then refer to it from here in the See also section.

I really don't want to criticise the Skygazing writing, because it's clearly been translated well, and reads nicely. I just think it reads a bit too instructional to be a descriptive article about amateur astronomy. The amateur astronomy article used to be like this in a few ways, and I rewrote at least some parts of it when I did a lot of refactoring of it some time ago. I'm fully aware that opinions are likely to vary on this, and I'm interested to see what people think.


Izogi 02:44, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. Both articles do a nice job of covering their respective subjects, but there's too much that does not overlap to make a merge practical. I wonder whether the suggestion to merge was done in the first place because of the title of Skygazing. Find a way to rename the Skygazing article that does justice to it. Not "How to get started in amateur astronomy," though, because WP:NOT an instruction manual.

I do not agree that the Skygazing article is well developed. There are articles about solar observing under the "naked-eye" heading and an outright false statement about observing sunspots with a telescope. In addition, the formatting of the pictures and text is visually distracting. Not that I could do any better with the layout but the discussion about daytime observing is outright dangerous to the naive. David

David, I added a safety note, you can see below this section that i suggested one be added a couple of months back, but almost nothing has been done to the article since, as it is likely to be a wasted effort, with deletion or severe cutting in the wings.moza 22:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

The base meaning of the article title is sky[edit]

If skygazing can be done during the day then i need to understand how that is a subset of astronomy. I like the article but it requires re-naming if it is exclusively astronomy, but can remain the same if it includes weather, clouds, ice crystals, vapour trails, and other day time sky/atmospheric optical phenomena. Rainbows, halos, etc are sun related, and have a clear link to astronomy. moza 14:40, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

further thoughts; If the purely astronomical components (ie space content viewed through the sky) can be integrated into the astronomy articles, then the nearer sky objects/effects that are not really space, could stay? where is the dividing line, is it at some altitude that sky becomes space? Isn't it ALL skygazing, and then day/night sky/space become the subsets? there should be a warning though, skygazing for clouds and optical effects can be hazadous, the UV can burn the eyes, I know because it just happened to me, after 10 days of awesome clouds, iridation, halos, etc, i had the pain and irritation like sand in my eyes, welders get it as well, called 'arc burn'. moza 10:10, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Skygazing should be deleted[edit]

A quick perusal of Google brings up no significant links to Skygazing. Skygazing is basically a slang term for astronomy. It is not any defined field in the English language. It is not even a word in some English dictionarys. Large sections of the Skygazing article are redundant; they cover parts that are already entries on their own in Wikipedia (i.e. atmospheric phenomena types, astronomical object types, telescope types. ect). It is full of inaccuracies and incorrect terms. The section/subsection structure of the whole article needs a lot of work. I am not sure this work should even be done. It has some informative sections but those parts seem to violate the "do not instruct" policy of Wikipedia (Wikipedia: What Wikipedia is not). I really think "Skygazing" should be redirected to Amateur Astronomy and parts of the Skygazing article it should be added to the relevant articles. Halfblue 23:44, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree with this. For consistency, though, I also think the Beginning in amateur astronomy section of this article needs re-writing or removing. It's very instructional. It used to make up most of the article, and I left it there some time ago when I wrote a lot of other parts around it. Parts of it might be able to be re-written to be less instructional, but I wonder if now it might be time to just do away with large parts of it entirely. Izogi 06:22, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with deletion and thats probably because I AM A SKYGAZER for many years, but I accept that the article is far less than satisfactory and yes most of it is redundant and in need of work. But there are plenty of processes to take care of that; peer review? perhaps just get someone who wants it to stay to write new content? thats probably the hard part. much easier to delete and feel warm fuzzies.. I am trying hard to understand though, how you equate skygazing with astronomy? perhaps checkout the sky sometime and you might see quite a lot of noy very astro stuff going on. I would think that the term skygazing is quite easy to understand, and writing an article with content that is literally about gazing at the sky could eb fairly simple and straightforward, so i regard all this chatter as some sort of diversion from the real issues, which could be that there is a lot of work to clean it up, but might be just that we dont wanna get entangled, so how about its simplified down to a list of points, we debate those, vote if really necessary, and we get in their and execute them. How about moving all the astro content to relevant astro pages, and leave non-astro skygazing content, as a simplifying exercise. will anyone squeal if i do that? my favorite skygazing website is MetVUW around a million hits a week, and possibly the best world site, certainly referenced by NASA I am thinking that many people less priviledged than you and I are skygazers, for survival reasons, but even less are astronomers. Let s at least agree that the article needs to be fixed when someone can be bothered.moza 12:49, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
It turns out there are 17k returns for skygazing in wiki but it maybe of interest that the Robert Moses State Park actually has an official permit; "SEE DIRECTIONS BELOW MAP, REMEMBER, TO OBSERVE YOU MUST HAVE A SKYGAZING PERMIT! To obtain a permit, call the "Permit Department" at (631)669-1000." [1]. There is also a book, 40 years old now, "Telescopes for Skygazing Paul H American Photograpic Garden City 1966 160pages" [2]. So lets not denigrate the term anymore, please.moza 13:20, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think anyone is denigrating the term. The problem is it’s an imprecise term. The precise term for most of the activates listed in the article Skygazing is Amateur Astronomy. The header paragraph of the article describes Amateur Astronomy. You can find citations of "Skygazing" on Google but most of those are shorthand for Amateur Astronomy. Get my drift? For Skygazing to survive as a separate article there needs to be proof that it is separate and distinct from Amateur astronomy, Meteorological phenomena, ect. On the face of it perusing the article I would say Skygazing is just a description of Amateur astronomy with some meteorological stuff thrown in. That makes it redundant and a candidate for deletion and or redirection. 20:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Skygazing is just a subsection of amateur astronomy (generally using your eyes and visible light, and excluding e.g. amateur radio astronomy). I think the material should just be included in the amateur astronomy page. Rnt20 12:35, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Movement of main template[edit]

