Red Light Rules
As astronomers, we know that bright lights can kill your dark adaption, so we want to set out some guidelines and watch-outs when it comes to lights at the Star Party. If you have never attended a Star Party before, please take a moment to read these – and if you are a regular, well, they should come as no surprise!
Please note that the Moderation team will police these rules very firmly – we want you to get the most from your time at the event, so please make sure you (and your family, if they are coming) understand the need for these guidelines
Dark adaption can up to 30 minutes to become fully effective once your eyes are exposed to bright lights – so, we are going to make the rules very simple:
No white lights on the fields after dark – unless it is heavy cloud with no chance of clear skies
Red light affects the eye’s dark adaption the least – however, even bright red light can impact this – so..
Red lights should be DIM lights only
It is easy to forget that interior tent lights can actually make your tent glow and ruin the darkness for other people.
Although we are very pleased to see families attend the star party, please ask them to understand the reasons for keeping lights down. Again, dim red lights should be used.
Van owners – please make sure you turn out your outside lights, and close your curtains/blinds
Many cars will flash their lights when locked and unlocked. Where possible, please either disable your car lights or tape them over with red gel or black bin bags.
If you forget and you absolutely must open the car when it’s dark, please alert people around you, and give them a few seconds to shield their eyes.
- Call out something like “lights on in 5..4..3..2..1” – yes, you will feel a wally first time, but people will thank you for the warning!
If you are an astro-imager, please be aware of others around you = they may be observers only and light from your computer screen may well interfere with their ability to observe the night sky. Your screen must be covered with a red filter and have the brightness turned down as much as possible.
- Ideally, the screen should be shrouded so that extraneous light does not leak into the surrounding area.
- In the past, this has been the biggest single complaint regarding white lights – we will police this very firmly!
Laser pointers are not permitted. We may organise a short public tour of the night sky, in which case, the Astronomer giving the tour may use one – this does not mean they may be used by anyone else.
Don’t panic! The Mod team are here to help – find one of them, and they will be pleased to assist in anyway they can