solarkidOutreach to the public is an integral part of NOVAC’s mission, as reflected in our motto “To Observe…And to Help Others Observe “. Over the years NOVAC club members have provided and facilitated numerous outreach efforts – all on a 100% volunteer basis. These range from our monthly public observing sessions, special events such as Astronomy Day and StarGaze, and private outreach events.

Some examples of private outreach events that have been staffed by volunteer NOVAC club members include:

  • Observing and educational sessions at elementary and middle schools
  • Assisting scout troops with the requirements for the Astronomy Belt Loop, Pin, and Badge
  • Observing and educational sessions at local campgrounds
  • Judging science fair competitions
  • Serving as a guest lecturer for high school science and astronomy classes

And many more!

Please fill out our outreach form to get started in planning your event.

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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.

NOVAC Public Events Calendar

Jun
4
Sat
2022
C.M. Crockett Public Night @ C.M. Crockett Park
Jun 4 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
C.M. Crockett Public Night @ C.M. Crockett Park | Midland | Virginia | United States

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of NOVAC volunteers. You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend.

Before sunset, feel free to inspect the different telescopes and other visual equipment on the field. Have a cosmic question? One of our astronomers will be happy to help you. After sunset be prepared to enjoy the wonders of the night sky!

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

Please read the C.M. Crockett Page for park details.

 

Jun
11
Sat
2022
Rappahannock County Park Dark Sky Event @ Rappahannock County Park
Jun 11 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of Rappahannock County Park volunteers and NOVAC members. Members of the public may bring their own telescopes and binoculars as well.

This program begins with a 15-minute presentation followed by night sky observing.

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

Please visit the official website for more details.

Jun
18
Sat
2022
Sky Meadows State Park- Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 18 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sky Meadows State Park- Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park

RSVP here.

NOVAC supports this event by providing telescope views to visitors.

  • Sky Meadows State Park (11012 Edmonds Ln.), behind the Mount Bleak House within the white fence.
  • For individuals who are fully vaccinated face coverings and social distancing are not required but recommended. Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated will be asked to continue face covering and social distancing procedures.
  • The event’s programs will take place rain or shine.

Please visit the official website for more details.

Jun
24
Fri
2022
Great Meadow Public Night @ Great Meadow
Jun 24 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of NOVAC volunteers. You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend.

Before sunset, feel free to inspect the different telescopes and other visual equipment on the field. Have a cosmic question? One of our astronomers will be happy to help you. After sunset be prepared to enjoy the wonders of the night sky!

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

More information about Great Meadow including directions and parking visit the Great Meadow Site page.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

 

Jun
25
Sat
2022
Astronomy Festival on the National Mall @ National Mall, Washington, DC
Jun 25 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy Festival on the National Mall @ National Mall, Washington, DC

RSVP Here.

Members of the public are invited attend the largest annual astronomy outreach event in the U.S.

NOVAC will join 30 other astronomy/science organizations on the National Mall to share astronomy concepts during the day and share views of the D.C. sky at night.

The festival is hosted by Hofstra University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and their Astronomy Outreach Program.

The event will be on the National Mall between 4th and 7th Street, sandwiched between the National Gallery of Art and the National Air and Space Museum.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

Jul
2
Sat
2022
C.M. Crockett Public Night @ C.M. Crockett Park
Jul 2 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
C.M. Crockett Public Night @ C.M. Crockett Park | Midland | Virginia | United States

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of NOVAC volunteers. You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend.

Before sunset, feel free to inspect the different telescopes and other visual equipment on the field. Have a cosmic question? One of our astronomers will be happy to help you. After sunset be prepared to enjoy the wonders of the night sky!

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

Please read the C.M. Crockett Page for park details.

 

Jul
22
Fri
2022
Great Meadow Public Night @ Great Meadow
Jul 22 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of NOVAC volunteers. You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend.

Before sunset, feel free to inspect the different telescopes and other visual equipment on the field. Have a cosmic question? One of our astronomers will be happy to help you. After sunset be prepared to enjoy the wonders of the night sky!

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

More information about Great Meadow including directions and parking visit the Great Meadow Site page.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

 

Jul
30
Sat
2022
C.M. Crockett Public Night @ C.M. Crockett Park
Jul 30 @ 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
C.M. Crockett Public Night @ C.M. Crockett Park | Midland | Virginia | United States

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of NOVAC volunteers. You do not need to be a member of the club or own any astronomical equipment to attend.

Before sunset, feel free to inspect the different telescopes and other visual equipment on the field. Have a cosmic question? One of our astronomers will be happy to help you. After sunset be prepared to enjoy the wonders of the night sky!

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

Please read the C.M. Crockett Page for park details.

 

Sky Meadows State Park- Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 30 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sky Meadows State Park- Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park

RSVP here.

NOVAC supports this event by providing telescope views to visitors.

  • Sky Meadows State Park (11012 Edmonds Ln.), behind the Mount Bleak House within the white fence.
  • For individuals who are fully vaccinated face coverings and social distancing are not required but recommended. Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated will be asked to continue face covering and social distancing procedures.
  • The event’s programs will take place rain or shine.

Please visit the official website for more details.

Rappahannock County Park Open Observing Session @ Rappahannock County Park
Jul 30 @ 8:15 pm – 11:00 pm

RSVP here.

Members of the public are invited to view the wonders of the universe through the telescopes of Rappahannock County Park volunteers and NOVAC members. This is an open observing session and members of the public may bring their own telescopes and binoculars as well.

Note this program is only an observing session (no presentation).

As a reminder please ask permission from the telescope owner before using. Please monitor your children if they’re around expensive astronomical equipment. Remember, telescope mirrors are sensitive to cigarette smoke and bug spray. Pets should not be brought onto the observing field as well (unless they are service animals).

Don’t forget to dress warmly. Please check the weather forecast. 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. If you’re arriving after dark, please dim your vehicle’s headlights as you approach the gravel parking lot.

Note: This outdoor event is weather-dependent and may be cancelled because of significant cloud cover or precipitation.

Please visit the official website for more details.

 

Other Events can be found on Astronomy in DC!

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 Astronomy Dept. of the University of Maryland
Holds a public lecture followed by informal observing at the observatory in College Park, Maryland the 5th and 20th of each month.

The Montgomery College Planetarium
Has one or two programs each month, and special programs can be arranged.