NOTICE!!   New Site Use Rules – Updated 8/17/2020

These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP). A forum post with the title “ISP – <date>” should be created under the appropriate site. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date and site when the limit of 10 people is reached.

Here are the site rules:

Long Lake Conservation Center

These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP) and can only be held on the designated weekends already established by LLCC. A list of the weekends the MAS is allowed to hold star parties at LLCC can be found at http://www.mnastro.org/events/llcc-events/.

A forum post with the title “ISP – <date>” should be created on the Long Lake Conservation Center Discussion Forum. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date when the limit of 10 people is reached or if you are planning to stay at LLCC, when all the rooms at the Marcum House have been claimed (see Marcum House rules below).

Post intention to go observe/stay at Long Lake Conservation Center Discussions – viewforum.php?f=32

There are separate, but related rules for the Observing Field and staying in the Marcum House:

Observing Field Rules

There will be a limit of 10 people on the field at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.
• Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people per night.
• Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
• No sharing of telescopes.
• Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers – maintain social distancing.
• No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices in the storage shed and wipe down door handles and the like when through.

Marcum House

Long Lake Conservation Center will only allow 5 rooms for occupancy during the MAS weekends.
When posting on the forum include if you are staying at the Marcum House.
• Rooms will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis
• No more than one person per room unless:
o The two people are family members.
o Two people mutually agree to share the room understanding the potential risk of COVID-19 exposure.
• Upon leaving wipe down all high-use areas with disinfectant that will be provided by LLCC.

Metcalf Field

These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP). A forum post with the title “ISP – <date>” should be created on the Metcalf Discussion Forum. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date and site when the limit of 10 people is reached.

Post intention to go observe on Metcalf Field Discussions – http://forums.mnastro.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=49

There will be a limit of 10 people on the site at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.
Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people at Metcalf Field per night.
Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
No sharing of telescopes.
Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers or in the warming house – maintain social distancing.
No more than 2 people at a time in the warming house – with masks on – maintain social distancing
No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices in warming house and wipe down door handles and the like when through. This includes the outhouse as well.

 

Joseph J. Casby Observatory

Only JJ Casby Keyholders will be allowed to the observatory for either plaza or telescope use. These will be considered Impromptu Star Parties (ISP). A forum post with the title “ISP – <date>” should be created on the JJC Keyholder Discussion Forum. Each person planning to go would respond in that post. People should stop responding for the ISP on that date and site when the limit of 5 people is reached.

Post intention to observer at JJ Casby on the JJ Casby Keyholder Forum: http://forums.mnastro.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=41

Current policies on the use of JJ Casby are still in effect. You can find them at http://forums.mnastro.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=10632

With the limited space at JJC we will limit the use of the plaza to 3 keyholders (keeping the 10-foot minimum distance between setups) and a limit of 2 keyholders in the observatory. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.
If using the observatory telescope sanitize your hands first.
Only two people in JJC at a time.
You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.
Wipe down observatory equipment touched with disinfecting wipes. Do not wipe down eyepieces.
Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
No sharing of telescopes.
Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers.
The Belwin buildings will remain locked and off limits. Negotiations are in process to get a biffy up there.

Cherry Grove Observatory (CGO)

Post on Cherry Grove Observatory Discussions – http://forums.mnastro.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=25

There will be a limit of 10 people on the site at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.

  • Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people at the CGO site per night.
  • If using observatory telescopes sanitize your hands before using them.
  • Two persons maximum per night in the observatory
  • One person for using 24” Dob
  • You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.
  • Wipe down observatory equipment touched with disinfecting wipes. Do not wipe down eyepieces.
  • Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
  • No sharing of telescopes.
  • Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers or in the warming house – maintain social distancing.
  • No more than 3 people at a time in the warming house – with masks on – maintain social distancing
  • No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices in warming house and wipe down door handles and the like when through. This includes the outhouse as well.

Eagle Lake Observatory (ELO)

Post on Eagle Lake Observatory Discussions – http://forums.mnastro.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=18

ELO keyholders wanting to use Onan or SA Casby should also reserve as you have been on the reservation calendar at http://forums.mnastro.org/booked/Web/my-calendar.php

There will be a limit of 10 people on the site at any one time. Since on-site hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are in short supply, we would appreciate folks bringing their own hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (in a plastic baggie) for their personal use.

UPDATE 6/15/20
The maximum number allowed on the grounds is now 15 members. All other rules remain in effect.
Also – We need to keep track of members at the site so we need a keyholder to fill out the checklist in Baby Bear and identify who was at the ISP.

  • Per the Governor’s Stay Safe MN order, no more than 10 total people should be on the ELO observing grounds including Onan, SAC, HotSpot and the upper and lower plazas.
  • If using the observatory telescopes sanitize your hands before using them.
  • Only two people in Onan at a time.
  • Only one person in Sylvia.
  • One person using 20” Dob
  • You must have protective eyewear or glasses on when using observatory eyepieces.
  • Wipe down observatory equipment touched with disinfecting wipes. Do not wipe down eyepieces.
  • Field telescope setups need to be a minimum of 10 feet apart to maintain social distancing when in use
  • No sharing of telescopes.
  • Masks are not required when using your own equipment but are required if you are visiting other observers.
  • Anyone warming up in HotSpot must have masks on and maintain social distancing
  • No use of coffee pot, microwave or other devices and wipe down door handles and the like when through.
  • If unscheduled observers arrive at the observatory the overflow should be directed to the softball field where the same 10-foot rule is suggested.

One more note regarding ELO – Although these are impromptu star parties, when you are at a MAS facility what you do reflects on the MAS. Please be mindful of how you conduct yourselves.

There are “Private Star Party” signs on the upper shelf in Baby Bear.  It is highly recommended those be placed on the perimeter to discourage the general public from approaching. However, I would not be surprised if you have public visitors approach you and want to look through your telescope. Please advise them that this is a member-only event and that the MAS will begin holding public star parties when large group gatherings are allowed.

I realize these rules make observing a little more challenging, but the Board and Site Managers believe these rules will help ensure the safety of our membership.  Thank you for your cooperation.