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 about twenty minutes in the dark, eyes adjust to allow seeing much fainter light. It only takes a fraction of a second of bright light (other than red) to destroy the dark adaptation requiring another twenty minutes for your eyes to adjust again.
Car headlights: Please turn off vehicle headlights when arriving so as not to temporarily blind someone. Best practice is to arrive before twilight ends and to park with headlights facing away from the telescopes.
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.
Cell Phones and other Mobile Devices: Please avoid exposing other people to the bright screens mobile devices – that light is enough to diminish a person’s night vision and ability to see through the telescope. If you must take a call be considerate of others and step away from the viewing area. When using a smart phone or tablet to take photos through a telescope, please dim the screen light.
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.
For your comfort: Bench seating in the outdoor classroom is limited. Open space around the benches is available if you would like to bring your comfy camp chair.