GSSP values the input of its attendees and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received. As we are committed to improving the event, we made some changes this year to reflect our demographic.
As in prior years, we are capping GSSP attendance at 400 people. This means facilities will be rented and serviced for 400 people. Camping space will also be apportioned for 400 people. For those who do not wish to pre-register, you will be taking your chances. However, you will be able to check the web site before and during GSSP to find information on how many slots are still available. Please understand there will be NO guarantees at the gate for last minute attendees. The easiest way to plan your GSSP trip and to help GSSP plan for your trip, is to pre-register.
It’s no secret that half of amateur astronomy is now represented by astro-photographers. In the past, we’ve informally relegated night photography to the outer “north” portion of the event grounds (which we call the Oort-cloud). Although we still encourage astro-photographers to use that area, we are also expanding the dark enforced area near the hospitality tent to include all of the Jupiter and Saturn rows, and allowing anyone, including photographers, to use the dark enforced areas.
However, we are very serious about near-total dark enforcement in those areas. A bright exposed red light is nearly as bad as a white light. Photographers who use computers should purchase red plastic covers for their screens (Tap-Plastics), and surround their computers with a box pointed away from other observers. LED indicator lights should be taped over if not necessary for functionality, and flashlights or headlamps should be red and dim. The staff do not want to have to police this policy throughout the event, so we ask your full cooperation in advance.
For the rest of the field, even in areas with families and beginners, we ask that only dim red light be used. White lights are really a nuisance for everyone and we ask that they be left completely off or fully masked.
RVs in general will have the south and south-west areas available, but starting halfway down the field we will have car and tent camping only. When you arrive with your RV, a GSSP volunteer will assist you in finding a location and orienting the vehicle. Of course, this is all easier to see than read. So please stay tuned for when we post our current site diagram.
Again, we will ask all registrants to let us know if they intend to bring dogs. Those attendees who are bringing a dog will receive an email or letter re-stating the rules related to pets (namely leash, cleanup, and noise control). The letter will state the consequences of not following these rules and the document will need to be signed and turned in at the gate. Since we instituted our policy all our dog owners and dogs have been awesome! This policy seems to work and we’re happy to invite your well behaved pets.
We all thank you for your continued participation in GSSP and hope you have a great time. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions.