General Meetings

//General Meetings
General Meetings 2019-09-24T08:00:24-04:00

Upcoming Meeting

Sunday, October 13; 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Research Hall, Room 163

Speaker: Dr. Arik Posner,

Title: The Initial Solar Encounters of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

Abstract: Launched in the summer of 2018, the Parker Solar Probe mission utilizes advanced technologies to explore the immediate surroundings of the sun with a suite of in situ and remote sensing instrumentation. After only 13 months in orbit, a Venus gravity assist and three initial close encounters of the Sun have been successfully completed. Meanwhile, PSP collected, recorded, and transmitted data of all on-board instruments to the ground. These first encounters reached unprecedented 35.6 solar radii at closest approach, which is about half the minimum solar distance of the previous record encounters by Helios B. Initial surveys of the data revealed a breadth of new information that will help address key science questions in Heliophysics, such as: How are solar energetic particles accelerated and transported? What processes occur in the fresh, inner-heliosphere solar wind? What is the nature of the heliospheric dust environment near the Sun that can be seen from Earth as the zodiacal light? This presentation will discuss the enabling technology, the current mission status, and touch on some of the initial results and their potential broader implications.

As part of the NASA Heliophysics Division team, Dr. Posner serves as Program Scientist for the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission. IMAP is a mission that will be launched in 2024 will shed light on processes related to the interaction of the solar wind with the local interstellar medium. 

He also serves as Program Scientist for the currently operating missions Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) and Parker Solar Probe, and as deputy Program Scientist for Voyager. He is a Co-Investigator of the Curiosity and Solar Orbiter science teams. 

Arik is proud owner of a 10-inch Dobsonian telescope acquired in ~1990 that was put to good use during the impacts of fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter in 1994. He sometimes can be spotted in the streets of Burke, Virginia, observing various objects in the night sky and showing them to passers-by.

Meetings start at 7:00 PM, generally on the second Sunday of every month (with the exception of May, when we meet earlier or later to avoid a conflict with Mother’s Day). If you come earlier you can do a little socializing. The first part of the meeting includes:

  • A tour of what is in the sky this month and how to find an observe these things.
  • An Astronomy Note – a short presentation about a key astronomical concept to help deepen and enrich your knowledge
  • Observing reports when members can share their stories and experiences viewing or photographing the sky
  • Q&A, where beginning astronomers are encouraged to ask questions to be answered by more experienced members.

The final part of the meeting is a program, usually by outside experts, but sometimes by one of the members. We’ve had presenters from all aspects of Astronomy including scientists from NASA and other premier organizations, cosmologists, and photographers.

There’s a good deal of socializing before and after meetings, allowing members to put faces with the voices they’ve heard in the dark.

NOVAC’s general meetings are open to club members and the general public alike, and are held on the campus of George Mason University (directions) in Fairfax, Virginia. Research Hall is easily identified by the observatory attached to the side of the building. Paid parking is available in the Shenandoah parking structure. Some members have also chosen to park across the street in the far reaches of the Patriot Center’s parking lot, then walk up the path to Research Hall.

Whether you’re an longtime club member, a new or prospective club member, or simply an interested member of the public, you’ll be warmly welcomed at our meetings.

Please Join Us For Dinner!

Meeting attendees (and their guests) are invited to come out for our informal pre-meeting dinner.  The pre-meeting dinner will be held at Brion’s Grille located at 10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032 at 5:30 p.m.  The pre-meeting dinner is an excellent way to meet club members, welcome newcomers, and renew old friendships.

If you’d like to join us, stop by the restaurant at 5:30 PM. See you there!

NOVAC Dinner

PARKING is available at the Shenandoah parking deck (enter via Sandy Creek Way) for $3/hr, up to a daily maximum of $14. Though the club recommends the use of the paid parking deck, we’ve also had members report success parking in Lot A (a permit-only lot also associated with the Patriot Center) without trouble on Sunday evenings (tickets are $85, however, so assess your own risk tolerance before considering this option).

Nov
10
Sun
2019
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Nov 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Dec
8
Sun
2019
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Dec 8 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Jan
12
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Jan 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Feb
9
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Feb 9 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Mar
8
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Mar 8 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Apr
12
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Apr 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Jun
14
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Jun 14 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Jul
12
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Jul 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Aug
9
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Aug 9 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!

Sep
13
Sun
2020
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University
Sep 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly Meeting @ George Mason University | Fairfax | Virginia | United States

Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.

Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!