Jump to content


Photo

Breech of lighting etiquette at star parties.....

  • Please log in to reply
77 replies to this topic

#51 hm insulators

hm insulators

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4934
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2007

Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

Here is a good example of what NOT to do at star parties. This guy was asked numerous times to keep the light off but continued for several nights. One night at around 2 am he came out in his robe and told us to keep it down as people are tying to sleep and we where being rude. I suggested to him that this is what people tend to do at star parties and perhaps a hotel room might have been a better choice ;)


Dean, I see coconut palms in the background, which of course don't grow in Kentucky. Was this star party in Florida?

#52 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:21 PM

Why yes it was :grin: :grin: :grin:

#53 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86525
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.



There is one on the market. I'll see if I can find a link.

Edit: here's one Link

I believe there's one that's made out of a soft material also; I'll try to find that one.

Here it IS

#54 Matthew Ota

Matthew Ota

    Hmmm

  • -----
  • Posts: 2151
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Los Angeles, California

Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.

#55 zerro1

zerro1

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5886
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2009
  • Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25°W Elevation:512 ft

Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:04 PM

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.


:rofl5:

Really? So what would be the point of paying the registration fee, travel costs and such to go to a dark site to "NOT DO" imaging, if you're an Astrophotographer?

I personally take every precuation to safeguard eveyone elses night vision. I most often have two rigs going at once: laptop screens are turned completely down and covered with red transparency film. All domelights of my vehicle are either covered or removed. Flashlight is red(and not LED). I don't bring white light. My car does not flash lights when the fob is used(But I never lock it anyway)... Plus I take the time to get aquainted with the people camped around me, I let them know that they should be anything but suttle if some light does leak.

Once I turn on the camera and start capturing, and light spills into the end of my scope from some stray source, that exposure is ruined, I'll never get it back. how does my need for adherence to SP etiquette differ from the Observer?

#56 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:43 AM

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.


I agree for out reach type programs.

But like Robert, I drive thousands of miles yearly to get to dark skies for imaging. I expect at these star parties that the attendees who have paid would know enough to keep the lights off.

Again I expect accidents to happen occasionally, and someone may not be aware they are too bright, but after being asked one time it should not happen again.

#57 The Planetman

The Planetman

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Western KY

Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

Astrophotographers should NEVER do any imaging at star parties. It is best done alone.


I agree for out reach type programs.

But like Robert, I drive thousands of miles yearly to get to dark skies for imaging. I expect at these star parties that the attendees who have paid would know enough to keep the lights off.

Again I expect accidents to happen occasionally, and someone may not be aware they are too bright, but after being asked one time it should not happen again.


Being a diehard deepsky observer and wanting my surrounding area to be as dark as possible, I will disagree that imagers should stay at home and not go to start parties.
They enjoy a dark sky just like the rest of us. Their style of enjoying the hobby and night sky is different from observers.
Other than the TV incident that I wrote about above, we've not had any major problems at Twin Lakes Star Party. I agree with Dean in that I believe nearly every light issue is an accident.
I'll even take it one step further. From my experience, the majority of the offenders of lighting are either beginners or they are first timers to a start party.

#58 skyquest25

skyquest25

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2012
  • Loc: United States

Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

Astrophotography obviously requires more strict conditions due to obvious reasons. While I myself am very considerate of light etiquette, I can see a cause for disagreement here.

Why can't I use a laser in assisting myself navigate the skies? Or help teach my children at very dark skies where there's lots of stars they aren't use to? (I pose this rhetorically to express the other side of the fence)

So we all have quandaries to deal with. We just need to do the best to help each other and be considerate, in the end it's up to the host to determine the rules and the level of enforcement they want to place on certain aspects of those rules.

There's all kinds of people in the world, some don't give a #$#$. And some do.

When it comes down to it, hosting a star party requires you to mitigate those issues. It's just not going to be easy no matter how much you discuss it.

#59 t.r.

t.r.

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4519
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008
  • Loc: 1123,6536,5321

Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

Well, after this thread, I now know how to thoroughly screw with a bunch of star party goers! :mrevil: And apparently all that is needed is a flashlight, what cheap fun! :poke:

#60 WadeH237

WadeH237

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1358
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Snohomish, WA

Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:53 PM

As someone who does both imaging and visual observing, I disagree that imaging requires stricter controls.

It is very easy to destroy dark adaptation with just a little bit of (even red) light. This has a major impact on visual observing near the limits of magnitude, and it takes about 30 minutes to recover.

With imaging, the damage occurs if light gets to the camera sensor. The kind of ground level lighting that is commonly associated with accidental light at star parties isn't much of an issue. Light that brightens the sky - especially green lasers - is very bad for imaging. The occasional attendee who naively shines their red light into an imaging scope is also really bad. And any light event with imaging affects only the one subexposure that was in progress during the event. There is no recovery time like there is with dark adaptation.

