Items To Bring To A Star Party

When traveling near or far to a star party, there are certain items that you will need to bring to have a successful and enjoyable experience.

  1. Telescope: you’ll have hours of fun polar aligning it.
  2. Finderscope: points at what the telescope points at.
  3. Telrad: points at what the finderscope points at.
  4. Red Flashlight: to look at your star chart, and find out what the telescope, finderscope, and Telrad are all pointing at.
  5. White Flashlight: to find the red flashlight, preferably solar-powered.
  6. Dew Shield: to fight the dew.
  7. Corrector Plate Windshield Wiper: to fight the really bad dew.
  8. Ladder: only for dobsonian owners.
  9. Dobsonian: only for ladder owners.
  10. Chairs: place to sit down when tired.
  11. Cooler: place to sit down when others have borrowed your chairs.
  12. Water: something to put in your cooler.
  13. Snacks: to satisfy the 2 a.m. munchies.
  14. Infrared Spectrometer: in case the site has a lot of interstellar dust.
  15. Field Collimating Kit: in case of bumpy roads.
  16. Insect repellant: self-explanatory.
  17. Two miles of extension cords: just in case.
  18. Small 12 volt power source: like a gas generator.
  19. Umbrella: so you can continue observing while it’s raining.
  20. Fan:
    1. insect dispersion.
    2. makes you popular!
  21. Smudge-be-gone: takes smudges off your dirty eyepieces
    (caution, some of those smudges might be the object you were looking for.)
  22. Portable Radio: for listening to music on slow nights, including headphones.
  23. Portable Radio Telescope: for listening to the sky on slow nights.
  24. Eyepieces: here are a few that might be necessary for a productive night.
    • 50mm for wide field views of nebulae and clusters
    • 40mm for not so wide field views of nebulae and clusters
    • 35mm for medium open clusters and smaller nebulae
    • 32mm for fainter, wide clusters and large galaxies
    • 28mm for smaller open clusters and medium galaxies and nebulae
    • 22mm for faint galaxies, bright globulars and medium planetaries
    • 20mm for small faint galaxies, not so bright globulars and faint medium
    • 18mm for small planetaries and really small faint galaxies
    • 12mm for realy small planetaries and really faint globulars
    • 9mm for really small and faint planetaries
    • 7mm for really small and really faint planetaries
    • 4.8mm for little star-like planetaries and fuzzy views of planets
  25. Books: here are a few that may be helpful
    • Astronomy for Beginners
    • Introduction to Astronomy
    • Astronomy for Beginners: An Introduction
    • Introduction to Astronomy for Beginners
    • Introduction to Beginners for Astronomers
    • The Universe: A Users Guide
    • How to Identify Clouds at Night
    • Field Guide to Naked-eye Planetary Nebulae Vol. I & II
    • Infrared Spectrometry Made Easy
    • Cosmology for Dummies
    • SAMS Teach Yourself High Energy Astrophysics in 24 Hours
    • The Complete Idiots Guide to Quantum Physics
    • Ceremonial Rituals for Summoning the Gods of Clear Skies
    • Ceremonial Rituals for Appeasing the Gods of Rain by Blanca Mercedes-Forshee
    • Roadkill Identification Manual
    • Roadkill Barbeque Cookbook