Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead Star Party


SAS Only

Type: Star Party

Keywords: Special Event Members Only

Held on: Aug 12, 2023 (Sat) at 09:00 PM to Aug 12, 2023 (Sat) at 11:30 PM

Sunset Times:

  • Official at 08:24 PM
  • Civil at 08:58 PM
  • Nautical at 09:41 PM
  • Astronomical at 10:30 PM

Lunar Phase:

Location: Rattlesnake Mountain Trail Parking Lot @ Snoqualmie Point Park

Event Coordinator: Russ Coad


This Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead Star Party is reserved for SAS members-only and closed to the public.  (A star party in nearby Snoqualmie Point Park is open on this same night to the public.) For SAS members, many of whom are very experienced observers, this members-only star party will offer an opportunity to interact and thereby enrich observing experience by learning from each other. That learning and interaction will ultimately benefit all future SAS members, new and experienced alike, because the diversity of experience will ultimately provide the opportunity to share greater knowledge and expertise with future newcomers and inexperienced members in SAS.  This members-only status designates this star party as a "Special Event"  because all other SAS star parties are open to ALL.


Latitude 47.5093365, Longitude -121.8437521

Star Party Guidelines

SAS Guidelines for Members-Only Star Parties

The Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) has established the following set of guidelines to be followed at all SAS star parties. These are common sense in nature and are intended to maximize everyone’s enjoyment while attending an SAS star party. If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, make certain you understand these guidelines by asking the key master of the event for answers to those questions before arriving at the star party . The key master has final authority during a star party, so please abide by his or her direction.

Some of the listed items below concern lighting during a star party. Proper dark adaptation of the human eye for visual astronomy requires approximately 30 minutes to achieve, and a bright light of any color is known to disrupt dark adaptation and spoil an observer's night vision. Moreover, astronomers who are imaging with sensitive cameras suffer ruined images with bright light intrusion. For the benefit of all, please prepare in advance so that your lights will not disturb others.

  • Be certain you are familiar with the observing site. If you are not familiar with the area, plan to arrive extremely early so that you are not late. Knowing where you are going and arriving on time can ensure that you will avoid disrupting everyone with your headlights or being locked outside the observing area.
  • You are responsible for your guests and children. If you bring a guest or a child, please share these guidelines with them; and make certain that these guidelines are well understood and followed faithfully by all attendees.
  • No open fires are permitted. Use a camp stove for cooking. If you are using a propane or white gas heater in your tent or camper, be certain that you have adequate ventilation.
  • No littering should occur. If no trash containers are provided, carry your garbage out when you leave.
  • No white lights should be used after dark. Use only dim, red lights after sundown, and restrict all light use to the minimum light necessary for safety. Make certain all auto door lights, trunk lights, and backup lights are heavily shielded. (Pull fuses or unscrew bulbs if necessary.) No white lights should be used after dark.
  • Members-only star party starting and ending times shall be clearly identified on the SAS website, shall be rigidly observed by all SAS members, and shall be enforced by the key master. For members-only star parties no automobile entry or exit from the parking lot will be permitted during the star party unless all personal and vehicle white lights have been extinguished or shielded from the view of all other star party attendees. Please do not ask to be the exception to this guideline.
  • No green laser pointers or bright, red lights are permitted at members-only star parties unless they are authorized by the key master. If you bring a red light that, in the opinion of the key master, is excessively bright, the key master is fully authorized to ask you to further shield or extinguish it. The fact that the light is red does not mean it will not impact the night vision of some star party participants.
  • Always park in a way that will facilitate leaving with an absolute minimum of light display to other observers. Park so that your car is facing towards the exit to avoid unwelcome illumination from backup lights. Shift quickly and smoothly past the reverse gear and into drive mode. If you are planning to leave early, park close to the exit and as far from other members and their telescopes as possible. Before you turn on any personal or vehicle lights, alert the key master. When you are given authorization to leave, call out loudly to all other star party attendees that you are planning to leave; and give at least ten seconds notice. Then leave as directly and quickly as you can safely manage your exit. If you do not bring a telescope, park at least 100 yards from all telescopes; and walk into the area. Remember and remind your guests that no white lights should be used after dark!
  • Take every precaution to drive safely while in the observing area. If dust is in any way a problem, drive very slowly. Keep dust at an absolute minimum.
  • Leave small children and pets at home. Generally, SAS public star parties are family-friendly events, and kids are welcome. However, with regard to members-only star parties, young people must be old enough to follow the requirements imposed by these guidelines. Pets can be a serious safety problem in darkness as they may present extra hazards, leading to tripping, in addition to the usual possibilities of tripping over tripods, batteries, cables, etc.
  • Keep noise to a minimum. Please, refrain from using loud radios or other electronic sound sources and from any unnecessary noise or yelling, etc. Keep cell phones on the lowest volume settings, and keep phone conversations brief. If you want to listen to personal music, please use headphones.
  • Cell phones, tablets, and laptops must be shielded. These devices are surprisingly bright and can disturb the night vision of the user as well as that of other observers nearby. Please turn screen brightness to the bare minimum, and engage red display mode if it's available. Those who plan to use their devices throughout the observing session should please use appropriate red filters (e.g., Rubylith).
  • Use parking lights only. Even at the end of the established star party time, when you are leaving the immediate vicinity of the observing site, exercise genuine respect for the night vision of any remaining observers. If you experience any trouble in seeing with just parking lights, then ask a friend with a red light to walk ahead of your vehicle until you are well beyond the observing area. No headlights should be used! Nothing destroys a person’s night vision, spoils an astrophoto, or ruins the camaraderie of a lovely star party experience like misdirected car headlights.
  • Never leave anyone alone at the observing site when the star party ends. Some SAS observing sites are in remote locations. Be sure no one is left behind due to car trouble or other unexpected issues.

Following these guidelines should allow every star party participant to have a fun, safe, and enjoyable star party experience. Remember that the key master is an observer, too, and that he or she deserves to enjoy some quiet observing time.

There are no notes for this event.


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