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Star Party Etiquette

These rules are intended to help maintain access and use of the Astronomy Club observing sites for as many members and their guests as possible, while preserving the conditions that have brought us out to enjoy the sky.  Following these rules will permit everyone to pursue the study and enjoyment of astronomy to the fullest satisfaction.

If you are new to the Club, or it has been a while since you have been to a Star Party, please take a few minutes to review these basic rules.   Please don't hesitate to ask questions if anything is unclear.

  1. Do Not Litter!  Everyone shall be responsible for his or her litter.  If you bring it in, take it with you when you leave.  Access to the observing site depends upon each member complying with this rule.

  2. No Open Fires Permitted.

  3. Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages is Prohibited.

  4. No White Lights after Dark!  Use dim red lights after sundown. Use only the minimum light necessary for safety.  If you must use lights, please ask first, to avoid spoiling someone's night vision or astrophoto.  Shield or turn off automatic car door or trunk lights (Pull the fuses if necessary.)

  5. Park Based on your Observing Plan.  Park facing towards the exit, to avoid having to backup using backup lights.  If you planning to leave early, park close to the exit.   If you do not bring a telescope, park away from observers and walk over.  Five MPH is the maximum speed while on observing field to keep dust to a minimum.  Also be careful that your vehicle does not block the view of a nearby observer.
  6. Remember, your vehicle back-up lights are bright white.  A good idea is to back your vehicle in at the start of the evening so that when you leave, you can pull straight out rather than having to back up.

  7. Plan Your Departure.  Please announce in advance (to save night vision and astro-photographer's tempers), and have someone lead your vehicle out with a flashlight.  Use Parking Lights Only No Headlights, Please!

  8. Members are Responsible for their Guests.  All non-members are considered "Invited Guests,'' and must observe the rules.

  9. Bring Observers Only.  Very small children and pets generally do not enjoy star parties, and can be annoying to others.  Please leave them at home if possible.

  10. Keep Noise to a Minimum.  Please, no loud radios, tape players, CB, CDs, horns, yelling, etc.

  11. Never be the Next to the Last to Leave.  Don't leave someone alone at the observing site without first checking with them.  Dead car batteries, vandals...

  12. The last two people should sweep the area with their flashlights to see if anyone accidentally dropped something important.  If you find anything left behind, contact the club President the next day and then bring the item with you to the next meeting to be re-united with its owner.



Introduction to the Night Sky - Part I

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