PARI hosts annual Space Day open house

Here’s the press release from The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute:


Rosman, NC (April 17, 2013) – The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is hosting its annual Space Day open house Saturday, May 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The 200-acre campus will be open to the public with activities and events that are suitable for all ages.

Visitors are invited to tour the campus and experience hands-on educational activities. PARI’s popular StarLab planetarium will be in operation during most of the day, featuring presentations from PARI’s science education staff. The PARI Exhibit Gallery now features an extensive collection of meteorites, retired Space Shuttle artifacts and other space exploration related material. The meteorite collection includes part of the very first meteorite that was seen to fall from the sky, in 1492. During the past year, NASA has sent additional Space Shuttle artifacts, including some that have actually flown in space.

The Galaxy Walk allows visitors to enjoy a scale model view of the solar system while strolling the campus. PARI’s Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA), a national archive of historic astronomical photographs featuring images recorded as far back as the 1800s, will also be open to Space Day visitors. After touring APDA, visitors can learn how PARI’s SCOPE project provides Internet access to part of the APDA database and allows citizen scientists to assist with star classification. Visitors will also have access to PARI’s Astronomy Image Gallery, which includes more than 100 posters, photographs and historical images. Research and education programs will be highlighted at locations across the campus and PARI staff will be available to demonstrate and explain Earth and space science remote instrumentation and observations. Food and beverages will be available for purchase in the PARI cafeteria.

Admission to Space Day is free. There will be a nominal charge for attending planetarium presentations and for food available for purchase in the cafeteria.

“For anyone in the area who has ever wondered what now goes on at this historic former NASA site, Space Day is the perfect opportunity to find out,” said Dr. David Clavier, PARI’s VP of Administration and Development. “All of our staff, scientists and educators set aside their regular duties to host a large, family-oriented open house. Even if you have visited PARI before it’s a great time to revisit and see what’s new. Over the years, Space Day at PARI has become one of our most popular events, and we certainly extend a warm welcome to anyone who wants come and experience a day of science and fun.”

For more information about PARI, Space Day and directions to the campus, please visit HYPERLINK “”

About PARI

The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a public not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) foundation established in 1998. Located in the Pisgah Forest 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC, the PARI campus was selected in 1962 by NASA as the site for one of the first U.S. satellite tracking facilities. Today, the 200 acre campus houses radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments, 30 buildings, a fulltime staff and all the infrastructure necessary to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research. PARI offers educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research.

PARI is home to the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive, a member of the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative and a partner in NC OPT-ED. PARI’s Exhibit Gallery displays a collection of rare meteorites as well as NASA Space Shuttle artifacts, many of which have flown in space. For more information about PARI and its programs, visit HYPERLINK “” Follow PARI on Twitter at “Like” PARI on Facebook at HYPERLINK “”


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