Lookout Observatory

Lookout Observatory Lookout Observatory helps UNC Asheville students, Astronomy Club of Asheville members, and the greater Asheville community understand and enjoy astronomy.
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Lookout Observatory was built in 2013 with a $546,000 donation from the Astronomy Club of Asheville, and was designed by Padgett & Freeman Architects of Asheville. It sits just below the ridge line on a hill at the north end of the UNC Asheville campus. The site’s benefits include nearby access for the Asheville community and the beautiful long range mountain views on the horizon.

Mission: Lookout Observatory helps UNC Asheville students, Astronomy Club of Asheville members, and the greater Asheville community understand and enjoy astronomy.

Operating as usual

Congratulations to our recently graduated student docent, Samantha Creech, who was named first in scholarship for UNCA's...
07/20/2020

Congratulations to our recently graduated student docent, Samantha Creech, who was named first in scholarship for UNCA's Class of 2020! We couldn't be prouder or more grateful for her many contributions to astronomy outreach and research these past four years at UNCA. Wishing you many clear nights in the years ahead, Samantha! Ad astra!
https://www.unca.edu/events-and-news/stories/samantha-creech-2020-manly-wright-award/

Good news for night owls:  starting this week Comet NEOWISE will be visible in the evening hours!  Look low in the north...
07/12/2020
AdlerPlanet on Twitter

Good news for night owls: starting this week Comet NEOWISE will be visible in the evening hours! Look low in the northwest sky about 30 minutes after sunset. The comet should be visible to the naked eye but even better if viewed through binoculars. Let us know if you see it!

“☄️ Spot #cometc2020f3 in the sky with our Comet Finder Chart! 👀 To find this #comet—with binoculars or the naked eye—#LookUp low to the northwest about 30 minutes after sundown. 📸Share photos of this one-in-a-lifetime stargazing event by tagging: @AdlerPlanet + #cometneowise!”

"Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is up at dawn now and should remain in the dawn sky until around July 11. Then it will tempor...
07/06/2020
How to see Comet NEOWISE | EarthSky.org

"Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is up at dawn now and should remain in the dawn sky until around July 11. Then it will temporarily disappear below the horizon while making a transition to the early evening sky, becoming visible again in the evening around July 15-16."

Have any early risers out there managed to see it? We'd love to see your pictures!

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is basically a binocular object, although some experienced observers with pristine skies are reporting they can see it with the eye alone. This post has information and charts that will help you see the comet.

07/02/2020
Sloan Digital Sky Survey Public Event, 26 June 2020

Want to explore space while you're stuck at home? A recording of last week's interactive public outreach event hosted by astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is now available to be streamed online! (Recommended for astronomy enthusiasts age 10+) 🔭🌌🤩

This is a recording of a virtual public outreach event that was hosted by members of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) on Friday, June 26th, 2020. In this ...

Saying "Aloha!" today to our recently graduated observatory docent, Tiffany Shreves, who is relocating from Asheville to...
07/02/2020

Saying "Aloha!" today to our recently graduated observatory docent, Tiffany Shreves, who is relocating from Asheville to Hawai'i to start a new role as a Software Engineer at Gemini Observatory! Congratulations, Tiffany! Ad Astra!

Looking to take a deep dive into how cultural narratives of space exploration influence our modern ideas about who can e...
06/30/2020
Becoming Interplanetary, Beat 1: The Right Stuff - Ashley Shew, Brenda J. Child, Brian Nord, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Lucianne Walkowicz | Open Transcripts

Looking to take a deep dive into how cultural narratives of space exploration influence our modern ideas about who can explore space, what it means to really have "the right stuff", how that meaning might evolve, and how we could change it? Check out this great conversation, recorded in 2018 at the Library of Congress!

In this first panel we’ll be talking about how narratives of space exploration influence our modern ideas about who can explore space, and what it means to really have the right stuff, and how that meaning might evolve, and how we could change it.

Curious about what's happening in the night sky this summer? Our partners at the Astronomy Club of Asheville maintain a ...
06/20/2020

Curious about what's happening in the night sky this summer?

Our partners at the Astronomy Club of Asheville maintain a great list of recent and upcoming sky events visible from the Asheville, NC region: https://www.astroasheville.org/sky-events/

06/20/2020

Dear fellow stargazers,

We regret that due to COVID-19 we have been unable to host public events for the past few months. For the time being, we are still closed in accordance with the guidance from local public health officials. We look forward to sharing the sky with you again as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, please stay tuned here for updates and other information about astronomy events that you can safely enjoy from home.

Thanks! 🔭🌌🌠

01/30/2020

Unfortunately our stargaze for this weekend has been cancelled due to poor weather. We hope to see you at our next event on Feb. 21st!

Astronomy Club of Asheville
12/23/2019

Astronomy Club of Asheville

Did you know that the Pack Memorial Library in downtown Asheville and the Fontana Library system (Jackson, Macon and Swain counties) have telescopes that you can check out and take home to view the night sky? All you need is your Library card and a curiosity for the stars.

11/22/2019

Unfortunately our public stargaze scheduled for tonight is cancelled due to cloudy skies. The forecast for our backup night tomorrow (Saturday Nov 23rd) is calling for rain, as well. So, we won't be able to open up the observatory either night this weekend! Sorry!

We hope you'll join us for another stargaze after the New Year!

This month marks the 5-year Anniversary of the opening of Lookout Observatory!  Come join us for a celebratory stargaze ...
11/13/2019
Event Registration – Lookout Observatory

This month marks the 5-year Anniversary of the opening of Lookout Observatory! Come join us for a celebratory stargaze on Friday, Nov. 22nd! Details on how to register can be found at the link below:

Event RegistrationPlease fill out this Registration Form prior to attending the Friday November 22nd stargaze. We expect it to fill up quickly, so be sure to register as soon as you are able. In the event you must cancel your registration, please fill out the Lookout Observatory Registration Cancell...

"There's a good chance we could get from 100 to 1,000 meteors per hour! ...The peak is predicted at 04:50 UTC on 22 Nove...
11/11/2019
Will the Unicorn give us a meteor storm on November 22?

"There's a good chance we could get from 100 to 1,000 meteors per hour! ...The peak is predicted at 04:50 UTC on 22 November (11:50PM on the night of the 21st for the US east coast)"

Several times during the course of a year, the Earth passes through the debris trail left by a comet orbiting the Sun. This ejecta is in the form of tiny bits of dust, usually not much bigger than a grain of sand. Due to its relative speed, though, this stuff plunges into our atmosphere at dozens of...

Mercury is transiting in front of the Sun today!  We have solar telescopes out on the UNCA quad until 1pm today.  Stop b...
11/11/2019

Mercury is transiting in front of the Sun today! We have solar telescopes out on the UNCA quad until 1pm today. Stop by and join us to view this rare event! The next opportunity is in 2032!

10/22/2019
Living by The Stars with Professor Rangi Matamua

We are honored to be hosting Maori scholar Rangi Matamua for special lectures and master classes this week at UNC Asheville!

If you're local to Asheville, we hope you'll consider joining us for his public talk at 7pm tonight (Tuesday October 22nd) in the Blue Ridge Room of the Highsmith Student Union at UNC Asheville. You can learn more about traditional Maori astronomy and trans-indigenous efforts to revitalize indigenous knowledge and practices that link the sky with humanity and the environment!

Hinatore

We are so excited for next week's special astronomy public lecture by Maori astronomer Rangi Matamua of Waikato Universi...
10/17/2019

We are so excited for next week's special astronomy public lecture by Maori astronomer Rangi Matamua of Waikato University, New Zealand!

Dr. Matamua's public talk will be held Tuesday, October 22nd at 7:00pm in the Highsmith Student Union's Blue Ridge Room at UNC Asheville. We hope you can join us and learn about ongoing efforts to revitalize traditional Maori Astronomy!

Our student docents rock!  Tiffany Shreves (UNCA Computer Science major / Astronomy minor) spent the summer as a softwar...
09/06/2019

Our student docents rock!

Tiffany Shreves (UNCA Computer Science major / Astronomy minor) spent the summer as a software engineering intern at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, working with the Goddard Earth Sciences Data Information Services Center (GES DISC). She used Python to make a visualization and geospatial mapping tool for Level-2 earth science satellite data, and made Jupyter Notebook resources to accompany online How-To guides on data acquisition, analysis, and visualization on the GES DISC website.

If you're interested to know more about what it's like to work at NASA, you can find Tiffany at the next stargaze, Friday September 20th!

That's us!  Check out this great piece from the UNC System office, which includes a description of Lookout Observatory's...
09/03/2019
The Sky is Wide Open | UNC System Office

That's us! Check out this great piece from the UNC System office, which includes a description of Lookout Observatory's role in statewide efforts toward space exploration! 💫🌌🚀

08/24/2019

Update: unfortunately, tonight's (Aug. 24th) backup stargaze is also cancelled due to cloud cover. We hope you can join us under clearer skies for our next event, Friday September 20th!

08/23/2019

Unfortunately, due to cloud cover and the likelihood of rain, **tonight's stargaze has been postponed until tomorrow, Saturday August 24th**. Please stay tuned for further updates as we continue to monitor the weather forecast for Saturday... Thank you for your patience!

Astronomy Club of Asheville
07/13/2019

Astronomy Club of Asheville

Just because we've had some horribly cloudy weather in WNC this year doesn't mean that our club has been dormant.

The Astronomy Club of Asheville has been busy with presentation events and promoting astronomy to a number of groups in our region, allowing us to be currently ranked as the 2ND MOST ACTIVE CLUB in the NATION, according to NASA's Night Sky Network! (https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/stars.cfm)

We're number TWO!!!

If you've been to a public stargaze at Lookout in the past few years, you've almost certainly talked to a key member of ...
06/02/2019

If you've been to a public stargaze at Lookout in the past few years, you've almost certainly talked to a key member of our student docent team: Matthew Peek.

Matthew came to UNCA as an Army veteran and an accomplished amateur astronomer. His talents and hard work have been critical for keeping the UNCA telescope in top working condition for years. In addition to helping facilitate public stargazes, as a student he pursued his own independent research on the properties of distant galaxies using data from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Matthew graduated with his Computer Science degree from UNCA last fall. And while we've been sad to lose him from the Lookout team, we're all very excited to share that he just accepted a position as a Software Engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope project! We couldn't be prouder.

Thank you, and good luck, Matthew! Ad Astra!

This three-color image of our neighbor, the Triangulum Galaxy, was taken at Lookout Observatory in Fall 2018 by UNCA ast...
05/25/2019

This three-color image of our neighbor, the Triangulum Galaxy, was taken at Lookout Observatory in Fall 2018 by UNCA astronomy minors Sabrina-Delphine Staton, Morgane Marshall, and Christie Kunich.

Lookout Observatory's cover photo
05/25/2019

Lookout Observatory's cover photo

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, April 12th, with Saturday, April 13...
04/01/2019
Event Registration | Lookout Observatory

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, April 12th, with Saturday, April 13th as the weather backup date. Shuttles will begin running at 8:30 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 11:00 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 11:30 p.m.

This stargaze is an NC Star Party, one of several taking place across North Carolina that weekend. The theme of this year's event is The Moon and Beyond, and it will feature several activities that will teach everyone of all ages about the Moon. We're really looking forward to this one!

Please fill out the registration form below prior to attending the April 12th stargaze. We expect it to fill up quickly, so be sure to register as soon as you are able. In the event you must cancel your registration, please fill out the Lookout Observatory Registration Cancellation Form so others ma...

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, March 1st, with Saturday, March 2nd...
02/19/2019
Event Registration | Lookout Observatory

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, March 1st, with Saturday, March 2nd as the weather backup date. Shuttles will begin running at 7:00 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 10:00 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 10:30 p.m. Sign up soon to ensure you get a spot!

Please fill out the registration form below prior to attending the March 1st stargaze. We expect it to fill up quickly, so be sure to register as soon as you are able. In the event you must cancel your registration, please fill out the Lookout Observatory Registration Cancellation Form so others may...

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, February 8th, with Saturday, Februa...
01/28/2019
Event Registration | Lookout Observatory

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, February 8th, with Saturday, February 9th as the weather backup date. Shuttles will begin running at 6:30 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 9:30 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 10:00 p.m. Sign up soon to ensure you get a spot!

Please fill out the registration form below prior to attending the February 8th stargaze. We expect it to fill up quickly, so be sure to register as soon as you are able. In the event you must cancel your registration, please fill out the Lookout Observatory Registration Cancellation Form so others....

Congratulations to Makennah Bristow, a UNC Asheville student majoring in Physics and Lookout Observatory docent, on this...
01/17/2019
Citizen scientists discover rare exoplanet

Congratulations to Makennah Bristow, a UNC Asheville student majoring in Physics and Lookout Observatory docent, on this amazing accomplishment!!

Although NASA's Kepler space telescope ran out of fuel and ended its mission in 2018, citizen scientists have used its data to discover an exoplanet 226 light-years away in the Taurus constellation.

Happy New Year!Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, January 25th, with S...
01/15/2019
Event Registration | Lookout Observatory

Happy New Year!

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, January 25th, with Saturday, January 26th as the weather backup date. Shuttles will begin running at 6:30 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 9:30 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 10:00 p.m. Sign up soon to ensure you get a spot!

https://lookoutobservatory.unca.edu/event-registration

Please fill out the registration form below prior to attending the January 25th stargaze. We expect it to fill up quickly, so be sure to register as soon as you are able. In the event you must cancel your registration, please fill out the Lookout Observatory Registration Cancellation Form so others....

10/30/2018

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, November 9th, with Saturday, November 10th as the weather backup date. Shuttles will begin running at 6:00 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 9:00 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 9:30 p.m. Sign up soon to ensure you get a spot!

10/02/2018

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Friday, October 12th, with Saturday, October 13th as the weather backup date. Shuttles will begin running at 7:30 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 10:00 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 10:30 p.m. Sign up soon to ensure you get a spot!

05/19/2018

Due to the unstable weather pattern we are in, we have decided to cancel the stargaze planned for tonight, May 19th. With no weather backup date scheduled, this means registrations will not carry over to any future stargazes. However, those who registered are on our mailing list, which means you will be notified when registration opens for our next stargaze, which will take place Friday, July 13th, with Saturday, July 14th, as the weather backup date.

We're sorry it did not work out this time, and we thank you for your understanding and support of Lookout Observatory.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Saturday, May 19th. There will be no weathe...
05/07/2018
Event Registration | Lookout Observatory

Registration is now open for our next public stargaze, which will take place Saturday, May 19th. There will be no weather backup date for this stargaze. Shuttles will begin running at 9:00 p.m., with the last shuttle up at 11:00 p.m. and the last shuttle down at 11:30 p.m. Sign up soon to ensure you get a spot!

Please fill out the registration form below prior to attending the May 19th stargaze. We expect it to fill up quickly, so be sure to register as soon as you are able. In the event you must cancel your registration, please fill out the Lookout Observatory Registration Cancellation Form so others may....

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Asheville, NC
28804

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Comments

Registration for our next public stargaze is open!
Hey I was on WAIT list for tonites stargaze and didnt find out til too late 2day i could go due to cancel,BUT i already had other plans. I cancelled so someone could go, BUT I see next "Gaze" is Feb 8, and i wood like to go to that one. I almost always miss announcement til its too late and by the time i try to register, its Full. Pls know I wanna come to the next one at 8 pm--Pls put me on register, Russ Elliott. Thx and lemme know..
Does anyone know what the elevation is up at the observatory? If so, please let me know. Thank you in advance for your response.
Hello, I'm a Canadian artists visiting NC to see and film the eclipse. The airlines lost my luggage including my Baddar solar film that I would have used on all my cameras and lenses. I wonder if any one can think of a way to get some more in time. Does any one have an extra sheet? Any ideas would be great! Hope to meet you all tomorrow night at the star party.
Is there a link for the live stream?