Saturday, May 12, 2012

Look! Up In the Sky! Join the Star Party...

Photo Credit: MPR Photography
East Hampton Star Party Tonight
Join N.A.S.A. Solar System Ambassador and local resident Dean Kavalkovich this evening, Saturday, May 12, for a star party in Hurd State Park.  Start time is 8 p.m. on the park's ball field.

If for any reason we need to cancel the party, cancellation notice will be posted at 6 p.m. on this blog and on the library's Facebook page.

Bring Your Binoculars or...
For those without telescopes, five scopes will be availbable for star gazers' use.

Directions to Hurd State Park
Try Google Maps.

Star Party Etiquette
Drive slowly, for safety and to avoid kicking up dust. Arrive before dark so your headlights won't interfere with night vision -- or use parking lights if it is safe to do so.

Turn off your car's interior lights. Most cars have a dial or switch (often connected to the panel light dimmer) that shuts off interior lights even with open doors. Pulling up one or two notches on the parking brake of cars with automatic headlights will sometimes extinguish interior lights.

Wear warm clothes. The air cools quickly after dark, even after a warm day. Astronomy is a sedentary activity; there's no movement to generate warmth. Bring layers for weather 15 degrees cooler than the forecast.

If you plan an extended stay you may decide to bring a light snack and a beverage. However, please observe the rule below about not eating or carrying drinks near telescopes.

Leave flashlights at home or place a red filter over the lens (see advice on lights below). Many astronomical objects are very faint, and it takes 30 minutes for eyes to adapt to night vision.

Watch your step in the dark, especially around tripods, chairs, tables and other equipment. Be aware of wires on the ground and other shadowy obstacles. If your scope requires power make the wires as safe as possible. Walk, don't run!

Children are welcome -- an early observing experience can kindle a lifetime love of astronomy. But make sure your child understands the rules about safety, not touching the equipment and noisy or disruptive behavior.

Use parking lights to exit the telescope field and turn on your headlights only once you are some distance away. Driving without any lights is not necessary -- and may be unsafe!