The car shook back and forth, the sound of gravel crushing and grinding under the weight of the tires during the steep mountain ascent. Suddenly, I reached the top, and the world opened up in a breathtaking view with a sky hundreds of miles long. Wave after wave of mountains sloshed against the horizon line, growing darker in blue hue the further my eye traveled. To my back, in the west, the sun was beginning to set. The stage was prepped for a captivating night of stargazing.
I walked just over the hillside to see a small cottage with its roof slid open, like a sliding glass door. Inside Bernie Arghiere, well known astronomer with the Astronomy Club of Asheville, calmly and happily commenced setting up the massive, 16-inch telescope mounted in the middle of the floor. The observatory sits on top of Grassland Mountain in Marshall, NC, and tonight, people from across the area were coming to experience a special Stargazer Outing. Read more