2017 Eclipse

On August 21st, 2017, we welcomed over 1,300 guests to our campus to share the excitement and witness the total solar eclipse with us. We are very excited to share the Eclipse Event at PARI in photos with you as we look back on this momentous day!


Eclipse Safety and Security

Eclipse Safety and Security

Eye Safety
The NASA guidance on eye safety during a total solar eclipse states: “The Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse. Partial eclipses and the partial phases of total eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions. Even when 99% of the Sun’s surface is obscured during the partial phases of a total eclipse, the remaining photospheric crescent is intensely bright and cannot be viewed safely without eye protection. Do not attempt to observe the partial phases of any eclipse with the naked eye. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness!

Each attendee of the eclipse event at PARI will be given a packet that includes safety glasses for viewing the eclipse plus instructions on how to view the event, what to do and what not to do.

For a downloadable PDF on eclipse viewing safety, click here.

Traffic and crowd control
PARI eclipse attendees will be directed to off-site parking in Rosman, NC, where shuttle buses will provide transportation to and from the site. Transylvania County sheriff’s deputies will be stationed on campus to monitor and control on-site traffic and assist with crowd control. Additionally, a six-member PARI security team will be moving about the site offering assistance to anyone in need. Emergency assistance will be provided by the Balsam Grove Fire Department and Rosman EMS.

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your birthday at PARI

For a special birthday in a truly unique location, look no farther than PARI.  A scheduled Saturday party at PARI offers:

  • Admission to the 200-acre campus
  • Full access to all public areas
  • Photo opportunities with massive 26-meter (85 ft.) radio telescopes
  • Hiking trails
  • Observation deck high atop the Optical Ridge
  • Exhibit galleries with Space Shuttle artifacts, minerals and rare meteorites
  • Cafeteria use (2 hours at either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.)
  • A PARI staff member to assist during the party

A planetarium program can be added for $50.

The standard party fee is $150 and includes up to 10 people.  Additional people can attend for $15 each. 

Other times, dates and activities can be arranged upon request, but may require an additional fee.

Contact PARI today for a birthday party that will be remembered forever!

Space Day Photos

Photo Gallery

Things to Do Online

Things to Do Online


There are six webcams currently active on the PARI campus. The views they provide are used by astronomers, scientists, teachers and students who need to ascertain conditions at PARI before remotely accessing and using various telescopes and equipment.

Instrument Views

Several of the instruments (Geomagnetometer, Seismometer, Weather Stations and Lightning Detector) used by scientists at PARI regularly feed data to the website. Feel free to take a look.

Photo Gallery

There’s something for everyone at PARI. Check out some of the action here

SCOPE Star Classification

Explore, observe and learn more about stars. Compare their features to those of the Sun, and classify them. You can be the very first person to measure the temperature of a star!

Space Artifacts

Space Artifacts

Space exploration: up close and personal

During the last several decades U.S. space exploration caught the imagination of the public in a manner seldom seen in world history. Important pieces of this history are on display at PARI today.

The PARI collection includes NASA and space memorabilia collected by Friends of PARI volunteer Alex Alexander, who worked 34 years in the space industry and operated  satellites that were deployed by the Space Shuttle.

PARI is one of the few sites in the country selected to receive Space Shuttle artifacts and currently displays a number of items, many of which actually flew in space.

The Exhibit Gallery is also home to several satellites and models, some which have been donated to PARI and others on long-term loans from the Smithsonian Institution and NASA.

Here’s a sampling of what you can see:

Webcam – Pond & Mary’s Fountain

Pond & Mary’s Fountain

A view of the pond and Mary’s Fountain. The center fountain spray in calm conditions is 17 feet high and is surrounded by 50 jets radiating up to 15 feet from the center.

The pond is located at
Latitude: 35 deg 11.9 min N
Longitude: 82 deg 52.3 min W