Texas Star Party Review

Roberto Garza

I've attended the Texas Star Party 7 times during the past 10 years. The area around The Prude Ranch and Ft Davis, Texas, experienced a severe drought for at least 10 years. During all that time we all enjoyed almost uninterrupted crystal clear night skies. All that changed about 3 years ago when the pattern became thunder storms, high winds and intermittent rain during the spring months. Also, the return of something almost forgotten during previous observing nights: Dew!

Adding to all of this: The number of imagers in attendance has sky rocketed to almost 1 out of every 5 visual observers. This fact had created a problem for the latter with RED LIGHT, too much of it! There were some fellows with tow trailers with so much red light inside, they could read on every corner of them! This light was projected out several feet onto the field. Last year I was set-up within about 30' of the closest one and his red light was reflected onto the mirror box of my telescope and also on the rim of my glasses!

I wrote to the organizers complaining and I imagine other did the same. This year they came out with new rules restricting the 'imagers'. Personally I will wait a couple of years till I hear things have really changed. I respect those who image, but I think they should respect other people who observe visually by keeping the skies free of light pollution! Roberto

Texas Star Party near Fort Davis, Texas April 23 thru 30th http://www.texasstarparty.org/