Dark Sky Observatory

Dark sky observatory is a research facility that provides faculty and students with equipment to undertake observational research in the field of astrophysics. The facility is equipped with spectrographic apparatus and telescopes. The telescopes are used for photometry and CCD imaging.

ASU Dark Sky Observatory (DSO)

This observatory was established in 1981. It is located 32 km northeast of Boone, North Carolina. It is situated far away from major cities away from lights and ideal for dark and moonless nights view. This area offers a suitable setting for spectroscopy and digital imaging for the solar system and stellar research projects.

DSO is owned and operated by Appalachian State University.  The facility is 20 miles from the campus and 9 kilometers east of Deep Gap. The observatory is used for instruction and research. It also offers public viewing events. In 2011, they opened Center for Cline Visitors.


ASU dark observatory has four telescopes

Ritchey-Chretien telescope- This 32-inch telescope is used as the primary research instrument at the observatory. The telescope was manufactured by DFM engineering.

Cassegrain Telescope- This telescope was installed in 1981. This 18 inches tool monitors eclipsing binary stars. At one time the facility used it to observe Mira variable stars.

Dean Glace Telescope- This derives its name from its donor, Astrophotographer Dean Glace. It used jointly by ASU and the Astrophotographer. The size of the telescope is 17 inches.

Schmidt Cassegrain Celestron Reflector- This remote robotic telescope measures 14 inches. It was built in 2009 by Adam Smith as a thesis project for his masters. Skynet Robotic telescope center controls it automatically in collaboration with UNC Chapel Hill. It observes optical afterglows of gamma rays bursts using automatic commands. The telescope is also used by the general public and scientists for queue scheduled observations.

A 16 inch Newton telescope donated in 1982 by ASU was removed in 2003. Similarly, a reflecting telescope was moved DSO from Ranking Science center on ASU campus in 2003 while the building was under refurbishment. The telescope was installed on the roof of Ranking center. It is used for undergraduate studies.

Bare Dar Sky Observatory 

 This observatory is located at Mayland Earth to Sky Park in Yancey County. It is named after Warren and Larissa Bare. The facility gives astronomy students with practical skills and also offers the members of the community to enjoy the spectacular view of wonders of the universe. The observatory has a 360-degree view. It is constructed on an elevation of 2736 feet.

Visitors get a lifetime opportunity to view stars, planets, and the moon. The observatory is not opened during inclement weather – rain, clouds and snow. However, the observatory management will notify you of the cancellation 36 hours in advance and give you a full refund. It is, however, worth noting that your stay at Earth to sky park and the observatory is at your own risk. Therefore in case of an incident, you will not hold Mayland Community and the Foundation responsible. Similarly, they are not liable for lost items. It is imperative that you take caution when visiting the place given its terrain is uneven.


Adult tickets cost $15 while tickets for 12 years old children and below are $5. You can also opt to go as a group by scheduling group tickets through a phone call. The group should have a maximum of 25 people. The charges are $150 per hour.

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory (SDSO)

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory was built in 2012 situated in Ayrshire. The facility sits at Galloway forest edges. The observatory offers exquisite night sky views. Located at the top of a hill, you get a stunning and experience celestial experience. On a clear night, you will see dazzling stellar appearances.

The observatory is open for publicity was the first in the UK and whole of Europe. The educational facility seeks to enable people to enjoy the night sky view without causing light pollution which hinder observations. Here you will learn more about the celestial world and astronomy.

The facility features two telescopes that provide detailed views of planetarium starts and moon. In 2017 a planetarium was constructed for viewing night sky indoors. A gargantuan number of people visit the education asset from all over the world to view the beauty of the night sky. To enjoy these amazing experiences, you simply have to pre-book the visit through the observatory website. After SDSO visit, you will appreciate the numerous career opportunities outside ACADEMIA in the field of physics, including Astronomy outreach.

Dark Sky Observatory Collective

This facility is located in Fort Davis Texas. It is situated six miles from McDonald Observatory.