*** The events posted here are open to the public and are offered monthly. NOVAC Members have access to viewing sites in northern Virginia and West Virginia and access to loaner telescopes, an extensive astronomy library, special interest groups and member observing sessions. Please attend one of our monthly meetings at George Mason University to see if NOVAC fits your interests in astronomy. We would love to have you as a member!! ***
NOVAC is an astronomy outreach focused non-profit organization formed in 1990, however, the club met informally for many years before that!
We provide enjoyment and education to the public (and ourselves!) through amateur astronomy. We discuss telescopes, astrophotography, and anything above our atmosphere! :)
We strive to be a friendly club with a focus on observing, and we are one of the largest clubs in the United States with over 800 members.
Some might call this plain old "Star-gazing." If you wish to grow your knowledge and help others grow their knowledge of astronomy NOVAC will help you achieve that goal. With our large membership covering all aspects of astronomy, you are sure to find others with interests in astronomy and equipment similar to yours.
By joining NOVAC, you will have the opportunity to meet others who have common interests and the opportunity to exchange ideas. Through our public programs, you can be directly involved with the public events NOVAC sponsors to introduce others to the joys of astronomy.
NOVAC sponsors numerous public events that are free and open to the public ! To facilitate the club's operations members pay small annual dues to support the outreach events, provide the web site, provide loaner scopes and purchase books for the library. Dues also include membership in the Astronomical League. NOVAC is non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) corporation. Funding is primarily through membership dues with some corporate charitable contributions and various partnerships that support the viewing sites.
Whether an interested beginner or an experienced amateur astronomer , we think you will find joining NOVAC a rewarding experience.
Our motto is To Observe and to Help Others Observe: we welcome everyone who wishes to learn more about astronomy.
Using spaceborne systems to carry out observations of atmospheric and surface properties of the objects in our solar system (including the Earth) provides a wealth of information about the processes that are occurring now and those that have occurred in the past. They are essential for everything from providing accurate weather forecasts on the Earth to understanding the formation and history of our solar system and ourselves. When building the instruments required for this remote sensing and operating the systems that carry them, unexpected events can occur that provide challenges (and sleepless nights) for the teams involved. In this presentation, I will give some examples of these types of events, how they were overcome, and show some of the outstanding images and science obtained afterwards. These examples will include the Ralph visible and short wave infrared imager on the New Horizons Mission to the Pluto System, the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on the Landsat 8 Earth orbiting mission, and the OVIRS visible/infrared spectrometer on the OSIRIS-REx mission to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.
The speaker is Dr. Dennis Reuter from NASA