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Wiruna Light Use Policy

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This is a public page. Some Wiruna information is only available for logged-in members.

Wiruna is the ASNSW's premier dark sky site and, as such, it provides an excellent opportunity for SPSP attendees to observe away from the degrading effects of light pollution. Wiruna has two observing fields to cater for the different needs of SPSP attendees: the large Main Observing Field located to the east of the meeting hall, and a smaller Secondary Observing Field located on the eastern boundary of the Main Observing Field.

  • The Main Observing Field has a strict 'dim, red-light only' policy and is primarily intended for visual observers.
  • The Secondary Observing Field and the Barry Gerdes Lodge area have a less strict light use policy and are primarily intended for those wanting to do astroimaging and who need to use laptop computers without red screen filters.

The detailed light use policy for the Wiruna observing fields is set out below. Attendees agree to abide by this policy when they register for the SPSP.

General Light Use

  • All light sources after sunset should be dim, red light only. No white lights are to be used after dark unless there is an announcement to the contrary (such as in the case of inclement weather). Light sources should be aimed at the ground when walking around or packing up. White light (and bright red light) significantly reduces dark-adaption and night vision, which can take up to an hour to fully develop.
  • Caravan windows and doors must be fully blacked out at night with curtains, blinds, black plastic sheeting or aluminium foil.
  • Please ensure torches and internal car or caravan lights are shielded with red filters. Please always aim your red torch to the ground when walking.

Laser Pointers

  • For the comfort and safety of SPSP attendees, participant use of laser pointers (except to collimate a telescope) is not allowed.

Head Torches 

  • It is not permitted to use a head-mounted torch while walking around the observing field. They may be used around your own telescope or campsite (e.g. when packing up) but care should be taken to ensure the torch is always pointed downward. At all other times, head torches may only be used while hand-held.

Laptop Computers

  • Laptop computers used on the Main Observing Field must be fitted with a heavy red screen filter and a light shield. Please note that materials such as cellophane are insufficient to filter most laptop screens to the level where night vision is unaffected. Filters should be made from a deep red gel filter material, which can be obtained from theatrical lighting suppliers such as Herkes Electrical Supplies Pty Ltd, 10/26-34 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery (Tel: 02 9319 3133). The Check-In Desk may have limited stock available.
  • Laptops used on the Secondary Field may be used without a red-screen filter but must be shielded. Even though this field is well screened from the Main Field, users of this field are requested to operate their laptops at the minimum possible screen brightness (use a neutral density filter if it is too bright) and to keep their laptops pointed away from Main Observing Field.
  • Putting an open cardboard box on its side and placing the laptop inside the box makes an effective light shield.

Vehicle Lights

  • Attendees wishing to leave a vehicle on, or adjacent to, the observing fields after sunset must demonstrate that the vehicle can be locked, unlocked, entered and exited without activating any bright or non-red lights such as interior lights or indicators. SPSP officers will be present on the observing field to check vehicles and issue Compliance Certificates. Only vehicles displaying a Compliance Certificate will be allowed to remain on, or adjacent to, the observing fields after sunset.

Vehicle Movement on the Observing Fields

  • Vehicle movement on the observing fields after sunset is strictly forbidden except in the case of genuine emergencies.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ANY SPSP ATTENDEE VIOLATING THE WIRUNA LIGHT USE POLICY MAY HAVE THEIR REGISTRATION FOR FUTURE SPSPs REJECTED.

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