The severe light pollution levels in the urban and suburban areas in which we live make it nearly impossible to see the Milky Way and greatly limits everything else that we are able to see from our backyards or even nearby parks. Light pollution filters and narrow band imaging helps to cut through much of this background noise, but can not truly produce the experience of viewing the night sky from a Bortle 1 or 2 location. This is why like-minded amateur astronomers gather together at almost monthly star parties held all across the country at remote locations in the four corners of the country (Maine, the Florida Keys, Washington State, Southern California) and all points in between. If you haven't availed yourself of one of these multi-night events you are missing out on a great opportunity to be blown away at how the night sky was meant to look. Even if you have attended a major star party or two, the talk will still be of interest and should help you in planning next next star party outing.
In this talk I will provide several reasons for you to get out of your comfort zone and attend your first remote site star party. The most obvious is dark skies, but how dark? In addition to dark skies, there are the many other great reasons to attend your first multi-day star party. We'll talk about those as well. And no star party would be complete without some great daytime adventures. We'll look at some examples from several different star parties.
If you have never attended one of these multi-day star parties you will have lots of questions. In fact, you may have avoided attending because you are unsure of what to expect. How do I plan my adventure? What should I bring? Where will I sleep? What about food and water? Will there be bathrooms and showers? What else do I need to bring to make sure that I have a good time? While every star party is unique, this talk will go over the common features of any start party to give you a leg up on preparing to have a great time. We will discuss star party etiquette and typical rules you need to follow. We will even dig into specifics for some of the major star parties you might wish to attend in the future.
My objective is to get those of you who have never attended one of these star parties to give it a try. And for those of you who already have, to give you some ideas of different star parties you might want to consider in the future.
Speaker: Curtis Macchioni, Western Digital
This meeting will be held using the video conference utility Zoom. The meeting link will be emailed to members. For non-members if you would like to join the meeting, please send an email to the club president asking for the meeting link and telling us a bit about your areas of interest in astronomy.
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