Attention stargazers: Officials in Yancey County will celebrate the grand opening of a new observatory on May 25.

Mayland Community College’s new Bare Dark Sky Observatory is located at the county’s Earth to Sky Park, which was formerly known as the EnergyXchange in Burnsville.

The observatory will be home to a 34-inch telescope, the largest telescope in the Southeast in dark skies dedicated for public use for educational and public outreach activities. Funding for the telescope was provided by the Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation.

College officials say the park is the first International Dark-Sky Association certified park in the Southeastern U.S. It sits at an elevation of 2,736 feet and offers a 360-degree view. The observatory will allow community members an opportunity to experience the wonders of the universe, while providing Astronomy students with hands-on learning. It sits at an elevation of 2,736 feet and offers a 360-degree view.

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