New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

This is where you will find information and updates for all MAS Star Parties and Events open to the public.

Moderator: defalkner

Post Reply
User avatar
defalkner
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:35 pm
Real Name: Dave Falkner

New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by defalkner »

Rules for Metcalf/JJC are now posted at the end. LLCC will be opening soon. Continue to monitor this forum for the lastest update.

These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP). A forum post with the title “ISP - <date>” should be created under the appropriate site. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date and site when the limit of 10 people is reached.

Here are the site rules:
Cherry Grove Observatory (CGO)
Post on Cherry Grove Observatory Discussions - viewforum.php?f=25

There will be a limit of 10 people on the site at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.
• Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people at the CGO site per night.
• If using observatory telescopes sanitize your hands before using them.
• One person per night in the observatory
• One person for using 24” Dob
• You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.
• Wipe down observatory equipment touched with disinfecting wipes. Do not wipe down eyepieces.
• Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
• No sharing of telescopes.
• Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers or in the warming house – maintain social distancing.
• No more than 3 people at a time in the warming house – with masks on – maintain social distancing
• No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices in warming house and wipe down door handles and the like when through. This includes the outhouse as well.

Eagle Lake Observatory (ELO)
Post on Eagle Lake Observatory Discussions - viewforum.php?f=18
ELO keyholders wanting to use Onan or SA Casby should also reserve as you have been on the reservation calendar at http://forums.mnastro.org/booked/Web/my-calendar.php

There will be a limit of 10 people on the site at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.
• Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people should on the ELO observing grounds including Onan, SAC, HotSpot and the upper and lower plazas.
• If using the observatory telescopes sanitize your hands before using them.
• Only two people in Onan at a time.
• Only one person in Sylvia.
• One person using 20” Dob
• You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.
• Wipe down observatory equipment touched with disinfecting wipes. Do not wipe down eyepieces.
• Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
• No sharing of telescopes.
• Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers.
• Anyone warming up in HotSpot must have masks on and maintain social distancing
• No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices and wipe down door handles and the like when through.
• If unscheduled observers arrive at the observatory the overflow should be directed to the softball field where the same 10-foot rule is suggested.

One more note regarding ELO – Although these are impromptu star parties, when you are at a MAS facility what you do reflects on the MAS. Please be mindful of how you conduct yourselves.

There are “Private Star Party” signs on the upper shelf in Baby Bear. It is highly recommended those be placed on the perimeter to discourage the general public from approaching. However, I would not be surprised if you have public visitors approach you and want to look through your telescope. Please advise them that this is a member-only event and that the MAS will begin holding public star parties when large group gatherings are allowed.

Metcalf Field
These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP). A forum post with the title “ISP - <date>” should be created on the Metcalf Discussion Forum. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date and site when the limit of 10 people is reached.

Post intention to go observe on Metcalf Field Discussions – viewforum.php?f=49

There will be a limit of 10 people on the site at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.

• Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people at Metcalf Field per night.
• Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
• No sharing of telescopes.
• Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers or in the warming house – maintain social distancing.
• No more than 2 people at a time in the warming house – with masks on – maintain social distancing
• No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices in warming house and wipe down door handles and the like when through. This includes the outhouse as well.

Joseph J Casby Observatory
Only JJ Casby Keyholders will be allowed to the observatory for either plaza or telescope use.
These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP). A forum post with the title “ISP - <date>” should be created on the JJC Keyholder Discussion Forum. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date and site when the limit of 5 people is reached.

Post intention to observer at JJ Casby on the JJ Casby Keyholder Forum: viewforum.php?f=41
Current policies on the use of JJ Casby are still in effect. You can find them at viewtopic.php?f=41&t=10632

With the limited space at JJC we will limit the use of the plaza to 3 keyholders (keeping the 10-foot minimum distance between setups) and a limit of 2 keyholders in the observatory. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.

• If using the observatory telescope sanitize your hands first.
• Only two people in JJC at a time.
• You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.
• Wipe down observatory equipment touched with disinfecting wipes. Do not wipe down eyepieces.
• Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
• No sharing of telescopes.
• Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers.
• The Belwin buildings will remain locked and off limits. Negotiations are in process to get a biffy up there.

