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Observing Field Ettiquette

Cherry Springs Astronomy Etiquette (NEW 5-2017)
Whether you’re a first-time visitor, beginner, or experienced amateur astronomer there are a few guidelines to enhance your experience and that of other visitors.
Arrive Early
Arrive well before sunset to allow time to set up equipment and get oriented to the park.
Keeping it Dark
All lighting should be red, dim, and pointed downward. Red cellophane is offered at several locations in the park.
All types of screens (i.e. smart devices, laptops, and imaging equipment) should be red, shielded, and dim.
Avoid use of flash photography.
Keep your headlights on low beam when arriving or departing the parking area. Turn headlights off when the vehicle is parked.
When parked, shield your exterior or interior car lights. Turn off or add a thick layer of red cellophane or other light reduction material, and isolate the direction in which it shines.
All RV, trailer, and camper lights should be extinguished, unless proper shielding is installed to prevent light escaping.
Limit Smoking
Consider another location or do so downwind of other visitors and observing equipment.
Avoid Aerosol Sprays
Consider using a lotion or cream and if using a spray, do so well downwind of any observing equipment.
Smoke and grease from cooking can damage delicate optics. Consider using the grills provided or move downwind of any observing equipment.
Drive Slow
Road dust can damage delicate optics.
Quiet Time
Observe quiet hours but also consider visitors who stay up all night and sleep during the day.
Other Recreational Activities
For throwing ball and other activities, seek out open space and avoid busier areas, especially expensive equipment.


The ASTRONOMY OBSERVATION FIELD is for the use of Astronomers who are setting up their equipment (Telescopes) and plan to spend the entire night observing.  The gate can be closed at night and the tarp dropped.   The gate is not locked however, vehicular traffic in and out of the Observing Field is restricted after dark to emergencies only.  If you arrive at the park after dark, you must park across the road in the NIGHT SKY VIEWING area public parking lot and walk your equipment in, or wait until the following morning to go in.  Overnight stays in the public parking  area is not permitted, but you may camp in the regular campground on that side (honor envelopes are located at the small contact station near the end of the parking lot). Regular campground fees apply regardless if you hold a Galaxy pass. in 2015 the campground will be on a reserved basis.

OBSERVE the 5 mph speed limit at all times. NO DUST WAKE

NO Pets are permitted on the Astronomy Observation Field if astronomers are set up on the field.

YOU MUST PAY A FEE TO BE ON THE FIELD and do so prior to set up.  Please note your Galaxy Pass number on the fee envelope if you have one, and also write the general location of your site (closest road) so we can find you in case of emergencies.

Astronomers tend to be up all night observing and sleeping during the mornings.  QUIET HOURS remain in effect until noon..  Please make sure that all members of your party observe this, especially children. Generators may not run during quiet hours.

You must observe all light restrictions while staying on the Astronomy Observation Field.  This includes computer screens, lighting inside and outside vehicles, any lights in your tents and campers.  We recommend that you shield all lights with red cellophane and turn off all interior vehicle lights. Only low level red lighting is permitted, excessive lighting is also not permitted.

No green lasers are permitted at any time for any reason in the park.  Only Park Staff and members of the Dark Sky Team Educational Unit are permitted to use lasers.

When the field is crowded, all electrical pedestals MUST BE SHARED.  These are designed to operate small appliances, computers, GOTOs and to recharge batteries.  DO NOT PLUG YOUR CAMPER UNIT INTO THESE PEDESTALS.  If you are found to be running your camper off one of these pedestals, you will be unplugged and asked to leave.  Be courteous of others around you.  Be aware that there might be extension cords around these pedestals.

Loud music is not permitted.  If you wish to listen to music, please use earphone or plugs.

NO open fires are permitted on the field.  Please use camper stoves or the charcoal grills located at the pavillion or picnic area.

Garbage is pack in-pack out. Food items should be stored in your vehicle as the park is frequently visited by black bears, raccoons and skunks. 

Do NOT WASH DISHES at the water hydrants or in the restrooms.  Scrape all food off plates and dispose of properly.  Use a dishpan to wash dishes and biodegradable soap.  Dispose of dishwater in a responsible manner.   We care about our park environment, so should you!

Please police your campsite - this includes cigarette butts.  Be aware of forest fire hazards.

IF there are any disturbances or problems on the field, please contact park staff immediately.  There is an emergency phone located at the campground contact station (located near the public parking lot on the Night Sky Public Viewing area of the park).  The Lyman Run State Park office number is (814) 435-5010.  Medical emergencies should be directed to 911.

Large campers should be parked along the park perimeters so you are not blocking the sky view of those on the field.  If the field is very wet you may not be able to put your unit in the field as it could get stuck. Please scout the area before pulling in.  The interior of the field, from Milky Way blvd, Star Ave, to Pavilion Ave is for the use of very small campers and tents only.

Do not block any of the roads in the park.

If you come to the park with a large group or club, please be mindful of the amount of space you are taking.  Consolidate your area as much as possible so that others may also enjoy the field.  This is especially true prior to Star Parties...be aware that up to 500 Astronomers may register to attend and your cooperation will assure that everyone can have a great view of the sky. 

Please do not block access to the water hydrants.  Hydrant operate by pulling up on the handle.  DO NOT PUMP!.  Please make sure that hydrant is OFF before leaving the area.