North Carolina Statewide Star Party

Be a part of the second annual North Carolina Statewide Star Party, a signature event of North Carolina Science Festival!

If you’ve never been to a star party or a skywatching session, here’s a time-lapse video that shows you the entire event, start to finish. This video was made by Chapel Hill astronomer Joe Pedit and is used with his permission.


On April 4 and April 5, 2014 (plus a few other random dates), astronomy clubs, state and local parks, planetariums and nature centers will host public skywatching sessions at dozens of sites across North Carolina. The focus for the 2014 Statewide Star Party is the Moon. Most sites will observe a variety of other celestial objects as well. The host sites provide the telescopes; you provide the curiosity.

These North Carolina sites are scheduled to host Statewide Star Party events in 2014 (please check the calendar listings for full details):

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Apex: American Tobacco Trail (White Oak Church Road access), 7 pm.
  • Asheville: UNC Asheville Observatory, 7:30 p.m.
  • Atlantic Beach: Fort Macon State Park bathhouse, 7 p.m.
  • Chapel Hill: Morehead Observatory, 9 p.m.
  • Charlotte: UNC Charlotte Observatory, 8 p.m.
  • Durham: Eno River State Park (Fews Ford access), 7:30 p.m.
  • Durham: Old North Durham Park, 8 p.m.
  • Fayetteville: Jordan Soccer Complex, 7:30 p.m.
  • Greensboro: Greensboro Children’s Museum, 5 p.m.
  • Greensboro: Greensboro Science Center, 8 p.m.
  • Grifton: A Time for Science Nature and Learning Center, 6 p.m.
  • Hickory: Catawba Science Center, 10 a.m.
  • Jamestown: GTCC Cline Observatory, 8:30 p.m.
  • Kill Devil Hill: The Nature Conservancy’s Nags Head Woods Preserver, 7 p.m.
  • King’s Mountain: Crowder’s Mountain State Park, 2 p.m.
  • Kinston: Neuseway Planetarium, 7 p.m.
  • Mayodan: Mayo River State Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • Raleigh: Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve, 8 p.m.
  • Raleigh: Marbles Kids Museum, 5 p.m.
  • Raleigh: Prairie Ridge Ecostation, 7 p.m.
  • Rosman: PARI, 6 p.m.
  • Rougemont: Little River Regional Park, 8 p.m.
  • Seven Springs: Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • Southern Pines: Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, 7:30 p.m.
  • Swansboro: Hammocks Beach State Park, 8 p.m.
  • Sylva: Jackson County Airport, 7:30 p.m.
    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Apex: Jordan Lake State Park, Ebenezer Church Recreation Area, 8:30 p.m.
  • Apex: Jordan Lake Farm, 8 p.m.
  • Burlington: Pleasant Grove Community Center, 7:30 p.m.
  • Carolina Beach: Carolina Beach State Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • Durham: Duke Teaching Observatory, 8 p.m.
  • Four Oaks: Howell Woodstock, 5 p.m.
  • Gastonia: Schiele Museum, 7 p.m.
  • Greensboro: Kathleen Clay Edwards Library, 1 p.m.
  • Hollister: Medoc Mountain State Park, 1 p.m.
  • Job’s Cabin: ASU Dark Sky Observatory, 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Todd: Elk Knob State Park, 7 p.m.
  • Yadkinville: Yadkin County Park, 5 p.m.
    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Raleigh: NCSU Reedy Creek Observatory, 8 p.m.
    Saturday, April 12, 2014

  • Lumberton: Robeson Planetarium, 8 p.m.


These are family-friendly events. Most events are free; a few require advance registration. You’re invited to look into the universe with us!

The North Carolina Statewide Star Party is so popular that it’s spread to South Carolina, too! For 2014, the South Carolina State Museum is introducing the South Carolina Statewide Star Party in four locations. You can click here for information about the South Carolina locations.

The North Carolina Statewide Star Party is made possible thanks to the generous support of NC Space Grant.

EVENT HOSTS: Find downloadable materials here:

  • Tips for hosting a successful skywatching session
  • April 2014 star chart for North Carolina
  • Activity: Eclipses
  • Activity: Craters
  • Activity: Moon Phases
  • Statewide Star Party poster
  • List of Internet resources for star parties