I realize these rules make observing a little more challenging, but the Board and Site Managers believe these rules will help ensure the safety of our membership. Thank you for your cooperation.
Clear skies!
Dave Falkner
10" Meade SNT
iOptron iEQ45 Mount
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8 SCT
CGO Committee
MAS Secretary
User avatar
Sureshks
Posts: 1077
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:43 pm
Real Name: Suresh Sreenivasan
Location: Hopkins, MN

Re: New Site Use Rules - 5/20/2020

Post by Sureshks »

Hi Dave,

Thanks for posting these new guidelines. One question... as someone who does not wear glasses or use contacts, how should I interpret this guideline?

You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.

Thanks again.

Suresh
Suresh Sreenivasan
B-SIG/FB/Metcalf Comm

Refr: AP 130mm GTX/SW 120mm/Borg 4"/Unitron 150 4"/Jason 2.25”
Dobs: ATM 16"/Orion 12”
Newts: Cave 8" RFT/Criterion RV6/Astroscan 4"/Orion 3.6" TCT
SNs: Meade 6"/Celestron 5.5"
SCTs: Celestron 9.25"/8”/B&L Criterion 4”
Maks: SW 7"/Quantum 4"/Meade 3.5” ETX
Cass: Vixen 8” VISAC/Simmons 4.5"
RC: MallinCam 10"
Sol: Lunt 80mm DS/PST
Bino: Vixen 12x80/Nikon 10x50
Mounts: CGX/EQ6r-Pro/AVX/GDPX/Porta II
User avatar
merle
Posts: 3766
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:04 am
Location: Farmington / Lakeville

Re: New Site Use Rules - 5/20/2020

Post by merle »

Sureshks wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 5:11 pm One question... as someone who does not wear glasses or use contacts, how should I interpret this guideline?
This is only when using the MAS eyepieces and scopes in Onan and SA Casby. The intent is to protect the eyepiece and not have to clean it repeatedly. If you use your own eyepieces this would not be necessary. This would also be a good practice if your viewing through someone else' telescope too.

Merle
Clear skies,
Merle Hiltner
MAS Eagle Lake Observatory Facility Director
Onan Observatory • Sylvia A. Casby Observatory • HotSpot Classroom
merle.hiltner@gmail.com
User avatar
Deane Clark
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: Mpls

Re: New Site Use Rules - 5/20/2020

Post by Deane Clark »

Most hardware stores sell protective eyewear in at least a few styles. I have seen some that are kind of a wraparound style that look like they might be good enough for viewing through telescopes. Thankfully, the eyepieces we use most at ELO have generous eye relief.
Deane Clark
Eagle Lake Observatory Committee
------------------------
I can quit any time I want. I just don't want to.
www.aponon.org
FF2Rydia
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:56 am
Real Name: Kris Hultner
Location: Bloomington

Re: New Site Use Rules - 5/20/2020

Post by FF2Rydia »

Deane Clark wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 10:10 pm Most hardware stores sell protective eyewear in at least a few styles. I have seen some that are kind of a wraparound style that look like they might be good enough for viewing through telescopes.
I was wondering where one could obtain such eye protection. Thanks Deane!
Kris Hultner
User avatar
merle
Posts: 3766
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:04 am
Location: Farmington / Lakeville

Re: New Site Use Rules - 5/20/2020

Post by merle »

To name a few...

Menards, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Target, Walmart, and of course Amazon
Clear skies,
Merle Hiltner
MAS Eagle Lake Observatory Facility Director
Onan Observatory • Sylvia A. Casby Observatory • HotSpot Classroom
merle.hiltner@gmail.com
rdavidjohnson63
Posts: 457
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:07 pm
Real Name: Dave Johnson

Re: New Site Use Rules - 5/20/2020

Post by rdavidjohnson63 »

I was at Harbor Freight the other day and picked up several pair of clear safety glasses at $1.99 each.
Keyholder - ELO and JJC
Mentor - JJC
Committee member - ELO and JJC
Celestron CPC 925
Celestron 8SE
Celestron CGEM II mount
Stellarview SV105
Lunt LS60T Ha
Astro-Tech AT102ED
ZWO - ASI294MC Pro
FF2Rydia
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:56 am
Real Name: Kris Hultner
Location: Bloomington

Re: New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by FF2Rydia »

The "Most hardware stores" in the quote of Deane was my answer.
Kris Hultner
glbatch1
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:57 pm
Real Name: Gibson Batch

Re: New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by glbatch1 »

I see that some people have reserved large number of spots in public star parties - that seems a little unfair to others.

I am also unclear about the timing of the reservations - is there a set period of time each person should be there? If you would have several time slots, say every hour, would that enable more people to attend? How about limiting the number of reservation slots to 4-8 per person.

