Star Party Etiquette

Lighting Issues and Etiquette

The Spruce Woods Star Party is a Red-Light Only Zone from sundown to sunup. Do not use white lights.

Lasers: Red and green laser pointers are not allowed in the observing field to provide members with pristine dark skies while observing and doing astrophotography.

Cars: The most common offending light issues with vehicles are interior dome lights and uncovered backup lights coming on unexpectedly. Red plastic will be available for you at the hospitality tent to cover your lights, come during the day to cover up your lights. Cover the following lights: interior, back-up, license plate, trunk and headlights.

Parking: Please make sure to have your car parked in its final resting position well before darkness sets in. If you do not intend to remain in the Observing Field all night long, park just outside the entrance with your lights pointing away from the field so you can leave without blinding everybody!

Arrival Time: Should you arrive after sunset (please try not to) please leave your vehicle at the entrance with lights pointing away and present yourself at the hospitality tent. Volunteers will have a limited supply of red plastic to cover car lights and guide you in.

Walking at night: Watch your step. If unsure about your surroundings, use a red light only and as dim as possible. Don’t use a white light flashlight. Be especially careful of wires on the ground. Some scopes require power and some folks use their car’s battery. If your scope requires power try to make the wires as safe as possible.

Set up spot: Don’t set up too close to another observer. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to ask, “Is it OK if I set up here?”

Noise: Avoid loud and boisterous behavior. Star-gazing is a quiet, peaceful activity.

Generators: If you plan to use a generator please use it sparingly and please advise a volunteer that you intend to use a generator. You will be guided to the edge of the field so that the noise does not disturb all attendees.

Music: Some places ban music altogether, some are less strict. Just remember the music that you love may be extremely irritating to others. Please use headphones or ear buds.

Drones: Drones are not allowed in the observing field, you may use drones in other areas of the park but not where people are camping or set up for observing.