Analemma Society Programs
Variable Weather - Always Check Analemma Tweets & Clear Skies Pages
The Roll-Top observatory is available to the public for viewing the skies on Friday nights:
- 7:30-9:30 PM Friday 5 January canceled due cold
- 7:30-9:30 PM Friday 12 January
- 7:30-9:30 PM Friday 19 January
- 7:30-9:30 PM Friday 26 January
The Analemma Society holds Friday Night Public Viewing Sessions at Turner Farm in Great Falls, VA. With the Roll-Top operational, volunteers will be available to help the public use the newly mounted telescopes.
We continue to invite the public to bring their own telescopes and set up outside the Roll-Top or their own binoculars for observing. There is a lot to see in the night sky. On some of our Friday Night sessions, we have had more than 100 visitors!
And, don't forget to sign up with Fairfax County Parktakes for the following courses at Observator Park, Turner Farm:
- Sat 10am 6 January Rainbows, Haloes and Glories canceled 6-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Tue 7:30pm 9 January Introduction to Telescopes 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Sat 4pm 13 January Astronomy Festival 3-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Wed 7:30pm 17 January Rainbows. Haloes, and Glories 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Sat 10am 10 February Radio Astronomy - Listening to the Universer 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Sat 4pm 17 February Astronomical Festival 3-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Sat 11am 24 February Meteorites: Exploring Visitors From Space 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Tue 7:30pm 6 March Introduction to Telescopes 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Sat 10:00pm 10 March The Marine Sextant 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Wed 7:30pm 14 March Astronomical Seminar & Telescope Viewing 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Sat 4:00pm 17 March Astronomical Festival 3-Adult - Geared for the Family
- Tue 7:30pm 20 March Family Fun Night and the Telescope 6-Adult - Geared for the Family
Read the article below about these courses or read on to see what's up in the sky for Friday nights in January
Through the Fairfax County Park Authority Parktakes courses, you can take an introductory course on telescopes, learn about the Moon, or you can learn about the physics of meteors ("shooting stars") and techniques to observe them. The courses will be given at Turner Farm - Observatory Park in the new Roll-Top Observatory.
The Parktakes Turner Farm Park Astronomy courses will be held whether it is clear, cloudy, or raining. All of the courses have a presentation and talk segment. The observing portion using the Roll-Top Observatory will be held to the extent permitted by the current weather conditions.
Date/Time Title Ages
Sat 1/06/2018 10:00 AM Rainbows, Haloes and Glories 6-Adult - Geared for the Family
Tue 1/09/2018 7:30 PM Introduction to Telescopes 6-Adult - Geared for the Family
Sat 1/13/2018 4:00 PM Astronomy Festival 3-Adult - Geared for the Family
Wed 1/17/2018 7:30 PM Rainbows, Haloes and Glories 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
Sat 2/10/2018 10:00 AM Radio Astronomy - Listening to the Universe 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
Sat 2/17/2018 4:00 PM Astronomy Festival 3-Adult - Geared for the Family
Sat 2/24/2018 11:00 AM Meteorites: Exploring Visitors from Space 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
Tue 3/06/2018 7:30 PM Introduction to Telescopes 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
Sat 3/10/2018 10:00 AM The Marine Sextant 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
Wed 3/14/2018 7:30 PM Astronomical Seminar & Telescope Viewing 9-Adult - Geared for the Family
Sat 3/17/2018 4:00 PM Astronomical Festival 3-Adult - Geared for the Family
Tue 3/20/2018 7:30 PM Family Fun Night and the Telescope 6-Adult - Geared for the Family
You can register at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes/. All it takes is the sign up with Parktakes to get a member number, locate the course registration page and provide a valid email address and Visa or MasterCard.
Astronomical Seminar and Telescope Viewing: Instructors Analemma Society Staff
The Roll-Top observatory at Turner Farm will hold a classroom seminar and nighttime observing session focused on a specific astronomical topic each month. The topics will range from planets, open clusters, double stars, stellar color spectrum, globular clusters, and galaxies. Telescopes will be used to view the objects of the month discussed in the classroom (weather dependent). Check the Analemma website for monthly topics (www.analemma.org).
Intro to Telescopes: Instructors Analemma Society Staff
Now that you have received a new telescope, how do you set it up and use it? Or are you considering buying a telescope? This course goes into introductory basics of Astronomy, observing the sky, and what you need to know to setup and use your telescope. Will provide hands-on use of telescopes and observing selected objects in the sky using the Roll-Top Observatory if the weather allows it. Attendees can bring their own telescope for assistance and advice. (Conducted throughout the year)
Meteor Astronomy: Instructor Peter S. Gural (Senior Scientist, Leidos)
Couse covers basic meteor astronomy including meteor phenomena and when they can be seen, fireball reporting and simple visual observing techniques. Learn about automated observations using affordable video cameras. Course also covers advanced techniques using radar, radio, infrasound and spectroscopy. Optional outdoor visual observing sessions after class weather permitting; bring a lawn chair and warm cover/sleeping bag. (Conducted Tuesday 12 December at 7:30 PM)
Meteorites: Exploring Visitors from Space Instructor Cal Powell
What are meteorites? Where do they come from? What do they tell us? This course is an introduction to these visitors from outer space, suitable for children and adults. Participants will have an opportunity to touch and examine actual meteorites including specimens from the Moon and the planet Mars. The course will be held in the Roll-Top observatory classroom at Turner Farm Park. (Conducted , Saturday February 24 at 11 AM)
Exploring the Moon: Instructor Bill Burton
The Moon is as old as the Earth, and its surface is marked by craters and lava flows billions of years old. Explore these lunar features through a high-powered telescope and learn about their origins. See where the Apollo lunar landings occurred, and discuss what the astronauts found. Class will meet rain or shine with alternate viewing sessions available for cloudy days.
Family Fun Night at the Telescopes: Instructors Analemma Society Staff
Wondering about the earth in space and the kinds of strange objects that make up our universe? Then join our family introduction to Telescopes in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park and take a personal guided tour of the heavens and see the color of stars, open and globular clusters, nebulae and galaxies with your own eyes (dependent on the weather). No experience required.
Astronomy for Family Fun: Various Instructors TBD
Enjoy hands-on activities and looking through our telescopes to learn about the solar system and everything in it. Explore every corner, observe some planets (dependent on the weather), and find out why Earth is just right to support life. (Conducted September 28 - Solar System)
Enjoy hands-on activities and looking through our telescopes to explore the universe (dependent on the weather) and learn about mind-boggling phenomena and celestial happenings. A different topic each night: (Topic for December 7: Geminid Meteor Shower)
Rainbows, Haloes and Glories Instructor Jeff Kretch
The January Astronomical Seminar will cover common and some uncommon phenomena people can see in the open sky such as rainbows, haloes and glories. Sunrise and sunset phenomena like the green flash, the purple light, and simple questions like why the sky is blue and why sunsets are orange are also covered. The seminar will teach people how to better appreciate the sky both day and night. There will be an observing session in the Roll-Top Observatory after the presentation if the weather allows. (Conductedt Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30PM )
Radio Astronomy: Listening to the Universe Instructor Robert Kellogg, Ph.D.
What can you hear from space? Join the adventure to understand cosmic noise and what it tells us about the sun, the magnetic structure surrounding some of our planets (and the strange radio signals from Jupiter and its moon Io). Then learn how our galaxy is mapped using the faint signals from hydrogen atoms and the behavior of molecules. Little green men? That was one of the possibilities of the strange sounds of pulsars, strange dense fast rotating stars. Come hear what our universe is saying. Course will be held in the Roll-Top observatory classroom at Turner Farm Park. (Conducted Saturday, February 10 at 10 AM)
Introduction to the Marine Sextant
The marine sextant is the instrument used at sea for the purpose of establishing a ship’s position by observing the altitude of a celestial body above the horizon. Become familiar with the working parts of a sextant and learn about the proper care and storage for this precision instrument. Demonstration sextants will be available to examine first hand. The course will be held in the Roll-Top observatory classroom at Turner Farm Park. (Conducted Saturday March 10 at 10 AM)
Ever wonder what telescope to buy? Refractor, Reflector ... Big Scope or a Little Scope ... Dobsonian Mount ... or maybe just a good pair of binoculars and a star catalog. As they say, this isn't rocket science. Here's an excellent article: So You Wanna Buy a Telescope - Advice For Beginners by Ed Ting. Ed walks through the type of telescopes and eyepieces and even the types of binoculars that will help you get started with a great view of the sky.
"The simplicity part is important...Beginners need early success, and the 6" or 8" aperture is big enough to throw up a bright image of most common celestial objects."