The astronomical society article looks more like a list of links than something that describes the topic with more detail than this article, so I've replaced the main-article template that User:Joeblakesley added with an inline wiki link. To me at least, it reads batter this way, but happy to discuss as always. Izogi 08:16, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe missing a section: History of Amateur Astronomy[edit]

Reading and re-reading the article, I think that most of the Beginning in amateur astronomy section reads as superfluous, and it only seems to be there because it always was since very early on. That section is very instructional and promotional, the suggested reading is a random collection of unverified personal favourites that random people have added over time, and the whole section doesn't really fit well with Wikipedia in general, in my opinion. In it, the article suddenly jumps from explaining what Amateur Astronomy is to telling people how to do it, and it doesn't read well. (If that information is to go anywhere, it should be in a separate article titled something like How to get started in amateur astronomy.

I also wonder if there's an entire section missing about the history of amateur astronomy. Without going into detail, for instance, such a section could glaze over some of the ancient civilisations, more recent self-funded amateurs such as Tycho Brahe (at least I think he was self-funded, from memory), perhaps getting to things like amateur observations of the Moon before recent expeditions and equipment made the majority of that work redundant. It's really only very recently that amateurs have become overshadowed (but not extinguished) by professionals, and I think there's a lot of scope for a major section of the article to summarise a lot of this history, perhaps giving the article a bit of what it seems to be missing at the moment. Izogi 10:52, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes this sounds good. Even relatively recent amateur astronomers have sometimes had a big impact -- e.g. Karl Guthe Jansky. Actually, Category:Amateur astronomers is a good place to start.
A historical context would help. I added one to Amateur telescope making but that hobby had some clearly definable foundations as a "hobby". The problem I am trying to get around for Amateur Astronomy is does the lack of "professionals" in the field early on mean the people in it could be described as "amateurs"? A lot of early scientific work was done by self taught gentlemen/nobility who had the time and money to fund their own research (like the example given Tycho Brahe), but that was the way "professional" science was done back then and seems to be different from the term "amateur" used in this article. <----hmmm modify that and it may make a good intro paragraph ;^) Halfblue 12:41, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Rnt20 12:34, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Looking for a good photo[edit]

