PARI Celebrates the 50 Years of the Rosman Tracking Station
Saturday October 26, 2013 featured tours exhibits and presentations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original dedication of the Rosman Tracking Station. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the event. Visitors were treated to panel discussions by people who worked at the site during the NASA, DoD and PARI days. They also were able to see a Moon Rock which was brought back during Apollo 14. During the past 50 years the site has played three distinctly vital roles. Originally operating as the Rosman Tracking Station, NASA used the site to advance space exploration, both manned and unmanned missions. Then when the Department of Defense ran the site, it was a key listening post, ensuring national security. And most recently for the past 15 years the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) has become a leader in STEM Education and Research. A 50th Anniversary planning committee has been established under the leadership of Friends of PARI President Alex Alexander and PARI Director of Public Outreach Dr. Joe Phillips.
PARI Embarks on Crowd Funding Project to Take APDA to the Next Level
PARI's Science Director Dr. Michael Castelaz has launched a kickstarter project aimed at adding an important new instrument to APDA. Here are his words about the importance of this project. "We would like to invite you to participate in a very important scientific endeavor. "PARI is launching the Astronomy Legacy Project on Kickstarter! We are planning on purchasing a high precision scanner to digitize collections in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA). But, we need help from people like you. Please take a look at ASTRONOMY LEGACY PROJECT. Please consider making a donation to the project.
Rewards for contributions range from being the first to get newly digitized images to Skype sessions with the PARI scientists about the project, and even having the opportunity to scan plates you select from APDA!
Let others know about this project and help preserve our astronomical heritage while making a hundred years of images available to the world."
PARI Honors Distinguished Supporters
On Friday night, Friends of PARI gathered to celebrate PARI's success and to recognize distinguished supporters. This was the first of several events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original dedication of the Rosman Tracking Station. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the Friends of PARI Annual Meeting and Symposium. The highlight of the evening was a talk by former NASA Public Affairs Officer Ed Buckbee. Guest were also the first to view the Apollo 14 Moon Rock on display for the weekend.
Evening at PARI Visitors Learn How To Make A Comet
On Friday, November 8, 2013 the visitors to Evening at PARI heard a presentation by PARI's Education Director Christi Whitworth about the Comet ISON. They also participated in creating comets. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the evening. Visitors to October's Evening at PARI participated in International Observe the Moon Night. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from past Evening at PARI events. Click REGISTRATION to register for the December program and other upcoming Evening at PARI events.
PARI Welcomes Visitors to Our Campus
Each year, thousands of visitors come to PARI to experience science at PARI. Daily visitors take self-guided tours. PARI works with groups to arrange especially tailored visits to the PARI campus. Click 2013 VISITORS to see recent pictures of our visitors. Click PAST VISITORS to see pictures from previous years. Also, each Wednesday at 2:00 pm, PARI's volunteer docents lead guided tours of our campus and include an overview video and a walking tour of the main program and research areas of the PARI campus. Visitors are encouraged to bring cameras to take pictures. The PARI campus is handicapped accessible. Click WEDNESDAY TOUR PHOTOS to see pictures of visitors from our Wednesday tours since 2007. We also regularly host visiting groups of students and their teachers. Click STUDENT GROUP PHOTOS to pictures of these groups.
PARI Is Well Represented at the NC Astronomers' Meeting
Eight members of PARI's team attended the October 5, 2013 North Carolina Astronomers' Meeting in Greensboro, NC at Guilford Technical Community College. The team led by Chair and President Jo and Don Cline and Science Director Dr. Michael Castelaz included: Lee Rottler, and summer interns Cameron Lemley, Spencer Saunders, Taylor Seitz and Michele Coker. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the meeting.
PARI's Fall 2013 Quarterly Newsletter, VIEW, Now Available On-Line
The Fall 2013 newsletter, VIEW, is now available on-line by clicking VIEW NEWSLETTER. This issue contains many interesting articles about the activities at PARI, including: Planning for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Rosman Tracking Station, the summer Duke TIP program, Dr. Michael Castelaz' Research report and Dr. Bob Hayward's Astronomer's Corner article on The Drake Equation.
PARI Presents at The Gem Show at the Hendersonville, NC Apple Festival
On the 2013 Labor Day Weekend PARI was represented at the Gem Show during the annual Apple Festival Held in Hendersonville, NC. More than 900 visitors came by the display that was created for the show by PARI Curator of Meteorites John Sinclair. He was assisted by Education Director Christi Whitworth and Friend of PARI Eric Fritz. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the event.
PARI Hosts Duke TIP for 12th year
Thirty students arrived on the PARI campus on Monday, June 17th to begin a two week accelerated program in astronomy and astrophysics. This is the twelfth consecutive year that PARI has hosted the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) called Above and Beyond. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the activities throughout this two week program. Research Posters are now available.
PARI Dedicates the Parks Observation Deck
A donation from PARI Board member Janet Parks enabled PARI to construct the new Parks Observation Deck on our Optical Ridge. The observation deck was dedicated to Janet and her late husband, Chip, during Space Day on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of the the PARKS OBSERVATION DECK. The view from this new location is arguably one of the most magnificent views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One additional feature that had already been added to the deck is a unique pair of binoculars that were donated by Don Cline. These binoculars allow a spectacular view of the site, the horizon features and of the night sky.
PARI Hosts Space Day Open House
On Saturday, May 4th, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm PARI openned its doors to the general public for the annual Space Day Open House. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the event. Visitors were treated to many displays and activities. They heard about the Interferometer project, toured APDA, viewed the campus from PARI's new Parks Observation Deck and heard from staff about many of the new and excited programs and activities at PARI. Click NEWS ARTICLE to read a story and see pictures from Space Day in the Transylvania Times. Click SPACE DAY PHOTOS to see pictures from previous Space Days.
PARI Story Spreads on Social Media
Working with our friends from MCNC and led by communications professionals Noah Garrett and John Avant, the PARI story went viral on social media on Thursday, April 18th. Click PARI STORY to see the story as it ran on the NC STEM Learning Network Blog. The story also ran on the WRAL TechWire and several Facebook and Twitter accounts, including both MCNC's and PARI's. Special thanks go to PARI's Education Director Christi Whitworth for managing the PARI end. A second story entitled "Broadband helps NC reach for the stars through mountain institute," was published on WRAL TechWire on Monday, April 22nd. Click BROADBAND to read this story.
Western Carolina University Engineering Students Present Project at PARI
A Western Carolina University Kimmel School of Engineering Capstone Project Team presented the report on a semester long senior project at PARI on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of the team. The project was to analyze and recommend a balancing solution to PARI's 12.2 Meter Radio Antenna, which is currently begin recommissioned. Team Members included: James Holtvedt, Nick Tarulli and Matthew Burke. Their Mentor Monty Graham attended as well at their PARI Sponsor Dr. Michael Castelaz. Other PARI staff who attended the presentation included: Don and Jo Cline, Dave Clavier, Lamar Owen and John Halsey.
Jo and Don Cline Visitor Center Dedicated at Dark Sky Observatory
On Saturday evening, April 13, 2013, the Jo and Don Cline Visitor Center at the ASU Dark Sky Observatory was dedicated. The Observatory is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Click DEDICATION PHOTOS to see pictures from the evening. The generosity of Don and Jo was recognized by Chancellor Ken Peacock, Dean Tony Calamia and Professor Dan Caton. The Clines were presented with a certificate of appreciation in front of some 100 guests in attendance. Representing PARI at the event were: Don and Jo Cline, Dave Clavier, John Avant and Ken Steiner.
PARI Staff Particpates in General Assembly Day
Michael Castelaz and Dave Clavier met with state legislators, staff, students and other visitors during the April 16, 2013 NC STEM General Assembly Day at the Capital in Raleigh. Click GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY PHOTOS to see pictures from the event. They met with Transylvania County's Representative Chris Whitmire as well as several other Senators, Representatives and their staffs. They also demonstrated Smiley, SCOPE and other PARI programs with hundreds of students and members of the general public who came by the PARI display table in the legislative building courtyard. PARI joined other members of the NC Grassroots Science Museum Collaborative to share the great works being done by all the science museums around the State.
PARI Staff Demonstrates SMILEY and SCOPE at Astronomy Days
For the eleventh year PARI staff presented at the the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Astronomy Days from Januay 26-27 in Raleigh. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from Astronomy Days. The booth was located in the new Nature Research Center annex of the museum adjacent to the meteorite display which was donated by PARI President Don Cline. The PARI team included: Don and Jo Cline, Michael Castelaz, Mark Krochmal and John Sinclair. They trained visitors on SCOPE and use Smiley to collect radio astronomy data.
PARI Participates in Grassroots Science Retreat
PARI staff participated in the NC Grassroots Science Museum Collaborative annual retreat January 27-29, 2012 in Hickory, NC. Don and Jo Cline, Dave Clavier and Christi Whitworth attended. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the RETREAT. The Collaborative represents 30 science organizations across North Carolina. The Collaborative museums, including PARI, serve 3.8 million visitors annually.
SciGirls moves to first Tuesday in September
The 2013 SciGirls programs will begin again on the first Tuesday in September. Mark you calendars now. Registration will be open soon. SciGirls events are for girls ages 9-14 and are scheduled the last Tuesday of each month during the school year. The participation fee is $10 per student. Program details, specific hours and registration details can be found on the PARI website. Click REGISTER to sign up for an upcoming program. Join the PARI team and find new connections to science for year-round enjoyment and exploration. Find out more about the national programming for SciGirls at http://pbskids.org/scigirls/.
PARI Well Represented at 221st Meeting of American Astronomical Society
PARI staff including Don Cline, Michael Castelaz and Christi Whitworth were joined by PARI interns Emma Taylor and Cameron Lemley at the 221st Meeting of AAS in Long Beach, California. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of them at the meeting. Emma was the 2012 Cline Scholar and presented a poster entitled, "Observations of Near Earth Objects 2002 AM 31." Cameron's poster was entitled, "Mapping the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex in Radio Frequencies." While at the meeting Christi Whitworth signed on to participate a NASA JPL team of educators to conduct research.
PARI Burglarized on Christmas Eve
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute was broken into on 12-24-12. Electronic equipment, scientific instruments and meteorites were stolen and our facilities were vandalized. On Sunday, December 30th the Transylvania County Sheriff Department issued a PRESS RELEASE that identified two suspects, one of whom was arrested with one still at large. The Sheriff recovered many of the items stolen. Some items are still missing and others have been damaged beyond repair. We would like to thank the Transylvania and Henderson County Sheriffs' Departments, the local media, the international meteorite collectors' community, the PARI staff and volunteers for dealing with this sad event. Specifically we would like to thank Transylvania County Sheriff Department Detective Wade Abram for his professionalism. We will now focus our efforts on gathering the resources to replace and repair our facilities as best we can to advance STEM education and research for young and old.
Winter Star Party is Huge Success
Dozens of astronomy enthusiasts attended the 2012 Winter Star Party at PARI from December 14-16. They came from all over to hear speakers, tour PARI and for nighttime observing. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the weekend.
Students Interact With NASA Scientist During Homeschool Day at PARI
Students attending Homeschool Day at PARI interacted with a NASA scientist via a video conference during the Friday, November 2nd program. Homeschoolers and their parents learned about meteors and meteorites. They participated in a StarLab program, heard from PARI Science Educators and viewed PARI's extensive meteorite collection in the PARI exhibit gallery. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the program. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from previous Homeschool Days.
Recent Astrophotography Taken at PARI
PARI Distinguished Supporter Richard S. Wright, Jr. was on campus this October and captured some spectacular nighttime images. Click PHOTOS to see photographs taken by him during his visit. Richard, a frequent visitor to PARI, came to PARI to deliver recently acquired space shuttle artifacts from the Kennedy Space Center and to attend the October Evening at PARI program. Richard's photographs have been featured at PARI several times. One of his photos of Jo's Cove was used as the cover for the 2011 PARI Annual Report. You can see more of Richard's astro imaging at his website at www.eveningshow.com.
PARI Science Director Presents at NC OPT-ED Alliance Day
PARI Science Director, Dr. Michael Castelaz gave a presentation on "Astronomy and the Citizen Scientist," during the Tuesday, October 16th NC OPT-ED Alliance Day at the NCSU McKimmon Conference Center. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from his presentation. PARI is an affiliate program of the North Carolina Alliance to Create Opportunity through Education (NC OPT-ED), a NSF funded program.
EMC Corporation Producing Video on PARI Campus
A production crew from EMC-TV, the corporate television division of EMC Corporation, was on the PARI campus on Thursday and Friday, August 23-24 to tape a segment about PARI, APDA and EMC Corporation's support. Producer/Director Jon Taylor and cameraman Tony Belko interviewed several PARI staff for the production. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the shoot. EMC NC Operations Vice President Bob Hawkins was here for the taping. Bob, a Distinguished Supporter of PARI, has been instrumental in guiding EMC's philanthropic support of PARI, and specifically APDA.
Research Building Dedicated During FOP Annual Meeting
The 2012 Friends of PARI Annual Meeting and Symposium was held on Friday, September 14th. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the event. The speaker for the annual meeting was Steve Saucier, Executive Director of the NC Grassroots Science Museum Collaborative. During th evening, Research Building was dedicated and PARI thanked the contractors who worked on this project. Click PAST FRIENDS OF PARI ANNUAL MEETINGS to see pictures from past programs.
Space Telescope Science Institute Scientist Visits PARI
PARI was honored to have Vicki Laidler, a scientist in the Science Software Branch of the Space Telescope Science Institute visit PARI on Monday, August 6, 2012. Vicki was instrumental working with her colleague at the time, Dr. Barry Lasker, in the development and use of GAMMA 1 and GAMMA 2 for their use with the Hubble survey. This was Vicki's first visit to PARI since STSci and NASA donated the microdensitometers to PARI a few years ago. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from her visit. Vicki met with Dave Clavier, Michael Castelaz, Thurburn Barker and Lee Rottler. She reported that she was please to see what PARI has done with this very important donation.
Visitors Come to PARI to Discuss the Curiosity Mars Mission
PARI is joined with the Star Trek Club Alaric of Asheville for a special program of activities discussing the Curiosity Mars Mission which was held on PARI campus on Saturday, August 11th. This special program came at a time when the Curiosity Mars rover has just landed on the surface of Mars. Click PHOTOS to pictures from the day.
Duke TIP at PARI for the Eleventh Year
Thirty students who were attending the Duke TIP Above and Beyond program concluded their two week stay at PARI on July 2nd. The program's focus was astronomy and astrophysics. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of the students and activities throughout the two weeks. Click PAST TIP PHOTOS to see pictures from previous years.
Cameras at PARI Capture Image of Meteor
Ever since Dr. Bill Cooke and his team from the NASA Space Flight Center installed an All Sky camera on the PARI site to support their research, it has captured some spectacular images. On Sunday morning, May 20th the camera recorded a meteor above PARI. At the same time, the PARI All Sky camera, which had been installed by Director of Public Outreach Joe Phillips recorded the image. Click PHOTO to see images from the cameras.
PARI Telescope Captures Images of Transit of Venus
On Tuesday, June 5th PARI President Don Cline and Science Director Dr. Michael Castelaz used a PARI Questar telescope in our West Observatory to stream pictures of the transit of Venus to the internet as it crossed in front of the Sun. Amid cloud cover, the sky opened and provided some dramatic image of this once in a lifetime event. Click PHOTOS to see pictures taken during the transit.
Nature Research Center Director Visits PARI
Dr. Meg Lowman, Director of the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences visited PARI on Monday, May 14, 2012. Don Cline led a tour of the PARI site for Meg and her husband, Michael. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of their visit. Dr. Lowman met with several staff and discussed collaborative opportunities between the Research Center and PARI.
PARI booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival
PARI presented “Astrosurf with Smiley” at the Second USA Science and Engineering Festival (http://www.usasciencefestival.org/) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The Festival was Friday and Saturday, April 27-28. Visitors to the PARI booth used Smiley live and classified stars using PARI’s citizen science program SCOPE (http://scope.pari.edu) while PARI’s staff Christi Whitworth, Stephen Hawk, and Michael Castelaz explained the science and PARI’s mission.
PARI at Opening of the NCMNS Nature Research Center
PARI was well represented at the GALA and at the Grand Opening of the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in April. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the events. Dave and Darla Clavier were joined by PARI Board member Janet Parks at the GALA on Friday, April 13th. Don and Jo Cline, along with John Avant, attended the Grand Opening on April 20-21. Don has generously donated a portion of his meteorite collection to the museum. PARI has a kiosk at the new Nature Research Center, which will allow many more visitors to virtually experience PARI.
PARI Receives Gift of a 25" Newtonian Telescope
On Thursday, March 29th Friend of PARI Mike Webb, from Spartanburg, donated a 25" Obsession telescope to PARI. This telescope will be used by students and by the general public during our Evenings at PARI events. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the day.
PARI Publishes Our 2011 Annual Report
The 2011 PARI Annual Report is now available online. The photo for the cover of this year's annual report was taken by Friend of PARI Richard Wright and features Jo's Cove in the foreground and our 26M West antenna in the back. Click 2011 ANNUAL REPORT to see a pdf of the report. Jo's Cove is park on the PARI campus that was dedicated to our Chair, Jo Cline, in recognition of her years of support. The inside cover of the report lists the many highlights from 2011, which was a very good year for PARI. Contact David Clavier if you are interested in receiving a printed copy of the annual report.
NC Grassroots Science Museum Collaborative Executive Director Visits PARI
NCSMC Executive Director Steve Saucier visited PARI on Thursday, December 15, 2011. He met with Don and Jo Cline, Dave Clavier, Christi Whitworth and John Avant. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from his visit. He toured the site and discussed ways that PARI can be more involved in Grassroots. While at PARI Steve also saw the Space Shuttle exhibit in the exhibit gallery and spent time in the Astronomical Photographic Plate Archive (APDA). PARI is one of 32 member science museums in the Grassroots Collaborative.
PARI Receives Another Significant Astronomical Photographic Plate Collection
Scott Leonard and Gary Walker from the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Observatory (MMO) delivered a collection of more than 8,000 astronomical photographic plates to PARI on Thursday, November 17th. The collection, which also includes scanned images and logs, is valued at $600,000. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of the delivery. PARI staff and volunteers helped unload and file the plates. The collection includes images taken since 1913. The fact that MMO chose to locate this collection here is further evidence of how PARI and APDA are gaining reputation in the field. The photo at the right is an image from one of the plates of M24 - a view of part of the summertime Milky Way and was taken 46 years ago.
PARI Staff Picks Up Another Plate Collection from USNO
Research Director Michael Castelaz and APDA Director Thurburn Barker went to Washington, DC on October 23-25 to receive an astronomical photographic plate collection from the US Naval Observatory. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of their trip. APDA received 32,341 plates with this collection. Dating back about 100 years, the plates make up one-half of the USNO's plate collection used to measure the distances to nearby stars. This is the thrid collection PARI has received from the USNO.
PARI Records a Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake
On Tuesday, August 23rd at 1:51 pm PARI's seismometer recorded a Magnitude 5.8 earthquake. The epicenter of the earthquake was 38 miles northwest Richmond, VA. PARI's phones began ringing immediately after the earthquake with people asking about the event. Details of the earthquake are listed on the US Geological Survey (USGS) website at VIRGINIA EARTHQUAKE. Click SEISMOMETER READING to see the record of the event recorded on PARI's seismometer. Click LIVE READINGS to see the up to the minute live streaming data. WLOS, ABC 13 reporter Megan Schiering came to PARI and interviewed Michael Castelaz and Lamar Owen for a story about the event. Click EARTHQUAKE STORY to see a clip of the news report.
NASA "FIREBALL" Workshop Held at PARI
PARI hosted the NASA Meteor Video Observations and Analysis Workshop on Thursday and Friday, August 4th and 5th. Scientists and experts in the field from around the world attended. The workshop was conducted by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's Meteoroid Environment Office and featured many speakers and presentations on observing, recording and analyzing meteoroids. NASA scientist, Dr. Bill Cooke, lead the two-day workshop. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from the workshop. Several Attendees were interested in our Harvard Meteor - Lost City Meteorite documents and films. Click IMAGES AND ARTICLES to see that material.
PARI featured in Everyone's Universe Book
PARI was listed in the recently published book, Everyone's Universe - A Guide to Accessible Astronomy Places. The book, by Noreen Grice, lists observatories that make viewing the sky accessible to everyone. Click PHOTOS to see the listing. PARI is proud to have been listed and to have recently hosted several groups including visitors with special needs.
Volunteers Make PARI Work to Accomplish our Mission
PARI is fortunate to have a number of dedicated volunteers who help with many important tasks at PARI. On Saturday, February 26th several volunteers came to PARI to help lay new cables in the Cline Adminsitration Building and to construct a Wildlife Photography Blind. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from that Volunteer Day. Another example of a very important volunteer project is the PARI GALAXY WALK, which was recently refurbished. Also, the Friends of PARI are responsible for one of our very important optical telescopes called PARI SKY. To find our more about volunteering at PARI contact Friends of PARI President John Boehme at email@example.com or our Director of Education Christi Whitworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Astronomers from Czech Republic Doing Research at PARI
Astronomers Rene Hudec and Lukas Hudec, visiting scientist from the Czech Republic, are returning to PARI next month to follow-up on their research on the spectra of stars and galaxies using photographic images in the PARI Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA). Dr. Hudec is using the results in combination with data to be taken by the European Space Agency GAIA Space Telescope to be launched in 2012. Dr. Hudec recently published an article in the Czech public journal, 3POL, using the data from his visits to PARI. This is their fourth visit to our campus. Click PHOTOS to see pictures from their previous visit.
Transylvania Times Thanks PARI for Service to the Community
An editorial in the Transylvania Times newspaper thanked PARI for meeting our mission. They wrote, "Ten years ago that facility was taken over by the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, better known as PARI. Since that time PARI has had nothing but a beneficial effect on the community." Click EDITORIAL to read the complete text of the article. Congratulations to the entire PARI staff, including our great partners from Avant Communications, who have helped us spread the word of the good works of PARI. And we especially thank Don & Jo Cline for their many years of support.
Photos of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
Located on the site of the former NASA Rosman Tracking Station in the Pisgah National Forest, PARI offers an unparalleled opportunity for people of all ages to experience the wonders of scientific research first hand. Click PHOTOS to see pictures of PARI taken at various times throughout the year.
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