MAS star party GO/NO GO Policy

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jjones7777
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:02 pm
Real Name: Jerry Jones
Location: Stillwater, MN

MAS star party GO/NO GO Policy

Post by jjones7777 »

Greetings,

With the advent of the 2013 star party calendar,( and all following years), the MAS board has decided to alter the current policy for determining the Go/ No Go status of star parties at Cherry Grove and LLCC. In the past, the Go/No Go decision was made by the Observing Chair. However, with the plethora of weather predicting websites, the need for an ‘official’ call has become unnecessary. Consequently, here are the new MAS Go/No Go rules for CGO and LLCC:

1.Regarding Cherry Grove, there will no longer be any official MAS statement either on the webpage or by phone regarding the Go/No Go call. Individuals will be personally responsible for their own decisions regarding the weather.

2. Regarding LLCC, there will be no official MAS statement unless it is clearly a NO GO and the star party is CANCELLED due to weather. Beyond that, individuals will be personally responsible for making their own decisions regarding the weather. If the star party is CANCELLED, it will be posted on the website by 4:00 pm, as usual.

3. This new policy does not alter the policies for Eagle Lake public star parties, or Casby/Metcalf.

4. There WILL BE an official Go/No Go call for the following star parties: Messier Marathon, Virgo Venture, and the 4M (Mas Mini-Messier Marathon). This is due to the fact that these events involve a bit more coordination.

Due to this new policy, we will all need to become more skilled at weather prediction. Here are some starter suggestions.
1. Get to know the Clear Sky Chart. You can find links to these websites at the bottom of the MAS home page. You can also use this dropbox link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/21732102/sun-csc.html to see all of them in one place. Be warned: some of the clear sky charts are sponsored and get updated more quickly than others. Make sure you check to see how recently it was updated. And, don’t forget to check the underlying maps. They can be very helpful in determining if the site is in the middle of a wonderfully huge spot of clear weather or if it is on the edge of something nasty.
2. There are numerous weather services available. The first to check out would be the National Weather Service hourly forecast that can be found through the MAS Homepage, then choosing LLCC (or Cherry Grove) weather, then the National Weather Service text and graphical forecast. The Hourly Weather Forecast Graph is great because it can show you cloud cover, temp, humidity, wind, etc., hour by hour in 2-day segments. The Infrared satellite loop is helpful for finding up to the hour conditions.
3. There are multiple weather sites available. Weather.unisys.com, http://www.weather.com/ and http://www.wunderground.com to name three.

Here's to clear skies!
Jerry Jones
MAS Observing Co-Chair
Astronomical League Awards Coordinator
AL recognized Master Observer, Silver Level
15" "Eagle Eye"; 12.5" Obsession; C11 Edge in a SkyShedPod; 8" SCT; 152mm ES doublet; 105mm Mak; 94mm Brandon; 1957 Questar; 35mm Lunt Ha
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