Ticket holders are asked to check their email for event updates 36 hours prior to their viewing time for any weather updates. If stargazing outside is not possible, the event will be moved inside the Arthur Planetarium (see weather policy under terms and conditions below). With winter weather upon us, we reserve the right to cancel the event entirely due to slick, icy, or snowy conditions.
Join us for an evening of stargazing as you’ve never seen before! Depending on the time of year and the moon phase, visitors will be able to view the moon, planets, and stars through our 34″ diameter mirror on our custom-built Newtonian telescope, as well as our smaller 14″ mirror Meade planetary telescope. With the assistance of our two observatory Managers, visitors will spend two hours viewing and learning about the night sky.
Parking is available at the Observatory, including a handicap parking space close to the building. Please arrive promptly at your designated time to the parking lot located at the Observatory. Dress comfortably for nighttime weather, as it is sometimes chilly in the mountain air. Closed-toed shoes and flashlights are highly recommended.
Group or Private: $400 for two hours
To schedule a private rental email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Visitor Center at 828-470-7584. Maximum number of guests for private rentals is 26.
*The Observatory will not be open during inclement weather or on cloudy nights. In the case of inclement weather, ticket holders are notified 36 hours prior to the event of any changes.
Named the “Sam Scope” in memory of Samuel Phillips, the telescope is an f/3.6 StarStructure Newtonian telescope, with a 34 inch (0.86 meters) mirror. It is the largest telescope in the Southeast US dedicated to public use.
The Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, provided funding for the fabrication of the telescope. To see our telescope mirror, CLICK HERE and scroll about halfway down the page to see our “34″ f/3.6 visual Newtonian.”
Stargazers are welcome at the Earth to Sky Park when the Observatory is closed. However, caution is necessary. Please remember that lighting is kept to a minimum so that we preserve our dark skies. Bring a flashlight and be prepared to walk on uneven terrain. If the gate is closed, please park just outside the gate, without blocking the gate – it must be allowed to open. Walk around the gate on foot.
You are welcome to bring your own telescope and set up on the flat ground in any area of the park. The Observatory has 8 telescope viewing stations located around the building. Visitors are welcome to set up their own telescopes at the various stations, even when the Observatory is open. However, Observatory staff will not be available to provide instruction on personal telescopes and only those who have purchased tickets to the Observatory will be allowed to take part in the events in the Observatory.
The Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina have stood as silent witnesses to the uninterrupted, nightly rain of starlight for nearly a half-billion years, but artificial light now threatens this nightly show. In honor of notable local efforts to preserve the natural nighttime landscape of western North Carolina, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) designated the Mayland Earth to Sky Park and Observatory as the first IDA-certified Star Park in the southeastern United States. The Blue Ridge Astronomy Group (BRAG), a local amateur astronomy society, was instrumental in supporting MCC’s application to the Dark Sky Places Program.
For More Information on the IDA with a link to: https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/parks/mayland/
Email with Observatory questions: email@example.com
Email with Planetarium questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
66 Energy Exchange Dr. Burnsville, NC.
PO Box 547 Spruce Pine, NC 28777.