Red Lights and Top Tips

At Kielder we want you to enjoy the night sky at its best--and that means curbing white light. It takes up to 45 minutes for your eyes to become fully dark adapted, but that can be lost in a fraction of a second by a carelessly pointed torch or car head light. To make sure we all stay happily in the dark, the following simple rules will apply.

  • Between 19.00 and 05.00 no driving on or off the observing field is permitted.

  • If you use a laptop computer for imaging, ensure it is fitted with red masking film. You can also place the laptop inside an open box to further shield nearby observers from the screen.

  • Strictly no laser pointers.

  • Lights from caravans, motor homes or tents must be fully shielded or covered with effective red filters.

  • Torches on the observing field must be red filtered and dim--please don't blind folk with powerful head torches Keep torches pointing down.

  • Ensure car vanity and boot lights are either switched off or masked.

  • Don't keep locking and unlocking car doors with a remote causing the hazard warning lights to flash.

For our part, we will ensure that campsite lighting is switched off or masked. At Kielder we take red light seriously. We will marshal the campsite and politely enforce these simple rules.

Advice from seasoned Star Camp veterans:

Top Tip 1: Don’t think you can get away without active dew control if you are bringing a telescope – especially a Schmidt Cassegrain. Invest in a dew band and controller or 12 volt hair drier before you come.

Top Tip 2: Bring a good sleeping bag (or two cheap ones, one inside the other) and dress in layers.

Top Tip 3: If you have an electric hook up it’s useful to bring along an extension.

Top Tip 3: Bring wellies. Leave your white trainers at home.

Top Tip 4: Did we mention dress in layers? We have been as low as -12C during spring. Autumn's tend to be somewhat milder, but can still be frosty.

Kevin Baxter