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star_parties [2009/03/26 02:53] (current)
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 +====== Star Party ======
 +
 +Gather people together to look at the night sky and you've got a Star Party! NEKAAL has conducted STar Parties in backyards, vacant lots, shopping malls, campsites, schoolyards,​ parks and, of course, at Farpoint Observatory. The only requirement?​ --a reasonably clear night sky and people with an interest in astronomy.
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 +Equipment requirements:​ none required. However, due to tradition, experience and necessity, some or all of the following items are often found at star parties:
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 +| binoculars | star charts | 
 +| telescope(s) | coffee | 
 +| red flashlights | batteries | 
 +| strong coffee | food (preferably junk) |
 +| chairs, straight or lounge | tables |
 +| blankets (seasonal) | snacks |
 +| more coffee | insect repellant (seasonal) |
 +| computers | cameras |
 +
 +WHAT HAPPENS AT A STAR PARTY?
 +
 +Viewing sky objects can happen in a number of ways. An observer may have a lst of objects to be studied, or just scan the sky and see what they find. Objects can be located and identified with star charts, either hardcopy or computerized. Some people take photographic images, others sketch what they see, some just look. There'​s always comparing of notes, sharing of observations,​ explaining and demonstrating,​ accompanied by coffee and other caffein sources.
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 +I'VE NEVER BEEN TO A STAR PARTY. WHAT DO I DO ?
 +
 +First, introduce yourself. We'd be glad to show you lots of neat stuff!
 +
 +Some very basic rules:
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 +  * No light unless it's red. Eyes take at least 20 minutes to readapt after exposure to white light.
 +
 +  * Take some time to let your eyes dark-adapt before walking around between the telescopes; it's safer for everyone.
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 +  * Let the astronomer operate their equipment for you; they'​re familiar with how it works, and you'll have better, faster results if they do the driving.
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 +  * Don't use spray-on insect repellant around the telescopes, they can damage the optics.