Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society
Rules for the Use of the Observatory
- Parent Category: Society
In the event of any difficulty users of the Observatory must contact the Curator of Instruments and Observatory ("the Curator"). If for any reason the Curator cannot be contacted you must contact one of the other Executive Committee members listed on site. All difficulties must be entered in the Observatory logbook along with the name of Executive Committee member contacted.
For clarification the rules have been separated into several areas.
- A copy of the Observatory site instructions is to be on display at the Observatory.
- The Observatory telephone number must not be given out to members of the public.
- The Observatory telephone is not to be used for non-society business.
- All users of the Observatory are required to record their arrival and departure times along with any comments in the Observatory logbook.
- On arrival check the logbook and notice boards for any reports of damage to or failure of equipment.
- Members visiting the Observatory must ensure that the Observatory is left clean and tidy at all times.
- Smoking in the Observatory is not permitted.
- No food or drinks are allowed upstairs in the observatory.
- All lights and electrical equipment are to be turned off before leaving the site. Some equipment may need to be left powered up, this will be indicated on the equipment or an entry will be made in the logbook.
- Care must be taken when using electrical equipment; if you have any doubts about any electrical equipment do not use it and write your doubts in the Observatory logbook.
- If a fuse blows note the incident in the Observatory logbook; if you are competent to rectify the fault and replace the fuse you may do so using a correctly rated fuse.
- All members must ensure that the Observatory alarm is armed when they leave the building. If this is not the case the member must contact the Curator as soon as possible. 13.Keys for the Observatory should not be identified as such.
General Site Rules
- Due care and diligence must be taken by all members when conducting themselves and guest parties around the Observatory site.
- After unlocking the main gates fasten the lock back onto the left hand gate. The gates must be securely fastened back to allow access to the Observatory site. Once on the Observatory site the gates should be pulled together to make the site more secure.
- If any part of the site has been damaged make the damage safe, if you can, and put an entry in the Observatory logbook. If the damage is serious contact the Curator.
- Any members bringing visitors to the site will assume full responsibility for their visitors.
- All members and visitors are requested to take any rubbish home with them.
- All crockery and utensils are to be emptied, washed and stored before leaving.
- It is stipulated in the Local Authority planning approval that any vehicles using our Observatory site must drive off the Observatory site in a forward gear.
- Headlights must be dipped whilst on the Observatory site. Would members approaching the Observatory site in a vehicle please dip the headlights of the vehicle prior to entering the Observatory site.
- The Observatory building is protected by a security alarm. When you are entering the Observatory building after unlocking the door you have 30 seconds to disarm the alarm. This is done by entering the code into the alarm unit. Once this is done the unit will display the symbol "u".
- All members must lock the Observatory door when they are inside the building.
- If you require entry to the dome you must unlock the padlock at the top of the stairs. Once this is done you must re-padlock the hasp back to the door, otherwise the hasp may fall down and trap under the staple and thus you will not be able to lift the trapdoor up. The key for the padlock has to be either placed on the base of the telescope or back in the cupboard.
- No equipment should be stored on the stepladders.
- The dome has a park position; it has to be returned to this position when the viewing session is over prior to the shutter being closed. The park position is indicated by markings on the dome and wall.
- When you have finished in the dome:
- Return any equipment to its storage point;
- Close and secure the shutter;
- Turn out the lights;
- Close the hatch as you go down the stairs and secure with the padlock provided.
- When leaving the Observatory building at night, pressing the white button at the side of the alarm unit will illuminate the front door and car park. The light will automatically switch off after 5 minutes. The button has a small red light above it to help you find it in the dark.
- The procedure for leaving the Observatory is to enter the code into the alarm unit, you now have 30 seconds to leave the building and lock the front door. You must close all doors behind you and turn off all lights as you leave.
The Telescope and Equipment
- Due care and attention must be exercised when operating the telescope and attendant equipment. It is the responsibility of the member to seek guidance on how to use the telescope and attendant equipment.
- Any difficulties with the operation of the telescope must be logged in the Observatory logbook. If the difficulties arise from or result in damage to the telescope the Curator must be contacted as soon as possible.
- The solar filter must be inspected for any damage before it is used. If there is any doubt about its suitability do not undertake any solar work and put a log entry in the Observatory logbook.
- The Telescope is to be parked in a North-South orientation and in a horizontal attitude. See figures 1 and 2 below.
- All portable equipment (e.g. eyepieces, cameras etc.) must be returned to its place of storage in the correct storage containers.
- Items of equipment may be accompanied by either manufacturers, suppliers and/or Society produced instructions which members must familiarise themselves with prior to use such equipment.
WARNING Under no circumstances must the telescope be pointed at the sun or used for solar work without the correct procedures being undertaken.The telescope must at all times have its full end cap in position and the solar filter fixed in place before the telescope is pointed at the Sun. The guide scope has to have its end cap in position during all solar work.
These rules have been approved and adopted by the Executive Committee in accordance with clause D, sub-clause (9) of the Constitution and are deemed to form part of the Rules of Membership of the Society.