Hawaiian Astronomical Society
Home of Amateur Astronomy in Hawaii

Star Party Etiquette

The members of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society enjoy sharing our Hawaiian skies with the children and adults of Hawaii. However, we would like to educate our guests on proper behavior at a star party so that everyone will be able to enjoy themselves as much as possible.

Flashlights: If you wish to use a flashlight, please cover the end with a red balloon or some red acetate to limit the amount of light emitted. You may not realize it, but after you have spent about 20 minutes in the dark your eyes adjust to the darkness allowing you to see more. It only takes a fraction of a second of looking at a bright light to destroy the dark adaptation and you will need to wait a while again before you can see clearly in the dark.

Food and drink: Sticky fingers, crumbs, and liquids are very bad for the equipment. If you need to eat or drink while at a star party, please keep a short distance away from the telescopes, and wipe your hands when you are done. Also, no alcoholic beverages are permitted at our star parties. Please deposit your trash in a waste bin, or take it home and throw it away there.

Look With Your Eyes and Not With Your Hands: Do not place your hands on the telescope. This will cause the telescope to move and the object you should be viewing will move out of the field of view.

Parents, please mind your children: Our star party locations are in public parks where children are used to running around. However, in the evening, it is easy to trip on a small mound of grass that you can't really see. We don't want anyone to get injured, and we also don't want our equipment damaged by someone running around and tripping / falling onto our telescopes.

Security reminder: All visitors, including HAS members, must not wander at will while on the Airfield property. We are restricted to be at midfield where we observe and to the restrooms. We are to stay away from the aircraft that are parked anywhere on the field. Apparently, there have been thefts from the aircraft, hence the security measures.

Headlights on your car: At our Dillingham Airfield site, you will park your car very near to where we set up our telescopes. When arriving at the site, please turn off your headlights so you will not temporarily blind someone. When leaving, please keep your headlights off until the front of your car is facing away from the telescopes. For those vehicles that turn on the headlights automatically, please consult your owner's manual for a way to turn off this "convenience".

Laser pointers: While laser pointers are very useful to point out objects in the sky, please be careful when using one. Do NOT target an aircraft with a laser pointer, and do NOT let children play with a laser pointer. The maximum output beam power level of a laser pointer allowed at an HAS star party is 5mW (milliWatts).

Smoking: Smoking is not allowed at our Dillingham Airfield star parties due to the high fire danger from dry vegetation all around our observing area. Campfires are also not allowed for the same reason.

Pets: Pets are not allowed at our Dillingham Airfield star parties as we don't want them to get loose and wander onto the runway. Please leave your pets at home