Honestly, in the last few years, I have seen lots light leakage coming from the imaging areas - enough that it can be a problem for visual observers. I do not see the reverse. In that way, I sympathize with the post above that imagers should avoid star parties - even though I strongly disagree.

I value dark skies as an imager as much as I do as an observer. I go to great lengths to avoid light leakage. I cover all LEDs with electrical tape. I use a 1/8th inch thick red shield on my laptop *and* keep the laptop display dimmed down to where it's barely legible. Often times, my imaging setup is also inside of my observatory tent, even with the above precautions. My goal is that my observing site is not noticeable from more than 10 feet away under a dark sky.

-Wade

#61 skyquest25

skyquest25

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2012
  • Loc: United States

Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:08 AM

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position :)

You use one great example, shine a green laser, image ruined. Shine a green laser, visually not ruined.

Which required more strict conditions ? :foreheadslap:

I agree that both can suffer, I don't think anyone would disagree with that stance. But one allows recovery, the other doesn't, hence(again)more strict conditions apply to imaging.

#62 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:47 AM

WSP has a sky program using a laser pointer 1 night during the week. It is scheduled and runs about a hour right after dark. Not a big deal since we know it is going to happen. I was actually imaging during that time and not sure it really had any negative effects on my subs.

Many new imagers are pushing it a little with laptop monitors being too bright. Some don't realize that just night mode is not enough and a dark red plexi screen cover is a must. Even then the brightness should be turned down a bit.

I use a small hunting blind as my portable control room. Originally for the dew and cold protection, but also so I can set my red screens a bit brighter. However like someone suggested, I still need to be mindful when I exit as it can flood some light light out.

And the amount of light a small LED from a power supply can put out is amazing. The green and blue ones are particularly bad.

Dean

#63 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

here is what lasers can do to imagers :bigshock:

PS, this was during a full cloud out, about our 4th night in a row so we all where getting a bit restless and bored.

Attached Files



#64 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:04 AM

TO get this effect we had to hold the laser in each position for a bit to get it to show. Just moving it quickly did not show it well.

Attached Files



#65 skyquest25

skyquest25

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2012
  • Loc: United States

Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

:gotpopcorn:

#66 DeanS

DeanS

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3352
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2005
  • Loc: Central Kentucky

Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:24 AM

Don't think the laser photos are against the terms are they? I am not promoting their use, but more to show how they can adversely effect imagers. That is my story at least.

#67 WadeH237

WadeH237

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1358
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Snohomish, WA

Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:51 AM

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position :)


*One* case supports a problem for imaging. And even in that case, it only applies if the laser happens to cross the object that I'm imaging. And even then, it doesn't ruin the image, just a single subexposure.

Let me put it another way.

At the star parties I attend, green lasers are prohibited, except for a pre-scheduled program put on by the star party. I have not seen any green laser use outside of this in attending about 40 events. Stray light events from car door opening, hitting the wrong switch on a flashlight, someone turning on a light in an RV,etc. are quite common. Each of them hurts visual observing, but none of them bother imaging.

As a visual user, I don't even want to stroll through the imaging area when dark. The stray light from equipment LEDs, laptop screens, reflected light from people's faces, etc. *always* kills my dark adaptation for about a half hour afterwards.

They provide an imaging area that is separate from visual areas at OSP, a star party that I regularly attend. 15 years ago, they did this to protect imagers. Now, it serves mainly to protect serious visual observers trying to make the most of the very dark skies there. It's funny that the signs in the imaging area still say "severe light restrictions", because it is obvious that there's more stray light there than anywhere else at the site (outside of the late night vendors).

So my answer is not theoretical. I see it at all the events that I attend.

What I'm dreading, is the adoption of all these touch screen devices for telescope control. All of them require a backlit screen with no protective red screen. As adoption increases, it's going to become impossible to do any serious observing at visual limits at a group event.

I'll also throw in that I've never lost a subexposure at a star party due to stray light.

#68 skyquest25

skyquest25

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2012
  • Loc: United States

Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:38 PM

I see your perspective. Thanks.

#69 Skylook123

Skylook123

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7517
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:57 PM

but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.



There is one on the market. I'll see if I can find a link.

Edit: here's one Link

I believe there's one that's made out of a soft material also; I'll try to find that one.

Here it IS



Here's the CompuShade I use on my laptop for solar web cam use and night satellite tracking with a crowd. I also wrap a 3M privacy screen in rubylith or cellophane, depending on which computer use. The shade folds up againste the back of the screen when not in use (video at bottom of web site).

CompusShade

#70 George N

George N

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2849
  • Joined: 19 May 2006
  • Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY

Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:12 AM

but I'd also like some sort of 'cave' to put a laptop in.



There is one on the market. I'll see if I can find a link.

Edit: here's one Link

I believe there's one that's made out of a soft material also; I'll try to find that one.

