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.
Observatory Open Houses
We hope you can visit the Belk Observatory during one of our monthly Open Houses. You’ll get to tour through several stations at the observatory, allowing you to see the sky through different astronomical equipment perspectives!
Generally, Open Houses take place the third Friday of every month. Occasionally this might change based on the moon phase and staff availability.
View the Observatory Programs FAQ page for more general information.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience trouble with the website links or form.
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.
Daytime Sky Series
Periodic openings in the daytime will allow you to see the sun and moon during the day! No tickets required, and a select number of telescopes will be available for viewing. These events are dependent on the moon phase and position in the sky, weather, and staff availability, and they usually occur during the morning hours of a weekday.
Night Sky Parties
Twice a year in April and October, we’ll offer larger, overnight, center-wide events to celebrate the awesome nature of our universe! During this ticketed event, there will be activities and a screening of a film related to the cosmos and the secrets of our universe on the education side of the center. With shuttles and a night hike across the property, guests will then get to visit the observatory for a viewing session.
Periodically there may be other ticketed opportunities to come visit the Observatory, like our Nights of the Four Seasons series and the annual Perseids Meteor Shower Party
February 19, 2020 – Daytime Sky Series – CANCELLED DUE TO CLOUDY WEATHER
February 21, 2020 – Observatory Open House, 7:30p.m., RESERVATIONS FULL
March 19, 2020 – Daytime Sky Series, 9:30a.m. to 11:30a.m., free and open to the public
March 20, 2020 – Observatory Open House, 8:30p.m., free but tickets required