In order to provide everyone with the best possible experience and a clearer understanding of the parameters that make up a great star party, please take a moment to review the following guidelines.
Flashlights: If you wish to use a flashlight, please cover the end with a red balloon or a red filter. You may not realize it, but after you have spent about twenty minutes in the dark your eyes adjust to the darkness allowing you to see much fainter light. It only takes a fraction of a second of looking at a bright light (other than red) to destroy the dark adaptation, and your eyes will need another twenty minutes to adjust again.
Car headlights: Please turn off your car headlights when arriving at the workshop so you will not temporarily blind someone. The best practice, however, is to arrive before twilight ends, and to park in a manner that will face your car away from the telescopes when arriving and later when leaving.
Cell phones: Keep in mind that you will need to avoid exposing other people to the bright screen that most cell phones have – that light will be enough to diminish other people’s night vision and their ability to see through the telescope. If you must take a call be considerate of others and step away from the viewing area.
Photography: Flash photography is not allowed until after all observing has ended, and most point-and-shoot and cell phone cameras will respond to darkness by using flash. Even one flash can rob others of their visual adaptation to the dark.
Food and drink: “Sticky Fingers”, crumbs and liquids can damage sensitive equipment. If you need to eat or drink while at a star party, please keep a short distance away from the telescopes, and clean your hands when you are done. Alcoholic beverages are NOT PERMITTED at our workshops, and please deposit your trash in a waste bin or take it with you.
Look with your eyes and not with your hands: Please refrain from placing your hands on the telescope. This will cause the telescope to move and the object you wanted see will be lost.
Parents, please mind your children: The safety of our children is important to all of us. Children running around in the dark is dangerous. It’s easy to trip on things and we don’t want anyone to get injured or have equipment damaged.