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Star Party Virgin

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Polar Bear

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The summer equinox has passed and people are looking forward to Star Parties. I have never been to one, don't know what to expect, have never met the participants. As a solitary observer tucked away in my small North West garden I have been happy to gaze the night skies alone (Mrs Polar Bear often pops out for high mag views of the Moon and Planets) but otherwise I enjoy my own company and get along very well with myself. So I have taken the plunge and committed to attend CSP9 oop North in Cumbria. Watching the CSP9 thread develop I noticed comforting words such as friendly, whisky, bacon butties, and with a host called delilahtwinkle what could go wrong?

Being a tent snob, and loving Glamping my 'usual' nights out are spent in a Cabanon that is the size of a Jovian Moon and takes 2 people an hour to set up. Not ideal, so ebay to the rescue and luckily a smaller Cabanon (think Europa vs Ganymede comparison) was found just up the road from me. Sleeping will be the usual twin air bed and duvets, a single burner will suffice for snacks, unsure as to whether to take the BBQ and the fold away hanging wardrobes !

So camping equipment sorted, onto the scope. Easy decision as I only own one (this week) so the C8 will be coming. Do you put the scopes away each day? unsure, so I found a new moped cover on the local car boot for £3.00 that will do the trick of protecting it. Red light etiquette is an unknown to me, I always observe at home amongst the fairy lights strewn around the garden. As a smoker I worry about lighters, do they affect dark adapted vision? Can I open my car door or do I need to shield the interior lights if I do? So much to learn regarding Star Party etiquette.

I am really looking forward to it, and to meeting up with like minded individuals (whisky drinkers) :wink:

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Quote: "...Red light etiquette is an unknown to me, I always observe at home amongst the fairy lights strewn around the garden. As a smoker I worry about lighters, do they affect dark adapted vision? Can I open my car door or do I need to shield the interior lights if I do? So much to learn regarding Star Party etiquette."

I removed my interior/courtesy light diffuser, (if that is the right part), and cut a piece of red rubylith to fit and refitted. Job done! - also when entering a site I use my sidelights. I smoke myself and no one has yet said anything to me about lighting up a cigarette (roll-up or ready made), cigar, pipe; (though I don't advise it just in case the loose ash accidently drops or gets blown into my optical hardware). Just don't forget the Jaffa Cakes!

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Thanks Philip, CSP9 is a small get together so probably not as as strict as the bigger events. I'll fire a few messages off to get a feel for the event.

I smoke roll ups so the lighter is never out of my hand !

Paul

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Car lights will certainly be frowned on after dark, even at a small party. If you absolutely have to open the car, call 'LIGHTS IN 3,2,1' before doing so....

White lights in the tent is also a no-no.

You don't have to cover EVERY white light, especially if they are dim ones, but the bright ones, certainly.

Lighters are fine.

People tend to leave scopes out, but pack away expensive eyepieces/laptops/cameras etc. It's harder to run off with a C8 in your pocket!!

Best advice is to get involved - talk to people, ask questions, etc. If you stay in your tent on your own, it won't be as much fun!

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I've only chalked up one myself, but it was a great experience and pleasure to meet so many like minded people.

Re the BBQ, definitely not at night - but might win friends in the morning with bacon sandwiches provided you are well away from the solar imagers/observers (thinking smoke and ash) - gas grill might be a safer bet.

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Unfortunately work and fate played their hand and I was unable to attend, looking towards the Galloway meet up as a possibility.

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