Search Results for: international dark sky park

Dark Sky Park

Dark Sky Park

Certified by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA)

Stay up to date about PARI news and events
Join our monthly newsletter

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.

How to View at PARI

PARI has several options to help you experience our dark skies.  They can all be found on our calendar.

  • For the observer with their own equipment and a quiet night under the stars, look for Dark Sky Astronomy Night events.
  • For an experience guided by a PARI astronomer and paired with talks and other activities, look at our many other evening events.
  • While our focus is on schools, PARI also frequently works with scouting groups, community organizations, clubs, and private groups to create custom experiences.  If your group would like a night time trip to PARI, we recommend planning your visit ahead of time as our calendar fills up fast!

Other Places to View

We hope one of our options can be a part of your visit to the region.  But, if your stay in the Pisgah National Forest doesn’t bring you to PARI, there are some other places star-gazers like to stop that are close by.

These overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway are also nestled deep in the Pisgah National Forest and far from city lights.  Many have ample space to set up a telescope.  You can even see PARI from some!

Sometimes inclement weather can cause the Blue Ridge Parkway to close.  Check their Parkway Road Conditions page before heading out.

Sleeping Under a Dark Sky

Many of our events offer an option for overnight accommodations.  Camping or indoor lodging is available.  Outside of these events, overnight stays are subject to site availability and group size.

Another option is the Pisgah National Forest, which has many campgrounds and other types of overnight options available.  Many require pre-registration and a fee so make sure to check them out ahead of time.  

Plan your visit to PARI

Winter Wonderland Evening Viewing

REGISTER HERE – CABIN PACKAGE

REGISTER HERE – CAMPING PACKAGE

Join PARI on Friday, January 13, 2023 as we host Winter Wonderland Evening Viewing. Come experience PARI and see why we are an Internationally certified Dark Sky Park as our astronomers share all about what the January night sky has to offer. Grab your coats, hot coffee or hot chocolate, friends and family then come to PARI for an unforgettable winter night.

PARI is offering two ticket options to this Winter Wonderland Viewing Experience. The first option is the OVERNIGHT CABIN PACKAGE for two people that includes dinner, a tour, night sky observing, an overnight stay in a cabin quarter and breakfast.  The second option is a  OVERNIGHT CAMPING PACKAGE that includes dinner, a tour, night sky observing, an overnight stay in a PARI campsite and breakfast on Saturday morning.

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

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

Preregistration is required.

Geminids Meteor Shower Experience

Have you ever wished upon a shooting star?  Now is your chance!  Enjoy an evening under the stars and 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.  These meteors are sure to dazzle brighter than the holiday lights. Grab your coats, hot coffee or hot chocolate, friends and family then come to PARI for an unforgettable winter night.

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.

For additional information please email PARI at programs@pari.edu.

REGISTER HERE – CABIN PACKAGE

REGISTER HERE – CAMPING PACKAGE

REGISTER HERE – EVENING ONLY

 

Orionids Meteor Shower – Evening Ticket

Have you ever wished upon a shooting star?  October 20, 2022 is your chance!  Enjoy an evening under the stars and observing the Orionids meteor shower at our historic, mountaintop, Internationally certified Dark Sky Park!

PARI astronomers will show you the night sky and its hidden wonders with telescopes available and plenty of open space for you to sit or lie back and watch the sky as meteors dazzle the night away.  PARI educators will also be available to answer your questions.

REGISTER HERE – EVENING TICKET – 8-10pm; Thursday, October 20, 2022

Preregistration is required.

CABIN and CAMPING packages also available.

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.  Preregistration is required!

No refunds will be issued unless PARI cancels the event.

REGISTER HERE – EVENING TICKET – Thursday, November 17, 2022

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.