When:: Nov. 15, 7 to 11 p.m.
Where: C.M. Crockett Park, 10066 Rogues Road, outside Nokesville
Fee: $6 per car
What to bring: Warm clothes
Grab a warm coat and get ready to enjoy the excellent horizons from C.M. Crockett Park outside Nokesville, the perfect stage for the 2014 Leonid Meteor Shower.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast expects 10 comets per hour this year, and a new moon allows for the best visibility of the annual shower, which has been a true crowd-pleaser since 1833.
The park, set away from bright lights, competes only with the lights of Manassas, and a little disruption from the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.
The park is just across the Fauquier border, about 10 minutes from Nokesville.
The moon factors into a viewer’s ability to glimpse the meteors, and last year the full moon ruined the visibility. This November, however, the new moon provides ultimate viewing conditions. However, the forecast remains the wild card.
The Leonids show up annually and seem to emanate from the constellation Leo. No howling over the cost even from these quarters. At least Fauquier is doing SOMETHING. I had asked for years to have an event like this in Prince William County, specifically at Silver Lake. I was told that I would have to pay for security. That cost is a deal breaker. $6 looks like a real bargain.
The question is, why does Fauquier have all the neat things? They have fabulous regional parks. C. M. Crockett is one such park that serves the southern section of that county. Fauquier’s parks radiate the notion that the County cares about its parks and open spaces. Prince William’s parks do no such thing. In fact, they are embarrassing.
To Pete Candland’s credit, he tried to solve some of the issues at Silver Lake, which could be the gem of Prince William. Silver Lake needs far more than concerned citizens can fix is the problem. It needs PW County to dump a lot of money into it like they promised to do when they refused to let Bull Run Mountain Conservancy take it over. To date, they have not done so, ignoring their own plan.
I went out to Silver Lake this past week. The road had been graded but it needs it again. There is a chain link divider between the park area and Reagan Middle School. The chain link fence was even eco-green. I would have preferred poplars but I suppose it depends on the intent. The post store had been cleaned up. I am not sure if it is operational now or not. It appeared that you could rent kayaks. I saw two huge wild turkeys in the road and 11 deer grazing in the field across from Rainbow Riding.
Good job those who got out there with the elbow grease. I expect the county did the grading and concerned volunteers did the beautification but I am not sure. I would like to get a newsletter of praise for those volunteers if that is the case. (rather than telling me who to vote for) That is the kind of email I like getting–constituent stuff.
Money and time from public works will be what really turns Silver Lake into the showpiece it really could be. Meanwhile, it would be a great place to view celestial events. Once the Battlefield picnic area closed [read DISAPPEARED] there really has been no where in the county for friends and enthusiasts to gather for eclipses, meteor showers and other amateur astronomy events. Who does one even approach to ask for such services? I would even be willing to pay to get in, albeit begrudgingly.
Imagine a Prince William County that valued open spaces and parks rather than trying to fudge and call median strips and school playgrounds “park lands.” Parks are more than youth sports fields!
Note: Meteor showers are usually best viewed right before dawn so the timing on this event isn’t optimal. However, part of the fun is the event. Also the article says 10 comets per hour. That should read 10 meteors an hour. Nov. 15 is also a little early. Leonids usually peak November 17, 18th.
Further reading at EarthSky.