This will be the 60th blog post that I've written for Share Astronomy. I really enjoyed writing the first 59. Unfortunately, this one won't be fun. This is the blog post I never wanted to write. I am sorry to inform you that Share Astronomy, in it's current form, will be going away.
I really believed that a web application designed to promote the sharing of astronomical ideas, projects and images couldn't fail. This seemed especially true given that membership was totally free and unlimited free disk space was being provided to imagers and project posters. Unfortunately, we never achieved the membership numbers and therefore, the advertising dollars, that were required to make this endeavor financially feasible.
This experience has been a positive one for me and it was wonderful that I had this opportunity. However, I didn't do it alone. Not by any means. There were a lot of very special people who helped me along the way and they have my everlasting gratitude. In particular, I would like thank my wife Beverly, my sister Kathleen and my mother Dori for their unwavering belief in Share Astronomy and all the incredible help and support they provided over the past two years. In addition, Tom Simstad – my one and only advertiser – put his money where is mouth is and did everything he could to make Share Astronomy a success. I would also like to sincerely thank all of the people who did interviews for Share Astronomy. Interviewees were:
- Hanny van Arkel – the discoverer of Hanny's Voorwerp.
- Fred Koch – of the Three Rivers Foundation.
- Alan Traino – chairperson of NEAF. (Note: I actually interviewed Alan twice – once for NEAF 2010 and once for NEAF 2011.)
- David Kriege – owner of Obsession Telescopes.
- Gino Bucciol – of Officina Stellare.
- Sarah Maddison – from Swinburne Astronomy Online.
- Emil Lenc, Pekka Rautajoki, Jenny Russell and Margaret Turner – students at Swinburne Astronomy Online.
- Olivier Thizy – co-owner of Shelyak Instruments.
- R. Jay GaBany – amazing "amateur" imager and Webmaster and Marketing & Communications person for the Advanced Imaging Conference.
- Juan Conejero – of Pleiades Astrophoto, S.L., the creators of PixInsight.
- Harry Page – the creator of a wonderful set of video tutorials for PixInsight.
- Tom Krajci – citizen scientist and wrench turner for the AAVSO among others.
- Jim Fox – variable star observer and the Committee Chair of the AAVSO Photoelectric Photometry (PEP) Observing Program.
- Neil Fleming – one of the best narrowband imagers in the world.
- George Normandin – an amateur astronomer who has attended NEAF at least 10 times.
- Tom Field – the developer of the RSpec program.
In addition, I visited PlaneWave Instruments and wrote an article based on interviews with several employees of PlaneWave including Rick Hedrick, President, CEO and cofounder; Joe Haberman, Vice President and co-founder; and Allan Keller the systems designer for the CDK700 Observatory Telescope System.
Finally, there is one additional group of people that I need to thank from the bottom of my heart – everyone who ever participated on Share Astronomy. I sincerely thank everyone who became a member, posted an image, created a project or submitted a comment. My wife and I were thrilled every time we would see something new on Share Astronomy!
Since it's inception in July, 2009 until today, Share Astronomy was visited 17,666 times by people from 104 countries and territories. If you were one of the visitors, I hope you enjoyed Share Astronomy and I hope you learned something new along the way. Please rest assured that we did everything we could to make Share Astronomy a success.
Share Astronomy isn't completely going away. It will migrate to a personal blog web site in the near future and I hope some of you will check it out from time-to-time. I also hope that those of you that I met personally will continue to stay in touch.
Best Regards and Clear Skies,