I haven't been to a star party this year because the rules seem so prohibitive. As a member, can I just go to Metcalf or CGO by myself some night that has no announced event? Is there a reason why I should not try to do this. I have my own scope and would not be touching any MAS equipment - I just need a dark sky.
User avatar
Sureshks
Posts: 1077
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:43 pm
Real Name: Suresh Sreenivasan
Location: Hopkins, MN

Re: New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by Sureshks »

Hi Gibson,

I can understand the frustration with the COVID rules. As coordinator of the BSIG, I have to manage thru them too. Just a sign of the times, I guess. I think that everyone hopes that a vaccine is found soon and we can lift these rules.

FYI -- The rules to visit any of our sites on any night now is to set up an Impromptu Star Party (ISP) on the MAS Forum to let people know. It also helps with COVID contact tracing... and of course, it's nice to know who'll be out there.

So if you do not see see an ISP set up for a night you're going out, please do set one up!

Suresh
Suresh Sreenivasan
B-SIG/FB/Metcalf Comm

Refr: AP 130mm GTX/SW 120mm/Borg 4"/Unitron 150 4"/Jason 2.25”
Dobs: ATM 16"/Orion 12”
Newts: Cave 8" RFT/Criterion RV6/Astroscan 4"/Orion 3.6" TCT
SNs: Meade 6"/Celestron 5.5"
SCTs: Celestron 9.25"/8”/B&L Criterion 4”
Maks: SW 7"/Quantum 4"/Meade 3.5” ETX
Cass: Vixen 8” VISAC/Simmons 4.5"
RC: MallinCam 10"
Sol: Lunt 80mm DS/PST
Bino: Vixen 12x80/Nikon 10x50
Mounts: CGX/EQ6r-Pro/AVX/GDPX/Porta II
User avatar
Deane Clark
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: Mpls

Re: New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by Deane Clark »

And to be clear, as a member you can use any site on any night you like, within the rules for that site of course. Just check the “Discussion” forum for the site you are going to (not the “Keyholders” forum), to see if anyone else has announced an ISP for that night. If so, add yourself to that thread as long as the site attendance limit has not been reached. If there isn’t an existing thread, create one yourself following the common format (e.g. titled “ISP 9/1/2020 Tuesday” ).

If you are more interested in attending a public star party at ELO, then I would just advise signing up early. I don’t think they have been assigning “shifts” as you suggest. That’s a nice idea, but of course further complicates an already complicated situation. I believe you would be welcome to bring your own scope to one, but remember you will probably be interacting with the “general” public who may want to look through your scope, or just ask you about it. So you would need to plan ahead for social distancing around your rig.
Deane Clark
Eagle Lake Observatory Committee
------------------------
I can quit any time I want. I just don't want to.
www.aponon.org
User avatar
merle
Posts: 3766
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:04 am
Location: Farmington / Lakeville

Re: New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by merle »

Gibson,

If you are looking to attend a public star party, then as Deane suggests, try to sign up early. As far as having "shifts", again, as Deane mentioned, that would add to an already complex situation.

As far as the large group, the Sept 5 event is the only one where we have had one group request a large number of spots (15). For such a large group I have asked them to schedule a private outreach event, but have not heard back yet.

If you want to help at a public event, I would welcome that. One thing that we could use more of are members willing to bring their own scopes to show the public the night sky. The more "stations" we have for our guests to visit the more smoothly the event goes. The added benefit is after the guests leave, you're free to observe the rest of the night.

If you are a member and don't have a telescope, you can help with crowd control or just talking with guests and answering their questions while they are waiting to view through a scope. We also have a on site loaner you could use to view the sky.

Remember, we're all volunteers. We're doing the best we can with the situation we all find ourselves in and we're trying to accommodate the best we can.

Merle
Clear skies,
Merle Hiltner
MAS Eagle Lake Observatory Facility Director
Onan Observatory • Sylvia A. Casby Observatory • HotSpot Classroom
merle.hiltner@gmail.com
User avatar
Deane Clark
Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: Mpls

Re: New Site Use Rules - Updated 5/22/2020

Post by Deane Clark »

I'm wondering if an update is needed again since the new lockdown-lite was instituted by the governor.
Deane Clark
Eagle Lake Observatory Committee
------------------------
I can quit any time I want. I just don't want to.
www.aponon.org
Post Reply