The 34th Annual NOVAC Star Gaze Saturday, October 1, 2016
3PM to 11PM
C.M. Crockett Park in Fauquier County, Virginia
NOVAC invites you to the largest public star party in the Washington DC area. Learn about astronomy while enjoying the night sky with hundreds of telescopes, binoculars and homemade projects. Many experienced astronomers will be on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge.
You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend the Star Gaze. All you need is an interest in the wonders of the cosmos. Easy access, lots of equipment and a dark sky make for a good night under the stars. Please join us! Note that Crockett charges $6 per vehicle entry fee for non-Fauquier County residents.
3:00 – until sunset – Safe Solar Observing
Photo: Greg Piepol
- Astronomy Bingo for Kids
- Guided Night Sky Tour
- “Your Place In Space” – A Human Orrery
3:30-> 4:30 – Skip Bird – “Comets, Meteors & Dinosaurs”
4:30-> 5:30 – Dan Ward – “Capture the Stars – An Introduction to AstroPhotography”
5:30-> 6:30 – Dr. Mike Summers, Project Director – “The New Horizons Mission to Pluto”
Dark until 11:00 – Observing hosted by NOVAC members
Crockett Park is about 20 miles south of Manassas at 10066 Rogues Road (Rt. 602) Midland, VA, 22728. From Washington DC/Northern Virginia, go west on I-66 to exit 44 (234 South bypass around Manassas). Take 234 bypass approximately 3 miles to Rt. 28 West. Stay on Route 28 for about 13.7 miles through Nokesville, Catlett, and Calverton. Turn right on Rt. 643 (Meetze Rd.) towards Warrenton (A Chevron Station is on the corner) Go about a mile up Rt. 643 to the park entrance road (Rogues Rd.) on the left. Look for a small sign directing you to CM Crockett Park. Once on the park entrance road, go one-half mile to the park gate.After arriving at the main gate, continue past the gravel parking lot on the left to the paved parking lot at the end of the road. There will be telescopes setup in the nearby field. Dim your headlights when arriving and departing. Please do not drive onto the field.
Preparation begins before leaving home
The typical weather is highs in the lower 70s and lows in the upper 40s with light and variable winds in the evening. We hope to have an excellent fall day to enjoy astronomy! Dress warmly! October evenings can be chilly, especially when the sky is clear. To insure you and your children will enjoy the event, dress in layers and remember that it is important to cover your head as well. For lighting, cover a flashlight in red cellophane (the darker the better). Bring along water to keep hydrated and plan on staying the entire evening or as long as the weather allows. 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. We look forward to seeing you!