Green Laser Policy

In the current climate it is a concern that the misuse of green laser pointers by certain people does not result in astronomers being banned from using them for legitimate pointing purposes.  Bishop Auckland Astronomical Society (BAAS) would like to remind members of the following rules regarding the use of green lasers:


     •  Lasers of class 2 (II) - up to 1mW, or class 3a (IIIa) - 1mW to 5mW may be used for pointing.

     •  Lasers of class 3b (IIIb) - 5mW to 500mW, or class 4 (IV) - over 500mW may NOT be used.

Lasers above 5mW are unneccesary and dangerous. The use of such lasers is deemed by the society to be hazardous, and as such will not be tolerated at BAAS events.


     •  At BAAS public events only those members directly involved in operating a telescope, or speaking to the public, may use a green laser for pointing. This includes lasers attached to a telescope for 'finding' purposes.


     •  In pointing, the laser must only be used to point at objects the astronomer wishes to draw attention to. It must not be used to sweep around the sky in haphazard fashion like it is a 'toy'.


     •  Utmost care must be taken that the laser is not pointed in the vicinity of aircraft, vehicles, buildings, people or animals.  Pointing the laser at objects on the ground may result in a dangerous reflection.

Failure to abide by the above rules will be deemed to bring the society into disrepute and repeated violations may result in membership sanctions, or ultimately cancellation of membership.

Child and Vulnerable Persons Policy

It is the policy of Bishop Auckland Astronomical Society (BAAS) that any child or vulnerable person should be accompanied by a suitable parent or adult guardian.

The following rules set out how any BAAS member dealing with people in the above category should act


•  You should always act in a friendly and open manner, without being over familiar.


•  Wherever possible, avoid being alone with anyone in this category, and always endeavour to remain within sight of other members and/or parents/guardians.


•  If you notice that a child or vulnerable person has a problem, bring it to the attention of their responsible adult immediately.


•  Avoid physical contact wherever possible. If this is unavoidable then avoid any contact that could be unwelcome, or misconstrued.  If a child is hurt, you may have to exercise your best judgement, but you must always treat the child or vulnerable person with respect, and realise that their welfare is of utmost importance.


•  Any member who mistreats or disrespects a person in this category will be deemed to have committed an act of gross misconduct. Including, but not limited to:  Shouting, slapping, name-calling, rough handling, horseplay, inappropriate touching or language, whether directed at, or done within sight or earshot of a child or vulnerable person.


•  Any member witnessing an incident mentioned above MUST bring it to the attention of the society trustees


CHAIR   -   Duane Cox

VICE-CHAIR   -   Karl Jennings

TREASURER   -   Lynda Cox

SECRETARY   -   Maureen Parkin-Magson

BAAS constitution (pdf)