Explore the wonders in our night sky with staff from Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and volunteers with Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) and Raleigh Astronomy Club (RAC). Skywatching - Bright Spring Objects also welcomes special musical guests, Triangle Sax Ensemble providing our stargazing tunes. Bring a blanket or chairs so you can relax under the stars.
Through telescopes, and with the guidance from our partners above, we will be observing bright spring objects in the sky including: the Moon, M13- Great Cluster, M3- Globular Cluster, M44- Beehive Cluster, Mel111- Coma Berenices Star Cluster, M67- Open Cluster and more. The International Space Station is also predicted to make a spectacular pass during the session from 9:26-9:32 pm, going SW to NE and passing almost directly overhead!
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 pm
Please RSVP. This event is free and open to all ages. If you plan to attend, please register so that we can send you any additional information you may need as we get closer to the date.
Know Before You Go:
- This is an informal session, so you can arrive and leave any time during the program.
- Bring a small flashlight to help you walk across the field, but you might find that avoiding all light and letting your eyes adjust to the darkness is more beneficial. Even a little light can throw off your night vision.
- Be sure to dress in layers and wear appropriate shoes. There are no shelters at the skywatching location and the wind can be chilly. Walking in grass and up and down hills may be necessary.
- Please leave all pets at home, even those on a leash. Darkness, lots of people, expensive telescopes and pets on leashes is a bad combination. Pets will not be permitted near the telescopes.
- Parents: Very young children may not get much out of looking through a telescope, but those elementary-school-aged and older may especially enjoy the experience. We recommend you look through the telescope first—then you’ll be better able to help your child look. Sometimes, children (as well as adults) want to grab hold of the telescope, potentially smudging the eyepiece or knocking the object out of view. Please teach children not to touch the telescope without the operator’s permission. You can ask children to place their hands behind their back as they approach the scope. Explain they’ll be using their eyes to look, not their hands.
- There are no bathrooms in the park and no drinkable water, so please plan to bring a water bottle and come prepared to only have port-a-johns available, which are a significant walk from the skywatching site.
Location: The Big Field at Dix Park, 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
- Parking is available in gravel lots on Biggs Drive (please do not park on grass under the trees) and at the Adams Building Lot, located roughly at 101 Blair Drive.
- Please be courteous when driving in and try not to have your headlights light up the field more than necessary.