Welcome to the OSP First Timers page. My first experience at OSP was in 2003. It was hot and dusty (still is) with beautifully dark skies. After a week of meeting new friends and working on an observing list, I almost didn’t want to leave this beautiful place. So that you may fully enjoy your time at OSP, here are a few OSP pages you may want to read while planning your week under the stars.
On the @OSP page, read and become familiar with information about first aid, camping, water, food, fire and what to bring and what to leave home. Download and become familiar with maps of the OSP site.
On the OREGON STAR PARTY home page, become familiar with the DRIVING DIRECTIONS, and carefully follow the driving instructions from Prineville. Some people have reported that using a GPS has taken them on an incorrect route, across the country on a forest road. The route is well signed with OSP signs at every turn after Prineville. The mileage instructions from Prineville are accurate.
Try to plan you trip so you arrive before dark, which is at about 8pm. Keep in mind that finding your way on a Forest Service road after dark can be difficult. The OSP gate at the entrance is closed at 8pm to prevent car lights from shining on the observing areas. If you do arrive after 8pm, you will need to camp outside the OSP gate until morning.
If you have a new telescope, ask others camping around you for help or sign up for the adult or youth mentoring programs at Bernie’s Telescope Park, posted on the OBSERVING page. Mentoring activities are lead by OSP Committee members experienced in mentoring new observers. Take advantage of their knowledge, and sign up for a session!
Astronomers stay up all night and sleep during the day, so please be considerate of other astronomers and observe the quiet hours until 10:30am.