Astronomy - The Relentless and Violent Universe

(8-Adult) While looking up at the night sky, the universe seems quiet and restful. But the universe is full of relentless and violent events. Join us to learn about pulsars, giant black holes and quasars. Our own galaxy will collide with the Magellanic Clouds and then with the Andromeda Galaxy. The discussion is followed by an observing session with telescopes, weather permitting. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Astronomy Festival

(3-Adult) Enjoy activities including guided star gazing, looking through the telescope, and listening to ancient stories about the constellations around the campfire. Participate in other activities and games throughout the evening. Hot chocolate included with price of registration. Canceled if raining or snowing.


Astronomy Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the badge. Scouts must complete all prework before the start of class. Pre-work and program details available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/scouts. Scouts unable to complete all requirements may receive partial credit from their merit badge counselor.


Comets - Exotic Visitors to the Inner Solar System

(8-Adult) Comets are fascinating objects that make infrequent visits to our celestial neighborhood and don’t stay for long. Originating in the far reaches of the solar system as clumps of ice and dust, comets undergo a remarkable transformation as they approach the sun and are heated by its radiation. Join us in this one-hour class as we explore the life history of a comet and celebrate great comets of the past. This course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Fairfax Poet Laureate - Poetry Beneath the Stars

(8-Adult) Write a poem while gazing at the night sky to see if you can find a shooting star. During this program you will be asked to dig deep and contemplate the cosmos through poetic form. Examples of star-gazing poetry and writing prompts will be provided. This event will include telescope viewing in the Roll Top Observatory, weather permitting. Hosted by ArtsFairfax and the Fairfax Poet Laureate as part of the “Poetry in the Parks” series.


Find Your Way in the Night Sky- Intro to Star Maps

(8-Adult) This presentation will cover an introduction to sky coordinates, how astronomical objects are represented on maps of the sky, and how to read star maps to find your way among the stars in the sky. The talk will be illustrated by a variety of star atlases. The classroom discussion is followed by an observatory session with telescopes, weather permitting. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Impacts & Craters - Landscaping the Solar System

(8-Adult) Our Moon gives us a great glimpse into the variety and extent of impact explosion cratering - the most common landscape form in our solar system. Learn how to recognize the three types of craters and understand both how they were formed and how they can change over time. Classroom discussion and hands on demonstration are followed by a lunar crater and night sky observation session with telescopes, weather permitting. This course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Intro to Telescopes

(8-Adult) For those who are new to using a telescope or contemplating purchasing one, this course goes into introductory basics of astronomy, observing the sky, and what you need to know to setup and use your telescope. Class 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. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Introduction to Astronomy

(8-Adult) This course provides a general introduction to some fundamentals of astronomy and the universe. We will discuss the basic types of astronomical objects from the small to the large, the motions of the planets and stars, and interesting phenomena in the night sky. A classroom discussion is followed by an observatory session with telescopes, weather permitting. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Looking at the Moon

(8-Adult) This program covers basic information about the Earth's natural satellite, the Moon. Learn how to view and recognize features on the Moon's surface even with a small telescope. The class includes observing the Moon and other objects in the night sky with telescopes, weather permitting. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Nebulas, Star Clusters & Galaxies, Oh My!

(8-Adult) We are familiar with the stars and planets that we can see when the Sun sets. However, the night sky contains many wonders that are visible with binoculars or modest telescopes. This fun and interactive presentation is designed as an introduction to the most common of these astronomical “deep sky” objects. After the class, look through the telescopes in the observatory, weather permitting. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Night Sky Tour at the Roll-Top Observatory

(8-Adult) Take a tour of planets, constellations, stars, nebulas, and galaxies in the night sky at the Roll-Top observatory at Turner Farm Park using telescopes or just your eyes. In case of inclement weather, we will discuss and show images of objects that could be observed in clear skies. No knowledge of astronomy is needed. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Planet Adventure Night

(6-Adult) This program is a tour of the planets and moons of our Solar System which are viewable in the current night sky. The classroom discussion is followed by an observatory session of planets and the stars beyond in telescopes, weather permitting. No knowledge of astronomy is needed, just an interest in learning about the universe. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Children need to be accompanied by a registered adult. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Stargazing with Binoculars

(8-Adult) Binoculars offer a fine introduction to the sights that lie in our night sky. Learn about different types of binoculars and how to use them to find planets, galaxies, star clusters, nebulae and to visually stroll through the beautiful star fields of the Milky Way. Attendees are welcome to bring binoculars. Program includes an observing session to help you find objects visible in the night sky, weather permitting. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


Telescope Observing for Beginners

(8-Adult) This course covers the basics of observing the night sky and objects with a telescope and astronomy resources. Class will provide hands-on observation with telescopes weather permitting. Attendees can bring their own telescopes to use and receive assistance. Supplements the “Introduction to Telescopes” class but can be taken independently. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


The Sun - Our Neighborhood Star

(8-Adult) Learn what causes the Sun to shine, the Sun's life cycle, and how the Sun compares to other stars. Discuss features on the Sun and how to view the Sun safely. A classroom discussion is accompanied by an observing session of the Sun with solar telescopes, weather permitting. The course is held rain or clear skies in the Roll-Top Observatory at Turner Farm Park. Instruction for this program is provided by volunteers of the Analemma Society.


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