Does anyone have a good photo of amateur astronomers in action? I was thinking of perhaps one of those dusk photos with silhouettes of people walking around telescopes. The current photos are just photos, which could really be used to demonstrate anything, but imho it'd be great to open with a photo showing amateur astronomers in action. Izogi 10:13, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Added one fresh off a Perseid party (Astronomy Amateur 3 V2.jpg). Hope it fits what you were thinking of. Halfblue 05:19, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
That's exactly what I had in mind -- thanks for going to the effort. Izogi 07:41, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't want to be unpolite, but there are details in this picture that makes me wonder if it is a photomontage. If that is the case, the associated caption would be misleading. Aldo L (talk) 17:38, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Refactoring effort[edit]

I hope nobody minds me attempting a somewhat substantial refactoring effort. I've never thought the headings were quite right and were dividing things up where they'd go better together, so I've removed a whole lot of sub-sections. (Perhaps once it's all refactored nicely, it might be easier to divide it up better.) I think I've left all the information in there, but please feel welcome to edit (or comment) if you think otherwise.

Also, what would people think if we removed the Beginning in amateur astronomy section entirely? Whenever I read it, it reads very badly like instructionalism, and I think that distracts from the whole article. A lot of the content could and probably should be re-written and merged with other sections (so wouldn't be lost), but I think it needs some serious fixing all the same. Izogi 10:53, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Support - I think its fantastic having someone fixing it up. Youre quite right, and it needs it.moza 01:42, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I think I have the main part of what I wanted done, and hopefully I haven't offended too many people. Some significant parts of the text didn't survive, but in my view they were plainly subjective. (eg. You should get this type of telescope, and you'll do better to try star hopping before a GOTO, etc etc.) I'll probably continue to play with reformatting the remaining text in the next short while.

The further reading section[edit]

It's probably worth noting that I've not bothered trying to save the Related reading section at all (formerly Suggested reading). Most of the books that were listed seemed to be just a tiny part of the vast range of beginning astronomy books that are out there, and I'm not sure how to justify listing a few of them without listing everything. Plus, looking at the evolution of this article over time, I think that section might have simply become a repository for people to enter their favourite book of the week, rather than something that justifiably belongs as part of the article. How do people feel about this? I'm not really averse to having a list of books as a concept, but I do think that anything there should be a seriously stand-out book. Otherwise it should really be in an article called something like List of amateur astronomy books. Izogi 04:16, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I agree with the idea of moving the list of books to a separate article, as long as there is link to that article in this one. I have taken the liberty of creating a new article with the title you suggested and transferring the book list exactly as it appeared here to the new article. I have also added a link to the new article in the "See also" section here. This is really a suggestion only, so feel free to go with this idea, re-work it, or delete it. If the list article stands, I would encourage people to add appropriate titles there. -- DannyZ 01:47, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Hi DannyZ -- thanks for taking the initiative to do this. Izogi 00:49, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
The List of amateur astronomy books page has been PROD'd, so I took the liberty of merging the books back onto this page to maintain the information. The list looks pretty decent to me, at least in terms of quality. There are comparable lists of useful reading on other pages. But if you want to remove my addition, I have no objection. :-) — RJH (talk) 21:54, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the thoughts. I'm not so much against having a list of additional reading as a concept, but I do think that simply having it, as an itemised list, invites people who pass through to just add their favourite books. There are so many books about amateur astronomy (especially getting started books), that a lot of them don't get more than a single print run, perhaps get given to lots of people as birthday presents, and then dissappear and become difficult to track down, verify, and whatever else. I guess my main concern is that the list could get uncomfortably long and messy, and difficult to manage and verify, and to me it'd seemed that this was what was happening. The best thing about having a separate article is that if it's going to get messy, at least it'd happen over there. :) (It's not exactly the way that Wikipedia's supposed to work, though, hence someone nominating it for deletion.)
I'm not 100% sure how to fix this problem (short of not having such a section at all), but personally, I think the best guideline for why a book should be listed, short of being worthy of having its own article, might be that the article could cite some information from it as an authoritarian source. This way it's absolutely clear why it's worthy of being listed, and it means that if someone finds a better, more authoritarian source, they can replace the citation with a better book that covers the same topic. But then it'd go into a References section instead of a Further reading section. It'd be nice to hear what other people think. Izogi 22:37, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

David Levy and amateurism[edit]

An anonymous user has recently added a section for famous amateur astronomers, one of whom is David H. Levy.

