Dec
13
Sat
2014
Geminids Meteor Shower
Dec 13 all-day

The Geminids is a perennial favorite among skywatchers. It spans from December 7th through the 17th, but will peak overnight on the 13th with up to 120 sightings per hour. The meteors will appear multicolored, which gives an added bonus to the already spectacular show. Though the moon will wash out some of the meteors, they should be bright and plentiful enough to still be very visible. These meteors will appear to originate from the Gemini constellation.

Dec
14
Sun
2014
NOVAC Annual Volunteer Reception @ Research Hall, GMU
Dec 14 @ 6:30 pm – 7:00 pm

We will also have light refreshments before the meeting (around 6:30 or so) to recognize all of the volunteers that served NOVAC so well during the past year.

Since we are having our volunteer reception prior to the business meeting, we will NOT meet for the informal pre-meeting dinner at Brion’s this month. Plan to come out and celebrate our volunteers instead!

Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Dec 14 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Our next meeting will be Sunday evening, December 14, at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University. Our web page, http://www.novac.com/meetings/, has directions and additional details.

We will also have light refreshments before the meeting (around 6:30 or so) to recognize all of the volunteers that served NOVAC so well during the past year.

We will elect officers for 2015 at the December meeting. Candidate nominations have been received for each position (president, VP, secretary, treasurer, three two-year trustee terms, one one-year trustee term). It’s not too late to get into the race, though; if you want to run for one of the officer or trustee positions, please self-nominate by emailing a statement of your desire to run to elections@novac.com. It’s also possible to nominate another willing volunteer; we do ask, however, that you obtain advance permission from the person(s) you want to nominate before doing so.

Our speaker this month will be Joleen Carlberg, who will speak on the topic of stellar evolution and exoplanets.
Since we are having our volunteer reception prior to the business meeting, we will NOT meet for the informal pre-meeting dinner at Brion’s this month. Plan to come out and celebrate our volunteers instead!

We look forward to seeing you Sunday evening!

 

 

 

 

Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Dec 14 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month except in May when it would fall on Mother’s Day. The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University. Our web page, http://www.novac.com/meetings/, has directions and additional details.
For February 8th 2015 we will be in Observatory Tower Showcase instead of the usual Rm. 163 

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

 

 

 

 

Dec
21
Sun
2014
Winter Solstice
Dec 21 @ 4:03 pm – 5:03 pm

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, respectively, in the sense that the length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a minimum for the year. Of course, daylight saving time means that the first Sunday in April has 23 hours and the last Sunday in October has 25 hours, but these human meddlings with the calendar and do not correspond to the actual number of daylight hours.

http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/WinterSolstice.html

Dec
22
Mon
2014
Ursids Meteor Shower
Dec 22 all-day

The last meteor shower of the year will span from the 17th through the 25th, though it will peak overnight on the 22nd with about 10 sightings per hour. Because the shower’s peak coincides with the new moon, it should be a great time to view the meteors and close up a fantastic year of skywatching. These meteors will appear to originate from the Ursa Minor constellation.

Jan
1
Thu
2015
Sirius!
Jan 1 @ 1:00 am – 2:00 am

Since you’ll already be awake late tonight, go outside to look at Sirius. You know Sirius as the Dog Star, but it’s better described as the New Year’s Star. Here’s why: every New Year’s Eve (and for the first few days in January) Sirius rises to its highest point (just crossing the meridian) at midnight.

“Think of it, the brightest star visible from our planet reaches its highest point above the horizon at midnight every New Year’s Eve. It’s a wonderful, cosmic reminder that this most brilliant of stellar lights is welcoming in the New Year, giving us all hope for a bright new beginning.”

Jan
3
Sat
2015
Quadrantids Meteor Shower
Jan 3 all-day

In 2015, the bright waxing gibbous moon will wash out but the brightest Quadrantid meteors. Some meteors will be visible each night from 1 Jan to 6 Jan, but the best show will be between midnight and dawn on January 3 and/or 4, especially if you live at a northerly latitude.