Public Viewing and Community Outreach
Sharing our knowledge of space has always been an important part of NOVAC. Many of our members are avid astronomers and are very enthusiastic about the hobby. Each year we hold several public observing sessions and the annual Star Gaze to help you learn more. Please make plans to attend.
You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend. All you need is an interest in the wonders of the cosmos.
Preparation begins before leaving home. Dress warmly! Summer nights can still become cold. Please check the weather forecast.
For lighting, cover a flashlight in red cellophane (darker the better). Bring along water to keep hydrated and plan on staying the entire evening or as long as the weather allows. Please dim your vehicles headlights when arriving and departing.
Feel free to walk around and enjoy the sights through the equipment on display but please ask the owner before using. It’s best to control children around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field.
Please check back with our website prior to leaving for the event. If it’s cancelled, there will be a notice prominently displayed on the homepage News or the calendar events.
Club members will begin to arrive just prior to sunset. We advise you to arrive before darkness, too but please check with each event for specific details for arrival.
Please Note: NOVAC outreach events should generally be held on one of our scheduled public viewing events. Weather conditions may cause last minute cancellations.
NOVAC Public Events Calendar
Other Public Events
The following opportunities are sponsored by other organizations and schools in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland.
The Analemma Society
Sponsors public observing every Friday at Observatory Park, near the village of Great Falls, Virginia.
The Montgomery College Planetarium
Has one or two programs each month, and special programs can be arranged.
NOVAC Monthly Meetings
Don’t forget that our meetings, generally held at George Mason University on the second Sunday evening of each month (except when that Sunday is Mother’s Day), are open to the public.