Saturday, June 14, 2014

Astronomy for Kids with NOVAC at Sky Meadows State Park

I like star parties. I went to my first and second star parties at Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona. I lucked into my third star party hosted by the Shenandoah Astronomical Society when I took the girls camping over spring break at Shenandoah River (Andy Guest) State Park.

By my fourth star party, I knew to bring a headlamp with a red light mode so as not to ruin my night vision with white light. I knew to bring a jacket for the cool night air and a bottle of coffee for the drive home.

Star party #4, hosted by the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, was the largest I've seen. Up to forty astronomers brought their telescopes to set them up during the afternnoon so they would be ready by sunset.

Before sunset we saw the sun through a filtered lens, sunspots, solar flares. An amateur astronomer used beach balls to demonstrate how big our solar system was. 

At night we observed the craters of the moon, Mercury, the bands on Jupiter and its moons, and Saturn with its rings.

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