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Jabal Al Sarah Astronomy Camp/Star Party
16 May @ 4:00 pm – 22 May @ 11:00 am +04
Back on schedule, I will see you there!
(Please note dates may be slightly adjusted closer to the deadline, check this page for updates)
Do you have a fascination for the stars and the cosmos? If so, you should consider attending an astronomy star party. These events are gatherings of amateur and professional astronomers who come together to observe celestial objects and share their knowledge and passion for astronomy. Star parties are usually held at locations with dark skies, far from the city lights that interfere with stargazing.
Famous star parties like the Texas Star Party, the Winter Star Party in Florida, and the Stellafane Convention in Vermont have been attracting astronomy enthusiasts for years. These events offer attendees the opportunity to view some of the most breathtaking astronomical objects in the night sky.
Jebal Al Serah mountain, located in a remote area with clear skies and almost no light pollution, is an ideal location for a star party. The mountain’s elevated height allows for an even better view of the stars, planets, and galaxies. As summer is approaching, you can expect glorious views of the milky way at around 1 AM. The summer milky way is an amazing sight and well worth the drive.
The forecasted weather is a minimum of around 15 degrees C and a maximum in the low 20s. Excellent opportunity to beat the summer heat and meet other astronomer
While attending a star party can be an exciting and memorable experience, it is important to remember proper star party etiquette. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Be respectful of others – Keep noise levels low and avoid shining bright lights around others’ telescopes. Remember that many people attend star parties to observe faint astronomical objects, and bright lights can ruin their experience.
- Ask before touching – It is important to ask for permission before touching someone else’s telescope or equipment. Even small adjustments can throw off an alignment, and some telescopes can be delicate and easily damaged.
- Follow the rules – Be sure to adhere to any rules or guidelines set by the event organizers, such as parking restrictions or telescope setup areas.
- Be prepared – Bring warm clothing, as temperatures can drop significantly at night. Also, be sure to bring any necessary equipment, such as binoculars, red lights, and star charts.
Attending an astronomy star party can be a rewarding and educational experience. So why not pack your bags and head to Jebal Al Serah mountain to explore the night sky? You never know what wonders you might discover!
Details about this star party
This is a new star party, and thus does not have advanced structure that the large American star parties have. I am keeping the organization simple. For this year, the rules are simple, bring your own camping gear, food and astronomy equipment and enjoy the company of other astronomers. This is not an out-reach event. We are not targeting people who don’t have an ongoing interest in astronomy and are just looking for weekend entertainment. The current aim is to attract people who are already interested in astronomy and are looking for a chance to go out there and get to practice their hobby with other like-minded people.
You don’t need a telescope to attend, you can even just lay down on the ground and observe the milky way if that is what you want, but don’t expect a set of telescopes lined up for public viewing, that is a different kind of event referred to as an astronomy outreach event. For those who do not have experience camping in the Omani mountains, please be aware that the ground is hard and sleeping arrangements need to take this into consideration. A folding cot/bed would be helpful, otherwise a thick folding mattress is great for comfort, these are readily available in most large supermarkets. The weather is expected to be cold at night, please plan accordingly. Remember that being out in the cold for 2 to 3 hours is not the same as being out in the cold all night.
Rules for this star party
- No large LED area lights, these are strictly prohibited, if you continue to use bright lights of this type, you might be asked to leave, even if it is past midnight.
- User a red light whenever possible and keep it dim. Avoid bright lights. If you have a head torch, point it downwards.
- Keep fires and any other lights you might need on the other side of the camp away from telescopes. The aim is to minimize light coming to the area people are operating telescopes
- Respect other people’s equipment, this is not a public viewing session, you can ask for permission to interact with other people’s equipment, and do understand that if they refuse, it is not out of rudeness. This equipment is delicate and very hard to set up, the owner of the equipment might have genuine concerns about others interacting with it.
- No loud music allowed, you can listen to music on speaker at low volume, but please be respectful of other people, what you might find enjoyable might be really annoying to other people.
- We are trying to keep this event family friendly, on some nights we will have female attendees, please be respectful
- Some people go to sleep early, keep conversations quiet at night, some people wake up late, keep conversations quiet in the morning. Astronomers might stay up till 4 AM and it is very inconsiderate to wake them up.