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Dark Sky Park

Dark Sky Park

Certified by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA)

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PARI is recognized by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), as only one of two Dark Sky Parks in North Carolina. We pride ourselves on maintaining a dark night sky, not only because it allows for ideal astronomical observations, but because preserving the night sky also benefits our health and environment.

See just how dark our skies are!

Effects of Light Pollution

Studies have shown that increased light pollution is linked to disruptions in sleep patterns, obesity, diabetes, mental health disorders and various chronic health conditions.  Many species in the wild have evolved to rely on uninterrupted periods of darkness at night and need darkness to survive. A naturally dark site reduces the effects of electric lighting on the environment, improves the well-being, health, and safety of our human and wildlife population and decreases energy consumption.

Protect Our Night Sky

Protecting darkness is key to ecological integrity and sustaining a healthy population and environment. Visit darksky.org to learn more about this initiative.

Plan your visit to PARI

Moons of Jupiter – Cabin and Camping Packages

Join PARI on Friday, January 7, 2022 as we celebrate the largest planet in our solar system!  412 years ago this week Galileo Galilei spotted the four brightest moons of Jupiter and in honor of that monumental discovery we are sharing our best telescopes and  Internationally certified dark sky park to observe this planet, the moon and other fantastic objects you can only see with a telescope!  Grab your coats, hot coffee or hot chocolate, friends and family then come to PARI for an unforgettable winter night.

PARI is typically cooler than surrounding areas so make sure you dress appropriately for outdoor viewing.

This is a rain or shine event.  If weather does not permit viewing there will be alternate indoor programming.  No refunds will be issued!

Upon registration you will receive a confirmation email.  If you do not get a confirmation email check your spam folder and make sure you add us to your address book.

Preregistration is required.

REGISTER HERE – CABIN PACKAGE

REGISTER HERE – CAMPING PACKAGE

Geminids Meteor Shower Experience

Have you ever wished upon a star? Now is your chance! Enjoy an evening under the stars observing the Geminids Meteor Shower at our historic, mountaintop, Internationally Certified Dark Sky Park!  The Geminids meteors are often bold, white and bright. On a dark night, you can often catch 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark, moonless sky. The greatest number of meteors typically fall in the wee hours after midnight. Astronomers and telescopes will also be available earlier in the evening to view the dark skies.

PARI is offering two ticket options to this event.  The first is an EVENING TICKET to enjoy observing the meteor shower and the night sky through PARI telescopes.  The second option is the OVERNIGHT CABIN PACKAGE for two people that includes dinner, a tour, sunset hike, observing the meteors, night sky observing, an overnight stay in a cabin quarter and breakfast.

The overnight cabin package is a rain or shine event.  No refunds will be given unless PARI cancels the event.

PURCHASE TICKETS – EVENING TICKET (7-9pm)

PURCHASE TICKETS – OVERNIGHT CABIN PACKAGE

Leonids Meteor Shower Experience – EVENING TICKET

Come feast your eyes on brilliant meteors as they burn up in the atmosphere high overhead, and just in time for Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the crisp air as autumn comes to a close while you lay out under the internationally recognized dark skies at PARI.  This ticket includes Meteor Shower tickets for an evening (2 hours)  under the stars and observing through our telescopes at our historic, mountaintop, Internationally certified Dark Sky Park. Limited tickets are available for this event.

No refunds will be issued unless PARI cancels the event.

Preregistration is required!

REGISTER HERE – EVENING TICKET

Leonids Meteor Shower Experience – CABIN PACKAGE

Come feast your eyes on brilliant meteors as they burn up in the atmosphere high overhead, and just in time for Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the crisp air as autumn comes to a close while you lay out under the internationally recognized dark skies at PARI.  This event will be offering a look at the PARI facility, a hike up the hills for the breathtaking sunset view and history talk as well as plenty of space to stay the night and soak up the shooting stars; there will be big telescopes too!

This overnight package for two (2) includes Meteor Shower tickets, an evening under the stars and observing through our telescopes at our historic, mountaintop, Internationally certified Dark Sky Park, an overnight stay in one of our cabin quarters, a pre-packaged dinner on Friday and pre-packaged breakfast on Saturday. **Additional tickets can be added for a total of up to 6 people per room-choose additional adult after adding the cabin package.

This event is a rain or shine event! No refunds will be issued unless PARI cancels the event.

Preregistration is required

REGISTER HERE – OVERNIGHT CABIN PACKAGE 

 

Gas Giant Night – EVENING TICKET

Jupiter and Saturn will be dazzling on either side of the moon tonight, so come experience PARI and see why we are an Internationally certified Dark Sky Park as our astronomers share all about these great worlds with hands on activities and the best NASA images. Finally step outside and take a look through one of our telescopes to see the red spot and the rings for yourself!

REGISTER HERE – 9-11pm

Want more PARI after the presentation? Check out our CABIN PACKAGE and CAMPING PACKAGE

This is a rain or shine event.  No refunds will be issued unless PARI cancels the event.

Pre-registration is required.