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.
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/