It takes up to 30 minutes to regain night vision after exposure to white light. When approaching a dark site for stargazing, it is considered good etiquette to take the following measures.
Turn off, disable, or cover up exterior vehicle headlights and pause for about 5 to 10 minutes to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. If you cannot disable all interior lights, honk or shout White light! a few seconds before opening vehicle doors at the site.
Park at the gate for a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes because it takes 30 to 60 minutes to adapt fully to darkness. Roll down your window and use a flashlight with a red beam to illuminate the road when light is needed.
Stop completely before entering the staging area. Walk around to locate people and equipment before choosing a parking spot. Because backup lights are white, try to park so that you can leave without backing up or using your brakes.
Do not smoke on the observing field because it damages telescope optics, and flames from matches and lighters affect dark-adapted eyes.
Do not use insect repellent spray or other aerosol sprays on the observing field. A single drop of spray can permanently damage telescope optics. When leaving an observation site, do not turn on car headlights until after exiting the parking area. If lights cannot be deactivated, cover them with a cloth or paper bag.
Do not use flash photography, which can destroy night vision for 45 minutes to an hour.
NIGHT SKY ETIQUETTE Photo Gallery
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