I have a lot of respect for David Levy, but is he really an amateur in the normal sense? I know he goes to a lot of amateur astronomy meetings and maybe he'd consider himself an amateur astronomer at times if asked, but I'd always thought his main contributions had been more professional. He certainly seems to make what I'm guessing is at least a large portion of his money from his astronomy-related work. (Books, radio show maybe?, lectures, interviews, columns, etc.) His resume on his website lists an impressive number of boards he serves on, and sizable number of publications (research and otherwise), most of which I presume he's been paid to produce in some way. Or is all of this just brought on by fame for having done so much as an amateur astronomer? He doesn't exactly seem like a professional in the regular sense, either. Izogi 04:42, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Interesting photos of amateur astronomers[edit]

I've just removed a couple of images from the article which seemed to be more about particular objects in the sky rather than characterising amateur astronomers. They weren't bad images, but could just as easily fit on at least several other articles. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, and I wouldn't be really offended if someone wants to put them back. More broadly though, I was hoping to make some more space for pictures which I think might fit better. Examples would be photos that are more directly related to the characteristics of amateur astronomy, and would help to differentiate it from everything else space-related. eg. Does anyone happen to have an photo of a typical back yard observatory that might demonstrate the sorts of equipment amateurs often work with? Izogi 02:42, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

External link things[edit]

What do people think about external links in this article? I'd kind of like to just purge most of what's there at the moment, but it seems like that'd be quite a dramatic thing to do without consulting. Wikipedia has an unofficial style guide (see WP:External links) which in essense indicates that external links should try to be specific to sites that elaborate on what the article talks about (but possibly cover things that aren't in the article). Since the article's not supposed to be instructional as per other policies, I'm not sure we should really be linking to sites that are inherently instructional. (eg. How to buy your first telescope) The style guide also indicates that links to things like forums and commercial sites should generally be avoided unless there's a clearly obvious reason to link there, and I tend to agree. Izogi 23:44, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm, well I've cut out some of the links and I think what's there now looks about right (in my opinion), although I'm still not 100% sure about the Society for Popular Astronomy. Basically it's links to the biggest communities for three different areas of amateur astronomy. I've removed a heap of other links on the grounds that they should go in other articles that are more specific (if anywhere), that they're very instructional, that they're forums, or that the linked topic is already represented through another more prominent link. Any thoughts? Izogi 09:00, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
A spam attack by someone promoting an astronomical Wiki brought these links to my attention. I have removed pretty much all of the current ones because they do not link specific information re:amateur astronomy. The ones that are notable I include below in case someone has a very good reason to re-include them:
These could (and may) have their own articles... if so they could be a "See also" inclusions but by Wikipedia's definition of and external link (more specifically what should not be linked) these don't belong in "External links" since they only seem to serve the roll of a "directory". Fountains of Bryn Mawr 06:11, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Found that 3 of the above Amateur Astronomy organization had Wikipedia articles so linked them in See also. Fountains of Bryn Mawr 00:34, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

The GoTo debate?[edit]

Removed the whole section to talk because there is no reference as to whether such a debate even exists... so no way to tell if parts of this section are just some editors opinion. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 02:03, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

The GoTo debate

Since the early 1990s, the amateur astronomy community has engaged in some debate, usually light-hearted, about which method is superior. Some astronomers argue that beginning with the lower end of technology and using star hopping techniques is an excellent method of learning the sky, and that a good knowledge of the night sky can be advantageous for people who prefer simpler equipment with less calibration and setup time, and is therefore more versatile. Star hopping involves the use of printed media that is dependent on computer generated sources. The user prints out star maps at home or uses books, atlases, and magazine articles that have computer generated graphics in them to aid in the quest to find an object.

