NOVAC in the news
Here is a listing of articles
which mention NOVAC, its members, or their efforts.
Venus Puts Stargazers in Seventh
By Sean Salai,
Washington Times Staff Writer,
Monday, June 7th, 2004
Area astronomy buffs
are gearing up for tomorrow's Venus transit across the sun as though it
were the Super Bowl of the natural world.
Mad for Mars: Stargazers Flock for
By David Montgomery,
Washington Post, August 27, 2003; Page C01
"Technically, it's closer, but practically -- ehhhh," said
Elizabeth Warner, director of the University of Maryland Observatory.
"The average person wouldn't notice a difference between two years
ago and today. Some people think they're never going to see Mars again in
their lifetime. That's not true."
Mars Watch, National
Public Radio, All Things Considered, August 26th 2003
Early Wednesday morning,
Mars will come the closest it has been to our planet in nearly 60,000
years. Mars is now shining at its absolute brightest, so astronomers and
curious stargazers have taken to looking sky-ward in the past several
days, to see details on Mars' surface that have never been clearer. NPR's
Melissa Block spent one recent evening with some amateur astronomers from
the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, looking at Mars and observing their
fascination with our closest planetary neighbor.
Training an Eye on Mars,
John F. Kelly,
Washington Post, Aug 25, 2003; Page B01
At 2 o'clock on a recent morning, Bob Bunge ambled into the inky darkness
of his Bowie back yard and prepared to meet an old friend. He swung the
end of a massive home-built telescope skyward, gazed over the branches of
a silver maple tree, then zeroed in on Earth's nearest neighbor.
The Tao of Astronomy,
Sky and Telescope Magazine, September 2003, p.10
While the world around him sleeps, Kevin
D. Dohmen savors
the quiet joy of gazing deep into the night.
Driving home from swimming at our YMCA, I
overheard my seven-year-old son, Taylor, and his best friend, Samantha,
discussing their fathers’ idiosyncrasies. Sammy said something about
her dad yelling at the officials while watching football on TV. As their
giggling subsided, Taylor said, “Yeah, well, my dad spends all
night outside with his telescope” “Yeah?” she asked. “That’s weird.” “He
gets excited about these fuzzy things,” Taylor said. “What’s that
about?” They giggled some more. I just smiled and continued driving.
Star Struck, Washington
Post Weekend, By Nicole Arthur, February 21, 2003; Page WE30
and I are flesh and blood, but we are also stardust."- Helena
This unexpectedly lyrical passage appeared in the introduction to my
college biology textbook. An English major behind enemy lines, I was
willing to take my poetry where I found it. Besides, it was a comforting
way to think about the galaxy. When you frame our relationship to the
stars this way, astronomy is a lot less like hard science and a lot more
Hazards of Astronomy,
Sky and Telescope Magazine, September 2002
Dohmen knows the warning signs — but he stargazes anyway
Astronomy doesn’t readily fit into the same hazard category as, say,
bungee jumping, mountain climbing, or scuba diving in shark cages off the
Great Barrier Reef. Until January 2001, when my wife bought me a
computerized ETX-90 for my 43rd birthday, I saw astronomy as purely
sedentary, even boring. More
Dissecting Light Pollution
Sky and Telescope Online,
Arthur R. Upgren
astronomer knows the artificial skyglow that hangs over populated areas,
washing out almost everyone's view of the universe to a greater or lesser
degree. In the last two generations, light pollution has spread from a
problem in cities to a major astronomical disruption almost everywhere.
The Celestial Season's Fling,
By Ian Shapira,
April 22, 2001 B01
"Mercury is always a
trickster. It's always a personal triumph if you get a peek at it because
it sits so low on the horizon," said John Avellone, 61, a Northern
Virginia Astronomy Club trustee.
Sunday, February 25, 2001; Page B08
The night sky is the world's largest national park with its stark beauty
available to anyone who steps outside and looks up.
Astronomers Try to
Illuminate Region on Threats to Night Skies,
Post, September 2000; Page B01
bright enough this early in the evening to punch through the halo hanging over
the D.C. area. "It would be right about over there," said Pete
Johnson, a Centreville software designer and president of the Northern Virginia
Astronomy Club, pointing toward the glow above Washington fed by lights shining
at office buildings, burger joints, malls, homes and highways.
& Telescope Magazine, August 2000, Page 94
New and improved light-pollution maps of the United States, made from
mosaics of visual and near-infrared satellite images, are now being worked
Discovery light beam
abandoned, company official says
by The Gazette
Discovery Communications' planned Silver Spring tower will not be capped by
a beam of light shooting into the sky, despite architectural renderings of the
tower that showcase the beam, a senior company official said last week.
Local Skies Heavenly for
by Graeme Zielinski -
Pete Johnson, head of
one of the largest astronomy groups in the nation, remembers how he used to be
able to go out onto his Fairfax County lawn as a kid and look deep into the
Darker Skies for the D.C.
& Telescope Magazine, July 2000, Page 28
movement to reduce light pollution – to modify or replace glary outdoor light
fixtures that send “waste light” sideways and upward into the sky –
continues to gain momentum. In the area around Washington D.C., it is beginning
to approach something like critical mass, with a flurry of new laws and
practices recently passed or proposed.