KINGSPORT – Bays Mountain Parks observing sessions of our night skies and the sun have returned!‚  StarWatch is a free outdoor program allowing the public to enjoy the splendor of the night sky at the parks observatories. ‚ 

Hosted by the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club, members operate the parks telescopes, as well as their own, to offer an exciting tour of the night sky.‚  Viewers can gaze at the moons craters and imagine themselves flying over in a spacecraft, and also witness celestial places of star birth and star death.

Sessions are held each Saturday night in March and April starting at 7:00 p.m. on March 13; 8:00 p.m. on March 20 and 27; and at 8:30 p.m. on April 3, 10, 17 and 24.‚  If the weather does not cooperate, an alternative activity will be held in the Planetarium. ‚ 

Solar Viewing is a great way to learn about the sun, our nearest star.‚ 

Programs are free, after normal park entry, and are held each clear Saturday & Sunday from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. at the domed observatory.‚  Viewers will get to witness the sun up close and in detail.‚  Those lucky enough to see a sunspot, will see a dark patch on the suns photosphere that will probably be at least the size of the earth!‚  Unlike StarWatch programs, in the event of cloudy or inclement weather, there will be no alternative program.

Annually, more than 150,000 visitors pass through Bays Mountain Park making it one of the State of Tennessees Top 50 Most Visited Attractions, according to the State of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

One of the nations largest city-owned parks with 3,550 acres, Bays Mountain Park features 38 miles of hiking trails, a state-of-the-art planetarium, wildlife habitats, fun exhibits, a 44-acre lake, trails for mountain biking and much, much more.

To learn more about StarWatch click here.