#1 Red, Not White
When you come to Starsplitter Hill, please do not bring white-light flashlights into the astronomy area.
- If it is dark before our public program begins, we will light the path with red lights so that you can find your way down to the observatory; most people do not find they need a flashlight once their eyes have grown accustomed to the dark.
- It takes our eyes 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, and a flash of light (even from a cell phone) will cause us to have to wait to get our night vision back, which could become a safety issue. Also, viewing dim galaxies and nebulae in our telescopes is difficult if our night vision has been compromised.
- If you do want to bring a flashlight, we use and recommend red light--this does not affect our night vision the same as white light. You can find red light flashlights in most places that sell flashlights if you want to buy one--we prefer the ones that do not cycle through other colors of light in order to turn them on or off.
#2 Weather: Mosquitoes and Winter Coats
Weather on Starsplitter Hill is mostly predictable: in the summer we swat the mosquitoes; the rest of the months, we wear winter coats.
- During the summer, if you use mosquito repellent, I recommend you bring it along. Some of us, however, are allergic to the chemicals in the bug spray, so please apply it far away and up-wind of the rest of the people attending.If you stay late on a clear summer night, you might want to consider bringing a long-sleeved shirt or light jacket for the drop in temperature that comes after sundown.
- When the weather turns cool and we are standing still while pointing out the constellations and taking turns looking through the telescopes, the cold, damp, and wind can make it feel 10 to 20 degrees colder. We suggest you bring an extra layer of warm clothing.
#3 Donations Appreciated
Wyalusing State Park mows around our buildings in summer and helps with some of the upkeep, but the electric and heating bills, equipment purchases and repairs are all paid by our non-profit Starsplitters Club.
- We will have a donations box at our observatory for anyone who is interested in helping us with these costs.
- Or you can send donations to us at Starsplitters of Wyalusing, PO Box 544, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821.
#4 And If I May Request...
Many of the telescopes that we use are privately owned and purchased by club members. Sometimes we need to set up before the program begins and have to leave our telescopes outside. When we do:
- We would appreciate it if you would wait until the club members are present to touch or use the scopes.
- We are thankful when parents help us by watching that their children do not play with the equipment.
- We try to have step stools by the telescopes so small children can reach the eyepiece, but we prefer a parent be with them so they can safely participate in our activities.