Here are a bunch of things to NEVER do when you’re stargazing, as they will upset the host(s), other observers, and others around you. That said, most of these rules fall under of “if you wouldn’t like someone else doing it, then you shouldn’t do it either.” These examples are not an exhaustive list, but a set of 5 items that should always be followed.
- Be rude to others
Never be rude to others. You never know who you’re speaking to, as the astronomy community is small, creating a bad reputation can hurt your observing privileges and more.
- Use Excessive White Light/Non Red Light
Using white light, might be unavoidable in some instances, such as driving in and out of some observing sites. However, when this is the case, make sure to minimize the use of said light. Moreover, make sure to ensure that all of your flashlights and other light bearing tools have appropriate and observing friendly light colors.
- Shine Lights In Fellow Observers eyes
Regardless of the light color, shining lights or laser pointers directly at the eyes of the other observers will not only not make you any friends, but is a very quick way to earning a ban from observing at that location again.
- Shine Laser Pointer At Aircraft Or Other Moving Objects Or People
Shining laser pointers at aircraft, cockpits, and other people is not only dangerous, but illegal. Laser pointers can blind pilots, causing them to make mistakes that could lead to deaths. The legality of pointing laser pointers at peoples eyes vary depending on the state, but pointing laser pointers at the eyes of pilots is a great way to get yourself a visit from the FBI and other law enforcement.
- Dont clean up after yourself
Ensuring the the areas that you perform astronomy are clean not only ensures that the site remains usable for yourself and others going forward, but also that the astronomy community maintains a good reputation. If the area you are using is not clean, it is not likely that the area will be available for use in the future if others have to spend significant amounts of time cleaning it up.
- Talk Really Loud
Talking really loud is not only rude to do while in a crowded or public place during the day, it is annoying to say the least when doing amateur astronomy. Other astronomers want to be able to talk to each other and do astronomy, not hear your phone calls or arguments.
For dark sky sites closer to Portland, check out this article and make sure to come back next week for more great content like this. Connect with us on our social media such as Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on new articles, events, and more.