Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Pennsylvania Park Regulations - can I bring my pets to CSSP?

A. NO PETS!!  Pets are not allowed at CSSP.  Here are the State Park Regulations


Q.I intend to come with my two brothers only, but we live separately. Do we qualify for the family rate or should they register separately?

A.You and your brothers should register as separate

individuals, not as a family.


Q.What constitutes a 'Family' for Single Family registration?

A.For us a single family registration usually means husband and wife, or parents and kids, or one parent and children. It' s our attempt to give families a financial break and encourage amateur astronomy as a hobby for couples and families. It does not include the extended family or a family reunion.


Q.Will I be able to get Verizon cell phone service on the observing field?

A.For the last 6 years in the Spring, cell phone reception has been spotty on the observing field for all mobile phone carriers.  Verizon reception is possible on clear days near the Park entrance along the road (Pa 44).   ATT service is even less reliable.


Q.What are the current road conditions on the roads leading to Cherry Springs State Park?

A.PA Route 44 from Coudersport to the park is now in excellent shape.  West Branch Road from Galeton to the Park is in excellent shape.  PA Route 44 south of the park - currently being resurfaced, and will be an excellent condition soon.


Q.Will I be able to power my mount and/or computer using the charging stations?

A.Park rules state...

"Electricity is available on the Astronomy Field from 120-volt ground fault protected power outlets in RV style pedestals (six per pedestal). When the field is in heavy use, outlets must be shared. Please be courteous of your fellow stargazers. Electrical pedestals are for the charging of telescope batteries and small appliance or laptop use. Camper hook-up is prohibited."


Remember that charging stations on the field must be shared with 250+ observers.  At night there are many AC extension cords running from the pedestals to individual telescopes all across the observing field. Sometimes it is difficult to walk among the telescopes without tripping over AC power cords.  Many power their telescope drives with power pack batteries or large marine batteries which have been charged from the electrical pedestals during the day.  On grass wet with dew DC power is always the safest!


Q.  How good is the CSSP Wi-Fi system?

A.The Park’s Wi-Fi system has been upgraded and is now excellent.  There is Verizon (only) 4G LTE available for high speed internet. Quick check of e-mails and minimal web surfing is OK, but extensive web surfing, automatic downloads of software updates, large photo files and movie files will hog the system.

 

Q.Is it really true that alcohol is not allowed at the Star Party?

A.Yes, really.  This is PA State regulation.  Let’s leave our friends Jim Beam, Johnny Walker and Jose Cuervo at home.


Q.Can I bring my own portable grill on the observing field for cooking?

A.Wood and charcoal grilles are forbidden on the observing field.  A well supported propane grill is acceptable.


Q.Will ice be available on the observing field?

A.Ice will not be sold on the observing field.  Bags of ice for coolers can be purchased from Keener's General Store which is a short distance from the Park entrance down Pa 44 toward Coudersport.  Detailed directions will be at the check-in desk.


Q.Are showers available at Cherry Springs State Park?

A.No.  The nearest showers are at Lyman Run State Park.  There is a small charge for showering there.  Also there is Potter County Campground on Route 6.  Their charge is $3 for a shower.  Detailed directions to other nearby showers will be available at the check-in desk.

 

Q. Star Party Etiquette

A. Here is the etiquette PDF from Amateur Astronomy Magazine