Ten Commandments of Star Parties

May 5, 2013


Moving it ahead for daylight savings time was a real bitch.

  1. Shatter not the darkness at the site of observing. Man-made lights thou shalt eschew, save the faint of red.
  2. Thou shalt not illuminate thy headlights of thy automobile, nor the car door shalt thy open before the disconnecting of thy dome light. Even a match strucketh in haste is mightily unpleasing in the dark-adapted eyes of the observer.
  3. Carefully thou shalt walk about the site of observing, lest thou stumble over the cords of power, and legs of tripodium. Free will thou hast been given to breaketh thine own neck, but jostle not thy neighbor’s equipment.
  4. This one is for my BFF's at JPL.From the dust of the ground thou shalt not raise a cloud with thy clumsy clodhoppers. Neither shalt thou burn rubber with thy hot rod, even though thy best friend be watching thee with encouraging glee.
  5. Exposeth not thine tonsils to the night air with overly loud talk. Tooteth not of the horn, neither shall thee raceth thy motor. For just as the condemned man sayeth “No noose is good noose,” the observer sayeth “The noise annoys.”
  6. Pondereth most carefully before thou seeketh to borrow thy neighbor’s equipment. A sought screwdriver is reasonable – a telescope questionable. Wouldst thou ask to borrow the corpse at a wake?
    Something something something Uranus.
  7. Thou shalt surely praise thy fellow observer’s equipment. Even when thou findest naught of ment, for thou canst at least laud the colour of the paint, and the darkness will absolve thee from lying. But keepeth straight of face, for verily a straight face is the shortest distance between two deceptions.
  8. Thou shalt not disturb anyone who hath gluethed the eye of a camera to the cosmos. Their mind may be light-years away, exploring great mysteries, unscrewing the inscrutable. Or it may be the case that you interrupt the “tracking” of a photo. Though be it very likely to turn out badly anyway, permit the “unguided” ones to spoileth their own images.
  9. Look out, he's got a barlow!Spliteth not the night air with the squabbling with thine spouse. If they sighteth a flying saucer, belittle not their wisdom, yea help them count the little green men lest they seek a more agreeable companion. The plural of mouse is mice, the plural of louse is lice, but the plural of spouse is not spice. The Universe is a mystery but the plural of spouse is a bigamystery.
  10. Thou shalt cleaneth the site of observing before thou leavest, and close all gates behind thee. These duties will behoove thy fellow observers, of whose motto might be said: “We try harder, ours is only the second oldest profession.”


I’ve constructed this based on memory of something I read in an astronomy club newsletter many decades ago. My apologies to whomever thunk it up first. ~ Brad

Carpe Noctem

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