Mayland Earth to Sky Park & Bare Dark Sky Observatory, formerly the Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park, is situated six miles west of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The six-acre (2.4-hectare) site, surrounded by rugged mountain terrain and the Pisgah National Forest, is owned by Yancey County (NC) and managed by Mayland Community College. The site was formerly known as the EnergyXchange, a project in which methane waste gas emitted by an old landfill heats horticultural greenhouses and artists’ studios. MCC opened a new public observatory with a roll-off roof at the site in 2017, featuring a custom-built a 86-cm f/3.6 Newtonian telescope and a Meade 35-cm LX200 telescope for public viewing. Plans are under way for construction to begin in 2019 of a new 9.1 meter dome Planetarium in the Park.
Dark Sky Park
North Carolina, USA
Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for viewing the night sky at Mayland Earth to Sky Park & Bare Dark Sky Observatory (35.92797, -82.18417). Don’t forget to plan your trip during the new moon and astronomical twilight to enhance the viewing experience!