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Star Party Etiquette?

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#1 fdanowski

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 03:41 PM

Hi: I've never been to a star party before, but I'm going to be attending the Connecticut Star Party this weekend, and I just had a thought about typical DSO image acquisition procedures, namely, how do people shoot flat frames when there's a ban on white light at these events? Thanks &  clear skies! 



#2 Chucke

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 03:44 PM

When I used to image in a semi-public situation (astro club site) I set up and shot my flats before it was dark enough to image.  Didn't bother anyone that way.


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#3 rkinnett

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 04:27 PM

You don't necessarily want to count on this, but you might find that most if not all visual guys hit the sack by 2 or 3am.  Make an imaging plan that doesn't require changing your configuration, that way you can take flats before dark as Chucke suggested, or after the visual guys have gone to bed.  I and fellow AP'ers at the local site typically image through the night, then start shooting flats at first light.  It always seems funny to me to see the whole parking lot lit up from our light panels after being so careful about stray light the whole night.  That also gives us plenty of light to pack up and make sure we didn't forget anything in the dark.


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#4 Bill Jensen

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 05:23 PM

You don't necessarily want to count on this, but you might find that most if not all visual guys hit the sack by 2 or 3am.  Make an imaging plan that doesn't require changing your configuration, that way you can take flats before dark as Chucke suggested, or after the visual guys have gone to bed.  I and fellow AP'ers at the local site typically image through the night, then start shooting flats at first light.  It always seems funny to me to see the whole parking lot lit up from our light panels after being so careful about stray light the whole night.  That also gives us plenty of light to pack up and make sure we didn't forget anything in the dark.

That may depend on the star party. At the Oregon Star Party, the visual guys, especially with some of the larger dobs (e.g. 24-28 inches) stayed up until nearly dawn. The AP dedicated area was in a different section of the fields. Our info tent folks normally would advise on these types of matters. 


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#5 astrohamp

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 06:13 PM

How about draping a light tight black cloth over the offending panel?   Or fashion a box that seals? Or take them while most folks are eating dinner.  

Remember to bring a 'dog house' for your laptop with a front closure too.

Probably wont be a bother to me as I'll be zipped up in my "Tardis" nee 'Dark Shed' that I am bringing along to attempt zero emissions.  Trying to keep the visual folks happy (ier) if they will be close by.  Although entrance and egress does usually allow some light to escape when I forget to black out any screens I have on.

I think Fiona and the weather it may bring is more of a concern.

 

Maybe see you there.



#6 Charlie B

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 06:26 PM

Hi: I've never been to a star party before, but I'm going to be attending the Connecticut Star Party this weekend, and I just had a thought about typical DSO image acquisition procedures, namely, how do people shoot flat frames when there's a ban on white light at these events? Thanks &  clear skies! 

What is the aperture of your scope?  With my SV115, a tap light fit the dew shield perfectly.  Also, I image from within a Kendrick astronomy tent.  I zip the cover, point the OTA straight up and put the tap light and a doubled T-shirt over the dew shield and no one can see any light.  If you have a flat panel, close it and cover with a large black leaf bag, which should not leak light.  Other alternatives are twilight flats or dawn flats, which are usually some of the best.

 

Regards,

Charlie B



#7 spereira

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 06:58 PM

I believe this has been extensively discussed here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...party-neighbor/

 

smp



#8 John Miele

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 07:11 PM

You need to figure out how to black out your setup. Otherwise you will be quite the unpopular fellow. I imaged for years in the middle of visual crowd. I used a computer cave that fully enclosed the laptop and a dark red plexiglass cover and turned the screen brightness to lowest setting. Keep your screen facing away from others. take your flats at sunset before it’s full dark.
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#9 bunyon

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Posted 22 September 2022 - 06:45 AM

I’ve been one of few visual observers left in the wee hours and had people assume everyone was in bed. It’s extremely annoying. Shoot your flats before dark or in the morning. Black out your rig. The point is to have darkness for all.
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#10 WadeH237

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Posted 22 September 2022 - 01:44 PM

...how do people shoot flat frames when there's a ban on white light at these events?

I shoot sky flats.  Sometimes I use a t-shirt as a diffuser, and sometimes I just point into the daytime sky and take very short guide exposures.

 

I would not want to see anyone using a light panel at night at one of these events.  If it's at a dark sky site, you should assume that people will either be imaging or viewing until dawn.


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#11 Tim Hager

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Posted 22 September 2022 - 09:43 PM

Twilight sky flats work really well if you get the exposure right.  That's all I ever did for photometry which is a bit more demanding than pretty picture imaging.


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#12 astrohamp

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Posted 26 September 2022 - 05:48 PM

so how did your flat frames go in the 9-35mph wind gusts of Friday night?

 

Not sure we ran into each other.




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