Northern Virginia Astronomy Club
The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club was founded in 1980 by student amateur astronomers of Thomas Jefferson High School and George Mason University in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. with a focus to make astronomy available to the public. It was incorporated in 1991. Monthly meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. at the George Mason University on the second Sunday of each month. Monthly observing sessions (see star party), are held at dark sky locations with which the club has prior arrangements.
The club seeks to "provide enjoyment and education to the public (and ourselves) through amateur astronomy". With its proximity to Washington D.C., it is able to draw members and speakers from the diverse region. It is one of the largest amateur astronomy clubs in the United States with close to 1000 members.
According to the club website, "Membership in the NOVAC is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. You do not have to own a scope or have a knowledge of astronomy to join."
There are dues associated with the club to pay for the library, membership in the Astronomical League, and other club related expenses.
Applications are available on the website. See link below.
Included with membership is: Use of the clubs observing sites. Use of the clubs lending "library" of telescopes, books, and DVDs. Club listserve to ask questions and give notices of club related or astronomical events
The club conducts three major events every year. In the spring the club hosts Astronomy Day and in the fall Star Gaze. Member volunteers bring telescopes for public solar and sidereal viewing and a program in the afternoon features guest speakers presenting topics of general astronomical interest. Every month there is public viewing at C.M. Crockett park in Fauquier County, Virginia. During late summer or early fall the club sponsors the Almost Heaven Star Party at the Spruce Knob Mountain Center in West Virginia.
- List of astronomical societies
- Official site
- Astronomical League
- International Dark-Sky Association
- Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce
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