Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 23
Telescope Peers into
A custom-built StarStructure Newtonian telescope,
with a mirror that measures 34 inches in diameter, has
opened Mayland Community College's Earth to Sky
Park in Burnsville, North Carolina. It is the largest telescope in North Carolina for public access and sits at an
The Bare Dark Sky
elevation of 2,736 feet, allowing a 360-degree view.
The Bare Dark Sky Observatory telescope allows users
is at Earth to Sky Park in
Burnsville, North Carolina.
to see the jet stream, Saturn's rings and distant stars and
The observatory is named for Warren and Larissa
In addition to the main telescope, the observatory is
home to a smaller planetary telescope for viewing plan- Bare, two of the project's main donors. Private donations and grants covered the $600,000 cost of the obserets and the Earth's moon.
"The observatory allows students to gain access to vatory project.
The observatory is open to the public by reservation
cutting-edge technology, and it creates a destination
that will draw people from all over the state and re- only. Admission fees vary depending upon group size.
gion," says Margaret Earley-Thiele, director of Mayland To learn more or make a reservation, call 828-766-1233
or visit Mayland.edu/Observatory.
Community College Foundation.
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November/December 2017 23