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Scope Etiquette & Tips For Enjoying Public Observing Sessions At DHO

Scope Etiquette (From A Sign At DHO)

1. Leaning on the scope will easily move it.
2. Accidentally moving the scope is not a problem. We do it all the time.
3. The more you look, the more detail you might see.
4. If you DON’T SEE something, SAY something!

Tips For Enjoying Public Observing Sessions At DHO

Astronomical Observation is for the whole family. Here are a few tips to make your evening at DHO more enjoyable and educational.

1) Feel free to bring your own telescope or binoculars. Members often bring theirs and will be glad to show you how to use yours, but we do ask that you contact the SAS Board first to make sure someone familiar with your scope type is present. Our site is equipped with concrete pads for telescopes, as well as outside electrical hook-ups. Club scopes are available at DHO for those trained in their use.

2) Plan on arriving just after sunset. It will still be light enough to find your way, but you won’t have to wait long for the real celestial show to begin at the end of astronomical twilight (this time is also excellent for finding Constellations, which are usually of the brightest stars).

3) Dress for cold nights, even in July. We’re not kidding! It can get cold at Darling Hill, even in mid-summer. Suggested attire: duck boots or other dew proof shoes, long pants, winter coat and warm hat. And bring a lawn chair if you just want to stare at the sky from a comfortable orientation.

4) Call ahead if you are bringing a group so that we can prepare for your educational needs. If you are bringing children, bring blankets or sleeping bags — they love to lie on the ground and look at the sky. It’s also a great idea to bring a few snacks and drinks along.

5) Red flashlights preserve night vision. In a pinch, cover a regular flashlight with a red balloon.

6) Cell phones become blinding to night-adjusted eyes. If you have to answer it, please step away from observing groups.

7) Watch those headlights! Turn your headlights off and your parking lights on when you get to the top of the driveway. People already at the observatory are “dark adapted” and appreciate your consideration. There is “tree island” at the driveway end to block headlights. But always drive safely. If you can’t see leave your lights on!

First appearance: March 6th, 2012. Page subject to updates.