Star Party Etiquette


We hold “star parties” for the general public almost every month at the Arthur Pursell Observatory. 9242 Ave 184, Tulare, California 93274.

If you plan on attending a star party there some things you need to know to make your experience more enjoyable.

  1. Arrive before the designated time of the event, usually before twilight ends. It is very disconcerting to other observers if you arrive late and wash the crowd with your headlights. It takes twenty minutes for ones eyes to become dark adapted and only one second to destroy it.
  2. Park in the parking lot. Do not drive up to the observing area.
  3. Always bring a “red light” flashlight. Red light will save your dark-adapted eyesight. Please keep all flashlights out of the hands of children. They like to play with them, which becomes very annoying to the other attendees.
  4. Stay on the Sidewalks. The ground is uneven.
  5. Closely supervise all children.  This is not a play area.  Only bring children who can understand and appreciate the stargazing experience.  Children should be able to look but not touch. Our equipment is expensive.
  6. Never touch a telescope with you hands unless the technician instructs you how and where to touch. If the object is not centered or seems to be out of focus, let the technician know so the he can fix it for you.
  7. Place you eye as close as possible to the eyepiece. Your eyebrow may gently touch the eyepiece.
  8. Be carful walking around the telescopes. Be carful do not kick the tripod with your foot. If the telescope is computer controlled it will loose it’s alignment. The scope will need to be realigned in order to find objects.
  9. Senior citizens and folks having breathing or walking difficulties, please beware that the Observatory is a very dusty area and the walk up to the observing area can be difficult. It is a dirt road and not an even flat surface. Please be very careful and take plenty of time walking up to the entrance sidewalk.