18-22 April 2024
A Jupiter Conjunction with Uranus

Illustration created with SkySafari software

21-23 April 2024
Close Encounter of the Moon with the Bright Star Spica

Illustration courtesy of
Sky & Telescope

Upcoming Public Star Gazes

Image credit: club member Alan Davis – taken at Lookout Observatory

Continue to check this home page as weather could change the venue or postpone and possibly cancel a star gaze. Check again after 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the observing session for the latest info and update.

26 Apr. 2024 — Friday night — The location for this star gaze will be Lookout Observatory on the UNC Asheville campus, with a weather backup date of Saturday, 27 April. While the event is free and open to everyone, pre-registration is required to attend. To learn more about how to register, please visit the UNCA Lookout Observatory website here. Sunset occurs at 8:13 p.m., with shuttle service beginning about 9:00 p.m.

3 May 2024 — Friday night — This public star gaze will be held at Grassland Mountain Observatory in Madison County, with a weather backup night of Saturday, 4 May. This event is free and open to everyone — registration is not necessary to attend. A temporary gate code, required for entry, will be provided here on the day of the star gaze by 5:00 p.m. Directions to Grassland Mountain Observatory can be found here. These star gazes normally conclude about 3 hours after sunset, and visitors are not permitted to stay past the conclusion time. Sunset occurs at 8:18 p.m.

2 May 2024 – Club Meeting Presentation
— Thursday night, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

This free speaker presentation will be offered in-person at the UNC-Asheville Reuter Center and virtually online. Registration is not required; use this Zoom link to watch the presentation remotely.

Artist illustration of The Local Bubble

Cosmic-Ray Mysteries in the Light of the Sun and the Shadow of the Moon
– presented by
Enrique Alberto Gómez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Western Carolina University

The Solar System has spent the last few million years in a rough neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy called The Local Bubble, carved by the winds of ancient supernovae. This is an environment characterized by higher than usual ionizing radiation from those ancient supernovae called cosmic rays. Read more…