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Riverbend Park’s Night Sky Festival Focuses on Jupiter | Community Spirit

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Riverbend Park’s Night Sky Festival Focuses on Jupiter

From Fairfax County Park Authority:

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m., visitors will gaze through a 10-inch telescope at our solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter, during Riverbend Park’s annual Night Sky Festival. Due to the dark, moonless night, Jupiter’s colors and banding should be visible. The planet’s four Galilean moons (Ganymede, Io, Europa, Callisto) are also expected to be seen. The festival occurs near the peak of the Leonid meteor shower and, although rare, participants may occasionally see shooting stars while listening to stories by a warm campfire.

A naturalist will guide visitors through the night sky, pointing out common and uncommon constellations and other deep space objects. Learn to use a star chart to find constellations such as Pegasus in the night sky. Pegasus is more than just the great square; learn how to find the rest of the famous horse! And locate celestial royalty by finding King Cephus, Queen Cassiopeia, and their daughter, Princess Andromeda.

Explore the moon at a fun, interactive discovery station, where you become the earth and your moon changes phases. One activity station is located indoors; all other activities take place outside, so dress for the weather.

The cost is $5 per person; kids under three are admitted free of charge. Hot cocoa, star charts and other gift shop novelties will be available for purchase. The festival will be canceled if it’s raining or snowing.

Riverbend Park is located at 8700 Potomac Hills Street in Great Falls, Va. For more information, call 703-759-9018 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/riverbend.

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