A Night Under the Stars

16 inch telescope

16 inch wide telescope at Grassland Mountain Observatory

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

2018 Stargazing at Grassland Observatory

** THIS EVENT REGISTRATION IS FULL ** To placed on a waiting list, you can contact Pauline at

Date: Friday, October 5

Time: 6:00-10:00pm

Location: Grassland Mountain Observatory, Walnut, NC

Cost:  This event is free for SAHC members $10 for non-members. Pre-registration is required.

Join us for an evening of stargazing!  By protecting land from development, SAHC helps reduce light pollution to keep the night sky vibrant.  In Madison County we have helped protect over 3,500 acres of land, contributing to the preservation of dark skies viewed from the Grassland Mountain Observatory.

Bring a picnic dinner to the observatory and enjoy a sunset and panoramic views from the Great Smokies to the Black Mountains as you dine.  As the sun continues to set we will see Venus setting in the west, while learning about the night sky from members of the Astronomy Club of Asheville including conservation leader Bernie Arghiere.

We will use the observatory’s 16-inch robotic telescope to see stars, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. We will also see the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Neptune, and Uranus as well as the spiral arms of our Milky Way galaxy stretched across the dark sky.  Due to the educational focus of this outing, registration space is limited.

Our back-up date for this event is Saturday, October 6.


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