news and events


The August 21, 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun is on its Way!

Read About WNC Astronomy on pages 104–105 of the January 2017 The Laurel of Asheville Magazine

December 2016 through January 2017Locate Uranus with the Unaided Eye

 Two Star Gazes in January 2017

Spencer 1Continue to check this home page posting as weather and road conditions could change the venue or postpone and possibly cancel a star gaze. Check-in again after 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the observing session for the latest info and update. (Image credit: Spencer Black, taken at Grassland Mountain Observatory)

20 January 2017 Friday night – The location for this star gaze will be Grassland Mountain Observatory in Madison County. The weather backup night is Saturday, January 21st.  This event is free and open to the general public — registration is not necessary to attend. A temporary gate code, required for entry, will be provided the day of the star gaze by 5:00 p.m.  Directions to Grassland Mountain Observatory can be found hereIn the event that road conditions prevent access to GMO, the backup location will be the Tanbark Ridge Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sunset occurs at 5:46 p.m.

27 January 2017 Friday night – The location for this star gaze will be Lookout Observatory on the north end of the UNC-Asheville campus. The weather backup night is Saturday, January 28th. This event is free and open to the general public. Registration is now closed – please visit the UNCA Lookout Observatory website to sign up on a waiting list. Sunset occurs at 5:53 p.m. with shuttle service beginning at 6:30 p.m.


Evenings of 30 January to 1 February 2017Conjunction of Venus and Mars with the Crescent Moon


Image Courtesy of Sky and Telescope

2 February 2017 – Next Club Meeting

Thursday night, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. In the Manheimer Room at the lower level of the Reuter Center on the UNC Asheville campus. This meeting is free and open to the general public.

gravityappleJudy Beck, University of North Carolina Asheville Gravity: From Newton to Planet Nine

Gravity’s influence can be felt across vast expanses of the universe and dictates how galaxies, stars – and black holes – are formed, yet it is the weakest of the four fundamental forces of nature. Despite the gravitational tug of the entire Earth holding it down, lifting an apple from its surface is a simple matter.

When Galileo dropped spheres from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and demonstrated that objects of different masses fall to Earth at the same rate (an experiment reproduced by astronauts on the Moon), he began a scientific revolution that would have “heavy” consequences. Read more…