Hi, I’m Andy Cho.
From when I was very young, around 7 years old, my dream was to be an astronomer. Cool isn’t it? My dream stayed with me for 10 years and I read many Astronomy books like Cosmos. Eventually, when I was 16, and a high school student, I realised that there were not many opportunities for an astronomy career in the real world. So I gave up the old desire. Ironically, my journey started at that point! I don’t know why, but by chance I looked at the night sky for the first time, in 1994, and searched constellations at my hometown Seoul, South Korea (Latitude 37N).
The first year of university, I got my first telescope Takahashi Mewlon 210, in 1996, and dedicated myself to stargazing for years. I didn’t care about anything in my life except for “starry night.” (lol) After getting a job, I changed my scope to Discovery 15” F/5 Dobsonian in 2003 and used it for 13 years until I moved to down under.
For the first 15 years of stargazing, I was always chasing celestial objects that are fainter, more distance and more challenging like Abell, Barnard and Arp. However, ALL OF A SUDDEN, in 2009, I tried to draw a few things like craters and M17. It shocked me because when I sketched them, I could discern the small details and I could feel the essence of these celestial objects like never before. Although I was a deep sky challenge hunter, I stopped chasing and went back to basics with astro sketching.
After 7 years of rediscovering Messier 110 objects, I decided to become a stargazer in the Southern Hemisphere. Stars totally changed my whole life, and now I’m an immigrant in New Zealand (Latitude 37S) and I have started over from scratch, with new constellations and my 3rd scope, 16” F/4 custom-made Dobsonian, from 2016.
I did 22 years of stargazing under the Northern sky. And if I spend the same time in the South, can I be a person who knows both skies? William Herschel said that “I have looked further into space than ever human being did before me.” in 1781. I would like to say “I will be the first human being who has looked at both Northern and Southern skies for my whole life” in 2021, at the same age as Herschel.
Family: Senior princess & my boss (Sophie Lim), Junior princess (Stella Cho, born in 2007),
and a butler (Andy Cho)
Hobby: Serious stargazer, Aviation enthusiast, Hello Kitty collector, Eclipse chaser, Baseball supporter
Occupation: B2B Marketer
Home: Hobsonville, Auckland, New Zealand
Strengths: Making opaque tiny white dots, blind obsession with the skies, both night and day
Weaknesses: Crater drawing, all things except stargazing