Our list of “rules” is short, but important. Be sure everyone in your group is familiar with the list below! Violators of any rules will be subject to immediate removal from RMSS without refund of any fees. These rules are to promote the enjoyment of all.
No white light after dark! Use red filtered flashlights on the observing field, including within tents. There will be red cellophane available at the registration table to cover the lens of your flashlight if needed. Please pay special attention to automobile headlights, daytime running lights, dome lights, and backup lights. (Helpful tip: Rumor has it that one “click” of emergency brake will turn off your daytime running lights.)
Green lasers can be an excellent teaching aid. Please be respectful of nearby astronomers when shining lasers into the night sky. Shining lasers at vehicles, aircraft or people is dangerous and strictly prohibited. Shining lasers at aircraft is a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The use of green lasers by children is also prohibited.
All after-dark arrivals must park in the separate roped off area. Do not drive past the “after-dark parking” area with your lights on! If you need to leave before dawn, you must park in the “after-dark parking” area.
Minimize traffic and drive slowly. To preserve the observing field and to keep dust down to a minimum, don’t drive in and out of this site more than necessary and observe the speed limit of 5 mph.
All Terrain Vehicles & Dirt Bikes
ATV’s, dirt bikes and other off-road, unlicensed vehicles are not permitted to be operated on Colorado Springs Astronomical Society property. If you are bringing one to enjoy some of the off-road trails in the area, it must remain on its trailer at all times.
Camping and Parking Regulations
Rocky Mountain Star Stare is held on private land belonging to the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. There are 35 acres of open and treed land. While the previous restriction of parking next to “the road” is no longer in force, in order to minimize traffic (and dust), we ask that you first park near the entrance to the area and then spend some time walking the area to find a suitable campsite. It’s only a quarter mile in each direction, and beautiful country! There will be a portion of the open field reserved for large RV’s, and the balance of the open field reserved for telescopes. There are many hidden open areas back in the trees suitable for your own camping group and observing too! There will be RMSS Committee folks to assist you when you arrive.
Quiet Time Before Noon Each Day
While RV’s and generators are not restricted to a “designated area”, we ask that you show due consideration for your fellow astronomers. Because many of us will be observing until dawn, it is very important that the area remain quiet before noon each day. Generator run times will be published on the RMSS schedule. Interior lighting of RV’s must be shielded so as to not be visible from outside.
No Open Fires
No campfires, charcoal grills, fireworks, or model rockets allowed. This is by order of the U.S. Forest Service, and the local volunteer fire services. However, gas stoves and grills are permitted. In times of extremely dry conditions, “if you can’t turn it on or off, you can’t use it”.
If you smoke, we ask that you respect the wishes of those that do not, and please only smoke inside your vehicle, tent, or RV. Be sure to extinguish your cigarettes completely and dispose of cigarette butts along with your trash. Do not drop cigarette butts on the ground. This area can be very dry in summer, and the risk of fire can be extreme.
Food and Trash
Cover and secure all trash and food containers inside your vehicles when not being used! This is a wildlife area and we do have bears and other animals. At RMSS 2014, two visitors returned to their campsite after a presentation during the day to find their campsite ransacked. Their cooler was missing from where they had left it on the ground outside their tent. They later found it some 10 yards away in a grove of trees, along with signs that it had been carried there (not dragged). Teeth marks in the top cover and side of the cooler and paw prints on the ground indicate it was probably taken by a bear cub. Those folks lost a lot of their food and unfortunately ended up departing earlier than they had planned.
Leave No Trace
Please remember, this is a delicate alpine environment. It is important that attendees practice “Leave No Trace” camping techniques just as you would in all Colorado state parks. If you bring it in, take it out! Dispose properly of all trash. Do not throw trash into ravines and gullies. For more information about “Leave No Trace”, call 1-800-332-4100.
Do not put anything into the portable restrooms that you wouldn’t flush at home. This includes trash and diapers.
If you will be bringing pets to RMSS, you must be familiar with our rules on pets. While pets are not restricted to a designated area, we ask that you show due consideration for your fellow astronomers. All pets must be either leashed or contained at all times. No pets will be allowed in the dining areas or presentation/exhibition areas.
Anyone bringing a pet or pets to RMSS must immediately remove any waste or debris caused by those pets. Like all refuse, pet waste and debris must be packed out by those responsible. Anyone bringing a pet or pets to RMSS will be responsible for those pets and all of the pets actions. They must ensure that those pets do not disturb, menace, or threaten other RMSS patrons by noise or action. This includes any damage or injury caused by the pet to people, property, animals (domestic and wild), or landscape.
Since RMSS is held near USFS land which is home to many predators, neither RMSS nor CSAS will be held liable if any pets are lost, injured, or killed. All pet food and supplies must be stored in a manner that will not attract predators or scavengers (including bears, insects and other wild animals). Official service or guide animals in working harness are exempt from the above restrictions as required by law.