Star Party Etiquette

Time to remind everyone of the common rules for star party etiquette. As few simple considerations for your fellow star party participants help make the event more enjoyable for everyone.

Obsession at Kaʻohe
The 20″ Obsession telescope awaiting full dark at Kaʻohe, on the side of Mauna Kea
Not to say these are hard rules, they will get broken. Try not do break these rules… It is simply a matter of courtesy to other star party participants. Be polite and you will be far more welcomed to share the experience under a dark sky.

The points of etiquette below apply to any star party you might attend, with a few added bits particular to our West Hawaii Astronomy Club events.

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A Dark Night at Kaʻohe

A few months back I was reminded that I was remiss in scheduling proper club star parties. Thus I set about fixing that!

Telescope and Observing Table
A telescope and observing table in the dark at Kaʻohe
What about a site? The MKVIS at Hale Pōhaku is a total zoo lately, too many tourists, folks from the club are hesitant to go there for a good dark experience. it can also be cold and windy up there. Since Vaughn left the island a few months back, no one is using the old upper road site at Puʻu Kuainiho.

Thus I compromised at using my favorite site at Kaʻohe. At 5,800ft the site is lower, warmer, and less windy than the VIS. It also represents about half the drive time it takes to get to the VIS, without the tourist crowd. The site is higher and offers more reliable skies than the Puʻu Kuainiho site

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Darker View is Back

You may just have noted that DV was down for a few days. While I poked at the issue a bit I did not find the problem until today, Saturday. I finally had time to really sit down and figure out what was wrong.

Waterlilies
Waterlilies in an ornamental pond, iPhone photo processed in Prisma
It turns out the my service provider rearranged some things, the big one being the URL’s for the SQL database hosting machines. Thus, while all of the website files were there, they could not get to the databases that provide all of the actual content.

I probably received some e-mail explaining that there would be a change. I just ignored it in the usual torrent of messages I get every day.

Server names updated in the setup files and a few PHP scripts, it appears everything is back online. Sorry for any confusion!

Telescope Restoration Gallery

Yes, a new/old telescope has arrived at Andrew’s Home for Wayward Telescopes… A beat up and neglected 8″ Cave Astrola. The new arrival has me thinking of the other telescopes that have come through recently…

The 8″ f/6 Cave Astrola Lightweight Deluxe

Yes, Andrew’s Home for Wayward Telescopes has a new resident, an 8″ f/6 1978 vintage Cave Astrola.

8" Cave Astrola
The 8″ Cave Astrola as it arrived

This telescope was literally rescued from the dump. Matt, the owner of the excellent Mountain Road Cycles in Waimea found the telescope at the transfer station.

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Top posts of 2017

2017 was a good year for me personally. This is reflected in the blog, with an array of posts chronicling my life over the past year. The posts resulted in 60k visitors to the blog, and while that may be down from last year I will consider that an improvement given DarkerView was not hacked to serve porn this year.

It is interesting to check the most popular posts. These do not necessarily represent the top read posts for the year as most folks read the latest post on the home page. Rather the top posts are the ones that gather steady traffic from search results, people looking for information on the subject and finding it in the archive of back posts…

Post Hits
A Backyard Telescope Pier 3379
Tragedy on Mauna Kea 1980
Astrophotography with the EOS-M 1536
Repairing a Wii Balance Board 1529
Getting to the Lava (Revised) 1449
Starscape Photography 1436
Consequences of a Bad LED 1411
Rewiring a Celestron NexStar Telescope 809
Viewing the ISS 747
Visiting the Summit of Mauna Kea 656
Restoring an Orange Tube Celestron C8 622
Street Photography with the Canon EOS-M3 585
Fungus on Glass 575
Canon EOS-M3 Review 541
Shooting the Canon EOS M5 518

In the list only a few of the posts are from this year. Most represent popular posts from the past several years, posts that continue to be steadily popular. This is in many ways the measure of a good blog, people find the back archive of posts valuable, that Darker View represents good content.

2017 Gallery

2017 featured many adventure recorded in the photos of the year. Fun to look back and relive the expereince…