When someone becomes interested in astronomy those of us that are more experienced generally have some advice:
1) Don’t buy too little or too much telescope meaning make sure you get a good quality but get something you will actually use and you don’t have to break the bank!
2) Find a local club to join where you can learn and ask questions and be a part of a community of other astronomy enthusiasts.
But what it means to be a part of an astronomy community has been transformed by social networks, blogs, virtual observatories, and a the rapid way that information is spread online.
Social networking seems to be changing lots of things about the way people communicate and access information. Astronomy is no different. In fact it seems social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have had a big impact on the way amateurs connect with one another. Face-to-face clubs aren’t going away, but the experience of being a part of a community of people with a common interest can also happen online.
Twitter – the 140 character limit requirement makes astronomy tweets short and sweet. Here are a few ways that Twitter is changing amateur astronomy: