Pisgah Nights

PISGAH NIGHTS / Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

On Sunday, January 20th, we are excited to welcome visitors to our campus for a special presentation of PISGAH NIGHTS! This event includes hands-on science experiments, Learning Center presentations and observing the upcoming “Super Blood Wolf Moon” lunar eclipse through the Learning Center’s optical and historic radio telescopes. 

The event package includes dinner at the Learning Center’s restaurant Smiley’s, with tours through the Learning Center’s space artifact exhibit, gemstone/meteorite galleries, and gift shop. Weather permitting, the evening will conclude with a trip to the Sky Deck, where Learning Center astronomers and volunteers will point out the constellations and use their optical and radio telescopes to observe the night sky and the lunar eclipse.   

Click here to register!

• Presentation / 6:00p – 7:00p / Multimedia Room – Cline Administration Building
• Hands On Science Experiments
/ 7:00p – 8:00p / Cline Administration Building
• Exhibit Tours / 8:00p – 9:00p / Cline Administration Building
• Dinner
/ 9:00p – 10:00p / Smiley’s (guests may eat at any time during this timeframe) 
• Night Sky/Lunar Observing / 10:30p – Late / Sky Deck

(This is a rain or shine event)

Stargazer’s Journey

Stargazer’s Journey

On select evenings, visitors have the opportunity to participate in the ultimate observing experience with Stargazer’s Journey. This event is designed to allow a small intimate group to work directly with an astronomical educator while they observe the night sky.

The evening will begin at our restaurant, Smiley’s, where your educator will tell you about the history of our facilities while you enjoy dinner.

You will then move to our south observation deck to watch the sunset with 360-degree views of the Pisgah National Forest including views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Once the skies become dark, the event will move to our sky deck where optical telescopes will be ready to provide stunning views of distant objects in the night sky. We will select planets, nebulae, galaxies, stars, and clusters from the best of what the season has to offer.

Click here for January 5th reservations!

Click here for January 23rd reservations!

(This is a rain or shine event)

The PARI Experience: Dr. Patricia Craig

The PARI Experience: Dr. Patricia Craig

Dr. Patricia Craig at the controls of the Desert RATS rover prototype being developed for future manned missions to the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies.

“PARI gave me real-world experience that confirmed what I wanted to do with my life.”

Dr. Patricia Craig, 
Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ

“PARI provides access to instruments and hands-on experiences that are invaluable to students and difficult to obtain anywhere else.

“When I arrived at PARI as a high school student I was somewhat in awe of the equipment.  The staff, however, was welcoming and helpful, providing an inviting atmosphere for students. I learned what it is to be an astronomer and for the first time in my life I did real research.  I also was exposed to the critical experience of collaboration.  Even now, as a science team member on Curiosity, I regularly collaborate with scientists from all over the world.  That experience at PARI was invaluable.

“My PARI experience affirmed what I wanted to do with my life.  I could not be happier with my career decision or my experience at PARI.  It is truly a special place.”

About Dr. Patricia Craig

2003: Dr. Patricia Craig first visited PARI as a high school student attending a two-week Duke TIP summer program.

2012: Awarded Ph.D. in Space and Planetary Sciences, University of Arkansas.

Current:  Postdoctoral research scientist with the Planetary Science Institute, working with the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity.


PARI Awarded IMLS Grant

PARI Awarded IMLS Grant

PARI has been awarded a Museums for America Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The $24,475.00 grant comes as a direct result of an APDA (Astronomical Photographic Data Archive) Stewardship Proposal by PARI Consultants Dr. Mike Castelaz and Thurburn Barker. The funds from the grant will help develop a standards-based EAD3 compliant online digital finding aid that links to APDA’s online public access digital catalog of astronomical plates and films for research, education, interpretation, publication, and study.

“With support from the Institute of Museums and Library Services we will be able to make the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI visible to the world. Astronomers anywhere in the world can access finding aids describing the contents of APDA, request which of the 50 collections of ~340,000 astronomical photographic glass plates and films may contain images of celestial objects they are studying,” says Dr. Mike Castelaz. “This new database resource is critical for APDA’s recognition as one of the largest collections of astronomical photographic data in the world. We are very excited by the receipt of the IMLS grant and greatly appreciate their confidence in our work.”

This year IMLS received 558 applications requesting $104,538,159. Of these, 132 projects were selected to receive funding totaling $19,189,929. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program and project category. IMLS staff presented this information to the IMLS Director, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, who then made the final funding decisions.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said Dr. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”