Welcome to the Dark Sky Observatory

Welcome to the DSO web site! 

The power was quickly restored so we are still ON for tonight.  However, it will be very cold and very windy.  The wind and temperature may limit our activities a bit but we hope to have the Moon in the big scope as it starts to enter eclipse about 10:30.  Before that (starting as early as 8:00 pm), we will try to look at other objects as conditions allow.

We do have a warm, heated Visitor Center attached to the dome, for you to retreat to between objects and glimpses at the eclipsing Moon.  We will provide free coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, and bottled water (the latter courtesy of Modern Toyota / Subaru of Boone--thanks!). Astronomers and astronomy students will be there to explain things and chat while you wait.

Drive at your own risk--I hit a fallen/falling tree on a curve on the Parkway!  I would advise that you not take the Parkway but instead turn onto 221 at Deep Gap, and turn right on Idlewild, then right on Phillips Gap Rd, jog left at the Parkway (we will have signs starting at that jog, unless they blow down!!).  See the downloadable PDF map and directions for that route on our Public Access tab at dso.appstate.edu.

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.


Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 12:00am
The image at right is the "first light" color composite image taken the first night of use of the...
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