Field Etiquette

New members are politely requested to follow the these MAS conventions when attending observing nights.


Please follow all public health rules and do not travel if you have any symptoms.

Personal Safety

Astronomy is carried out in darkness, and MAS is not responsible for any accidents. You are responsible for your own safety, those under your charge and that of your equipment. Please help us maintain our excellent safety record in the field.

In the interests of your own personal safety and that of others, please time your arrival at the observing field prior to sunset and carry out a check of the immediate area for any hazards. If any are found please bring them to the attention of a committee member immediately.

Upon Arrival

If you arrive in darkness, please switch your headlights off and sound your horn. You will be met at the gate by a member and directed to a vacant spot. Please proceed with extreme caution.

Laser Pointers

Since the observing field is shared by both visual & imaging astronomers, care has to be taken that a laser beam is not directed in the area that an image is being taken. We would suggest that you first ask loudly if a camera is being used in the region of sky that you wish to point the laser. If you are clear, continue using the laser in the area mentioned.

If an astro-imager then wishes to image in that “clear area” please inform the laser operator of your intentions. Laser pointers must be used responsibly, to avoid personal injury to any person and must never be aimed near aircraft or wildlife. See our Laser Pointer page in the “About Us” menu at the top of this page.

Display Screens

To cut down on white light spill and prevent loss of dark adaptation for the visual observers, please make sure that all computer and camera monitors are shrouded and/or covered with a deep red filter.

Vehicle Lighting

When on the field, please either disable or cover the vehicle interior light and boot light with a red filter. Also, please disable the entry system that blinks your indicators. This can cause major problems for all. Alternatively, if unlocking your car causes your indicators to blink, then a good solution is not to lock your car.

Red Lights

To maintain optimum darkness adaption, red lights only may be used on the observing field after sunset. Suitable red torches are available from optical telescope retailers, electronic dealerships and bicycle shops.

Waste Material

Please always take all of your litter home with you. This applies to all observing sites. 


If leaving early and you need to use your car headlights, please warn others in advance.