GOTO telescopes, on the other hand, do make the hobby more accessible. They may be preferred by people who are more serious about studying objects, because less time and effort are required for finding objects when they are well prepared. But digital setting circle or go-to systems also provide touring functions whereby the user can set parameters such as magnitude and class of object, and, for example, view a series of planetary nebulae in Cygnus. A user who has discovered that his list of close double stars is impossible to view because of the seeing conditions can select an alternative viewing program within minutes. Many middle-aged and older amateur astronomers discovered that electronic pointing systems not only were convenient but spared them the difficult postures and associated aches and pains that go with pointing a telescope at the zenith (with the common straight-through finder) or near to the horizon (on elevated mounts the finder can be out of reach). The explosion of astrophotography, in which a webcam or CCD camera is mounted on a telescope and downloads data to a nearby laptop, further enhanced demand for robotic systems that would point the telescope while the operator could stay seated and set imaging parameters.

Plausible, uncitable, ridiculous and pretty irrelevant. Good move: be blessed. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 15:17, 4 April 2011 (UTC)


The page Skygazing now redirects to Amateur astronomy per decision at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Skygazing. The old Skygazing page has also been transwiki imported to Wikiversity at v:Skygazing to develop it into a learning project there. --mikeu talk 20:45, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Anthony Wesley[edit]

May not be notable per WP:BLP1E. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 13:08, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Anthony Wesley is no longer a one hit wonder. -- Kheider (talk) 01:13, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Wish List additions[edit]

  1. Amateur Radio Astronomy (if exists)
  2. More about photography and imaging.

Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 15:21, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

For Radio Astronomy:
  5. continue at g8gle
Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 15:25, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Re "photography and imaging" - there is Astrophotography which contains a large section on "Amateur astrophotography", something like that? Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 23:33, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Then "Astrophotography" is pretty much fulfilled, except possibly add some little more references in section Imaging techniques. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 06:23, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Merge various websites and other resources of amature astronomy[edit]

I'm thinking that many standalone articles on individual astonomy websites, and on the List_of_astronomy_websites itself, are untenable. They simply don't have sufficient coverage, in terms of discussion of the website as a topic of its own. This should not mean deletion. Just because an article doesn't warrant a standalone article doesn't mean that wikipedia shouldn't provide coverage. The solution I see is to merge these resources to here. It seems to me that they are all resources particular to amateur astronomy. Please see Talk:List_of_astronomy_websites#or_merge. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:37, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Such a list (and putting it here) falls under WP:NOTDIRECTORY. Amateur astronomy is an article that describes amateur astronomy, it should not be used as a directory or resource to find amateur astronomy or find "astronomy". The links in question also fall under WP:NOTDIRECTORY #1 "Lists or repositories of loosely associated topics"... This topic is "Amateur astronomy", the linked articles are "Astronomy". Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 19:12, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
What your saying is right, but simply copying the list to here is not really what I mean. Putting lists into articles is weak article writing. The exisiting list at the bottom titled “Amateur astronomy organizations” is also poor in that respect.

I propose a section titled “Resources for amateur astronomy”. This section should be written in prose. It should describe the resources that others (eg popular magazines) have commented on as resources for amateur astonomy. Several of the websites in the current list should merit mention. Any amateur astonomy website that is not worth even a mention at amateur astronomy does not merit a standalone article, which means that it doesn’t merit listing in a list article. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

The problem is Wikipedia is not a "How-to". "Resources for amateur astronomy" sounds like "Resources on how to conduct amateur astronomy", unless I am missing something. WP:NOT recommends Alternative outlets for such things and I have seen those linked at the bottom of Wikipedia articles. If we are talking about "Resources known to be used by amateur astronomers" that could fly..... but it would need source(s) stating these are common resources used, and something used is a "tool", so it sounds like it would just be a short paragraph on the "Common tools" section. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 01:40, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
One problem I am seeing is that only one of the websites listed at "List_of_astronomy_websites" has anything to do with observational amateur astronomy. The rest are Astronomy news sites of one type or another so are "Astronomy", not "amateur astronomy" --- unless we are reclassifying "amateur astronomer" as someone who sits in front of a computer screen and reads about astronomy... which it could be.Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 01:50, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we need to steer clear of “how-to” concerns. Also, we don’t want to get involved with popular forums.

Prominent resources discussed as being used by [amateur] astonomers is an idea that could fly.

