The 2014 Indiana Family Star Party/GREATCon will be held July 24-27, 3pm Thursday through noon Sunday, at Camp Cullom, the site of the Prairie Grass Observatory, about 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Sponsored by Camp Cullom (Clinton County Foundation for Youth), the Wabash Valley Astronomical Society (Lafayette, IN), the Indiana Astronomical Society (Indianapolis), the Muncie Astronomy Club, and the Great Lakes Region of the Astronomical League.
this year, the Great Lakes
Region of the Astronomical League will be holding an
astro-quiz at 10:30 am on Saturday.
want to bring in
a small telescope for a
single day, you can either bring it on the haywagon, or if you arrive
during daylight hours, you can drive it to the observing field, and
then return your car to the "single day" parking lot before
But then you'll have to carry your telescope back to the parking lot
when you leave (with the haywagon available until midnight).
General Info: Gates open at 3pm Thursday, and 10 am Friday and Saturday. The check-in booth will be at the entrance to the single-day lot (see maps) during "peak hours" of 4pm-10pm Friday, and 10am-10pm Saturday. During other hours, weekend registrants can check in at the info room in the Nature Center. Note that weekend registrants arriving after 10pm will have to park in the single-day parking lot for their first night, since driving is not allowed past this point after dark.
Single-day attendees will only be admitted during "peak hours" of 4-10 pm Friday or 10am-10pm Saturday when the check-in booth at the parking lot is open. You can stay as late as you like.
year: swap meet time has been changed to 11:30 am-12 noon, Friday and Saturday.
|dusk till dawn
|10:00 am- noon||brunch|
|11:30 am -noon||swap meet at picnic shelter|
|6:15 pm||Ice Cream Social and IFSP Orientation
|7:00 pm||Round-table Discussion|
|8:00 pm||Sky Trekker Launch|
||Sky Trekker Testing|
|dusk till dawn
|11:30 am-noon||swap meet at picnic shelter|
|12:45 pm||Intro session: IFSP Orientation|
||Awards and door
|dusk till dawn
|Next Year||July 16-19||IFSP 2015|
Water and restrooms are available at the Nature
There are showers in the Lodge basement.
There is only one set of showers, so there's a shower schedule:
|8am - 10 am: Women
10 am - 12 pm: Men & boys
12 pm - 2 pm: Small children accompanied by parents
2 pm - 4 pm: Women & girls
4 pm - 6 pm: Men & boys
There are campsites
scattered throughout the camp.
There is a Wi-Fi antenna on the south side of the Nature
Center. It should cover most of the observing field.
There is also a wireless router covering the observatory area.
We will run extension cords from the Nature Center to nearer
of the observing field for those needing ac power.
Bring your own power strip and extra extension cords.
There is an information room in the northeast corner of the
Star Party Etiquette and tips:
If you've never been to a star party before, here are a few tips:
Most amateur astronomers love to show off what's visible through their scopes, so don't be shy about asking to look through someone's scope. If the image doesn't appear to be properly focused, ask the scope owner how to adjust the focus. If you wear glasses for near- or far-sightedness, you will probably find it easier to view if you remove your glasses and adjust the focus for your eyes.
If the object being viewed appears near the edge of the scope's field of view, or if you can't see it at all, tell the scope owner so he can adjust the aim. Many scopes today have motorized or computerized mounts which can be damaged if you try to move the scope manually. However some other scopes have very simple mounts that aren't even motorized to track the object (as the earth rotates beneath it), so the object will slowly drift across the field of view. That means you may need to occasionally move the scope to keep the object centered. In most cases, you move it by just physically nudging the eyepiece end of the scope, but check with the owner first. And since the optics may make the image appear upside-down or mirror reversed, the direction that you need to move the scope may not be what you expect, so try a small nudge first to find out how the image moves. As a general rule, the skyward end of the scope needs to move gradually towards the west, to counter the earth's eastward rotation.
No white light! Many astronomical objects are faint, even when viewed through a telescope, so preserving the dark-adapted state of our eyes is very important. Red-light flashlights are permitted, since red light has less effect on dark-adaptation. If you don't have a red-light flashlight, we will have a roll of transparent red plastic available at the information booth (at the Nature Center) to put over your flashlight to convert it to red light. Even then, keep it aimed low, and avoid shining it in people's faces.
Bring warm clothing. Even in July/August, it can get surprisingly cold late at night. And if you'll be there during the day, remember to bring sunscreen.
Many of those camped on the observing field will be staying up
late and sleeping during the day, so loud noise, especially before
is seriously frowned upon.