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Searching the Night Sky in Great Falls

Observatory Park hosts weekly viewings.

Geoffrey Morrison-Logan of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, consultants hired by the Town of Herndon, speaks about possible Metro redevelopment at a public meeting Monday, Jan. 23.

Geoffrey Morrison-Logan of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, consultants hired by the Town of Herndon, speaks about possible Metro redevelopment at a public meeting Monday, Jan. 23. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— The winter skies are clear for the viewing at Observatory Park in Great Falls. Every Friday night through April 15 the park will host a viewing from 7 to 9:30 p.m. where prospective astronomers can bring their equipment to examine the night sky.

"It’s hard to believe such a place exists in Fairfax County, so far away from the light pollution of this area," said James Crawford of Vienna.

The viewings are hosted by the Analemma Society, which helped the park get the roll top observatory that is currently there, and is working on expanding the offerings.

Jacque Olin, one of the founders of the society, said the society aims to "stimulate curiosity by making it easy to learn."

Viewings are not held if there is snow on the ground, or if the temperature falls below 20 degrees. According to the Analemma Society, if stars are visible on a given night, it’s a good night for viewing.

More information, including a Clear Sky Clock which shows night sky viewing conditions, can be found at www.analemma.org.