Astronomer Pet Peeves

While I have written an article called “Seven Ways to Piss Off an Astronomer,” this article is slightly different and expands on some concepts brought up in the prior article, while going over more things that people like us cannot stand.

There is some humor being put into what is written, and if you find it offensive… you just don’t get it!

Hoaxes That STILL Fool People

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The Mars hoax, Planet Nibiru… these two hoaxes still pop up despite being proven wrong many times. The reason why is because people STILL get fooled by them, and possibly don’t remember being told, “it’s a bunch of crap!”

When it comes to the people who believe the moon landing was fake and/or flat earth, those are things that we just try not to engage in. We know that no matter what we say, there’s no convincing them.

But for things like, “The Earth will go dark for two weeks,” “The Green Moon on 4/20,” “You’ll experience weightlessness due to rare planetary alignment.” You should be able to tell right away that these are jokes. Before you go around thinking it’s legitimate, ask your friendly neighborhood astronomer!

When “Casual Observers” get Hyped Over Something Unimpressive

This website and social media pages associated with it does its best to promote notable celestial events over North America, and they range from can’t miss events to things that occur rather frequently.

If you know someone who has more knowledge about the heavens than you do, maybe you should check with that person about it rather than share an article from a mainstream media source that you were impressed by the headline using fancy words and names, but didn’t bother to actually read.

In return, that knowledgeable person will tell you if you can see it or not, and provide insight on why such a celestial event is {or isn’t} a big deal.

Obsessing Over A Full Moon

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To the casual viewer who may or may not be interested in the sky, a full moon is held in high regard. Sure, its glow on the landscape at night is beautiful.

BUT… to an astronomer, a full moon is a menace that rules away any decent observing. With the exception of a lunar eclipse, a conjunction, or an occultation of a planet, what do astronomers do when the moon is full? Put their telescopes away. Don’t get me started on “Super Moons!”

So each time I see a person talk about a full moon, or let everyone know about a full moon, I can’t help but get annoyed over it. I’m always thinking, “really? There was {something I find noteworthy} that happened a bit ago and you said nothing! But tonight there’s a full moon and NOW you won’t shut up? Come on man, there’s better things to look at in the sky!”

The “JUST” word…

I have NUMEROUS stories of people using the J-word… “Just!” Anytime people use that word, it’s usually out of disappointment over what they’re seeing due to expectations that are too high.  “It’s just a dot.” “It’s just a smudge.” “It’s just a circle.”

I do get why single stars, smaller/more distant planets, and many deep sky objects appear unimpressive at first to a novice viewer. But they’re not taking into account the situations at hand, like showing a distant star in the middle of the day, still being able to something despite cloud cover, or being able to see certain things through all the light pollution.

But when I hear the public seeing my signs and them saying, “oh he’s just showing the moon,” “oh it’s just a star,”  I’m thinking, “well, what do you expect us to show through a telescope at an observatory?!”

Caring Too Much About Yours or Someone Else’s Zodiac Sign

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Truth be told, I really don’t care what Zodiac constellation you want to identify with. When I wrote this popular article on Orion Bear Astronomy, one of the reasons was to illustrate how your “star signs” actually work, and what are the actual dates based on the current position of the Sun on your birthday.

No astronomer believes there is any correlation between who you are as a person and the positions of the Sun, moon, and planets as seen in the sky.  Most people also see it as “silly, harmless fun,” even if they’d rather identify with the wrong Zodiac sign because that’s what they grew up with. Again, whatever!

But then there’s people who tell me, “yeah, I don’t really believe in all of it, I just think it’s fun” but then I see them get tattoos of their {wrong} Zodiac sign, post horoscopes, or boast about how proud they are for being a certain sign. Then I see the same people talk about compatibility issues with certain signs or how a such a zodiac constellation describes their personality. I’ve also heard about people getting denied applications over their Zodiac sign… at that point I just want to scream and ask the big question, “why?!”

Forgetting Simple Concepts You Learned in Grade School

Before you hit Jr. High…

You learn things such as the phases of the moon and what causes them. You get taught your cardinal directions, and concepts like sunrise in east /sunset in west. You learn that the Sun is a star, not a planet. You learn all the names of our planets and what order they’re in. You learn what causes eclipses. Some may even learn about important constellations and popular stars, plus what stars actually are. Some may even get introduced to the Big Bang theory – the concept, not the show!

For me, it was as early as third grade when there were units all about space and astronomy. Therefore, it is quite fascinating when I’ve encountered many adults who have clearly forgotten it all. Yes, I do have a growing number of stories…

Sometimes We Want to Be Left Alone

Any outreach event is designed with presentations in mind. That’s when people like us WANT to give out all information as much as possible to help educate and generate interest in the heavens!

But I speak for all serious observers and astrophotographers that there are also times when we want to be left alone so we can focus on getting what we want done. Some of us are actually working!

If you run into me on nights like this, as long as you’re respectful, then I’ll be nice and welcoming to you. I’m more than happy to answer questions, especially if you’re new and getting into astronomy. If I’m not too busy, I’ll even help assist you with what you have and give advice.

But if you just linger around, and expect me to keep showing you a bunch of objects while I’m clearly busy, then don’t be surprised if I seem standoffish.

Support Your Neighborhood Astronomers! Help grow Orion Bear Astronomy

You know where mainstream media sites get their information? From people like us! Support Your Neighborhood Astronomers! Everything is free, but donations help keep the website alive and go towards outreach events!

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One thought on “Astronomer Pet Peeves

  1. That’s cruel – but it’s true. People can be easily influenced by fake science, astrology, or ignorant memes created to gain attention – whilst the reality of this Universe flies over their heads.

    Like

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