Visit the Belk Observatory at the Claytor Nature Center! You’ll be able to look through our powerful telescopes and learn more about the universe! While you’re here, take advantage of the on-site campground and explore more than 7.5 miles of trails.
We hope you can visit the Belk Observatory during one of our Sky Parties — come help us celebrate the awesome nature of our universe! Sky Party events typically feature a screening of a film related to the cosmos and the secrets of our universe. So, come just for viewing the stars, or come an hour earlier in the evening for an astronomy-related film and space-related mazes and coloring pages for the kids (young and old)!
Events take place the third Friday of every month.
View the Public Sky Party FAQ page for more general information.
How To Request Tickets
We are moving to a semi-automated ticket request system. Ticket requests can be made beginning at the time indicated in the chart below. Request tickets here.
Upcoming Sky Parties
|2019||Reservations begin||Astronomy film||Film starts||Sky viewing|
|Feb 15||Feb 1||No screening prior, program starts at 7:30 pm||—||7:30 pm|
|Mar 15||Mar 1||S1 E3 of Cosmos (2014), When Knowledge Conquered Fear||7:35 pm||8:30 pm|
|Apr 20||Apr 1||Earth and Sky Festival – Canceled due to weather||—||7 p.m. – 12 a.m.|
|May 17||May 1||S1 E8 of Cosmos (2014), Sisters of the Sun||8:05 pm||9:00 pm|