I predict that most of the content at List_of_astronomy_websites will eventually be deleted or lost to the history behind a redirect. When I said “merge”, I think “selectively” needs to be inserted. My intent here is to see if there’s something to be captured before that happens.

I think an amateur astronomer is, at a minimum, someone who regularly and deliberately looks through a telescope into space for specific things. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:56, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Replace "Amateur astronomy organizations" with a link to List of astronomical societies[edit]

I cannot see the purpose of the section "Amateur astronomy organizations" in this article. It is just a subset of the more complete list which already exists at List of astronomical societies, and which is linked from many other articles. I recommend removing that section from this article, and replacing it with a redirection to the List of astronomical societies. Thoughts? Comments? Alternative suggestions? --Gronk Oz (talk) 02:19, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. The stand alone list and this list will never be anything more than redundant. So this list should be deleted. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 15:10, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done I have integrated the entries from this list into List of astronomical societies, and put links here to that list instead. That should make maintenance easier. --Gronk Oz (talk) 01:38, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

New section on public outreach and education activities?[edit]

Most of the amateur astronomical societies which I have been involved with count their outreach and public education activities as a key objective. They hold open viewing nights, give public talks, arrange to visit schools, scouts and other community groups to bring along a few telescopes so people can have a look at the sky. Of course, I can't tell how widespread that kind of activity is around the world-wide community so I am asking for comments: is it worth adding a section about outreach/education to this article? --Gronk Oz (talk) 01:45, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

List of amateur astronomers: notability issues?[edit]

This is a little awkward to bring up, but in this section, the article links to a list of amateur astronomers with biographical Wikipedia pages. I glanced at some of these biographies, and I don't think some of them satisfy Wikipedia's notability criteria. For example, I spotted a few that did nothing more than list the person's equipment, observing awards, and history with amateur astronomy. There's very little in this information that's noteworthy. Moreover, I'm fairly sure that some of them are autobiographical, based on the IP addresses and/or usernames of the page creators and editors. While some of these individuals are noteworthy, others are not.

I don't mean to denigrate these individuals or their achievements, but I respectfully submit that Wikipedia biographies aren't the appropriate forums for recognizing them. Reactions? Astro4686 (talk) 05:39, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

You may be right on quite a few of these. I can see when it comes to discovering comets/asteroids/nova we may be dealing with people notable for only one event. The list criteria is that they have to have a Wikipedia article. Checking up on your query led me to delete Tim Puckett, he has no article. The procedure from here would be to note/add a template to articles with WP:NN problems. If they are deleted they should then be deleted off this list. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 22:09, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
Hi Fountains of Bryn Mawr, thanks for your reply. I'm planning to add notability maintenance tags to a number of the pages, but I saw at least one which has had a notability tag since May 2014. I was thinking that that article might be a good candidate for deletion. Do you concur? It just feels awkward to recommend the deletion of someone's biography from Wikipedia, even though I think that these pages aren't noteworthy per WP:NN and WP:BLP1E. Astro4686 (talk) 03:46, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
I just reviewed the biographies and added notability tags to the 22 most problematic pages. Perhaps some of them could be fixed simply by adding sourced explanations of why the individual in question is noteworthy per Wikipedia guidelines. If anyone objects to my tags, I'd be happy to discuss my thinking. Astro4686 (talk) 06:26, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
On the contrary, I would like to thank you - this is overdue. Yes, it is awkward, and it needs to be handled carefully because some may just need to document their notability better, but it has become cluttered with non-notable entries.--Gronk Oz (talk) 13:23, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Gronk Oz! I just nominated for deletion a biography which has had a notability tag for all but 2 minutes of its existence. I'm reviewing the biographies that I just tagged, and if I'm convinced that a particular individual is non-notable, I'll nominate it for deletion. If anyone else would like to pitch in with this process, it would be most appreciated! Astro4686 (talk) 08:33, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
I have nominated 7 biographies for deletion. All 7 discussions are located at the AfD sorting page for astronomy: [3]. I'd welcome your feedback on these nominations as well as your participation in the AfD discussions. Astro4686 (talk) 08:56, 11 January 2016 (UTC)