The Big Field at Dix Park
Programs + Events

Skywatching at Dix Park: The Leonids Meteor Shower

Join staff and volunteers from the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) and Raleigh Astronomy Club (RAC) for a free skywatching program at Dorothea Dix Park!

Visitors to the park will be able to look through telescopes, facilitated by Morehead staff and dedicated volunteers, at a variety of objects in the sky. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be prime targets -- along with many other deep sky objects. This session is being held at the peak of the Leonids meteor shower, so keep your eyes pointed skyward even when you are not looking through a telescope! Bring a blanket or chairs so you can relax under the stars.

Event Time: 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Please register so that we can send you any additional information you may need as we get closer to the date. All ages are welcome.



Location: 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603

Know Before You Go:

Parking: Parking is available in gravel lots on Biggs Drive (please do not park on grass under the trees) and at the Adams Building Lot, located roughly at 101 Blair Drive. Please be courteous when driving in and try not to have your headlights light up the field more than necessary. Please bring a small flashlight to help you walk across the field, but you might find that avoiding all light and letting your eyes adjust to the darkness is more beneficial. Even a little light can throw off your night vision.

Arrival: This is an informal session, so you can arrive and leave any time during the program. However, if you plan to attend, please register so that we can send you any additional information you may need as we get closer to the date.

Attire: Be sure to dress in layers. There are no shelters at the skywatching location and the wind can be chilly.

Food and Restrooms: There are no bathrooms in the park and no drinkable water, so please plan to bring a water bottle and come prepared to only have port-a-johns available, which are a significant walk from the skywatching site. Walking in grass and up and down hills may be necessary.

Children: Very young children may not get much out of looking through a telescope, but those elementary-school-aged and older may especially enjoy the experience. Parents: We recommend you look through the telescope first—then you’ll be better able to help your child look. Sometimes, children (as well as adults) want to grab hold of the telescope, potentially smudging the eyepiece or knocking the object out of view. Please teach children not to touch the telescope without the operator’s permission. You can ask children to place their hands behind their back as they approach the scope. Explain they’ll be using their eyes to look, not their hands.

Pets: Please leave all pets at home, even those on a leash. Darkness, lots of people, expensive telescopes and pets on leashes is a bad combination. Pets will not be permitted near the telescopes.

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