Here it IS



Here's the CompuShade I use on my laptop for solar web cam use and night satellite tracking with a crowd. I also wrap a 3M privacy screen in rubylith or cellophane, depending on which computer use. The shade folds up againste the back of the screen when not in use (video at bottom of web site).

CompusShade


Thanks guys..... I now have no excuse to have a naked laptop at the next star party! :cool:

#71 George N

George N

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2849
  • Joined: 19 May 2006
  • Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY

Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:14 AM

Well, after this thread, I now know how to thoroughly screw with a bunch of star party goers! :mrevil: And apparently all that is needed is a flashlight, what cheap fun! :poke:


Ya better watch it there..... I have a box full of Rini eyepieces to thro at people with white-light flashlights. :cool:

#72 DarkSkys

DarkSkys

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 552
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2010
  • Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern WA.

Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:42 AM

How can you disagree that imaging requires stricter conditions ? Your post even supports that position :)


*One* case supports a problem for imaging. And even in that case, it only applies if the laser happens to cross the object that I'm imaging. And even then, it doesn't ruin the image, just a single subexposure.

Let me put it another way.

At the star parties I attend, green lasers are prohibited, except for a pre-scheduled program put on by the star party. I have not seen any green laser use outside of this in attending about 40 events. Stray light events from car door opening, hitting the wrong switch on a flashlight, someone turning on a light in an RV,etc. are quite common. Each of them hurts visual observing, but none of them bother imaging.

As a visual user, I don't even want to stroll through the imaging area when dark. The stray light from equipment LEDs, laptop screens, reflected light from people's faces, etc. *always* kills my dark adaptation for about a half hour afterwards.

They provide an imaging area that is separate from visual areas at OSP, a star party that I regularly attend. 15 years ago, they did this to protect imagers. Now, it serves mainly to protect serious visual observers trying to make the most of the very dark skies there. It's funny that the signs in the imaging area still say "severe light restrictions", because it is obvious that there's more stray light there than anywhere else at the site (outside of the late night vendors).

So my answer is not theoretical. I see it at all the events that I attend.

What I'm dreading, is the adoption of all these touch screen devices for telescope control. All of them require a backlit screen with no protective red screen. As adoption increases, it's going to become impossible to do any serious observing at visual limits at a group event.

I'll also throw in that I've never lost a subexposure at a star party due to stray light.


I'm not so sure of that part, I can put my touchscreen phone in a thick ziploc bag, and still work the screen just fine though the bag. It seems like a dark red plastic bag would be enough?

#73 George N

George N

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2849
  • Joined: 19 May 2006
  • Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY

Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:17 AM

.....
Many new imagers are pushing it a little with laptop monitors being too bright. Some don't realize that just night mode is not enough and a dark red plexi screen cover is a must. Even then the brightness should be turned down a bit. .....
Dean


I suppose that this area (laptops, etc) needs more detail in star party light control rules. That way “new imagers” have no excuse about violations….. assuming that is what the star party organizers want.

#74 George N

George N

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2849
  • Joined: 19 May 2006
  • Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY

Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:50 AM

Last year at the Cherry Springs Star Party one group set up those little solar garden lights (with red bulbs) around the perimeter of “their” area. They didn’t have ‘no trespassing’ signs, but ya got the message to ‘stay out’, reinforced by glaring looks at anyone walking thru, day or night. From what I saw, this group included about 10 people – with about 5 moderate-size imaging rigs. I did not see any visual observing. On occasion their “light fence” became distracting. I suppose that this is part of what one can expect at today’s large star parties. Perhaps people just don’t understand, or don’t bother to read the rules.

I personally think that if an observer wants the ultimate in light control, attending a large star party is a mistake. It is never going to be “your way” at a social event. The ultimate dark sky observing/imaging requires a private location, or going to public observing areas on an off period. Many are pretty empty during the week.

#75 okieav8r

okieav8r

    I'd rather be flying!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 4726
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Oklahoma!

Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:50 PM

Last year at the Cherry Springs Star Party one group set up those little solar garden lights (with red bulbs) around the perimeter of “their” area. They didn’t have ‘no trespassing’ signs, but ya got the message to ‘stay out’, reinforced by glaring looks at anyone walking thru, day or night. From what I saw, this group included about 10 people – with about 5 moderate-size imaging rigs. I did not see any visual observing. On occasion their “light fence” became distracting. I suppose that this is part of what one can expect at today’s large star parties. Perhaps people just don’t understand, or don’t bother to read the rules.

I personally think that if an observer wants the ultimate in light control, attending a large star party is a mistake. It is never going to be “your way” at a social event. The ultimate dark sky observing/imaging requires a private location, or going to public observing areas on an off period. Many are pretty empty during the week.


I agree, when attending a large star party, you can't expect things to be perfect with regard to other attendee's lights, but if people will just use some common sense, and take reasonable precautions not to be a beacon in the night, everyone would get along and have a much better time.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics