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The Fairfax County Park Authority offers a variety of activities such as classes, camps and tours in a wide variety of categories including aquatics, fitness, nature, dance, outdoor recreation, performing arts, history and many more. Special events, trips/tours and specialty workshops are listed in Parktakes, the Park Authority’s quarterly guide, available through free subscription to county citizens. .

Astronomy Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Astronomy Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information. See session notes for details.

Exploring the Moon (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) 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 meets rain or shine with alternate viewing sessions available for cloudy days. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.

Intro to Telescopes (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) 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 objects in the sky in the Roll-Top Observatory if the weather allows. Attendees can bring their own telescope for assistance and advice.. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available

Meteor Astronomy (10-Adult)

(10-Adult) This class covers basic meteor astronomy including what meteors are, their origins, best time to view, fireball reporting, past meteor showers videos. An optional observing session is held outdoors after class, weather permitting. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.

Meteorites-Exploring Visitors from Space (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) What are meteorites? Where do they come from? What do they tell us? This class is an introduction to these visitors from outer space. Participants will be able to examine actual meteorites including specimens from the Moon and Mars. The course will be held in the Roll-Top observatory classroom at Turner Farm Park.

Topics in Astronomy at the Roll-Top Observatory

(8-Adult) Explore everything from space missions to planets and galaxies with a different monthly topic at the Roll-Top observatory at Turner Farm Park. Classroom discussion is followed by an observatory session with telescopes, weather permitting. Advanced registration required. Check the Analemma Society website for the monthly topics (www.analemma.org).

Transit of Mercury Celebration

(5-Adult) In this rare event, Mercury will pass directly between the earth and sun. Witness this transit as you safely view Mercury gliding slowly across the face of the sun. Many different telescopes and viewing methods will be available along with educational stations to enjoy while clouds pass by.

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