NOVAC maintains formal agreements which grant the club access to certain public and privately owned observing sites in Northern Virginia. Members can use these sites (for astronomical purposes) with the full cooperation of the landowners and authorities.
The nature of the agreements do not allow us to disclose the exact location of all the Novac observing sites to the public. They are located in Loudoun, Fauquier and Fairfax counties of Virginia.
C.M.Crockett Park in Fauquier County, Virginia, and Great Meadow, The Plains, VA are used for public viewing events. NOVAC members can access a complete listing of the official observing sites in the members section.
In addition to the official observing sites, there are several other places near Washington DC where NOVAC members observe, note these are not necessarily NOVAC sites and may in some cases require special permission to use.
Some members make use of Little Bennett Regional Park and Tuckahoe State Park in Maryland. Others enjoy the dark skies at Big Meadows in the Shenandoah National Park. Watch the NOVAC member’s e-mail list for announcements about events at these sites.
For NOVAC members in southern Maryland, Aquasco Farm is part of the Patuxent River Park system in southern Prince Georges County and can be accessed by NOVAC members on specific dates. The NOVAC “Southern Maryland Fringers” maintain information about observing from southern Maryland.
NOVAC maintains a relationship with Experience Learning at Spruce Knob Mountain Center (previously The Mountain Institute). The Spruce Knob Mountain Center (SKMC) provides an outstanding observing location as well as civilized amenities like hot showers, meal service, and Internet access.
Because we use these sites with the permission of the landowner or the state/county authorities, there are some rules and restrictions governing their use. Please read through and understand the rules before visiting any of the sites. Refer to the official membership guide in the members section for further details.