The next Dark Sky Observatory (DSO) event will be on Sunday, January 20, 2019 for the total lunar eclipse. This is a ticketed event open to anyone on campus or in the community, see below for ticket purchase options.
There will be one session, starting as early as 8 p.m. (you can arrive at any time after 8 p.m.). The Moon starts entering the lighter outer shadow at about 9:36 p.m. and the darker umbra shadow at 10:33 p.m. It will be fully in shadow at 11:41 p.m. and then will start to emerge at 12:43 a.m.Other objects before the dark portion of the eclipse begins will be visible, including Mars (early), Uranus and the Orion Nebula.
This event will go until the Moon has emerged from the dark umbra shadow at about 1:50 am., although you can arrive and leave at any time from 8 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. Note that even though this is a late event, the next day is a holiday for many.
For the "Evening at DSO" events, observing is the main theme but in the event of cloudy weather, indoor activities, a PowerPoint slide show, tour of the facility and talking with astronomers will be available. If the event has to be canceled due to dangerous travel conditions, an update will be posted on the Dark Sky Observatory website and the Dark Sky Observatory Facebook page. We will also email ticket holders about the cancellation, so you should check your email before leaving for the event.
Tickets are required in advance and not sold on site. For tickets, visit: Webconnex. The printed ticket will include directions to DSO, and how to best prepare to enjoy the evening.
Appalachian State University's Dark Sky Observatory is the research facility used by faculty and their students to conduct observational research in astrophysics. It is equipped with four telescopes, each used regularly for CCD imaging and photometry, with spectrographic instrumentation also available at the 32-inch. Established in 1981, the observatory is located about 20 miles northeast of Boone at an elevation of a kilometer. Far from major cities, its dark skies provide a good setting for digital imaging and spectroscopy done in stellar and solar system research projects.
About the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s curriculum has an applied nature that includes a core of fundamental physics courses and laboratory experiences. The department prepares graduates for a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors. Learn more at https://physics.appstate.edu.